21: The Hidden Corridor (Editing)

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Octopuses have the most amazing ability to squeeze through tight holes and small crevices probably since they are invertebrates meaning they have no bones. Perhaps nature's greatest escape artists, imagine fitting your body through a hole the size of a quarter. Sounds difficult, well not for Stella. She squirmed her many tentacles up the drainpipe inch by inch until the light of the outside peeked its way inside.

"Ooola," her voice echoed in the hollow tube as she felt the warmth of the sun.

First one tentacle then another until she popped her head out. Thankfully there were no Wish-Hunters on guard this time of day or else they might have seen the drainpipe on the wall leak more than water. Scurrying around behind a nearby bush, Stella found her hovercraft she had stashed there. She strapped herself in and after turning on the power she was off on her mission.

The universe was a dangerous place for a Cephalopodian to be roaming about all alone. She could be snatched up and served as fried calamari with a side of sauce. But Stella was too smart to end up on a plate. She made sure to avoid as much contact with anyone as possible just in case someone had octopus on the menu.

She hovered from building to building narrowly getting hit by passing cars. Her goal was to get the photograph from Eddie's backpack and then find a way to convince her to see reason. Yet as she came to the city's main center and trade market she heard over the hustle and bustle of the street vendors a familiar voice.

"Did you hear, mom," said a boy's voice. "Eddie is here on Atamanaa. I just saw her on the news."

"That girl you hung out with at the resort? The girl who has Galaxion?"

"Yeah, that's her."

"Leo," said his mother as she picked through a fruit stand, "she's already forgotten about you. Why not go to the skate park and hang out with children who are not associated with the Djinn? That's a crowd that will only lead you to trouble."

"But, mom, I promised her."

"Leo we are only stopping her for a few days to get supplies before we head to planet Oram. Leave that girl to her wishes."

Stella snuck behind the fruit stand and peered at Leo.

"Oolloo," she whispered.

Leo noticed a pair of rabbit ears poking out behind a large melon. He turned his head until he was eye to eye with Stella.

"Hey, I know you," he whispered. "You were with Eddie."

"Oolllaaala," said Stella watching Leo's mom walk away. "Oolo."

"Eddie's in trouble!" cried Leo. Stella shushed him.

"Oooolooo," she responded curiously.

"Yeah, I understand Cephalopodian. My family stayed in a refugee camp for a year to study your culture's healing remedies so we had no choice but to learn the language."

Stella bounced with joy. Very few people in the universe spoke her culture's dying language. She started to tell Leo everything that had happened.

"Eddie is being lied to by the Djinn so he can take Galaxion for himself," repeated Leo. "That's awful."

Stella sighed.

"So what are we going to do?"

Stella's eyes grew wide. If octopuses could, she could have burst into tears right there.

"Ollo," she hummed.

"Of course I want to help," said Leo. "Let me tell my mom. Don't go anywhere."

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