Work Header

Hub World

Chapter Text


Jem hurries back towards the center of camp, cursing formal robes and the people who invented them. She moves much more surely, almost gracefully, now that her robes don't hinder her feet. She reaches the center of camp, and is about to go straight towards Aurelio when she stops herself, turns, and circles around, to stop just to the left and back of where he's seated. She waits for Aurelio to acknowledge her, her daemon in the form of a dark, glittering insect on her shoulder to hide their nerves. The keretch watches them from her place on the back of Aurelio's chair, amusement in her dark eyes. After a moment, Aurelio turns to acknowledge her.

AURELIO: Much better. Have they arrived?
JEM: Yes, s- Aurelio. Kilit David is guiding them.
AURELIO: Excellent. Come, sit beside me. And make sure you watch carefully, Hermana. You never know what you might learn.

Jem hurries to sit in the spot indicated by Aurelio just in time to watch the aforementioned Kilit David, a middle aged man, lead a group of seven well-dressed individuals into the circle. They each take their places around the campfire as Kilit David introduces them. A tall man, 45, built like a brick house, sits opposite AURELIO. He is introduced as Jek Greer, leader of the Southern Bio-Metas. To his left is Mirena Flores, an older, short-statured woman, and leader of every Sentinel Pride west of the Divide. To his right, Howard Kides, an unassuming man in his thirties, a representative from the Council. The other four are Kyle F, Green K, Rain L, and Q Lopez. They are less important than the first three. Aurelio greets them all in turn, and then, much to Jem's surprise, introduces her as his guest for the evening. The view jumps as she jerks to her feet and gives an awkward curtsey, then quickly sits back down. Greer gives her an encouraging smile, Mirena is mildly amused, and Kides and the others watch her curiously. Aurelio leans forward, drawing their attention back to him.

AURELIO: I won't waste your time with more pleasantries, the hour is late, and I know you've all traveled a very long way to be here this evening. So, without further ado, let's get started shall we?


The footage follows James almost anxiously as he completes an inaudible discussion with The Prisoner, finds his way to the treasury Aurelio neglected to lock yet again, takes two lightweight, sturdy pouches, stocks them with clothing, food, and other essentials for two people crossing a desert on foot, and hides them under the cot in the guest quarters. Hoard-Cam tries futilely to alert Aurelio to the situation, and multiple attempts to save the footage for later viewing are met with an ERROR – MEMORY BANKS FULL. Hoard-Cam resolves to monitor the troublemakers closely.

POV: James
James sits on the cot, leaning back against the cave wall with Helaku sprawled across his lap. He holds his Crystal in his hand, studying the varying shades of red emanating from its depths.

James: Do you think -?
Helaku: It'll work.
James: But -
Helaku: We can trust her.
James: I mean -
Helaku: You said yourself he was lying.

A pause as James rubs absently at the Crystal in his hand.

Helaku: Do you think -
James: We always have before. And even if we don't, he promised he'd come.
Helaku: Well, yeah. But that was before. And you said yourself, something's different.
James: I know. Everything just feels more...
Helaku: Solid?
James: Something like that. I don't know.
Helaku: We'll figure it out.

James nods. After another lengthy pause, he tucks his Crystal back inside his shirt, slides down until he's lying on his side, and closes his eyes.

Helaku: So, you still seein' floaty text like a crazy person?
James: Good night, Hela.