Evlis was slowly rotating in the lotus position. His kras was around and quiet.
“I just don’t see any way we can trust this. How did you guys happen to find him in the first place?”
Kay told him about the signal on her SPS.
“This Custodian said he put that signal out for me to find.”
“So if you happened to ignore the signal? He would have what? Just let all those people be killed?”
“Maybe,” she shrugged, “He said he was from Earth. That makes him at least 500 years old. We’re lucky he didn’t just eat us when we came into his room.”
Syrge perked up.
“He was awfully fat.”
“Can we trust that if the danger is real, that he can and will hold up his end of the bargain? Was he telling the truth?”
Kay answered him while shaking her head.
“I didn’t scan any indicators of stress or whatever, but lots of people can regulate their reactions these days.”
Elvis looked at Adam.
“Syrge. Could you tell if he was lying?”
The boy’s face reddened a little.
“Well… I was a little preoccupied. There was so much food, and… boobs.”
Kay rolled her eyes, “Didn’t I mention the pair of sex bots.”
Elvis said, “All right shut up and let me think. If we have three days we could evacuate the sphere until it’s over. Of course, that wouldn’t work. Too many people, noticeable. Warn everyone to tie off and wear oxygen, stupid… Maybe Scroot could hack the upstem wheels and vent them…”
“You know wheels are too compartmentalized for that.”
“Does anyone else have any ideas?”
Laser Boy, looking a bit more worried than pissed now leaned in.
“We could just try to get the birds. That’s what we used to do before all this: robberies, capers, and petty larceny. Those were the days.”
Elvis unfolded himself from his meditative posture.
“I hate being told what to do! Hamlet! Plus isn’t the zoo in the science wheel? They must have upgraded their security since Vince took this magic gun of his.”
“I don’t know man,” said Vince, “most of those guys seemed pretty out of touch with reality. They attacked up with sharpened slide rules. I had to look ‘em up to see what they even were for. They…”
Kick interrupted him.
“Also, I don’t really have access to detailed maps of the Science Wheel. My SPS has maps of all the official routes, but to get the actual schematics, I’d need a secure terminal… There’s one in my dad’s house. There’s some risk in going there, but I think I could handle it.”
“All right stop,” Elvis held up his hand, “You’re getting off track man. I’m sure if we put our skills together, we could steal the venting birds. Is that what we all want to do?”
Elvis searched the faces of his kras, but they all were looking back at him, excepting Scroot. Even Kay had a question on her face. Lisa spoke up.
“You’ve got to decide boss man. You probably love that slum sphere more than anyone else on the station. Those are your people. If you want to try to save them some other way, or warn them, they’ll probably listen to you, but if you want to deal with this immortal fat fuck, then we’ll help you. Right?”
She elbowed Vince in the ribs.
“Sorg, yeah. Of course we’ll help.”
Elvis looked sideways at Vince, “So you’ll have my back. No secret hard feelings?”
Vince’s mouth tightened.
“Oh there’s hard feelings all right, not a secret. But I got your back anyway skirl.”
Elvis held his gaze a moment. Laser Boy didn’t look away.
“Fine, “ Elvis threw up his hands, “We’ll get the birds. But we need to warn people. At least the Paisleyville Folks.”
Syrge cleared his throat, “Uhhmm. We need to be careful about warning people too early. If word gets around and people start panicking, the papacy might start… I mean presidency might start… might change their plans.”
Elvis floated in thought for a long moment.
“Okay. Zombie Lisa and I are Kill Squad Omega. We’re going to go to the slum sphere to set up some warnings… somehow. I’ll figure it out. Kay and Vince,” he paused and looked at them, “You guys are… Cheesy Squad Lambda. You need to get those schematics for the science wheel,” Kay and Vince shared an unpleasant look, “Work it out you two. Syrge and Scroot, you guys are Chaos Demon Apocalypse Dudes. You’re going to make stim drugs for the caper, fine tune our concentration, and try to hack into whoever is going to vent the sphere, or maybe that fat guy’s computer. See if you can find a way to beat them without this stupid caper. Questions?”
“Can’t Scroot just hack the station schematics?”
“I do not want to work with Kay.”
“Cheesy Squad Lambda! Perfect!”
“I’m going to need some rubber tubing and some Erlenmeyer Flasks.”
“Try not to kill my dad Laser Boy.”
Elvis smiled coolly, “Yeah Laser Boy. Don’t kill Blue Kay’s dad.”