Ayla laughed, the sound warm and amused in that dark space. “So shall it be,” she said, turning to leave Liz standing defiantly before the stars. She crossed to the corner of the cave where Vix had curled up on her own and sat down beside the sleeping hengineer, casting her cloak over Vix’s sleeping frame.
Sleep did not come to Ayla that night. Nor did it come to Liz. They both kept silent watch as the stars cycled through the sky and the moon deferred to the dawn.