...somewhere in the middle of the action...
Donha Isabela and Lte. Ferrier return to the Explorator IV slightly later to find the rest of the crew entertaining a young-looking woman with thick chestnut braids and a pale olive complexion. She is dressed in worn but clean clothes of a slightly different style from that current among the Nottlander women, perhaps an earlier fashion. Donha Isabela notices immediately that there is something very strange about her, like the youth Gianni only very much more so. The bad news is, the woman immediately notices the same thing about Donha Isabela. Her eyes go wide and there is a sharp, hissing intake of breath.
"Isabela, Therese, this is Thora Sharptooth. She's gonna come with us when we leave," says Capitaine Patriquin by way of introduction.
"Lotsa people dying to leave their home planets, you know," comments Pilote Barras.
"Which of you is which?" demands Thora.
"Uh, I'm Therese, that is, Lte. Therese Ferrier," volunteers Ferrier.
"Right. Isabela, come with me. You've just made the biggest mistake you'll ever make, one that will haunt you for the rest of time," says Thora. "Captain, please excuse us." She heads for the hatch of the ship, clearly expecting Donha Isabela to do the same. Donha Isabela and the aeronautes exchange glances.
"Don't you want to know what's going to happen to you?" snaps Thora, not bothering to look back.
"By all means," replies Donha Isabela. She conceals the dagger handed to her by Capitaine Patriquin in the front of her corset and follows Thora off the ship.
"The rest of time?" comments Lte. Ladouceur. "That's a bit harsh."
When Thora and Donha Isabela return to the Explorator a half hour later, Donha Isabela is tight-lipped. She retreats to the furthest end of the Explorator's living quarters with her lute and begins to play a moody, angry-sounding improvisation. Thora is pretty much unchanged from how she was before, that is to say, a little unhinged.
a bit later
Thora eventually drifts into a fitful sleep, clutching a dagger.
"I don't trust her at all," comments Pilote Barras. "Do we hafta take her with us?"
"It is sort of our mandate," says Capitaine Patriquin doubtfully, as though she is looking for an excuse, any excuse, to refuse Thora passage.
"She's pretty loony," says Lte. Ladouceur. "She might, y'know, murder us all in our sleep or something."
"She is no more like to do so than I am," snaps Donha Isabela from the corner. The aeronautes look at her in surprise -- they have been talking quite quietly and she is some distance away.
"That's real reassuring, Isabela," mutters Capitaine Patriquin.