Rubi-ka Sept. 28, 29477

Kayten leaned back against the wall and sighed. Down time was nice. Rare, but that only served to make it feel that much better when she did find two minutes to herself.

She had just come off a rather inense mission, not an exceptionally difficult one, just intense. Kayten didn't mission often, only once every three days or so. The rest of her time was spent either helping out the newer recruits or making an apperance at various Gridstream parties. The former she actually enjoyed somewhat. Helping n00bs gave her a sense of control in an otherwise chaotic world. It was the public appearances that really wore her down.

Kayten was generally an open and truthful person, even when she was on air with her brothers, or maybe especially then. When she was away from the boys, and simply surrounded by people who knew them, thats when she clammed up. Mostly she was afraid of upsetting Tarryk by saying something idiotic in public. A pointlessly stupid fear of course. Look at Metalynx, all he did half the time was piss people off, and Tarryk didn't hate him. But the fear of upsetting those close to her still lingered.

Tarryk was Kayten's blood brother from Old Earth. They had both been raised in New Detroit, though he had left for Rubi-ka when she was still a small child. She had reveared her older brother, and when she was old enough, she had followed him. There hadn't been much left for her on Old Earth anyway.

Upon reaching Rubi-ka, she had found Tarryk already becoming something of a public figure. He had Gridstream, he had friends, and Kayten felt alone. Another false perception on her part. She'd barely been on world a week when she discovered that not only were there quite a few people on Rubi-ka willing to help a newcomer, but that many of those offers were genuine as well. She also found that Tarryk's friends and the other Gridstream DJs were willing to take her under their collective wings without so much as a grumble of complaint. For the first time since her brother had left on his journey, she felt wanted and cared for.

Kayten had even found family in some of Tarryks closer friends. metalynx and his wife Laerena had taken Katen in as an adopted little sister as well. Which she was immensely grateful for. And only in this last month she had been accepted into an amazingly wonderful guild.

Yeah, all in all she couldn't complain too much. Life on Rubi-ka was turning out to be more then she'd ever dared dream of. Granted, there were still major issues to deal with. The clans and Omni-tech, and now that damned new portal. (Kayten secretly felt that opening that portal was playing with a fire that none of them were ready for). But overall she was content for once. She had adventure, family, friends, and a bit of responsibility.

Kayten climbed up onto the back of the couch in the Trade center and stretched out. Putting her weapons away and tossing her cloak over herself as a makeshift blanket. She could have gone back to her apartment for a rest, but the journey would take as long as an actuall mission, and likely be just as dangerous. She spent the majority of her time in Neutral cities, though she was aligned with the Clans. She hadn't yet mastered the Grid, and wasn't likely to, as it made her nervous as hell. So returning to Clan teritory would mean either a hell of a long run through hostile territory to get to Athen, or a quick jaunt through the Newland Whompa. She'd decided from the start that she would rather face an army of ten thousand shaved leets, then go through the Newland Whompa. So she'd never even bothered furnishing her Athen apartment. When she was tired she would simply retreat to the Trade center in the Borealis General Store, climb onto the back of the overstuffed couch, and dream.

She had a new apartment in Jobe, thanks to Tarryk. A delux luxery unit, they were supposed to be top of the line. Plus it was easier to get to. She hadn't set foor in it yet. Oh, she wanted to, by all means. She promised herself everyday that the next time she had a few spare minutes she'd travel to Jobe and check it out. But she never did. It was that damned Portal! Kayten couldn't bring herself to go near it. Not yet anyway. Not even the promise of a Luxery Apartment, with a working hot tub (and oh, didn't that hot tub sound inviting on a rough day) could lure her that close to the Shadowland Portal.

A distant rumble of thunder interupted her musings. She listened to the storm for a moment, decided it was definately headed this way, and snuggled deeper under her cloak. Storms were good to sleep in.

"Kayten? Kayt, you in here?" A feminine voice called from the doorway.

Laerena, Kayten thought with a surpressed groan, may the Prophet save me. I'm not allowed a moments peace.

"Oh, there you are." Laerena pulled back the edge of Kaytens cloak and smiled happily.

"Hey Rena." Kayten smiled back and attempted to pull the cloak back over her head, but Laerena wasn't letting go.

"What are you doing hiding out in here? I've been trying to get ahold of you for an hour. Why didn't you answer?" Laerena's smile turning into a mock pout.

"Yeah, sorry 'bout that. I turned off my communication interface." Kayten gave up on her attempt to regain possesion of her cloak. "I was going to take a nap."

"Lazier then a leet, I swear it. This is no time for napping. Veldron is hosting some huge gig at Reets Retreat, c'mon!"

Kayten rolled into a sitting position with a groan, "Someone's always hosting some huge gig at Reets. A girl needs time to sleep Rena."

Laerena knew she'd already won. She grabbed Kayten's arm and tugged. "Sleep is a crutch for the weak. Now, we must party!"

Kayten grinned at her friend and shook her head. "There's no arguing with you, is there?"

Laerena seemed to consider this seriously for a moment, then she smiled, "No, no there isn't. No change your clothes and lets go!"

~~~~~

Kayten found herself attempting to pull on her pink thigh-highs, while running through the pelting rain to the Borealis Whompas.

"Wait up Rena!" She finally go the last boot on as she ran up the ramp. She made a point of switching her comm interface back on before stepping through the Whompa door, and was instantly bombarded with stored messages from Laerena wondering where the hell she was earlier. "Damnit." She sore quietly as she stepped out of the Whompa into Stret West. Whompa's always made her queezy, the added messages while traveling through one just gave her a feeling of sensory overload. She shook the effects off and looked around to find Rena. She was already nearly to Reets. At least is wasn't raining here, Kayten thought with a sigh as she ran to catch up. Storms may be good to sleep in, but they're a pain in the ass to run through if you still want to look somewhat presentable upon reaching your destination. She squeezed the excess water from her pigtails and walked calmly through the doors into Reets Retreat. Tuning herself into the live Stream at the same time, she forced herself to appear awake, alert, and ready to party. Time to put on a good show.