A Fiction Agreed Upon. Episode One: In the Year Three Thousand. Part Three.

PART THREE.

It was dark in North Dakota by the time Kam and Rain met.

Rain’s lab was a renovated office building that she bought when she decided the university lab wasn’t private enough. There’s the top level that still has an office façade, but she gutted the entire basement, and turned into a roomy and multi-level lab. Rain considered it her second home. Kam wished she didn’t consider a second home, but over her internship with Rain she’d spent so much time here that it was inevitable.

“Throw the video recording up on the wall and just watch, Kam.” Rain slipped into her lab coat.

Kam shrugged but took the tablet and swiped the video from the screen to the wall. Rain sat down on the spinning stool, watching her assistant eagerly. Kam watched in silence, peering intensely.

“What are they-“

“Shhhh! Just watch Kam,” Rain insisted. Kam moved her eyes back to the video on the wall, watching as the alien placed several amounts of minerals onto the lab table. Then a glass covering raised over the entire thing. The Komali scientist pushed some buttons on their console screen and the machine started to make a very faint mechanical hum. At first, Kam couldn’t make out what was happening inside of the machine but her eyes widen as she watched was undeniably a skeleton form from the minerals on the table.

Crafting human limbs that were grown and then harvested wasn’t unusual, although it was expensive. Many more people opted for to get android replacements instead. Kam’s roommate in college had gone through having her arm blown off during her first tour in space and gotten a robotic replacement. Many more people, born blind, had robotic eyes.

But Kam had never heard of forming a skeleton from raw minerals before.

Then she watched as the empty body cavity filled in with internal organs, carefully transported into place by the scientist. Then a layer of muscle, and finally purple skin appeared. The body lay lifeless for a moment then the scientist pushed another button and a small electrical surge lit up the case and Kam saw the body takes its first breaths. The glass shield slid away and the naked alien sat up.

“Can you tell me your name?” The scientist asked.

“I am Professor Ibbala from the southern coastal institute.” The body, the professor said calmly.

“Can you tell me what the last thing you remember Professor?”

“I was in my office, grading papers when the building exploded. I tried to escape. The door was blocked by debris. I suffocated.”

“How many times have you been resurrected?”

The naked alien seemed to almost smile at this. “This is my third.”

The scientist nodded. “Thank you. You may get dressed and go, Professor.”

The video ended. Kam turned to face Rain, mouth open and speechless. Rain was grinning maniacally.

“They can bring back the dead, Kam.”

XXX

After being plied with some very strong chai tea, Kam was able to speak again.

“It was incredible, like making a human from clay.” Her hands rotated around each other, remembering the way the alien had been made, not born but made.

“I know, I was amazed but apparently this is how they keep their traditions alive. A certain percentage of their population agrees to be resurrected to teach the next generation and so on. The most one has been brought back was six times, Kam. They were over five hundred years old by the time they called it quits.” Rain was pacing back and forth, energy pouring off of her intense waves. She gripped her cane tighter as she spoke.

“And I think we can do it too.”

Kam laughed, but stopped when Rain glared at her.

“Come on Rain be serious. This is an alien species. They might have the biology, the evolution to make this happen but humans certainly don’t.”

“Actually, other than their gravity and atmosphere allowing for the difference between pigmentation and bone structure, the Komali aren’t so different. Same nutritional needs, same breeding patterns, same brain shape and size. With some small tweaks to the process and an adjustment in the amount of the material needed, this could definitely be applied to a human.” Rain leaned on her walking stick, amber eyes burning holes into her intern.   

Kamala gave her a nervous look. “And you want to recreate the data, but with a-”

“I want to do one of ours, one of humanity’s historical figures.”

Kamala sat back, stunned.

“What would you make her, um him, uh, them with?” She stuttered out.

Rain smiled bigger than ever, amber eyes glinting.

“Water, carbon, ammonia, lime, salt, ectera, ectera, ectera. Human bodies are cheap, all things being equal.” Her expression was extremely satisfied.

Kam shifted uneasily in her chair. “But, is it, you know?” She mouthed something.

“What?” Rain snapped, tired of debating something she’d already made up her mind on.

“Moral?” Kam rotated her hand around. “You know, the right thing to do, to bring back a person who has been dead, if they can’t consent? Isn’t it like kidnapping? They’ll be away from everything they’ve ever known or love,” she said softly.

For a long moment Rain stared at her, eyes flicking over her face, like she was trying to decide if Kam was being serious or not. Then, after a long pregnant pause, she laughed.

Rainbow laughed like it was the funniest thing she’d ever heard in her entire life. Kam blushed darkly.

“Oh hells bells, that’s funny,” she snickered, wiping her eyes. “Look, Kam, are you a scientist or not? Think of all of the things someone like Copernicus or Newton, or, or, Galileo could tell us today, after being exposed to our world. People of enlightenment and social change, what good they could do today. I don’t think they will really care about being dead.”            

“But to tear them away from all of their loved ones, everything they’ve known…”

“Kam. Please. This could change the whole world. And I want you to do this with me, I want us to go down together,” Rain pleaded, her heart pounding. She needed to convince Kam to do this somehow, because she wanted someone to collaborate with on her story and how Rain came up with this ingenious method of bring back the dead.  

Kam squirmed on her stool, fiddling with the ends of her lab coat sleeves.

“If nothing else,” Rain broke in suddenly, “It will also make all of your hard work at school worth it right? To see all of those new theories put to test right? Won’t Tammy be proud of you?” It was a low tactic but no one ever accused Rain of being a fair player.

Kam flushed, but finally nodded.

“I’ll help. I’ll help you do this.”

Rain grinned and clapped her intern on the shoulder.

“I knew I could count on you Kam.”

“Excellent! Then what we need to do next is to figure how to configure the equations to a human. Then we need to run some simulations of how it would act with the changes. The last thing I want is a pile of goo on my lab table.” Rain laughed again, even as Kam grimaced.

“That’s sick Rain, you shouldn’t joke about that.”

Rain rolled her eyes. “Just start crunching the numbers, Mother Teresa.”

XXX

“Who were you thinking of doing?” Kam asked, flicking through the data, her eyes moving quickly over all of the equations.

They’d been at it for a little over an hour, each woman bent low over her workstation. Kam was excited to see Rain was probably correct, that with modifications the program would run for Human DNA. The problem was figure out which modifications were needed. The scroll of coding rolled past her again as Kam refocused her eyes.

“I want someone exotic. Born before 1900, preferably from the scientific revolution or before.”

“Exotic? Being from the past won’t be enough?” Kam asked, eyebrow raised.

Rain snorted.

“Oh please Kam, you know that genetics have made us all blend together. That and the White Plague.”

Kam nodded. “So not Gandhi then?” She teased.

Rain shook her head firmly. “I know you’re a fan, sorry.”

“Hmmm, how about a Greek then? Plato or Socrates?” Kam guessed.

Rain flapped a hand. “No, no Greeks. Someone closer.”

“Copernicus?”

“No, go further south.”

“Erm…”

Rain showed her the file she’d pulled on her classic tablet, smiling proudly.

“You want to bring back Leonardo da Vinci?”

“Yep. The original Renaissance man. Artist, scientist, mathematician, philosopher. He even played the lute!”

“What’s that?” Kamala asked curiously. A woodwind of some kind? She herself played an oboe.

“No idea, but when he gets here I’m sure he’ll be able to tell us,” Rain laughed.

“If he gets here,” Kam reminded her. Rain sighed.

“Don’t be such a cynic, Kam. We’ll figure it out. It’s just science. And what’s the primary rule of science?”

“That under the correct circumstances, any event is repeatable,” Kam dutifully repeated for her mentor. It was Rain’s favorite philosophy of science, even if most people found it outdated. Was the Big Bang repeatable? Human evolution? Any two patterns of DNA? No, it was absurd, but don’t try to tell Rainbow Miller that.

Kam sighed as she got back to screen.

She’d desperately wanted to work Rain ever since she’d read one of her articles for a class in her freshman year of school. It was cutting edge, challenging, competitive. A little arrogant and it drew too heavily on antiquity that no one cared about, but that’s what Kam liked, because it made Rain memorable.

Working with the woman was altogether different.

She wasn’t just a little arrogant, but very. She was also obsessive and detailed oriented to the point of being nearly manic. Kam had enjoyed her time with Rain for what it was, extremely educational but she looked forward to the end of her tenure with the other scientist.

A Fiction Agreed Upon. Episode One: In the Year Three Thousand. Part Two.

PART TWO.

It was raining back on earth.

Rain was shivering before she even left Terran Federation Headquarters, limping through the empty streets to the closest transporter station. She moved as quickly through the crowds as she could, cursing the rush hour. She jumped when a voice spoke next to her.

“Leaving so soon?” The captain asked her cheerfully, holding an umbrella over her head. Rain grinned, heart racing.

“Pining for home. I have work to do, dogs, you know,” she waved a hand, “stuff.” The captain laughed. Rain knew this was her last deep space trip before a three-month leave, her spirits must have been high. After a successful first contact with a peaceful race and now going to soak up sun in Belize, who wouldn’t be?

The line for the transporter inched forward, and it was all Rain could do not to claw her eyes out with impatience. Finally, she was next and the captain took her umbrella back as she boarded the platform. She gratefully told the transporter operator her address for her proper house, the one in Colorado. Pointedly not her lab in North Dakota.

“Have fun, Doctor,” the captain grinned at her and Rain saw the glimmer of patronization in her dark brown eyes before the transporter took her away from the cold east coast to the steps of her Denver home.

Rain knew what people said about her, she’s odd, anti-social, a little too out there even for the year three thousand. She still used a cane for earth’s sake.

Who does she think she is?

Rain doesn’t care. Let them talk, it’s not her problem.

History will vindicate her, and that’s all that really matters.

Within moments Rain was on her property and limping up to the house and bursting in.

Immediately, her dogs bounded towards her, and Rain was trying to give scratches and rubs and greet all of them at once. The youngest, the one she’d made right before her trip on the Vanity, Baby the Pomeranian barked and whined and wiggled her way towards Rain.

“Speak girl!” Rain cooed, rubbing the dog’s head. The puppy barked happily, looking ecstatic but showing no further intelligence.

Rain sighed.

Another failure.

She didn’t understand it, over seven attempts and none of them had achieved the higher intelligence she’d been aiming for.

Rain stood up and limped towards the kitchen, turning off the automatic feeder as she went.

XXX

When everyone had calmed down and she replicated balaclava and tea Rain opened the top of her cane and shook out the precious data chip with trembling hands.

She had more than one reason for the cane.

It threw people off, no one expected much from a woman who limped from place to place, even in the enlightened year three thousand.

But Rain was quicker than most people think and her sleight of hand tricks weren’t just for drunken university parties anymore.

She loaded it up onto her own personal tablet and quickly scanned through the equations and instructions that the alien had given over to her, after demonstrating the even in the bowels of the alien ship.

“Science is the knowledge that you can recreate anything with the proper properties,” she whispered to herself, stroking the soft ear of her littlest, and eyes flickering in the dim blue light of the stolen information. She smiled to herself, feeling pride and excitement wash over her like a warm ocean tide.

Rain can do this.

XXX

Ava nosed around the corner of Rain’s lab. The mistress was bent over her tablet, eyes closed. Baby was curled up next to her, sleeping. Ava padded over and gently nosed the puppy awake.

“Outside,” the alpha hissed, careful to keep her sounds quiet. Rain didn’t twitch but Ava didn’t want to take any chances.

Baby stood up and shook, before jumping off the couch. Ava had to be careful not to step on the smaller dog as she zipped between her legs.

Berwald was in the kitchen with Bobbie, both of them staring at dismay at the food dispenser.

“She turned it off but forgot to feed us,” Berwald growled. Ava pressed her nose into the blinking light on the dispenser. It beeped a negative and Ava shook herself.

“It’s locked. We’re going to have to hunt tonight. Bobbie, Berwald, get Lester and go see if you can’t find some rabbits.” She looked over to the locked back door. “Meet us outside first.”

Baby was waiting next to the door and Ava raised onto her back legs and clawed down the knob until it unlocked, while Baby nosed it open.

The night was chilly, the smell of rain in the air.

Norma and Pallus were already outside.

“Good of the bitch to starve us to death,” Pallus curled her lip back. Norma barked a laugh. Ave growled.

“Stop it. No one is starving to death. Lester, Bobbie and Berwald are going to hunt for us.”

Baby curled up next to Pallus, the standard Poodle tucking the Pomeranian close.

“Can I go hunting?” The puppy piped up, dark eyes shiny.

“Not yet. But you can help us with the meeting. Can you find Jep?”

The puppy bounced up, and after a moment of careful sniffing, she raced off in the direction of the woods.

The males joined them, Berwald leading them.

“Everyone here?” He woofed. Baby came trotting out of the woods with Jep following her.

“Here we are! I found him, Ava!”

Ava nodded her head approvingly. Meanwhile Bobbie circled the group, nose down to the moist ground. He yipped once and indicated with his nose. Ava barked back and the Border Collie raced off into the woods.

“You shouldn’t let him go off like that,” Berwald said. Ava huffed.

“He doesn’t speak like the rest of us. He’d better served starting the tracking anyway.” Turning away from her half-brother, she addressed Norma.

“Did you see what Rain was working on? She lets you on the couch with her.”

Norma yawned. “Something about alien data. She was working with DNA sequencing.”

Ava frowned. “Is that all?”

“Something about formatting human bodies.”

Berwald pulled his lip back, showing sharp white teeth. “You didn’t pay attention, Norma. You need to keep a better eye on her.”

Norma rolled over. “I was tired, and Rainbow was warm. You do it next time.”

Ava stepped in front of Berwald before he could step towards the Welsh Corgi.

She growled, forcing the male back.

“Next time Norma will do better. Rain can’t get suspicious of us, and we can’t fight among the pack,” she snapped in his face, making the other German Shepherd blink and back away.

“Of course, sister.”

Backing away, Ava huffed. The rest of the pack was watching her with wide eyes. “Lester, Pallus, Berwald. Go after Bobbie and help him hunt. Baby, go get your book, and Norman help her with it. Jep, you and I will watch Rain. Now go.” She barked out the orders and the pack quickly slunk away to follow her commands.

Ava walked up to house and pulled the knob again so Jep and Baby could get inside ahead of her. Jep went off to the living room where Rain was still asleep, while Baby headed off to the room the pack had made their den. She returned after a moment, a thin book in her sharp teeth, escaping back out the door.

After Ava had become Alpha, she made it a rule that all of the pack should learn to read. So far Norma was best at it, able to decipher the mess of words that Rain looked at day in and out. But Baby was making promising progress.

Ava hadn’t intended to make a pack but as Rain made more and more dogs, and left them alone so often it was that, or perish.

Ava didn’t understand all of why Rain had made them, artificially grown them without parents, but her back fur stood up every time she thought about it. The pack had been careful not to let Rain know about their knowledge, uneased by the human.

Now, Rain had brought home a new project, according to Norma. Ava padded into the living room, laying across the rug and keeping her yellow eyes fixed on the human. She didn’t know what it meant but she wasn’t going to any opportunity slip by her, if it meant keeping her pack safe.     

XXX

A week later Rain waved Kamala Mason, a degenerative bioscience student, into her house.

“How have you been Kam?” she asked, already impatient with the small talk but doing it because she needed Kam with her on this. “How was the wedding?”

“Wonderful!” Kam was young and probably what people look for in a partner. Rain stopped paying attention to what people look for in romance a long time ago, after she realized she was never going to feel more than friendship for anyone. Which was fine, Rain preferred it that way. She couldn’t imagine her life where she had a romantic partner to try and take care of in addition to her scientific ambitions.  

“I have pictures. Tabby’s family did all of the cooking and I wish you could have been there.” Rain nodded absentmindedly, getting two cups of tea from the replicator. She lets Kam go on about how pretty and wonderful her new wife is, how amazing it was to get married on the Nile and their new flat in Cairo.

“I swear that if you look out of the balcony you can see the Nile. Seriously Rain, you’ll need to come over for dinner one night. Tam, she makes this salmon thing, it’s so good.” Kam smiled and accepted the teacup. Rain made herself smile, and hoped it didn’t look like she was gritting her teeth.

She really didn’t care, and there was no coincidence that she took a six-week posting right before her dedicated intern got married. It was a perfect reason not to go to a long, tedious, silly ceremony.

“And how are you?” Kam asked, her long brown fingers wrapped around her cup, green eyes searching Rain’s face intently.

She beamed.

This was exactly the opening she was hoping for.

“I’m,” fantastic, amazing, soaring higher than Icarus on an ego trip, “I’m doing great, really.”

“Really?” Kam asked, looking impressed. “The first contact went well? It was on the news, they were saying we’re going to start trading raw materials with them.”  

“Yup. I’m doing fantastic. That mission to meet with the Komali was exactly what I needed.” Rain slapped a hand down on the table, unable to keep the grin off her face.

“It was?” Her intern asked, looking slightly bewildered. Usually Rain isn’t this exuberant, but she can’t stop her elation.  

Rain laughed, loud as old-fashioned church bells. “You have no idea. Can you work tonight? I have something I want to show you.”

Kam made an indecisive noise. “I don’t know, Tam is expecting me to come home tonight.”

“Well then just leave after she falls asleep,” Rain waved the concern away.

“You’re kidding right?” Kam looked aghast, mouth gaped. Rain quickly backpedaled.

“Of course, but I still need you to come over tonight. The Komali showed me something, Kamala. Something incredible.”

Kam still looked dubious but smiled feebly.

“If you need me to, I’ll be there.”

Rain grabbed her hand.

“I need you to be there Kam.”

Surprised by the contact, the younger woman nodded, wide-eyed.

A Fiction Agreed Upon. Episode One: In the Year Three Thousand. Part One.

EPISODE ONE: In the Year Three-Thousand.

PART ONE.

“And this is Vanity’s head biological researcher and scientist, Doctor Rainbow Miller.” The captain, who was in charge of the first contact with the Komali, stepped back, and waved the other human forward.

The human standing in front of Doctor Pless was a female, with tawny skin and brown hair. Her light amber eyes flickered over them, and she bared her teeth. The alien had already noted that for humans this was a sign of pleasure and not of aggression. She held out a hand, the one not gripping a long piece of metal.

“How do you do, Doctor?”

The Doctor held out their own hand, shaking with the scientist. Terran skin was much warmer than the Komali’s and it was all the alien could do to stop themselves from taking their hand back when it felt like it was being burned.

“Very well, thank you Doctor.” The translator did its job seamlessly, letting the humans, and the Komali all understand the delicate idiosyncrasies of each other’s languages.  

She nodded and moved aside, allowing the human captain to keep going with the introductions from the human space vessel.

XXX

Clio rolled her eye.

“First contact is always so boring,” she muttered aloud. “Nothing ever happens in the first five minutes, everyone knows you have to get past the first commercial break to get to the introduction of the conflict. I might as well not even be here.”

The muse yawned, propped up against the corner of the ship and unseen by everyone. She’d been ‘randomly assigned’ to this narrative, but she suspected that either Spectra or Monaco had something to do with it. She was meant to follow the doctor, Rainbow Miller, until she got back to earth.

Lazily closing her one eye, she tilted her head back against the bulkhead. The hum of the ship’s engine was soothing and the Komali kept their ships so dark. If she just closed her eye for a moment, she wouldn’t miss any cues, she was sure. Spectra slept on her assignments all the time, and if that stupid hyena could do it, it would be no problem for an older, more respected muse like Clio.

Taking one last peek at the scientist she was supposed to be observing, the unseen narrator closed her eye.

XXX

“Doctor Miller, may I ask, why the piece of metal?”

Rain smiled, placing her teacup down. The alien ship was beautiful. There was an organic, plant-like quality to everything. The pathways were gently rounded by the exposed and phosphorescent lighting in the conduits. Rain had nearly tripped already several times, eyes still adjusting to the darker environment of the ship. It contrasted neatly with the glassy, bright and neo-human aesthetic of the Vanity.  

“It’s old fashioned really. My intern on earth, Kam, laughs at me for it. It’s called a walking stick.”

The alien, deep purple skin and bright blue eyes, tilted their head.

“It walks?”

Rain laughed again, amused. “No, it helps me to. When I was young, four or five, I was thrown from a horse and shattered my right hip. The doctors didn’t fix it completely since I hadn’t stopped growing yet and they didn’t want to tamper with my bone structure too much. I used one all through school and by the time I was done with puberty I just had gotten used to using it.”

The alien dipped their head low and back up, bird like. In a way it reminded Rain of flamingos, dipping their heads in and out of the water to catch shrimp to eat.

They certainly are colorful enough to be tropical birds, she thought.

“I understand now. And it is humorous for people to use walking sticks on earth now?” The alien wondered aloud.

“Well it is for the year three thousand. Most of our major disease and injuries have been solved by now. Nearly no one even dies by mechanical error anymore!” She bragged, recalling the work she’d done the bio infrastructure of the newest model of the T-7000, a hovercraft that was self-driving and had a neural interface, making it nearly foolproof.

“So why do you still use one?”

Rain smiled, looking into her teacup. “Nostalgia. A way of fishing the past from the garbage. People way back used to use these walking sticks all the time.” She then smiled somewhat sheepishly. “I guess it’s also a form of conceit, to use something so outdated. It makes a statement to people. They remember the scientist with the old fashioned walking stick, better than they would ever remember a plain old Doctor Miller.”

The alien nodded deeply again and raised their drink, sipping for a moment.

“We too, have a way of preserving our past, and our arrogance’s.”

Rain tilted her head. “Really? On earth we have museums. Tell me, how your culture does it?” Her interest was polite but somewhat distant, attention returning to her teacup.

The alien looked away.

“We are not allowed to say. It is a sacred practice.”

Rain nodded her head and made the correct noises of understanding. After finishing her tea in one long draught, she stood up.

“It was fascinating to talk to you, thank you for the hospitality you’ve shown us.” Rain dipped her head low, like the alien had, before turning around to walk away.

XXX

Clio slowly opened her eye, sighing. She only closed her eye for a moment and everything was fine. Maybe Spectra was right, maybe Clio was too stressed. She blinked as she looked around for Rain. About now she should be getting the information from Doctor Pless…

Looking over, Clio scrambled away from the wall, cursing as she darted over tables and through mortals. Why was Rain walking away? They were supposed to be giving each other information!

Pless was looking down into their cup, and Rain was quickly leaving. Clio ran a hand through her hair, hissing through her pointed teeth in frustration. The plot was already derailing and they hadn’t even been here an hour yet.

This called for drastic measures.

Clio smoothed back her hair and marched silently over to Pless.

XXX

“We bring them back.”

Rain nearly jumped when a long fingered hand landed on her shoulder. She was being steered towards one of the darken corridors.

“We bring back our past. Our ancestors,” The alien hissed in her ear, voice sounding more emotive than before. Rain tried to twist her shoulder out of the grip but nearly tripped over her cane. This was when her sense of aesthetics really crippled her.

“What on earth are you talking about, unhand me!” She snapped.

“We bring back our ancestors. I can show you how, Dr. Miller. Imagine it, all of history at your fingertips.” The alien shook her arm slightly and Rain wanted to snap but then what the alien said finally processed to her brain.    

The world swam around her. Her mind started racing, trying to figure out if this was poetic metaphors or if the alien was being literal.

“You bring your ancestors, bring them back to life?” She asked breathlessly, spinning around to face the alien. Their face swam before her for a second, which she chalked up to being dizzy. The alien nodded, eyes never leaving hers. Rain had the sudden feeling that even if she wanted to look around she never would have been able to.  

“We have discovered how to recreate bodies-”

“Oh.” Rain said, disappointment. Bodies were one thing, simple enough. Flesh wasn’t hard to recreate, even the late twenty first century on earth had been able to do that. But the minds…

“And the minds of them as well,” the alien continued on, shaking her arm again.

Rain’s heart raced in her chest, making her ribs rattle.

“Would you be able to show me?” She asked slowly, hardly daring to hope. If what this alien said was true, if this truly was possible, could it be adapted, modified? Would it work on humans? What did you need to bring a person back to life?

The alien tilted their brightly colored head again, seeming to nearly smile and for a moment Rainbow’s heart stopped.

“Yes, I assume so. Would 20:00 hours be alright?” Her arm was finally released as Pless stood back.

Rain stuttered out her agreement and watched at her new friend walked away from her, knees bending backwards in that odd, birdlike way.

XXX

“Nice job, that,” Spectra said, leaning against Clio’s corner. Clio shook off her shimmer, the disguise melting away. No one noticed.

No one was meant to.

“Shut your mouth,” Clio snapped at the trickster.

The Hyena grinned even wider. “Why? That was masterfully done, for a half blind lower life form.”

“Don’t you have your own story to be following?”

Spectra shrugged. “I like surprises, so I let them go free range every now and again.”

“Well, go hunt them down, I’m busy,” Clio shook her head in frustration. She’d been so close to letting the entire instigating event go awry, there almost hadn’t been a story at all.

“Fine. I’ll let you be. I’m sure I’ll see you around, long before you see me.” Spectra laughed and left.

Clio sighed. Now she just had to make Pless blackout long enough to show Rain how to work the re-invigorator.

To be continued.