Writer’s Note: This post came a little more easily. I even have 4 characters contributing to the conversation which I’m not so good at. It’s usually two heads talking with the rest staring on in assumed silence. Still working on how all the different languages affect interaction. Ilya can only understand her language. Cael and Sieffre (and Alberich) are the only ones who speak it fluenlty. Mari can speak it if she has Sieffre feeding her real time translations (and if she isn’t too drunk). So I have Mari understanding Ilya, but replying to Cael in “commons” speech, which Ilya doesn’t understand… why did I do this to myself.
Everyone turned to look at the snoring figure twisted up in the bed sheets.
“Ghe may be awhile.” Mari shrugged.
“We’ll see about that.” Cael clumsily made his way to the head of the bed, pushing Mari forward as he crawled over her and nearly straddling the sleeping man before hesitantly shaking his shoulder. “Hello. Um… Hello?”
Ilya turned to Sieffre in the kampdator screen and whispered, “What is he doing?”
“Trying to wake that gentleman.”
“Well?” Sieffre’s face twisted up in consideration. He took a breath. “We are all trying to get off the moon, yes?”
“We’re trying to go home, yes.”
Cael began to shake the man harder. “Hello!”
Sieffre cleared his throat. “Yes, well. The only way Mari and I can do that is by contacting our ship, which is waiting on the other side of the gate… somewhere. However, it looks as though we can’t even get a signal to the Zhouwen Gate, let alone through it. Are you in a similar situation?”
“I… I guess. I think Cael was trying to get us a ride back home with the transport ship he and Alberich came on, but… the man at the hatch wouldn’t let us on.”
Sieffre waited expectantly for her to continue, but she realized that was it. “Well, I guess we decided it would be best to rest for the night and figure something out in the morning.”
He nodded thoughtfully.
“But, you have a ship. Then, maybe we could leave with you.”
“No,” Cael interjected as he continued to hover over the sleeping man.
“Why not?” Ilya cried indignantly.
“Jyes, why not?” Mari asked in commons.
She switched to sitting in the lap of the man across from her so she could prop her feet up on the bed and face Cael. With still only a pillow for modesty, the now fed and alert Moungren didn’t seem to mind as he lit another cigarette around the lanky woman.
Cael let a long sigh of frustration has he gave up trying to shake the sleeping man awake.
“I swear, he’s just snoring louder.”
He turned around sat on the edge of the bed again. He couldn’t avoid Ilya’s hopeful eyes as they bore into him.
“Ilya, I told you… it’s, it’s moot to think about, they can’t even contact their ship. And… and even when they do, they wouldn’t even be heading toward Bhara.”
Mari shrugged, but Ilya couldn’t tell if it was to concede his point or to say anything was possible .
“Then what is our plan, Cael?”
Cael looked away.
“Once that man wakes up. Then what?”
“He tells us how he and Rayner got a signal out.”
“And then what? We call a cab?”
Cael took a deep breath and ran his hands up and down his stubbled face.
“Look, you want me to get us out of this? Let me worry about it. I work best one step at a time, okay? And… and step one was, I BELIEVE, finding a place to rest and wash up, right? RIGHT?”
Ilya sat back in her overstuffed chair and nodded, plate held tightly in her lap.
“Then step one accomplished! You’re welcome!”
Cael jumped to his feet, looked from Ilya to Mari and then turned and crawled back over the bed toward the door.
Ilya called out, “Where are you going?”
“It’s too cramped in here.”
“What about me?”
Cael opened the door and turned back. He took a moment before replying, his tone measured and tense.
“I would suggest washing up while we have the room. We all stink…. Mari will show you how to work the toiletry compartments in a room like this.”
He was already gone and the door closing before Ilya could respond. She turned to Mari in the lap of a nonchalant Moungren and then Sieffre in the kampdator. Both looked back at her with an expression of pity.
“I don’t think you stink,” Sieffre chimed. “I mean, I can’t smell you, but my opinion is still valid. And I believe you get the credit for finding a place to rest.”
Ilya continued to look at Sieffre.
“It was YOU who finally responded to me message, anyway.”
Mari sighed and lifted herself out of the chair.
“Come on. I’ll open the bath closet for you. You deserve a good soak, no?”