In the deepest back corner of the basement bar on Sample 717, the two superior beings sat with the two humanoid but not human creatures from Sample 716, all somewhat more slumped than they had been on their arrival a couple of hours earlier. The lights were low and soft moody music accompanied the murmurings of conversation from the various groups of drinkers scattered around the cavernous place. Eva's head was resting on Adm's shoulder, and she seemed half asleep. Adm was holding her hand with one hand while lifting a half-full glass of beer to his mouth with the other.
'I've had too mush,' Adrig declared.
'Too much,' Adm corrected.
'Oh we could manage another though,' said Edrig.
'Okay,' said Adrig compliantly in response, while Adm smiled and handed a twenty pound note to Edrig while commenting, 'Me too, but I think Eva's probably had enough.'
'Still can't believe you're alive,' Edrig said, as he returned with drinks on a tray.
'You left me for dead lad, for dead.'
'Oh let's not go through all that again. The octopus ripped your mask. I told you. Cold… Dead…'
'And you are qualified to pronounce death are you?'
'No but anyway, I sent you on… You're lucky I didn't bury you. And you are here now. Oh! And with a wife!'
'Nice wife,' said Eva, stirring into half wakefulness. 'Lucky Adrig nice wife.'
'Hmm…' said Adrig.
'You don't sound so sure my man,' Edrig suggested.
'Later,' Adrig promised. 'I told you. We'll talk about that later… Nishe beery.'
'Nice beer, my man.'
'Yesh. Nishe beer.'
And then... on the next day...
In the cold of an early May morning, Edrig sat on a bench beside Adrig and Adrig sat beside Edrig, just as they had done on more than one occasion before. Both were asleep, until Edrig stirred and shivered.
'Oh no. Again,' he muttered. 'Too much beer again.'
'Huh?' said the wakening Adrig beside him.
'Too much beer. Again. Sore head, Cold. Too much beer. Again.'
'Ah, but at least we still have shoes this time eh?'
'That's true,' agreed Edrig, looking down. 'But we don't appear to have Adm and Eva. Where have they gone?'
Adrig frowned and thought about this at some length as he sat upright and pulled the thick coat he had come equipped with more tightly in around him.
'Perhaps it may be best that we don't know that my lad,' he eventually began. 'Perhaps they have decided to escape from us, and perhaps that may be for the best. Less for us to explain when we get home, for unlike us they perhaps do have a chance of properly escaping from what they have come from. Escaping from what they were born into.'
'And we don't?'
'No we don't Edrig, even though finding us was never a top priority, especially considering... ah never mind for now, but… they do find us, they will always find us… We are always doomed to be what we were born to be, I fear. Like most creatures, really… there can never be any true escape from what we are born to be.'
'You are managing to be philosophical inside your sore head.'
'My head is actually not too bad,' said Adrig. 'I have rather got used to beer, or technically maybe cider, on 716.'
'With your wife?'
'Ah yes… My radioactive wife.'
'Nice enough my lad. Very nice, for a while, but…'
'But… Well… You know Edrig, it seems there may be some things about ladies that are the same wherever they are from.'
'What do you mean?'
'Ach… let's leave it for later, but having a wife, even a young slim and admittedly very fine looking - even if sometimes somewhat smelly - wife, can become rather wearing, you know.'
'No, I don't know, and I rather wish I did!'
'Ah well Edrig. You be careful what you wish for. You just be very careful what you wish for. Anyway, come on… let's walk to the pod.'
'We really have to go back?'
'Yes we do.'
'And are we in trouble?'
'Trouble? No. Not really, if we play it right. I have rescued you Edrig. You fell victim to a malfunctioning pod, as did I, and then I have rescued you, but none of that really matters much now anyway, for the meantime at least.'
'What do you mean? Have you been back home before finding me?'
'Yes I have.'
'Oh… and what's been happening?'
'Much has been happening. And… well… I'll tell you later.'
'Why not now?'
'Just wait. Now come on lad. Do as Adrig advises. Come on.'
And so the two rather old-looking superior beings, who were really rather young superior beings, rose unsteadily from the bench on Sample 717 and made their way slowly towards the hilly woodland where Adrig had left his pod.