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Timoti soon joined her with a couple jackets in his arms and his mouth uncovered.

Man, you’d think I’d be used to this by now,” he huffed in a foreign language. Nearby Tayans looked at him suspiciously. The rebels never really liked it when he spoke strange words. Paeosfu would secretly try to recreate them when she was alone.

The medic tapped the wall to which her pod attached and made a little chair appear. After draping his effects on the back, he took a seat.

“How are you feeling?” he asked in her tongue.

Paeosfu wiggled her toes and pulled up her legs. They tingled, but she had movement. “Better,” she reported. She touched the tubes attached to her core. Some were warm while others were cool. “I didn’t know I was overheating. My head feels clear.”

She looked back at Timoti who had a faint smile on his lips. “If it weren’t for you, I probably would have spontaneously combusted and be in the Incubator by now.”

“If they trusted me, I’d be making sure you synced with Tayavon and get you on your way,” he sighed, placing a hand to the dome.

Paeosfu raised an eyebrow and laughed carefully as to not disturb the tubes. She didn’t completely understand the procedure, but she had a vague idea.

When a Tayan or other creature edged to the critical state, their bodies prepare to be reabsorbed by Tayavon. The spontaneous combustion burns off anything that would be hard to consume, and the planet would digest the husks and leave the cores behind. Eventually the cores would be carried away by beasts or winds or transported to a core stream to meld with the memories of others. Eventually, a new core was made and a new Tayan or creature would emerge.

That was the circle of life.

However, the rebel Tayans figured out how to interrupt that circle by essentially removing Tayans or the afflicted out of the circle using medicine and technology. Tayans were extensions of Tayavon.

The tayeet flowing through Paeosfu wasn’t the tayeet that had been with her since she emerged. To Tayavon, she wasn’t Paeosfu but a different, hostile entity. If she was released from the tubes now, Tayavon would reject her and cast her out. Her body needed Tayavon, and without that support, she would die. Her core wouldn’t be recycled. Her body would rot in the heat. The memories and experiences she had would forever be lost. She’d be launched into space to join the Tayans too rejected from their home.

The doctors had figured out a way for Tayavon to refamiliarize itself with Tayans. They’d take a piece of the core from the patient and take the patient into a bath connected to Tayavon’s liquid source. The core fragment was ground into a fine powder which was poured into the bath. The patient then entered the bath. The idea was to have Tayavon reconnect the essence of the Tayan with the physical body—the cyber enhancements, the new tayeet, the different flow of energy through the body, et cetera. During the process, certain steps must be taken to achieve a successful synchronization.

She only heard of vague details from Roskavna about the procedure. It certainly wasn’t enough to guide Timoti if he needed help.

“Have you done that before?” she asked.

“No,” Timoti admitted with his own soft laugh. “I was hoping Doc would permit me to assist. I doubt she’ll even allow me to watch. Unlike the others who can barely tolerate me, Dr. Daya refuses to look at me unless she holds a scalpel to my throat.

“Nobody leaves the operating table until she looks at them, and she prefers to do all the check-ups in the Freezer, er, Qwinqwinsata. It’s hard to concentrate when everything starts to go numb,” he said, playing with his loose ponytail.”

“Keep learning what you can. Me and team Timoti are always open to you practicing on us,” Paeosfu smiled. “Daya might not see the advantage to you knowing how to treat us, but I do.”

“Knowing that at least three people don’t mind treatment from me makes all the curses, glares, and threats I’ve been getting seem like a small price to pay,” he said, standing from his chair. Timoti crossed his arms and bowed his head in the rebellion salute.

Paeosfu turned her head to see General Zoost. The thin and tall Tayan with wild green hair almost rivaling Roskavna’s length hesitantly returned the salute. He had large pupil-less, pale pink eyes and long eyelashes. Rumors had it that Zoost’s eyes were augmented to shoot white light when he became angry, and no one was bold enough to test the theory.

His small mouth was low on his face and was rarely seen as a smile or a frown. His feet were altered into metallic heels that could turn into skates or blades depending on the need.

Paeosfu was rather new to the rebel forces, so she only heard of General Zoost’s accomplishments on the battle field. Recently he retired to be the lead information officer with General Ginyin.

Zoost was dressed in uniform, so Paeosfu assumed he was here on official business.

“Princess Paeosfu,” he bowed. His voice was light and sounded slightly tired. She barely picked up his words from within the dome.

“I know you have only recently awoken, but we would like your insight in regard to the battle at the mining transportation site. You were part of the intelligence gathering squad under Roskavna, and you were there when the actual site collapsed. With your status and personal mission, having you at the meeting would be most beneficial, but recovering is your top priority.

“I’ve received reports that you were actually close to overheating.” Zoost averted his gaze. “Pairing you back with Tayavon may take some time seeing that you are…different than the common foot soldier.” He looked at her again and approached her dome. His strides were long, but his movement graceful. Zoost tapped the dome’s window and stood frozen for a moment.

“Need help?” Timoti asked, circling around to meet him.

“Y-yes. I wish to sync our kentyen for the meeting later.” Zoost stepped back and allowed Timoti to navigate the menus.

“Thank you.” Zoost held up his wrist and the numbers synced. The kentyen tended to start when the wrist was lowered, but seeing that the numbers had immediately decreased, Paeosfu assumed the meeting time was already set.

“Unfortunately, I cannot extend it any further,” he said, looking at Paeosfu. “We do hope to see you there, but we will send you the report regardless.”

Zoost crossed his arms, and Timoti did the same before the Tayan took his leave.



“May you repeat what General had to say?” Paeosfu asked shyly. “It might’ve been important.”

Timoti summarized the interaction and noticed the princess’ expression resembled the same hurt and disbelief as before. “What’s the matter?”

“There’s a high possibility that General Ginyin will be at this meeting.” Paeosfu wasn’t surprised by the confusion on his face.

This was probably the first time he had seen one of the rebellion leaders so close. “General doesn’t like me maybe to the extent that Daya doesn’t like you.

“I can already guess what she’ll say to me.  It’ll be the truth, but…but I don’t think I’m ready to hear it from her.” Paeosfu closed her eyes. “I don’t want to face her alone.”

“You wouldn’t have to go. If the meeting starts while you are syncing with Tayavon, you can always submit your report later,” Timoti offered.

“No. She has to go,” Roskavna interjected. She hadn’t changed out of her tattered clothes yet, and parts of her skin shimmered from healing ointment.

She stood at the base of Paeosfu’s pod and continued, “General Ginyin will only take advantage of her absence. General fights for Tayan freedom from the rulers while Fourth Princess ultimately wishes the old system to be restored. Finding the missing Tayans would be an initial step towards that goal. Only you, Princess, can convince General of the necessity of defefending the mining transportation site.

“Reports can be nitpicked and cannot defend themselves unless you are willing to go into a second confrontation. Why delay the inevitable?”

Timoti was about to speak up, but Roskavna raised a hand to stop him. 

“I’ve already spoken to Daya to prioritizing your synchronization.” She smiled. “You won’t face General Ginyin alone. I’ll be at the meeting too.”



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

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