Day 9, Later Afternoon – The Steel Dice

“I can’t believe I’m doing this.” Chel shivered slightly as a gust of ice cold air struck her face. It was like walking into a freezer. Worse, the air was also thin here so it was hard to breathe. Chel flipped the collar of Lexx’s coat up, pausing for a moment as she noticed that it was the same coat he’d worn when they’d met.

Stealth had told the girl to grab one of Lexx’s heavy coats, but Chel hadn’t paid attention to which one. Now, out of curiosity she ran her hand down the shoulder, looking for the bullet hole. It had been cleaned, so there wasn’t any blood, and also, no hole. Distracted, Chel checked the other shoulder. Maybe she’d been mistaken on if it had been the left or right.

Nothing.

That was odd. She was sure it was the same coat. Back to the right for a better look and then she saw it. There was a slight distortion in the fabric and it was darker than the rest of the coat. It almost looked like the fabric had repaired itself.

Chel shivered more from goose bumps than the cold as she thought of how that could happen. Maybe his clothes had nanites in them to repair them as well.

All these tiny microscopic machines really gave her the creeps. She shook her head and sighed, they wouldn’t hurt here, they probably only worked on that specific fabric.

“Chel. This way.” Stealth purred, rubbing against her human’s leg. Then the cat effortlessly started up a rocky ridge. They’d walked out of the door from the Rift to somewhere on a mountain and there were jagged rocks and little piles of snow everywhere. Epsy bounced ahead happily, loving the cold, while Zeta clung to Chel’s side, shivering. The short fine fur along his neck and back were sticking out giving him a fuzzy look that was almost comical.

“Zeta not like cold.”

“Neither do I, Zeta.” Chel smiled. She didn’t feel cold. Actually, she was very warm in the coat and didn’t bother buttoning the front of it so she’d be comfortable. Lexx’s coat was a bit too big for her and it also smelled like him. It was an odd smell, clean and something unfamiliar, but good. She’d noticed that Lexx spent a lot of time on how he looked and was very meticulous about it. Maybe he had some sort of alien cologne he was using, which would explain why she couldn’t recognize it. At some point she’d have to snoop in the drawers in the bathroom and see what it was.

They had reached the top of the ridge and now there was a ravine and a few mountain goats grazing on the scarce foliage. “You’re sure I can do this, Stealth?” Chel glanced over the ravine, looking for anything that might look like a dice.

“Certainly.” Stealth purred encouragingly. “We do the hunting and fighting. You just have to tag it with the ring. You’ll need to take three dice for Zeta and five for Epsy out of the left pocket. You throw them when it’s time, like you’ve seen Lexx do.”

“Ok, then,” Chel nodded, “Epsy, Zeta, let’s go.”