Chapter Twenty Five - Familiar Faces

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"Liao is similar to this planet," Kennet speaks for the first time in an hour. The journey has become colder, numbness in her feet approaching.

"It's located in this galaxy, if my readings were correct," she responds, thinking back to her studies in her secondary academy days.

"They are."

Silence.

Footsteps crunch the frozen soil.

Wondering why he brought up the planet, she voices, "Are we to head to Liao—"

"No," he interrupts. "It was my birthplace."

She wonders if it is weird for him, being so close to his home planet with no chance to return to it. Being here reminds him of his birthplace, and she could understand that. It must be bringing back memories, memories that are hard to push away in a place so similar to his home.

"The planet is far warmer than this one," she states. She recalls some readings on Liao. She remembers most planets by their name and geography, at least the ones she is able to read. Liao is a water planet, in the Moisen Galaxy. The eleven planets in this galaxy are water planets.

"It's closer to it's sun."

"So was Earth's," she says, surprisingly. She hasn't openly spoke of Earth without someone mentioning it first. Some sort of peace is settling inside her. She is beginning to be at peace that she will never call Earth her home again. Though it still stung somewhere beneath her.

"It was a beautiful world," Kennet turns to her. "I remember my readings of it as a child, but after the disease, and the Revive's capture of it—" his voice falls, swallowing.

Sorrow swells her heart.

"I don't want to know what's become of it," she confesses. She isn't ready for that. She needs to take one step at a time. "I want to remember it as it was, before all of it."

He nods. She senses his emotions. He knows pain like that, and he is remembering it, the feeling washing over him. She wonder's the cause of his pain.

She doesn't ask. It isn't her place to, or even know.

"To answer your question more, we aren't heading to Liao, or even anyplace outside this planet. Not for now."

"Won't they be looking for you?" she questions.

"They will think we both died."

"They won't believe that without evidence. You don't think they are searching right now?"

"I've been alongside the Revive since birth, if anyone knows them, it's me. So when I tell you they won't be searching for us, they aren't."

"I cannot believe that."

"I didn't ask you to believe me."

"Well, where are we going, why can't we leave this planet if they won't be looking for us."

"I don't want to give them any reason to believe we are alive. Any emergence from Ioae's atmosphere will be detected for a while. If we leave, we will be searched by the planet's officers at the Bay Station right outside the planet."

He is right with that. It's stupid of her to think they could leave right away.

"When is the soonest we can leave?"

"Weeks," he pushes his hand off of a tree's bark, some small pieces falling off. The trees loom high above them, the branches crystals just a few inches above Kennet's head. Some branches lie lower brushing occasionally on her thighs and arms.

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