Landing the Deviant rather unsteadily in an empty field kilometers away from the base, Nash unbuckled himself, rushing outside to see what damage his ship sustained.
After doing their double agent assignment, they rushed back to earth and the base, that feeling not dissipating, where they encountered those damn drones.
Despite being small, those drones had strong firepower and landed a couple of hits on them. Luckily, Galen was an excellent shot, and Nash maneuvered them from the crippling hits.
Nash inspected the outside. A few dings were on the left side and back, but nothing that couldn't be repaired quickly.
"Is she gonna make it?" Galen tilted his head.
"Yes, she will be fine."
"Good," he smacked the outside, "I wasn't ready for you to mourn over the Deviant." Galen rubbed his hands together. "Watching you mope for a month, no thanks."
Nash rolled his eyes.
"Do you think we can get 'er back to base?"
"Yes, but it won't be the smoothest landing." The mechanism which controlled the landing supports was damaged, and the bottom of his ship required a new paint job.
"Better than nothing."
"I suppose." But this was an insult to his pride. No one touched his ship without answering for the crime.
"I'll tell the base we'll be a little late."
Nash nodded, continuing to inspect his ship. He and the Deviant had been through hell and back, stealing her from a hanger after Galen convinced him to join the rebels.
Because although he had hated working for the mother ship and desired nothing more than to leave, Nash didn't have a way out or any place to go.
So when Galen found him that day, Nash grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
"Earth to Nash."
He blinked, "What?"
"Were you daydreaming again?" Galen strode to him. "Because that's dangerous right now."
"I was just thinking."
"About when I talked your ass into joining us?"
"Was it that obvious?"
Galen smiled, squeezing his shoulder, "I've known you since we were children, so yes."
"Suppose I can't keep any secrets from you."
"Nope." He sighed, "The base is standing by with repair equipment when we get back."
"Good, because we aren't landing smoothly."
Galen walked back inside.
Nash took a moment to examine the field. It had been untouched until he'd landed, debris and dug up dirt where the Deviant had plowed through.
A lump formed in his throat. It reminded him of Earth before and after they showed. He would do what he could to right the wrong.
"C'mon then, or else I'm flying her."
Nash chased after him, "Don't you dare!"
Galen laughed, sliding into the copilot seat as Nash fired the engines once more.
Shuffling over the fields early in the morning, Ava saw some of the evidence from last night. Pieces of metal were scattered along the outside of the shields.
She yawned, seeing her breath in the cool morning air. Why did farming have to be at the crack of dawn? She pulled her jacket closer.
However, her boss didn't care how she worked. As long as the work got done, Ava could take a break between each basket and would never hear a word about it.
Making it over to the shack, Ava grabbed her basket and trekked to the strawberry area. At least she wasn't stuck collecting the same type of fruit or vegetable.
Finding her rhythm, Ava began to hum some of her favorite songs. She wished she still had her iPod. But unfortunately, it was probably at her house, broken beyond repair. Oh well.
The fields filled with people as the sun rose, warming her slightly. Ava didn't chat with anyone while working, but she appreciated the company nonetheless.
She also heard the ships flying above them, smiling. It was reassuring to know they had warriors defending them.
As it was, Ava was certain Nash was doing morning patrols today, again. That Wanderer lived to fly and protect. Did he even have a personal life?
Ava suspected not.
Quickly filling her basket with strawberries, she returned to the shack, taking a break to get breakfast with her friends.
As usual, they waited for her, having retrieved food for all of them. Skye was nice like that, Ava knowing it was her who gathered their food for them.
Ava smiled, sitting and pulling her plate toward her. "Hey, girls."
"Good morning," Skye sipped her coffee. "You're early."
"Yeah, well, strawberries are easy."
Opal nodded, "Any berry is pretty easy to collect."
Ava recalled having lost a battle with a blackberry bush as a child. "Very true."
They all laughed, continuing to eat in relative silence. Ava preferred the quiet anyway, although she wasn't bothered by the conversations swirling around them.
Just having people who considered her a friend was enough.
Much of her school life hadn't treated Ava kindly in terms of anything social. She was too weird for normal people and too normal for weird people.
Not having a group of people to call her own had made for a lonely school time.
Finishing her breakfast, Ava excused herself, heading back into the strawberry fields.