Family Ties

It’s not that Ioni never wanted to return home. The Fair Isle just did not feel like home. Even now it was strange. Like an overlay of an illusion ontop of something real. Faces barely familiar, routines all too familiar. And now she was here, witnessing the gathering around the Exploration Ship.

Though she knew he aunt and cousin may have spoke a facade of the truth, they were bound by honor to protect their own ventures.

Hiyiri had invested a large amount of resources and her own son on the trip. The question that lay before Ioni was more difficult. Ioni paced, trying to put though to physical form.

Mercury’s Envy could no doubt out-pace any Haslanti ship. Especially a heavily laden ship an a fleet of scouts. Ioni knew that she and her fellow exalted could get there faster, plunder the supposed first age ship and return with no one the wiser. But, that’s where her conflict lay. It would leave her families investment without a return. Idly, Ioni wondered if there was some way to make a profit on not finding the ship, or finding nothing to help whatever conundrum. Like a reverse bet.

Of course, on the other hand, Mercury’s Envy could provide an escort to the Haslanti Ship. That would take time they did not have. It would also render nearly everyone on board in a drunken stupor just to numb their brains to the slow pace of travel. Ioni spun on her heel cursing the timing of events.

Ioni snagged a cloak from her bag. She had picked up some money her family kept for her. This far North, the Unconquered Sun could only keep her spirit warm. Out on the streets of the Fair Isle, Ioni moved with the crowd. She looked at wares, combed clothing stores while her thoughts drifted away.

Idly she mused that the Fair Isle was so much different than Nexus when she had visited. Nexus had a sense of danger to it, while the Fair Isle was a slow dance of bargains, with small slights encoded in volumes of phrases.

Ioni paused in front of a clothier, running her hands over bolts of fabric. Ioni tapped the tailor on the shoulder and went to work ordering bits and pieces of specific clothing. It took her more than an hour of measurements before she left, but by that evening, she would have several more changes of clothes. Even though she was Exalted, clothing materialization still eluded her. Ioni left the shop, giving specific directions for the delivery of the parcels, and window shopped for the rest of what she was looking for. It gave her the time to phrase what she wanted to talk to her aunt about in detail.

Once back at the offices, Ioni was able to snag her aunt in her office. Hiyiri ushered Ioni to a table and chair in one of the large double paned windows. There was a series of cheeses and meats on a plate.

“So, where are your friends?” Hiyiri put down the last paper in a stack, and bustled over to the table.

“Resting. None of them has visited this far north before.” Ioni perched on the low backed wood and leather chair. The office held a plethora of dark warm wods and painted wooden chests from the farthest corners of the lands.

“How did you meet them?” Hiyiri’s question was direct, if innocuous.

“I met them in a place. They kept me alive. I traveled with them after that. I know it sounds strange, but remember the dreams? The dreams that Grandmother Cheska was so emphatic about? " When Hiyiri nodded, Ioni smiled a little. “I know we’ve been very inquisitive. I don’t mean to hand them the keys to Haslanti, but there are things beyond the Haslanti that are moving. Like a slow glacier, time is moving us forward, and so far, I trust them to keep the people from being completely crushed.”

“I supposed I trust them because you do. But I cannot protect you should something happen. You know that. You’re as much an outsider as they are. " Hiyiri looked relatively stern.

Yes, not even the pet exalted of the Haslanti is fully trusted, Ioni thought.

Family Ties

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