One of his servants knocked on the door.

" Nova?" he called out.

" Don't you think we're getting too old for you to call me that?" Nova asked as he opened it to welcome him.

Kaama rolled his eyes.

" Aren't you too old to call Lyena by name, then?"

Nova puffed up defensively.

" That's not the same thing," he replied, standoffish. After a moment his posture relaxed. " Why'd you come by, Kaama? It's really late."

Kaama smiled as though he had something devious on his mind.

" I... got my hands... on some sensitive materials."

He stepped inside, and Nova closed the door after him.

... He liked Kaama. They had been born around the same time, so out of all the servants, he was the one he was closest with. Now that they were getting too old to be really friendly things had been weird.

Well, since Ifrit had been back more and more recently, Nova had been spending most of his time with Ifrit.

" What is it?" he asked.

Kaama went over to his portable telescreen, and fished something out of his pocket. Ah, recorder disks.

" My cousin went to DASS and he got a whole lot of crazy stuff. I snitched this out of his room while he wasn't looking," he said.

" You better hope your mother doesn't catch you stealing stuff," Nova said, sitting next to him. " She's really good at sniffing that stuff out."

" Yeah right, whatever. Check this out," Kaama said, switching it on and settling down.

A video titlescreen popped up, in the DASS's Universal and with Starka subtitles. The subtitles looked like they had been tacked on later by someone else.

Heat in Venecia.

" That's the outpost that got captured before Lyena was Lyena, isn't it?" Nova asked.

" There are hot girls on screen and you're gonna bring up Lyena?" Kaama asked, slightly incredulous in a way that hurt Nova's feelings when it shouldn't have.


" Well, haha, you know, I'm a liberated woman..."

Moans. The sound of heavy breathing.

Kaama elbowed him.

" Aren't those girls from DASS crazy?"

Nova leaned away a little, feeling distinctly unsettled.

" ... This is sort of boring," he said. " Do you have anything else?"

" Come on, don't be so stiff all the time," Kaama complained. Nova's mind got caught on his words.

" It's not that," he said. " I really do think it's boring. I'm... I'm not really interested in this."

Kaama huffed as though angry and fell back, splayed on the ground.

" All you ever do now is follow Lyena around," he complained. " All you ever talk about is Lyena, Lyena, Lyena. You even sleep in there with him! I just wanted to do something with you."

" Harder, harder, harder-"

" ... I'm sorry."

Kaama got up and left.