Friday, September 19, 2014

08: Well Ordered Madness (Part II)

Entry 08.5: ...and Cor and Felix don't get very far.

                 Felix did not share Kla's optimistic feeling. "Cor, what are you talking about?" He demanded as Cor dragged him through the back corridors of the Helix 7. "Have you gone and lost your frikkin' mother board?!"
                Cor shushed him over his shoulder but didn't slow down. "Keep yer voice down kid! I don' know when they'll be back!"
                "When who will be back?" Felix hissed at him as he rolled his eyes. "Is this some kind of joke? It isn't funny if it is!"
                "Mute it!" Cor hissed again as they came to the first intersection with the ship's main corridor. Felix watched in confusion as Cor pressed his back to the wall and peered around the corner with one eye.
                A lump of ice splashed into his stomach, the chill reaching down his limbs to make his fingers cold. The last time he'd seen Cor do that there had been pirates on board...
                Cor signaled the all clear before quietly dashing across to the other side of the walkway where another maintenance hall started. Felix dimly remembered that it led to the crew quarters as he carefully followed Cor through the dimly lit hall, his steps louder than the senior mechanic.
                "For a big guy he sure knows how to be quiet." Felix thought grumpily as he did his best to keep up with Cor as he wove expertly through the low hanging pipes and unexpected rises and falls in the floor.
                "Cor what's going on?" He whispered once they were away from the main hall.
                Cor was so intent on watching for danger that his explanation almost wasn't coherent. "I overheard 'em by accident. She was talkin' about how he owed her or somethin' and if he wanted things to be even a'tween 'em then he had to give her the stuff in yer room."
                Felix frowned. A simple 'huh?' didn't seem to cover it.
                "So let's just go tell the captain. It's his ship. I'm pretty sure he doesn't want people getting killed on it."
                "Ya don't get it!" Cor hissed. "I heard her talkin' to the capt'n Felix! Scales is in on it."
                "In on what?!" Felix snapped, not understanding any of this. "What are you talking about? Who in the worlds would want to kill me anyway?!" It did feel like an important question.
                "It's that woman!" Cor muttered darkly. "That purple skinned gal that's been gettin' in between you and Tori these last few days." He shook his head and muttered darkly to himself, "I knew she was bad news the minute I saw her-"
                Felix stopped in the narrow walkway as Cor kept on grumbling to himself. "Kla?" He almost shouted in disbelief. "That's who you're worried about? For sparking sakes she's just a head hunter Cor! She's been trying to talk me round to working for her company. That's all."
                He shoved his hands in his pockets and kicked a scuffed boot against the deck plating. "Jeez, all this fuss over a simple misunderstanding." He wrestled one of his hands free to point an accusing finger at Cor. "This is why you shouldn't eavesdrop on passengers! Don't give me that look, I know you do it..."
                Cor was staring at him slack jawed, but not over his supposed eavesdropping. "For someone so smart-”
                Felix didn't hear him mutter the rest before they were off again, Cor dragging him along behind him like before.
                "The only head she's after now is yours." Cor insisted as they turned sharply onto the wider, brighter corridor that had the usual miniscule living quarters branching off on either side. "And she'll be glad to take it since yer obviously not usin' it!"
                Felix gave a strangled squawk as Cor swung him around and practically tossed him into his own room. He barely managed to catch himself on the edge of his bolted down bed frame. He turned around to give Cor a piece of his mind only to have an empty duffel bag thrown in his face.
                "Grab everythin' ya need." Cor instructed, eyes practically wild as well timed sparks flared up around him. "Clothes, any cash ya got on hand, anythin' light that ya just can't bear to leave behind, nuthin' heavy-”
                Felix barely heard him. He was still watching the sparks in Cor's field. There was a pattern to them, Felix could see it. He was just having a hard time pinning it down...
                "Felix!" Cor snapped. "Are ya e'en listanen to me?"
                Felix startled and clutched at the bag in surprise. "Practical things-" the words jumped out his mouth before he knew they were there, "you want me to take practical things."
                Cor nodded as he checked the hall again to make sure it was still empty. He held out a hand to Felix. "Ya got a communicator?"
                Felix blinked, surprised at the request. Cor had his own. Why did he need his?
                "Well, yeah," Felix mumbled, dragging the little used device out of its drawer and handed it to Cor. "Who you calling?" He started to ask.
                And then immediately stopped as Cor threw it to the deck and smashed the heel of his boot into it. Five times.
                Felix stared blankly at the dusted silicon and electronic splinters that remained of his communicator. And people thought he would be the first one to snap...
                "Clothes." Cor reminded him sternly. "Cash. Now."
                For once in his life, Felix was too scared to argue with the man. He dropped the duffel on the bottom bunk and started shoving shirts into it as fast as he could. When he looked up again, meager wardrobe shoved in the bag, the doorway was empty.
                Felix raised his eyebrows and sighed in exasperation. His heart rate was slowing already. "Well it's not like this is the weirdest he's ever been..." he mumbled as he threw a handful of ink pens into a pocket and shoved the stylus for his beat up Liquid Crystal tablet into his pants pocket. The tablet itself he pulled out from under his mattress and held under the single light source to scrutinize. The screen was scratched and the left corner flared in rainbow rings where he'd damaged the namesake display. It still served its purpose, but it was ridiculously old by technology's standards and he wasn't sure if it would make the trip to...wherever it was they were going.
                "Should probably just leave it here," Felix thought as he flipped it over, took in the silvery scratches in the black metal, and flipped it back so that light flashed across the screen like a lens flare, "I'll have my notebook anyway so it's not like I really need-oh scrap!"
                He tossed the tablet into the duffel bag, thoughtlessly throwing a wad of grayed out socks on top of it, before tearing open all the drawers in his desk in quick succession. They were empty except for a couple of pens and batteries which rolled noisily towards the back as he slammed them all closed one after the other.
                "Scrap it all!" Felix grumbled as he looked under his blanket and still didn't see his leather bound notebook, "must've left it in my workroom."
                He turned around to run and get it before Cor got back to wreak more havoc on his day and suddenly found the leather book shoved into his stomach.
                "Here." Cor mumbled distractedly. "Figured you'd want this. You got whatcha need?" His static field was more agitated than ever.
                Felix opened his mouth to answer but Cor had already zipped up  the duffel, slung it over his shoulder and shoved Felix out the door ahead of him. "Good. Now let's get outta here for someone notices we're still here."
                Felix rolled his eyes as he shoved his notebook under his arm and tried not to hit his head on the low access. "Yes, because that would be unheard of."
                Cor ignored him and Felix just rolled his eyes again. He was still half convinced this was all some kind of ploy to get him off the ship. Last time he'd stored up too many vacation days Tori and Cor had kidnapped him and taken him to the planet Vegas for five days of shiny, noisy 'relaxation'. He'd protested strongly the whole way.
                "You know you'd better be serious about Kla wanting to kill me," Felix tossed over his shoulder, "cuz if you're not I'm so going to tell Tori it was you that spilled all her fancy nail polish on her Aerothermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics midterm essay."
                Cor didn't hesitate. "If ya can still talk as a disembodied head I'll gladly let ya."
                Felix's mouth thinned irritably. "Well you're determined, I'll give you that." He grumbled. Cor just walked faster. And then abruptly grabbed Felix by the collar and yanked him back, jerking him to a painful stop in the shadow of the corridor.
                Cor signaled for silence with a stocky finger to his mouth before Felix could do more than glare at him. He thought about ignoring the bossy old man but decided to keep his mouth shut when he heard the sound of slow footsteps coming towards them.
                Felix leaned deeper into the shadows, suddenly wondering if maybe Cor wasn't mad after all. What if that crazy Moraloran really was after him?
                They waited in the dim light of the recess hall for what felt like hours. Felix stood there like a board had been shoved down his shirt, eyes wide, sweat sliding down his nose and making it itch. They waited as the slow, plodding footsteps stalked closer-
                Bornox Fahr – a great, hulking being from Snixus Station who ran the Helix's limited security – slumped down the hall. He looked exhausted, as if it took all of his concentration just to put one foot in front of the other, and he didn't even glance at them as he passed.
                Neither Cor nor Felix moved as the big guy slouched away with a giant yawn; Cor because he was being paranoid and Felix because he was too busy glaring at Cor to bother with leaving just yet.
                "Oh for the love of-" Felix hissed after Fahr had disappeared. "I thought that was a team of un-stealthy Kla ninjas coming to get me! You're turning me into you!" He accused with a pointing finger.
                Cor just grabbed the finger and hauled Felix after him towards the Helix's only exit. "Hey," he abruptly said once Felix got his finger back, "all that stuff ya've got lyin' round yer workroom, ya've got that all memorized, right?"
                Felix eyed him over his aching digit, face sulky. "Yes..."
                Cor nodded stiffly, as if he'd just proved to himself he'd done the right thing. "Good."
                Felix suddenly had a dreadful concern for his work. "Cor..." he said slowly, watching what he could of Cor's face as if he was wild, "what did you do...?"
                The grin Felix half saw was almost crazy enough to send the Earthling running in the opposite direction. "Just givin' the lady sumthin' to think about." He told him. "Don' worry."
                Felix did worry. He worried a lot. But before he could ask what Cor even meant, a loud frantic siren began to scream from the below deck they'd just left. A second later the smell of fire retardant foam reached their noses from down below. Fortunately they were out of the spray radius or they would have left the ship with white hair and shoulders.
                It was curious though, Felix thought, the lower deck didn't spontaneously combust all that often. Well, not since Torrik had banned all of his practical experiments anyway. All that was down there now were the storage rooms and the crew quarters and of course his workshop...
                Understanding made him instantly nauseas. "You set it on fire?!" Felix screeched.
                Cor just pressed him to go faster. "It doesn't matter now. Just keep goin'!"
                If anything Felix's eyes got bigger. "Doesn't matter?!" His voice was barely more than an angry squeak. "Doesn't matter?! You know dang well it matters! You of all people know how much sweat I've put into the thing and you just go and burn it all to the freakin' ground!"
                Cor didn't bother to defend himself. He could see natural light up ahead. If they could get out and lost in White Sails' pedestrian traffic, maybe they would stand a chance before Kla caught up with them...
                "When we get outside you don't turn back for nuthin'." Cor told him in a low, urgent voice as he made a beeline for the main hatch, Felix right behind him. "If we get separated you get yerself to the Flamingo Lingo beach bar and hunker down there til I come. I'll find ya when I'm sure they're gone."
                "When who's gone?" Felix demanded as they turned the last corner-
                -only to come to a jarring stop when Cor saw that Captain Torrik was waiting for them at the top of the boarding ramp.

< Entry 8                                                                                                                                                   Entry 9 >

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