The bright light of the star Yrinis fell upon the metal and the glass towers of the Sinara colony, reflecting it down into the depths of the ravine that split the continent, forcing Prin to squint as she looked at the upper levels. The radiation-blasted surface back on Sineris had kept her people living in caverns for protection, and the instinct to stay out of direct light had followed them here to balmy Yiteri, where they had carved out quite a comfortable life. They had dug into the depths of the ravine that scarred this continent then set up towers to direct the light down into the ravine where traditional crops were grown. On Sineris, the towers used to power the growing caverns were simply highly polished metal plates, but on Yiteri, they had expanded into buildings with apartments, shops and restaurants for those who didn't mind the sunlight.
The Polaris had come because Grethk had received a job offer, big bucks they had been told; but it had turned out to be part of some stupid Mutari mating ritual. Luring him to the colony was only the first part of the game. The rest seemed to consist of him hunting the clan matriarch through the desolate warrens below the colony. While he was less than pleased to not have the work or the credits they had promised him, was more than happy to spread his seed among the clan, and had been in the clan’s den on Level 70 for a few hours now. Much as Prin didn’t mind the depths of the ravine, she had grown accustomed to a different class of social interaction than the Mutari could offer, and so had come back up to Level 30.
Here the resident Sinara hawked wares from their shops, or worked in their restaurants; everyone in their neat little boxes, socially and literally. Sinara culture was rigid and precise and just walking here made her scalp tingle with familiar unease. She was Tronai, caste-less, exiled as a teenager and shunned by her family for years. The way she moved, the way she carried herself, were all wrong to traditional Sinara. She felt their eyes on her, most filled with disgust, some few with lust. Bedding a Tronai would be a blessing and a curse, and everyone here knew just what type of Tronai she was.
Down her back was the tattoo, a rounded path tracing from her shoulder blades to a point in the small of her back just above her ass. A simple design, but any Tronai who sported such a large tattoo was one who prided themselves with their body, displaying it, marking it, sometimes even selling it. She hadn’t done that for years, truth be told, but she had fucked a lot of men, and women, and everything in between in her life. In fact, James was the first one she had stuck with for any length of time. Not out of ‘love’ or anything so trite, he just suited her needs, and the money was decent enough. Better still, it had kept her off the scope of a cartel she had pissed off a few years back and-
"Tronai." the word came from behind her, the voice confident, yet tinged with uncertainty, as if using the word as an ersatz name as much as an epithet.
Turning, Prin saw a Sinara male, maybe five years her junior, standing in a beam of light, gold eyes glinting in his red face, conservatively dressed though wearing his hair in an unusual mohawk style. She squinted in the light, and looked him up and down, trying to figure him out, to understand the contradiction.
"I am Ritani." he said, matter-of-factly. She knew what that meant; he was one of the rare Sinara that was in multiple castes. This was either a matter of birthright, or special training, but she couldn’t tell which just yet.
"I am Lina Uriar, Tronai." She said, giving a fake name she had used before, and remembered being clean.
"Vrint Quis, Krint and Tremuk." He said coldly, and she felt her heart rate step up a few notches. He was not Ritani by birthright, but had received special training. Given that Krint and Tremuk were military and espionage cases, he was likely not here on civilian business. How could someone so young be-
"I have an offer for you Lina." He said, looking out into the sunbeams, his eyes barely registering discomfort from the light.
"And what can this Tronai do for you Vrint?" She said, tossing a mocking tone into her speech.
His eyes found hers again, and a smile twitched his lips.
"I need you to help me take care of a small problem.”
“Whatever I can do to help.”
“I’m here to perform an assassination."