Lisa fast-forwarded their journey and the late afternoon hunt before retiring to the evening fire. Out of curiosity alone, she decided to stop the action to listen to their night time conversation.
“I was wondering something?” said Teyata.
“Hm?” said Brad.
Lisa wondered if she had caught them during a lull in their conversation.
“Well I’ve read a bit about DNA,” said Teyata.
“You read everything,” Brad said drolly.
“How did you take that man’s claws?”
Brad began to dread her questions. Teyata didn’t act like a child, asking naive things. She had evolved to the stage where she asked deep, intelligent questions. When he first met her, he could answer her with a simple dismissive statement; not anymore. Now, his replies became “I don’t know” more and more frequently. He prayed briefly in his mind for an acceptable explanation. It came to him.
“Okay; you know what cars are; don’t you?”
Teyata shrugged one shoulder. “Yeah.”
“Alright, DNA’s like a key. Only your key’ll open your car, but anyone can use your key. I’d say what happened was a case of the computer accepted the DNA code. It unlocked it, ready for fitting, then we came.”
They chatted for the rest of the evening about nothing in particular. Lisa would’ve ended the day’s work, but decided to sit alone in the dark and absorb their company. It soothed her to hear their voices, reminding her of family, like the one she lost. Their talk of the future, they way they looked at each other; the closeness in general told of their love for each other. Brad was the weak link though. Once he admitted his feelings for Teyata, it would cement their relationship. They talked on long after Lisa’s eyelids grew weary, ending another night.
Lisa awoke with a snort, slumped halfway out of her chair. The holographic projector played on, showing Teyata and Brad asleep around the remains of the fire. Stars paled as the sky turned a dark shade of grey.
She attempted to stand and groaned at the pain in her back. Teyata and Brad would wake soon with the new dawn, giving Lisa the opportunity to go to her kitchenette to make herself coffee. Minutes later, she returned with steaming mug in hand and sipped twice as Brad began to stir, removing the necessity to fast-forward.
Brad rolled into a crouch and pushed his arms all the way rearward, causing his back to creak. Teyata stirred, but didn’t wake. He slipped on his goggles and nudged her with his foot.
“Whaaat?” she moaned.
“Time for the final challenge.”
She opened an eye and rolled aside, craning her head in the direction of Brad’s line of sight.
“We’ll do it later.”
“Can’t I get it out the way now?”
“No. It has to be dark first. See that road ahead?”
Brad could make out the faintest grey line, splitting green fields for kilometres in either direction. From what he could see, it ascended, winding into rocky hills.