The Proposal (part 53)

“So, it’s true? You’re using Terrestrials to harvest minerals?” Ayn’s sense of unreality grew as she watched her dad’s face twist into a grimace.

“Ayn,” he said, “that is so far beyond the point of this conversation between you and I right now. This is about survival.”

“You’re scaring me,” she said.

“You should be scared,” he said, his voice softer. “We all should be. Don’t you see? We have to keep the goal in the forefront. This kind of thing,” he waved the phone, “is counterproductive—”

“Dad, I didn’t have anything to do with that. I don’t know how you could think I would help Nev, or anyone, put something together that makes you look like a—” she stopped herself. She was going to say, “…like a criminal,” but what her  dad was not saying was scaring her. When had he changed? Had she been that oblivious? That caught up in her own drama with Lettie to not see that her dad was becoming someone who would think she’d do something like help create a vid like that.

Zoe’s barking grew louder. It sounded like the beastie was throwing herself against Ayn’s bedroom door, where Lettie had put her. Ayn got up to go see to her.

“We’re not done here,” her dad called.

“Yes we are,” Ayn whispered, and kept on walking.

Lettie was at her bedroom door holding a leash. All the Counsel members were looking down the hallway at them, curious expressions on all their faces, though no one asked what was going on.

“It’s okay, girl,” Ayn crooned through the door.

Zoe whined at the sound of her voice.

“Shh, shh…” Ayn looked down at Lettie and held out her hand for the leash. “You’re not going to be able to get her,” she said. “She doesn’t trust you.” Neither do I, she thought.

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