Ulysses and the Fugitive 9 "Makes sense. I was a little confused when I woke up too. Can I get you anything?" "Water, please." Ulysses kissed Nera then got out of bed and fetched a bottle of water. She sat up and drank half the bottle, then stared off into space as their room grew brighter in the sunrise. Nera looked at him. "What now?" She asked. "I was going to ask you that. We definitely need to figure out our next step. I don't have enough money for another night at this hostel." She looked at the window curtain. Ulysses put his hand on hers, prompting her turn to him with a weak smile. She leaned over and pecked him on the lips, then held his gaze. “What do you think we should do?" "Well," he said, "we could always just go back to the burn. You said that the playa dust you collected was enough to keep us from being detected. You could drop me off at the car, and I could meet you back at the burn. You could park your, uh, ship closer so we don't have to travel as far to pick it back up once Burning Man is over." She nodded once at him. "I don't need to drop you off. We can carry the car back with my ship. That way we can leave the ship far enough away from the burn without either of us having to walk all the way back." Ulysses grinned at her. "Done with walking around in the desert, huh? I dunno, Nera, you might not be cut out for the burner lifestyle." She cracked a smile and gently shoved him. "Ooh, I like a strong lady." Nera shoved him off the bed in response. They both laughed, and Ulysses picked himself up off the floor to sit next to her again. "In all seriousness, though, I think we've got solid plan." "What should we tell Giles?" "That's a good question," Ulysses said. "I don't know what we should tell him because I can't figure out what to say about any of this, about you. I mean, you do understand that this situation- our situation- is completely out of the ordinary, right? There is no recorded contact between humans and extraterrestrials in the history of this planet. Your ship's technology is completely unlike anything humans can make. So you and I are in a unique set of circumstances." Nera frowned. "I'm sorry, Ulysses. I don't mean to be so much trouble." "Don't apologize. You came here because you were just trying to survive. I can't fault you for that and nobody else should either. It's just that contact with life from anywhere other than this planet has never happened before. Can you understand why we need to keep this to ourselves, at least for now?" "Yes, the national government would take my ship." "Honey, they wouldn't just take your ship, they'd take you too. They'd take you and they'd never let you go. You would never be free again. Hell, they'd probably take me too, since we're...you know."