Two months had passed since the alchemist graced us all with her presence. Fortunately for Tracy, the administrator for the CHARM project decided to grant her leniency for now. Sectioned off in a personal, secured prison cell, she willing traded enough information for continued stay aboard the ship. Not that she ever showed much appreciation. Tracy continued to be a nuisance for most on deck.
“Here's your dinner...”
I carried a glassy tray on my way to check up on the brat. If my mind couldn't figure out how vitrum flexile worked, there was no chance a mere child be able to fashion this into a means of escape. That is when I noticed Tracy huddled off in a corner. Normally whenever someone visited her, for whatever reason, she spew every known curse in that immature brain of hers. Yet she sat there. Staring into a wall in her orange two piece jumpsuit. “Hey! I said I got food here,” my shout apparently went unheard, given she barely moved an inch.
Still kicking myself, figuratively speaking, of entering her saturated grey cell. Sarwana infused her very essence into this particular room to better contain the slippery captive. I know a thing or two about shape-shifting. Though this was on a whole other level in complexity. Damn immortals with their fancy bag of tricks.
“I'm not hungry. Go stuff your face and shut up.”
… Seriously. I so wanted to see how this kid could escape when flung into the bars. Yet, my emotions relented, laying the tray down on the floor as I collected her old one. As usual, no weird transmutations on the vitrum flexile. Good thing that old scarecrow knew how to make something unique. “If you wanted to starve to death, then I'd be dealing with your corpse a month ago.”
Ah, there was that string of expletives I remembered.
“And you aren't getting your stuff back any time soon. That teleporter of yours already in countless pieces, reverse-engineered as we speak.”
“... What about my book?”
“Still intact. Aaron trying to decipher the texts today.”
Difficult to say how she reacted back then. Anger for us meddling in those hidden pages? Relieved that her precious hardcover still together? Tracy gave no exact answer, and I didn't bother prodding into it. Whoever wrote the original pages knew things even I couldn't comprehend. “... So what's your game plan? Waiting for your foster parents to whisk you away?”
A twitch of frustration. Clearly I struck a nerve in the alchemist when bringing that up. “No. They are gone. Everyone I ever knew that cared about me are gone,” Tracy growled, eyes narrowing in pure contempt. “All I have left to cherish is. My. Book.”
“... Perhaps I show take it with me for late night reading? Or tinder to light up my scented candles.”
Finally the inner restraints snapped at my suggestion. The child lunged forward with the tactical mind of a mad beast, climbing up in order to strangle my neck. Not that her puny grip could do much to me. The windows to her souls burned with uttered fury, I half-expected her heart to croak on the spot. “I'll ram that tray down your throat!” Tracy violently shrieked. Although being the superior species, I simply waited until she drove herself into exhaustion.
“Done massaging my neck?”
Panting, she slowly slide back down to my feet, where Tracy belonged. I planted the heel of my shoe right on her back, causing her to gasp in pain. It wouldn't take that much effort on my part. Factor in more of my true force, fracturing her spine, crushing organs beneath my sole. Or a turn of my leg. Snap the neck in two-
“... You won't kill me. You won't burn my book.”
I glared at the brat's refusal to comply, twisting my leg harder. How dare she even speak what I would or wouldn't do!? I am an Ala; demoness of the storms and ravager of lands. No amount of books Tracy seen in her young life could amount to all the knowledge I amassed in my many long years. One of the most educated scholars of my homeworld-
“Gah... Your... Administrator would not be pleased... Her assistants are watching us both...”
Damn it. Reluctantly, I released her from the domination of my foot, letting the insubordinate child sit up to breath. Before my words left to ask how she knew all of this, Tracy spoke out of turn. “The walls... Sarwana 'flesh and blood' flows throughout, ever present... Spirits spawned from her essence keep tabs on me, as I keep track of them,” she explained, herself surprised to not be coughing up blood when covering her mouth, pointing to another corner. That's how. The alchemist saved up bits and pieces of food, garments, and whatever else that was left behind she could get her fingers wrapped around. Tracy had tried to tunnel through one of the walls. A charred boring tool laid partially melted on the floor from the ichor that spilled from a wound on her prison cell.
“Impressed you didn't suffer any third-degree burns from that attempt.”
“There were some marks... 'Just patched myself afterwards.”
Intrigued at this, Tracy presented one of her arms. Still some signs of damage, yet the spread along the skin either meant she suffered droplets of ichor splashed on, reducing them to mere scars. Or she eventually mend away that as well once her skin fully healed. Maybe the child be of some use in field work? She clearly capable of slipping around unseen, most of the time.
“I might have a job offer for you later. To pay for your rent here... and possibly your book being returned.”
Smirking in delight at this reveal, I began to walk away with this information in tow. Unfortunately for myself, Tracy got the final jab that day. I should have known. With my back turned away after closing her cell door, a loud clap sounded off in my ears. Turning to address what magical trickery pulled, my nose was violated by an explosive bomb of concentrated ammonia... Should be painfully obvious how she saved up the chemical elements for that transmutation.
Alchemy Book - Owned by Tracy since her time on Bahyrst. Wouldn't expect the Shee to be knowledgeable in magical matters.
Sarwana's Assistants - Spawned from her divine being, a goddess in only fame created her own spirits to held manage affairs she couldn't bother herself.