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Tullk's End

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With Yondu incapacitated, Tullk knew there was no hope. He’d watched Kraglin desperately, hoping that Yondu’s first mate would intervene. But he didn’t, and Tullk knew why. The kid wasn’t really trying to mutiny. His concerns about Yondu were valid. He didn’t mean to do any harm. But Taserface did, and if Kraglin spoke up now, he’d be facing the same fate those loyal to the Captain were about to. He just hoped Kraglin would find a way to help Yondu before it was too late.

The anti-mutineers were led back to the Eclector at gunpoint, along with the raccoon. Some of Taserface’s lackeys hauled Yondu behind them, and Tullk couldn’t bear to watch his friend be dragged unconscious across the ground, so he just looked away. When Kraglin glanced his way, he avoided eye contact. Once they reached the ship, the captives were shoved into the center of the mess hall, surrounded by a pack of jovial Ravagers with big guns. They were kicked, punched, prodded, and in the case of the few who tried to break free– stabbed or shot. Then, one by one, they were shoved forcefully into the small airlock. The mutineers let them pound on the airtight glass for a few moments, taking pleasure in their desperate screams before releasing the outer wall and propelling them into space. This time, he couldn’t look away, as much as he wanted to. 

By the time they got to him, Tullk had resigned himself to his fate. He sat, slumped over, eyes drooping shut. Two Ravagers grabbed him by either elbow and hauled him to his feet. They dragged him to the airlock, and he didn’t make a sound. Once, he looked over at Yondu, but the Captain’s eyes were fixed on Kraglin. Then he bowed his head and Tullk was forced inside. He threw himself against the glass, pounding his fists as hard as he could and crying out.

That is, after all, the funny thing about death. You live your whole life surrounded by it, unafraid because you have to be. But when you finally find yourself facing it, that breaks down. It’s impossible to not be scared when you know you’re about to die. 

He looked around wildly for something to cling to, but he knew that even if he could hold on, the exposure to the vacuum of space would still kill him. So when they released the other side and he was sucked out, he didn’t fight it. There was nothing he could do. But he opened his mouth in a silent scream, unheard by anyone on the other side of the glass, and certainly not by the dozens of bodies floating out behind him. Soon, he would join them.

As he floated backwards, he could feel his skin hardening as it crystalized, and his lungs were quickly depleted of all oxygen. As he suffocated, he tried to bring his hands to his throat, but he couldn’t move his arms. Tullk’s eyes glazed over and his vision went black. He couldn’t move. He couldn’t see. He couldn’t even feel– but his heart was still beating. Tears formed in his eyes froze the moment they appeared. 

I’m sorry, Yondu. I wasn’t able to stop them. Kraglin. Please. Save our Captain. Ye cannae let him die, laddie. 

Tullk heard another scream as someone else was released from the airlock. How many more are left? He would normally be able to recognize any voice, even distorted like that, but his brain was shutting down, and everything was muddled. He thought he heard his name, but it might’ve been his imagination.

Tullk. Tullk!

Oh. He knew that voice. He’d had a family once. When he was just a young lad, before the Ravagers came along. They’d all been killed. Now, he couldn’t even remember how. 

But that voice…

I’m coming, my son.

The mutiny raged on. The bodies, sacrifices to the stars. And Tullk, home at last.