III

After Daya reconnected Paeosfu to Tayavon and permitted her to leave the medical bay, Paeosfu joined Roskavna on the short trip to their room. The princess remembered first walking up these stairs. She was less fearful of the mind spinning drop to the floor and more conscientious of all the glares and gleans she received when she carried in a small parcel of essentials for her second home. Almost everyone expected her to lug in a carriage with materialistic, dust collecting trivialities. She viewed it pathetic that her own people had no faith in her restraint. Yes, she was a princess, but unlike the creations of the other rulers, she was taught right by the Fourth. Besides, carrying a small pack was significantly easier to sneak out of the kingdom.


Roskavna unlocked their door and a waft of a tropical sweet scent spilled out into the musky hallway. Paeosfu shut the door behind them. Arguably their shared space was larger than her own bedroom. Most of the area was occupied by acquired kingdom goods, salvaged weapons, derelict transportation carriers, and of course plants Roskavna had stolen to aggravate the enemy. The princess was still uncertain if stealing all the plants really placed a dent in the kingdom's imports as Roskavna claimed, but she enjoyed coming home and seeing a plant or two bud, wither, or revive in full force. She touched the nearest plant. It was soft against her fingers. The thorns poked into her skin before it quickly recoiled.


"I forget this one is finicky," she thought out loud.


"Oh yes. I trimmed it earlier, and it was feisty. It may still be mad," Roskavna responded, dropping off her equipment in an open spot on the cluttered table. She then collapsed onto her bed with a heavy sigh. "What a battle. The bones ache, and I feel myself unraveling. I’m glad I had my core checked."


"Thankfully, you’re in one piece, but I would tell you if you begin to overheat," Paeosfu promised, grabbing some casual clothes from the wall. Before walking into the bathroom to freshen up, she glanced over at Roskavna. The tall Tayan had an arm across her face, and her legs stretched far beyond her. With a faint smile, she continued to the bathroom.


The mirror immediately greeted her, and Paeosfu's curiosity overtook her. Using the step stool to have a better view, she winced in shock. The Tayan leaned over the sink and examined the cuts littering her profile and the large ugly welt weighing down half her face. She truly wished that was the side effect of the medicine Timoti administered and not some infection. Some slashes from the droids left Tayans with an allergic reaction. The severity depended on the alloy used in creation. Goreestuv experimented with different materials, and she was unfortunate enough to cut herself on numerous occasions. The princess shuddered at the memories of lying in bed in Yiskaña’s care.


With a quick pull at the ribbon holding her hair up, her curls fell with a gentle bounce. She undressed and tossed her soiled garments into the clothing chute. Paeosfu stepped into the shower and washed whatever viaete, dirt, and the stench of battle coating her skin.


From the other room, Roskavna gestured to turn on the information screen. After a slight delay, three Tayans recited the statistics of the various districts. She flipped through the other two channels to see if there was anything about the attack on the mining transportation facility. To no surprise, none of the broadcasts had mentioned it. Since the rebel headquarters was located on the cusp of the garment district, one channel aired the recent demands and trends of garments from other worlds and the latest advancement in garment technologies. The other channel ran through rules that needed to be followed to avoid being jailed.


Finding both ridiculous, Roskavna gestured to clear the information screen and stepped away to change into clean garments herself.




By the time Paeosfu finished her shower and changed, Roskavna was reading through new reports and the roster of rebels willing to fill out her communication squad. She noticed the kentyen set for the meeting with the generals had zeroed out and flashed red on the virtual UI.


"Ready for the meeting?” Roskavna asked, standing putting away the screens. “Apparently we missed one while we were tangoing with the enemy, so we’ll probably receive a recap in addition to discussing what happened at the site."


Following the captain to the control room, Princess Paeosfu looked at Roskavna in surprise. "Really? Why would the council hold a meeting while we were out?"


"We cannot stop operations just because a small faction went out to battle. Besides, they had to process the information they might have received from Otekai as soon as possible," Roskavna responded.


Paeosfu lowered her gaze. Otekai…She hoped they had information on Otekai, else General Ginyin wouldn’t allow her to hear the end of it.

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© 2019: Operation: UGAWTS || Princess Paeosfu: Journeys of the Abstract Princess || Conflicting Views

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