Maphira woke up feeling groggier than she ever had in her life. Her head felt about three times heavier than usual and her eyes seemed stuck together as if with glue. She pulled them open, her vision blurry. It took a moment for her to work out what was going on.
She sat against the wall of a cage, suspended several feet above the air. Vai sat across from her, watching Maphira closely. The woman gave a sad smile and nodded at Maphira.
“Been out for a while,” Vai said. “You’re lucky. Less time to contemplate the mistakes you’ve made that brought you here. Not looking good. They’ve got a 500KW solar system ready to drive a heap of electricity into this cage. I’d say our chances of getting out of this one are very slim.”
“I’d say they are very slim indeed, Ms Vai,” said Dr Dark McBane, walking up to their cage and looking up at them. “Apologies, as I don’t actually know your last name.”
“It’s none of your business,” Vai replied. “So, are you going to go into a big monologue about what we’re doing here?”
Dr McBane shook his head. “No, Ms Nonov-Yarbusniz, I think we’ll get straight into it.”
Maphira shifted in the cage so that she could get a better view of the room. It was tight, so it wasn’t long before she found herself sitting beside Vai. “Bet you wish you were still looking into Government solar rebate options for the Conclave, right?”
Vai cocked her head. “Are you kidding? I wouldn’t take it back for anything, even my survival. I didn’t realise it at the time, but I felt awful working for them. Since I started helping you, it’s like this dark cloud over me has vanished.” Vai placed her hand next to Maphira’s. “Besides, I didn’t think I’d ever get to tell you the truth. I’m just glad I got that chance.”
As Dr Dark McBane began to prepare for their end, Maphira placed her hand over Vai’s and squeezed.
At the end of the line, it was nice to have some company.