Kort meandered his way around the beings, and I watched in both amazement and utter horror every time he drew near one of the captors. They didn’t seem to take notice of Kort as if he was a complete null. If I was open enough to experience telepathy, perhaps Kort was my polar opposite and they couldn’t get a read on him. Either way, he’d made his way to a cage quite a distance away and stopped in front of it, peering around.
Ellie and Indaya had taken to observing the creatures; trying to learn as much as they could about them. They seemed to operate as one unit – the most efficient people that either girl had ever seen, though they had limited sources to compare them to. Humans did not work in sync as well as these beings did; they just didn’t.
The girls had been talking to each other in hushed whispers about what they’d each picked out of their studying the aliens. Ellie had determined that though they could work certain jobs interchangeably, it would seem the ones with the teal eyes were the ones who did the assignments, and paperwork, making sure everyone was where they were supposed to be. The more intelligent ones. The violet-eyed beings were the muscle, as close to military as they had from what they’d experienced.
Kort startled the girls when he happened upon them, and though Ellie was as disgusted with him as you could be with a person, she was still happy to see one of her kind on the outside of the cages and not being held captive inside one. Although, admittedly she wondered if he was working for the people who had taken them hostage.
“Listen, I just saw Kai, he’s…” “You saw Kai!?” Ellie couldn’t contain her relief. He was still okay.
“Yes, and he told me I’m to get you out.”
“You get us both out.”
“I can’t leave this cage empty, that’ll draw too much attention, Ellie. He just said you, and I don’t owe her anything.” Kort nodded his head towards Indaya.
“She risked her ass to help me find Kai, she goes with me or we both stay in this cage.”
“Women.” Kort rolled his eyes and began surveying the lock on the door to the temporary holding cell.
“I’ve never seen anything like this. I know it’s electronic, but it isn’t like ours.”
“So, if you short circuit it, it should open just fine.” Indaya quipped from her corner of the cage, miffed that Kort had wanted to leave her behind.
“And how do I do that smart ass?”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake. You take a piece of metal, like from a safety pin or if the hole is big enough, a pocket knife and you stick it in the hole where they use those electronic cards to open them, and it should short-circuit the device enough to render it useless and make the cage open.”
“You’re smart huh?” Kort seemed genuinely shocked.
“So, they tell me. Just hurry up will you?”
Kort risked another glance around and there was nobody near him. He took out his pocket knife and set about trying to short-circuit the lock as Indaya had said. He had just deactivated it and was about to remove it from the cage door when he felt a rather large hand on his shoulder.
“And here we thought you were harmless. You look exactly like the lightning bringer from the other cage, but you are not him.”
“He’s m…my brother.” Kort was stumbling over his words; trembling with fear at the thought of what the alien was about to do to him.
“I can’t get a read on you, and that is most peculiar. I must consult with my boss, Andelon, he will know what to make of you. Until then, I shall put you someplace safe, where you cannot escape, nor try to help others escape.”
Oscilius turned his big, teal eyes to the girls, but his gaze was focused on Ellie.
“The lightning bringer, the one who looks identical to this one, he worries for you.”
“I worry for him too.”
“I’m aware.” And he was, all too aware of every thought in her head, no matter how private.
He studied her face with a genuine curiosity, the same that he had done with me as if trying to understand emotion.
“Don’t you have someone you care about?”
“I have a mate, but it is strictly for procreation and to help me complete our objectives assigned to us, whatever those may be. But I wouldn’t use the word care.” Oscilius shook his head as if trying to clear it from all of Ellie’s emotions, replacing the lock on the girls’ cage and gripped Kort around the nape of his neck to lead him off to his own holding cell until he knew what to do with him.
“Well, that was weird,” Indaya grumbled, settling back down into her corner.
“I’ll say.” Ellie agreed and did the same.
All they could do now was wait.