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Chapter 31A: As a Team


May 25, 2016 by Lyn Thorne-Alder

Bleed for it. Enrie didn’t know if she liked that.  She didn’t want anyone to get hurt.  She didn’t…

She didn’t want things to stay the same.  She kept stewing over things as they made it through their classes.  Riensin and Kekdela were’t talking to them; Tesdes probably wasn’t, either, but he spoke so rarely it was hard to really tell.  

Instructor Pelnyen was talking to them, in that particularly charming way of being toxic and nasty that he had.  He had gone back to calling Enrie “Lady Enerenarie,” but he made it sound like an insult, which was a bit impressive.

The lesson was on mob mentality and the dangers of going along with the crowd.  He smirked at her assigned their homework: six pages on the dangers of too much team mentality, written as a team.

It was clever, Enrie had to admit, and he was probably still trying to get revenge on them for the humanic aether thing.  It hadn’t come up since then in his class, but he was certainly crankier than he’d used to be.

The paper gave her an excuse to be in the library after classes, although it also gave everyone else that excuse, and they still needed to go dig in Instructor Pelnyen’s office. “We could really use…” she muttered, stopping short of saying Reinsin’s help. “…a distraction,” she tried.  

Taikie set her jaw.  “We can do this on our own.  Can you find what you need if — if you have the distraction?”

“I… yes.  Probably.”  She tried not to show how worried she was.  Taikie wasn’t all that good at dissembling.

“Okay.” Taikie took a deep breath.  “We can do this.  Without help.”  She walked back into the classroom.  “Instructor Pelnyen?  I was wondering if you could clarify some things about the homework project.  I mean, by ‘team’ you mean our unit of three, correct?  You’re not talking about the entire class of 18 working together to discuss the ills of teamwork, are you?  And that’s another thing.  Isn’t that going against the teachings of the school?  I mean….”

Enrie slipped out, Saydrie following her.  She had underestimated Taikie’s ability to just keep questioning things that didn’t make sense. She probably wouldn’t be able to nit-pick him for more than a few minutes, though.  Enrie hurried.

Pelnyen’s office was closed this time but, strangely, not locked.  She opened the door slowly, turning the doorknob while watching both ends of the hall. Just as she managed to get the door cracked, she heard a gasp and a thump of falling papers inside.

That was no good! Enrie glanced at Saydrie, who was standing at the end of the hall.  He glanced down the other hall and smirked; it appeared that Taikie was still going on.  Good for her — but it was all wasted if someone was already going through Pelnyen’s office!

Enrie hurried back to Saydrie, getting to him just as the office door swung open.  He was watching over her shoulder; she saw his eyes widen just as he took her hand and swung her up into a Bitrani-style hug, her feet off the air and, she managed to note, her face and braids concealed by his shoulder and the way he’d swung her around.

“Good to see you,” he rumbled in loud Bitrani.  “Let’s go off to the beach…” 


  1. Rix Scaedu says:

    They may gain other useful information – like who else is going through his office!

    • Dan Gudy says:

      I think Saydrie may have gotten that information already.

      Also, by now they really should know better than to underestimate Taikie’s ability to keep questioning things that don’t make sense to her. 😀

  2. Kim says:

    Ah, an engineer dissembling. About as subtle and silent as a rhino charging at you…
    But, at the end of the day, you still have to deal with the rhino.

  3. Marina Brave says:

    Mysteries! Intrigue! Shipping!

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