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NULL SPACE - Part 23

“Oh, yes, there was one other thing I wanted to take to you about.” Said Jeran, “Me and Silvia thought it would be good plan to try and make money as a transport ship. That way we can continue moving around without being caught. We also wanted to know if you want to join us. Since you are run too we thought it would be a good plan.”

Silvia kneed Jeran and said, “What he means that we want you to come will you. We would be bored without you and want you to join us on our money making endeavor.”

“I’ll think about it, I’m not sure if there is more trouble with me around or if you will be in more trouble if I am not around. However, it you want me to come with you then I might now have much choice.” Said Null who was hiding her smile. “But right now we should concentrate on recovering.”

“Darn right we won’t be giving you a choice,” Said Silvia. “We wouldn’t have a complete crew without you, and who would deal with all the villains with forbidden technology. We would be doomed without you.”

Null laughed, “You are talking about a transport ship and not a mercenary brigade right?”

Silvia paused, continuing the joke, “Right we did decide to do the transport ship instead of becoming mercenaries… But we will still need you. Jeran don’t like playing along with my jokes as much and I need somebody to help me with them.”

Null shrugged her shoulders in defeat, “Then I guess I don’t have much of a choice do I.”

“Another problem is that the doctors want both of us to stay around for at least a month to make sure that we have recovered sufficiently,” Said Jeran, “Since I didn’t want to stay in a hotel for that long we are looking for a place to rent. Me and Silvia should probably find a good place sometime today, we were to busy yesterday to find a place.”

“Well, I’ll leave that to you since I actually need to stay in the hospital for a while longer,” Said Null.

They talked for a little while longer about their future plans before Silvia and Jeran left to hospital to go and look for an apartment. Null watched them leave before looking up at the ceiling. It had been hard to lie to the two of them but it was something that she had to do. After she was certain that they had left she kicked off the sheets and stood up shakily. As she detached the medical sensors from her a nurse rushed in.

“What are you doing? You just woke up, you are in no condition to be doing anything. You must get back into bed immediately.” As the nurse rushed to her side Null placed her fingers on the nurse’s neck and a few seconds later the nuser began to wobble and Null helped the nurse collapse onto the bed. Null then reconnected the medical sensors to the nurse. That should give her a little time.

Null walked unsteadily to the door and whispered to herself as she shut it. “I’m sorry Jeran, I’m going to have to break my word.”

It was much later when Silvia was making dinner that Jeran recieved a call from the hospital. At first he didn’t understand what they were telling him, “What?” He asked in confusion.

“Your companion if gone. She must have ran away some time earlier today.”

“Gone? How could she possibly be gone? She wasn’t in any condition to walk, there is no way that she could possibly run away.” Yell Jeran. Silvia rushed over to him upon hearing this and stood right next to him trying to listen in on the conversation.

“We don’t know. She did something to one of the nurses and connected her to the medical sensors so that we didn’t figure out what she had left until just recently. Like you said she should have been able to even walk but she somehow managed to escape by herself.” Came the voice from the hospital.

“Are you sure she didn’t get kidnapped?” Asked Jeran desperately. Now he was incredibly worried. He almost hoped that it was kidnapping but he doubted it. He should have seen this coming after what had happened.

“We are fairly certain, we even examined the hospital recordings but the only video we have is of her leaving by herself. Somehow she managed to avoid all the guards and nurses. Even in the video she didn’t look very good so we are not sure how that happened.”

“When, when did she leave? If she was recorded then you must know when she left.”

“Yeah, it was around five hours ago. Since she knocked out the nurse which was supposed to care for her we didn’t realize that she had left until that nurse work up and told u what happened?”

There was a clatter and a pause. Eventually the person on the other line said, “Hello? Are you there?” Silvia picked up the phone and said, “Sorry, my dad can be a little rash sometimes. Thanks for telling us and please get back to us if you discover anything else.”

Silvia hung up the phone and then ran after her dad. However she had to stop soon because Jeran, even though he was in a wheel chair, moved much faster then her and she wasn’t able to keep up. Silvia knew that he was probably going to do something stupid like look for Null. Even Silvia knew that would be fruitless unless they did it intelligently.

She watch Jeran wheel off. She was worried about Null but unlike Jeran she didn’t really understand why Null ran off. Still SIlvia wanted to find Null as much as Jeran did but Null had at least a five hour head start. Even if she was injured that was more then enough time for her to find a good place it hide.

Silvia first began to head to the ship docks to check if any ships had departed recently. She was disappointed to find out that there had been a surprising amount of ships that had left during the five hours since Null had escape. She tried questioning some of the port staff but they were all reluctant to help her. Earlier she would have thought that was a good thing because it helped keep the three of them safe from people following them. Now it made it hard for them to find out if Null had left or not.

Silvia spent several hours asking around but found no leads. This could be considered a good thing because it might have meant that Null hadn’t been there and that she was still on the space station. She had hoped that was the case and she suspected that it was likely because Null wouldn’t have any money to spend to get a ship ride out of the space station.

Eventually Silvia return to the room, she didn’t think staying in the port any longer would lead to any more clues. They needed some sort of clue as to where Null might be heading to, but Silvia didn’t have any. Jeran was not at the room when she arrived that and he didn’t come back until much later.

Jeran was tired and dishearten. He had searched parts of the space station and asked lots of people questions to see if they had seen Null. He had thought she would be easy to find with her rainbow hair but nobody seemed to have seen her. Jeran suspected that she must have changed her hair color, he had seen her do it before when they visited the glass city.

He knew that they needed to find her before she left the space station, otherwise the chance of ever seeing her again was almost zero. The galaxy is a big place for somebody who didn’t want to be found. Even the mort powerful organizations like ANGEL could have trouble finding somebody who was in hiding.

—————

It had been three weeks since Null escaped from the hospital when Jeran and Silvia found their first clue. Jeran had finally finished his skin graft procedure and was finally able to walk and more like normal. He would have celebrated but he was still depressed about not being able to find Null. It had been so long and there were no clues and he was beginning to worry that they would never find her.

He and Silvia were walking back to the apartment that they had rented. They walked in silence, they hadn’t talked with each over very much over the last couple of weeks. Null’s disappearance had hit both of them hard, they had not truly understood how much they had both cared about Null until she was gone. It was strange how somebody they had only known for less then a year had become so important to both of them.

They arrived at the apartment to find the door unlocked. Alarmed Jeran put his back to the wall and peeked into the apartment. It was dark inside and he couldn’t tell if anyone was in there. Was it a robber or something else. Some small part of his mind hoped that it was Null who decided to return and visit their apartment. That was very unlikely however so Jeran snuck quietly into his own apartment.

The living room light was on and Jeran began creeping to the room. However before he got there he heard a voice call out. “I know your there. No need to sneak up on me. You can come out because I am not here to hurt you.” It was a man’s voice and Jeran thought it sounded familiar but he couldn’t place his finger on it.

Jeran decided to obey the voice but stopped in the kitchen and opened one of the drawers and pulled out his gun. He kept it behind his back as he entered the living room. He stop immediately when he saw who was sitting on the living room couch. There was a clatter as he dropped the gun in surprise. It took a lot to surprise Jeran but seeing Zolurious sitting on his couch enjoying a cup of tea was enough to do it.

“What…. What are you doing here!” Said Jeran in a panicked voice. He had no idea what to do. He had already dropped his gun and he wouldn’t be able to pick it up again fast enough.

“I should think that if fairly obvious,” Said Zolurious as he took another sip of his tea. He seemed really calm, not like somebody who just broke into sombody’ house. “I am searching for a criminal. You of course must know who I am talking about.”

Silvia walked up next to Jeran and said, “Then why are you here. You should know that Null isn’t here. There is no use getting us to talk because we don’t know where she is either.”

“Of course I know that. The landlord told me that the two of you are the only ones that come here. Considering that you are usually gone all day I suspect that you have been searching for Null every day even though it is likely that she has already left this space station.” Said Zolurious.

Jeran glared at the man. He didn’t like Zolurious at all and seeing him relax in Jeran’s appartment made him angry. “They why are you here. Are you going to arrest us for assisting her or for taking advantage of her forbidden technology?”

Zolurious shook his head, “No, I am here to get you to help me search for Null. You see, because of my failure I have been punished by the Council of ANGELs. I’ve unfortunately had most of my access privileges revoked temporarily so it has been hard for me to search for Null myself. I somehow managed to find you two so I decided to ask for your assistance.”

“I could say that I am sorry about what happened to you, but I’m not.” Said Jeran, who walked across the room and sat down on one of the couched, “However I have no interest in helping you capture Null, now if you would please leave that would be most appreciated.”

Zolurious smiled slightly, “Oh, but you will help me. You will because you know that you will never find Null by yourself. Your only chance of finding her is if I help you. Then when we find her you are going to try to escape with her and I am going to try and stop you.”

“Wouldn’t it be better for Null if we just let her escape then if you let you have the chance of catching her again.” Said Jeran.

“Ah, but I’m going to go after her even if you don’t assist me. It might take me longer and I don’t know if I will succeed. But if I find her and you’re not with me then there will be nobody around who could stop me from capturing her.” Said Zolurious.

Jeran didn’t trust him. Jeran knew that there must be some kind of catch, some plan that Zolurious had. A person doesn’t just side with their enemy that easily. Jeran wasn’t certain what the ANGEL was planning but he knew that he had already been trapped.

It was Silvia that tried to come to Jeran’s rescue. “Supposing we agreed to help you. What would you expect from us? Surely you won’t just let us do whatever we want to. There must be some conditions to us joining you in searching for Null?”

“Well, of course there is. It is simple, you just need to obey any orders that I give you and if you don’t then I will assume that you have found Null before me and attempt to capture her from you. I am fine with this arrangement because I am far more likely to capture Null if I get your assistance then if I did it alone and you will have some chance to find her. That deal is good enough for both of you isn’t it.”

There was a moment of hesitation as Jeran and Silvia looked across the room into each other’s eyes. They both didn’t want Null to be captured by Zolurious but they also wanted to find Null. Then they both looked at Zolurious and said at the same time, “Alright, we agree.”

Zolurious smiled, “Good.”