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“Something’s different.” The change was subtle; there was less power in the radiated daylight, and the data they were working with felt like it was just data. Reality was otherwise consistent, besides the absence in mood. Draig Claymore said this and paused in his conversation with the First AIDD and his twin.

“I also noticed, just now,” followed materials scientist Bux Woollibee. He met Draig’s eyes with recognition. Raising a hand that indicated he would be right back, he drew away. “Just a moment brother, I’m going to speak with a couple people.” Their conversation took a comfortable rest in suspension. Sentence-by-sentence decision making was fast, but also energy intensive. As they looked around, things felt like they were going as they should at this stage, which made the professionals vigilant. Buckminster returned before matters arose. “…the Dragons..?” he said open-endedly with a posture inviting information. Both Draig and Arjun shrugged at each other. “Ah-hah, well. Hmm.”

“I feel like we’ve already just determined a few next actions for their specific junctures. We’ll be able to continue this as events develop. For now, let’s make the most of our time until our next moment arrives.”

“Agreed,” said Arjun.

Bux nodded. “Till then.”

Claymore decided that now was the time to go to his chamber, which was a portion of the one being shared on a rotating basis with the rest of the surprise caravan. He had the detachable briefcase from his vessel, which he’d taken onto Drift X. This marked his resting territory, along with his heavy undecorated coat, which he had thought to bring when they departed from his office. These moments of transition and decision.

There was a golden scale there on the briefcase, modestly-sized but significant, a portion of the size of his palm. Wow. A golden scale. That had to have come off Arkuda. Respectfully, he picked it up. It had a hole in the top, and there was something affixed to the underside. It was a hinged chip dongle that looked like it could come from Drift X. It was pen-labeled with a cruxgram, the heraldic mixing of two three-word mottos of the Indarian form. One combined letter in the center and four letters off that in opposing directions. A historical phenomenon and an old study group club language that Princess Soleil had been in on. The mottos indicated by the monograms were from their canonical lexicon – they translated to Fortune Favors the Bold, and Always Forward. All of this he took to mean that he didn’t need to break into the contents of this chip until the time when he needed fortune to favor his boldness, which should happen while he was making tracks and hustling right along. That last part, Draig had just been setting in motion.

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