64

“We have to wait. They’re running emergency traffic signals, limiting in and out-bound. There’s a newscast about it.” Wendel Harper reached up to tune in the overhead speakers. The boy sitting copilot and the passenger hushed up to listen.

“The Pyrean Midsummer Vision was interrupted today by Raev Sturlusson, who descended from the skies on the capital during the final moments of the intergalactic solstice celebration. The capsule he descended in was emitting an agent bearing HA235, the disease that decimated the planet Hirylien twenty-five years ago. Many attendees are already experiencing symptoms. The Verdant Plateau of Alisandre Capital is under quarantine, and vision attendants are being held there and at Eldea Hospital.” As this narrated, they silently turned to meet each other’s eyes.

64

Hydraia rose from the fold-down seat to stand behind the pilot’s chairs. “We’re waiting to be let in to the main transport arena, correct?”

Harper nodded. “That’s right. They’ve paged us with a wait time of a couple hours, but there’s no telling how long we’ll be in line.” She pointed to a timer on the air traffic display.

The passenger pulled a piece of paper from her pocket. “Here. Establish a link with this frequency.” Harper checked it and nodded.

After a short moment, someone answered. “Spear Traffic Control, how can I assist you?” At mention of the capital’s towering military building, the captain faced her passenger in mute surprise.

“This is Dr. Arcta Hydraia of the Loramer Institute, requesting entry to the Helianth Airlot.”

“Acknowledged Dr. Hydraia, do you have a clearance code?”

“2-10-6-P-Night-C3W.”

“Thank you, Doctor. Drift 9, new traffic directions have been sent. You may proceed.”

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