§ 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.

§ 2023-02-01 19:11:52


[17:02] Awoken from terrible dreams, Saira was grateful for the reprieve when she saw Jason's face. Shaking off the nightmares, she rose and tended to her morning needs before Jason told her furtively and in quiet what he wanted her to do. Startled, she looked at him, her expression both confused and concerned. "But what about you?" she whispered in return. But she could already guess. He was going to wait for Samanta's arrival in Katal, since their hosts seemed to be rounding up the Terran party. Frowning, she shook her head. "First of all, if we flee, it might make it more difficult for -you- to get out. And they know where our craft is. We can't split up -again-. Look what happened now!" Her voice was an urgent whisper-hiss, trying to convince their head of security that it was safer to stay together. The linguist didn't fancy trying to get Greg out, who was no doubt hopefully convalescing at this very moment.


[21:54] There was a hardness to Jason's expression, the oxymoron of stubborn resignation. For a moment, it looked as though he might not speak at all, leaving it to her to piece together his silent thoughts, even if they were harrowingly obvious as they were crystallising out of his body language. Shattering the last of the ambiguity, he said in a stern tone that discouraged disagreement: "I want you to not worry about me."

§ 2023-02-15 20:05:07


[15:09] Frowning at Jason, one could practically hear the internal grumbling about his very insistant, very specific instructions that she was supposed to follow because he was their security officer. It brooked no argument, though, she would've very much liked to have argued with him about leaving him behind. He might be waiting to see if they somehow rounded up Samanta, but getting those two out if she and Greg fled when he was well seemed very unlikely. "I don't like this plan," she said to him then, as if this would somehow change his mind and convince him to see things the way she saw them. "We're stuck here until Greg is well enough to travel. Maybe by then, we'll have a better plan than this..." A helpless gesture was made in return, meaning of course the idea of her and Greg fleeing. A long, drawn out sigh could be heard over their comms as she tried to gather the courage to pretend to do as he said.