Prnei continued his story:
Suddenly, a tentacle—the one Prnei had been flicking in the air the past hour— hurtled at the flying dart. (Prnei's skin turned pink, indicating pride).
From his resting place on the ceiling, Prnei hit the top of the dart so fast and so hard the “snap” of his arm sounded like a thunder crack.
The impact knocked the dart off-course. It veered to the side of Riox’s sleeping form, missing him by inches. (The pink skin changed to aquamarine for relief).
With its nano-sharpened point, the Ace of Spades sunk two inches into the floor of the station with a dull thud. (Back to green for fear).
The sound roused Riox from his sleep, just enough to make him groan and shift in place. (Aquamarine again.)
Still asleep, Riox didn’t realize how close he’d come to death. (Green once more.)
His story finished, Prnei felt brave, proud, and very pink.
The crew was speechless.
While Prnei was speaking, Q44 silently received his punishment.
The nanocloud felt so embarrassed about almost killing a crewmember that it thought it would simply die. Not die, technically; dissipate, like a mist on a hot day.
The other swarms would make jokes about Q44’s failure for weeks. That would make the clouds’ daily music sessions torture.