Alfiore, MareFloris – December
I’ve almost got used to the girl with shoulder blade length dark hair and dark blue eyes, who watches me twisting her hair up into a random fluke at the back of her head and pinning it with a lapis lazuli clip. Her name is Freya Adami; she has a MareFlorian birth certificate and travel documents and so do her father and three brothers. They came down from Triaghetto in the north east of MareFloris to be with the Cavalieri boys when they lost their parents and sister in the attack. I was the only one of us who needed the eye-dye as well as the hair; the exact same procedure they used on Gus in Anthar.
We wouldn’t be able to fake identities and documents now; everything’s tightened up since the collapse of the ice-sheets that took out twenty percent of OutLands coastal cities, including our St Andrews in Scotland. They can’t rebuild St Andrews, it’s under twelve feet of North Sea as far as the hills. London is being reconstructed up in the Chilterns in Oxfordshire, but the global economy is shattered and Albia, who can help, is still concealed under the ice down here in Antarctica.
We’re listed as ‘missing presumed dead’ and instead, we’re on the 2023 MareFlorian census as citizens of Albia. Albia was a trusting and peaceful society; too trusting. There was no census. It was easy for Leo to track a family and create documents for us. My mother was an artist who died, somewhat extraordinarily for Albia, in childbirth. My father, Nathan Adami is a writer. Dad wasn’t able to go into Julius’ department because there’s too much he doesn’t understand or know about telepathy; not least of which is that he can’t use it. If Julius had been alive, he might have been able to teach him, or develop an implant.