ยง 2022-12-30 17:42:36


[17:44] The dictionary took Saira's mind off their situation, but Jason was less lucky. Valcen-za took to speaking with him, leading him into the room with the Torunyema, talking at great length about the circumstances that had brought it about.

Valcen-sha meanwhile remained with Saira, presenting himself for the occasional question she had – and there were many questions, especially regarding the grammar of Kendaneivash and Naya, both which proved mercifully simple. The glyphs used as the Naya and Kendaneivash alphabets were easy to learn, though they would take some time to get proficient with. He sounded out some of

the words for her. Others she recognised from her interactions with the two species so far.

They were invited to sleep with the kavkema if they wished. Jason declined, not bothering to elaborate on his reasons, and Valcen-za led him back to the room that had been furbished for the humans, passing a clean and opaque cloth to him as a make-shift blindfold.

Saira had at least honestly considered the offer before declining. More exposure to the cultures of Nekenalos was a good thing if you wanted to learn their languages. But deliberately separating from Jason was a bit too high a price to pay, even if it was probably pure superstition to assume something might happen to either of them in consequence.

And so she, too, took a crude blindfold to sleep in the room with the light.

Either way, they slept. Saira's dreams were full of corridors and glass walls and giants trying to find her and stitch her flesh to the sheets of her bed, but even those nightmares couldn't keep her from getting rest in the comparatively soft bed after the long travels.

When she awoke, it was to Jason gently nudging her. There were two options if one of them woke before the other, of course – depleting the batteries on their solar-powered gear to review and amend mission notes or staring at the wall, or wandering out of the room and leaving their partner to wake into solitude. Neither seemed like a good idea.

It turned out that Jason had opted to about half an hour of staring at the wall before waking her, proving that he was rather more patient than he sometimes acted.

"Once Greg comes back, I want you to try and find out if you and Greg can get out of here without raising suspicion," Jason whispered – not out of fear of being heard by their non-English-speaking captors, but much more likely because he knew fine well what he was implying and that ESA wouldn't like it.