“Hey, enough,” Iain complained. “If I’ve got these things in my head, how come I can’t access your so called galactic library then?”

Arc stopped his assault mid swing, looked back at him and raised a finger.

“Oh,” he said. “It takes a bit of time for some species to adapt. If they don’t drive you insane. There’s a small chance of that. Disclaimer.”

He held his thumb and forefinger close together. For a moment, it looked like Arcs’ fingers were much thicker than humanly possible. And they had claws.

“Or they might shut of you brain’s higher functions,” he added. There are side effects. We’ll know soon enough.”

Iain let out a breath, leaned back hard on the lounger. The vibrating ramped up.

“On second thought,” he replied. “Feel free to beat the crap out of each other.”

“Oh, I love permission,” Arc said, and punched his twin in the face.

Iain however, had little interest in watching Arl and Arc beat each other unconsciousness. Once the two big guys were rolling about on the floor, battering and howling at each other, he left the room, wandered around for a while. He revised his impression of the ship. It was more like an airport than a boat. Vast, empty, utilitarian. After a few minutes, he realized all he’d been drinking was catching up with him. Or maybe the gravity was on the fritz again. Either way, he was in need of a particular kind of relief. And then maybe some food. Hopefully there was something here he could eat.

But where was the washroom on the ship? Did it even have a washroom he could even recognize? The thought briefly alarmed him.

Iain considered pissing in a corner, but that seemed rather gauche. He would if he had to, but there might be another way. Maybe the ship’s synthetic intelligence could offer a solution.

“Skipper?” he asked to the air. Nothing. “I need to go to the washroom. You do have washrooms, don’t you?”

There are washrooms, came a reply. He tried to place the voice. It sounded familiar, like someone he might have met. It didn’t have much of an accent, so that wasn’t likely to have been any of his clients. They were mostly south Asians these days.

“Okay,” Iain replied. “I need to go to one, can you tell me where one is?”

Do you want to wash yourself? It asked. You were washed after decanting.

He was washed by-? No, better to not think about that.

“No,” Iain was getting irritated, not to mention antsy. “I need to take a leak, urinate, piss, any of those words make sense to you?”

Checking… was the response. Then nothing for a minute

Iain let out a breath. His need was getting worse by the moment.

“Just tell me were the fucking washroom is or I’ll do it all over your pristine white walls!” he shouted. Not that they were that pristine.

No need to raise your voice, the Skipper replied in mild irritation. The washroom is two intersections a head of you and the first door on the right.

“Thank you,” Iain replied. He hoped the stalls he found in there were what he thought they were. Maybe that whole parallel evolution theory was true.

You need to adjust your angle down ten degrees, the ship’s voice offered once he got started.

Iain looked around for a camera. He didn’t see one.

“Are you watching me?” he asked, irritated.

Go to Chapter Six

Go to Chapter Eight

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