Emma was the first human Rion saw standing up. He couldn't glean much from the casualties in the room with him; they were covered in bandages and blankets. He propped himself up on his elbows as she approached and got a better look at her. He was relieved that she looked like an Aurian, and he found her long blond hair in a ponytail and her soft pale, sculptured face and slim waist attractive. Back on Auria his mind had conjured up all forms of alien life he might encounter on whatever planet he landed on, if he made it to a planet that could support life at all. The last thing Rion expected was a species that greatly resembled his own. He and Sena had assumed that it would be obvious they were aliens; and they had to hope the culture was sophisticated enough to recognize they weren’t a threat. Regardless, they expected that their hosts would be wary of them and restrict their movements until they gained some confidence in them. The language barrier would make this all the more difficult. Because of their physical similarities, it occurred to Rion that they may not regard him as an alien; he may just appear to them as one of their own. Until he could figure all this out he would attempt not to draw any suspicion to himself, and he was sure that Sena, wherever she was, would do the same.
Rion studied Emma closely. Her behavior gave him the impression she was self-confident, like Sena. Emma would confirm Rion’s first impression soon enough. A Georgia girl born and bred, Emma had grown up in Atlanta, went to high school there. She was athletic. She played girls field hockey and volleyball. She wasn’t the most popular girl in school, but she had plenty of boys to pick from. Emma got the idea she wanted to be a doctor when she was a senior in high school. In college, she applied and was accepted at Emory University and went on to graduate near the top of her class from its School of Medicine. After graduation she stayed on to do her internship and her residency at Emory University Hospital. It was when she was a resident that she fell in love with a male cardiologist. They dated for two years before becoming engaged. However, just before their wedding, the cardiologist broke off the relationship for another woman. That’s when Emma went looking for another job and found one as Head of Emergency Room Services at St. Joseph’s. She was always a workaholic, but after her breakup she became even more so.
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