“Everything ready for take-off?” Galyn asked as Arkay sat down and strapped himself in.
“I’ve gone through everything on the list and that is all good, so if that means everything is ready, then yes.”
Galyn glanced behind him, where Retvik and Litvir had both also sat down and put on their safety belts.
“Are you three ready?”
“Of course!” Retvik exclaimed. Litvir nodded in agreement. Arkay shifted in his seat anxiously.
Galyn took that as agreement from everyone, then started the ship’s engines. The Thantir Two slowly lifted into the air, before neatly spinning in place and turning towards the exit of the space mall. The large, glowing signs quickly started to fade away as they flew off into the darkness.
After three and a half minutes, the ship’s engines quietened down, going into taxiing mode. Autopilot flipped on as the Thantir Two floated in a long, stable slip stream, allowing itself to be taken by the cosmic winds of the void.
“That was rather smooth…” Galyn smiled, mentally patting himself on the back. “Alright, now we are on autopilot, heading towards our next destination, how are you all doing?”
Arkay raised his hand awkwardly. “Where is our next destination?”
“Uncharted hollow-section 5a. Whole lot of empty void, which we’ll be, uh, charting and adding to the mapping of this sector. Simple work but something to keep us busy until something larger comes up.”
“Isn’t this whole place… empty void?”
Galyn grunted. “Yes, but apparently this area is emptier than normal. So it will be nothing more than scanning and jotting down anything interesting or out of the ordinary. If we do find anything curious, we will come back at a later date.”
Retvik shrugged, rather happy with their new job. Meant that he and Litvir wouldn’t have much to do, aside from the odd shift watching the skies via the observatories. “That sounds great. How long will we be doing this for?”
“750 hours, most likely. It is a large, uncharted sector.”
“One without any Voidborns or Life Goddesses in it, I hope…” Litvir tutted. “Last few we have met have not been nice at all.”
Galyn nodded. “Indeed. This should be an empty area. And even if we do find anything, we will not be making contact. Even if anything we find open fires on us…” Galyn paused and started at Retvik. Something seemed off, and Galyn had only just realised what it was. “Speaking of fire, Retvik, what happened to the flames that normally run up your arms and legs?”
Retvik glanced down, shrugged, then tutted. “I turned them off.”
“Since when could you do that?”
“Hm. Since… since you took me on that mission to speak to some Voidborn entities that wanted to move into our sector, and you made me wear that armour that suppressed my flames. I worked out how to turn them on and off on my own.”
“But… why do you always have them on?”
Retvik shrugged again. “It makes me feel cool and powerful, I guess. I did turn them off while we were wandering around that space mall though, since I did not want to cause any, well, fires.”
“He turns the flames off for sex too,” Litvir added. “As if it needed to be hot enough in his personal quarters.”
“That was… too much information…” Galyn rolled his eyes, turning his attention first to Arkay, to check that he was alright, then to the navigational map projected on the screen in front of him. “Alright. Casual conversation time is over now. We will be entering the uncharted area in 2.4 hours. Litvir, you will be first in the observation wing, and I want you to be monitoring anything of even vague interest. Retvik will take over after 2 hours. Understood?”
The two Decay Lords both sighed and nodded.
“Good. In the mean time, Arkay and I will be in here, creating the 2d and 3d topographical maps. If anything comes up, you let us know immediately. Until then, go and relax for a bit, and prepare some snacks for your upcoming work hours.”
Litvir undid his seatbelt, then left the room. Retvik did the same, but hesitated, glancing at Arkay.
“Is everything well here, Galyn?”
“What do you mean, Retvik?”
Retvik frowned. “This seems… less exciting than normal. Is there a reason for this?”
Galyn shook his head. “No, not at all. This is pretty standard procedure. Plus, we could do with some simpler jobs for a while. Go get yourself sorted out.”
Retvik bowed, then left the room. Galyn pulled the door closed behind him, then also glanced at Arkay.
“They are worried about me.”
“Of course they are. You have been very quiet.”
“I’m just… worried. As much as I complain, I don’t want to be taken away from here.”
Galyn smiled, patting Arkay on the shoulder. “Do not fret. A couple of weeks of this, and we will be back in the clear…”