Lynnia, as she was originally known, was a mermaid who left the Seamount decades ago. She grew up with Riku, Jon, and Morgen but was always destined for something more as she would say.
Morgen’s eyes turned black as coal. Riku and Lynnia in the same room brought back upsetting memories for her. She always felt like a third thought when they were all together. Independently they were great, but, cold shivers ran down her spine seeing them in the same room. She took deep breaths to calm herself, trying to hide her feelings and move past it.
“Morgen! It’s wonderful to see you again!” Corinna approached her and went in for a hug. Morgen forced a smile and nodded back at her. “Riku, I have set you and your team up in our largest suite.” Corinna did a quick head count. “Yes, there should be enough beds set up for all of you. Follow me.”
Morgen stepped back to walk with Myrlina as Riku and Corinna led their group up to the entrance of the tunnel. Myrlina sensed Morgen’s angst and smiled kindly at her. “It’s okay to let go of the past my dear. They have.” She nodded at Riku and Corinna.
“I’m not so sure. Why didn’t Riku tell me she would be here?”
“He planned to. Like always, she has impeccable timing.”
Morgen sensed Myrlina had dealings of her own with Lynnia.
Myrlina continued, “Who do you think transformed her into human form permanently?” She gave a sideways smile. “I still wonder if I did the right thing. We expected her to be a voice for our people with the Terrans.” Morgen and Myrlina continued on in silence.
Meanwhile, Corinna pointed out sites to Riku as they made their way to Aurora Central. “This is where you will be staying. Our main building is 103 floors high. The 101st floor is the suite reserved for dignitaries and the location where you will be staying. There are 5 bed chambers with baths and a large open living area. It has 360 degree views of Aurora, and truly a sight to behold.”
Corinna always knew how to impress. They loaded onto the lift which brought them to their floor. “Riku, you can set up access once in the room for your team to come and go as they please.” Corinna looked into the lens which registered her eyes and opened the lift’s doors.
The suite was the picture of opulence. The mermen and mermaids were in awe of the gleaming surfaces and hard marble floors of the suite. A chandelier hung in the entry, alit with multicolored lights which projected warm washes of colors throughout the main living area. Corinna escorted Riku to the large bedroom to the left. “This will be your suite.” It was finely appointed with a large bed and fine linens. Riku was not overly impressed since it was not the merman’s custom to use such a piece of furniture. But he expressed his gratitude.
Next Corinna showed Myrlina to her room. It was equivalently appointed but with a slightly smaller bed. “Thank you Corinna. These are fine quarters.”
Corinna showed the Guard to their two rooms, outfitted with two single beds each. The Guard shrugged at each other as if to say what do we do with this? Corinna clarified for them, “Since you can’t float in air, this is where you lay to sleep.” They shook their heads in understanding.
Finally Corinna took Morgen into a small room. “Normally this is an office for the dignitary, but we brought in a cot for you to sleep on.” Morgen just smiled. She knew she had the worst room in the place, but she didn’t care. She didn’t plan on being here long and looked forward for this trip to be over as soon as possible.
Riku walked in and saw the setup. “Corinna, this is not acceptable. Morgen should have a proper room.”
Corinna looked befuddled. “This is the best I can do. There are no other rooms we can set up.”
Riku turned to Morgen. “Take my room. I won’t be getting much sleep anyway.”
Corinna crossed her arms, her face turning sour, seeing that Riku had Morgen’s back like this.
“Yarl Riku, it is okay. I’ll be fine in this study. Do not trouble yourself,” Morgen replied. “I have never slept on anything but water, it will be good.”
Riku had a look of disbelief on his face. She still puts up with Lynnia’s antics after all these years. “Suit yourself. We can talk more about this later.”
Corinna dropped her arms to her side, feeling she won yet again. It was always about winning with her, even with decades old rivalries.
The team regrouped in the main area of the suite. Corinna made a few more announcements. “I will have a tailor and a seamstress come up to get you all measured and some Terran clothes delivered for you to wear while you are here. It will make you all more comfortable if you are dressed like us. We will meet at sunset in the our suite. We are two floors up on the 103rd floor. See you then.”
Corinna turned and caught the lift to go on to her suite. Myrlina rolled her eyes behind Corinna’s back, which made Morgen chuckle a bit.
Morgen let out a sigh after the doors shut on the lift. “Can we relax now?” She threw the question towards Riku, who laughed.
“Lynnia is still up to her old tricks. How did I not see them before.” Morgen just looked at Riku, expressionless. Then something outside the window behind him caught her eye.
She walked over to the window. She saw beautiful red rock formations coming out of the water nearby, and the water was shades of turquoise, emerald, and sapphire. The light from the sol reflected off the waves which were calm and small. “Is that home?” She drew in a breath. “I’ve never seen it from above.”
Everyone walked over to the window to join her in the view. Riku rested his arm on her shoulders. “Yes, Morgen. That’s home.”