Terra was in the past.
Pylo and tunie were once more together.
And best of all Pylo could finally enjoy minimal acceleration as they drifted away from the behemoth of a world.
Now if Tunie would just let Pylo move to enjoy the freedom everything would be grand.
“I told you I’m fine, it’s just a bit of grunge there isn't a single spore of fluffers on me and the Terrans didn't even have a word for cat. I checked twice!”
It was understandable, some worlds had very nasty infestations, especially ones that had only recently gotten themselves connected or reconnected to the trade lanes.
And it’s not like moeraths, bandersnatch, flufflez and cats were precisely rare. Pylo still remembered the last time she had come down with a bad case of flufflez.
She had very stingy pockmarks and cavities all over after that.
But pylo thought this was a bit excessive.
“◭⑇ ◴▅▆▂◬⑆ ↻⌒◍ ▂▄▄▚”
“Yes I know but there isn't even a thing like the idea of a cat in their brains! I really checked!”
Every single smidge of surface area that touched the nitrogen soup did NOT need to be scrubbed clean by Tunie’s motiles! Which Pylo admitted were not really controlled directly by the big ship. But obviously she was very insistently trying to disinfect her favorite and single crew. For the things were flooding in from all over heaping onto Pylo.
“Well sure I’ll let you check me over if you insist... NO NOT THE SCARF YOU TUBELET! I like that scarf! My littlest sister gave it to me!”
Tunie really was not at fault. But pylo yanked the scarf back from the motile that had already half swallowed it. And thought vehement things towards her friend’s macro circulatory system.
This was really excessive and Tunie needed to calm down and think less cleansing directives.
It was Especially un-needed since Pylo could just take a nice sterilizing bath. Sure it would sting inside and out but honestly it's not like she would melt.
Well most of her wouldn't melt anyway.
“Yes I know she gave me enough of them to fill one of your holds! That doesn't matter I don’t know when we are going to find the next cache! If you keep burning them up like the last time I won’t have any!”
“Okay you’ve snuffed and prodded every single crevice, are you happy now?”
Finally the swarm of nuzzling, tubular motiles relented and pylo could drag herself free of the grasping meaty fronds.
“Now if you excuse me I’m going to go take a bath while you’re still letting your feathers and drives rest”
“You know it’s more sanitary than what you can reach. And It’s not like I’ve got anyone who needs me to pronounce a chromosome correctly until my oviriticuli grow back”
“Yeah I missed you too Tunie. Don’t worry I’m gonna stay aboard most of the next stop... Only one or two bar runs”
“Fine only the one”
With that Pylo turned to navigating the corridors of her friend. Gliding smoothly, each of the distal most appendage just needing to brush, tug or push at the surfaces and arches to set her to gliding. Sometimes she just stroked or ground a few nodules of her phalanges to feel the buzz of activity through the cozy near vacuum of Tunie’s interior.
Occasionally she used those brushes to brake but most of the time it was simply for the delight of feeling familiar humming of home and friendship.
“So see anything interesting while you had to shove along next to the big sun swimmer?”
That was always a fun topic when they were stuck at port.
Tunie was wrapped in eyes big enough to peer across the reef. As long as the view was clear she could peek on the twinkle and twine of stars and even occasionally spot the occlusion of distant worlds and travelers.
“⌒↻▟ ▂▂ ▂ ▂ ▂ ▂↺↬↶ ◬⑆⌒↹ ▿⑉◍⌒ ◇◆⌒▾⑆ ◎↭◴↻◷◆⌒◺⑇◍ ◬⑈▁▅◍◇↹↷↺↹⌒◸⑇◿⑇↹▂▄ ██ ███ ██ █↻ ◎⌒⌒◎⇜◍◈⌒◴ ◎◇◮⑇◍◍◎◎↺ ◎◴▆◴↹▂↻↺◇ ↺◮⑆▂▂ ▂ ▂ ▂ ▂◎⌒◆◇⇝▁▅▁◬⑆↹◬⑆◍▄ ▄ ▄▄ ▄ ▄▄▄ ▄ ↹↬↷”
Fully comprehending and then translating the gushing flow of information was a bit involved though.
But it filled the time needed to traverse From the outer layers of Tunie into the fore-core chambers where Pylo’s lodgings and most immediate personal effects were stored.
Not that Pylo didn't have vast chunks of Tunie’s cargo storage riddled with knick knacks and keepsakes and what some unimaginative locals would even call trash (the fools didn't seem to realize that half of anyone’s trash was worth more than its weight in gristle!).
But here was the more actively lived in place that Pylo liked to rest.
It also was properly sealed for personal time, and just as importantly a decontamination system to help clean up after. Pylo suspected the Terran mixologist would have done whatever the flatlander equivalent of inappropriate pollen spewing was at the stuff used by pylo to get properly clean.
“Hum... Really? A whole school of sardine? What’s bringing them towards this nook of the reef?”
It was not always clear when Tunie got excited and dumped everything like this. Sometimes what she thought was interesting was a particularly abstract ‘velocity pun’ that Pylo had to take her song for it was utterly hilarious to ships.
Other times it was something almost resembling actual social activity. Minnows were generally the closest that Pylo had ever seen to Tunie thinking even vaguely like a politically savvy character.
But the impression of minnows at speed going a particular direction sometimes resembles the calving corpse of a star burning apart. And pylo had to endure a burst burst of laughter and teasing over the mistake last time.
Moving along a twist and gently spinning in the shell of a vacuum seal Pylo braced for light hearted ridicule. But as the sweet taste of light helium seasoning to the chamber ran along her she was pleased to hear a confirmation from Tunie.
“Huh I wonder what they are up too”
“Well yes of course they are moving as a school and exchanging things... but ... Ah nevermind it’s a crew thing- Wait... Tunie don’t play stupid!”
“Yeah yeah you're hilarious”
Tunie contentedly hummed through her bulkheads in response. It was nice to have a richer range of expressiveness then was available other aether.
One could sing, but when here nestled in her holds Pylo could pick up a much richer range of subtly.
And knowing that the Ship had at least not been too bored while waiting for the flatlanders to drag the cargo into reach of Tunie’s Motiles was good enough for Pylo.
Now to get herself soaked, seared, burned and then rinsed.
Just a few more seals, two more apertures and finally Pylo had reached one of the most tightly sealed of her chambers.
Usually she would bring in something for recreation and to help herself relax. But for now it was straight to cleaning without needing to do anything that would make a mess.
It was going to sting so much.
But it was better then getting another Fuzzle Infection.
The little craters where the spores burst itched so bad!