You are woken by an alien figure and given the choice to explore the universe. You are guaranteed to return safely, but do not know when.

“I’m sorry,” Cass said.

She was rushing to put the equipment back in its proper place, but the ship kept on bucking, sending her sprawling against the floor and the items in her hands flying. Karn growled from the cockpit, separated from her by a small door that did nothing to dampen the noise.

“Careful human!”

“Maybe,” Cass said, scooping up a melon baller the size of her arm, “you could try and fly a bit straighter.”

The ship dropped ten feet and Cass screamed as her arm grazed across half a dozen pointy instruments that looked more at home in a medieval torture chamber than a ship. She threw the remaining items down and stomped towards the hatch, poking her head through to see the large alien sitting with his feet up.

The ridges around his eyes were pulsing a rhythmic orangered. That was enough. The bastard was enjoying this. Cass launched herself through the hatch and hit him on the back of his head.

“That’s not funny. I could have died. I hate doing this. I want to go home!”

Karn had laughed at first. The pitifully weak human had a softer touch than a pup, and he’d enjoyed watching her pent-up frustration bubble forth. The first few cycles she’d been quieter than a Knitch, always doing what he said without so much as a word, until finally one day she’d been cleaning his armour and accidentally opened a tub of krestral worms. Oh the fun to be had. She even used them herself now, for all her ungrateful words at the time.

But home. Cass hadn’t mentioned her homeworld since leaving. He intended to keep his promise. He always had and, for as long as he lived, always would. He grabbed her and held her until she stopped shouting, stopped trying to smash her tiny fists against his chest and instead began to sob against his shell.

“Do you know where we are?” he asked, quietly, brushing a single strand of her odd hair from her face.

She looked at him, and he knew even though he knew she saw only in a tiny fraction of the brilliant luminescence of the Universe, he smiled. She wiped at her wet face and sat up, as if reasserting her dominance as the most composed lifeform in the ship.

“Well?” he asked again.

She leant past him and began tapping at the controls of his vessel. He almost stopped her in fright. He’d never shown her how the vessel worked, much less walked her through the necessary commands. And as she worked her way through the menus (he doubted her learning extended to all six hundred characters in his peoples alphabet) he had to stop himself from guiding her away from the more dangerous commands. But eventually she hit upon the right combination and a stellar map drifted into view above the console.

“We’re here,” she said, correctly identifying the glyph representing the Klane, “and this is Earth.”

He humphed and pulled up a log of astronavigation requests.

“You’ve been using my computer. When I was asleep.”

“Should have put a password on it if you didn’t want me to.”

He couldn’t raise a talon against her even if he wanted too. She was just too much like him to do that. She reached out and pulled her homeworld closer towards her. He saw it fill her eyes. But she had to see. He pulled back and back and back, until the blue orb became a speck and the entire Universe lay before her.

“All of this, all of it can be yours. Or,” he placed her tiny fingers on the console, “you can go home.”


Prompt originally posted by sojufresh7 on reddit and received 2 upvotes.

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