Getting to Know the Twins

Text to Speech:

Two days later, we meet up at the Star Gate as planned. Finn and her parents have already seen us off at the castle. As we leave the Dancing Pavilion, Kate and Tate joined us. Since Rory insists on accompanying us to the shuttle, we are with multiple additional guards, including Howard. Nell seems a little nervous around the guards, while Nescha and the one person with her seem more relaxed. The latter has a pushcart full of Minium with them.

“It seems, that's everyone, let's go,” I state and go towards the open gate. It's a very narrow gate, it's barely wide enough for a carriage to pass through. I can see why this gate is so unpopular by day. The gate guards see our group, greet Rory, and let us through. I lead our group to the shuttle.

When we arrive, I have everyone wait outside, while Nescha and her helper enter the shuttle with me.

“I know the guild master has signed this matter…” the helper says, he must have some reservations.

“Sure, leave the cart here, we'll just a take one bar,” I answer and lead them to the main room, where the replicator is located. I put in the bar and have it converted to energy.

“I heard about it from the guild master, but didn't think it was actually true…” he says as the bar vanishes into thin air, “I'm sorry to have doubted you!”

“It's fine,” I answer, “just help me stack these up in the cargo area. Mittens, create the item we discussed yesterday.”

Luckily, I have some belts in the cargo area, we stack them up, and I secure the bars to the floor. It's just extra safety in case the inertia dampeners fail. While Nescha and her helper go back outside, I head back to the replicator and get the communicator Mittens produced. It's a basic one with only a speaker and a microphone; and it has our shield on it. I head back outside, and hand Rory the communicator.

“You can use this to talk to Mittens,” I whisper, “Mittens can connect you to us if we have time to talk.”

“Please take care of it, brother-in-law,” I raise my voice, so everyone present can hear it.

“I will,” Rory answers, “until next time.”

Rowan and I enter the shuttle again, together with Nescha, Nell, Kate and Tate.

Nescha and Nell sit in the back area, while Kate and Tate follow Rowan and I to the cockpit. I show Kate and Tate to their seats and sit in the pilot's seat. We take off and fly towards Dewick. This time, we take the beeline route over the forest.

The map on my screen is partly coloured and partly greyscale. The coloured part is verified with our sensor data, the greyscale part is taken from the maps we had access to in the royal library. So far, everything seems very accurate, just as I expected from domestic maps. While they are probably accurate enough for travelling at our speed, I'm not sure if they are accurate enough for flying faster.

“The flying home is travelling at quite a fast speed, isn't it?” Tate timidly asks after a while.

“No, this is nothing, this can go even faster,” I answer, “at this speed we should arrive in Dewick in about 3 hours.” Turning my head to them, I can see Tate's eyes shine, while Kate looks worried.

“Are you alright?” I ask, “we can slow down, it'd be quite a problem if you were to throw up.”

“No, I am fine,” Kate answers, “there is no need to adjust the speed just for me.”

They seem to be on edge, especially Kate.

“Can you… relax? We're among us, so there's no need to be so formal.”

“Of course!” Kate answers, “I mean, I'll try…”

“You see,” Tate explains, “Emily had a word or two with Kate about how she acted towards Prince Rory the other day.”

“I see… I do get why appearances matter, but I do hope we get closer,” I explain, “Howard does seem to act differently depending on whether he is in public or in private. While I want to say, you can act like we're in private when we're in Dewick Village…”

Rowan finishes my sentence, “…but with the coming pilgrimage season, we'll have a lot of outsiders in the village soon.”

“Your sentiment is more than enough,” Kate answers.

“Kate…” I see Tate shrugging, “anyway, this is a fast we can go this time, I need more information before we can increase the speed.”

“More information?”, the twins and Rowan ask in union?

“Yes, when flying, you have to take the wind into account.”

“But aren't winds, you know, changing?” Kate asks.

“Yes, but depending on the terrain, certain winds are less likely. I kinda forgot what you can calculate from it… The shuttle takes care of it for me.”

“What's a shuttle?” Tate asks.

“Where Aster is from, that's what they call a flying home,” Rowan answers for me.

“It's a very different place, so there are a lot of things that are unfamiliar to me,” I continue, “Finn and Rory covered some things, but I'd be happy to have your input.”

“While I have more common sense than Aster,” Rowan adds, “I'd be happy to have your input, too.”

Cyril, who has been sitting on Rowan's shoulders, jumps over to Kate and pat her.

Kate chuckles and takes a deep breath, “sure… I hope I can live up to your trust.”

“You've been too tense,” Tate states, “what did Emily say?”

“She said, I better get this mission extended, and she'll drop the fine for multiple cases of rude conduct towards the crown prince.”

“You got fined? Why didn't you tell me?!”

“I can't possibly pull you down with me, little brother.”

“Now I know you're messing with me.”

“Well, the fine is everything I make until we come back.”

“You're impossible… and here I thought she shouldered you with a life's worth of debt.”

Tate and I start laughing. We spend the rest of the journey getting to know each other. At first glance, the twins seem very similar, but after getting to know them, it's obvious Tate is more diplomatic. As for Kate, she is a person of action. 

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