One of the Crew (Stories on a Theme – “Family”)

“Let us raise a toast, to Mito!”

Captain Ralaydin raised her mug high into the air. The rest of the crew followed her example.

Mito blushed. Not from embarrassment, he appreciated the gesture, but all twelve pairs of eyes staring at him was a bit much.

Mito raised his glass to.

“To the successful Blood Run,” Ralaydin said, “and to Mito now officially being part of the crew!”

The rest of them cheered. Mito let himself smile. It had been years since he had been part of a crew, having someone to rely upon apart from himself. Being a forager on this world was a hard life in itself, but when you had no-one else, it was savage.

They all drank from their mugs. Mito allowed himself to enjoy the taste of the beer, fresh from the barrel. He could get used to this.

“Thank you, Mito,” Ralaydin said, as they each finished their drinks, “without you, we would not have pulled off the last escape.”

Mito felt sincerity in her voice. Ralaydin was renowned for being a tough Captain, but life out here made you tough. It was either defeat or be defeated, and Ralaydin had not been defeated in years.

“Thank you,” Mito said. The words were scratchy on his throat, it had been a long time since he had talked to so many people for so long.

She smiled.

“Now,” she said, raising her mug to the crew, “whose up for another round?”

Another cheer went up amongst the crew, and this time Mito joined them.

I’m one of them now, he thought, holding his mug up to be collected, I’m one of the crew now.

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