16: Octopus Speech

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Not a word was said for a long time as the Pizza Ship zoomed through space. Only Novus's loud snoring echoed through the cabin. He passed out shortly after launch. I guessed getting tied up and interrogated will wear any guy out. Stella stayed at the controls. Her tentacles steering the ship along a dotted path displayed on the monitor above her head. The small triangle bleeped along the screen avoiding any space junk that happened to be floating by.

I stayed by the window staring out at a shrinking glowing dot that used to be the Wingspan Resort. My heart was worried and anxious. I hoped Leo had found his parents and gotten to safety. Since his parents traveled a lot for their medical research, who knows what planet he would end up on next. I wondered if I would ever see him again.

A tentacle tapped me on the shoulder snapping me out of my thoughts. Stella floated beside me. The monitor showing the ship's path displayed the following words: Autopilot Engaged. Her big puppy dog eyes studied me then followed my eyes out the window.

"Oola," she said, slapping the glass.

I couldn't understand her, but I sensed she was asking me how I was doing.

"I'm sad, Stella," I said hugging my knees. They smelled of sweat and dirt desperately needing to be cleaned. "Everyone I care about always ends up leaving me."

"Ooooolllooo," she protested.

"You know I can't understand you," I said resting my head on my knees and giving her a confused look. The octopus rushed over to the shelf where Novus kept his holo-books. She snatched one off the shelf.

"Oooola," she said turning on the tablet and flipping to a particular screen. "Ooolalaloo," she said into the device. A calm female voice spoke.

"Hello, Eddie, can you understand me now."

I leaned in and chuckled. The screen showed a voice icon and the words, Translate from Cephalopodian.

"Stella is that really your voice?"

Stella spoke into the device once more.

"No, this is an advanced translating software. I can sound like a guy if you like." Stella clicked an icon on the screen. "How does this sound," she said in a deep male voice. I laughed.

"Change it back," I hollered clutching my stomach. "Change it back."

"Better?" said Stella back in her female voice.

"Much better," I agreed.

"Don't be sad, Eddie." The octopus hovered close to the window. "You will see the boy again. When you make friends with someone they always come back."

"I wish I had your confidence."

A loud snore made us look over at Novus with his mouth wide open and drool dripping off onto the couch cushion. Stella gave the sleeping man a disapproving glance.

"Novus and I are your friends," she said. Her hovercraft zipped by my ear. "We will never leave you."

"I thought you hated me," I said to the octopus.

"You saved us from the Wish-Hunter. Friends for life now. Forever and ever."

A warm feeling burst across my cheeks. Who would have ever thought in a few days I'd be best friends with a floating, talking octopus. I glanced down at the tablet. The name, Luna, was engraved into the back.

"Stella, who is Luna?" I said motioning to the name. "I see it everywhere. It's in my room, and on all the holo-books."

Stella sighed. "When Novus found me, he was very lonely. He once had a daughter. He loved her very much."

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