Episode 15

         Brick awoke the next morning, quite refreshed. He looked at Todd. He could hardly believe that he had only met his friend a day ago. He wondered aloud whether he could have ever managed to get through this without him. Todd looked frozen, as though he wanted desperately to move but couldn’t. He seemed to be pleading to Brick to help him, but then he gave up. Brick would never understand.

         “Well, Todd. We should go engine now,” said Brick. He picked up Todd and headed for the door. After seeing the door open automatically for Drhakul, he expected it to open for him as well. It didn’t. Brick flattened his face against the door. He stayed there a moment, thinking that the door would open eventually.

 

         He waited there the better part of a morning. Todd was growing impatient. Just then the door started to slide open. Brick’s face stuck to it, and he was dragged over to the wall with the quickly disappearing door. Brick could feel his lips being pulled into the wall with the door. It hurt a great deal, but Brick wasn’t one to complain. Not that anyone can really complain when their lips are stuck inside a wall. Drhakul stood there in the doorway, watching as Brick and his lips fell to the floor, free of the wall. Drhakul looked down at the heap of Brick.

         “You are to come with me,” Drhakul said. “The Grey One is ready to show you your new task.”

         Brick picked himself off the floor and then picked Todd up off the floor. He smiled at Drhakul, who motioned to him to follow as Drhakul walked down the hall. Brick followed with a joyful, almost skipping gait, clutching Todd tightly under an arm. They came to a lift and got in. Drhakul turned off the translator box to tell it to take them to the main “dranghid” (engineering) level of the ship. Drhakul then turned the translator back on, seconds before the door opened again. Brick could hear a steady, pulsing hum off in the distance. Drhakul led him through the corridor for what seemed like forever, but eventually, they came upon the source of the hum.

         Drhakul and Brick walked along a catwalk, three floors high, in a great, cavernous circular room. In the center was a shaft of light that almost seemed to be alive. It would flicker like a lightning bolt with every pulse from down below. The source of this light was far below the floor of the room and out of sight. On the various tiers of the room were numerous Grak, though these Grak didn’t wear the spiky armor that Brick had become accustomed to. They wore dark, “dirty-yellow” suits which protected them from long-term exposure to the light produced by the engine. The Grak milled about, carrying data read-outs and fixing various panels and machinery in the room. Brick was in awe. He had never seen so many pretty colors in all his life. Not since he had a Fruvian zepfarb fly up his pants. Drhakul led Brick around the catwalk to the other side of the engine room: where the Grey One was waiting.