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"Star Keys" (Ghint'e Revenge)

Here, on rock walls and ceilings, bioluminescence provides the faintest light. Eyes adjust.

Then, still separated from Tee and Ainia, after the first day, Kieusiv brightened Iodea’s spirits.

“Do you fish?” he asked.

“Yes,” she said and nodded.

“Oh. Rather, I mean, as well, do you like to eat fish?”

“Yes,” she replied.

“Good. I believe I can catch our dinner, Iode’a.” Beaming, he winked and patted her shoulder.

Her eyes opened wide; and she smiled at the thought.

“I have a survival kit in my pocket. It will help. Maybe we will eat more than truffles today. And there must be light. There must be a way out Iode’a. But, the fish we’ve seen jump might soon be in our hands. Will you help?”

“All right. I will trust and believe you,” she answered.

She marveled at hooks and fishing line shown to her.

“Yes, I will help,” she claimed. “I’m growing more confident.”

The expanse they, Ainia, and Tee have walked in is vast. The planet set pocketed with several such formations. The slippery stream divided (became two fast rivers) and separated the children from Tee and Ainia. Surviving, landing at opposite ends of a wide water system, trying to find a way out, worried children and intimidated adults began to drift further apart rather than towards one another.

But, partial success had come to Kieusiv.

“Fish are tasty but something larger stirs in the water,” Kieusiv noted yesterday. They had caught three fish. Each then enjoyed fruits of good labor. “These will sustain us but we must be cautious,” he claimed.

“Yes,” she followed.

She’d heard splashing. They’d listened while gazing to dark water. Something was lurking large in the deeper parts of the ominous, cold lake.

As well, last night there were sounds.

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