Character Interview- Naomi

Posted: June 1, 2017 in Character Interviews W/ Travis

I’d hoped to have this done earlier, but other stuff cropped up. Also, book 5 is finally complete, and links will be posted once the CreateSpace version has gone through.

But for now? Another interview between Travis and another person’s character. This time, it’s Jared Fleming’s character Naomi.

A strong smell of alcohol hits Travis’ somewhat-large nose. He’s pretty sure that this bar is where he is supposed to meet her. He checks the small notebook he’s taken to carrying in his pocket lately to make sure he has her name written down. Okay, he does. Good. The monkey-human hybrid roams through the bar and looks for her, occasionally patting his back pocket with his tail to ensure that his wallet is still there. To be honest, Travis has a sneaking suspicion that places like this are where some people go to get shanked. But he knows he’d recover from that, at least.

Sitting in a corner of the bar is a blue-skinned alien, noseless, hairless, and humanoid. A thermos is on her right, unattended, while a beer, the third tonight, as evidenced by the two empty bottles, is in her left hand.

With a twitch of his tail, Travis strides over to the corner of the bar. “Hey,” he begins once he’s closer. “Naomi Matu?”

“Yep!” She says, her demeanor going from ever so slightly sour to a smidge enthusiastic. “You’re Travis, right?”

He nods. “Yep. So, ready to do this?” he asks as he takes a seat nearby.

“Yep,” she nods.

He looks through his notebook for a moment. “Alright, so…I get that this might be a rough one, especially for a first question, but what was Istav like? Like, if you don’t mind my asking, I mean.”

She chuckles. “Lived in a cave first 20 years of my life. Worked for gangs, mostly. Entire planet’s littered with caves, half the world lives underground. As bad as it was, there were some advantages. You learn perfect balance real quick. I didn’t do too much of note there, at least, anything noteworthy and legal at the same time. I kinda want to go back, though. I miss it, sometimes.”

“What would you say you miss most about it?” he asks, head tilted slightly.

“The food. A lot of it’s still traditional stuff, stuff we’ve been making since we learned how to bang two sticks together.”

He’s already interested, but the mention of food *really* gets Travis’ attention here. “Do you have a favorite food from back home?”

“Panu eta kari. It’s the eggs of a…what’s the word…it’s…it’s like a…homeless snail…” she thinks for a moment. “A slug! Yeah, a slug. They lay about a million eggs, we help ourselves to half, and salt ’em and spice ’em.”

“That does sound good,” he says, keeping a mental note to try that if he were ever to get the opportunity. “Alright, next one. What do you like to do in your downtime? And for that matter, how much downtime do you generally get in your line of work?”

“Downtime…well, mostly I read and cuddle Kate. Sometimes take time to clean my weapons, make sure everything’s in working order. Sometimes I talk to Silat, our crew’s other psion. He’s a bit boorish, though.”

“A psion, hm? Would that include the ability to read minds or move stuff with your mind, by any chance?” he asks.

Naomi responds by glancing over at one of the empty beer bottles. It responds to her look with a rather loud, and very nasty CRACK as it’s crushed down into sand. “More than that. Silat can’t, though. He’s too busy being a brain in a jar.”

He jumps at the sound of the crack, soon regaining his composure. “Ah, cool, cool. I ask mainly because I know someone with psionic abilities, myself. Hers aren’t nearly to that extent, though. Anyway, to backtrack a bit, can you tell me about Kate?”

“She’s my girlfriend of five years. We’ve been on the same crew for about eight, but…well, one thing lead to another, we got drunk, feelings were confessed, and we’ve been together ever since. She’s the heavy weapons operator on our team, so if you see her, she’ll probably be carrying a gun that fires bullets the size of your hand. I’d recommend not getting into a fight with her. She’s real sweet, otherwise. Helps me a lot.”

Naomi’s clearly smiling, the mere act of speaking of her girlfriend making her happier.

Travis can’t help but smile at the description of her, himself, his tail twitching again. Sure, in the back of his mind, he’s trying to figure out exactly how long it’d take someone like him to recover from such a shot. “Good to hear. I’ve also heard that you’re a fan of tea. Do you have a favorite?”

“Yeah, there’s a kind that’s from Istav, I get it imported sometimes. It’s made of a cave fungus. It’s really nice, but for some reason people I try to offer it to hate it.”

Travis shrugs. “Eh, sometimes people don’t tend to appreciate that kind of thing for whatever reason. Is there anything about your job that you dislike?”

“I mean, not really? It’s fun, good work. As long as two people exist in this galaxy, there’ll be a contract to kill someone. Besides, I can’t exactly go back to a normal life. I have the death penalty on me in four different sectors.”

“Holy shit…what brought the death penalty on?”

“Sec-delta-53, I helped take out the Grand Ambassador of LaiariCorp. Sec-alpha-34, that’s my home sector, I’m wanted for piracy, which carries the penalty of death by vaporization in the Istavii-Nongma Commonwealth…uh…let’s see. The third was an accident, I fired a round at the wrong time I sent a small meteorite into a pre-space world…crime according Nharil Union’s bullshit ‘anti-enlightenment’ laws.” She makes air quotes, clearly thinking it’s unjust. “I didn’t even kill anyone, just wrecked a few miles of forest. Last one, just general piracy in sec-Null 9. Most people just want pirates dead, I guess?”

He thinks for a few seconds. “If…if you were given the opportunity to go for something other than piracy as a career option, what might you choose?”

“I’d probably go into science. Study psionics for a living.”

“Ah, cool. I’ve met a number of different scientists over time…though most of those weren’t on the best of terms. Not gonna really go into that, though. Where do you see yourself in…say, five years?”

“Either dead, or happily married on some paradise world and living the rest of my days being served by beautiful women.”

“Really gonna hope for the second one there. Trust me on this one, death tends to be painful.” Though he isn’t sure if that’d apply to everyone or just those that would return from it. “I’ll probably have to head out in a few, but I’ve got a few more questions. Is there anything that scares you above all else?”

“Not really. Used to be my nightmares, but those don’t bother me anymore. I have ’em every night. I mean, I guess I’m a little afraid of those anti-psion fucks who keep coming after me, but they’re not really bothersome unless you out yourself as a psion to them.”

“Ugh…yeah, I could see them being a bitch to deal with. So, what kind of drawbacks are there to being a psion? Aside from what you just mentioned.”

“Eh. Extradimensional monsters constantly haunting your dreams kinda sucks.”

“Damn…yeah, I can imagine. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me, by the way.”

“No problem. It’s welcome to meet someone new.”

“Yep, no argument there,” he replies, getting up. “And hoping everything goes well.”

He checks his back pocket again. Okay, someone didn’t come by and nick his wallet during the conversation. Always a good sign.



Jared’s work can be found:







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