The winter evening had grown blue, and the threatened snow-squall now wrapped the island in its embrace. Veils of snow caught the faint illumination from the banquet-room as the Saiph patronage, from Martisset the Elder and Tethys down to Naime-Yasmin’s fat little twin brothers who had just learned to walk, seated themselves around the banquet tables, each of the six branches like a snowflake.
The faces, lit in rows of candles, glowed like the figures of the Gate of Hours.
Martisset was still thinking about the Ship’s Trees. Yes, the game was paused (as real life did not) but she was worried about their health. Three times she’d warned Naime-Yasmin about the gas-exchange, and three times been told that the Captain knew best.
One of Yasmin’s little brothers reached across Martisset’s lap to the faceted wine-flute, candlelight glimmering in its depths. She arrested the chubby little hand, and moved the vessel out of his reach, as Yuki-Iskri passed behind her, decanting watered wine from the traditional vase.
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