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“There’s something I have to do next,” spoke the Princess to her space sled. “I mean, there are a lot of things that could demand my attention right now, but I feel like there’s something hidden close at hand, an important call. Do you know of anything in particular? Is anything obvious to you, Moonshadow?”

Moonshadow proudly delved through its multivarious net connections and system linkups. It displayed to her a familiar name:
UIXTR!

“Something from Uixtr? He must be busy. I wonder what it is.” Moonshadow flashed some excited colors, so it must be good. For a moment, Soleil looked around her at the trees of this otherwise inaccessible mountain plateau overlooking Alisandre Capital. Across the way was the stone atop Mt. Kairas, and in the other direction was her landing meadow with its backpacker’s trail. It was just starting to turn dusky in the sky, with only the first star shining. She looked back down at the display, which showed a list of activity nodes, triple-highlighted in the way that meant this information was actively circulating in the aetherscape, and had been noted by some. The top node was dynamic, receiving current contribution. The metadata, Uixtr’s and others’, expressed fondness and trust. Important people were congregating – in the way that Vedani express importance in depth of relevance rather than through hierarchy. They could be anybody, but Vedani knew them and deemed them notable, including the opinion of one who in tense times had shown her respect from under threat.

This was crucial enough for her time right now. They would be humans; here, in this city; and she wouldn’t know who they are. There was a coordinate, with a closed-network invitation. Moonshadow explained that this was a new sidenet, created for – she might have only just seen the news, this happened while they were both in the Arch – it was created for a huge action that actually went off, with Vedani and kids and Aquarii and people from all over who did something to a secret lab and neutralized the Imperium’s bioweapons, which it had used on itself. Moonshadow said all this rather glibly; it could comprehend events, but without the engagement that would create shock unless the moment were present. It still preferred mostly to use text on its display, though it could use sound and the languages it had learned to speak aloud with Rosy Glow for occasional emphasis.

She should go in some form of soft disguise, so as not to freak them out, but prepared to reveal her identity. It was coming down to the wire now – things were coming to a head for important decision-making, and she would lay her ace if it was called for. What would she need to say, and what would she need to learn? It seemed right to acknowledge a dynamic element, which told her to be ready for anything; which, she should be anyway – now more than ever.

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