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“Yes,” she replied, her voice barely audible. She drew a deep shaky breath and swallowed hard. “Thank you, Ayess. You’ve just said what I felt but couldn’t quite grasp. Luzita would have had no qualms about doing the same to me.”
“Are you afraid that she will try?”
She shook her head. “She can’t. The collar works only for me and she’s smart enough to know that I’m the one taking care of her, and that if anything happens to me…” She looked up at Ayess. “If anything happens to me, the ship is yours. It’s already recorded,” she added to forestall a protest. “The ship, my accounts, everything.”
“Nothing is going to happen to you.”
“I hope not. But if it does, I want you to know that you will not need to worry about your future. And don’t worry about Luzita, either. I told her that if there’s trouble I would know where it started and she would be the one leaving the ship, not you. I wouldn’t put it past her to try to tell you the exact opposite just to try to create discord, play us against each other.” She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I’m beginning to wish I hadn’t found her.”
Ayess’ race does not have words for he/she/his/hers, etc, because they are (for lack of a better term) hermaphroditic. Their pronouns to refer to other members of their race are “ni” (for he/she/him/her), “ni-es” (his/hers), “ni-en” (they/them) and “ni-en-es” for theirs.