[Chapter 1 - 005]

I stopped by Ishi’s room briefly to drop off the ramen– Ishi gobbled hers down immediately, while Aoi went back to the kitchen to ask for more cayenne. We gossiped for a few minutes, but we were both worn out from, well, literally everything that had happened today. So, after Gugalanna showed up to keep her company, I quickly retreated to my room.

Timaeus's room.

…My room. Not my room. I mean, it wasn’t uncomfortable? At least nicer accommodations than I’d expect from, uh, getting kidnapped. But if I got to sleep in here at all, it would be a long, hard fight against the welling pit of anxiety in my stomach.

I was just getting some pajamas out of the closet when a blaring alarm and eerie red light scared the crap out of me. The source was a little screen that I hadn’t noticed before, right next to the door.

Ding dong bing bong!

MONO-9000 appears on a small red screen.
Alright kids, it’s officially 2300 hours! Bedtime for humans! The doors to the kitchen and laundry room will lock for the night, and running water outside of the Core will shut off until morning to conserve resources! Get some sleep, little meatbags… if you can! Kekekek!

And with that, the screen went dark.

Tim sighs.
…It’s going to do that every night, isn’t it.

I took off my glasses, changed into my pajamas, and crawled into bed, squeezing my eyes shut against the burnt-in image of MONO-9000’s glowering eye. What did that thing really want with us? All it ever talked about was murder, murder, murder… Yet after watching these people– I already wanted to call them friends– interact and warm up to each other, the idea sounded more ludicrous than ever.

Did it underestimate us? Or am I overestimating us? Or does it have another goal entirely?

I shook my head and buried my face into my pillow. Just take it a day at a time, Tim. We’re all alive, we’re all healthy (except Ishi), and all we have to do is work together and we’ll find a way back home to Mum and Dad and Penelope and Andromeda and it’ll be okay.

…My internal monologue didn’t sound very convincing, but I was so tired that I fell asleep anyway.