Iraanus’ boat glided lazily over the surface of the ocean, barely leaving a wake as it drifted further and further from Ga-Koro. He was supposed to be fishing, catching… something. It didn’t really matter what, as long as they could serve it back at the Takea. Most restaurants bought their fish in the market, of course, but the Horde had been broke even before they’d bought the property the Takea was built on. The Ga-Koronan government had given them a bit of compensation for their aid in the defense and rebuilding of the city, but it wasn’t much. At Rhow’s request, they hadn’t done much merc work, either. “Unsavory clients,” she’d said. Didn’t help that half of them were still recovering from their injuries; Rhow certainly was in no condition to fight, and a couple others weren’t doing much better. The Takea, at least, was doing well – surprising for a Skakdi-run business – but when it came down to it, they had about as much now as they’d had when they got here. Which was also known as nothing.Iraanus cast the net over the side of the boat, not really focusing on the task; he’d done it often enough in the past three weeks to know what he was doing. Three weeks… that’s how long they’d been in Ga-Koro. Seemed like a karzahni of a lot longer. Already they’d bought property, started a restaurant, made connections. Settled down. Three weeks ago he’d laughed at the idea. Now they had a home.But what was a “home,” really? He gazed out at the horizon, staring at it as though looking long enough and hard enough would reveal what lay beyond it. Following the defeat of the rahkshi, his memories of the past had flooded back. There were still pieces missing, but on the whole he remembered – remembered who he was, remembered where he was from. Beyond the horizon lay another home.Briefly, an image of the Islets flashed into his mind. He and Rhow had propelled a broken boat from Xa-Koro to the mainland using the water itself – as far as Iraanus knew, they’d been the last to escape the Islets before they’d exploded and sunk. Well, aside from those other three ships… Yeah, they’d still have to look into that. Anyway, the point was they could do it again, probably, if they wanted to. Iraanus waved a hand at the ocean. For once, the water didn’t obey. In some ways, it was kind of a nice change. But with Rhow’s help – with the help of any of them, or all of them, even – they could sail for home.But again, what was a “home”? A month ago he’d have laughed, said it was something they didn’t have, never could have. Did they even need one? Of course not. Right?He sighed as he turned back to the net and hauled it into the boat. A decent catch. It’d be enough. He angled the boat back for Ga-Koro, listening in silence to the waves lapping against the craft’s sides.
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