Following the arrow on his holo-comm, Lousro fluttered slowly through the swamp. “Ooh, that’s an interesting looking vine. I wonder if it’s edible?” Lousro pulled it out of the tree.
Ao blankly stared at the vine. “Planning a stew master?”
“Yes, a little cooking experimentation. I don’t like the rations supplies we were given on the ship.” Lousro picked up a couple of grubs from the wet ground. “These remind me of home…they probably taste just as bad, but it won’t hurt to check.” He tossed them in one of his pockets. “See anything interesting?”
A bogwing flew by. Ao reached out a grabbed it with his bare hand. “How about some meat?” The creature squeaked indignantly.
Lousro stared at the creature for a moment. “No, I think it looks too much like a pet.”
“Very well.” Ao let go and the creature flew off, disappearing above the canopy.
Lousro stopped moving and looked Ao up and down. “You seem oddly unemotional. Are you alright?”
Shaking his head Ao tried to clear it. “I think I just need to process.” He picked up a small mouse-like creature from the ground. It squirmed, trying to break from his grasp. “How about this?”
“Ah, better.” Lousro put it in another of his pockets, zipping it closed. “I think you should focus on fixing the ramp when we get back. Distract your mind a little, let your subconscious sort out the information.”
– – –
Lousro opened the door from the cargo bay to the ship’s corridor. He swiftly moved through it, closing it behind him. “Tate, where are you?”
T8-T3 rolled out of the cockpit and whistled at Lousro.
“Ah, send some of the schematics for the ramp to Ao. He’s working on it now.”
A few annoyed beeps emerged from T8-T3’s speaker.
“I know, I know. I just thought it would be faster going from the cargo bay. I’ll use the airlock until the ramp is fixed.” Lousro started fluttering toward the kitchen. “Is everything functional still?”
T8-T3 whistled a few times in response.
“The cockpit chairs are what?” Lousro let out an exasperated sigh. “Show me.”
Walking into the cockpit Lousro saw two of the cockpit chairs covered in a thick mucus-like mold. T8-T3 had covered them with plastic and it seemed to have stopped the infestation.
“Well, that’s not good. I’ll just make sure not to sit in those then.” Lousro stared at the chairs for a moment, then turned back towards the kitchen. “Oh, right. I was going to cook up a stew. I think now I’ll just get the portable stove and cook outside.”
T8-T3 made an agreeing tone and helped Lousro gather the cooking implements. He started to follow Lousro into the airlock.
Lousro stared at T8-T3. “I thought you didn’t want to get contaminated.”
A short series of beeps emitted from T8-T3’s speakers.
“Ah, you’re contaminated by that mold already. You just want to keep it from spreading through the ship.” He closed the inner door and opened the outer door. There was no need to cycle the air in this direction. “Well, you can help me set up a campsite then. Ao and I will be sleeping outside.”
Ao’s head appeared from behind the ship. “Did you say something, Master Rohao?”
“Just talking to Tate.”
“Oh, can he give me a hand over here?” Ao’s arms were covered in mechanic’s grease up to the elbow.
“Yeah, I can set up a camp stove myself. Go ahead, Tate.”
T8-T3 trundled off as Lousro put the portable stove together. The process was fairly straight-forward and he only grabbed the wrong part a few times. It wasn’t long before he had a pot boiling. He pulled out the cutlery he had snagged from the kitchen and began dressing the mouse-like creature. He snapped its neck quickly and put the parts he wasn’t going to use into a bag.
“Let’s not attract predators.”
“Just talking to myself.”
“Oh, right. You’re cooking.”
Lousro tried chopping up the vine and ended up tossing it into the water whole to soften it up. He then pulled the grubs out of his pocket and rinsed them off. “These go in whole other than the heads, I think.” He quickly chopped them off and put them with the rodent meat. “Now for the mushrooms…these look like mushrooms, anyway.” He chopped them up, putting them in another pile. “Oh, I didn’t get any vegetables. I’m going to grab some more ingredients!”
“Was that actually to us?”
Sighing Lousro bagged the ingredients and turned the heat to low. “Yes, I’ll be right back.” Lousro hovered by the ramp, glancing at the progress T8-T3 and Ao had made. “Wow, that’s a lot of parts.”
“It’s a work in progress.” Ao motioned to a hydro spanner, the spanner lifted off the ground and landed in his hand. “Don’t be too long. I probably won’t notice if you’re gone for a long time. I’m in full-on distracted mode.”
Lousro fluttered off, on the search for some vegetables.
“Ok, Tate, how’s that look? I connected the wire to this part directly. Is that good or do I need to wire in a fuse in first?”