Zo looked round at who had spoken. While their words sounded harsh in his ears, they were words he understood. One of the great mysteries of the universe was how each and every species on the multitude of planets contained within the galaxy had somehow developed the same language with the same alphabet and largely the same colloquialisms. A language called Lingage. This was despite the vast differences between those species in terms of their social norms and traditions, not to mention the development of their cultures. Logically, one would have thought that even cultures on the same planet would have formed their own unique languages with different linguistic roots depending on their region but reality cared little for what one would have thought. Species with little to no similarities spread across the vast expanse of the galaxy still spoke the same tongue, defying all logic. The improbability of every species in the galaxy sharing the same language was so astronomic, the mere thought of it sent the gambling mathematician hogmonkeys of Qaeth into great depressions which lasted months. It was almost like some strange contrivance by a lazy god, incapable of creating a new language for each of the vastly different peoples who inhabited the innumerous worlds he or she crafted into being. Or so Zo would have thought if he believed in a god. However, right now Zo had other things on his mind than linguistic reasons for theological debate.


The person who had spoken was not tall. But neither was she short. The Phocidi were not known as a particular tall or short species but, rather like their planet, were found to be quite average. A mammalian race of semiaquatic bipeds with flat hands that served as flippers in water, their bodies were covered in thin fur hued steel blue on their faces and underbelly but bold green on their limbs and back. Their beady eyes were the darkest black coal and peered out quizzically from their gentle faces as though always asking a question. Their small triangular noses were only the slightest shade less black and sparsely covered with long grey whiskers which protruded outwards and were said to pick up good vibrations. A number of visitors to Qwark assumed the Phocidi lacked ears but that was only due to a tourist’s ignorance. The Phocidi did indeed have ears but they were internal and so didn’t disturb the  perfectly rounded circumference of their heads. The Phocida in front of Kara and Zo was dressed in tight yet comfortable looking leggings, a simple practical skirt with a plain grey t-shirt draped over her torso. She was looking up at Kara and Zo with a resigned shrug but curious expression on her soft round face. Her whiskers reverberated ever so slightly, so slightly that Zo wouldn’t have noticed if he hadn’t noticed that Kara had noticed by following her gaze. Zo was better at noticing other people noticing things that he was at noticing things himself, which was an odd talent to have but there it was.

“Just a bit, yeah.” Kara agreed with the stranger of average height who brightened at her reply.

Zo thought this was as good a time as any to pipe in, “We expected something a bit… well, you know, from the holo-brochure… a bit more… that is a bit less, well-”

“A bit less zersflit,” Kara supplied as though she knew he would have got there in the end but decided to take a shortcut opposed to the scenic route Zo had chosen. The Phocida gave a sad smile of acknowledgement which twitched her nose just so in the most adorable way. At least Zo thought it was adorable but was wary of being condescending and so refrained from outwardly gushing. He looked at Kara. If she had been struck by how cute the way the Phocida’s nose had twitched, she gave no sign. Turning back to the Phocida, she seemed to have made a decision if the now determined look on her face was anything to go by.

“I’m Midalyn and I think you two are just what I’ve been waiting for,” she declared with some gusto, her voice a harsh whisper.

Zo looked at Kara as she in turn looked at him with an eyebrow raised. They both looked back at Midalyn, who was staring up at them expectantly. Zo was suspicious and frowned with concern. They couldn't know that the Zeppulian had been stolen. The alert couldn't have got here yet, could it? No, I'm being paranoid, he thought to himself. And besides, she's too adorable to- no, she's a person not a pet. But cute things can still- aaah, she's waiting for a reply... 

“Waiting for what exactly?” he eventually asked, his eyes narrowing.

“Off-worlders to help get rid of the fraudulent marketing plaguing the planet and tricking visitors here, of course. What else would I be waiting for?” she replied as though it was the most obvious thing in the galaxy and there was no other possible cause someone would be waiting for something. Zo startled at this, like he did most things he didn’t expect but Kara rebounded quickly as was her wont.

“Sorry, off-worlders to do what now, love?”

“Help me get rid of the fraudulent marketing plaguing the planet and tricking visitors here,” Midalyn repeated. A slight frown appeared on her steel blue face since she apparently didn’t see what could be so confusing about what she said.

“Yeah, that’s what I thought you said,” Kara said as she turned to Zo for support. Zo wished she hadn’t. Qin often turned to him for support when they had found themselves in trouble due to one of the many little details Zo didn’t concern himself with. He never knew what to do in those situations but just winged it, hoping for the best. He never did get the best that could have been hoped for but things tended to work out okay so he hadn’t been given much reason to change his approach.

“And what makes you think we’re the off-worlders you’ve been waiting for? he asked. “I mean, for all we know, you say that to every off-worlder and we could just be that latest you’ve bumped into,” he pointed out to Midalyn, hoping for the best.

“Well of course you’re who I’ve been waiting for. I’m getting real good vibes off of you two,” she replied, her whiskers twitching.

“Oh, well if you’re getting good vibes, Zo replied with exasperation, turning to Kara who sighed. He could have sworn he heard her mutter the word flyboy under her breath but she instead faced Midalyn.

“So what do you need us good vibey off-worlders to do exactly?” she asked committedly.

Midalyn smiled broadly at the two of them, her whiskers bouncing and her eyes brightening once again.

“Issue a complaint, obviously.”