October 12, 2015 by Lyn Thorne-Alder
Taikie really hadn’t meant to sneak around behind her friend. She liked Saydrie. She trusted him. And it wasn’t like she could understand anything he was saying, not when he was talking to other Bitrani.
But here she was, moving cautiously from doorway to doorway, trailing along behind Saydrie, Darnio, and another “Cevati Bitrani” who she didn’t recognize. They were arguing, she thought, their voices going up and down, one of them almost shouting before the other two would shush him. She wondered what they were arguing about. More than that, though, she wondered why they were here. None of them were wearing Akaizen House colors. Were they here on homework? Were they working on the “humanic aether” plan that Riensin had come up with?
Were they turning around? Yes, they were. She ducked back into a classroom quickly.
Darnio’s voice raised. Saydrie’s voice got louder. Tairiekie’s name and Enrie’s came up, and then Saydrie dropped his voice down to a whisper. Taikie stayed frozen. If they found her, now… she didn’t know, but she was far off from where she’d meant to be. She’d have trouble explaining why she was –
She looked at the classroom again. She was on the way to the Engineering library. That would be easy enough to explain.
“Are you seriously going to go through with this?”
She didn’t recognize the voice, but it was speaking in Calenyena. And when Darnio answered, it was in the same language.
“I don’t see another option. Do you?”
“I see lots. But I’m not what you are. And whatever it is, you’re not going to find it in the Engineering Library. You’d have better luck in Philosophy or Diplomacy’s archives.”
“That’s what I said. But he said his Engineering teammate had found strange things here. ‘Strange things.’ Isn’t that right, Saydrie?”
“Tairiekie is always finding things other people do not see.” Saydrie’s accent was thicker than it normally was. He sounded, Taikie thought, nervous. “I thought perhaps we could find those things if we looked where she looked.”
Find what? And why the library? She couldn’t ask right now.
Could she ask at all?