NoteThis was the first instance that I described Alexandria’s living quarters. Alexandria is the main character for Ripple.

Alun followed Alexandria through the scarred metal door and paused near the threshold, rubbing his elbow, as she continued on to the heavy wood desk situated in front of an ornately carved wooden bed.

“What happened to the door?” Alun asked as he looked at the slash marks all along it.

Alexandria looked up briefly as she sat in the leather chair behind the desk. “The old, old Captain, the one before Captain Blythe, was a little nutty. From what Captain Blythe told me he would scar the door whenever he thought the Groofs were near.”

Alun knitted his brows. “What’s a Groof?”

Alexandria shook her head, reaching for a piece of paper. “I have no idea. Give me a few minutes to write this out and you can be off.”

Alun shifted from foot to foot as the scratch of pen on paper sounded, almost too loud in the quiet room. He had always thought since music played on the bridge that the Captain would have it playing in her own quarters as well, but the only sound was from the engines. The deep roar of them was subdued to a low, background level that filled enough of the silence to cast a sense of calm. In fact, the whole room was fairly calming he noticed as he looked around.

Tile from the rest of the ship continued into the room. A soft grey that offset the metal walls. The bed and desk took up most of the room, each carved from the same deep, rich wood that was found on the bridge. Papers were stacked neatly on the desk in a pattern that probably made sense to Alexandria but was lost on him. Pens stood proudly in a cup stolen from the kitchens and an empty plate sat precariously on the edge behind the small computer. Past Alexandria, the bed was neatly made with two pillows and a worn green quilt thrown over the dark comforter. There was only one bedside table, set up with a slim metal lamp overhanging a small book and electronic clock.

A large window acted as the headboard. Alun pulled his gaze away from the deep darkness of space outside the glass to glance among the shelves the lined the walls. A few near the door held textbooks from Alexandria’s days at the Academy. Brightly colored tabs stuck up from the tops of the pages like flags, a fine layer of dust muting their colors. On the shelves over were well-worn, but well cared for books of all genres. The spines were creased on many of them and they were stacked haphazardly so that many more than it seemed could fit on the shelves they adorned.

On the other side of the room, the shelves were filled with various knick knacks. He saw a couple of daggers and clips to guns stuffed in between two unmarked boxes. The edge of a frame stuck out from one shelf jammed full of employee files and he could just make out enough of the wording to see it was Alexandria’s framed Captain diploma.

The top of the dresser held three picture frames, each lined up perfectly with the others, although the frames were all mismatched. The first was one of Alexandria and her brother at some formal gathering in a simple silver frame. Their smiles were genuine, but the pose was stiff. The second was of Alexandria and Isaac on a beach in a rough, handmade wooden frame. They were dancing and Alexandria’s head was thrown back in laughter. Alun smiled and looked to the third. It was the smallest of the three and was a formal picture of two adults and a small boy and girl held within a filigreed gold frame. The paper was slightly warped, leaving ripples across the people. Alun squinted to see it better when Alexandria pushed back from the desk. He whipped his head around to face her to find her folding the letter.

Alexandria walked over and presented it to him. “Here you go. That should be good enough to get you to him.”

Alun took it with a weak smile.