A daughter to come home to, part 2 NSFW

Anna lays on the couch in Danyka's office, one arm over her eyes. Alei's office is already dark, its normal occupant having long gone home."

"You should really just go home and get some rest," Danyka says, not looking up from her terminal. "Fionna's going to come back on her own, and she's a big girl. She can check herself out of the reformation pod by herself."

Anna lifts her arm to stare over at Danyka. "I know. But she would have done this for one of us. So I want to do it for her. Besides, until I have her status, I can't really call this mission over, can I?"

"You can call it over and just say that she's missing in action," Danyka says, typing out one last command and locking her terminal to roll over toward Anna. "And besides, you do have her status. She's being digested by some nobody - I checked, we're gonna have to really embarrass her about this later - and she has a heavy duty hardsuit that will take a long time to digest. You seriously going to wait here for the weeks it'll take for the seal to fail and her to melt?"

"No! Just... I don't know. Survivor's guilt? I feel bad that the rest of us got to ride back easy and she's stuck in there for weeks." Anna flips the display on her communicator up. Since Fionna can't really talk without attracting attention, they've been communicating - if you can even call it that - through Fionna adjusting the controls of her suit.

"Fionna, how are you doing?"

The heat level fluctuates low twice, then high twice.

"She's fine, but pissed," Anna says. "Any movement?"

The grav stabilizers are turned on and off twice. "Yes? Wait, there's movement. Have you learned anything new?"

The grav stabilizers blink twice again.

"Oh! Morse us whatever you've got. You've got time, right?"

The heat level fluctuates low twice, then high twice.

Anna laughs sheepishly. "Yeah, sorry. But whatever you can tell us before you melt..."

The signal graph drops to 50%, then 25%. There are long pauses between the updates, making Fionna's message unclear. "Hold on, the signal is bad. You might be going into a bad area."

There's a brief update with the air recycler set to provide a higher percentage of oxygen, the "Do you read me?" signal.

The signal graph drops to 0%.

Anna and Danyka lean in.

One minute passes. Then five.

Anna feels dread welling in the pit of her stomach. "You don't think..."

"This chick wouldn't have access to that kind of spot," Danyka says, but she doesn't sound certain.

Ten minutes. Nothing.

Twenty minutes. The communicator still reads "no signal". Danyka is looking for possible silent rooms in the area the suit was last found. Anna is sitting up normally now.

Thirty minutes. The communicator finally gives up retrying and chirps as it returns to the target-selection menu.

Total silence in the room for a long while.

"I think maybe we need a new captain," Anna says finally.

"We'll see tomorrow," Danyka says. It's meant to sound reassuring - "we'll see if she's okay tomorrow" - but it comes off sounding like "we'll see who should be the new captain tomorrow".

===

"Fionna... gone?" Alei is shocked. "... After meeting with Minka and her companions?"

"I'm afraid so," Danyka says, tapping her datapad and handing it over to Alei. "Given her location data, there's no way she could have been continuously offline for 14 hours without a single ping making it through unless she was in a silent room. We think it's likely that this Talya girl may have used a digestive aid and a silent room to dispose of her. Based on Anna's report, Talya had some form of enmity against New Dawn. We think that might be related to why she did this."

Alei sighs deeply, hunching over the datapad and staring at the Digested in action text. "And Minka is with this girl?"

"It seems so," Danyka says, putting a hand on Alei's shoulder. "All the more reason to get her out of there as soon as possible. I set up a meeting with Ms. Kron to discuss how this impacts our case."

Alei smiles wearily up at Danyka, handing the datapad back. "Thanks..."

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