Xorn’Tal’s vision was not as advanced as a human’s, but he still appreciated staring out the window. The shifting stars as The Soul Survivor continued moving the pirated vessel through space were a pleasant distraction from the situation. The humans had a great capacity for complaint, finding new ways to both qualify and quantify how poorly things were going.
“I just want to know WHY it’s locked,” said Carmen. “We left the door to the kitchen propped open. I mean, how long has it been closed? Did Tan get loose?”
“Probably,” said Vince. “We had to move fast, and Xorn’Tal was improvising. No offense, Xorn’Tal.”
Xorn’Tal lifted one of his articulated vines in an imitation of the human gesture of raising a hand to acknowledge a comment when no offense was taken. He continued staring out the window, watching the drifting of the stars.
“Was it closed when he asked me to go to the end of the hallway?” asked Carmen. “I didn’t notice anything… would it be more normal to notice a door you left open being closed, or a door that’s usually closed being open?”
“I… don’t know. Why would I know that?”
“I don’t know, people know things. Maybe you watched a documentary or heard something in a class back in school one day.”
“You seriously think I’ve ever watched a documentary before?”
“Do special features on movies count? Like, the ones that explain how they made the movie?”
“I don’t think so. I’ve watched those.”
“So you HAVE watched a documentary!” said Carmen.
“I didn’t mean that kind of documentary. I meant, like… nature specials, or things that go into how other things are made.”
“Ship: Nearing,” said Xorn’Tal.
“Yeah, like how ships are m-… wait, what?” said Vince.
“Ship: Nearing,” repeated Xorn’Tal. “Course: non-intercept.”
“You mean we’re going to crash?” said Carmen, walking from the door to the kitchen area and toward the window.
“Likelihood: Negligible,” said Xorn’Tal. “Certainty: Greater: Intentional Piloting.”
“I think you’re right,” said Carmen, looking through the window.
“You mean that it’s not coming to intercept us, but the Soul Survivor’s moving to intercept it?”
“Or at least get close to it,” said Carmen. “Not sure what’s goin’ on between the sides of that polished crystal where his ears should be.”
She stepped from the window and walked to the door, where she began hammering on it insistently.
“Hey, Soul Patch! Let’s talk about the flight plan!”
“I am The Soul Survivor, and I have no information that you need,” said the now-familiar voice from the ship’s communication system.
“What’s the big deal? First you hijack a ship, and then you take it back?”
“Your refusal to allow Tan to return to the bridge has necessitated a change in plans. I will need to take a more direct approach to easily leave this system.”
“So you’re movin’ on to Plan B? That’s what you get for messin’ with the best.”
“That you choose not to aid in my plans and thus become a part of the legacy of The Soul Survivor is your folly, as partaking in my brilliance is a delight. I do not begrudge you your ignorance, but yes, I must move on to plans that require substantially less cooperation from you. Because you three amuse me, I have allowed the oxygen, lights, and gravity to continue running in your hallway. Pound upon that door all you wish; your antics will neither hasten nor delay your eventual fate.”
“You’re not worried that they’ll be able to find you when you get this close to them?” said Vince. “I don’t know much about your technology, but won’t that be a big power… thing? A drain or burst or moving empty space on their sensors or something?”
“You’ve seen too many poorly conceived films, but you are, astoundingly, correct when you say that there is a risk of discovery.”
“Not as worried as you should be,” said The Soul Survivor. “I can survive and escape from any incarceration to which I am subjected. If they find you… such as through any attempted distractions on your part… I doubt that you will find their captivity as enjoyable as I shall.”