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 It’s Not Possible To Stampede Dwarves, April 13; 5:15 PM; Israel
Sabra
 Posted: May 25 2018, 10:45 AM
QUOTE.  


Shuk haCarmel was bright and colorful under the late afternoon sun. The open-air market spanned two parallel roads with connecting alleyways, all full with shops. Wares were on display: massive, heaping containers of vegetables, dramatically colored spices, olives, glittering jewelery and Judaica, clothes including tie-dye and prints, and pans of sweets glistening with honey.

Ruth smiled as she stepped into the market. She had wanted Devin to see more of her country. She did not want him to leave thinking it was all child-snatchers and arsonists. Also, travel was good for everyone! So while Mouse was enjoying some much-needed time with her parents, Ruth had brought Devin to Tel Aviv.

She wouldn’t be able to speak with him here. There were too many people and they wanted to avoid arousing too much suspicion. To that end, she had borrowed a shirt from Annabelle that didn’t have blood splattered across it by inconvenient kidnappers.

Ruth didn’t mind if Devin wanted to stay by her or wander off. If he got bored, they could leave—bonus to being mostly invisible, very few people would care how he behaved.

She paused to admire a shop selling jewelery and barter over a bracelet—leather and steel, in true Ruth fashion.


Ghost
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Ghost
 Posted: May 28 2018, 12:43 PM
QUOTE.  


Experiencing new things was a positive and a negative for him. For the good, it was usually the bonus of just being able to go anywhere he wanted. See whatever he felt like seeing. As far as he knew, he could go anywhere he'd been before with a thought, so he could come back to Tel Aviv in the middle of the night just to see the difference between night and day.

The negative was less apparent, and mostly had to do with the fact that he really wanted to try some of these street treats.

Being dead was miserable.

Still. He was able to enjoy the bright colors and interesting people - some who spoke English perfectly, others who had touches of accents, and still more who spoke another language entirely. That made him consider - he should probably start learning another language, too. Maybe he could ask Dr. McCoy to install a language program on his tablet?

Thoughtfully, he fluttered about, circling a little, careful not to take too long a look at something that looked glazed and nutty and delicious otherwise he'd start whining. X-men didn't whine, right?

He made sure he was visible, and thus audible, as he spoke up. "That suits you." He offered, evenly. His own attire didn't change, so he hadn't actually taken a look at the jewelry, though some clothes and fabrics had caught his attention just out of sheer 'oo, this is pretty.'

"But I swear I'm going to start ghost-drooling. All these snacks look so good!" Okay, so he was allowed to whine a little. He was still a teenager! Well, ,when he wasn't trying to convince everyone he was ready for the adult stuff.

Sabra
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Sabra
 Posted: May 28 2018, 05:29 PM
QUOTE.  


If Ruth spoke to Devin now, it would seem to most she was speaking to thin area! That put them in a bit of a predicament. Still, she had to admit… to see and smell but not taste was cruel. (Did Devin smell? She thought he did.)

After a moment, Ruth stepped aside and pulled out her phone. She jerked her head a bit—maybe she would just seem annoyed or like she was avoiding a bug to a passerby, but hopefully Devin would know it was an invitation to come look.

She opened a text and typed: Which ones? We can share.

Little as Ruth cared to admit it, Charles had been right. She had needed a team on this one. Devin was officially getting a frowny-face for sneaking off, but he had proved himself and deserved recognition for that also.

So yes. Right now, she was offering Devin the chance to possess her for snacks. (But after she purchased them, since she would know the currency and be a better haggler.)


Ghost
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Ghost
 Posted: Jun 2 2018, 07:38 AM
QUOTE.  


Under some circumstances, he might have balked at possessing a teacher. After all, they were teachers. They had positions of authority, and while he generally shirked that with mischief or just general goofiness, that was only when it came to everyday things. When there was seriousness abound, he listened, very closely, to make sure things didn't go badly for himself or others.

Unless, of course, they were flat out wrong, at which point he called out their shenanigans in full voice.

So the opportunity to have some snacks, even in the form of a teacher, didn't even make him flinch.

The sharing part would be hard. He had to remember not to turn into a great gobbling monster, which he would admit had happened once or twice. He'd been politely told that he needed to remember that digestive issues were no fun for anyone. He'd sheepishly apologized.

"Oh man. Oh you can't do that! I can't make a choice about snacks. Everything looks so good. Not even just the... like. Look! It's like a cake, but it looks like a cheesewheel not a sponge-thing! And there's all sorts of types!" He gesticulated at a shop with what looked like cakes in it.

He pointed at the next closest one, covered in all sorts of candies he'd never seen before. "So much stuff. So much. I'm going to visit here so often." Maybe, maybe break his rule about possessing people willy - nilly. Sampling foodstuffs couldn't hurt, right?

And next to that, even, was the table of a million pastry-looking things. "I'm gonna die. Again." It was almost like whining. "Can I try one of each? Like, the cake, the pastry, and the candy? That way it's like... sort of testing the waters."

Sabra
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Sabra
 Posted: Jun 2 2018, 11:49 AM
QUOTE.  


Ruth smiled at Devin’s enthusiasm—which is how she chose to see it, rather than whining—and went to buy some snacks. The halva first. The piece she bought might have seemed small to Devin, but only because he hadn’t tasted it yet. A little piece of the dense, rich dessert was more than enough!

Personally, she was less fond of candies and would take pastries any day, but this had been up to Devin, so Ruth bought a bag of candy, as well, mostly gummy stuff with some hard-shelled types mixed in.

She took a similar approach to pastries. She knew there would be similarities, but differences too, and how often would Devin get a chance to do this?

Of course, knowing it was for Devin did not stop some hearty bargaining. It was so much more fun to buy something here than in the States. In the States you walk in, pay, go. Here you argue. Trade insults. Curse each other’s name. And leave happy.

They had to leave the shuk to find a slightly quieter place to eat. Ruth stopped by a cafe to order a drink—her instinct would be coffee, but if Devin wanted something else, she would go with his pick—and took a seat at a spindly-legged table.

“Go ahead,”
she murmured. She wasn’t going to openly say, Okay, time to possess me! in public. But Devin had access to a bag of candy, a bag of pastries, a piece of halva, and a body with an enhanced metabolism.



Ghost
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Ghost
 Posted: Jun 2 2018, 04:17 PM
QUOTE.  


He hadn't entirely expected a bunch of things to be caught up, and he didn't seem even remotely bothered by the fact that the cake-stuff seemed like a small piece. He trusted Ms. Bat-Seraph to kick ass, he obviously trusted her to pick out treats. He was as excited as when he'd started talking, and he was losing control of his movements a little bit - fluttering up higher and lower than normal.

The equivalent of bouncing on his heels, probably.

Though he had to watch, fascinated, at the haggling process. He didn't understand the idea of it, being very American. Prices were prices, and yelling didn't change that, unless you were talking about going to the manager.

A small pang of emotion flickered in his chest that he suppressed, viciously. His mom had done that on more than one occasion.

Devin didn't argue the coffee choice - it was likely going to be a palette cleanser for her, when he finished sampling stuff.

He gave her a bright smile at the ready. "Thanks!" He said, cheerfully, and in the next moment, his perception shifted, and he felt again. A beating heart. A deep breath. A small stretch, as he got used to the differences in size. And then?

It was a massacre. He'd been very careful to separate half of it, otherwise it would have been a snackpocalypse. Except for the halva. Oops, that vanished pretty quickly. He savored the richness, and he could absolutely tell why there wasn't more of it. Too much would absolutely make him feel sick. Or make Ruth feel sick, later? He wasn't sure.

The pastries were next - in the hierarchy of snackage, it was under cakes, but above candy, so it made sense. When a dude approached him, though, while he was snarfing food, speaking in a language he certainly didn't understand, he just shrugged, shook his / her head once, and resumed snacking. Packing things away, he was about to settle in when he put just a little bit of pressure on the table to stand.

He just wanted to stretch! Instead, he practically tore the table in half, letting out a startled noise in the process.

And when someone came over to either ask a question, he immediately started apologizing, turning too quick with the snacks-in-hand and knocking the guy away. It felt like he'd only brushed him off!

"Oh god." He squeaked, and that was no doubt his cue. He hopped out of her body, making slightly panicked noises.

"You're super strong and I forgot you're super strong and oh god I knocked a guy over but I think he's okay and the table broke but..."

Ooooooops. At least the snacks were safe in her hand?

Sabra
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Sabra
 Posted: Jun 3 2018, 04:57 PM
QUOTE.  


When Ruth suddenly came to, she was glad for Devin’s explanation—although with the man on the ground and the table… she could only describe it as crumpled… it looked like something she would have done as a 12-year-old. (Yeah, she had needed to learn to control her powers once, too.)

Ruth apologized to the man—which anyone who has spent any time in Israel knows is not common!—and of course her public display of power had been noted. The man looked from the table to Ruth and back.

The remark made by an onlooker was rather different than it might have been in the U.S.

“Are you Sabra?”


Devin was likely to recognize only one word—Sabra—but the hubbub that resulted was unmistakable. Ruth had for a time worked as a spy. Had slipped and lied and misled… but later in her career, she was not a spy but a symbol. The name drew attention, and Ruth smiled, chatted, high-fived (she had never cared for handshakes, especially with kids).

And paid for the damaged table.

Only when she had managed to extricate herself and walk away could she speak to Devin again.

“So maybe I have not mentioned before that mutants are a little different in my country,”
she commented, reaching into the bag for a pastry, “but if we are going to make a habit of this, we will practice at home.”



Ghost
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Ghost
 Posted: Jun 3 2018, 05:12 PM
QUOTE.  


He'd fully expected things to go all sorts of wrong. Like. Police and military response. All sorts of crazy things, because a mutant just did mutant things at a normal person and property. They'd think it was terrorism. Or... or anything. He didn't know.

But she took control almost immediately, and people... just crowded. He'd never really seen this before - she was being treated like a hero, and... it was kind of humbling, actually.

He was careful to stay close but not in her way, and made sure to stay quiet. He couldn't understand most of what was said, but she was warm, and kind, and friendly. Not that she wasn't those things under normal circumstances, either, it just tended to have a harder, more educational edge.

It didn't take too long, but still, he was bursting with questions by the time he finally got the opportunity to speak again.

"I don't understand. I thought mutants were like... no one liked them, anywhere?" He asked, curiously. "And they knew you by name. Codename. But you know what I mean." They knew her.

There was just the slightest touch of awe in his voice, as he floated along next to her, watching her pop a pastry in her mouth.

"Yeah... I'm starting to realize I need to start... I dunno. Figuring that sort of thing out. I don't want to cause problems in the future if I possess someone who can do something scary."

Sabra
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Sabra
 Posted: Jun 3 2018, 06:19 PM
QUOTE.  


“It was my codename before,” Ruth explained. Some of them would have known her real name, too, but they didn’t know her as a mutant. She hurried toward the ship; once they were there, she could speak openly, without worrying about talking at the air.

Once they were there, Ruth settled in the pilot’s seat and, between bites of pastry, she told Devin information that was publicly available if one searched hard enough, but she did not volunteer unless asked.

She supposed she gave off a rather more forbidding air, as she was rarely asked.

“I was born with my mutation. Not all of it, but enough. Did you have younger siblings? When they learned to walk, do you remember this?” Devin seemed fuzzy on it, so Ruth explained, “When a child learns to walk, this is slow. They fall. They bruise, cry often. I did not. The older I became, the more they knew. So it becomes clear early that I am better than my peers for a soldier. Very early. Before they had a word for it, they knew what I was. I was trained, prepared to serve my country in a way others cannot.

“I served in the IDF—the military—and then for Mossad. They gave me these.”
She held up the wristbands she sometimes wore, the ones that let her fly. “After… a while, I was as much as useful I was a public figure. When they realized there are more of us, that we are mutants, they called me the Mossad Mutant. They knew what I could do. The public knew me. And you know better than to imagine I would hide.”

What, Ruth? An attention seeker? Never!



Ghost
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Ghost
 Posted: Jun 3 2018, 06:41 PM
QUOTE.  


He was glad, of course, that she was willing to answer him. The ghost listened thoughtfully, even though he was starting to feel the first beginnings of his own energy depletion. Today had been quite active, and he'd spent more than a small part of it visible, or moving things, or possessing people.

Still, he wasn't going to be rude and have her talk to open air, not when she was opening up.

He tilted his head, curiously, as she explained that she was born with her mutation. That had to have been slightly intimidating, especially since the mutant phenomena was a fairly new thing. A baby that didn't get hurt, likely had the strength of several babies...

It... he'd known some of it. Ruth had mentioned that she was as young as he was when she'd first started doing the fighting. Younger, still. But he hadn't realized she'd been trained, like the military had done it to her. Had turned her in to a warrior just because she was different.

He couldn't imagine.

And she seemed... okay with it. More than a little well-adjusted. There was no resentment, no animosity. She'd greeted those people, and she'd been an idol for them. Someone to look up to for hope.

Devin looked perturbed, as he tried to explain the feeling in his chest. Was it regret, for her? For what she'd lost? Just simple confusion? He was feeling a host of emotions that didn't seem to be touching Ruth - no, Sabra - in the least.

He curled his legs up under himself, and crossed his arms over his torso while he tried to ponder.

"It's... I don't know how to feel about that. Which is stupid and selfish, I know. But... aren't you mad? That you didn't have a choice in any of that? Or did you? Could you have said no if you wanted to?" He asked, trying to better understand the circumstances. "I mean... you're a hero now. You're an adult and a teacher and you lead other heroes. But you have the choice now. Did you trade in your childhood for it?"

And Devin, just coming off the cusp of his own childhood, knowing death far more intimately than others? He could only just understand.

Sabra
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Sabra
 Posted: Jun 3 2018, 07:29 PM
QUOTE.  


“Not all service is combat, Devin,” Ruth explained. “When I was… maybe twelve, maybe thirteen… I started to learn krav maga and to speak Arabic. I knew what this was for, but so what? It is not strange to learn a language or martial arts. We do it at the academy, too. And I liked it. I would show off to the other kids.

“I had a wonderful childhood. I had many friends, and my annoying brother who is stupid but I love him anyway. We were close and wild and got into so much trouble. I served for as long as I did because I am grateful for the happiness I had. For a while, yes, I left, but still I had a gift others did not. I could do things they could not. When I was no longer able, I retired to go to college. I always had a choice.”


Ruth understood why he would think otherwise. She knew what it usually meant when a militaristic group got their hands on teenagers. But in her case, it had been building skills, and perhaps it might have been too much for others but it was appropriate with her abilities. More than this, as she told Devin, she loved her country. Even if its government did despicable things sometimes, even if she would have liked to slap certain politicians in the face or squeeze their nuts until they popped—a leader is not their country.

“It is also important to understand—and I think you can—that there are those who believe this country should not exist. We do not fight wars over ideas or over oil. We fight to survive. And we are taught, as not all soldiers are, we are taught that you must be ready to say no to anyone if they tell you to do what is wrong.”




Ghost
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Ghost
 Posted: Jun 3 2018, 07:43 PM
QUOTE.  


Though Devin understood, superficially, that there were other cultures, he had a very America-first view of the world. It wasn't his fault, persay - he was a kid, just starting to understand what it meant to be an adult. He, like most people growing up, had been glutted on American pride and patriotism and though most of it had sloughed off over time due to disinterest and a lack of issues that mattered to him? It still had roots.

It's why he'd assumed everything was compulsory, and why the idea of training from a young age sounded so much like a children's army. After all, he'd been a kid when that whole Kony video popped up online.

And as she spoke, he recognized something else. Much like his own points, when he'd been on that field when the aliens invaded. He could do things no one else could. Without being in any sort of danger. If he could get people to shoot at him, or if he could do something to stop them, why wouldn't he?

That, at least, explained why Ruth had been so willing to go with it, while Warren had been very much against him. He'd used the same terms that Devin had been thinking in, Child soldiers.

Physically, the tension he'd started to hold in his body faded, as she expressed her happiness with the life she'd led, even as different as it was from what he had experienced.

"I get it." He finally replied, leaning slightly, almost like he was resting his head against the seat. It was a small phrase, but it carried a lot. "Thanks for explaining." Not that she'd hold it against him, of that he was sure.

"I'm glad, then, that you got to live a life that was fulfilling. And that you eventually got to put that stuff behind you, even if you picked it up again at the school." He said, being honest. If he was being trained by her, he believed that maybe, one day, he'd be like her, too. Even though their circumstances were wildly different, he was proud to say he was a student. That he looked up to her.

After a few quiet moments, he wondered: "Is your brother a mutant, too?"

Sabra
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Sabra
 Posted: Jun 3 2018, 08:33 PM
QUOTE.  


And Ruth in no way faulted Devin for not understanding a different mindset. She knew the way she had lived was different from what many people experienced, which was part of the reason she had not started to explain the collectivist mindset of a kibbutz. It was a longer discussion than perhaps this was the time for.

She looked away from him for a moment, considering. Devin had proved himself today, just as he had during the attack, but he was also a child. He was entitled to his childhood. If she explained to him why she had run off, why she left with no one else, she was entrusting him with a very painful secret. It would change their relationship. Not necessarily in a bad way, but it would nonetheless.

“Whimsy—the girl we saved today. She has my son’s heart. I left because after… when he… because it radicalized me. Because I was not trying to protect my people, I was looking for revenge, and that is not who I want to be, that is not the life I want to live.”


He seemed to think it was the violence. Perhaps it should have been, but it wasn’t, and Devin deserved to know the truth.



Ghost
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Ghost
 Posted: Jun 5 2018, 12:49 PM
QUOTE.  


Devin wasn’t dumb, in the traditional sense. But he’d never exactly been the brightest bulb in the drawer, either. It took him more than a few seconds to figure out the depths of her words. Why she spoke with such a deliberate tone, as she explained the reason they were there.

The girl was important to her.

At first, he figured it explained why she’d been important enough to fly off, half-cocked. Her son had fallen in love with Whimsey, and that was very sweet.

Except that wasn’t it. His brows knit, while he tried to find the importance of what she was saying, even as she dodged saying the words themselves.

”Oh…” He finally spoke, and it was a serious enough word, and his tone was even, unflinching. He didn’t say he was sorry for her loss. He’d been there, for his own funeral, and he’d heard those words bandied around about him and how little they actually helped. Those words were sharp and painful, and she’d opened up to him. He wasn’t going to draw a knife across that.

”You’ve changed, then.” He said, keeping his voice low and gentle. ”I can’t say I’ve ever seen you look bloodthirsty or vengeful. I mean – even today, when you had every right to be, considering who those monsters had.”

Sabra
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Sabra
 Posted: Jun 5 2018, 10:32 PM
QUOTE.  


Sometimes, it was easy to forget that Devin was dead. After all, he was not stagnant. He had died but not stopped, his life was not the extent of his experience—he was a growing, learning, dynamic young person. But in this context, Ruth could not help think that his family, his parents had been through what she had been through. That they shared something in common.

“You are always interesting,”
she told Devin, because he had been intimately close to death, and seemed much less awkward around it than many—and he was trying to comfort her, and while he shouldn’t have had to, damn if she didn’t love him for trying.

And quite suddenly she changed gears: “Do you want to meet my family? They will not be able to see you.”

Because she appreciated his effort, truly, but talking about it was just too hard. She knew if she did she would break open.



Ghost
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Ghost
 Posted: Jun 6 2018, 10:29 AM
QUOTE.  


Interesting?

He gave her an uncertain, lopsided smile, but left it at that. He didn’t know if his being interesting was a good thing or a bad thing, but he was willing to go with good thing. For now, at least.

However, her next question made him look visibly startled. He certainly hadn’t anticipated it, and he would be lying if he said it didn’t hit him like a punch in the gut.

Some part of his brain – the part that was still a wounded animal, perhaps – wondered if he’d touched something painful in her, and so she was touching something painful in him. Vengeful, she’d called herself. He’d said she changed. The knife in his chest was proof that maybe, just maybe, she hadn’t.

He pushed that thought aside, instead. No. She wasn’t like that. She was a straightforward person – she would have just… told him off. Right?

Right.

He swallowed, and gave her a small smile that wasn’t at all strong. ”Actually, I’m sorry, but I’m starting to feel like I’ve done too much today, y’know? Used up a lot of energy.” It was the only way he could feel like declining without coming out and saying that seeing something he had been required to give up might make him break apart, too.

Sabra
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Sabra
 Posted: Jun 6 2018, 10:09 PM
QUOTE.  


Ruth had not offered to upset Devin. In truth, she wanted to go home: it was Shabbat and she was in Israel; she wanted to be with her family. And she wanted Devin to see what life was like on the kibbutz. She had given him a bad impression of it by suggesting she had been a child soldier—accidentally suggesting!—and wanted to remedy that.

Of course… the look on his face made clear that had been an error in judgment. She didn’t understand why, but saw that this was not at all what Devin wanted.

“Yes,”
she agreed, “you have worked hard today. Maybe instead we visit the ruins Masada or go back and check on Whimsy.” Neither required much from Devin; one was a very cool history field trip (if you asked Ruth) and the other, well. If he wanted to just hang out, or even drift off elsewhere, that would be fine.



Ghost
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Ghost
 Posted: Jun 7 2018, 10:08 AM
QUOTE.  


He looked at her for a moment, and he seemed slightly confused by her counter-request. Mostly, he hadn’t wanted to accompany her to see her family. He didn’t want to see a happy family where he most certainly would have just been haunting. Again.

The idea made him feel all sorts of knots in his stomach.

Instead, he shook his head. ”No, no. Sorry, I guess I wasn’t saying it right. I mean you know I don’t get tired in a normal sense, it just sucks up energy to do stuff like be visible and all that. So you should go see your family. I can just relax for a bit. Explore the market some more or something, just… ghosting.” He could just wander. Heck, he could probably just pop over to Xavier’s and give him a head’s up to let him know everything was good.

Not that he would need to, the Professor probably knew everything. Probably had already gossiped about it.

Sorry, if you can hear that. He thought, intentionally.

Shaking his head, he just gave her a smile. ”I am glad I was able to do good.

Sabra
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Sabra
 Posted: Jun 7 2018, 08:22 PM
QUOTE.  


Ruth had understood. She had thought those might be preferable because Devin was less likely to have questions. He could just float in the background.

“You are okay alone?”
she asked. Before he could argue, she held up a hand to stop him: “I know, you are 18 and you are a ghost. But you are also my student in a country where you do not speak the language.”

This would be less of a problem in Tel Aviv, but that was not the point. She didn’t know how navigation worked for him. If getting lost was a risk, or getting stranded.

She wasn’t just going to abandon him in a foreign country without some idea of how he could get home.


Ghost
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Ghost
 Posted: Jun 8 2018, 08:54 AM
QUOTE.  


He tilted his head, clearly confused by her question as to whether or not he was okay alone. Of course he was okay alone! I mean, emotionally he might be a little shaky, but other than that, everything was fine.

Until she explained what she meant. He realized, of course, that he’d never actually shown her how he got around. To a non-psychic, it would likely always look like he just did his normal vanishing act, rather than doing anything extra.

”Oh! No, no, it’s okay. I can’t get lost or anything like that. I mean I can, but I can always go anywhere I want.” To emphasize, he whooshed to her peripheral. ”Like so! I could go home if I get too bored, but I’m liking the exploration. If you give me a time to make sure I meet you back at the ship, we can split up with no problem.” His smile had a little more to it, now. He was starting to feel a little better after the gut-punch emotional reaction to her family.

He floated back over to his seat. ”Safe and sound.” He gave her the corniest thumbs up.

Sabra
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