"Are you sure this is the right trajactory, Professor? I mean I'm not seeing a door or anything."
I smiled warmly at him. Some have taken my warm smile as condescension, but that's certainly not how I mean it. At least not in this case. "You're doing fine," I told him. "Maintain your course."
The prow of the ship nudged closer and closer to the recess in the wall. Still nothing opened. Jon had cut his speed to not more than a few kilometers an hour.
"Professor!" he shouted as the nose of his ship bumped into the hide of the leviathan. The skin in the recess gave way, allowing the Sled to push through it. The pore maintained an air tight seal around our ship as we flew inside the huge beast. Once we were in, it sealed itself behind us.
Jon turned on the floodlights and we saw the vast interior cavity of the leviathian. There seemed to be ledges and paths and walkways, as well as a clear spot for the Sled to come to rest. For all intents and purposes, we appeared to be in an organic landing bay.
Turning to me, Jon asked, "Did you know she was going to open up like that?"
I smiled again. "I was pretty sure."
"Well, to be honest, I was having a hard time understanding the leviathan's communications. Her brain is incredibly complex."
Jon shook his head, half in exasperation at the risk I took and half in relief. "At least we're here in one piece. Now let's see if there's any atmosphere."
I smiled again. Jon looked dubiously at me. "Is the leviathian telling you something about that?"
Nodding, I replied, "She says that her senses have given her a complete picture of our biological needs and she has altered her internal environs to meet them."
"Yeah, well if you don't mind I'm still going to check my sensors."
After a moments, he looked up. "Well what do you know? Earth normal. Let's go take a walk shall we. Er, no offense."
"None taken," I assured him as we exited the Sled and entered the belly of the leviathan.