chapter 16

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The door to the pod slid silently open.

It was late. Bor had searched the island all day and into the night and found no visible tracks of anything worthy of his attention. But the island was big, far greater than this one and he could sense his quarry out there. Tomorrow, he would resume his pursuit.

Stepping into the quiet pod, he looked around the round room until his eyes stopped on the sleeping figure at the far side of the room. Tonight the blue moon was brightest casting its filmy light down through the new windows of the pod and settling over the sleeping girl.

Stepping closer, he blinked slowly at the new sleeping arrangements. When he left earlier there had been small bunk beds lining the wall, now there were two larger beds coming down from the wall both parallel to the other. Stopping in front of the empty bed, Bor noted the folded blanket and pillow sitting neatly at the foot of the bed before turning to look at the second bed. The girl was tangled in her sheets with one arm flung off the side of the bed. There was a strange satisfied smile on her face that made it easy to imagine her palpable pleasure as she went to sleep on the bed instead of the floor.

A beep from her wrist unit sounded.

Bor watched as the girl shifted in her bed and lifted her wrist unit to her face despite her eyes being closed. Groggily, she opened her eyes and looked at the device before noting his presence. Shock widened her eyes for a second before a sleepy smile spread across her face.

When he was younger he had found the human range of displayed emotions strange and an unnecessary evolution. Simply a sign of the species inferiority. However, due to the slight change in population on his home planet Ojibwe, Bor was willing to admit his growing change in that viewpoint.

"Hey, you're back," Izara stretched in the bed much like a pleased cat before sitting up. Her dark hair was tangled, half in a braid and half out of it. "I had it set to alert me when you came back, good to know it works." She pointed to her wrist device.

Bor said nothing, knowing he didn't have to with this one. Instead he turned and sat at the edge of the bed and began to take off his greaves and listened as the girl began to fill the silence.

"Good news," she chirped brightly, all traces of her previous state of sleep now gone. "The pod has a water line and I trailed it down to the sea. It will pump in desalinated water until I can run it to a fresh water source. Bad news though," she paused and Bor took a deep breath for patience.

In a way, she reminded him of the half human daughters of his planet's leader. She was filled with energy that was channeled directly into talking.

Knowing she was waiting for a reaction from him, Bor turned and looked at her over his shoulder. Like a flower reacting to the sun's presence, she continued immediately.

"Poor Kang there," she pointed to the medpod across the room, "has gotten an infection. I feel bad, I think it may have been when I shut down some of the processes on the medpod before our flight."

Bor let out a grunt. He did not care about that human male. From what little he heard about this man it was likely he associated closely with the other two worthless humans. Turning, he eyed the girl again. Her face was a mask of guilt and sadness for the state of the unconscious man.

Agitated he turned back around and unfastened his second greave. How could she allow herself to feel anything for the man? Did she truly not remember what had happened with the others?

Well he could. He stood up from the bed and placed his compressed bow, sword, spear, discus, and both gauntlets onto the bed. He could clearly remember her shocked faced and battered body standing amongst the mutilated corpses.

"Oh you're going to love the shower. It's pretty big."

He could hear her move behind him as he stepped toward the bathroom. Within a second she was at his side wearing only what looked to be her underwear and the black sleeveless top she wore under her suit. Squeezing past him in the doorway like a wraith, she was now standing in the small bathroom pointing excitedly at things.

"The showerhead can actually move around since the base is magnetic. And here are the dispensers for soap, although I must say it dries out my skin terribly, but it's better than nothing. And there is a fancy drying option for your whole body."

Finished with her tour, she looked at him and he returned her stare.

It didn't take long for her discomfort to set in.

The girl let out a nervous laugh and began to fiddle with the edge of her shirt trying to pull it down. She stepped toward him obviously wanting to leave the bathroom, but Bor did not move. Later, he would question himself on this sudden urge to tease her.

"Umm, well, that's about it," she began with another nervous laugh. "Unless of course you were wanting me to wash you down again like back in the lab."

Bor narrowed his eyes at this and he watched her eyes widen in response. He could see the regret for her words in her eyes.

Instead of letting her through the doorway, Bor took one more step inside. That was one step closer to her, backing her up to the far wall.

"That will not be needed, unless you want the favor returned."

Normally, he would need his helmet to see his target's heat map, but there was no need with her. Not now in this enclosed space. Bor could practically feel the sudden heat of her embarrassment enflame across her skin.

With a sudden lithe-like gracefulness she moved like a ribbon caught in the wind, sidestepping his frame and out through the doorway until she was already back in her bed by the time he turned around.

With her sheets wrapped around her head and body leaving only an oval hole for her face she shot him a fierce look even as she let out a mocking laugh. "Fine, fine, no need to make fun of me you big perv. See if I show you any of the other cool things this place has." And with that she flopped back onto the bed with her back to him.

The foreign feeling of a chuckle started deep in his stomach. Sealing the bathroom door he turned to the shower replaying her mortified look back in his head.

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