Unnamed Journal Volume 3, Issue 3 - Page 16

Ulysses and the Fugitive 9 it was still dark in Nevada. She managed it, but not quietly. The earth shifted in waves around the saucer as it spun downward into the playa. Ulysses lost track of it once it was below the surface, but the cloud of dust the craft had generated made it hard to see anything. He could feel the saucer moving underground, and thought that he must be experiencing what's it's like to stand outside during an earthquake. Then the shaking stopped. Dust, rock, and earth poured into the hole created by the saucer. The ground wasn't level, but it had filled in far more than Ulysses expected. He shook his head hard, and made his way to the car. The ground settled. Ulysses turned the car over, put it in drive, and drove them back to Burning Man. Black Rock City had not noticed the pair's absence nor their return. Back inside the burn, Ulysses went directly to the tent he shared with Giles. He stuck his head into the shade cloth covered pavilion and found it empty. Ulysses called out for his Australian friend but got no response. He unzipped the tent and beckoned for Nera to follow him. "I think we really lucked out," said Ulysses opening his clothing bin. He selected a shirt and his other pair of jeans, then started changing his clothes. "Why is that?" Nera asked, staring at him with confusion. "Uh, let's see: the car was where we left it, without any sign of law enforcement; as far as we know, no one saw us grab the car; we hid your ship without anyone noticing and without having to walk miles back to the burn; we've been gone for about a day, and it's unlikely that anyone is the wiser, except maybe Giles, who's not even here right now. So in light of all that, I think we're pretty lucky." He punctuated the end of his sentence by pulling his t-shirt down and straightening it. Nera smiled at him. "Are you sure we shouldn't tell Giles anything?" "Yes," said Ulysses without hesitating. "If only you and I know the details about you and where you come from, life will be a lot simpler for both of us. Keeping things to ourselves will buy us time to come up with a longer-term plan." "Okay," she said with a nod. "Nera, I don't like it either, but I don't know what else to do right now. We've only got two more days left at the burn. Are you comfortable hanging out with me here and trying to have some fun until it's over?" "I am," she smiled at him. "I like how you have fun." "When we get back to my place in Denver, we can sort out a long term plan. Sound good?" She nodded and leaned in to give him a kiss that loosened his front teeth. "Honey, you keep kissing me like that and I won't have single tooth left in my head." Nera blushed. "Sorry, I get excited and forget to be gentle. I don't want to hurt you." She held Ulysses hand delicately. "It's all right, darling. I was exaggerating a little bit anyway. If you can hold back a little on my mouth, though, I would