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Episode 4 Part 3

By: Lenady

Tilly walked down the bare hallway, following the steady rhythmic beat of a drum solo. It was a fairly recognizable melody, one she had played quite often during her years as a band member. She paused a second, her hand resting on the cool metal walls as she held back a laugh. The song was one you could probably hear playing in a sixties beach party movie, it seemed somehow fitting that Sanrook would play it, her being a fish person and all. She looked down at the floor as her smile slipped a little. That thought had brought her back into the present situation, and the leathery texture of the book she held in her hand only accentuated the truth. Sanrook would want to know about the current situation, but the problem was finding her. She hoped that all she would have to do was follow the sound of the music and it would lead her straight to the Norian, but considering the size of the ship she was on she wasn’t certain if she would even be able to find the sound’s origin. The possibility that Sanrook would not be located at the source of the noise had crossed Tilly’s mind, but she refused to acknowledge it.

Tilly stopped again, looking around at her surroundings. The music wasn’t really helping all that much, as she couldn’t really tell a difference in the volume as she moved around. Adding in the fact that she wasn’t all that familiar with the ship to begin with just complicated matters even further. Everything looked the same. All that she saw were shiny metal walls, just pieces of silvery stuff welded together. The only things that made portions of the walls look different than any others were the still visible nuts and bolts that held the patches in place. How anyone could navigate their way inside the hunk of metal that she was walking through was beyond Tilly’s understanding.

“Where the heck is she?” Tilly mumbled under her breath as her left hand clenched into a fist. The frustration was taking a toll on her still tired body. She closed her eyes, trying to will away the throbbing that had started in her right temple, and took a breath in and out. If she didn’t find Sanrook in the next minute or so she would just walk back to her room; at least she’d be able to find that easily enough. The thought had occurred to her to ask the ship for directions, but she didn’t really feel like acknowledging something that woke her up at six in the morning calling her cupcake, as illogical as that seemed. She opened her eyes and took a step into another hallway. This was the same as all of the others, except for one small detail; this one had a hole in the floor. Tilly smiled grimly and rolled her tense shoulders.

She walked over to the manhole. Sanrook might not be inside, but at least there was a possibility of it. As Tilly looked down into the water, she began to have second thoughts. They were irrational second thoughts, but they were there nevertheless. The water being really dark, it was nearly impossible to see past a few inches below the surface. She made sure to remain a few steps away from the opening to the hole in the floor as she stomped on the floor with one foot, getting rid of some of her annoyance from the morning with the action. Tilly stood there for a few seconds looking down at the hole. She was just wondering if she should try the stomping maneuver once again when something red and hairy popped up out of the water.

Sanrook smiled, pushing the hair out of her face, and crossed her arms. “Yo, ‘sup?” she shouted over the loud music. Water dripped off of her nose as she leaned on the edge of the manhole.

Tilly sighed, noting that the music was still at the same volume as it was previously. Her lungs filled with air and she yelled back, ignoring her throbbing temples, “There’s something I need to talk to you about!”

Sanrook grinned, splashing water on the hallway floor as she moved within the tiny hole. “Sure you don’t wanna dance first?” she asked, oblivious to Tilly’s somewhat sour mood.

“Not really,” Tilly replied, looking down at the book in her hand. All this yelling, combined with the loud music, was just making the throbbing in her head intensify.

Sanrook yelled once again, though this time not responding to Tilly, “Ok Toren, cut it off.”

“Okidata,” came a reply from the ship. Tilly was just about to yell to Sanrook, asking her what okidata meant, when the obnoxious music stopped, catching Tilly with her mouth open. She relaxed after a moment, relieved to be surrounded by silence instead of sound. She almost hated to break that silence, but she held up the book. “I found this, and inside it,” she said as she opened the book to a particular page and pointed at the foreign object, “I found this”.

The red-head looked up at Tilly, “That would be a band-aid. Your book sick or something?” The smile on her face grew slightly at that last statement as she pushed herself up out of the water and climbed onto the hallway floor, creating a quickly spreading puddle as she stood there dripping wet in her normal attire, pineapple t-shirt and jeans, minus the vest and Norian pin.

“Not funny”, Tilly grumbled as she gingerly stepped out of the water that had spread into her general vicinity. The water was cold. Tilly suppressed a grumble, but not the glare, though Sanrook didn’t seem to notice.

Sanrook’s hand reached out, going towards the book. Tilly stepped back a few more steps, her feet slipping slightly on the wet floor. She leaned against the wall, holding the book against her with her left arm, “Don’t touch it, you’re wet. Give me a second.” Tilly peeled off the two wet socks and set them on the floor, trying to ignore how cold the metal was on her feet, and then flipped through the pages to find the “band aid” which she handed to Sanrook.

Sanrook looked it over for a minute, the smile now gone from her face. “What you have here is a tracking device”. The wet hand which gripped the delicate object squeezed shut into a fist, resulting in a scrunching sound. The fist opened to display the damage she had inflicted. “Surprise, surprise; somebody wants to follow us. And judging by the writing, it’s that Nathian dude that’s trying to kill me.”

Tilly looked down at the book in her hands, and specifically the scrawling gold symbols on the cover. “So the writing is Nathian, huh?”

Sanrook stepped away from the hole in the floor, which closed seconds later. “Yeah, looks like we’ve got a Nathian on our tail.”

Tilly wiggled her toes around, noticing that they still felt wet. She didn’t like it. “So what are we going to do about it?” She looked up just in time to see Sanrook’s back as she began to walk down the hallway.

Sanrook didn’t bother to turn around as she replied, “well, for starters, throw that book out the air lock”.

Tilly, who was in the process of picking her wet socks up, glanced back down at the book she held in the crook of her right arm and stood up. “But it’s pretty”.

Sanrook stopped walking and after a second turned around to face Tilly. “Well in all honesty so is poison ivy, when you really look at it; but dog boy is trying to kill us, or at least me.”

The blue haired girl was about to make a comment when a high pitched voice piped in, overly cheerful, “Well, the transmissions have stopped from it”.

Tilly looked down at the pieces of plastic-like material that lay on the floor, “I should hope so, considering Sanrook squished it”.

Her comment was ignored for the most part, not heard over Sanrook’s reaction to the computer’s sentence. “You knew it was sending transmissions? And you didn’t tell us? Let me guess, it just slipped your mind”.

Sanrook crossed her arms, “Stupid computer”.

The ship’s computer sounded equally as irritated as Sanrook, “Stupid Norian”.

Tilly joined in with the name calling, only keeping them isolated to non-verbalized thoughts, “Stupid me for getting on this ship in the first place”. She looked from Sanrook to the ceiling she was directing her voice at.

Sanrook carried on her discussion with the ship’s computer a while longer before she realized that she was the only figure standing in the hallway.

“Hey, where’d Tilly go?” she asked, after directing her attention to the place she had last seen her friend.

“She walked away, like five minutes ago”.

“Oh,” Sanrook said, “I don’t think Tilly’s having a very good time”.

“Wow Sherlock, what was your first clue?”

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