She’d told Jan-li, Oberxiao Huhn, to let her think for a while, and he’d promised to. In the same conversation in the moonlit roof top garden she’d also warned him not to keep hacking the city’s security cameras to find her, “Sooner or later, someone’s going to notice,” she told him firmly, “and probably get entirely the wrong idea.”
He’d thought for a moment and replied, “You’re probably right but I have-.” Then he’d shaken his head ruefully and said, “I should stop being quite so focused and take a step back.” She’d given him an electronic address where he could contact her and then he’d walked her to the station. Since then, she hadn’t heard from him.
Mayin decided it was the right time to distract herself by going back to an old interest.
Her pre-enlistment abseiling club was long disbanded and she needed one reasonably handy to where she lived now, so she searched through the community and public announcements for something suitable. That was how she found the Renshkin High Towers Abseiling and Free Climbing Club. Their info and contact page said all the right things, the blurb sounded good and checking the appropriate registration and safety authorities showed that they had all right affiliations and certificates. The only thing left to do was turn up at a meeting and see if she liked these people.
A tall, spare, grey haired woman was meeting new comers at the climbing gym door and she directed Mayin to a group of teens gathered near the most basic wall. She was also the one who joined their little gaggle and introduced herself as Erridan Glade. “I’m assessing visitors and newcomers so we know what you can do and what training you need,” she went on. “Perhaps the group of you that arrived together could begin?”
There were six of them, mid-teens, and Mayin thought they were probably three couples, even if they didn’t recognise it themselves. After they ran through their names one of them said, “A bunch of us have been watching Guirdon and we got into an argument about whether we could do any of the things he does and well, we thought abseiling and rappelling and climbing would be something we could learn to do.”
“I see.” Erridan nodded. “Well you’ve been sensible about it and come to us. And you?” She turned to Mayin.
“I’m Mayin Thale. I was in an abseiling club at the end of school but then I enlisted. I did a bit more while I was in the service and I thought I might go back to it as a hobby now I’m out. Also, I thought I should get out and widen my circle of acquaintance.” Mayin gave what she hoped was a friendly smile at the group.
“So,” summarised Erridan, “you’ve done some adventure training and-”
“No, sorry,” interrupted Mayin, “I’ve given you the wrong impression. I completed the Advanced Operational Climbing and Rappelling Course within the last two years.”
Erridan paused and almost did a double take. That made a couple of the more observant teenagers take another look at Mayin. “We’ll put you in with our advanced group then. Did you bring any gear with you?”