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“Oh heaven forgive us,” I say joining hands with the stranger. My inelegant mind has brought frowns to many a wise teacher this year, so a novice girl like I should be eager to accept any extra help offered, if we are to be ready in time for the coming Game.
Kal is sat next to me on a wooden bench, he looks deep in thought. Candles give little light to our makeshift hut for the night, but enough to highlight this man’s obvious intelligence, evident from his vibrant, tan-brown skin, a sure sign of intellect – a healthy body reflects a healthy mind, quite literally among humankind. Perhaps we have a diluted version of the helices our Scient cousins are blessed with, allowing them the status of extreme beauty and infinite wisdom.
I do love and admire the Scient, with their knowledge of all. Black linen robes frame their formal but kind nature. They are fair rulers, who equate to perfection in my opinion and I can only hope to have a fraction of their wisdom inside the Arena. We mortals adore and obey their infallibility. It is unfortunate I am partaking in one of the few activities in life they and the Tri-gods outlaw on our Sphere.
But my status needs to improve, if these surroundings are a measure of it. The many spiders in here, I suspect may prefer to take their chances with dragon-frogs and the latter with wolf-hogs, than exist in a place like this; cold, damp, but affordable.
Money has been in my thoughts all year, now I am old enough to participate in the Game, and I cannot stop thinking of the forthcoming contest. What will it be like to link minds with our masters watching? Ironic, artificial synapse is illegal the rest of the year.
I wonder what Kal is thinking? He looks calmer than me. Will I meet his standards, given his past successes with better partners in the Game? I had many complaints from previous potential team mates.
As his dark eyes meet mine, his smile fades, does he equate my lighter features to a lack of knowledge?
“Are you ready Amara? This is important, if we fail in this practice it’s like an Arena, we can be hurt or even die.” He looks at the unauthorised synaptic neural link we are about to use.
On the table next to us is the inanimate, dull, metallic object, irregular and unremarkable, but clever in design. I imagine a Scient not a human created it. This experience is vital and despite the potential consequences is worth the risk.
I may be no expert, but I studied hard to prepare for this. He’s simply trying to assert his seniority over me, I think.“I am ready Kal.”
|Kal, Amara and Nazir.|
|A Scient and two mindless humans.|
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