"I should have been the one to kill him, or otherwise" Irina lowered her head, voice hollow, eyes fixed upon the lifeless body, the face expressionless.
"It was me who taught him of ambition when we bonded, of humans and whatever filth the recesses of their minds hold. I should have taught him the knowledge of good and evil before I told of the rest. He took to his first lesson well, though. The fool I've been."
She turned then, beckoning to the Artemisia to lower her ramp, and open that welcoming flower of artifice in the face of the pristine world.
"We should not let him come to waste, Autumn; we will take what we can carry - but you two, join the good doctor in the infirmary; also find Quan - the panel was set to stun, but make sure he is alright. Sunny, warn me before you release them to celebrate, to allow me to prepare."
The captain turned to her bloody work, sighing: "I must learn more of men before I can teach of them." Methodically, she prepared the meat, but even the casual observer would discern that her mind attended to entirely different tasks.
The Thinker was standing on the cliff-side as the Lilarcor took off, his eyes deep and mild, the hands folded in contemplation. Death had taken some, but all knowledge had its cost. He nodded, hoping that his effort on Irina was well spent.
He gazed at the fading trail of fire, long after the ship had left, contemplating what the skies would bring next.
Space had them back, and the Lila was eating away light years at a slow, methodical pace. Irina had shed her scales, the features human again, pink and supple. Long hours had she spent in her quarters, likely tired and engrossed in the transformation. Autumn though had heard muffled sobbing at the door once, but did not intrude.
The comm on the bridge beeped, the captain scanned the lines, the pictures, and grinned: "Let's move, crew, we've got a job, merchandise to sell, and fuel on this thing to pay."