That night, as Bodil and Ellie lay in their respective beds, Bodil propped herself up on one elbow and turned to Ellie; wanting to put those thoughts to someone else.
Ellie, as usual, was busy with her PDA; dealing with matters hundreds of miles away and lost in concentration.
Bodil opened her mouth to ask about Ellie's opinions on the childhoods of pre Sirtuin children, but what came out was:
"Why do you always wear those dark glasses?" It wasn't at all what she wanted to ask, but it was too late to take it back.
Ellie looked across from the other side of the tent. The face and the glasses showing the same blank expression.
The stare and the silence lasted for just enough seconds for Bodil to start to feel uncomfortable. She opened her mouth to apologise but any apology was stopped by Ellie's answer.
"I have sensitive eyes."
The simple explanation left Bodil feeling rather embarrassed. Of course, it was obvious. Why was she making such a big deal of the other woman's disability? After embarrassment, guilt set in.
"I'm sorry. That was rude of me." And yet there was something; always something about Ellie that nagged at her. Dancing, beer, shoes... and now her eyes.
Ellie turned back to her PDA.
"Yes, It was."
Bodil pushed her train of thought into a siding; now she felt even worse. She couldn't now just roll over on her cot and go to sleep. She had to fix this. Her original question came back to her.
"May I as you something else?"
Again, Ellie turned her head, showing the same blank expression, or was that curiosity just curling one side of her mouth up a tiny, tiny fraction? Probably not.
"That depends, Professor. But ask anyway."
Not for the first time, professor Hill found herself in the unusual position of herself being the bothersome student while Ellie took the role of the annoyed yet patient teacher.
"It's nothing to do..." She just caught the end of a raised eyebrow appear above the top of Ellie's black lenses. Bodil recovered before repeating the crassness of her earlier question.
"Those boys back there; the Bru-Mei party. They made me wonder if the children of seven hundred years ago would have been similarly bold."
Ellie's smile gained substance and she folded her PDA.
"Interesting question, Professor, but why ask me?
Bodil opened her mouth, but then found that she didn't have an answer to that,
just a strange and amorphous jumble of thoughts that suggested Ellie might be maybe as old as Victor had admitted to being. To say that out loud, however, would have been a serious faux pas.
"Oh, because you are here I suppose, and because I have been thinking about it ever since we met those boys.
Compared to similar infants of our own culture they displayed a reckless disregard for their own mortality."
Ellie was nodding.
"Yes, I see what you mean." Ellie looked at Bodil with that thoughtful expression that suggests a decision is being made behind those impenetrable lenses.
Then she turned pack to her PDA and quickly flicked through it. "I felt a bit guilty about dragging you away from your research in The Archive...
" Ellies fingers played the PDA like a concert pianist before finally hitting the 'send' icon, at the same time looking up and smiling.
"I was going to give this to you later on Professor, but I think it might help answer your question."
Bodil's own PDA beeped at her from under her cot. She leaned over and dug it out from where she had accidently buried it under her previous day's underwear.
Immediately curious as to what it might be that Ellie had deemed right to give her 'later on', Bodil opened it.
"Mother's tits is this what..." She had read the title but was only just taking it in.
"Yes, only part of course, but it is high-res copies of the actual written pages, along with transcripts. The author wasn't the best with a pen it seems."
Bodil stared at the file title. 'Diaries of Anneka Kjaer-Spivey. Volumes 1 - 5. Vol 2 (Part) 'Early Life' Including tran-scripted pages.'
Bodil felt a wave of dizzying pleasure, almost bordering on the erotic, sweep through her in a delicious warm flush. She looked up at Ellie.
Her face must have been a picture because the Troy security chief actually cracked a smile.
"Yes, I thought you might like that," Ellie said, before turning back to her own PDA. "Now, I assume I can get back to working in peace, hmm?"
But Bodil was already engrossed in the pages as she flicked through them. She was looking for names, anything that might add to the hardly extensive early years of The History.
From the Clone War onwards, much was documented but before that there was very little. About the Grand Mother's early life, even less... Thanks to the damn Troys.
Bodil was looking for names, and she was finding them. Joe Spivey and Kirsten Kjaer were there of course, they were Anneka's parents after all.
But Bodil was looking for other names, those only briefly mentioned in The History... Subdane, Lost Bride, Silja Henningsdottir Hanne Berg and, of course, Beatrice Brown.
There was Silja! Bodil stopped the slideshow search and read avidly. What? Her brow furrowed as she read an account of Anneka being taken to... an orphanage? Surely not...
Ohhhhhhh, a visit with... Her friends? Silja was there too, but... Four names, well, Bodil assumed they were names.
Finny. Casper. Onetooth... 'Onetooth'? And... Worms. Bodil's breath caught in her throat. No. Couldn't be.
Worms. The only Worms ever mentioned in The History was from the darkest depths of the awful war for clone supremacy. Worms, was the derogatory nickname given to the infamous doctor of Camp 19.
The special POW camp for captured enemy clones, Doctor Oliver Rundle. It couldn't be the same person.
Doctor Rundle was tasked with finding ways to overcome the strengths and vastly superior numbers of the clones on the side of the enemy. Well, he did that.
He delivered and from his research alone, the war was probably shortened by at least two years and greatly improved the chances of the Grand Mother's forces emerging triumphant.
But the methods Rundle employed to get his results, to help in the Grand Mother's victory, led to the Doctor being tried for war crimes.
Controversially, he was acquitted but what went on in Camp 19 created a stain that has never quite been expunged.
Bodil determined to look into this some more, even though the thought of what she might find left her feeling more than a little uneasy.
The following morning, neither Bodil or Ellie mentioned the diary. Bodil assumed that Ellie had read it. But she wasn't going to be the one to open that particular can of... she shuddered.
They made good time and actually arrived at Cam's Bridge before noon.
They left the escorting Rangers in the bar and Weis drove them towards the docks and the cacophony of seagulls that announced to the whole settlement that a fishing boat had just entered
Cam's Bridge was a mixture of ancient stubs of buildings built upon in colourful patches of brickwork and painted wood.
A thick wall surrounded the settlement,
topped by a wooden palisade and gun platforms that supported an array of weaponry ranging from spear throwing catapults trebuchets and even the odd ancient muzzle-loading cannon.
Everywhere was bustle and noise and the smell of fish, fresh and not so fresh.
The biggest buildings by far were the impressive sheds on the docksides and it was to one of these that Weis was taking them...
albeit slowly because Cam's Bridge was overcrowded and definitely not the place to try and get anywhere fast in a vehicle.
Eventually though, they pulled up in front of the enormous double doors of one of the gigantic warehouses.
Set into one of these doors was a much smaller door, and it was from this that a ranger emerged.
At least it was probably a Ranger, if only for the armless uniform shirt and legless uniform trousers it wore. Definitely a non-regulation haircut cast doubt on the Ranger-ousness of the figure.
Not so much a haircut as an explosion of ginger that made it difficult to tell where hair stopped and beard started... or if there were any eyes in there somewhere.
Whatever, Weis seemed happy enough to recognise the, the, errrr figure as a fellow ranger and jumped down from the truck to run over and hug it.