Marta unbuckled the leather straps of Sidhari's saddle rig. She lifted it onto the crude rack in the corner of the large open stall of the stable in the Talons Inn. One day of flying through Restal left Sidhari and me as tired as any three days of flying across Rashiba and the edge of Toldar. Sidhari had hunted for herself in the afternoon, but Marta asked the boy lingering in the hall, watching her Karda with fascinated eyes, for tubers and seed-heavy hay, and she filled the large manger anyway. She picked up her heavy saddlebags. "Apparently one wild goat wasn't enough for you," she said as Sidhari attacked the food. "I'll see you in the morning. Looks like you're more tired than usual tonight. Rest well."
I talk to her as though she's a person, Marta thought as she walked across the guesthouse courtyard toward her dinner and a bed. When it comes down to it, she's the only one I can trust. Sidhari doesn't know what I'm saying and can't answer back. What a sad way to live my life, connected to nothing and no one. No family, what few friends she'd made left behind, scattered on too many worlds. She curled her fingers as if she could feel her father's hand around hers, anchoring her then shook them out. She'd made her decision. There was no reason to feel sad. She needed to concentrate on doing her job.Read More