Roomates: Part 3
The weeks since Elizabeth came to the apartment to live with Richard and Rahool, were relatively uneventful to say the least. Aside from some minor home improvement projects and some periodic issues with getting rent on time things were pretty boring. However, on one occasion Elizabeth and Rahool were shopping for groceries. “So we got everything?” Elizabeth asked, pushing the cart while Rahool sat in the part of the cart where babies are normally kept. “Let me check the list again, see if we missed anything.” Rahool said as he produced a list. “Let me see,” he said as he looked over the list, “we got the chocolate, hot dogs, hot dog buns, the marshmallows, the graham crackers. Oh and the fish, can’t forget about the fish!” Rahool said. “Rahool have you ever thought about eating more than just fish?” Elizabeth asked. “I could, but you see I’m a Vaalation so eating fish is basically second nature to my people.”
“I understand that, but you’re the only one of us that eats fish. Do we honestly need this much?” Elizabeth asked. “Yes, besides before he took Saal’qurakis Richard used to love fish to, but then he told me that he heard the… dead fish taunting him.” Rahool admitted. “Oh… about what?” Elizabeth asked. “Well from what he told me it was that he was a garden hose named Steve, or something about his weight problem I honestly don’t really remember. Point of the matter is that he avoids looking at fish altogether.” Rahool explained. “Yeah I’ve been meaning to ask you, how did Richard get addicted to Saal’qurakis in the first place?” Elizabeth asked, then without noticing, the cart jerked into an Ulaagrag. “Ow! Watch were you’re going you- wait Rahool?” Asked the female Ulaagrag recognizing Rahool. “Qnaris? Where have you been?” Rahool said in an indifferent tone. “I never left the planet Rahool, I just moved out when Richard started taking my Saal’qurakis medication.” Qnaris retorted. “You used to have an Ulaagrag for a roommate?” Elizabeth asked. “Yes, but after Richard took some of her Saal I kicked her out for not trying to hide it better.” Rahool said.
“Oh for the love of- I told you AND the Richard what Saal’qurakis does to Humans, I even had the both of you sit through that lengthy documentary about what that stuff can do to Humans in the long run besides hallucinations and insanity.” Qnaris said indignantly. “Uh hello? Robot confused here? Please explain.” Elizabeth said to the two aliens. “Oh, I see you found someone to replace me. Y’l-Naka I take it?” Qnaris said bitterly. “No, I was made by Humans. It’s a common mistake I get that all of the time.” Elizabeth said, brushing off Qnaris’s comment.
“Well you see, me, Rahool and Richard have pretty much known each other since we were newborns. After Richard completed his college education we pretty much lived together in the same apartment, Richard and I even started to date after a while.” Qnaris explained. “What? Really? I thought it was illegal for Humans and aliens to ma-”
“Yes, that is true, but neither me nor Richard did such a thing. We merely dated nothing more; besides we both agreed that we wouldn’t perform such… carnal things with each other at any rate. Regardless we all lived together for five years… then there was an incident were he started taking my Saal’qurakis.” Qnaris explained. “You know the jar had the label removed!-”
“How was I supposed to know he’d think they were candy? Then he slowly went insane and thought that everyone around him were manatee’s… and no matter how many times I asked him he’d never explain what one was.” Qnaris explained. “Yes, and he hasn’t been the same since, and believe me I’ve been trying to ween him off of that stuff.-”
“Okay look, you both clearly have a bone to pick with each other. But can you two at least do this outside or something? People are beginning to stare.” Elizabeth said as several Humans, Vaalation, Ulaagrag, and even some Humanoid Yl’-Naka platforms and robots. “Look I’ll get everything that’s left on the list and you two can have your little argument else ware okay?” Elizabeth said as the two aliens left the store. “Yeesh, those two have got some baggage.” Elizabeth said, several minutes later she had finished her shopping and had put the groceries into the trunk of the hovercar that she and Rahool and arrived in. “Now to turn on the trunks cryo-freezer so that nothing accidentally spoils.” Elizabeth said to herself as she turned on a sort of freezing unit that’s part of the trunk.
“-look I’m sorry that I let that happen okay?” Qnaris said. “No, you know that his insanity is only be the beginning of the things that Saal’qurakis does to Humans!” Rahool yelled back. “Which was one of the reasons why I made you and Richard watch that documentary in the first place! I thought that at least one of you would take to heart the whole-”
“Excuse me! Qnaris is it? Would you like to come over to our house for dinner?” Elizabeth asked the Ulaagrag. “What? Why?” Qnaris asked, taken aback by the robot women’s forward offer. “Well I figure that you would like very much to see your ex-boyfriend again, plus I try to be on good terms with most Organids that I’m on a first name basis with.” Elizabeth explained, using a term that most artificial lifeforms used when referring to organics. “Oh… well that’s very nice of you.” Qnaris said, still put off by Elizabeth’s unexpected kindness. “Rahool, you’re sitting in the backseat.” Elizabeth said as she walked to the front of the hovercar. “What?! But it’s my car!” Rahool argued. “I know, but you gave me the keys AND let me drive it.” Elizabeth said as she tauntingly danged the keys at the dwarfish Vaalation. “But I bought that car!” Rahool said. “I know, now stop whining and get in the back.” Elizabeth said. “But it’s hot in the back seats!” Rahool complained.
“I’ll handle this little b’knarl.” Qnaris said as she walked over the Rahool, picked him up by the waist. Then despite his out of control writhing and complaining she put him in the cryo-frozen trunk. “Oh come on! This isn’t what I meant and you know-” Rahool said as he slowly froze in the closed trunk. “He’ll be alright, Vaalation’s can be frozen but this thing can’t freeze a Vaalation to death, just leave them a bit sluggish and nippy.”
“Well he isn’t normally that argumentative, not even with me and we met about three months ago.” Elizabeth said as she and Qrnaris sat down in the front seats of the car. “Well… he did take what happened hard even back then.” Qrnaris said in shame. “Well, why not tell me a little about yourself?” Elizabeth asked. “Do you normally ask total strangers you meet there life stories?” Qrnaris asked sarcastically. “No, I didn’t even really think about Richard’s addiction beyond his shouting non-sequiturs, or that anyone had gotten him onto them.” Elizabeth admitted, not getting Qrnaris’s sarcasm. “Well, I was born about thirty. I’ve been up and down what the Humans call the Eden Solaris cluster for about ten of those years. I’ve been with Warriors Guilds, a few Vaalation Auxiliary companies, and even a Human PMC or two. In short I’m sort of a thrill seeker, as you can imagine I’ve met a lot of interesting people over the last few years but I imagine that you didn’t ask me to tell you all about that. Suffice it to say that in the old days when I still lived with Richard and Rahool, it was ultimately me who made rent money. The two were basically free to do just about anything they wanted and they had a big luxurious apartment to do it in, also I largely paid for Richards college education back in the day to become a lawyer.”
“And you two… dating?” Elizabeth asked awkwardly. “What can I say? I had a soft spot for nerds, and Richard really liked a woman that could hold her own. And believe me; I’ve been through my fair share of hairy scraps over the years.” Qrnaris said proudly. “Ah… but you have a vitamin deficiency?” Elizabeth asked. “Hey we all got some kind of problem, besides I was familiar with risk taking when I first told the guys about Saal’qurakis… if you don’t mind I’d rather not talk further about it, it’s not a pleasant thing for me.” Qrnaris said. “Of course, but at some point I’m going to ask you to divulge further.” Elizabeth said in a joking tone as the hover car drove towards the apartment.