((52 - Nazo ga Nazo wo Yobu))
June 1st, 802 AT. 10:30 AM.
The lock clicked, and Kasby walked in the door.
"Kasby!" Goat exclaimed, landing in front of him. "You won't believe what happened!"
"Goat," said Kasby, giving the teen a nod. "Something happened?"
"We woke up in cages, and Giraffe burned them, and, then we went back here, and there was a ghost!"
Kasby blinked. "....What?"
"Yeah, I know," Goat said.
Giraffe nodded. "That basically sums it all up."
"I investigated the apartment," Goat continued. "The couch needs cleaning."
"And we need to make our beds," added Giraffe. "But that is not the point."
"...Goat, it doesn't matter. We're leaving. Pack your stuff, you guys," said Kasby, turning back towards the open door. He turned his head back around, briefly. "Wait, what's this about a ghost?"
Goat leapt to his doorway, past where Zebra sat quietly. "A red-haired ghost, injecting the air around Zebra's bed with something."
"More like..." Giraffe's eyes wandered, looking for the right words. "More like a projected image of how they got us into the cage without our knowledge."
"It's still pretty unclear," said Goat. "But hey, at least I have scalpels!"
Kasby frowned. "Who put you in cages?"
Goat shrugged. "No idea. The room was below an apartment, but it was empty."
Kasby opened his mouth, as if to say something, but shut it before a sound could escape. "...Get your things. We're leaving, now." He took a few steps outside the apartment and waited for the others.
Zebra ran off and got her things, then came back outside the apartment. She turned to Kasby. "He was really weird... long red hair, thick glasses... and he had this injector-thing. He kept doing the same thing over and over, like he was on loop."
"Red hair? Thick glasses?" Kasby frowned from outside the door frame. "I ran into that guy in the elevator. Think I pissed him off."
Giraffe and Goat joined them in the elevator, both wearing light backpacks. Most of their things were still on the Quinn.
Kasby frowned at them. "Where are the others?"
Zebra perked up. "Oh, right!" She ran back inside, and grabbed the book off the table. "We found this." She handed it to Kasby.
He read Seth's hastily scrawled note, and swore. "Well, I guess Spider can take care of herself... I wish I knew who she was with, though. What about--"
Without warning, alarms started blaring, and a voice came through speakers in the hallway. "Emergency. Emergency. Evacuate immediately. Repeat: immediately. The swarm has arrived. Evacuate immediately. Emergency. Emergency..."
Kasby bit his lip. "Where are Skunk and Owl? We have to find them, fast."
The other three looked at each other, then turned to Kasby and shrugged. Giraffe spoke up. "There were six cages, where we were. The other three were empty, though."
The pilot swallowed. "You think they weren't captured, then? Like Spider?"
Goat nodded. "I guess so. They were in a different apartment, right? Maybe that guy couldn't find them."
Kasby shook his head. "I dropped by their apartment to collect them on the way here. It was empty. Door open, sheets messed up... I figured they were here with you." He reached down to his belt, and took out his radio transmitter. "I'll try calling them."
"Oh!" Giraffe exclaimed. "That won't work... their radios were sitting on the table in the apartment where we woke up..."
"Damn!" Kasby started to pace, putting a hand to his temple. The alarms continued to blare in the background. "Can you take me back there? We've got to--"
A massive explosion sounded from somewhere overhead, and the entire Roost shook, sending all four stumbling against a wall.
"Kasby!" Giraffe yelled. "We have to go! Owl and Skunk can take care of themselves."
"Yeah," Goat agreed. "Skunk can kick anyone's butt!"
Kasby glared at them. "I'm not leaving without them."
"We have to." Giraffe took a step closer to him. "We have to trust that they'll be alright, and save ourselves for now."
"I'm not leaving without them."
"We don't have a--"
Kasby pounded his fist against the metal bulkhead, cutting her off. His eyes locked onto hers, burning with intensity. "I am not abandoning HALF of my crew. I... I already lost one crew member too many."
Giraffe sighed, and walked right up close to her captain. "Kasby. Either we four escape right now, and meet up with the other three later, or we all die here."
"That's not..." Kasby looked for words, but none came.
Giraffe's voice hardened. "What's it going to be, Kasby? Four lives, or none?"
He let out a quiet sigh. "We'll find them. I swear to you. We'll find them."
"Good. But we'll do it once we escape."
Kasby nodded, swallowed, and stood to his full height. "Come on. The Quinn is fueled and ready, escort be damned." He turned and led the way towards the docking bay.