Monday, March 18, 2013

Me and Aldaris (p3): Back on Board

Well, sharks or no sharks, up I went.  As I swam, little zaps of electrical-looking lines started to warble in the water around my head.  It doesn't take a Protoss engineer to figure out what that means.  I pushed harder against the narrowing depth of the water, but like I said, I'm no diver.  The field around my head collapsed without even a chance for me to get a good breath in, and I choked.  But, saltwater up my nose or no, I had to make it to the surface.  With burning nostrils, throat, and eyes, I pushed my way up to the light.

And slammed into the floor!  Blinking the saltwater out of my eyes, I guessed I was back in Aldaris' ship.  I had to guess because I couldn't look. First of all my glasses (yay!  They're still on me!) were wet, and secondly a sickness had hold of me, and darkness filled my eyes.  Forcing myself to hack and cough, I tried to get the water out of my system.  I started shaking.

"Oi!  Are you alright?"  That was the black British guy.  I felt a blanket go around me, and he started pulling at my shoulders.  "Come over here and lay down a minute.  Maybe there's some dry clothing somewhere around."

It might have been sound advice, except I felt like I was going to throw up if I moved.  Maybe that was the poison Aldaris was talking about.  Speaking of him, the massive doors (I keep saying "massive" and "large", but all this must be normal to 'Toss) opened and in the disgruntled reptile came.

"Where is the generator?"

"Here..." I gasped, trying to point to my neck.  "How do"

"I'll get it." the British guy went behind me, but once he looked at it, he was stumped.  "Uh, how does this thing come off?"

"Let me." Aldaris huffed.   He leaned over and did something (I was too dizzy to see what) and the collar easily hinged open and came off my neck.  Wrapping the device in a rag, he went off, and the doors closed behind him.

"That bastard." the Brit snapped.  "He probably only wanted this thing back.  Doesn't care about you at all."

I choked too much to make a sarcastic comment, but at least my eyes started to work closer to normal again.  Wiping my glasses on the blanket, I was able to look around.  This wasn't the same room as before, but it was the same architecture. Large though the room was with thirty-foot wide walls, there wasn't very much in it. Other than some Protoss-labelled boxes packed on the left wall, the only items in there were more scattered human things.

"Hey Toby," said a voice I hadn't heard before.  "I found some things for her to wear."

"Guy's clothes?" the British guy answered.  "It'll have to do.  Oi, can you put these on by yourself?"

It took a minute to figure out he was talking to me.  In my defense, I was trying to re-learn how to breathe.  "Uh, yeah.  I'm good."

"Disappointed you can't help, aren't you?" the new guy, a white brunet who looked American, smirked.

"Shut up and give me those things.  Alright, you can get dressed over there behind those boxes."

He must have been referring to the 'Toss crates, so I disappeared into the boxy forest, dry clothes in hand.  It must have been someone's laundry, and judging from the fresh smell, recently washed (yay!).  It was some jeans (too big), a plaid pullover (also too big), as well as a t-shirt boldly proclaiming the quality of California crawfish (slightly less too big). Oh well, clothes are clothes.

"I never got the chance to ask." I called out over the crates.  "What's your name?"

"Toby Collins." said the British guy.  "You?"

"Bethany Beverly."  I dress quick, especially when in strange places.  So once I finished I put my wet clothes over the top of a crate to dry went back to the others.  "And what about you?  Did you just get zapped on the ship?"

"I'm John Statkus." the other guy answered.  "I was on the ship before, but I certain wasn't going to go where Aldaris could find me.  I could hear you guys talking but I stayed out of sight.  When that second teleport-thing, or whatever it was, activated, I ended up in Florida thinking I got away.  Nope.  He teleported me back."

"He probably traced the teleport signal." Toby shook his head.  "You didn't have to act like an ass when he caught you again.  He might have let us stay in the bridge."

"Shut up.  He was probably mad at you for whining about rescuing Bethany here from the sharks.  You completely freaked out."

"They were sharks.  I'm not supposed to freak out about sharks?"

"Hey, you guys, slow down.  I'm not hundred percent yet." I went over to the others, where they sat near the wall on the few pillows they must have gathered.  Still feeling a little dizzy, I gingerly leaned against the wall and set myself down.  "Better.  Oof.  Wait, you guys, where's Cheonha?"

"Wait, who?" John asked.

"The North Korean girl." I replied.  "You didn't see her, I guess."

"He must still be looking for her.  We can only hope she landed in a better place than the middle of the ocean." Toby handed me a pack of shortbread cookies and a bottle of ginseng soda.  "Sorry about the food.  We're just scavengers now."

Right at that moment, shortbread and ginseng soda sounded about as appetizing as drinking another pint of saltwater.  However, with a shrug I just pocketed the stuff.  There was no telling how long Aldaris was going to keep us locked up here, and normally I do like Scottish shortbread (ginseng soda is nasty).  I hoped it wouldn't be long.  After all, what was he going to do when we needed to go to the bathroom?

"So what happened?  Was there another power surge?"

"No." John answered.  "Aldaris said it had something to do with 'looping psionic feedback', but who knows what that really is?"

"It was a reverse wave." Toby explained.  "The power surge brought a bunch of items to the ship.  The feedback sent some of it out, but not all of it, because it was weaker than the power surge."

"Spoken like a true Whovian." I grinned.  "Urp.  Ew, gas.  So I guess that's how I ended up swimmin' with the sharks.  Awesome!  Really, Toby, there wasn't any need to freak out.  They were just sevengills.  There's only like five recorded unprovoked attacks from them in the past 430 years."

"And would they have recorded yours?" John snorted.

"Hey, I had fun.  There was even this book I read a long time ago where a guy used to clean out a sevengill tank.  They weren't going to mess with me, I think.  Did you guys get zapped anywhere interesting?"

"I think I was at New York." Toby answered, thinking a bit.  "I've never been to America before, so I couldn't be sure.  There were a lot of advertisements and shops and things."

"What did you do?" John asked.  "Did you send a message to anyone?"

"No, I didn't have the chance." Toby shrugged.  "I was so disoriented that I just wandered around like a lost tourist until Aldaris brought me back."

"Did anyone see you teleport back?"

"No.  He told me to go to an alleyway so no one would see.  If I'd thought about it, maybe I would have done something different."

"You guys are no help." John retorted.  "The very moment I got to Florida I started looking for a post office. I didn't even make it inside the building before he picked me up."

"He must have detected your departure."  I guessed.  "Since you didn't come out of hiding, he figured you were the most likely to blab about it."

"I can't say he was stupid." John sighed.  "But I was so close!"

At that point, more glowy bolts of blue light materialized and faded.  A confused Cheonha was now among us again, and she blinked as she glanced around.  Spotting us again, she facepalmed and sat down.

"Aldarisu kongangpeh-ehyo?" she muttered, already knowing the answer.  "Aigoo."

"Can't you speak any english?" John asked slowly, emphasizing each syllable.  "Eng-lish?"

Thankfully, one of us knew how to ask that question without sounding like a complete doofus.  I turned to our Korean.  "Cheonha-ssi, yonggungmal malsseyo?"

"Anae.  Chal mot malsso.  Ah....Hel-lo, how are you?  I'm fine, thank you."

All of us english speakers shared a clarifying "Ah!" once she finished.  That sucked, though.  I had been hoping that she wasn't speaking english just to piss us off.  It made sense, considering that she refused to use the polite, "yo" whenever she spoke to me, but I guess she really doesn't know.

John poked me in the arm.  "Ask her where she went when she got zapped out."

"I can't.  I only know enough korean to make me sound smart around non-Koreans."

"Well that's just great." John yawned and stretched.  "Anyone have any playing cards?"

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