The young woman still sat shocked stiff between the trees. What she just heard involuntarily, left her aghast. Fear held her throat tight and rendered her incapable of acting. But slowly she woke form her paralysis. She had to get away from here and fast! Topaz let her view swipe the park. No, there was no one around anymore. She stood up fast and went home. On the way she forced herself with all her might to think rational. She tried to fight down her inner turmoil, she must not panic. Important was only that she left Handor this very night. While she headed for her home she pondered and suddenly she had the saving idea; Ioto! Yes, Ioto was good. Topaz nodded, lost in her thoughts. There were flights to this moon every other hour, because lots of Handori worked in the mines there but lived on Handor.
When she arrived home, she rushed to her computer console and noticed that the next flight would go in about an hour. Since there were only few seats left, she immediately booked one for herself. It wasn’t all that suspicious since there was a botanic garden on Ioto in which she frequently used to work. Even if Loran, though she highly doubted it, would get the idea to check the passenger lists tonight, he wouldn’t notice. Quickly she threw a few pieces of clothing into a small travel bag. Her cash reserves and a check card she stuffed into her pockets. While she looked around her room for anything she might have forgotten, a thought crossed her mind. If she would just vanish, Loran would immediately start searching for her. She sat down at her computer again and wrote a short note to him, telling him she needed to go to Ioto but would be back in a few days. Then she took her bag and got on her way to the spaceport. Here everything went smooth. She picked up her ordered ticket at the terminal and queued up to enter the Shuttle. It went on steadily and after a short time she could take her seat.
The flight only took half an hour. After landing she rushed to the next bank branch to delete her bank account. The clerk looked at her a bit confused but paid her savings without difficulty. Hastily she stuffed the money into her bag and went to the restroom to hide it in a small pouch, which she wore under her clothes. Just a small amount she put into her belt pocket, to pay her next flight and other expenses. Topaz went back to the terminal. One look at the departure display told her that already in ten minutes the next ship to Wollan would take off that would only make stops at Iaka and Togana.
She bought a ticket to the final station and was lucky enough to get a single cabin. Topaz went aboard, asked a steward for the way to her cabin and hurried to get there. With a sigh of relief she pushed the door into the lock. Now her whole self-control, that she struggled to hold up, fell off her. Tears ran down her face as she dropped onto the bed. How could she ever have believed a man like Loran would have loved her? All that she experienced today ran like a film in front of her mind’s eye again.