Tula walked out of the sleeping quarters, a look of confusion and worry mixing on her face. Emerald had gone straight to sleep after Tula had given the girl with the strange accent something to calm her nerves with. She had a bad feeling about all of this.
"What do you make of this, Tula?" Niddlar asked, his voice carrying his own worriment.
"I don't know. She feels different from other Mereans. I can't make her out."
"I think this whole thing is one of that kreld eater's tricks," Ioz grumbled.
Ren shook his head. "I don't believe so, Ioz. She was asking a lot of strange questions, and her accent is definitely not from around here or any other place we have been too."
While the group discussed what should be done, Emerald opened her eyes a slit to make sure that Tula was gone. She got up and started pacing when she was certain she was alone. How did she get into these messes? Where was Mer, and why was she here? Granted, she wanted a little more adventure from having to live in the States, but this was ridiculous!
I'm stuck in the bloody Middle Ages with no TV, no phone, and no ruddy karate classes. I'm prolly gonna get some strange sickness from eating the food here or die from some disease like the plague. Just peachy keen.
After venting her frustrations out the best she could on a pillow, she took a deep breath. She needed to think and analyze the situation calmly. First, she was on an alien planet, probably thousands of light years from Earth. She could breathe the air, which was a good thing. Second, she is on crew with some chick that looked like her. How this was possible, who knew? It must have something to do with the space/time continuum getting mixed up when she 'jumped' dimensions. Thirdly, there was this fat old guy chasing this group for some stupid treasure. Peachy.
So what should she do now? She didn't know how to get back home and she didn't know how long she could survive in this accursed heat. It was hotter then Australia here. She could just live as a pirate and give up on finding a way home, but that was the cowardly way out, in her opinion. Plus, swords were not her thing. Bo's and Numchukus were and she didn't see any of those in the vicinity.
I should ask them about this treasure business... she thought suddenly. Maybe there is something in it that could take me home. After all, there is always something magical in treasures, or at least in the sci-fi books anyway. And she felt like she was living in one.
Just as she was going to open the door, the ship suddenly jolted to the side. Emerald fell and rolled over, crashing into the wall. "BLOODY HELL!" She yelled, rubbing her head. "If it's not on thin' it's a freakin' 'nother!" Well, there went her semi-good mood.
Emerald heard Ioz telling the monkey bird to tie some barrels down. The door opened and Ren came in; looking concerned and somewhat annoyed. "Are you all right?"
"'Am I alrigh'?'" She quoted sarcastically. "Do ya even hafta ask? I've had a hell of a ruddy day, an' now this!"
Ren helped her up. "Sorry about that, a family of leviathans bumped the ship."
"A bunch o' what?!"
Ren motioned her to follow him. She did. Blinking away the bright sunlight, she looked to where he was pointing. She saw some very large water creatures that looked like giant snakes.
"Blimey... they look like the bloody Loch ness Monster!" She breathed.
"The what?" Ren asked.
"Er... nothing," Emerald said. "Wow. Me mate back home would love this..."
The ship was bumped again. Emerald and Ren used the rail to stop them from falling over the edge. The Compass fell out of Ren's shirt and started to sprout a beam in the direction the leviathans were going. Emerald was staring at it, thinking she had finally lost her marbles. There was no way a necklace could do that, could it?
"Ioz! To the west!" Ren called, looking happy. "The next treasure is over there!"
"Ren?" Niddlar asked. "That area isn't anywhere on the maps."
Caught up in the excitement, Emerald looked at t he monkey bird. "'Ere, where's yer sense of adventure?"
Niddlar sighed. "I got a bad feeling about this..." He grumbled to himself.
Hell, this can't be too bad, Emerald thought. I mean, the least I can do is help these guys out. Can' be that bad, if it means some fun other then goin' ta school.
"Ya want me ta stick that thing on me face??!!!" Emerald exclaimed. "I've seen Alien, I don't want that thing ta kill me or still me brain or somethin'!"
Tula had gathered several amphecytes out of the water. They needed to go in the under water for the next treasure apparently and they wanted her to put some freaky looking animal on her face! No way, she'd just hold her breath, thank you.
"Then stay on the ship," Growled Ioz. He was starting to get fed up with this over-talkative stranger.
"Hell no!" Emerald shot back. "I can hold me breath."
"Noijitut!" Ioz swore. "Ren, just give her back to Bloth so we can be rid of this annoying kreld eater!
"Why you chauvinistic jack ass!" Emerald growled. She herself had had enough of Ioz and his anti-feminist views. "'Ow about I take that sword of yers and shove it up yer arse?! Maybe yer be a lil' more pleasant!"
Tula had a smirk on her face. But before she could say anything, Ren thrust the amphecyte into Emerald's hand. "Emerald, just put it on, it's not going to kill you." He put his amphecyte on and dove into the water. Niddlar made a face before putting his one and joining Ren. Ioz followed after giving a scathing glance to Emerald and Tula.
Tula winked at Emerald. "I have to say, the only other person that can get under his skin like that is me. Maybe we are sisters." She put her air mask on and dove in.
Emerald sighed. "Well, guess I better try this..." Hesitantly, she put it over her face. It stuck to the back of her head like suction cups. "This is so gross..." She said to herself. But she could breath, so that was a plus, and she wasn't getting attacked with acid. Finally, she dove into the water.
The water was cold. It was dim under the water too. Sounds from the now distant leviathans echoed throughout the water. Below her, she spotted Tula's pink leggings. Well, at least her clothes were bright enough so Emerald could follow. As she traveled down, Emerald wondered if the laws of water pressure applied on Mer. They had too; this planet had gravity.
Finally, Tula turned into a cave. Emerald followed and joined the others on the rocky beach inside the cave. She pulled her air mask off with some difficulty. Damn thing was suctioned to her head and hair.
The group followed the dark cave, which was only illuminated by the beam from the Compass. A little uneasy, Emerald kept looking over her shoulder. She felt like she was in NYC in the middle of the night and walking the streets. The rest of the group was silent as well, with the occasional rumble from Niddlar's stomach.
Eventually, Tula stopped. "Did you guy hear that?"
"No," Ioz said.
Ren shook his head as Niddlar shrugged.
Emerald nodded. "Sounded like a dolphin." The four of her companions looked at her strange. "It's an Earth sea creature." She explained. "They make that noise 'bove the water. Friendly-like, they are."
"What would one be doing here?" Ren asked.
"Beats me, mate," Emerald said. "But it might not be either. Could jus' be just a trick o' the waves."
"No use standing here and musing about it," Niddlar said. "Let's go back."
Ren started forward and Niddlar squawked in protest. Emerald tied her hair back. The wet strands were beginning to annoy her. Not to mention the darkness was beginning to feel more and more like a heavy blanket over her face. She hated the dark.
Suddenly two lamp-like eyes peered out at them. Niddlar flapped his wings and screeched in surprise, knocking into Ioz. Ren and Tula drew their weapons. But as soon as they were ready to fight the eyes disappeared.