In response to desperate pleading by a horde of readers (well, a few... more than one...) extracts from the first draft of the further adventures of the lads from Report on Sample 717, still continue, following on from here...
Adrig opened the pod door and the fresh sweet smell of an Autumn morning began to pervade the pod. Within seconds a fat and furry bumble bee had drifted in and, perhaps somewhat befuddled by the unseasonal early Autumn warmth outside, it began to explore, looking for nectar. It bumped lightly against the walls and then against the bright location screen before moving up to the small display that Adrig had recently used to select 717 as their destination. The occupants of the pod followed its bumbling progress with faint smiles. Even the Ladies seemed quite pleased to see this evidence of free life entering what they had previously feared might be a terminal prison.
As the bee bumped into the display that said 717 a few times, Edrig noticed up and down arrows that were lit up next to the Sample number. And then the bumbling bee buzzed sideways and explored the lit Auto-Return button. No nectar there either, but options for the watching Edrig to ponder.
While Edrig considered the issue that the bee had put into his mind, Adrig was considering the issue of what to do next.
'I suggest we get out,' he said to the Ladies, but the Ladies were not convinced.
'I suggest we stay here and try to get home,' the Lady with the long brown hair and the slightly less puffy face responded.
'May I ask your name, my Lady?' Adrig dared to request, on an impulse.
'My name? You want to know my name?'
'Yes please my Lady. We may be together for a while in this, eh... unfortunate predicament, and it would be better if we could respectfully address you each by name.'
The brown-haired Lady thought about this.
'My name, she eventually conceded, is Ezmaraldo, well... Ezma, and this is Armadalla, or Arma.'
'Ah... Very fine names my Ladies. Lady Ezmaraldo with the fine brown hair and Lady Armadalla with the beautiful black hair.'
'Do not attempt to become over familiar,' Armadalla cautioned him sternly, 'but you may call us Lady Arma and Lady Ezma, given the intimacy we have already shared, I suppose.'
'Well thank you my Ladies,' Edrig said with a slight bow of his head, 'and yes... intimacy... I do believe we have met before actually, unless you have very similar looking sisters.'
'Yes we have met,' said Ezma, 'on your night of interrogation.' And both Ladies managed a weak smile before Arma gave a big fat wink of a big dark eye and said, 'You were alright actually, both of you, when the testosterjuice had fully kicked in.'
Edrig shuddered a little, but managed to smile and say, 'Thank you again my Lady. Thank you.'
Adrig then began the procedure of trying to persuade the Ladies to leave the pod, while Adm had been following this exchange of unintelligible high-pitched screeching with some impatience, awaiting any information in the language that he could understand..
'We could decontaminate our exteriors out there,' Adrig suggested to the Ladies, 'and that would make it less hazardous for you to be in contact with us. I do believe there is a little stream not far from where we have arrived, if my memory of our previous visit is correct. And you could decontaminate the outside of your suits, perhaps, although I suspect it will all be relatively harmless, considering that Adm here has survived and thrived in it for many years.'
'You talking about me?' asked Adm, noticing a nod of the head towards him.
'Yes my friend. Please forgive but we have to talk in our own language to the Ladies. I am trying to persuade them to get out.'
'I'm off out now,' said Adm. 'Looks nice.'
And with that announcement, Adm pulled his muscular young frame in its furry brown covering out through the hatch and began to stretch and breathe heavily outside.
'Good. Sunshy. Good,' he called back towards the inside of the pod.
'Sunny, I think you mean,' Adrig called out in correction.
'Well sunny. Good. Nice.'
The Ladies looked out at Adm's lower torso and muscular legs, somewhat admiringly, Edrig thought.
'I do think it would be best to get out,' he told them, 'After all, this pod has malfunctioned once. It could be in an unstable state. It may decide to go anywhere. Somewhere worse. This place is good. Good until we get rescued.'
'But there will be people out there. Primitives. Ugh...' said Ezma.
'Actually they are much more civilized than you may suspect my Lady, and they might help us.'
'Yes... Eh... Their police, perhaps...'
'Perhaps... Until we get rescued. Your suits will have tracking chips, I'm sure, and somehow or other even Adrig and I were monitored, though we only have these furs on.'
'Hah... Chips under your skin this time my lad, I believe,' Ezma revealed. 'Yes, we will get rescued.'
And so the Ladies were persuaded to leave the pod and investigate what Sample 717 had to offer.
And what it had to offer initially was a sunny morning and an opportunity to wash in a fast-flowing little stream that Adm had waded into, just twenty paces or so from the pod. And the two Ladies watched intently as Adm boldly pulled off his furry gown and sat down naked into the cold water, shouting out meaningless yelps as he did so.
'Hah! Cold eh?' remarked Adrig, having helped the Ladies out and then pulled himself from the pod, leaving only Edrig inside.
The Ladies could not understand what Adrig had said, but in her own language Ezma muttered, 'Probably cold but not cold enough to diminish that young primitive's magnificence eh?' And she gazed at the bathing Adm.
'Indeed not,' replied Arma. 'Indeed not.'
And then Adrig ventured to sit down in the water too, without removing his fur gown, while the Ladies pulled their suits down to their waists and reached down inside to pull out their absorbency pads which they quickly hurled into the woods nearby.
'Oh Big! Oh Biggy...' Adm said quietly to himself, for the Ladies he was now looking at were revealed to be naked beneath their suits. And then he said 'Biggy' to himself a few times more as the Ladies hauled their silvery suits off with some difficulty and sat down in the water downstream from Adm and Adrig.
The Ladies did not shout or shiver at the cold, for their plentiful fatty covering made it feel almost warm to them, after an initial brief jolt of coldness to the skin.
Edrig meantime, was outside of the pod but looking inside at the bumble bee still buzzing around and bouncing off the various lit-up screens and buttons. And not for the first time in his life he decided to act without too much thinking, as he reached in, pressed Auto-Return, and pulled his hand out quickly before turning and walking towards the others.
'Why did you do that?' Adrig demanded, in 717 English, as the pod began to hum and dematerialise.
'You didn't do it?'
'I think it did it itself,' Edrig claimed, as the pod disappeared into the spear of bright light that shot up into the high blue sky and then was gone.
'It must have Auto-returned itself,' he shouted in his own language at the rather astonished ladies who had turned to witness the sudden departure. 'But... That could be good... They will know where it came from. They will find us.'
'Yes,' shouted Adrig in the words that the Ladies would not understand. 'Yes, and that could be bad eh? Why did you do it? Did you do it?'
'You did, didn't you?'
'Yes. You did.'
'Well anyway,' Edrig said, avoiding the question. 'Who knows what's for the best eh?'
'Not you my boy. Certainly not you.'
'Have you thought of the problems if the police found it?' Edrig asked quietly.
'Oh...' said Adrig. 'But... Have you thought of how it might have helped us if the police could find it?'
'Still my boy. Still... Who knows eh?' And then they were forced to turn their attention to the Ladies' demands for explanations and plans, barked out towards the men as the Ladies rinsed their suits in the water and put them on again.
Adm, meantime, was standing covered up again in his own freshly rinsed furry gown, gazing up in the sky at the point into which the pod's beam of light had disappeared.
And inside the pod, somewhere out there in the land of interdimensional and interstellar limbo, a befuddled bumble bee was still buzzing around... until it bumped rather heavily into a touch-sensitive screen, which immediately began to scan through numbers.... until the bee bumped rather heavily again into the selector symbol beside the numbers while the display was showing '621'.