Deathwalker 7.5

            The underlying threat hit the crew in a wave, and suddenly, all eyes were on the blood slowly staining my sleeve. Damn it, Keh. I saw the captain’s mouth open and rushed to speak first.
            “An accident,” I tried out Keh’s casual tone but stared at the screen and willed her to understand. “Mostly my fault and too small to worry about.” Drop it, Keh. The last thing I needed was some strange doctor inspecting my arms.
            The quality of the silence shifted, but there were still too many people looking at me. Except Keh. She was focused on the captain. Nathaira, I repeated it to myself silently.
            “Hhe will be asss sssafe asss I can make hhim,” the captain said through her teeth. I gritted mine and hoped Keh knew what she was doing. Gri shifted forward, but the Teg moved ahead of him so smoothly that the motion was barely noticeable.
            “We are thanking for assistance, Captain Keh,” the Light One said warmly – and extra respectfully. Keh smiled slightly.
            “For you, Mor, any time.” She shifted her gaze and inclined her head slightly with the Kaihmi gesture of respectful farewell to an equal. “Captain Nat.” Her hands and body language adjusted slightly as those clever eyes pinned me in place, and she smiled once more.
            “You will be safe with them,” she said, reverting to our tongue smoothly. “See that they are safe with you, especially Nat.”
            Her tone didn’t change a hair, and for an instant, I froze, staring at the screen as adrenaline grabbed me. Of course Keh remembered. I swallowed and sternly forced myself to breathe.
            “Absolutely.” I didn’t stutter, but I probably sounded a bit strangled. I thought about trying again then quickly dismissed the idea. Instead, I wordlessly matched her gesture and watched the screen go blank. Despite the surprises toward the end, I felt a tug of bereavement as she disappeared.
            Bye, Keh.


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