Introductions & Decisions

The elevator scrunched to a stop, bouncing Qin and Bor. Well, mostly Qin. Bor rolled with the bounce, his feet planted firmly as his body moved fluidly as the elevator floor jiggled violently. And then the doors opened viciously to a heated argument already in progress.

“We have the coordinates though.”

“Why rush? Let’s just roam the galaxy.”

“But this could lead to something amazing or something! Don’t you like amazing somethings?”

“Who doesn’t love amazing somethings? But it probs isn’t a good idea to tumble headfirst into the unknown. Wouldn’t you rather see what the galaxy has to offer?”

“The galaxy is offering us a ‘X’ on the map!”

“There’s a ‘X’?”

“What? No. Not a literal ‘X’, why would there be, it’s not even a physical map, no, I was just saying that we have the coordinates and should go see what’s there.”

“Why though?”

“Why not?”

Sensing a lull, Qin piped in, “Why not both?”

Kara and Zo turned to face Qin and took a double take at the sight of the rippling violet skinned pointy eared stranger standing beside him. Qin noticed the surprised looks on their faces and added, “Oh, this is Bor. I met him by the teleportation chamber.” He turned to the Gorlothin on his right, “Bor, the scrumptious Turian arguing about coordinates is Zo, while the lovely planet hopper is our pilot Kara. Say hello Bor.”

Hello

“Kara isn’t our- sorry, who's this?”, Zo asked frantically, his face flushed. Before Qin could reply, he interjected, “There aren’t more people just hanging out on the ship, are there?”

“I think he’s the only one. He was beamed through our transpiration channel. Oh that reminds me, our transpiration channel is open.”

Kara took a quick look behind her at the touchpad, tapped the Home button and noticed the teleportation app was open in recently used list.

“Well what do you know flyboy, it is too,” she noted before swishing the app closed with a flick of her finger.

Zo’s gills flushed at the nickname but only Qin noticed. Brushing it off, Zo turned his attention back to Qin and the stranger named Bor. “Qin, you know I just love how you like bringing strays home,” Kara frowned behind him, “but you can’t keep finding people every time you explore the ship. I mean, we were supposed to the only ones here.”

“I know, but I couldn’t just leave him standing in the corridor,” Qin explained in his sing-song voice, sounding only slightly annoyed. It did trouble him when Zo got like this. He gets so worked up sometimes, Qin noted to himself.

“Qin, when you found him, why didn’t you use your fon and text me? What’s the point of having it on you if you don’t use it?” Zo exclaimed exasperatedly.

“Oh, yeah…” he took out the sleek communications device which fit snugly in his hand. “I only really use it to check my Spacepage,” Qin admitted with a shrug as Zo facepalmed.

Due to all the amazing features and apps which came with a zFon, it was often easily to forget it could be used to send texts as well. Especially when there were wikis to edit on the complex fan theory linking all the hologrammies of Q’urth Don and El’zeth Raun within the same fictional universe. Kara didn’t have a zFon and had already tuned out the conversation. She was more preoccupied with Bor. The muscular stranger had been silently observing the conversation unfolding in front of him normally enough, she supposed. Or at least, a simulation of normalcy. But his striking yellow eyes didn’t indicated if anything was being actually absorbed, or if it was, he wasn’t reacting to it.

“How about we actually talk to Bor instead of about him,” she Kara suggested.

Bor lifted his head with a delayed grace to look at Kara but the expression on his face, if indeed there was any, was inscrutable. Zo and Qin looked abashed at having been called out on their rudeness but now faced the Gorlothin.
“Sorry about that Bor,” Qin apologised with cheery sincerity.

“Yeah, sorry. A lot going on,” Zo explained before asking, “So why are you here?”

The Egalitarian Ministry had our scientists beam me aboard through the ship's transpiration channel which was conveniently left open for teleportation

Qin raised an eyebrow. Bor’s reply was exactly what he had told him before in the corridor by the teleportation chamber. Word for word. Weird, he thought as he shrugged it off.

“Well, that’s how you got here but I asked why are you here,” Zo clarified. “Why does your voice sound, I dunno, delayed? Is that right? Sorry, I don’t mean to be a paranoid android but we need to make sure you’re cool, okay? I’ve just had one too many surprises lately.”

Bor looked at Zo and replied, taking a split-second longer than it seemed he needed to.

I am here because here is where I was banished. You do not look like a paranoid android. And I can be cool

He cocked his head slightly and smiled, in what they assumed was supposed to be a reassuring manner. But Bor’s lithe yet somehow stilted movements and the lack behind his dazzling eyes were slightly off-putting to the crew of the Zeppulian. Like an imitation missing something intrinsic to the original but what that something was, it was hard to say. Qin noticed Zo continued to look at Bor questioningly.

“See? He’s cool, Zo. What were you and Kara, uh, discussing when we came in?” Qin inquired curiously.

“He wants to rush off to the middle of nowhere because reasons,” Kara explained with a relish.

“While she wants to faff around hopping from planet to planet instead of having somewhere to go,” Zo stated dismissively. “But we have somewhere to go, Qin. Somewhere lost.”

“Where?” Qin asked with uncontained anticipation.

“The lost planet!” Zo declared dramatically. Unfortunately, the mood in the command bridge didn’t change with this revelation the way Zo had hoped it would. Kara simply rolled her eyes while Bor didn’t seem to react at all. Qin looked at Zo vacantly.

“The lost planet?”

“The lost planet! Don’t you know about the lost planet?” Zo asked, his excitement fading. “The fabled planet that is so lost no one knows its name or why it was lost? That lost planet?” Zo  looked for some recognition on Qin’s pretty boy face. None came. “It’s like one of the great mysteries of the galaxy. A myth whispered of in legend, that sort of thing. And the navigation drive on this ship has the coordinates!”

“Which means we could go at any time. Why the gluup do we need to lightspeed there right away? It’s not about the destination, you know,’ Kara chipped in. “We have the best ship ever, so let’s  explore the galaxy.”

Or do both like Qin suggested

Everyone started. Partly due to surprise that Bor had spoken up, partly because the fact his words were completely dissociated from his mouth was still unnerving.

Qin looked at Zo and Kara questioningly.

“Both?”

Kara smiled at Qin and looked at Zo.

“Both?”

Zo looked back at Bor, Qin, and Kara.

“Both.”