Looking back, Farrah might even admit that Allah must have meant her to find the Songbird. Life aboard this ship gave her so many new opportunities to advance her work. She was meeting biological mechanics from all over the world, maintaining a network of correspondence that shared ideas between those mechanics and enriched her own projects. She had challenging projects at her fingertips, and of course the funds and workspace to complete those projects.
And despite all the setbacks, she felt more focused and productive every day. Losing her people would never stop being torment, but she could become someone that would never let the Al-Azar name die. Her parents would be proud.
However, some matters were still not clear. The new crew member was untrustworthy, and Captain Phillip seemed to meet with him quite often, discussing something troubling. Avi had found family and then…lost them again. Alan was acting erractic and quiet. Mel’s strangeness was changing in unpredictable ways. Farrah wasn’t blind to these issues and sometimes when she could spare a thought from her work and her letters, the lack of answers troubled her greatly.
Farrah’s breath hissed through her teeth as a plug slipped and a jet of superheated steam seared her knuckles. She was becoming distracted and cloud-headed again. Perhaps it would help to discuss matters with someone, try to find answers to put these issues to rest. But who? Avi was a trustworthy friend who might be in pain, but also she was not human. Who could say if Farrah could offer any comfort there, where her pet monster could serve better perhaps. Captain Phillip would be open to talking, but his decisions for crewing the ship would be beyond question, even by Farrah. Alan then? Also not human, but if he was experiencing difficulties perhaps Farrah would be the perfect person to offer guidance. She certainly knew enough to offer insight to particular issues a sentient machine might face.
“Miss, the steam is making it quite difficult to breathe in here now. Might I open the door?” Farrah blinked out of her reverie to find a red-faced sailor tugging at her sleeve. What was his name again, Titus? Timothy? The man was useless except for his brute strength and doggish obedience to Farrah’s direction but now that he brought her attention to it she really ought to replace that plug.
“Yes, fine Toby. Open the door if you must and bring me another pair of clamps for this joint. The large ones from the engine I think should do.”
“Very good mam, but…not the big clamps on the main valve? Those are there in case it needs an emergency systems purge you said. You were quite specific.”
“Tanner, we are in dock. The engine will be fine, now just do as I ask!”
Farrah returned her full attention to the gleaming appratus before her on the desk. Who could have dreamed that she would have access to all the necessary parts by the end of the week? This arm would be the envy of all the Captain encountered, and advance prothetesis studies by leaps and bounds. If only she could keep her mind cleared of all the other distractions…