Lysergic Adam, 10 years old, and most wanted man on the station pulled the chip out of Scroot’s keyboard and did a triple back summersault and landed expertly with bent legs on a branch before pushing off at the perfect angle to land gracefully at Kay’s side. Except that after the triple summersault, which wasn’t bad, he crashed and tangled in the tuft of greenery at the end of a limb. He cursed in Qualmpthese and shimmied his way out of the tangle butt first to drift gracelessly near Kay’s feet.
“Hello Syrge,” Kay said, sounding bored. Her hands slid and clicked idly on the air sorting through various media files, “I see now why they call you the smartest kid on the station.”
“Who calls me that?”
“Elvis, Laser Boy… I guess that’s it. Actually they call you scary smart. I was trying to be tactful. I think they’re really scared of you.”
“Yeah. I can see from your record that you’re all about tact.”
Kay swiped her files out of her HUD by waving her hands in one of the simpler Tai Chi patterns.
“What do you want Scary Smart?”
“Is that my new name? Everybody’s getting new names!”
Kay rolled her eyes and pulled some of her files back and focused on the distance again.
Syrge got to the point. He held out the chip to her.
“I was wondering if you’d use one of your nano cards to print this for me.”
“You downloaded a pattern? For What?”
“No downloading. Scroot and I wrote this. I mean I designed it, you know on a macro scale. Scroot coded it for the maker.”
“Wow. So what is it?”
“Well… I know you’ve got all the great tech for getting yourself high, though by now you’re relying on naturally occurring chemicals, your chem reservoirs are surely empty by now, at least you can regulate your endorphins and DMT and et cetera. I’ve noticed you looking more bored than usual. The rest of us have been sober for weeks. Black Elvis is putting up a good front, but he’s usually a lot more… I don’t know expansive. He hasn’t given a spiritual speech since we’ve been here.”
Kay grabbed the boy by the tie and spun him upside down.
“What. Is. The. Pattern. For?”
He laughed like the kid he was for a second, before slowing his breathing and answering.
“I programmed a scanner with all known plant types. I bet we find some great drugs in this jungle. I could read a few books and find them with my eyes, but this scanner will do it much better.”
“You want me to print you a scanner so you can go looking for drugs to make us high?”
“Cool. Beans. Yes.”
Kick Herald, The Fabulous Blue Kay snatched the chip and shot like an arrow to her shanty. The so-called ‘chip’ was a small plastic disk with a small strip of copper running around the edge. It fit perfectly into the disc shaped space on one of her nano cards. The card, which was really just an interface for an invisible swarm of nano bots that constantly followed Kay around, would transmit the pattern to the nano bots, and they would use their own substance and stray matter of molecules around them to become whatever the pattern suggested. In approximately 35 seconds, an object that looked like a small two-handed videogame controller popped into existence where the card was. Syrge snatched it out of the air. He began pushing buttons and making swipes on the screen.
“Sweet honey. I’m going hunting.”
Kay grabbed him by the back of his belt.
“I’m going with you Scary Fairy.”
“On man. I don’t like that name at all.”
Kay flipped him around so he could ride on her back.
“Mind my tail with your feet please. I can’t steer very well without it.”
“You’re not going to make sex with me are you? I’m only ten.”
Kay almost crashed into a branch giggling.
“If you don’t behave I might!”
They shot through the main room of their fort. Elvis and Lisa yelled something, but they couldn’t hear. They were past the screen and into the wild.
“You’re going to need to slow down. Go where it’s thick, straight downstem… All the way downstem if need be.”
They flew into thicker and thicker jungle, until Kay had to stop flying and they were pulling them selves through the thickets. Every so often Adam would stop and collect something and put it into a plastic bag and then into his backpack. His little scanner was working perfectly.
Kay asked him if an anti bug shield would affect his readings. He said it would not, so moments later a pale yellow haze appeared around them. Adam passed his scanner over a batch of fungus and said, “Ohhhh. Yes please!”
He snatched up a big chunk of a large pillowy growth. As he put it in his pack, he said, “You know. You and Vince would have been dead if not for Scroot and me.”
“How’s that?” Kay was looking at him with her head tilted.
“Well. It was really Scroot that saw what you were doing. He couldn’t tell me though. But I know him pretty well, so I followed his lead and he lead me to you guys at the intersex, venting sorg up old school with guns ablazing.
“Everything we did with the blackwalls and the comms jamming and the storms and all… That was all my idea. But Scroot put me where I could do it. Anyway. I think without the blackwall stuff they would have killed you. Also, without the jamming, they probably would have just had nanobots eat you, incriminating footage on the black walls or no.”
“Yeah… I didn’t think of the nano bots. Though, if you think about it, they wouldn’t use nano bots on me without really good reason. Like incriminating footage on the blackwalls. So did you save me or put me in danger in the first place.”
Adam stopped working and looked at her.
“Heh. I can see why the guys like you.”
Kay’s stern face melted and went all stupid.
“Awwwww. Scary Smurf likes me!”
She snatched him up and hugged him like a stuffed otter.
“Ahhhhh! Vent! I said no sex!”
Kay tickled his ribs until his face turned red.
Later. They were resting within the curves of a blossoming apple tree and Syrge was sifting through his baggies.
“I think we can head back. I can make three awesome compounds out of this stuff, and I got this big bag of weed!”
Kay grabbed his wrist and took the last out of his hand.
“You’re not old enough. I’ve got a big bag of weed.”
“Whatever. I don’t touch the stuff. The others are gonna be happy though. Let’s get back.”
Kay was looking at something on her HUD. Not using her hands now, her eyes were flicking around furiously.
“Hold on. We are actually only thirty meters from the end.”
“The end of what?”
“The end of the station. Like you said before… All the way downstem. There’s some sort of beacon…”
Syrge perked up.
“Oh hey! Dag magag! I want to go! Can we go?”
“Yeah. I sort of want to go too. S’why I brought it up. Can you shoot?”
“I don’t know. I can give you a gun. Doesn’t it make you nervous? The End of the Station?”
“Allright give me a gun. How hard can it be?”
“Here. Just don’t point that end at me and we’ll be fine.”
“It looks like a lady gun.”
“It is normally, but today it’s been downgraded to a baby gun.”
They got quiet as they moved closer to the end of the station. When they got there all they found was a large flat expanse of dirt with plants growing out of it. They hovered and looked at the terminus. The foliage was thick enough that they could not see to the curved outer walls in any direction.
“Oh well,” said Syrge, “At least we can say we’ve been here.”
“Hold on. Let’s go to the center, where the beacon is.”
“Well I’m sure I don’t know where that would be.”
“My SPS has it marked, must be something there… A passage maybe.”
“Hey, I’m all about learning things. Let’s go.”
They pulled themselves hand over hand across the earthy wall, following the guidance of Kay’s Station Positioning System. When they got there, it was just more of the same. Kay snapped a twig off of a nearby branch and pushed it into the precise center of the downstem end of the cylindrical axel of the station.
“Once again. I am underwhelmed,” offered Syrge, “What now? Walk the perimeter? I really want to get back before Skum Bunny leaves.”
“Yeah. I guess… How about you do some target practice before we go?”
She grabbed him by his belt again and flew about twenty meters from the wall before releasing him.
“Here. See if you can shoot that twig from here. Wait.”
Kay leaned over him. Adjusting something on the pistol. Her breasts were pressed against is face. He rolled his eyes and thought that maybe he could make a chemical that would make him asexual on command. It would probably be very useful come puberty. She arranged him in a halfway decent stance and positioned his arms, explaining the sight system to him.
He drew a bead on the stick she had planted and pulled.
There was no recoil of sound from the gun. However the large explosion when the beam hit the wall startled all the wildlife into silence and Syrge dropped his gun. Kay snatched it out of the air.
“Good shot. Look. You found a secret door.”
In the four-meter diameter hole made by his gun blast, Syrge saw a metal wall with a clearly defined yellow line around a service entrance hatch.
Kick barely flicked her wingtips and started her slow approach to the hatch. She made a four point knees and palms landing around it and started brushing caked dirt clods from the surface, trying to find the handle or controls.
Syrge had to grab her arm to keep from overshooting. She helped to steady him. Closer examination revealed a base 10 number pad. Kay used her bionic eyes to scan the numerals, but all the keys were coated with the same level of dirty residue.
“Any ideas Junkie Boy Genius?”
Syrge ducked under her arm and quickly pushed the first four cardinal numbers. The hatch buzzed and recessed itself and slid to the left. Kay shook her head and laughed incredulously.
“You pennywising little venter.”
“Are you scared to go in because you’re a girl? We can go get one of your boyfriends if you like.”
“Am I sca….. You’re a shifty little fella aintcha? Lead the way Velociraptor With The Face Of A Boy.”
“Now that’s a nickname I could get behind!”
Syrge dove into the passage, ready for anything. Not really