“What are you planning on buying?” Iain wondered.
“Buying?” she said, sounding confused at his question, twisting her lips in disgust as she glanced around. “Why would I be buying anything? There’s nothing here which is likely of any quality I’d be interested in owning. No, I’ll save buying for when I’m actually in a place that isn’t made of pasted together interstellar balls of spit.”
“But you said you were going shopping,” he tried again.
“And I am. Have fun and try not to get yourself killed,” she added before walking across a transparent floor he really couldn’t.
“Okay,” Iain said, stretching out the word in the hopes it might draw her back.
“She spoke the truth, primitive! Let’s go where there’s fun,” Arc said giving him a good pound on the back. I think we go over there.”
He was pointed to the brightest collection shiny lights at the core of the asteroid hive where there seem to a huge flow of residents and visitors going back and forth on what Iain hoped were slidewalks with opaque floors.
Yes! Opaque floors!
And so they did, and at the heart it was a little easier to cope with not so much 3D space in sight as everything, structures, aliens, other... things were packed tightly together. However, as they wandered looking at a market which seemed to have all sorts of strange ‘foods’ that aliens were selling/buying/eating wall he watched, he heard something... familiar.
“That’s like heaven,” Arl said pointing at a food stall of what Iain hoped was plastic representations of roasted aliens and not the real thing. “I could eat and vomit and eat my vomit there forever.”
“Coming Iain?” Arc asked glancing over his shoulder.
“Yeah,” he said. “I have to check out something. I keep hearing something familiar, I just have to find the source.”
He was not hungry.
“You’re choice,” Arl said. “But you can’t eat through your ears. At least you’re not supposed to be able to.”
Iain started to head to where he thought the chords coming through. Yeah once he was in the bustle of crowds there was a definite A5-D5-E5 going on out there, but it came and went from different directions accompanied by snippets of a melody lead he couldn’t quite place.
Was the hive producing audio hallucinations now? No. He was sure of what he heard. And so Iain continued triangulating through the crowd, distracted from time by the alien women here women with their slightly different kind of formations of weird hair, bumps around their eyes and tight clothing that tended to reveal a lot of alien skin. This was highlighted enough configurations of breasts which kept him ogling and slowed down his search for those chords he kept finding and losing. The ‘Zos inadvertently kept helping return him to his quest with warnings like: her species likes disemboweling their sexual partners, which spoiled his enjoyment. Although sometimes their warnings were ambiguous: That one will screw you into a puddle of pudding.
But Iain kept getting closer and, he hearing more familiar melodics and arrangements which sounded distinctly Earthlike and even using proper scales.
Once he was able to hear more than a couple of bars he realized what the song he was listening to was, and that was a shocker. It wasn’t Elvis, however, which had crossed his mind a few times over the past several days.