In Q44’s defense, the cloud had tried to fix its mistake.
After Q44 threw the dart, it took .0001th of a second for Q44 to realize something was wrong.
By the time the dart made it a third of the way across the table, Q44 was sure it had been tricked.
Quickly Q44 began changing its shape and size, making itself more aerodynamic. If it didn't alter its personal configuration, it couldn't move any faster than the nearest air current.
Q44’s calculations showed that the dart would kill Riox before Q44 could reach it, before Q44 could even finish adjusting its personal configuration.
Though its logic algorithms told Q44 it was futile, Q44 decided to give chase anyway.
Q44 liked Riox. All the clouds liked Riox.
Luckily, at the last possible moment Prnei saved Riox.
Q44 sighed in relief—exuded another fine mist of water vapor—and readied itself to receive its punishment from the station Administrative Mind.
The Administrative Mind sentenced Q44 to the most demeaning duty a Stuck Station cloud could perform: sitting perfectly still and doing nothing for the next two days.
Two days isn't a long time for most creatures, but for a nanocloud it's the equivalent of fifty years solitary confinement. Fear washed over Q44: the inefficiency alone would haunt it for hours.
The sentencing was silent, unnoticed by the crew, and over in the blink of an eye.
Dejected, Q44 moved to a far corner of the rec room to serve its sentence and think about what it had almost done.