“Alright then, since you decided to recruit us then you must have some sort of plan. We had been searching this space station since she escaped and we haven’t been able to find her. We suspect that she must have left the space station already but we don’t have any clues about where she might be heading.”
Zolurious nodded and said, “It would have been easier if she hadn’t changed her hair color. Luckily I was able to get a copy of the ship manifesto of all the outgoing ships. I went over the different passengers to look for anyone who matched Null’s description. Unfortunately there were three different people who looked sort of like her. Mainly I am having trouble because the three of them didn’t get caught completely on camera and I am working partly on descriptions that people have given me. I was hoping that you could help me figure out which one if the real Null. All of them are using different names and Null is certainly using a fake one.”
Zolurious pulled some pictures out of his shirt pocket and laid them on the table. Jeran and Silvia looked through the pictures of the three woman. They were all at strange angles and it was hard to make out exactly which was Null, at least it would be to somebody who wasn’t familiar with her.
Zolurious looked at them questioningly before motioning at the pictures. “So can you tell which one of them is Null? I though that since you were more familiar with her that would would be able to recognize which one of them was her.”
Jeran nodded and picked up one of the pictures, “Yes, this is definitely her. You can tell because of several reasons. The first is that she is deliberately avoiding the camera, not something a normal person would be doing. Second her stance is very Null. I would say that it is also because her hair is the same color as the last time Null changed her hair color but that could easily be a coincidence.”
Silvia also nodded in agreement, “Yes that is her. I would also add that she looks in a little bit worse condition then the other two. If I had to guess this was probably taken about two weeks ago, before Null had a chance to recover completely.”
“Good,” said Zolurious, “She was the one I suspected too. If I was forced to do this alone then she was the one I was going to go after. I’m glad that my decision was the right one. Also, I might have suspected something about your honesty if you had chosen one of the other ones.”
“Thanks for you confidence in us,” Said Jeran dryly.
“Think of it as a test. You managed to pass this time, but remember that I will be watching you. For course I expect you to be watching me too.” Zolurious picked up the pictures and put them back into his pocket. “Now, Silvia, you are right that that ship departed a while ago. However it was only a week ago, I can only assume that Null’s recovery is taking longer the you initially expected it too. Considering how much I exposed her too I guess that isn’t very surprising. I however expected her to take even longer to recover from it, when I attached her my objective was to disable her for as long as I possibly could. I guess her healing capability is greater then I initially expected it to be. I will have to adjust my estimates of her.”
“Great,” Said Jeran sarcastically, “Our opponent is learning things about Null because of our accidental comments. If we say too much then he will no longer have any use for us and then we will be kicked to the roadside and he will capture Null by himself.”
“See, you are catching on fairly fast,” Said Zolurious with a smirk.
“Enough!” Said Silvia loudly, “You are both acting like children. I’m the only one young enough here to do that so I expect you both to start acting like real adults and stop pocking fun at each other just because you think you might have the upper hand. Now, Zolurious, since you now know for certain which woman is Null would you mind telling us where that ship was headed and you plans for what we are doing next?”
The two men turned to stare at Silvia, neither of them had excepted her do say something like that. Zolurious coughed slightly before saying, “Alright, you are right that we should be concentrating on the purpose of our alliance and not the alliance itself. The ship that Null go on is heading toward the Galaxtic Core, which means there are several stops that she could be getting off on. Without knowing which stop it would be difficult to track her. Our best bet is to follow the planned route and then check each stop to see if she got off at it.”
Jeran paused for a second, “You mean the ship that she got on a was a regular passenger ship? That wasn’t the sort of escape method that I thought she would be doing. Anyway, how did she get enough money to afford to travel on that ship. She shouldn’t have had any money available to her.”
Zolurious shrugged, “I’m not certain about money, but it seems that she is traveling with several other people. It was strange, when I checked up on the identities of the people that she was traveling with I got unusually empty records. That means that those people are using aliases. If I had to make a guess then it would be that Null managed to convince some unsavory people that she possessed forbidden technology and that she would assist them with it if they took her with them. However that part is mostly speculation.”
Jeran’s brow furrowed, “That doesn’t sound like Null. She gave me a hard time about what I wanted to do with forbidden technology when I met her. It was like she was testing me to see if my cause was worthy of her. Is it possible that those people lied to Null about what they wanted to do with the forbidden technology and Null believed them.”
“Your impression of Null is different then mine. I do not find it strange that a criminal would take advance of her powers to escape. However I doubt that they could successfully lie to her. Given my knowledge of nano-machines I think she could function as a relatively accurate lie detector at close range if she wanted to.”
“I think such speculation at this point is useless,” Said Silvia, “It would be better for us to go after them and then find out the truth when we have access to real information. How are you planning to go after them Zolurious? Do you have a ship or are we going to catch a galactic core bound passenger ship so that we can reproduce her route and ensure that we stop at all the necessary stops.”
Zolurious nodded, “Yes, that was what I was planning on doing. I have already procured use three tickets on the next passenger ship which should be leaving tomorrow. And before you ask, yes I purchased three of them because I was confident that you would agree to my alliance.”
“I see,” said Jeran. “Well, I hope our search is fruitful but I’ll let you know now that I am planning on winning your little challenge and escaping with Null.”
She was uncertain. She stared up at the ceiling in the dark and continued to do that for a long while. It was only when the door slide open that she turned to look at who was there.
She could only see the tall silluete of a man standing there. “Lady Null, I hope that I didn’t wake you. It is just that Lord Zero has asked for you presence. Would you please come with me to his room now.”
Null slid silently out of bed. “Give me a moment.” She said, her voice lacking any sort of tone. She waited for the door to slide closed before changing her clothes in the bathroom. She stared at her reflection in the mirror. She had returned her hair to it’s rainbow hue but somehow it now seemed to be duller then it had been. She didn’t want to contemplate why that might be.
After a while she returned to the door and stepped outside. The tall man standing outside was wearing a black suit. Once Null stepped through the doorway the man motioned and said, “Lady Null, would you please come this way.” Before beginning to lead Null through the halls of the passenger ship. It wasn’t long before they reached the room of Lord Zero. Null had only meet him a a week and a half ago but the man seemed to know who she was.
The door slide open to reveal Lord Zero. He wasn’t quite as impressive at his name gave him credit for. He was short and a little bit pudgy. X, the tall man, always seemed to be a better fit for the name.
“Is there something that you want?” Asked Null, her voice still have the dead sound to it that it had earlier. She felt like something was missing, she also thought that she knew what it was but she didn’t want to think about it for fear that it would be the truth.
“Yes, we have almost arrived at our destination. I plan on beginning the operation soon after we arrive on Ongul. I hope that you are sufficiently recovered for you to lend us your assistance. We have already waited a long time for you, if you need more time to recover we might be able to wait a while longer.”
Null shook her head, “No, I have managed to recover almost completely. I will be able to assist you in any method that you need me for. Just…” Null paused for a few seconds.
Lord Zero asked, “Just… what? Is there something that you need. I would be honored to help you if there is something that I could do for you.”
Null eventually shook her head, “No, it is nothing. I am happy to assist you in any way that I can.” She certainly didn’t sound happy, she didn’t sound anything.
Lord Zero nodded, “Good, however if there is anything you can tell X and he will assist you as best as he can. After all, his entire life is dedicated to serving you. You may use him as you see fit.”
Without saying anything else Null left Lord Zero and began heading back to her room. X followed her silently. After she entered her room she looked back over her shoulder at X before saying, “What did he mean about your life being dedicated to serving me?”
“Just that. I am here only to serve you. I was raised to serve you, just like those who were called X before me. We have been awaiting your return. We knew that someday you were return to us and we have been waiting.” Said X.
“I see. However I fear that you might have been waiting for a false savior. I do not know if I will be able to accomplish what you think I am able to do. I am not as powerful as you think that I am. I fear the legends of my strength are now greater then it actually is.”
“But you have faced and ANGEL and live. Surely that must mean you are strong enough to succeed.” Said X.
“Barely, I was lucky to escape with my life. I am not the great person that you thing that I am… I am just a person and you need to accept that.” The pressed the button next to the bed and the door slid closed between them.
Null sighed softly before laying down on the bed. She had hardly expected these people to even exist. It had been a hundred years since she had vanished and all memories of her were supposed to have been erased. There must have been some people who escaped the ANGELs and kept knowledge of her alive. It seemed that her past was beginning to catch up with her.