Permac shrugged into a jacket. Before leaving his quarters, he popped the knife Linsora had given him into his pocket.
“You never know,” he said to his reflection in the mirror. “It might even give Linsora a chuckle.” The blue eyes of his reflection sparkled back at him. He brushed his dark, shoulder-length hair back from his face. It wasn’t stylish, but he liked it. He had always felt his square Tokorellan features were too sharp. The full beard gave him a more acceptable rounded look. He thought of himself as rugged, with the looks of someone who’s been on the far side of a distant world for months, out of touch with popular trends but uniquely outstanding.
He made his way down the increasingly steep slope of the corridor to the bottom level of the Dominator. One seat remained empty on the ten-man transport craft, directly across from Linsora. Permac shuffled past three sets of feet and grinned at Linsora as he took his place.
“Haven't seen you for awhile,” he said.
Linsora stared at him as though he had just sprouted a second head, with a mixture of disgust and disbelief at his casual remark. “Consider yourself lucky,” she said.
Permac held his tongue during the short flight. When the doors opened to the first whiff of fresh air in weeks, he was among the first to scramble out of the transport. As Linsora emerged, he stepped in front of her.
“Linsora, let’s settle this. We’re both on the exploration team. We have to work together.”
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