August 04, 2010

Assignment to Earth Chapter Two

Jenna dropped the last item into her backpack, fastened it closed, set the pack on a chair, then continued to pace her small room. Her sky-blue skirt swirled about her legs with each movement. As she mentally checked off the items she'd packed for tomorrow's trip, she realized her thoughts had returned to the now-familiar subject of Skylar and his laser pistol.

Even Hannah had noticed she seemed preoccupied and had sent her off to take a nap. Her mind buzzing a hundred miles a minute had prevented sleep, so she'd gotten up and packed for tomorrow, preferring to be busy. It hadn't really helped stem or even slow her racing thoughts, but at least she had accomplished something.

Questions continued to cascade through her mind. He had to be a Cavalier. Was he looking for her? Why had it taken five years for her to be found? No, the timing wasn’t right. He probably wasn’t looking for her.

What was his mission, then? How had it brought him to be a last-minute substitution to one of Glen’s hunting parties? This week’s group was one which hunted together yearly. Mike had invited a friend of his, but Randy had cancelled at the last minute, and this Skylar had taken his place.

If Skylar was a Klodfon spy, Randy was probably dead. That would be typical. Jenna shivered as the possibility crossed her mind. But if he was a spy, why hadn’t he just barged across the kitchen and taken the laser from her? Klodfons and their agents weren’t known for tact, nor did they care much for secrecy. They went after what they wanted and simply took it, uncaring of what others might think. Skylar had turned to diplomacy to get the pistol back.

Jenna paused in her pacing. Maybe he could help her get home. The sudden thought brought a thrill of anticipation. More questions crowded her mind, deflating the bubble of joy. How did he get here? Who was he? She knew many of the officers in the fleet but she'd never met Skylar; Jenna knew she'd have remembered him.

She glanced at her watch. It was nearly time to go help with dinner. She needed answers but dared not arouse Glen or Hannah's suspicions. They would be hard to fool, as they knew her better than anyone else on the planet. Somehow she had to get him off by himself before the hunting party ended Saturday.

That gave her five days. It should be enough. Jenna straightened her pale grey blouse, flipped the ends of her hair behind her shoulders and hurried downstairs.