Rough draft of a scene from Frontier Station.
Heading down to the docks, Mirith took a breath and ducked into a crowd, easily losing Loushai, who was unable to maneuver through the people without extreme caution. Jogging and dodging humans as she went, Mirith spotted a wolfadon male. She fell in behind him, as the humans tended to give him a bit of clearance, unlike with each other and the psion Loushai, who was still struggling to catch up with her some distance back.
“Excuse me,” she said in gilon. “Sir! Excuse me?” she skipped around beside him, “Sir!”
The wolfadon’s ears flicked back as he looked down at her, briefly showing his teeth. Boldly, Mirith stared up at him until his expression changed again. She wasn’t quite sure what the expression was, but guessed shock. “I need to speak to your translator,” she said in Gilon.
His ears flicked and he continued walking.
:Dosta, help! How do I say that in his language?:
Immediately, the AI provided a slow pronunciation of the words she wanted. She hoped they were anyway.
When she repeated the words the wolfadon stopped and actually looked at her, flashing his teeth again. He growled, tail swishing before he made a hand gesture she recognized from when Vathion had played with the wolfadon. ‘Follow,’although it wasn’t done in a particularly polite way. She suspected she had irritated him but nodded and followed when he started walking again.
They arrived at an airlock and the wolfadon made a curt cutting motion with his hand. She stopped as he continued into the airlock.
Loushai staggered up to her. “What are you doing?” he asked, distress in his voice. “Why did you run off?”
A female wolfadon stepped out of the airlock this time and flashed her teeth. “Little gilon,” she said in Terran.
Boldly, Mirith looked up at her. “Do you understand my language?” she asked in Gilon.
“Yes,” the wolfadon said.
“I require assistance returning to Gilonnia. There is monetary and trade reward involved in this,” Mirith said carefully and clearly. “You have heard of the one named Vathion? I am his. He would reward my safe and speedy return.”
The wolfadon’s ears folded back and she flashed her teeth again. “It is not possible.”
Mirith forced her hands to remain relaxed at her sides, trying not to show her distress, though she was sure Loushai could feel it.
“Ask the pointy ones,” the wolfadon gestured at Loushai. “Varas are their make. Varas are their problems.”
“So you won’t do this because of the varas. Even though there’s significant money and trade negotiations available? You would be making alliance with not just Gilonnia, but with the wolfadon clan that Vathion is considered cub of.”
“We do not hunt with them,” the female wolfadon said with a chop of her hand. “Cub or no, wasn’t their fight to get in.”
“Do you not like gilon either?” Mirith asked, her temper flaring.
“When they are rude!” the wolfadon leaned down to snarl in Mirith’s face. “Question was asked, answer given!” She snapped her teeth one last time before turning away and going back into her ship.
Clenching her fists, Mirith turned away ignoring Loushai as he waved his hand after her, unable to touch her due to his code of ethics. Whatever those were. Lifting her eyes, she scanned the ceiling and walls and finally spotted a creature making his way across the docks just over head-height, maroon tail swaying behind him. Jogging over, she put herself in front of his path and called up. “Sir Wilsaer!”
The wilsaer looked at her, then crawled on past.
He looked again, then did a double take and started laughing.
Stepping up to him, Mirith ignored the laughter. “I need assistance. There’s reward in it. I need to get back to Gilonnia.”
The wilsaer snorted and said something.
“One language, please!” Mirith raised her voice. “And one I can understand. Gilon or Terran. Okay? This is important.”
His fin-ears flicked down and he growled something in what she hoped was Wolfadon before speaking in Terran, “What you want?”
“I need to get home. Back to Gilonnia. It doesn’t matter where in Gilonnia. I can handle transportation from there,” she continued speaking in Gilon.
The wilsaer burst out laughing again. “I saw you with the wolfadon. They told you no? They smart. You stupid little plant eater.”
“Why is it so impossible?” Mirith demanded, raising her voice.
He suddenly kicked off the wall and dropped to the floor, landing in a crouch. Lunging to his feet he towered over her, grabbing her chin in a tight pinch. “Because you ask people to die for you!”
She pulled away from his grip. “I’m not asking you to get involved with the varas at all. I’d rather avoid them. Do you know who I am?” she pressed her hand to her chest. “Mirith Hayden – Vathion Gannatet’s chosen. He would reward you greatly for returning me. He has connections to Paamob and Cat, and Farrem clans.”
“You spend your boyfriend’s reputation like pennies,” the wilsaer said. “Gerir is no friend of Paamob, Cat, or Farrem, and I don’t want to die just for their high and mighty stares and a pat on the back.”
Mirith raised her voice, accidently switching to the Terran language, “I know what I’m worth to Vathion! I know either he or Natan would give you a reward for getting me home safely. You don’t have to take me to Baelton, or Pii Taha. We can go the long way around!”
“There is no long way around!” He rapped her bondstone with a knuckle. “Stupid plant eater.”
“But what about-“
“You know nothing of piloting. Don’t offer solutions,” the wilsaer said.
“So I do what then?”
“That’s up to you,” the wilsaer leaned back and spread his hands in a gilon gesture with a broad grin that looked stolen from Natan. He leaned forward again, “Why don’t you get the humans to clean up their own mess? Varas are their doing. Make them take you home.” He burst out laughing. “It’d be about time they picked up after themselves!” Turning away, he lept up onto the wall and crawled towards the ceiling.
Humans had gathered in a crowd around her, she realized and fought to control her tears.
Loushai hovered behind her. “I think we should return to the ship,” he said softly.
“Fine.” Mirith turned away and started walking back the way they had come. The humans parted for her with wide-eyed stares. Her ears burned as the whispers started but she ignored them and went ahead of Loushai as they entered the airlock. “I’m going to my quarters,” she said once he had rejoined her in the ship hall.
“You are distressed…” he said.
Clenching her fists, she turned to look up at him. “I’m going to my quarters,” she said then turned away and stalked down the hall.