8.3.5 SW
20:11/21 SW-CP-Local Time
Crowning Point

Dev was inwardly relieved that Barden had decided, even if it was begrudgingly, to tag along back to the main colony. He would have worried about the man if they had left him by himself. It would mean though that there was a quicker chance of Barden reporting him to the higher ups.

Devereaux slowed down the ATV when they came to the edge of the Crowning Point settlement. He kept situationally aware, still very much on edge and hyped up on adrenaline, as he spoke out loud, “Looks like they haven’t resolved whatever problems they were experiencing.”

He stated the obvious to Grace. The darkness of the site didn’t help the bad feeling that was still left in his gut. “Where do you want me to take you?”

Grace only had one place on her mind, the thought of home. Specifically the comfort and safety of her own bed. “Residential please...”

By that she meant the Residential Hex, a wide, 6 story hexagonal shaped structure which served as home to 90% of the Sutter’s World population.

Devereaux nodded and pulled the ATV up to the residential area. He parked it and turned to Grace. “You going to be ok? You need help bringing your things inside?” He felt like he sounded a little awkward. What kind of question was that after what they just experienced?

Grace looked to the doors of the residential building, beyond the large glass entrance she could see a cluster of people gathered inside the landing with lanterns and flashlights. Down the road, two Colonial Security officers drove along on ATVs heading off toward the Operations hex. In the skies overhead, the two could make out the lights of a Colonial Security VTOL also heading northward.

Barden continued driving on into the night, undoubtedly to the Administration building.

“I’m good. I-I think…” she said as she dismounted from the passenger side. Then she turned around.

“Actually… I’d feel a LOT better if I didn’t have to be alone tonight…” she said, hating to admit it.

“You beat me to saying it.” He smiled to try and dispel the traumatic reason behind her words that they both shared. “If it is ok with you I could spend the night like a sentry?” He patted the rifle. He hadn’t let the item leave his person even for a moment since this had all started.

“No, yeah. I’d appreciate that.” said Grace, trying not to sound too desperate. “I mean. You know.”

Devereaux went to retrieve their belongings salvaged from the research trailer. The sight of other people was actually a little bit reassuring, even if it did look like a slumber party gone wrong behind the glass doors to the building.

She grabbed her bag from Devereaux as not to make him carry everything and she led the way into the hex where the crowd was engaged in speculation.

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