ARKFALL

The Argument

Joel and Ayden's Private Conversation

Ayden found herself dragged into the adjoining room by Joel, away from the others. His scowl was evident in his tone as he grumbled out, “Dishon nou dula-de osir ste hir fou. Heda-de nou hedon osir sis Skaikru au—” This is not the job we were here for. The Commander did not command us to aid the Sky People—

“Bilaik haukom laud yu romon-de?” Ayden countered. “Haukom jomp monstas op? Oso beda gon teik emo wan op.” Then why did you sound the horn? / Why attack the mutants? We could have let them die.

“Dishon nou laik yu, Ayden. Cho, sha. Fou nou yu. Haukom—“ This is not like you, Ayden. Cho, yes. But not you. Why—

“Em-emo fis osir op.” Ayden motioned between her bandages and his. “Emo fis osir op pas yu hedon oso gonplei. Cho souda wan op. Ai—” She trailed off averting her eyes, not wanting to tell Joel that it had happened again—her panic attack. Only he had seen it before, but then it was during training—not a battle. This time could have gotten her killed. It could have gotten all of them killed. She decided to change tactics. “Emo don sis oso au, Joel. Dishon fisas en ticha-de, emo nou laik moun Skaikru. Skayon-de, em gon fis sankova’s goufas op kom stegeda sen oso in hasta. Emo kamp raun kom Trigeda—“ He-they healed us. / They healed us after you ordered us to fight. Cho would have died. I—” “They might be useful, Joel. The healers and the teacher, they aren’t like the other Sky People. The Sky woman, she was the healer that saved the exile’s children in the village we heard about. They are living with Woods Clan—

Joel scoffed, “Emo kamp raun sankovas—natronas, bagas—“ They are living with exiles—traitors, bandits—

“Kru-de kom disha stegeda nou ste natrona o bagas. Osir ogeda get disha in!” Her anger returned. She could feel it surging forward. “Em don ste ifi, en emo nou win au. Jos don dula emo op chit souda gon emo dula op, Joel. En beda ogeda wan op en nou mou. Heda-de—” The people in that village aren’t traitors or bandits. We all know that! / It was a gamble, and they lost. They just did what they had to do, Joel. They would have all died otherwise. The Commander-

“Heda-de ban emo au kom Trigedakru!” He yelled now, as he, too, had begun to lose his temper. “Haukom Heda dula em nou ste fou osir nami. ‘Oso badan Heda-de en nou moun.’ Yu beda get disha in, Ayden, foutaim Heda ban yu au seimtaim.” “The Commander banished them from the Woods Clan!” “Why she did it is not for us to understand. ‘We serve the Commander and no other.’ You would do well to remember that, Ayden, before she does the same to you.”

Her anger bled through, and the words were out of her mouth before she could think to stop them. “Jok Heda-de—“ “Fuck the Commander—“

“Em pleni!” The force of Joel’s words was as strong as the hand that struck her cheek. “Yu na hod yun teisa in ou yu na don kot em au.” “Enough!” “You will hold your tongue or you will lose it.”

Ayden glared at him, rage seething from her eyes, but her jaw clamped around any further retort. Her cheek stung, but she would not give him the satisfaction of acknowledging it. The stood like that, glaring at each other for a moment or two before Joel sighed.

“Weron ste chit emo gaf in?” “Where is this thing they seek?”

“Stegeda kom Arisbur.” “The village of Arisbur.”

“Raun Azgeda?” “Near the Ice Nation?”

“Sha.” “Yes.”

“Haukom dula yu get in?” “How do you know?”

“Dir ste hef bilaik ai hit op foutaim. Em fisa. Em nou kom eni kru. Fostaim ai get meibi em kom Maunon, ba em kikron gon graun. Em sis ai op foutaim.” There is a man there that I met a while back. A healer. He is not of the clans. I thought he was of the Mountain, but he lives on the surface. He has helped me before.

Ayden could tell that Joel wanted to know more, but he was as drained from the battle as she was. He cracked his neck and settled his gaze on her again.
“Oso na gon Saris. Cho en Nika gaf mou fis op. Taim oso hod op, teik emo kom Arisbur. Chek au taim yu gyon. Oso na gaf stot honplei au nodataim, ba yu gada taim. Pastaim, glong oso op.” We will go to Saris. Cho and Nika need more healing. While we rest, take them to Arisbur. Keep watch as you go. We will need to start the hunt again soon, but you have some time. Afterward, join us.

Ayden nodded. “Ridiyo op.” She began to walk passed him. As you say.

“En, Ayden…” Joel put his hand on her shoulder as she went by. “Heda nou ste yun baga, ba bilaik yu teik em yun, ai nou na—”_ And, Ayden…The Commander is not your enemy, but if you make her yours, I won’t—

Ayden didn’t look at him, but spoke just loud enough for him to hear, “Ai gaf in.” She continued to make her way back into the room with the others. Cho and Nika gave her knowing looks. They had all heard enough. I know.

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