ii) In the morning, under the sun’s harsh glare

In the morning, under the sun’s harsh glare, the cold remains. But now, the group has a colony’s worth of resources at its disposal.

Shyan and Abianarin butcher and tan a few of the Jiko, make four coats of their blue skin.

Fassn and Cang stalk through the few rough homes that went unburnt. Most are empty of anything but the barest essentials: a bit of grain, a sleeping pallet, the occasional ancient handmade chair. One, though, is full of bottles, and vials, and even phials, of liquids across the hue & viscosity spectra. They’re spread across the room, in racks and on tables, attached by curls, coils, connexions.

Fassn spots a particularly vivid coral shade in a beaker. Drops of green stuff are steadily falling into it. He picks the pink one up and sniffs it, as Cang inspects a row of identical red vials. Fassn raises the pink beaker, says, “Old Ajralan, may you have your fill,” and drinks it.

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