"Chiana's back," Jool told Sikozu. Her eyes widened and she screeched as Sikozu floated up to the ceiling. "D'Argo she's doing it again!" Jool screeched off to cry to D'Argo.
Sikozu came down to walk on the floor again, a smug little grin on her face like a sated cat at having freaked out that irritating Interion again. "Why can't these beings adjust their center of gravity? Lighter, greater mobility. A shame," Sikozu remarked to nobody. Or so she thought!
"Did you say, uh, 'lighter and greater mobility'?"
Sikozu's eyes flared wide open as she silently took in Chiana. The Nebari looked as if she'd been through hezmana in the couple of months she'd been away from Moya. Flithy, desheveled and somewhat battered up didn't cover it. More, the ragged Nebari was the tiniest bit of body she had ever seen by a huge margin. There was nothing left to her, Sikozu's brain was sent racing trying to figure out how she moved so well, or at all. "Wherever have you been?" Sikozu demanded, not without concern.
"Hezmona and back," Chiana walked around Sikozu, smirking. "If anyone cares," she sarcastically added.
"At least you sound the same," Sikozu looked down her nose and began uncoiling the knobs she had her hair up in again. "The others will be surprised," Sikozu smiled more genuinely and moved to com them.
Chiana grasped Sikozu's hand. "This won't come off right?"
"It is fully reattatched by now," Sikozu wearily confirmed. "And I have managed to keep everything else attatched."
"Good. For you," Chiana said, letting go of Sikozu's hand. "You get to contact your friends?"
"The Gredecks want me dead," Sikozu grit her teeth and rolled her eyes up. "Why would I do that?"
"With how well you didn't know leviathans for being such an expert," Chiana remarked low and soft over Sikozu's left shoulder, "you've got another reason for being here." While the corners of Sikozu's mouth sank and she looked down to her right, Chiana slipped around to Sikozu's right side. "Not that it's my business, yet. Since you're so good to us, so far....especially Scorp. If you're interested, I got a few things done while I took a beating and kept on kickin'," Chiana teased, finishing with her weird combination of cackle and laugh.
"I can see," Sikozu cut, rolling her eyes up.
"Oooo," Chiana cooed. "You want to take a beating? Well I can do better."
Sikozu paused in thought a moment while undoing another knob of hair. She decided to smile. "You located your brother?"
"Yeah. While I was getting frelled up along the way, usual dren with a few not so nice new spins, I had to think of a few times you might've been able to escape when I couldn't. That lighter, greater mobility thing of yours. So I turned a little misfortune to my advantage. Maybe not so drad to me as finding Nerri, but more good news I managed to get in. Getting set to beat you."
"I have done nothing," Sikozu assured her as she backed off.
Chiana cut her off by circling around. "Think you're lighter? Not now," she repeated her scary laugh, resting her fingers on the very loose, very very low pants barely staying on her as she swayed into step. "As for mobile, might give you a little more competition around here. But thanks for the idea. Gave me the key to compensate your tricks."
Sikozu took another, longer look. She saw that her first impression was correct, but despite what she would have assumed, when Chiana slid over to Sikozu's right side, Sikozu noticed a definite speed, agility and energy in the Nebari.
"Oh yeah, you said uh greater mobility too, didn't you? Lets see. If you get to Crichton first, I won't beat you."
Sikozu lurched forward around a corner and Chiana scrambled back toward a vent.
Aeryn stopped to listen. John stopped right behind her, happening to lean into her back side. He listened too. "Uh oh," John said. "Chi is back."
"I can hear that John," Aeryn told him and looked back at his closeness to her.
"And she's already on the warpath, trying to out maneuver Sikozu again. You'd think nearly killing herself with exhaustion trying to hang on ceilings would wizen our Pip."
"Not likely," Aeryn said with the most muted trace of a grin. "She's going to out maneuver her yet."
"Aw come on Aeryn!" he boyishly jerks his arms. "Nobody can do her gravity tricks!"
"I think she is foolish enough and brave enough to try. And if she's been working on it for moths now, at least she might humble the competition."
"That would be a miracle."
"I said shut up."
"I said yes dear, okally, you bet, yes sir. What else do you want?"
Both John and Aeryn looked back at Jool when they heard a snicker. "Where's D'Argo? Chiana's back," Aeryn asked and said.
"D'Argo is busy polishing his blade," Jool rested her hand on her hip and gave a telling lift of her brow.
"Then you-" both shut up as the ruckas came closer. Chiana's thuds, growls, screeches and raw yells make John wince. Still, he was shocked as Aeryn when Chiana tumbled around the corner a ways down, then jumped up and actually stuck to the arch ceiling. "Frell me dead," Aeryn said.
"Don't tempt me honey," John took a moment from his shock to suggest.
"Hah as if," Aeryn sneered to herself while watching Chiana.
Chiana blocked Sikozu's way. Sikozu, floating to another arch, looked between her and John down the corridor. Unable to float over Chiana or go under because the persistant Nebari would just drop down, Sikozu instead dropped down and hurried into a service passage that would likely lead out near John. She knew her superior knowledge of the Leviathan would best the sneak thief.
Chiana's face, despite trembling from strain to hold herself up on the arch, changed to a smirk. "Not so easy," she whispered.
"How the-?" John wondered, gawking down the corridor then looking at Aeryn. "Nebari can't float, right. I know that white girl can jump! But that-" he scruffed his beard.
"That is very impressive," Aeryn remarked, impressed. "Remind me to shave your fur later."
John remembered her last threat. He quickly decided she doesn't have to draw her PK knife out. "I was going to get that."
"Mm hm," she sneers.
John scratched it again, uncomfortably. Then he turned around on an instinct. A tall, very narrow air duct opens. Chiana tumbled out sideways where a DRD couldn't go on its side. His mouth opens almost as wide as Jool's as Chiana bumps into the startled Interion. Looking Chiana up and down, Jool forgot to scream.
"Stay there," Chiana whispered to John, walking up behind him to stay hidden and nuzzling into his back in a silent affectionate hello while the opportunity presents itself.
Proudly emerging from another passage in front of John, Sikozu hummed a tune and walked casually to John, making a point to tap his shoulder.
"Can you hum something else?" Aeryn asks her. "You never stop that frelling Chai Kof Sky."
"Tchaikovsky, Aeryn," John corrects her. "1812 Overture."
"Not bad. Might've made it first," Chiana walked out from being completely hidden behind John. "But you didn't."
Sikozu stared wide eyed again, her mind racing to figure it out. Then her eyes caught on the air duct. Looking up and down what was left of Chiana in amazement, she realized the impossible happened. Chiana stood with her hands on her rear in her strange, cocky way. "Nobody could fit through-"
"Maybe you need to be uh, 'smaller' and have 'greater mobility'," Chiana teased Sikozu, brushing the Kalish's taut abs. "So. Who uh, can go to places who can't?"
John did a double take at Chiana and stared in shock. Then he looked at Aeryn, who is beaming. Proudly? Yes, close enough to it. He has to smile anyway and shake his head. "Life's weird out here man. Did I ever mention that?"
"Who?" Jool walked up to Sikozu's side and folded her arms, demanding she fess up to Chiana.
Sikozu looked between them all and slowly smiles. "It would seem Chiana can go places I cannot."
"Uh uh. You know it," Chiana nodded. "I didn't work my eema off for nothing, doll face."
"What eema?" John both yelled and blurted, gesturing with a hand to Chiana's backside.
Chiana slid alongside and clasped John's ass. "You want to find out?" She smirked at him. Smirking a glance at Aeryn, Chiana walked away a few steps, then stopped again, looking back at John and running her hands on what passes for her rear. "Coming?"
John smiled his priceless embarrassed boy smile and cut a sheepish glance to Aeryn.
Aeryn's sneer told John it wouldn't be possible.
Chiana broke into a smile as she turned and swayed away triumphantly. Things were definitely improving all around.