fallen satellite

Good Night, Starlight

A very, very belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! to dearest @regolithheart​, who is just so sweet and talented and kind and amazing. The beginning to a silly, long adventure for Cress and Thorne ♥

AO3

Months after the events of Winter, Cinder has a new job for Cress and Thorne: deliver a few crates full of letumosis antidotes and bioelectricity chip prototypes to a research lab in Hawaii. Easy, right? They’ve already been doing it for months–travelling the world, seeing the sights, dropping off cures, helping people.

It should be a routine mission. They expect a routine mission. But when they arrive in Hawaii, everything immediately starts going wrong. A few of Thorne’s shadier acquaintances show up out of the blue, and immediately after, the research lab goes into full lockdown following a break in. Cress and Thorne are thrust into a pursuit across the sea to prove their own innocence, and end up discovering a plot that might shake up the precarious peace Cinder and Kai have managed to build between Earth and Luna.

They also manage to make new friends, connect with their family, and build their home on the Rampion. Let it not be said that the path to happily ever after was easy.

*

Stars drift like snowfall past the windows of her satellite.

Cress watches, and waits.

Behind her, the pale blue hologram of Little Cress dances in the starlight. Her dress twirls around her, and her bare feet trip and jump and skip easily around the only floor she has ever known. A soft melody drifts from the speakers, and her little voice hums along–old Italian opera, country-western, a fast, upbeat pop song all at once. Every few notes, static buzzes discordant through the blank netscreens, then fades quiet beneath the music.

She dances, and hums, and in the reflection, Cress watches.

“What are you waiting for, Big Sister?” Little Cress sings.

Waiting? Cress is… dreaming. She’s dreaming. And, she feels, pressing her hand against the worrying knot in her chest, waiting for something important.

Keep reading

Satellite

Summary: Cress goes back to where it all started

Cress woke to the soft thrum of the Rampion’s engines, her neck sore from sleeping in the copilot’s chair. She had creeped out of her and Thorne’s bed earlier that night to alter their landing coordinates. They were supposed to be heading to Farafrah, but she had other plans.

She heard the soft pad of Thorne’s feet enter the cockpit. “Cress, you in here?” his voice addled with sleep.

She peeked over the back of the chair, “yes, Captain.”

His sleepy grin warmed her to the core. He made his way over to his own seat and motioned for her to join him. Cress got up and sat on his lap, blushing as he wrapped his arms around her torso. He nuzzled his face into her neck, only deepening the redness of her cheeks.

“Morning, darlin’.”

“Morning, Captain,” she replied.

They sat huddled together, enjoying the view of the sun coming up over the endless dunes of the Sahara. A moment later, the Rampion’s landing gear hummed to life.

“What? Darla, why are we getting ready to land?” Thorne asked the ship. “You can’t even see Farafrah from here.”

A metallic voice replied, “we are landing at the set coordinates. Approaching destination in three minutes twenty-seven seconds, Captain.”

“Stars, I’m an idiot. I must have entered the wrong data.” He sighed. Thorne ran a hand through his hair, gently pushing Cress off his lap. “Let me fix this, one–”

“No, Thorne, I set the coordinates.” She interjected, “there’s something I want to see.”

“Cress, darlin’, we’re in the middle of the Sahara, there’s nothing out he—” he chuckled. “Oh.” Realization crossed his features.

Cress looked down at her toes, murmuring “Sorry I didn’t say anything, I thought you’d be asleep when we landed.”

“Cress,” he lifted her gaze to meet his own, “it’s alright. I just didn’t realize you ever wanted to see it again…”

“I doubt I’ll even be able to see it; the sand probably covered it a long time ago. I’m just curious.”

Darla’s voice spoke up again, “prepare to land in ten… nine… eight…”

Cress walked down the ramp, feeling the imminent heat of the day immediately. She had asked Thorne to stay onboard, telling him that she wouldn’t be long.

She stepped into the sand, grateful this time that she was wearing actual shoes instead of scraps of an old parachute. Her eyes scanned the surrounding area, looking for anything out of the ordinary. After a few minutes of walking, she wasn’t sure whether or not she was glad for not finding anything. As she walked back to the Rampion, she caught a glint of something out of the corner of her eye. Her breath hitched as she spotted a bit of silvery-white peeking out from the sand. Cress dutifully made her way over to the spot, dread growing in her stomach.

“My satellite,” she breathed.

She walked around it, trying to find where she and Thorne had crawled out all those years ago. Eventually she came across the small hatch, and warily made her way inside.

She had to pull out her port to light up the small area, as the windows outside were covered with sand. Actually, it turned out, that everything was covered with sand. The floor of the satellite was strewn with broken glass, sand, and… hair. Cress subconsciously tugged at the ends of her still short haircut, suddenly overcome with the shivers.

She closed her eyes as her mind went back to all the memories she’d had while she lived here, the bad severely outweighing the good.

She could practically feel the prick of Sybil’s needle over and over. She felt the years of boredom creep over her in endless waves. Guilt washed over her when she thought back to how she had erased all traces of Lunar ships coming to Earth. Fear trailed up her spine as she relived when she’d made the D-COMM link to Cinder the first time.

When she opened her eyes, her cheeks were damp. As she wiped her tears away, she moved over to the wall, holding up her port, casting an eerie blue glow throughout the small space. She trailed her hands over the wall.

She choked out, “I’m sorry Little Cress.” Another wave of tears cascaded over her as she stooped to the floor.

“Okay, that’s it. It’s been forty-five minutes,” Thorne said mostly to himself as he pulled on his combat boots.

He hurried down the ramp and made his way over to where he’s seen Cress disappear nearly an hour ago. As he reached the fallen satellite he slowed a little bit.

“Cress?” he called. “Darlin’ where are you?”

He stumbled across a small hatch, and made his way inside. He heard sniffling, and tried to make his way over to where the sound was coming from. Much to his chagrin, he couldn’t see anything. “Aces, this place is either really dark or its sole purpose is to make me blind.”

A flash of blue dimly lit up the small space and he breathed a sigh of relief. He strode over to Cress, noting the excessive amounts of hair and glass scattered across the floor. Thorne knelt down beside her, and placed an arm across her shoulders. Immediately, she pulled herself closer to him, burying her face in his chest. In a matter of minutes, the front of his shirt was soaked. He pressed kisses to the top of her head, telling her it would be alright.

After a while of holding each other, Cress croaked, “I hate- I hate this place. I never should have come back. It was stupid.” Her body shook as her tears started again.

“This was where you lived Cress, for seven years,” Thorne consoled, “it’s not stupid that you wanted to see it again. Not stupid at all.”

Cress wiped her nose, “thanks Thorne.”

“Of course, Darlin’,” a smirk made its way onto his face, “and besides, I guess you could say that this is the place where you met the most handsome, daring, and wonderful man alive.”

He felt her smile into his chest, her voice muffled, “I guess I could.”

“You seem a little more - centered.”
“You can get used to anything. Up, Library! Up!”
Ruby misses Gothpuss as much as she does Pollux. But she’ll never say so.

“I hope you’ll have more than that.”
“I promise, I cleaned my plate at breakfast. This is to fill in the cracks.”

“You don’t have to hover. Why don’t you go work on your painting?”

The truth is, Allegra is afraid of how seeing the finished painting will affect Ruby and the Stackses. She has to paint the fallen satellite to work through her own feelings about the disaster; but seeing the finished product may be too much for them.

The Fall's Gonna Kill You (2.20)
  • Donna: So, NASA's OSF tells us that the 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg Air Force Base believes that a Chinese satellite has fallen out of its orbital flight plan. The last detection the 30th had placed it in what they call a "degrading orbital path" and it's now dropped off their radar, suggesting it's begun a rapid fall towards the Earth's atmosphere.
  • Charlie: Cool.
  • Donna: No, it's not! What's the matter with you people?
  • Charlie: What'd I do?
  • Donna: A thing the size of a garbage truck is gonna be in a two-thousand-mile-an-hour free fall and no one knows where it's gonna hit!
  • Charlie: I'm rooting for Zurich.
  • Donna: Charlie.
  • Charlie: I've had it up to here with the Swiss.