"We have a duty to this solar system that goes deeper than blood, deeper than oaths." —Paladin Devi Cassl
Pranav sucks his cheeks between his molars as he considers his options.
"Stop that," Devi says, swatting playfully at his hand. "It makes you look stupid."
"Ashamed of your stupid brother?" he teases, vacuuming his cheeks even further into his mouth.
"Never," Devi says fiercely, forgetting the joke. They fall quiet. Eventually, she reaches for her hand cannon and rises to leave. "Anyway, I… I understand why you left. You've done so much good here." She looks out over the valley that Pranav has protected for the centuries since he left the Reef. "I just wanted to say that, in case…"
Pranav is quiet. Then he stands, fetches his rifle. "And I understand why you stayed. I'm coming with you. Assuming Petra welcomes me back."
Relief and delight takes Devi's breath away. She throws her arms around him. "She will! She's just a baby, but she's practical, Pranav, you'll see. And anyway, we… There aren't enough of us now to turn away you Earth-lovers. We need all the help we can get."