“I’ve got to say, Katarn,” Kal’or sighed as he stepped off of the Adenn Senaar‘s ramp. “Never pictured you much for the macabre type.”
“I think it’s neat,” Kiiara said, coming up to Kal’or’s right side with her travel bag slung over a shoulder. “How old is this place, buir?”
The trip had been long, though in the best way possible. Conversation had been a constant, filled with many great laughs and bonding between Kiiara, Kal’or and Jeir. It made Jeir’s heart heavy to realize there were but a handful of happy tales Kiiara could tell, and even then those she spoke of were either dark in their nature or not actually that funny at all.
They had spent a few hours getting through customs at Wayfarer station, in orbit of Xenen. With the increased hostilities in the Vong war–which they were all as familiar with as they could be now–security precaution measures were at an all-time high. Kal’or disliked the thorough checking of their backgrounds…or what could be found of them, at least. Eventually they had been cleared to pass through, reminding Jeir he had no official military position anymore on Xenen, and they had shot off to the planet below.
It seemed like it had been years – no, a lifetime – since she had been in a real bed, with real sheets and blankets, enough to keep her warm, and more if she wanted them. The bed was against the wall, shoved into a corner, where she sat with her knees drawn to her chest, ankles crossed, with two walls converging against her back. Through strands of light brown hair, unblinking eyes remained trained on the door in the garish light of her quarters, watching for the door to slide open to admit a Yuuzhan-Vong, evaporating the illusion of safety that was trying to trick her into thinking that it was all over. Or maybe in would walk Inylik, and he would still think she was his little girl and tell her stories to calm her fears and tell her that everything would be all right, that he would take care of and protect her and one day they would escape and find mother and they would all go home.
Approximately 0700 Xenen local
Captain Cay Bel Iblis made his way along the concourse of Wayfarer at a brisk walk. Not an unusual occurance, but not exactly something anyone really expected to see the morning after his wedding, and certainly not in his duty uniform.
“Well, don’t you look chipper this morning.” Commander Dorrin Drake fell into step beside him carrying two cups of caf, he passed one of them to his commanding officer.
“Well, silly me. I thought the Vong might actually let me have at least one breakfast with my wife before heating the war up again.” Cay shook his head and took a long swig of caf, shedding the dark thoughts like a cloak. “What do we know?”
Sleep had come restlessly, elusive for hours despite her exhaustion, and now she awoke cold, shuddering and sweating, twisted in her covers. Rain pounded against the windowpane, thunder rolled above, rattling the house to its foundations with its deep growl. Arilyn squeezed her eyes shut, not wanting to be awake but knowing unbroken, dreamless sleep would continue to escape her grasp.