“Someone call for me?” Hailey heard Tricia’s voice over the radio.
“Hi Tricia,” Hailey said, still giggling. “Guess where we are?”
“The bottom of the ocean?” Tricia laughed.
“Nope we’re on the other side of the lip.” Hailey giggled. “We made it safely thanks to a whale guiding us.”
“I believe you,” Tricia said, completely serious. “Elizabeth says you found others as well?”
“We’ve setup guide buoy’s so other ships can come in and out, Rebecca said the water wasn’t extremely deep there, soo they’re anchored to the ocean floor.”
“That’s fantastic. Ask them if there’s anything that they need. Rebecca should be familiar enough with what stock we have on-hand that we can send.”
“I think they need an electrician out here, and more fridge devices, but other than that I can ask them.” Hailey spoke.
Aria removed her earpiece, offering it to the old Admiral. “Thank you my friend,” he said as he slid the earpiece into place. “This is Admiral Flaxi,” he said, “If you are able to spare an axe or a saw, it would save us a great deal of trial and error with Aria’s confounded fabricators,” he laughed. “But beyond that, the young lady is quite right. We may have some things we can trade as well.”
“You have a working fabricator?” Tricia asked.
“Working is a relative term,” he laughed. “But yes, it’s capable of rearranging molecular structures to create some objects more faithfully than others.”
“We can send you basic supplies, clothes and some food, I'll send Ray our Electrical engineer, and a representative for our island colony for yours.” Tricia spoke.
“Excellent. We’ve already discussed it amongst a few of us, but I believe the others will agree - we would very much like to join under your banner, so to speak. This old spacer is looking to get back to exploration again,” he laughed.
Tricia giggled under her breath. “Just like my father, God rest him. I look forward to personally seeing you off on that voyage.”
“I’m sure we can get enough people and you can have your own expedition group in the explorers guild.” another woman spoke up, if Rebecca was there, she would have known who it was, she was the leader of the Explorers guild. “I could use a qualified Admiral on our team.”
Jaxanna laughed as she leaned over. “He’s more than qualified, whether he wants to admit it or not.”
“We’ll then I can’t wait to meet you, I’m coming in on the ship to oversee the construction of a Dock.” The woman replied. “We’ll have you a proper Harbor setup in no time.”
Karen sighed dreamily as she sat quietly during the whole proceedings, watching. Finally she leaned over to Ella and whispered, “This is so exciting. This is why I joined the Exploration guild. I feel like a hero in one of Mother’s books, like we’re getting to see history being made here.”
Ella nodded, “And we get to make our own history. I know I don’t look it, but my knees are jelly right now,” she giggled. “Admiral Flaxi is a hero among my people, one of the greatest negotiators of our age, and I’m eating ... whatever this is, at the same table as him.”
Karen put her hand on Ella and smiled, “You're a hero amongst our people.”
“I’m just one woman,” Ella said, “Part of a team, but I couldn’t ask for a better team.”
Hailey and Candy had finished eating and were walking around on the beach holding tails, and Hailey grinned, “This area right here would make good for a Harbor, seems clear and open.”
“Clear and open huh?” Candy giggled. “You’re right. You could plow right up to the beach with one of the shallow drafts,” she said, and what she said was innocent enough, but the way she said it had Hailey giggling.
Candy giggled too, “Silly.” she leaned over and kissed Hailey.
“So how do I turn into a raging beast?” Hailey giggled.
“Well I could start by finding all the places you’re ticklish,” Candy grinned impishly.
“Only got one, and you’ll never find it.” Hailey laughed.
“That sounds like a challenge,” Candy giggled as she put her head on Hailey’s shoulder.
Hailey laughed, “I never said I challenge you to find it.” she smiled, “So you have no idea about how i’m supposed to go about doing what my color does?”
“You didn’t have to say it. I read between the lines,” she teased, but nodded. “No one’s seen a Stardust furren in over 400 years. I mean we’ve seen drawings, paintings. One of them is a furren goddess,” she said, “But we know nothing of how they actually did it. If not for historical records from outside sources, we’d scarcely believe it was true.”
“It seems a lot of people believe it’s true.” Hailey smiled, “All the furren here seem to think so too.”
“Different generation,” Candy nodded. “There’s a movement on Furra Prime among the new kits to turn their backs on the gods and embrace science. I do both,” she shrugged, but smiled. “Oh, I know! Let’s ask the science guild when we get back? The Traxian historical records are more complete than ours. Maybe the island’s are too.”
Hailey nodded, looking up as a shooting star rocketed across the sky. “Make a wish,” she laughed.
“I wish...” she grinned, looking at Hailey. “Yeah. That’s a good wish,” she giggled to herself.
“You just want what's under my skirt huh?” Hailey giggled.
“Oh, I don’t have to wish for that,” Candy grinned impishly. “But if I told you what I did wish for, then it might not come true. But it makes me wonder... Do you think the... overseers, gods, whatever you call them, are watching us?”
“Probably not.” Hailey shrugged, “But who knows, I bet they do monitor us from time to time.”
“Then I’ll just have to find a way,” Candy giggled. Hailey could see the gears turning in her head. She had seen that same exact look right before Brie launched into a scientific 600-word-a-minute lecture, but Candy was playing it close to the vest, and instead picked up a pretty rainbow colored shell that had washed ashore.
“I made a wish too actually.” Hailey smiled. “But I doubt anyone other than myself heard it.”
“What did you wish for?” Candy giggled.
“Like you said, if I tell you then it won't come true.” Hailey grinned.
They walked further down the beach when Hailey spotted a blonde haired girl who wasn't too much older than she was laying in the sand, looking dead, the ocean was lapping against her legs.
“We’ve got another survivor on the beach,” Hailey said into her phone. “It looks like she needs medical attention.”
“Copy that.” Aria spoke back. “I’ll have one of our medstaff down there asap.”
“She’s breathing, but just barely,” Candy said as she approached the girl. “Human, I think... Human hearts are in the center right?”
“Yes.” Hailey nodded, “Well slightly off but close.”
Candy got down on her knees and leaned close to the girl’s chest to listen. “I hear a heartbeat.”
Hailey suddenly recognized the girl, “Wendy!”
Wendy suddenly flinched, causing Candy to jump back. She sat bolt upright and coughed a few times, spitting out some water in the process. She gasped, and slowly lay back down again. She hadn’t noticed the pair yet, utterly oblivious. “Unnh...”
Hailey approached and kneeled next to her, “Wendy are you ok?” her voice was still her voice that didn’t change.
“Yeah, I just... Wait, Hailey?!” she opened her eyes and looked right at Hailey.
Hailey nodded her head, “What happened?”
Wendy’s lips parted, then closed, then opened again. “Did... Did I miss a costume party?”
“It’s really me, no costume party, did you make it to the group ok before you were brought here?” Hailey asked.
“Oh my God, Hailey i thought I’d never see you again!” Wendy said as she threw her arms around her. “Yes, we made it fine. We ran the entire way after radioing the forest service that you had disappeared.”
“How long have I been missing for then?” Hailey asked, “It’s only been a day here.”
“Yeah, same,” Wendy nodded. “We’ve been scouring the woods looking all over for you. I was exploring a cave near where you vanished, and then I felt myself falling, but I never hit the ground. There was a bright light, and... then I was here.”
Candy smiled, “So this is your Catgirl friend?”
Wendy slowly turned to see Candy, and giggled. “Oh my God, you’re the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen! Well you both are,” she laughed.
Hailey giggled. “Yeah, Wendy’s like my best friend, and the only other person brave enough to wear cat ear headphones in public besides me.”
“We both dressed up as Cat girls for Halloween last year too.” Wendy grinned, “If my bag is with me, my headphones are in there.”
By now, Rebecca, Brie, and Aria were fast approaching along with another human woman.
“She’s fine!” Hailey called out, “Swallowed a lot of Ocean water though..”
“Uh oh,” Rebecca laughed as she approached. “Better brace yourself dear. The ocean water here has special powers.”
“Seriously?” Wendy asked.
“I’m going to take a blood sample if that’s alright?” Brie asked. “Won't hurt I promise.”
“It really won’t,” Hailey added.
Candy looked at Rebecca, “That’s one of Hailey’s friends from her bug out group.. The one she talks about a lot.”
“So you’re the famous Wendy.” Rebecca grinned.
“I’m famous already? Jeez girl, what horrible slanders have you spread about me here?” she teased, laughing as Hailey helped her to her feet, and Brie took a small blood sample with a similar device to what Lynn had used.
“Oh I just painted you as a Goddess.” Hailey winked.
“Yup, seems you have the same markers, and you have a Furren marker as well, We’re looking at Race markers now when we test new comers, to see if they’ll change into another race.”
“I wonder,” Aria said. “Do you suppose it’s because Furren were her first contact?”
“Probably not.” Brie shook her head, “I have a theory if you change race, it’s not common but it does happen more often, it’s based on your thought patterns.”
“That’s true,” Hailey said. “I literally was thinking about my cat ear headphones when I was brought here, and Wendy and I have a huge catgirl anime collection between us,” she giggled.
“Same here I was like I really hope they don’t break in this fall.” Wendy laughed.
“Fascinating,” Aria said, nodding. “Genetic reconfiguration based on thought patterns best suiting the race.”
Brie smiled, “Not sure if you’ve experienced it in this Colony, but we’ve also had gender swapping as well.”
“Not yet, but your Colony is much larger than ours.” Aria nodded. “Much bigger sample size.”
Rebecca laughed. “More of that cosmic humor these two are so fond of. I used to be a gay man. I still prefer men, but I’ve come to love this new body.”
“I bet you have,” Candy giggled out, and Hailey gave her a playful nudge.
Wendy just giggled. “Oh dear God, there’s someone else in the universe as warped as me.”
“Hailey is worse than I am.” Candy winked.
Several hours had passed and the Transport ship from the heart shaped island affectionately called “Heart” by its denizens, arrived, it was much much larger than the Exploration ship, so it could hold a lot more cargo and People, they were off loading wood and other building materials to build a massive dock. Tricia even came down in-between wood deliveries.
“That’s... a lot of wood,” Flaxi said as he watched the workers unloading supplies.
“Yes well one of our Explorers found an endless supply for us.” Tricia grinned. “This is Monica she’ll be acting as the Colony lead when you step down, then the colony can vote for a governor and she’ll act as a liaison between the islands.” she introduced a short pointy eared girl with long honey blonde hair.
“And I come bearing gifts,” Monica said, turned, and whistled. Two workers came over, carrying a sawhorse slung over each of their shoulders, and a huge chest between them. “I know you implied you wanted to build your ship, yourself, but the least we can do is give you the proper tools.”
Flaxi laughed deeply. “You’re a woman after my own heart, madame. Thank you.”
A Tall Redheaded woman with light blue skin like Ella’s approached, “I’m Ria the head of the Exploration Guild.” she reached her hand out to shake his hand, “It’s always a pleasure to meet a famous Admiral.”
Ella looked over from where she was single-handedly lifting a big tree right out by its roots for one of the workers. “Jaxanna’s here too.”
“Oh you're shitting me?” Ria laughed. “Ella and my family have written her off as dead..”
The admiral laughed. “We thought so too. When the ship exploded, we thought this was some kind of afterlife at first. Whoever, or whatever brought us here, saved our lives.”
“Not sure what their end goal is.” Ria shook her head, “But at least they care, they reunited me with my cousins.” she winked, “And it seems they care about the Furren too, Hailey has her friend now.”
“Oh,” Hailey said as she turned to Candy. “You asked me last night if I thought they were listening... I’m going to go ahead and say yes.”
Candy giggled. “Good. Just the same, I sent them a message in my own way, thanking them for making my life complete..’
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