A new hiding place
Noumalia was proud of her new hiding place. In the very back right corner of the cargo bay a section of machinery jutted out slightly providing excellent opportunity for climbing. About four metres up was a small opening big enough for a Zin-Shee sized body to crawl into and obscure enough to hide her from existence.
Which is just what Noumalia had wanted.
She was curled comfortably ammongst some pipework having woken from a rather pleasant nap. Gentle heat radiating from the pipework told Noumalia that it was part of the Mystic Sharks central life-support and heating system. What a find! She stretched luxuriously, flexing her claws slightly, and feeling her head brush against the confines of the walls. The entrance to her new nest was small but the space itself opened out to a comfortable size.
She would have to rememebr this place in future. Though it would be prudent not to come down here too often. A quiet secluded place for one-self was hard to come by even on a ship as large and sparcely crewed as this one. But Kelda had sharp eyes, and the Captain was usually searching for her to do some such maintenance. Noumalia didn’t mind, most of the time. She enjoyed working with engines and, though she didn’t want to admit it, was growing fond of the ship and its miss-matched crew.
The ship had a rough, no nonsence pressence about it. It wasn’t pretty to look at, despite Noumalia’s attempts to decorate the interior with paint whenever she was bored. She hadnt gone over the top, despite what the assassin may have thought. Zin-Shee art was admired over the universe as being subtle and colourful, but with an overwhelming power and beauty. Noumalia had spent a season studying under one of the guild’s most prominent artists (A male Zin-Shee by the name of Shaouloka) and though she didn’t possess a tenth of her mentor’s skill, she was sure her work did not look like Dracan sewage (That assassin had no taste, and why should she? She was little more that a slave).
She shifted slightly so as to gaze out the little opening to the cargo bay. No one had come looking for her yet, though it was inevitable that something would need fixing soon. And just as she thought this to herself, her feline ears picked up the unmistakable sound of footsteps heading towards the stairs to the cargo hold.
Calmy she watched as Lance came ambling down the aft stairway in search for something amongst boxes of tools, piping and spare engine parts. He left as quickly as he had entered, muttering to himself, having found what he wanted. Noumalia stayed hidden.
Her tail was twitching.
She had hidden up here to escape from the endless noise. Not just the talking but the volume of thoughts and emotions became overwhelming sometimes. Noumalia prided herself on her psyonic abilities but there were days when she wished she couldn’t feel four other emotions as well as her own. It all got a bit exhausting, especially in dangerous or tense situations when the crew tended to yell their feelings at the top of their minds without awareness or control. Anthropos were strange beings!
Swish, Flick, Swish.
She felt the need to get up and do something productive. So after stretching for the second time, she emerged from the small gap in the pipework and climbed down to the floor of the cargo bay. She paused, crouched on the ground with one hand on the floor, her tail flicking menacingly and senses alert.
Focussing on a loose coil of wire ahead she pushed it forwards in her mind. The wire moved slightly making a sharp tinkling noise as it scraped upon the ground. Noumalia sprang to life, pouncing on the coil and batting it a few times with her right paw.
Satisfied she stood, regaining what she hoped was a more regal and composed appearance before walking calmly back to her engine room to work on the new shields system.
Suddenly she caught the flicker of movement out of the corner of her eye!
Surprised she turned, sensing out with her mind, tail still twitching slightly.
She could sense nothing... although... naahhh! It must have been a trick of the light.
Noumalia shook her head slowly and mumbled in her native tongue about her recent experiences driving her mad and continued up the stairs and out of sight.
Passing into the corridor however, she moved to the side and hid behind the pressure doors. Waiting. Patient. Ears pricked in the direction of the cargo bay listening intently. She barely breathed.
Patience is a virtue she reminded herself
Sure enough, there was a very slight sound - like claws scratching at metal.
She smiled triumphantly to her self, pleased to know she wasn't going crazy just yet, and inched her head back around the air-lock. Keeping low, she gazed intently towards the direction the sound was coming from. Her ears and whiskers straining forward trying to catch more of that scratching sound and its origin.
Some part of her was screaming to call the captain, but another part was reminding herself how her captain was usually more trouble in these situations than she was worth, as she didn't seem to possess a single ounce of subtlety or caution. If she called the captain it would probably result in her being knocked unconscious... again!
The noise continued intermittently, and Noumalia thought she could see something in the distance.
She stealthily approached the source of the sound - still nothing registering in her mind. She poised... and pounced!
And caught a dust bunny.
There was something there. There was!
She crouched looking down at the pile of dust, lint and space junk that had obviously piled up over the years not knowing whether to hiss with frustration at herself, jump away embarrassed, or collapse on the landing in laughter. She chose the last, pushing the pathetic pile away and sneezing slightly.
Feeling sheepish, but in good humor (and grateful no one else had been present for this display) she retraced her steps through the pressure doors, closing them behind her, and heading into the engine room.