Another 1000-word day, even with my hand hurting. My new DOP (Director of Pharmacy) broke the news to me that it likely will for 10-14 days. Minimum. Oh, joy.
Still, I didn’t want to throw all that at everyone at once. So, I got through the mention of young Crown Princess Ildi, currently in Japan, first child of Empress Faustina’s second marriage. After that, next time, Aurie puts the pedal down, so to speak.
Reversing her steps, she led Colour to another closed door, open at the push of a button. Four chairs were facing away from them, toward the sharply slanted wall.
“Do the windows open?” Colour essayed yet another attempt at humor.
“Not in the way you think,” Aurelia replied, squeezing past then into the right-most chair and patted the one to her left. Colour had to nearly crawl over her to get into it.
“There’s a control handset,” the demi began, “but I don’t need it. Look ahead!”
As she was suddenly pushed deep into her chair from acceleration, the wall in front of her vanished. Her left arm jerked up to fend off an expected blast of wind.
“The wall is still there, Friend,” Aurelia smiled at her. “This part of it is now transparent. Phased crystalline array structure. I can vary the opacity as much as I want. Originally another tech from Japan; the empress bought rights to it at a great discount.”
“And how did she get the sales break?” Jansen asked, lowering her arm and looking out at the land dropping away. They must be more than a mile or two up… then the trees and hills swept under them.
“My aunt offered her youngest daughter, Ildi, as an exchange student for five years,” the princess said. “We are on generally good terms with their empire but nothing personal. With luck, we can hitch my niece to their imperial family. We both know it but no one talks about it.”
“And what does this girl think of being used in such a way?” They were accelerating again and Colour let her hands grip the armrests out of concern.
“She thought it would be fun.” The princess shrugged. “Even if she wasn’t keen on it, she would have obeyed and gone without much protest. And calm down! You think I’d be here if this ship wasn’t safe?”
Aurelia pried Colour’s right hand up to hold it, emphasizing her point.
“How… how old is, Ildi, was it?”
“Fourteen. And she’s a demi, so she’ll be fine.”
“Lots of faith in your own kind, Aurelia?” Jansen turned to her friend as the mountains were gone and a large body of water, presumably Lake Ontario, came before them.
“Of course! Now buckle up. I want to show you more.”
Colour had seen the chairs had four-point restraints but ignored it when her guide did. She reached back and clicked it together just below her chest.
“Captain Abel?” Hartmann said to the air. “I’m showing off. My aircraft. Thank you.”