Xavier returned his stare, feeling a bizarre bombardment of backwards emotions.
Arkus sniffled, heaving a long, shaky breath.
"So... convention still on, then?" He said, attempting to smile at her.
"Convention still on." Xavier agreed, grinning.
She stood, extending a hand to Arkus. He grasped her hand and she pulled him to his feet.
"I can't believe you're not.." He said. "You're not.. after what I... and, you're fine with it... you're fine with it...?"
Xavier knew exactly what he was referring to, images of the brutal slaughter of the Reptilian assassins playing through her head again...
"I don't care." Xavier told him straightly, shaking her head. "They wouldn't have gotten killed if they didn't show up here to kill all of us just
because we're humans. They're not the innocent ones here. And you... you even spared
two of them."
"You're fine with me..."
"Killing? You're protecting everyone here. So, yes, I'm fine with it."
Xavier knew. They don't show mercy to us. They deserve whatever's coming to them.
Arkus shook his head slightly, staring at wordlessly at her for a few seconds.
"You... are fantastic." He told her. "Unbelievable."
"That reminds me.." Xavier said, holding up a finger. "I have something to show you. Come on."
Smiling, Xavier took Arkus's ungloved hand and lead him down the hallway. They entered the lobby, pushed their way through the crowd, and made their
way to the stairs. Xavier and Arkus climbed three floors, then ventured down a left hallway, then another left, and at last, they were out of sight
from any of the conventioners.
"This one." Xavier said, pulling a small keychain out of her pocket. "I got us a room."
"A room?" Arkus said. "Don't you have a room already?"
"Yeah, I have a basement. But I wanted to spend the weekend in a hotel suite for once. All at my dad's expense. And since you're here, you're gonna
need a place to stay too. Most of the other rooms will be full by now, but I got this one on reserve early. C'mon."
Xavier turned the key, then pushed the door open.
The room was enormous; a thick, extravagant rug with a crimson design stretched over most of the floor, and a flat-screen television sat opposite of
the gigantic queen sized bed. The bed was covered in a fluffy scarlet quilt, and the head of the bed was layered with at least ten pillows. An endless
window was at the end of the room, allowing the late afternoon sunlight bleed into the room, and on its left was a large green fridge. To the left of
the window was another large door, which Xavier assumed must have lead to the bathroom.
"Damn, there's only one bed." Xavier muttered.
"Hah! but its a regular beast
of a bed, innit? Oh, I love it!" Arkus said happily, making a single loud clap
with his hands. "Two
friends of opposite genders forced to share the same bed? Oh, I love
a good sitcom moment. Merry Christmas! Ha!"
As Xavier closed the door, Arkus bolted forward and dove onto the squishy mount of fluff that was the hotel bed, stuffing his face into the mountain
"I'm pretty sure Nicholas is gonna keep that whole incident on the down-low." Xavier said. "He really wants this convention to happen. And even then,
there's not really anywhere we can send all these people if we decide to pull the plug, is there? We're just gonna have to wing it."
"Wing it?" Arkus said, rolling over and gazing up at Xavier from the infinite fluff of the bed. "That's my best suit, winging it!"
"I like to think I'm good at winging it too." Xavier told him.
at winging it." Arkus replied, grinning broadly as he nuzzled the pillows with the back of his head, making himself more comfortable
and screwing up his hair. "Point one for winging it! Improv heroism!"
Xavier hadn't realized that she was smirking.
"What do you think they're planning?" She asked him. "We know they're planning something, otherwise they wouldn't have tried to silence us..."
"A large convention is here... a lot of humans from many other human colonies." Arkus said. "If they wanted to make a political statement via violent
means, this would be the time, and this would be the place. The question isn't are they planning something,
its how are they going to carry
"So.. how are they gonna carry it out?" Xavier wondered.
Arkus stared up at her ominously.
"What do you
think?" He said.
Xavier took a moment to think, crossing her arms.
"One of them had a gun that shot fire..." She uttered. "They like fire. We know that much."
"Ye'ap, they're cold blooded. They like everything hot."
"And... they apparently know how to move around the lodge without being noticed. How else would they have followed us to the banquet hall?"
"Good, very good."
"They... they wouldn't be planting bombs
in the place, would they?"
Arkus exhaled, looking at the brilliant chandelier hanging over him.
"Don't think so." He replied. "This place has great central heat and air."
When Xavier gave him a bewildered look, Arkus explained.
"They're cold blooded. And,
they're incredibly cunning. They wouldn't destroy this building. I think they'd be more interested in...
it." He informed.
"For the heat.." Xavier nodded, understanding. "They want a warm place to stay out here."
"Ye'ap, so... my guess is, they don't want to destroy the lodge. They only want to destroy the people in
the lodge." Arkus added. "So, we won't
be looking for missiles or bombs falling from the sky, or an armed force attacking from outside... we'll be looking under the hoods of our guests.
They're doing spy work as we speak. They're in the walls."
Xavier felt an odd sensation of uneasiness overcome her.
"I think we should go to the diner with the other guests." She asked him. "They're having dinner right now, I think."
Arkus squinted at her questioningly.
"I mean... we were by ourselves earlier when we got attacked. They won't come after us again if we're in the crowd. And
we'll get to observe
everyone, and everything... look for clues." Xavier explained.
At that, Arkus hopped off the bed in one swift leap, his green hairs now messier than ever.
"You are brilliant." He said, smiling.
They both left the room and headed down the stairs, joking and laughing with one another along the way. And as they entered the diner, Xavier realized
that she'd never been so happy to be overworked before in her life.
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