[Chapter 1 - 014]

Michi, Gugalanna, and Kapono are hanging out in the hallway.

I didn’t even make it to the cafeteria before I got derailed again… but I hadn’t seen much of these folks, either. Couldn’t hurt to stop and chat for a bit, especially given recent events.

Guga laughs.
Gugalanna

¡¡Hola!!

Michi smiles.
Michi

¿Tú hablas español?

Tim laughs nervously.
Timaeus

Oh… sorry, I know just enough to read a catalog record. But I didn’t know you spoke Spanish too!

Michi murmured something unintelligible to Gugalanna before answering me. She snorted loudly.

Michi smiles.
Michi

I can say “hello,” “how are you,” and “where’s the money in at least twelve different languages. Pehea ‘oe i keia la?

Kapono smiles cutely.
Kapono

Maika’i wau… Mahalo!

Michi looked up at me from his upside-down vantage point and spoke in perfect English.

Michi grins.
Michi

Where’s the money?

Tim sighs.
Timaeus

You’re real funny. Though now that you mention it, I don’t think there was any money in my wallet…

Tim frowns.
Timaeus

But! What I meant to ask, was…

Michi frowns.
Michi

Secrets, right? Haven’t looked yet.

Tim looks confused.
Timaeus

Huh? Why not?

Michi cackles.
Michi

‘Cause I’m a lazy piece of shit! Kyahaha! I’m not gonna drag my ass back to my room when there’s a couch riiight here…

Tim laughs.
Timaeus

I mean… I guess you don’t have to read it if you don’t want to, huh? What about you two?

I glanced over to the less talkative members of the group, as Michi sprawled out over the couch again and appeared to fall asleep almost immediately.

Guga sweats.
Gugalanna

Uhhh…. I haven’t read it ‘cause…

Guga yells.
Gugalanna

‘Cause I’m not just gonna let El Demonio tell me what to do!! You think I’m weak, El Timeo?! I do what I want!!!

Tim looks terrified.
Timaeus

Th-that wasn’t what I meant!!

She took a step towards me, and I took several steps back. She stopped when Kapono spoke up, though, and nodded sadly as he said what she was really thinking.

Kapono frowns.
Kapono

…Haven’t… read mine. Kinda scared.

Tim smiles worriedly.
Timaeus

Well, for what it’s worth, the ones I got weren’t too bad… Maybe yours won’t be, either.

Kapono continues to frown.
Kapono

…Maybe not mine… But someone’s… must be. If… if MONO really thinks… we’ll kill.

Guga sighs.
Gugalanna

Yeah, I don’t like it. I get where the tap dancer chica is coming from, but…

Michi shrugs.
Michi

Like… Who’s to say our kidnapper didn’t choose some of us specifically because we have huge secrets?

Timaeus

…I hadn’t thought about it like that…

Michi gasps comically.
Michi

Like that cold ravioli thing! Jesus christ, Tim, you’re a monster.

Guga laughs.
Gugalanna

Wahahahahahahahaha!!!

Tim also frowns.
Timaeus

Wh– are you all still hung up on that?!

Kapono giggles.
Kapono

…hehehe…

I am never going to live this down, apparently.

Kapono turned back to his book– was that a journal on molecular chemistry?– and Gugalanna and Michi continued their conversation in Spanish. I started to leave for the cafeteria, but…

Guga yells.
Gugalanna

Oh yeah, hey Tim have you seen– what’s his name, the güero with the cinnamon rolls.

Tim yelps.
Timaeus

Uh… Nik? Not since MONO-9000 showed up…

Guga speaks.
Gugalanna

Nik, right. Would ya tell him I can do supper tonight if he's not up to it? He seemed pretty freaked out to me...

Tim smiles.
Timaeus

Oh… sure, I bet he’ll appreciate that.

Well, that was nice of her. Though if she was worried about Nik too, then maybe I should go check on him while I’m out and about. I headed back down the hallway…

Nikola's dorm door is locked.

…I thought I heard him move around in there, but there’s no answer. If he was making supper tonight, he’d probably have started by now. Hope he’ll be okay…

With a sigh, I made my way back to the cafeteria– for real, this time.