When the Commsphere stops transmitting, what was not heard?
Is That Your Final Answer?
Nooj: If you're done playing, let's go.
Gippal: Chill out.
Nooj: Lost your nerve?
Gippal: Hey, we're talking about Vegnagun. How the heck do you fight that thing? We can't even walk up to it without freakin' it out.
Nooj: Or making it mad. But I've got a plan.
Gippal: If it doesn't work?
Nooj: Death will be my apology.
Gippal: Whatever, man. When a Deathseeker dies, that's no apology. What about Leblanc?
Nooj: Well, she-
"has nothing to do with this. Why do you bring her into the conversation."
Gippal grinned his unrepentant grin. "Just pointing out that if you kick off somebody's got to tell LeBlanc. I'd rather not do it."
Nooj snorted. "She has no claims on me. There's no reason why she should be informed of my fate. Look, is that an entrance over there?"
"No. It's not and you're changing the subject. We've got a long way to go and might as well talk about something besides your imminent death."
"All right. How's your business with Rikku going? Or is it Baralai? I can't keep up with your special friends."
"You didn't used to be nasty like this." Gippal snarled. "Did Shuyin do something permanent to you?"
Nooj twisted his mouth and turned aside. "Just showing you how obnoxious prying can be. Damn, this cane." He had nearly lost his balance on the uneven terrain.
"Be careful. I can't drag you all the way back to the entrance. If you haven't noticed, you're a lot bigger and heavier than I am, especially with those machina parts."
"They weren't my idea. I wanted to die and fully intended to do so. Damn you Al Bhed."
"Really, Nooj. What is it with LeBlanc? She's after you like a bitch in heat. You have to have noticed."
"Yes. I've noticed and I've tried to discourage her. My business with her is strictly that ... business."
Gippal snickered. 'Yours or hers."
"Great Ixion! You really don't have any concept of decency, do you? The lady finds spheres for my research. I pay her for them and show her the normal courtesy due between human beings."
'Does that include overnights in Guadasalam? Come on, stop being so coy. How is she in bed?"
At that, Nooj stopped still and stared at his companion. "You actually think I know? I haven't slept with her. I'm not that big a fool."
"She's not that bad, you know. She's built like a br..."
"Stop! I don't care how she's built. Don't you think I have any morals or that I want to die badly enough to risk ...? Gippal, the woman's - er, she's - she's easy. How many lovers do you suppose she's had. I'm not taking a chance like that!"
"Well, she sure gives the impression you two have ... " The one-eyed man was unrepentant. One of his greatest amusements was getting a rise out of his solemn friend.
"We haven't and won't. Not as long as I'm conscious. If you're so curious, why don't you take a test run?"
"Aw, man, I don't want to do that. I thought she was yours. I got enough action as it is."
"You think I don't?" Nooj laughed a bitter laugh. "You think because I'm a cripple and have scars that would make a marboro puke, I have to settle for whatever I can get? Don't worry yourself about my sex life."
Gippal poked the taller man in the ribs. "I'm only making conversation. So - the blonde's not your mattress. OK. Tell me, who are you sleeping with?" Quickly he dodged the cane Nooj swung at his head and chortled as he raced just out of reach. "If I guess, will you admit it?"
"Shut up and keep walking. We've got a planet to save." Nooj bit back a reluctant smile.
"Is that your final answer?"