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Chapter 35A: A breath


June 27, 2016 by Lyn Thorne-Alder

Ulunumani didn’t approach them during breakfast; less surprisingly, neither did any annoyed Cevati Bitrani.  In an additional note so unsurprising as to be on par with the sun coming up in the morning, neither did Gianci.

Kekla and Tesdes showed up late, just as the rest of them were finishing food.  “We’ve got to tell you,” Kekla informed Riensin.  “I mean, unless she told you?”

“She won’t tell me anything,” he complained.  “Which, I guess, makes sense, but mostly that means we talked about nothing all breakfast.”

“Well, it could be worse.” Kekla sat down and shot Riensin a pointed and entirely mysterious look.

He responded by shrugging and looking off to the side, where another Art House student was walking by, his braids bouncing on a vest far more fitted to his torso than the regulation vests.  “Yeah, well.  I, uh.  I guess I should go to class.  You guys can tell me later or something, okay?”

Enrie cleared her throat.  “We’ll go.  I want to check some things out before class anyway.”

“You don’t have to…” Riensin had gotten half out of his chair already. “But, uh, I guess you can.” He sat back down, looking less sure of himself than Enrie had ever seen him.

“We’ll see you three in class.”  Enrie headed off, glancing to see if Saydrie and Taikie were taking the hint.

They did, although Taikie looked a bit put out.  “What was going on with them?” She waited only until they were outside the building to ask.

“I’m not sure.  But whatever it is, he didn’t want us to know… and it’s not like we can really complain about that, either,” Enrie hurried to point out.  “We’ve been keeping our share of secrets.”

“We’re being a team,” Taikie pointed out.

“And so are they.  That knife cuts both ways.  Speaking of… we need to do that paper.  Tonight.  Somehow.”  She put her face in her hands for a moment.  “There isn’t enough time.”

“I don’t think the schedule for classes includes trying to make world-shaking changes in the government.”  Taikie sounded so serious, Enrie had to peek at her face.  Her friend was smiling, even if it was a bit of a wry expression.  “Or finding dead instructors or juggling relatives who want to start a rebellion.” She nodded at Saydrie, who ducked his head and blushed.  “Look, once we handle this thing, I can help you catch up on all your classes — as long as you help me in Philosophy, okay?  And we can manage Instructor Pelnyen’s paper.  It’s not like we don’t know what he wants to hear, anyway.”  She wrinkled her nose.  “It might be bad science, but I’m starting to think graduating is only very barely about science, anyway.”

Enrie smiled warmly at Taikie, and then turned to include Saydrie in the smile, too.  “I wouldn’t be able to do this without you.  Thank you.”

Taikie winked.  “We’re a team.  That’s what we’re supposed to do.”


  1. thnidu says:

    At last, nothing depressing!

    Not complaining, mind you. I just don’t feel like being solemn and worried (on behalf of the characters) all the time.

  2. Marina Brave says:

    I love the way Taikie says it as if it’s a flaw in the scheduling the school should address.

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