Monday, July 15, 2013
I haven’t written in a few days. I am still trying to wrap my head around what is happening.
First the good news: Esak is on his feet. He’s still not allowed to work, but he’s getting better fast. Too fast, it turns out. Because once Medical clears it, he and Dusa are leaving. Yes, leaving.
Two nights ago I went to their dorm to visit after sitting with Mom again. When I got to their room I found Weln sitting on the edge of Dusa and Esak’s bed, his expression one of someone in profound shock. Dusa sat on one side of him, with his arm wrapped around the Imdiko’s waist, looking grim. Esak lay glaring up at the ceiling as if it had done something to seriously piss him off. To say the room was filled with tension would be putting it lightly.
“Whatever it is, I don’t want to know,” I said. “Dad took me off the anti-depressants, so you’re all ordered to smile for Shalia.”
Dusa squeezed Weln, and then let him go to stand and wrap his arms around me. “My sweet, sweet, Earther,” he sighed.
If all the sorrows in the world could be contained in one sound, it would have been in Dusa’s sigh. Now I really didn’t want to know what was wrong. Too bad I don’t hardly ever get my way.
“We’ve been transferred, Shalia. Esak and I are being sent to the Atlanta rescue site to work.”
“What? When?” I stared into Dusa’s face.
“As soon as possible. Even though he won’t be able to work for a month, the doctors say Esak could be ready to make the move as early as next week.”
“Gurlucks,” Esak growled.
“Nobek.” Dusa’s tone was lightly disapproving. He sighed again. “I can’t say I’m not in agreement with you.”
“But the Academy is understaffed as it is,” I protested. “We need you and Esak here. I need you guys here.”
Dusa smiled a little at my words. “Atlanta is overwhelmed, and there are more people that need help in that location. You’re leaving in a few weeks anyway. It’s not like we didn’t know we would be separated.”
“Yeah, but – but this is too soon.” Tears began to prickle my eyes. “What about Weln?”
“I have asked him to join my clan and he has accepted. Getting him transferred will not be an issue.”
“I’m not going right away.” The Imdiko’s voice was soft. “Not until after you and Matara Eve have left, Shalia.”
Dusa smiled. “Weln has agreed to stay and keep an eye out for you and your mother on this clan’s behalf.”
The look on Esak’s face was terrible, as if he was ready to be sick. “My Imdiko and Shalia left to fend for themselves here with attacks coming without warning. It’s not acceptable.”
Dusa’s voice was sharp. “Shalia is a favorite of Commander Nang’s. She still has her bodyguards. She’ll be fine, as will Weln.”
“Commander Nang,” I said, seeing a ray of hope. “I can ask him to delay the transfer.”
Dusa gave me a smile. “You can try, but don’t be surprised if he cannot help. The commander in Atlanta outranks him. If he has called for additional resources, smaller sites like this one have no choice but to obey. The immediate areas around where the explosives went off get top priority.”
Dusa tugged me over to the bed, where I could be near the entire clan. “Meanwhile, we’ve decided to hold the official clanning ceremony here. Perhaps you can help us plan that.”
“I don’t know the first thing about your clanning rituals,” I protested. My mind was still whirling over the unexpected news of Dusa and Esak’s looming departure.
“There is no specific ritual for the ceremony itself. It’s up to the clan to speak their hearts and intentions to one another. It’s presided over by one of our priests and attended by those we want to share in our happiness. Our families are back on Kalquor, so obviously they won’t be here.”
Weln twisted his fingers in his lap. “They won’t know for two weeks. That’s how long it takes a message to get from here to there. My mother is going to be beside herself. She didn’t even know I was serious about anyone.”
“We’ll record the ceremony and send them the transmission,” Dusa said. He managed a grin for Esak. “I hope your family isn’t too worried when they see your head.”
The Nobek shrugged. He was still busy being mad. “I’m alive. They’ll appreciate that. Besides, I’ve already sent them a vid showing them my marks of honor.”
Dusa was trying hard to keep all our spirits up. “It will be a happy day. You are recovering, and Weln is our clanmate. All I need to make it perfect is this beautiful woman to witness our joining. Please say you’ll be a part of it, Shalia. It would mean a lot.”
Of course I would. And I’d do a lot more, too. Like make Nang stop the transfer, at least until I was on my way to Kalquor.
I’ve sent him messages, asking for an interview as soon as possible. He still hasn’t gotten back to me, and I’m starting to get really peeved with him. Yes, I know the world does not revolve around Shalia Monroe. I’m well aware Nang is busy dealing with the defense of the Academy. But with Esak due to get the go ahead to transfer to Atlanta any day and the clanning ceremony set for two days from now, I need to get this taken care of. If I don’t hear back from Nang today, I am going to see him first thing tomorrow.