Karen could by now read Naysha’s expression as pensive. She approached the alien, and sat next to her on a bed roll. She shivered as she placed her Pocod in front of them on fire glow mode. She wrapped a blanket around her and managed to look like she was wearing a fashionable shawl as she spoke.
“What are your thoughts?”
Naysha twirled a strand of hair slowly, a sign Karen took to mean she was troubled about something.
“Perhaps I should let you know more about my situation,” Naysha said. “Jinar, traditional leader of island Zvar, and current Fabarian Councillor for Crime Prevention and Reform suspected what my father Cenva had done. He snatched me and faked my death at a private meeting I was to have with the Council Watch and my Zvarian counterpart. What looked like a ceiling air conditioning unit fell on me. To the Watch it looked like I was killed. Only Jinar and his cohorts knew I was alive.”
Karen opened her mouth in shock. “Why would he do that?”
“To see if father would trot out my clone, Aysha, as a replacement, and pretend it was me. He did exactly that. Then Jinar planned to go to the Council Watch with his proof: the original Naysha. However, I escaped the planet in a pod, then as you know, secretly came back on Chiron…so I’m living proof of my father’s crime. Now that dear Aysha is in place with my name and job, I have to disappear.”
“Hmm. As much as I appreciate your being here, I have to ask, why did you risk coming back?”
Naysha whipped her tail around herself and gave her hair an obviously painful tug. “I probably shouldn’t have. In a moment of emotional weakness, I decided that helping you, and relieving the grief of my family was a good enough reason.” She shook slightly. “Being away made me desperately want to come back, but being here now makes me feel I shouldn’t be here. It was selfish, I’m a horrible bari.”
“You did the right thing,” Karen said quickly, though she wasn’t too sure. “Why didn’t Jinar tell the Watch of his plan?”
“It’s totally not legal to try to prove your suspicions by kidnapping someone and waiting to see if a copy of them turns up. Jinar is a criminal too.”
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