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The Recollections of Moros Zarikqk-Antivios

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Taking a bit of inspiration from old Abo, this is a continuing WIP story containing multiple chapters. Difference here is it's not one cohesive story, but more separate moments in Moros' life in one place for me to refer back to that isn't my hard drive. I wanted to try something new with how I create character backgrounds. Feel free to leave feedback, should anyone read this, but it's not written with audience in mind.

Day One

Day One. I begin today.

"My name is Moros Zarikqk-Antivios. I am called Moros. I would like... My records may state that I am... I am equipped to..."

I stare at myself in the mirror. Blue flesh. Black eyes. Everything I have stared at for over 70 years. Normal. But I lack the shroud of authority now. How will I be seen by them? What respect do I hold as an outsider?

"You're going to worry yourself sick."

She pulls me by the shoulders, turning me away from my reflection and towards her. She straights my posture and tie. I had decided on a dark red suit, despite her attempts to goad me toward a blue one.

"It'll be okay. Just tell them your name and why you're there. You'll be okay. I believe in you."

I nod. She squints her eyes. Eye.

"Alright, what's really wrong? It can't be just nervousness of a first day that's got you this panicked."

She is a witch.

"There will be Skrell aboard."

Realization dawns on her beautifully quickly.

"Right... Not that many on Antivios over the years. I actually... don't remember any. When was the last...?"



She scrunches up her face for my benefit, showing herself deep in thought.

"It's going to be really hard. I could tell your conversation with your parents was awkward..."

Let's not think about that conversation.

"... but these are strangers. A whole new life! You don't have to tell them anything you don't want to, anything that might make it more awkward."

You don't have to tell them anything about me.

I pull her close.

"I am not ashamed of you. I will not deny your existence. I will not be as shallow as that."

Her arms wrap around me. I am pleased her creators did not apply height in excess.

"Thank you, Moros."

Day One. My shuttle from the shuttleport to ODIN leaves in 40 minutes. Once there, I confirm all of my paperwork and catch another shuttle to Aurora. These first days will define me in their eyes.

I can only hope the Stars bestow their best.


Day One - Aftermath

“Moros! You’re back!”

“I am back."

What a day it has been.

“Upon my arrival at the ODIN, I was informed that my job, one which would require me to work with Bridge Staff, would not be needed that shift after all and I was instead hastily reassigned as a librarian wherein they misspelt my name as Z-A-R-I-Q-K-Q instead of Z-A-R-I-K-Q-K. I do not dislike the change in position, but it was unexpected. It gave me plenty of time to enjoy reading. I knew, however, that if I remained in my corner of the station, I would recede there indefinitely.

“So I ventured out.

“I explored a merchant’s goods. Weaponry, mostly. Nothing interesting, not even an antique that would interest you. A Vaurca was there. It was obsessed with the phoron crystals behind the glass. My first time seeing one so close. I did not linger, it seemed preoccupied.

“The kitchen served tomato soup that was mostly edible. The bar also gave me a glass of lime juice. I had never had lime juice straight. It was very tart.

“I met a human my age on his first day as well, coming from circumstances just as unfortunate. He wanted to be a janitor and I attempted to liaison with the captain to secure this, but he was too busy at the time. Instead, I helped the man set up his own news channel where he might post pictures he took as a hobby. He was very happy, I think, even if he could not pronounce (remember?) my name.

“I offered my blood to a nymph. They did not have a name. They did not speak to me. I wish it well.

“The bar was an interesting place. As I might soon be director over the area, I thought it best to know how it functioned. The vendors, it seemed, had a different idea and continued to pelt customers with their goods. I stood in to catch the goods until an engineer could be located.

“I lingered at the bar. The bartender was very kind, the first to shake my hand, in fact. There I met a quiet shaft miner. She was on her first day and it seemed she had already decided to stay in the shadows. I respected that and allowed her her exit.

“The bar was quiet. Perhaps because the only other patrons were speaking sign language (should I learn sign language? Would that benefit me? No, you’re right…) The bartender seemed weary of me. Am I truly unlike other Skrell? Skrell apparently do not frequent the bar. It seemed pleasant, a communal place one might eat and talk with others. Just like the Dining Hall.

“At any rate, the bartender found herself woozy after a Nymph bite. She was patched up at medical and headed to cryostasis. I realized then I had spent more time out of the library than in it. Perhaps my pay should be docked.

“That’s about when the crew transfer shuttle scheduled. I escorted the new amateur journalist there. The station was large and full of life. I… enjoyed it.”

I finish my story as she stroked my tentacles on the couch, with my head in her lap. She just looked amused. Or was that pleased? Likely both.

“I also got to 24049, the 2675th prime today.”

“I’m still ahead at 35381, the 3768th!”

“You are right… I must redouble my efforts if I ever hope to catch up this week.”

“I’ve already got plans for next week’s, just you wait…”


A Worthy Cause

“Moros! Where are you? I'm back!"

My heart lifts to somewhere in the vicinity of Sirius.


I turn from the stove and she is beautiful covered in adorable hideous merchandise.

“It was amazing! There were so many people there from all walks of life! A lot of humans, some with IPC partners, but I also saw some Skrell, and some Tajarans, and even a blue Unathi! It was the coolest…”

I listen to her recount her tale as I stir my dinner. She’s placing down badges, pins—is that a teddy bear?—emblazoned with the letters SIM. I wish I could have gone to this rally now, if only to drink from her joy at the source.

“… and I think I might have gone a little overboard on the buying.”

We can’t see the counter for all the T-shirts, soft pants, and miscellaneous small objects covering it. I pick up an armband and examine it.

“I am glad you enjoyed yourself.”

Her meek look transforms into a bright smile.

“I’d love to go again! Though maybe I shouldn’t buy nearly as much stuff.”

“Nonsense. The credits are going to something you support. It's a worthy cause. And now, too, the excess we do not need may be donated to those more needy.”

I fiddle with the armband a bit longer, contemplating. “I think I will wear this to work tomorrow.”

Her smile softens. “Moros, I’ve heard promises of equal pay, of equal rights, of equal job opportunities, of removing indentured servitude… but I think that is the best thing I’ve heard all day.”

She shuffles around the counter to hug me. I close my eyes and enjoy the moment.

“… Moros?”


“I think your soup is starting to burn.”

“… Q**bk*.”



We are seated playing Mahjong, our game of choice this Sunday, when she brings it up.

“I have something important to say.”

“By all means.” Matching plums…

“I applied for a lab assistant position.” She matches Four Bamboo Sticks… “On the Aurora.”

“I know.” Matching Eight Dots…

“You know?” She doesn’t make her move. She should have gone for the matching East Winds.


“How? I’ve not let on to anything.”

“Exactly. You’ve been almost secretive, for you. It is not near my birthday. It is not near our anniversary. I could only conclude your job search led you somewhere substantial. You didn’t say anything, so I could only assume it was somehow impactful. Thus, you must have applied to Aurora. Since you are perpetually doubtful of your own abilities to lead, you must have applied to a lab assistant position instead of a scientist one. This is further supported by the quick response to your application.”

She stares at the pieces. She matches Summer and Winter.

“I’ll learn a bit about how research works there. Help out with experiments. Develop some technology. Not a big deal.”

It is a big deal. I match the East Winds.

“I have already spoken to some Research Directors aboard that may give insight into their expectations. General things, such as wearing hair short enough so as not to get caught in machines, wearing appropriate dress for your position and so you are easily identified, expectations that may stem from your biology—rather, lack thereof—and being held to the standard of your duty position.”

She looks at me now.

“You really spoke to Research Directors about me?”

“Not in so many words. I believe some of them may have been quite confused about the nature of my questions. I didn’t want to seem too invasive, I know this is your own situation to handle.”

I should not have overstepped my bounds. Surely she must resent me for that.

“It’s fine, Moros, I don’t resent you or anything…”

She reads minds.

She hesitates.

“… Do you think we can live here, in this small section of the universe, cut off from the hellhole of Sol, trudging through Biesel politics, and struggling to remain ignorant of the hate of the so-called “Real World”? Do you think this crew could come together, see each other as people and not race? To liberalize themselves by exposure and mere proximity?”

I hate that doubtful look in her eye. As though she cannot believe the words she speaks will ever be true. She takes a deep breath she does not actually need.

“… Do you think we could ever be happy again?”

I take a deep breath that I certainly need.

“… Of course. If you have ever had stretches of time where you’ve felt fulfillment and happiness, then the idea that you can experience something similar in the future is not inconceivable. It’s happened in the past, therefore it’s decidedly not impossible.”

I reach over and take her hand into mine.

“Kali. I will not pretend to have all of the answers. I wish I did, to ease your mind. But as it stands, I am helpless.”

“You’re hardly helpless. You’re—what’s the words—a strong, brave Skrell! You’ll make sure nothing bad happens!”

“I will, if you ask me to.”

She brings our joined hands to her mouth and kisses my knuckles.

“Moros, you would petition for free éclairs on Sundays to all employees to Miranda Trasen herself if I asked you to.”

I would.

She matches Two Dots…



Love has earth to which she clings

With hills and circling arms about--

Wall within wall to shut fear out.

But Thought has need of no such things,

For Thought has a pair of dauntless wings.

I always did like that. Dauntless wings. It translates well into Nral'Malic.

It is sometimes difficult for me to accept I spent half of my life without humanity’s culture. It was not so long ago. Yet I read their poetry and I cannot envision myself sitting in a cold room on Aliose with only the words of Reim’Lriosh Daire-Kio’Mara.

“Dauntless wings” is far better than “silent utterances under the moon.”

… That does not translate as well into Basic.

I shut the book of Frost poetry and roll over on the bed. I need not even read my favorites anymore; I have them memorized. But there is something beautiful in the written word anyway.

The only poetry I’ve found Kali to be interested in is Sheldon Silverstein and Theodor Geisel. Adorable. Not surprising.

I get up and pull her collection of his poetry from the shelf. I flip to a random page, perhaps something I hadn’t heard before…

“She had blue skin,

And so did he.

He kept it hid

And so did she.

They searched for blue

Their whole life through,

Then passed right by-

And never knew.”

Humans are... weird. I shut the book and return it to its rightful place. Humans with blue skin. I shudder to think.

Though I suppose it is a comment on the human’s social need to appear “normal” while never seeing others are just as odd as they are…

It is 3:42am. Why am I awake analyzing poetry…?

I should sleep.

I need to sleep.

I lie down again.

… I can’t sleep.

… More Silverstein couldn’t hurt any.




“All I’m saying is I might end up arrested during this job. At some point.”

“Those that seek to change the world often end up that way.”

“But it will be glorious.”

“… Does he know?”

“What do you mean? It’s pretty obvious.”

“You said the man was 73.”

“Yeah. So?”

“His eyes likely can no longer spot the tag.”

“He’s just messing around about the toaster thing, Moros. I don’t take it seriously!”

“Kali, he bought you coffee. If he knew, why would he do such a thing?”

“I… Moros, you know I’m not purposely hiding what I am, right? You believe that, don’t you?”

“You said you weren’t. Of course I believe you.”

“I just forget, sometimes. I try so hard not to destroy everything I touch, I wind up doing it anyway.”

“Don’t say that. You are perfect as you are. Whatever it is you find best for you is the way you should live. No one has the right to take that from you.”

“But am I ‘me’ if ‘me’ is just a pretend image of things I gathered about humanity from the ExtraNet? I am… useless without that. I have nothing. I am no one.”

“A human baby gains personality through its culture and surroundings. You are no different. You developed yourself in one year. If you hate yourself, loathe it terribly, cannot stand it any longer, then you have the fortune of transforming yourself as you see fit. I will love you regardless.”

She looks at her hands.

“What do you do? If you don’t like intrinsically who you are?”

“Some see no hope and take themselves from the universe. Others meet with professionals in psychiatry to work through it and continue living. Myself, personally… I suppose I could always blame my parents for who I am.”

She laughs.

“You tapped into the secret, Moros! You should write a paper about it. Parents flawing their children from birth. Must apply to everyone, regardless of species.”

“You may be right.”

She smiles now. It is not the sun. It is not even particularly warm. There is a shadow behind it, hovering. It is knowing.

It is dauntless.



New Apartment

“If both of you would sign and date here…”

A long day spent finalizing… everything. The housing agent leaves us to our devices. I am glad it is now over. As we stand in the apartment we can now call “ours,” I feel the ushering in of an era. The last time I had such a feeling, the headlines were “HUMANITY: A NEW DISCOVERY” and “REPRESENTATIVES MEET WITH HUMAN DIPLOMATS, SHARE CULTURE.”

I am thinking about the beat of “Come Sail Away” when Kali speaks up from where she was running her hands over the sparse furniture provided to us.

“This is really it. My name is actually on a lease.”

“It is. Everything you see, we are both responsible for the wellbeing of.”

“You ended a sentence with a preposition. Not only that, you ended it almost carefully with a preposition. What sort of backwards sentence was that?”

“… Yes.”

She laughs. I should phrase sentences improperly more often.

“I can’t believe we were crazy enough to do this. Well. I believe I’m crazy enough. It’s you that surprised me. An apartment on the ODIN, Moros, really? There’s so many people! Must be no difference between here and Mendell City for you.”

“Actually, I quite enjoy the atmosphere.”

She raises an eyebrow. I get the feeling I am being interrogated by a great being of divine majesty.

“The atmosphere? The cramped apartments, the bustling shopping facilities, the threat of being vented just an unidentified anomaly away…”

“Yes.” Her eyebrow rises higher. “I mean it. The Antivios fit two-thirds of your stated criteria, and the second item only brings about an element of challenge.”

“Challenge, huh?”

“Yes. We could see which of us makes it through the liquor store during winter solstice alive.”

“Moros. I think you just found our challenge for that week.”

“Presuming you win the week before,” I snipe back.

“Oh, I’ll win the week before. And the week before that… and the week before that…” she trails off as she open the—our—front door and leaves. Likely to fetch our sparse belongings.

I close my eyes and breathe deeply. Were I some journalist, aiming to capture this new day, I ponder what I might write.






Yes, if I were a journalist prone to obnoxious feats, that would do nicely.

But I am not. I am Moros Zarikqk-Antivios, NanoTrasen paperwork lackey.

So instead of finding some grand headline for my next paycheck, I instead exit our apartment and follow after her, so I might help in bringing up our things.




I walk in and she’s already standing there. Her eyebrows raised, she has the slightest of smiles, her hands are folded behind her back, her shoulders are twisting back and forth. She is balancing on the balls of her feet.

I shut the door behind me and remove my shoes as normal. My key goes on the end table by the door. I unbutton my blazer and loosen my tie. Perhaps I’ll have some cinnamon peaches today…

“Moroooos!” she whines.

I feel my lip quiver.

“Did you… not get an answer? Talk to me.” She tugs on my shirt.

I don’t respond. I will hold this in.

She presses herself to my back, her arms wrapped around my middle. She nuzzles into the back of my tentacles.

“I love you, you know.”

My shoulders start to shake. All of me is shaking.

“Aw, Moros, don’t--… Are you laughing?”

It bursts from lips despite my effort. Once it has begun, it cannot be put back. I am laughing so hard I must lean on the wall. I’ve got completely hysterical. It won’t stop.

“Moros, I have no idea what’s happening.”

She clings tighter to me, my own personal hysteria lightning rod. She holds me as my laughs die down. She holds me as I gasp for breath (I can’t pop a lung from laughing, can I?). She holds my broken pieces together so I don’t fall to complete ruin.

“I got the job.”

“That’s amazing! Was there ever any doubt?”

There was plenty of doubt. I’ve never been asked to such an interpersonal coordinating position. My experience is with small numbers of crew. I truly believed they might hire me as a full-time Quartermaster and call it a day. I would’ve accepted that. But now I am responsible for many, many more souls.

“Come on. I made you a celebratory dinner,” she says with one last comforting squeeze.

“What if I did not get the job?”

“Then it would have been a consolatory dinner. I also bought some soy ice cream and, because you got the job, made some warmed cinnamon peaches.”

“… You made cinnamon peaches in the event I got the job?”

“Hey, better to have and not need than to need and not have.”

“Wise. Kali?”


“Thank you.”

“For what?”



Little One

What were we thinking? It is 8am, the doors just opened. The small lives inside have hardly begun to stir.

Moros, he’s asleep. You can go to sleep, too.

I can’t.

Why not?

He might wake up.


I never thought my life would come to this moment. When I might be in charge of an innocent life. Truly responsible not only for what happens to it, but how it will grow and develop and it will need food and love. I feel nauseated. But her hand in mine gives me strength.

“Don’t panic. You are Moros motherfucking Zarikqk-Antivios. You will not bow to this, not today!”

Her words help, too.


If he needs something, he’ll call, Moros. You have work later.

And you have work now. It is fine; I want to spend this time with him.

Stars willing, we’ll have many years with him.

I know. But they do not stay so small forever.


They cry. They stare. They get excited at the sight of us.

She tugs my hand and points.

Yes. Him.


Oh, Moros… You can’t stay awake forever.

I can try. I do not want to miss a single moment.


One of us will always have to be home with him.

“We’ll manage. I don’t think I could stand leaving without him!”

She’s right. His small, excited, wiggling little body held in my arms has sealed the deal.

“What do you wanna name him?”

“I have not given any thought to it, have you?”

“I was thinking Dauntless, after that poem you love so much.”

“… He does not seem like a Dauntless.”

“No… No he doesn’t.”

He tries to worm his way into my shirt.

“Well, what about Frost?”

“His nose fits the title. I like it.”

“Good. I do, too. Hi, little Frosty!”


Alright Moros, I’m heading ou—Oh… Aww…


Later, she will show me the picture. I refuse to believe I fell asleep with my head pillowed on Frost’s bed, with the puppy in it. And I certainly refuse to believe we both snored.


Author's Note: Frost is a Dalmadoodle. Poodles are hypoallergenic, to keep from irritating Moros' sensitive nostrils.

Mr. Frost:




On Tags

“A very odd woman was aboard today. She approached my desk, pronounced my full name perfectly on first attempt, and came only to say hello.”

“That’s… not that weird. Some people can get pretty good with Skrell names.”

“Yes. But it was not something I could explain. A feeling I had. I looked her over as carefully as I dared without alerting her. When she had gone, I looked over her employee records. She was two years old.”

“Oh, an IPC?”

“Yes. Without an Integrated Positronic Chassis tag.”

“No… tag?”

“I do not know how she passed any inspections to get aboard. She was very clearly not human, to anyone with any presence of a brain.”

“What do you mean? Most people can’t tell, Moros, even if we do have the tag on our neck.”

“Not this one. I felt deep pity for her. Though, to be honest, I do not think they even had the presence of mind to identify as any gender. They had worse situational comprehension than even a robot.”

“That bad?”

“Horrific. Your average pAI, with all of its infinitesimality—”

“Good word.”

“—Thank you—could gauge and answer questions without how literal this IPC needed them asked.”

“If they were poorly coded, then who shelled out the cash for its chassis?”

“… I appreciate the pun.”

“Thank you.”

“But I do not have an answer. I had to call security because it refused to be implanted based on its ‘desires.’”

“Sometimes, I hate having to be tagged. Being treated differently once someone spots it. Being treated like some kind of object, or like a person that needs a tattoo of numbers on her arm to identify her as lesser. But there are other times when the tag gives me a sense of identity. I know who I am, and I am proud] of it. Some people wear those little pins, telling others to ask them about their pronouns, I’ve seen them. I think of my tag like that sometimes.”

“Perhaps some day it won’t be required, and instead of the tag you may purchase your own pin, telling others to ask you about your species.”

“… Yeah. And maybe one day we’ll see equal rights for all known species in the Tau Ceti system.”

“Never say something is impossible.”




“I met someone.”

Those are not words I would prefer to hear as we put groceries away. My heart sinks to the vicinity of the Underworld. Frost bounces around underfoot, oblivious.

“I didn’t recognize him at first. Then I remembered. He was just… standing in the shopping plaza, near the fountain. Handing out flyers for supporting the rights of the homosexual Tajarans, of all things.”

Two bags of frozen carrots, one package of shredded cabbage, two gallons of soymilk. The dulcet tones of Aiy’rha Al-Azzilef croon on, oblivious to the pounding of the blood in my ears, of my world ending. She’s finally realized she is worth much more than a middle-aged, boring Skrell.

“But he knew me right away. Moros, it’s been years and he still looked right through to me. He wasn’t even in a body when I left. It was still finishing its construction. But when we spoke, I knew it was my sibling. It really was little Ganesha.”

I pause in putting the dog treats away.

“You never mentioned a… Gah-nesh?”

“He goes by Ganapati Ganesha these days. He was the one Doctor Abhey made after me. He took the mimicry thing and distilled it into more sympathy and understanding. When he saw the final resulting personality, he bequeathed it ‘Remover of Obstacles, Lord of Good Fortune.’ I still remember… Ganesha’s first words were ‘I will never forget this moment.’”

She is staring at the microwave now, as though it is a viewscreen to the past. I am watching her now, as though she is the most important thing in my life.

(She is.)

“And here he was. Just… here. On the ODIN. Handing out flyers. He told me he was looking for me.”

And just like that, I go cold again.

“But not anything bad, like you’re thinking. He said he’s been running messenger for all our siblings. A way to really keep in touch beyond rumors or contact information from years ago.”

She opens her mouth, as though she intends to keep speaking, and I want to hear what she has to say, but she rethinks. She turns to me.

“He says there’s five of us in total. Him, me, and Parvati of course. But Doctor Abhey also made a Lakshmi and a Chandika. I was the last one Ganesha found. He wants us all to meet up some day. I don’t know how we’ll it’ll work, with Parvati and all, and he said Chandika is private security… but I really want that, Moros.”

I think of Kiiris, likely somewhere in Jargon space too busy saving the dying to consider meeting for dinner. I think of my parents, who have all but disowned me for my choice in romantic partner. Miss Al-Azzilef fades out on a mournful note.

“I asked him to let the others know I was willing. That I wanted to know more about all of us, how we all fit together. He just… smiled and handed me a flyer. And that was it. The flyer is in with the plums, by the way.”

So it was.


She had knelt while I was looking away. Frost was receiving bountiful ear scratches. Already spoiled.


“I am very glad for you. I hope a family reunion is in order.”

“… I hope so, too. That would be really nice.”


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