The Starless Sky – Jennette & Makam, Part 3
I glared back at Glide’s first moon as it sank lower behind the capital city, named for the planet. “For the eleventh time, what are we doing out here?” The red, jagged surface of Glide glinted in iridescent colors under the second moon’s light. The path we followed crumbled between sharp cliffs and ducked beneath arches that made my neck prickle. “What did you call this? Hiking?”
Makam flapped a hand at me, his gaze focused ahead. “It’s only been four times. And I told you, I want to show you something.”
“I don’t think we’re at that point in our relationship yet,” I said flatly.
He narrowed his eyes even as he smiled. “And yet, here you are.”
I muttered something rude, which he ignored. “I’m not spending the night out here. Camping, or whatever.”
He lengthened his stride and I stumbled as I tried to catch up. “Makam…”
“Shh.” He gestured to a small, deep looking crater that just brushed the path. “We’re here.”
I crossed my arms and fumed while he wrestled a torch from his backpack and pointed out deep steps cut into the crater’s side. “I’m not—“
“You can stay on the path, if you want.” He descended quickly, leaving me in the dark.
“I despise you,” I hissed after him.
“I think that’s the fresh air talking. Come on.” He directed the light for me and I stomped after him, as much as one can stomp while clinging to the wall. Makam waited on a wide ledge halfway down the crater, and when I joined him, he turned and vanished into a clever opening cut to look like a crevice. The crevice opened into a polished round room big enough to to park his space ship. The floor was tiled and carvings covered the wall, but otherwise it ached of emptiness.
“What is this?”
Makam sank to the ground, leaning back on his hands. “There’s a tiny hole at the top, and stars are never visible through it.”
I frowned. “How is that possible?”
He looked up at me, and for the first time his eyes felt safe. “I don’t know. But don’t you ever wonder what it would be like without stars?”
As I opened my mouth to answer, footsteps thudded from the far side. A tall woman stepped into our torch’s light, her hair pulled tight, her form slender in her black uniform. Her eyes glittered like space-mined diamonds. “Ah, Makam, you’ve brought her.” She stepped closer, extending her hand. “My name is Jennette Hayes, and I’ve wanted to meet you for a long, long time.
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