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Game Armada Xi'an Dictionary

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Xi'an Dictionary


Xē’suelen! Welcome to the Xi’an dictionary. In it, you will find a compilation Xi’an words, along with their translations. The legend at the top serves as a guide to the abbreviations for parts of speech used throughout the dictionary. This is a living document. It will change as the Xi’an and their language are developed.

If you’d like to participate in the development of the Xi’an language, we’d love to have your input! Please visit the Xi’an Language subgroup in Spectrum and introduce yourself.

Until next time, yanlēkol!

Abbreviation Part of Speech
cnj. Conjunction
clq. Colloquial
col. Color
con.CAS Conversational Phrase (Casual)
con.FOR Conversational Phrase (Formal)
con.SEMFOR Conversational Phrase (Semi-formal)
deix. Deixis (Indicates distance from speaker or current point in time)
elm. Elemental (more commonly referred to as tai when discussing Xi’an grammar)
elm.CMP Elemental Compound (typically behave like a normal tai in sentences)
elm.CMP.for Formal Elemental Compound
elm.SRV Elemental from the Service Dialect
idm. Idiom
line Xi’an family Clan Name
n. Noun
name A name (Term of address for another person)
nlz. Turns a tai or phrase overtly into a noun.
nlz.ClT Enclitic Nominalizer (Binds to the front of tai to make them into nouns.)
num. Number
pn. Pronoun
PN. Proper Noun (Name)
PN.feml Proper Noun (Female Name)
PN.male Proper Noun (Female Male)
pn.NEU Neutral/Polite Pronoun (Safe for everyday use.)
pn.PEJ Pejorative Pronoun (Caution. Highly insulting.)
pn.REV.for Formal Reverential Pronoun (Rare in normal conversation.)
PN.role Proper Noun (Occupation (Part of common Xi’an names. Comes before the personal name.))
pn.SRV Service Dialect Pronoun (Sometimes used when speaking the Proper language.)
POS Part of Speech
Q Question Term
Q.sffx Question Term-forming Suffix
rel. Relational Particle
slng.GEN General Slang
slng.SRV Service Dialect Slang
v.FAM Familiar Verb Form (Use only with close friends or family members.)
v.IMP Imperial Verb Form (Required when speaking about the Emperor or Empress)
v.LAUD Laudative Verb Form (Used to praise people, things, situations, etc. Never use when referring to yourself.)
v.NEU Neutral/Polite Verb Form (For everday use in public.)
v.PEJ Pejorative Verb Form (Used to criticize or humiliate. (Do not use if not fluent.))
v.REV Reverential Verb Form (Used to express deference or humility to listeners.)
vcp. Verb Clarifying Particle (tai used to augment verb mood, aspect, etc. Immediately follows the verb.)



Xi’an Term POS Translation to UEE Standard
– (∅ o) v.FAM do (the o is dropped /null, missing/ in the Familiar verb paradigm)
vcp. [imperfective/progressive/contiuative] .āl
elm. continuation; (forward) movement
.a’u elm. here/this
.ā’u pn. this (thing)
.aiy’a pn. yon thing
.ām col. niveous
.ath elm. getting along; managing; faring
.ath’a cnj. and fittingly; and so; then (after “if”-clasue)
.au’o elm. ice; snow; frozen liquid
.axy.oa? con.CAS Ça va? (cf: o .ath .u m.uexy.oa?)
.ay’ā elm. dream; see a vision
.ay’o pn. that (thing)
v.REV eminate/reflect
.e’o elm. there/that (near the listener)
.eu’a deix. that distant (after an indicated noun)
.ey’o deix. that (near you) (after an indicated noun)
.i elm. choice; selection
.i’a elm. there/that (away from both speaker and listener)
.ii elm. multiply; duplicate; breed
.ithl’e’a elm.CMP moral; ethical; “the right choice”
v.REV do
.oa’i rel. until
.ōn col. viridian
.u’a elm. over there/that (remote (and out of view or reach))
.u’uth elm.CMP also (as an adverb)
.uai elm. go
.Uy’ii PN.feml Uyíí
(h)ai pn.SRV you
[V.] sā tao’ra idm. “perhaps one day ____”
a elm. object; tangible thing
a. nlz.CLTC [concrete/tangible thing; object]
a.thl’ē’kol con.FOR “Goodbye; Farewell”
a’k.ii elm. aunt (mother’s or grandmother’s younger sister when elder)
a’ki elm. aunt (mother’s or grandmother’s younger sister)
a’o.u’a pn. that thing beyond
a’ran elm. tenacious; stubborn; relentless
a’xy.oa Q. what (concrete) thing?
a” elm. fit; fit into
ahual elm.CMP anything (any physical thing)
ahyan elm.CMP everything (of physical things)
Āi PN.feml Aai
aith elm. health; good health; healthy
al rel. out; outside
al elm. outgoing; external; projecting externally; depart; exit; export
āl elm. sub conscious meditation; fugue meditation; reverie
aloa elm.CMP meal (also atenloa in more formal contexts)
alye’lye elm.CMP arrow; spear
ān pn.SRV we (exclusive)
an” vcp. [conditonal (“when”)] an’lai (often followed by .ath’a)
an” elm. inevitability
ang nlz. [noun phrase clause head]
ao elm. company; corporation; corporate; business entity
aryā’su elm.CMP flavor or smell (of food, etc.); trace (of something no longer present)
ateyā elm.CMP the thing preferred; the preference; what ‘I’ want.
cha v.FAM cause/produce/effect
chā’e elm. eye; vision; look at; regard; spy
chai elm. technology; hyper-complex tool
chai elm. informatics; technology; engineering
chainunya elm.CMP robot; (speficially an android)
chao elm. organization (for societal good)
che’a num. million 1,000,000
che’aile’a num. 6,000,000
che’aile’a u le’a num. 6,000,006
che’’ē elm.CMP society; societal (chen nya xē”)
chen elm. life and its associated experiences; live (one’s life)
chi vcp. [temporal inflective] chil
chi elm. now (in juxtaposition to the immediate past)
chi’a v.LAUD equate
chi’sa elm. facet; aspect; attribute
Chii line Chii
chii’hua elm. zesty; spicy
ching elm. true; truth
chō’a elm. thanks; appreciation; gratitude
cho’ro slng.GEN we inclusive (dual (pejorative)) slang (I + you)
chong pn.PEJ I (note: only in specific cases)
chu’a v.FAM be of a class
chu’ro slng.GEN we inclusive (plural (pejorative)) slang (we (exclu.) + you)
chuai elm. rock; stone
chuaihyao elm.CMP asteroid
chuao elm. give (sense of “a gift”; something beneficial; donattion; grant)
chue pn.PEJ we (note: only in specific cases)
chui elm. water; liquid
Chy.ōn.uā name step-mother (mother’s spouse who does not parent you directly)
Chy.ōny.ū name step-father (mother’s spouse who does not parent you directly)
Chya’na name “Mommy” (pre-Service)
chye’o elm. large city; metropolis
chyi elm. “parent” (member of a mother’s pyā’hai); nurture
Chyi’n.ā name “Mom” (post-Service)
Chyi’y.ū name “Dad” (post-Service)
Chyu’i name “Daddy” (pre-Service)
e v.NEU eminate/reflect
e v.FAM eminate/reflect
e rel. of
e (e’.ā) yo” idm. stay alive; survive; live (especially of the elderly)
e huang (yo X)/(ang X) idm. important that
e ngiing (yo X)/(ang X) idm. doubtful that
e ngimyā (yo X)/(ang X) idm. imperative that/a must that
e ngisū (yo X)/(ang X) idm. certain that
e ngisya (yo X)/(ang X) idm. necessary that
e ngye’a (yo X)/(ang X) idm. likely that
e pyan .u po _____ idm. intuit that X; sense that X
e ta’kya idm. be drunk; be high; be wasted
e thle’a idm. be proper; be correct;
e ya’ue (yo X)/(ang X) idm. possible that
e yal idm. be conscious; have consciousness
e yo hyē idm. be simple
e yo to’ath idm. lack a talent for X
e yo tūn idm. simpleminded; be dumb
e yo yal idm. lack consciousness
e.ny’ii elm. biological sibling (younger)
e’a vcp. [predictable (“likely”)] e’al
e’a elm. likely; predictable but not assured
e’e [pred.] .u _____ [subj.] idm. resemblance; X resembles Y in Z
E’n.ā name Little Sis (endearment term from older sibling to younger sister as an adult)
E’na name Lil’ Sis (enderment term from older sister or brother to younger sister)
e’nu elm. minor; lesser; smaller; enclosed; inferior; encompassed
e’so col. transparent; clear
E’ui name Lil’ Bro (endearent term from older sister or brother to younger brother)
e’xyoa? con.CAS “How are you? (feeling)”
E’y.ū name Little Brother (endearment term from older sibling to youger brother as an adult)
en elm. pyā’hai sibling (younger)
gu pn.SRV It (inanimate)
gun pn.SRV they (inanimate)
h.ān elm. internal turmoil; being conflicted
h.eng elm. broken; break; flaw; inconsistency
h.ey’an elm. patience; waiting patiently
h.uet’eth col. aurulent
h.ūn elm. labor; work (manual work)
hā’a elm. excess; over; excessive; exceed
ha’ha vcp. [moderate emphatic]
ha’nue elm. excited; engaged; turned on; enthusiastic
ha” vcp. [strong emphatic]
hai elm. confidant; buddy; friendship with trust
hao v.LAUD be of a class
he’.u’i rel. on top of; on (touching)
he’o elm. dedicaiton; commmitment; commit to
he’u rel. above
hi’cho elm. kit; set of tools; gear
hi’ho elm. infant cousin (neice or nephew) “any baby to whom one is related”
hii elm. younger juvenile cousin of a juvenile
Hiin line Hiin
ho elm. quiet; silent; secret; hidden
ho’a rel. right of; on the right of; toward the right
hon vcp. [tendential (“tendency”)]; X tends to do/be Y
hoth elm. read
hu num. zero 0
hū’hu tā’ta elm. so so; mediocre; not good and not bad
huā elm. most; (superlative)
hua’ua elm. humor; joke; funny
hual elm. any; whichever; whatever
huang elm. important; importance; matter; import
hue rel. between (2); among (many)
huen elm. split; share; divide
hui elm. system; organized set; layout
hui’a elm. contemplate; conscious meditation; iterative thought
huiāl elm.CMP explore through meditative contemplation
huiso’a elm.CMP musculature
huitā elm.CMP neighborhood
huitia elm.CMP mathematics
huityunguo’a elm.CMP grammar (of a language)
hung elm. older; senior; sr.; high in status; high-grade
huo elm. hearing; audio input
hyan elm. each; every
hyao elm. sky; space (outer space); the area between planets.
hyaokyu elm.CMP sky (daytime) on a world with an atmosphere
hyaotan elm.CMP outer space; (“the black sky”)
hyath elm. military
hyē elm. complexity
Hyen” line Hyén
hyi elm. prestige; fame
hyo elm. sphere; spherical; orb; ball
hyopyen elm.CMP ammunition; bullets; ammo (hyopy.enr’o)
hyothen elm.CMP eyeball
Hyū’mân elm. empire; kingdom
hyūn elm. part; role; function
i” elm. touch; contact with X
ia elm. “epic” (holy, in the sense of ‘beyond belief’)
ii elm. light; brightness; shine
ii’a elm.CMP plant (generic term for plant); flora (juxtaposed to fauna)
ii’lio elm.CMP moss; lichen
ii’sauo elm.CMP tree or very large bush
ii’sauo elm.CMP tree
ii’ten elm.CMP vegetable; fruit; edible leaves; etc.
ii’tung elm.CMP plant; bush; groundcover
ii”. nlz.CLTC [vegitation; plant; tree; moss; lichen, etc.]
IIth PN.feml Iith
ing vcp. [dubiative (“dout”)]
ing elm. doubt
Jh’an elm.SRV Xi’an
k.ay’o deix. there (near you the listener or where we both can see IÕm indicating)’ao elm. promise; assure
k.eth elm. weapon; simple weapon (as a knife; club; (with no moving parts))
k.ik’a elm. surprise (happy; positive)’o PN.feml Komó num. five 5
k.ur’a elm. excitement; intense physical or mental joy; exciting
k.yāi elm. genuine fear; being frightened; afraid; fright
k’ya elm. fighting; fight; battle
ka rel. in; at; on
ka’hual elm.CMP anywhere
ka’i.y’a deix. yonder (far away from both of us, but at a perceptible distance)
ka’lye elm.CMP goal; destination; target
ka’o.u’a deix. beyond (so far away that we cannot see or easily reach that place)
ka’uōng elm. toilette room; place to relieve onself
ka’xy.oa Q. where?
ka” elm. place; location
ka”ii’a elm.CMP farm for crops
ka”ma’a elm.CMP animal farm
kāi elm. maintain; maintenance; repair
kal’tu n. dire fly (a deadly flying insectoid)
kao” deix. here (near me the speaker)
kar’tu n. dire fly (variant pronunciation of kal’tu)
ke’u elm. size
ken elm. long (of a physical thing); tall (of a person or animal)
ki’a vcp. [abstractive; metaphorical mood] ki’al
ki’m.ethl’e elm.CMP headache
ki’meth elm. pain; physical suffering
ki” elm. attach; hook up; hook into; plug in
kii’uo elm. intoxicating; aluring; draw; charm; seduction
kiil col. cerulean
Kl.ō line Kloh
kl.u’i rel. touching or attached or riding on the back of
kl.u’o elm.CMP previous (in sequence) klu + o”
Kli’thla PN.male Klithla
klo elm. ground; surface of a planet; touching down
klu rel. behind
ko vcp. [preistantiative (“already”] kol (“not yet”)
ko’i rel. into (sense of dividing)
ko’t.a elm. question; inqiry; inquisitive
ko” elm. distance
koa elm. race
kōl elm. positivity; approval; satisfaction
kon elm. get; acquire; obtain; buy
Kr.ē line Kray
Kr.ū PN.male Krew
kr.ūth elm. death; dead; die; perish
kra’pāng elm.CMP extatic; bliss; exultant
kran elm. work (non-laborious); mental focus and effort; contribution to society
kren elm. enough; suffice; sufficient
kri elm. sense of one’s genuine feelings juxtaposed against what society might consider proper and polite
ku pn.NEU It (inanimate)
num. ten thousand 10,000
ku’ya elm. rude; impolite
kua elm. feeling (opinon; non-religious belief based on experience)
kuai vcp. [passive/ergative]
kuair elm. class of light (space) fighter; also scalpel; blade (for surgery) alt: QHIRE (marketing spelling)
kuām rel. beyond
kuāo elm. ancient word for a defunct Xi’an currency; slang for money; “dough, bills, etc.”; idiom e yo kuāo y.ui ____ “don’t have it in one to do something about ________”
kuaxue’a elm.CMP neophyte; inexperienced; novice (nyakuaxue’a)
kue” elm. force; thrust; push
kuen elm. money; currency; credit(s)
kui elm. amount
kui’xy.oa Q how much (volume)?
kuihual elm.CMP any amount; however much
kuing elm. practice; exercise
kum pn.NEU they (inanimate)
kuo. nlz.CLTC [complex tool for X]
kuōa n. computer
Kuoth line Quoth
kuoxuan elm.CMP complex game; video game console; jet ski, etc. for entertainment
kuth col. xanthic
kye elm. letter; character; glyph; symbol
Kye’na name “Daughter” (endearment term for non-biological daughter)
kye’nua elm.CMP pyā’hai daughter
kyen’yu elm.CMP pyā’hai son
Kyen’yu name “Son” (endearment term for non-biological son)
kyen” elm. non-biological child within a pyā’hai (kye’nua (d.), kyen’yu)
kyexiin elm.CMP script; alphabetic letter
kyi elm. breath; breathing; respiraiton; sigh
kyi’yāngp.uāng elm.CMP snoring; making breathing noises while asleep
kyo elm. department; group; section; troup
kyu elm. air (to breathe); gas
kyun num. ten 10
kyuni’ num. thirty 30…
kyunisyen num. twenty 20 PN.male Lao
l.ea elm. feeling (emotional status)
l.ō v.REV be of a class
l.o’a num. nine 9
L’ai elm.CMP “Boy”/Grand-son (endearment term from grandmother to child or adult)
la elm. open
elm. art
La’na elm.CMP “Girl”/Grand-daughter (endearment term from grandmother to child or adult)
la’nua elm.CMP grand-daughter
lang’yōn elm.CMP quasi-grand-child
lang’yōnua elm.CMP quasi-grand-daughter
lang’yōnyu elm.CMP quasi-grand-son
lang’yu elm.CMP grand-son
lang” elm. grand-child
pn.NEU you
le’a num. six 6
le” elm. head (of a body); center (of an activity); central
len elm. peace; peaceful; without issue; smooth
leth elm. speed; fast; quickly
li’chen elm.CMP “one’s life” – the course of life that a person lives including experiences
li’o elm. flat; low to the ground
li” elm. one’s path in life; the course of one’s life
lo v.NEU be of a class
lo’e rel. in; into (sense of putting inside or entering)
loa elm. eat; drink; consume; swallow
lū’.i’a elm. pray; prayer; entreatment to the supernatural
lu” elm. town; medium-sized city
lua pn.REV It (inanimate)
luai elm. alien; foreign; strange
luam pn.REV they (inanimate)
lue elm. relate; relate to; be realated to; connect; relationship; connection
lui elm. knife; cut; slice
lūl col. ianthine
lung elm. guess; estimate; approximate; roughly; more-or-less
Lyā line Lyaa
lye rel. targeting; focusing on (from lye’lye)
lye’lye elm. direct; direcly; directness; n. “arrow” alyelye
lyii num. hundred 100
lyon elm. advice; counsel; recommendation (when asked); analysis
m.a pn.SRV he/she
m..aman” slng.SRV “crazy like a human” (positive connotation when having a good time) pn.SRV they
m.oa elm. all, whole, entirety; complete
m.oat’en elm.CMP almost all; almost to the last
m.ue elm. method
m.ueh’ual elm.CMP any way
m.uexy.oa Q. how (which method)?
m.ūng elm. sadness; gloom; depression
ma. nlz.CLTC [animal; creature (incablabe of communication with people)]
ma’a elm.CMP animal (generic term); fauna (juxtaposed to flora)
ma’ma slng.SRV “beast, monster” (a person behavng like an animal; out of her/his mind)
mā’nga elm. struggle; challenge
mām elm. rich; hearty; full; robust
maten elm.CMP meat; animal parts eaten as food; animal protein
maxyiing elm.CMP wild animal; beast; monster; monsterous
men elm. juvenile cousin, niece or nephew (of an adult)
mo vcp. [presumptive (“seeming”/“apparent”]
mo elm. appearance; seem; seems (VCP)
mo’u v.LAUD try/attempt (››› yo _____)
mu’.a’ōng elm.CMP indulgence; guilty pleasure
mu’a elm. pleasure; delight
mua elm. small town; village
my.ū elm. aunt (mother’s older sister when elder)
mya elm. clean; untained; cleanliness
myā vcp. [firm imperative] myāl
myii’sa elm. yawn; yawning; displaying exhaustion
myu elm. aunt (mother’s or grandmother’s older sister) elm. tint; color
n.eng elm.CMP visit; travel to’ē PN.feml Niley
v.FAM want/desire (››› yo _____)
na” vcp. [interrogative]
nai elm. grasp; perception; understanding; having caught soemthing (said or presented visually))
nai’an rel. in exchange for
Nai’na name “Sweetie” (to a female from a male or female)
nai’yeth elm.CMP knowledge and understanding (knowing grasp)
naihuo elm.CMP having heard something; catching something by hearing it
nāl elm. piloting (in 3D space)
nāl elm. piloting; flying (in 3D space)
ne’a rel. left of; on the left of; toward the left
Nē” PN.feml Nay
Ng.ām PN.male Ngaam
ngā’l.o elm. honor; respect (external (between parties))
ngi elm. essence; core; central concept; constitution; crux
ngi. nlz.CLTC [“-ness”/“-ment”/“-cy”]; essence of X
ngilen elm.CMP peaceful; peace-centric; peace“loving”
ngisath elm.CMP style; aesthetics; the way something is designed
ngiti elm.CMP useful; utilitarian; functional
ngiton elm.CMP full of nourishement; nourishing; energizing
ngixuthle’a elm.CMP dedication (to an effort or cause); effort
ngo elm. sweet, as in the sense of a gesture made by a child or a pet animal
ngua elm. sex; sexuality; sensual; physical pleaure from intimate contact
ngya vcp. [subjunctive (“if“)] ngyal (often followed by .ath’a)
ngya elm. ambiguity
ngyai elm. search (for something); seek out
ni elm. biological child (daughter (ni’nua) or son (ni’yu))
ni’nua elm.CMP biological daughter
ni’yu elm.CMP biological son
nii elm. just; only; limit
ning rel. against; opposing (as in battle or negotiations)
no elm. hand
elm. detail; precision
no’a pn.NEU I
no’e elm. gender; sex; sexual differentiation
noth vcp. [reccomendational (“suggestion to do X” (to someone else) from noth, suggestion)]
nu elm. form; shape; in the form of; in the likeness of
pn.SRV I
nu’a elm. fresh dead meat ready for consumption
nua elm. female
nua.yii” elm. mother (clinical term)
nua.yii” elm.CMP biological mother, clinical term
Nua’n.ā name Mother (reverential)
Nua’n.ā name Mother – The polite & reverant word for another’s mother or one’s own
Nuana name Mom (post-Service)
Nuana name Mom – what adults call their mothers affectionately
nuang cnj. nui + ang (“in order to”)
nuate’.ah’a n. hot woman; babe; belle
Nuaxyii’ua PN.role Matriarch
nui rel. for; toward
nuika’lye cnj. in order that
nūn col. luteous’eyo” PN.role EMS
nya elm. person
nya. nlz.CLTC [person who does X; “-er”]” PN.role clergy
nya’h.ūn PN.role laborer
nyā’i elm.CMP spouse
nya’m.oa PN.role philosopher
nya’n.eng elm. visitor; guest
nya’p.ū PN.role politician
nya’p.ūh’uesao PN.role diplomat
nya’s.āth elm.CMP.for “your people” (contraction of nya se s.āth) FORMAL
nya’t.ōng PN.role caregiver
nya’t.ōng•’o PN.role supervisor; manager; director (of programs or processes)
nya’t.ōngn’ya PN.role supervisor; manager; director (of people)
nya’t.ōngya PN.role (legitimate professional certified) bodyguard
nya’t.ot’en PN.role farmer
nya’t.oy’an PN.role teacher
nya’tye elm.CMP thief; pirate
nya’xy.oa Q. who?
nya•” PN.role assistant
nya•oa PN.role programmer/computation engineer
nya•osen’p.u PN.role promoter (advertiser, marketer, etc.)
nya•oten PN.role cook
nya•otō PN.role financial person
nyachai PN.role technician
nyahai elm.CMP friend; trusted ally
nyahaipāng elm. trusted intimate parter; lover (haipāng colloqially)
nyahual elm.CMP anyone (any person)
nyahuitia PN.role mathematician
nyahyan elm.CMP everyone
nyāi’na elm.CMP wife
nyāi’ny.ū elm.CMP “Son in Law” of biological son
nyāi’nyaiyu elm.CMP “Son in Law” of biological daughter
nyāi’nyana elm.CMP “Daugher in Law” of biological daughter
nyāi’nyuna elm.CMP “Daugher in Law” of bioligical son
nyāi’yu elm.CMP husband
nyalā PN.role artist
nyanāl PN.role pilot
nyapōnghyi PN.role augur (professional mating advisor)
nyarai PN.role hauler
nyasaotō PN.role business person
nyasath PN.role designer
nyasathtā PN.role architect
nyasēng PN.role police
nyatiing PN.role doctor/medic (non-emergency)
nyatyung PN.role lawyer
nyaxiin PN.role writer
nyaxyiing elm.CMP wild person; barbarian; slang for ‘pirate’
nyaxyo PN.role home-keeper (staff member of an estate)
nyayan PN.role student
nyayan’u.ii PN.role scientist
nyayan•uo’a PN.role linguist
Nyii’ni name Mommy (pre-Service)
Nyii’ni name Mommy – what small children call their mothers
nyo.āng” pn.REV we (exclusive)
nyo.uē” pn.REV We (inclusive)
nyo.uēm” pn.REV.for “All of us” (FORMAL)
nyo’a pn.REV I
Nyū’nu name “Darling” (to a male from a female)
nyun elm. room; chamber
o v.NEU do
o ta’kya idm. get drunk; get high; get wasted
ō’nu elm. greater; larger; enclosing; superior; umbrella; encompasing
o’s.o’e elm.CMP engagement; interaction
o” elm. order; sequence (ordinal number marker, eg. y.ath’o = first)
oa elm. information
okuaichyo’a cnj. however; “that having been just said”
ōm elm. magnetism; magnet; magnetic; something magnetized
ōng elm. the self; reflexive
p.ān elm. explode; “boom”; “bang”
p.ap’a elm. sameness
p.oa’u pn. this (idea; situation, condition)
p.u elm. good
p.ū elm. politics; government (administrators)
p.uai num. three 3
p.uan’i rel. touching or attached to the underside of
p.uay’a elm. hot (of tempearature)
p.ue’o pn. that (idea; situation, condition)
p.ui’a pn. yon somewhat atypical idea; situation, condition
p.uthl’e’a elm.CMP “good and proper” – beneficent
pa vcp. [perfective] pal
pa elm. completion’ elm.CMP (precisely the) same
pā’an elm. explode; “boom”; “bang”
pa” elm. same; repeat
pān elm. mathematics; math
pāng elm. sexual activity
pe pn.PEJ It (inanimate)
pe’ath col. xanadu
pem pn.PEJ they (inamt.)
pen rel. after; following
peng num. thousand 1,000
piith elm. line (of something); row; column of writing
ping elm. small; little; few
po nlz. [noun phrase clause head for “the case that”]
po elm. abstract; abstraction; idea or feeling of X
nlz. po contracted with o
po. nlz.CLTC [intangible thing or condition; abstract idea]
pō. nlz.CLTC [act of doing X]
po’.u’a pn. such an (“out there”) idea; situation, condition
Po’a line Póa
po’e nlz. po contracted with e
po’lo nlz. po contracted with lo
pō’po elm.CMP intense activity; exertion; effort; going at it; intensity; fervor
pō’t.ōngp.ū elm.CMP compulsory service to the Empire
po’to nlz. po contracted with t.o
po’xy.oa Q. what (abstract) thing?
pohual elm.CMP anything (any idea; solution; strategy; etc.)
pohyan elm.CMP everything (of situations or abstractions)
pok’ya elm.CMP war
poxu elm.CMP effort; attempt; initiative
poyai elm.CMP the matter; the topic; the issue
puan rel. below; underneath
puāng elm. big; great; many
Puii line Pwii
puo elm. ciminal (convictable)
Puo-________ PN.role Convict employed in _________
puo’ya elm. surrender; giving up; yield; yielding
puong elm. mouth
pyā elm. close-knit group; bond; “family”; team or section in a work environment
pyā’h.ūn elm.CMP corporate organization term for group; section; team (manual labor focused context)
pyā’hai elm.CMP “family” — the Xi’an nuclear ‘bond-group’
pyā’kran elm.CMP corporate organization term for group; section; team (non-labor focused)
pyen elm. metal; metallic; ore
pyi elm less
pyō elm. the last stage of life; extremely elderly; elm. year (Xi’an year)
r.aiHy’ūm elm.CMP Human year (unit of time) v.PEJ be of a class
r.ānu’in elm.CMP measure of temperature v.PEJ try/attempt (››› yo _____)
r.ath elm. descend; drop; fall; cascade
R.ēth PN.male Rayth
r.o pn.PEJ you pn.PEJ y’all
r.u elm. bad; improper; inferior
r.uang elm. pardon; forgiveness
r.uangō’l elm.CMP manners; politeness
r.uo v.PEJ do
r.ut’ang elm. strict; rigid; inflexible; harsh
ra elm. some; indefinite; non-specified
rai elm. haul; transport; carry (something)
rān elm. level; degree
rānke’u elm. the size of an item (like clothing)
reth v.PEJ eminate/reflect
ri elm. middle; in the middle; median in status; mid-grade
ri’.ah’a cnj. even though
ri’a rel. in the face of; facing; standing before X looking at it; dealing with X
ri’a elm. face; visage; countenance
rii v.PEJ cause/produce/effect
riing v.PEJ please
rin elm. disrupt; break; destabalize; disturb
ro’a v.PEJ equate
ro’ang col. titian
ro’p.uto’ath PN.role sharpshooter assassin
Ro’to PN.male Roto
ro” elm. gun; (complex) weapon
rōm v.PEJ need (››› yo _____)
ru elm. pull; attraction; gravity
Ru’a line Ruah
run elm. possession; possess; have
rung elm. tired; exhaustion
ruo rel. across; on the other side of something
ruōm elm.CMP magnetic pull
ryā elm. bright flavor; pungent smell
ryāi elm. goop; gel; sticky
ryāithli elm. plasma
ryath v.PEJ want/desire (››› yo _____)
ryi elm. bed; cradle; basket; cocoon
s.ang’i rel. on the front of (touching or attached)
s.ang’o elm.CMP next (in sequence) sang + o”
s.ap’ua elm. storm; disturbance
s.āth pn.REV y’all’a deix. those distant (after an indicated noun)
s.ey’ā col. vermillion
s.ey’o deix. those (near you) (after an indicated noun)
s.o’e elm. reciprication; sharing; back and forth; mutual (se s.o’e = each other’)
S.oam PN.male Soahm
s.ōng vcp. [permissive] (“allowed to”)
s.ōng elm. permission; right; empowerment; allowance
S.un’a name Big Sis (endearment term from younger sister to older sister)
S.un’ath PN.feml Sunáth
s.uny’ii elm. biological sibling (older)
s.yā v.REV need (››› yo _____)
s.ya’u deix. these (after an indicated noun)’a deix. those yonder (away from both of us) (after an indicated noun)
vcp. [potential] sāl
elm. potential; possibility
sa’a elm. friend; friendly
sa’na col. amaranthine
sa’uo elm. tall; big in stature; “gigantic”
san elm. ship; craft; vehicle; vessel (for transportation); car; truck
sān elm. end; ending; finish
san’hyao elm.CMP flying craft; space-faring vessel
san’kyu elm.CMP airplane; vehicle that flies in air (only)
sang rel. in front of
sao elm. empire; kingdom
sāo elm. flee; escape; run from danger
sao’teth elm.CMP planetary empire
saotō elm.CMP related to the economy
sath elm. design
se rel. of (a plural entities)
sē’a pn.NEU y’all
Se’ang PN.male Séang
se’lan pn.NEU they
se’lanua pn.NEU they (female exclusive overt)
se’lanyu pn.NEU they (male exclusive overt)
se’u v.LAUD want/desire (››› yo _____)
se” elm. assist; help
sen rel. named/called
sen elm. name; be called
sēng elm. protect; defend; vouch for
Senhyi PN.role “Prestigious Name” (cf: Lord, Lady, Sir)
senxiin elm.CMP signature; written seal
si v.FAM equate
si’pe elm. hot
si’ping elm.CMP warm
siin elm. older juvenile cousin of a juvenile
so rel. with; accompanying
so’a elm. muscle; muscle tissue
So’lo name “My Elder” (respectful term of address for any adult to whom one is realted who is older than oneself)
so” elm. adult kin (older); cousin or uncle/“aunt” who is senior, older than oneself
sol rel. without
Sol’na name “My Aunt” (respectful term of address for a female to whom one is realted who is older than oneself)
Sol’yu name “My Uncle” (respectful term of address for male to whom one is realted who is older than oneself)
su elm. guide; channel; funnel; direct (in a direction)
vcp. [securative (“sure that”)] sūl
elm. assurance; complete faith (non-religious)
Su.ra” line Surá
Su’lo name Big Bro (endearment term from younger to older brother)
Su’n.ā name Big Sister (endearment term from younger brother to older sister as an adult)
su’sa elm. hint of flavor; light aroma
Su’su name Big Sister (endearment term from younger brother to older sister)
suā rel. during (an event, etc.)
suā elm. amount of time
sua. nlz.CLTC [in a state of X]
suā’moa elm.CMP forever
sua’sa elm happy; joyful
suā’xy.oa Q. how long (of time)?
sua’yu pn.REV they (male)
suāhual elm.CMP any amount of time; however long (in terms of time)
suao v.LAUD eminate/reflect
suarungua elm.CMP estrus; fertile; fertility
sue elm. conversation (tone is somewhat formal)
suen pn.REV they (female)
sueu’oa elm.CMP a talk; chit-chat; banter (informal)
sun elm. pyā’hai sibling (older)
sunen elm.CMP all of one’s siblings in a pyā’hai (younger and older)
Sungā name Big Brother (endearment term from younger sister to older brother)
sya v.NEU need (››› yo _____)
Syang line Syang
sye elm. becoming; become; inception
syen num. two 2 PN.male Tai
t.āth pn.REV you
t.ē v.REV please
t.e’i elm. pride; self-assuredness (internal (private sense))
t.e’i’xān elm. emotionally bold; fully realized vis-à-vis personality
t.ea elm function; work; peform; behave (of machines)’o elm. enemy
t.i elm. young; younger; jr.; lesser in status; low-grade
t.ii v.REV equate’a PN.feml Tilá
t.o v.NEU cause/produce/effect
t.ō v.REV cause/produce/effect
t.o yo idm. prevent
t.ōng elm. care; oversight
t.ot’en elm.CMP farming; agriculture (producing food)
t.u elm. kill; murder; snuff out; extinguish; turn off
t.ū’ong elm.CMP suicide; self-destruct
t.uōn v.REV want/desire (››› yo _____) elm. steal; rob; hold up (in robbery); vandalize
t.yonk’ao elm.CMP arrive (here)
t’uoa col. sarcoline
elm. building; dwelling; habitable structure
ta’kya elm. intoxicating; high (on some substnace)
ta’u elm. future; the future (also tao as a variant, especially in compounds)
ta” elm. seed; egg; genetic material
ta”ma’a elm.CMP barn; animal processing facility
tai elm. element; part; piece
tailue elm.CMP connector; fastner
taixauo’a elm.CMP a particle of speech (a prefix or suffix, etc.)
tan col. onyx
tang’ue elm. ask (for); request; beseech
tao elm. variant of ta’u (especially in compounds) the future; future; coming
tao’moa elm.CMP forever (into the future); evermore
Tao’nuasao PN. Empress
tao’ra elm.CMP “some day”; at some point in the future.
Tao’yusao PN. Emperor
tao” elm. rein; rule; control
taong elm. remove; subtract from
taoyo’a elm.CMP time; the abstract sense of time as a dimension
te v.NEU please
te v.FAM please
te sā con.CAS “Please.” (lit: “It would make me happy.”)
te’.ah’a elm.CMP tantalizing; sexy; “hot”
te’a elm. adult kin (younger); cousin who is jr., younger than oneself
tē’kui elm. arrogance; haughtiness; false-pride; arrogant
te’o elm. find; locate; determined; identify
te’o.ka” elm.CMP locate; discover physically after a search
te’te elm.CMP interest (in something)
ten elm. food; edible; nourishment
ten” elm. almost; the great majority
tenchui elm.CMP soup; broth
teth elm. planet, world
teyā elm.CMP prefer; preference
tha elm plane; surface; board (of wood); fin (of an animal or craft)
tha’h.ūn elm.CMP workbench
thachā’e elm.CMP monitor/screen (typicaly for generic viewing of entertainment; etc.)
thai elm. ease; easy; simplicity; facile
thakōl con.FOR “I insist.”
thakran elm.CMP table or desk at which non-manual-labor work is done
thalā elm.CMP easel or digital tablet at which one produces art
thaloa elm table at which one eats
Thāng line Thaang
thao elm. reality; precise truth; essence
thaoa(chā’e) elm.CMP screen; computer screen; display that shows information
thāth con.FOR “Please.” (entreatment)
thāth elm. entreatement; begging; supplication
The’so PN.male Theso
then elm. eye; ocular
thing elm. orifice, specifically NOT the mouth; anus; operculum’a cnj. but nonetheless
Thl.oan PN.male Thloan
thla’nua pn.NEU she (overt (rare))
thlal rel. covering; spread over; spread across; draped over
thlan pn.NEU he/she
thlan’yu pn.NEU he (overt (rare))
thlang elm. love; genuine affection (emotional) for people or creatures that can return it
thle cnj. but
thle’a elm. propriety
thlēng elm. begin; start; emerge; beginning
thli elm. harnessed energy; electricity; burst of energy; power (for machines)
thliin elm. specialized knowledge; (deep) expertise
thlo elm. reason; cause; genesis
Thlō line Thloh
thlo’xy.oa Q. why?
thlohual elm.CMP any reason
thlōm elm. clumsiness (opposite of to’ath)
thlūn elm. heart-soul; spirit; essence of a person (within the body and after death)
thoth elm. irony; ironic
thyōng elm. sad
ti rel. with (in the sense of using a tool)
ti elm. use; make use of; utilize; using
tia elm. number; numeric value; numeric
tii v.NEU equate
tiing elm. medical science
tiith num. eight 8
tin’tang elm. difference; different
ting rel. than; compared to
ting elm. comparison; compare; relatively
elm. business; trade; commerce
to’.e’i rel. stuck to the side of; huddling right next to
to’ath elm. élan (grace, professionalism, enthusiasm)
to’athlōm elm.CMP normal; average; median; mediocre (of something graded or scored)
to’e rel. beside
tōal elm.CMP trade out (sell) – what you give away when you trade
tōlo’e elm.CMP trade in (buy) – what you receive when you trade
ton elm. fuel; energy; nourishment
tu’sem elm. fear (angst); worry; sense of uneasiness
tuāl elm. dance; fluid (senuous) movement
tue” vcp. [hortative (“let’s (do something)!”)
Tuēl line Twayl
tuing elm. cold; frigid
tuiping elm.CMP cool
tūn elm. intelligence; smart
tung elm. typical; normally ocurring; everyday (thing or situation); general; generic
tuo pn.PEJ he/she
tuom pn.PEJ they
tuon v.NEU want/desire (››› yo _____)
Ty.on line Tyon
tya elm. kind; type; version
tya’xy.oa Q. what kind?
tyahual elm.CMP any kind
tyao cnj. or
Tye’lo name “My Jr.” / “Cousin” (respectful term of address for any adult to whom one is realted who is younger than oneself)
Tyel’na name “My Jr.” / “Cousin” (respectful term of address for any female to whom one is realted who is younger than oneself)
Tyel’yu name “My Jr.” / “Cousin” (respectful term of address for any male to whom one is realted who is younger than oneself)
tyi elm. chamber; pocket; enclosing holder; sheath
tyo’ma elm. culture; unified system of value
tyon elm. come
tyonxy.a’u elm.CMP arrive (at a point in time), spend time up to a point
tyung elm. law; legality; rules
ū elm. lust; physical attraction; sexual arousal PN.male Wal elm. shock (rage; anger; negative)
U.e’o PN.feml Weó
u.ii elm. the unknown; lack of knowledge’a elm. release; letting go; being unfettered; free; unbound
u.o num. seven 7
u.on elm. responsibility; perseverance; seeing-it-through
u’ua v.LAUD cause/produce/effect
u’nyaxyetao elm.CMP future generations (un nya xye ta’u (tao))
u’oalye elm.CMP address; give a speech to
u’oalyeyan elm.CMP lecture (in an academic setting)
u’to coj. to (in the pattern “go (.uai) to make X,” or “come (tyon) to make Y”) contraction of u (uth) + t.o
ua elm. peace; serenity; calmness; “inner peace”
uā’uang elm. whine; make a fuss over something
ua’yu pn.REV he
Uai’i line Wy’i
uai’sa elm. ready; rediness; prepared; set up; all set; standing by
uan elm. comfort; be comfortable
uang elm. wise (through experience and older age); naming infix for older relatives after yue
uangpyō elm.CMP “senior sage” also uangpyōhyi (prestigious senior sage)
uao elm. boss; chief; leader
uāo elm. cry; cry out; howl
ue rel. special version of e with multiple singular attributes
pn.SRV We (inclusive)
ue’a elm. describe; talk about; tell about; present
uen pn.REV she
ueth nlz. [objective]
ueth elm. target; objective
ui’la col. umber
uin” elm. temperature
uing elm. incoming; internal; interior; arrive; enter; import
un elm. set; collection; series
unxauo’.a’e’nu elm.CMP a phrase (a subset of a sentence (also unuo’.a’e’nu)
unxauo’a elm.CMP sentence (a string of words)
uo cnj. to (in the pattern “go (.uai) to do X,” or “come (tyon) to do Y”) contraction of u (uth) + o
uo’a elm. speech; talking; speak; talk say
Uo’al PN.male Wóal
uōching elm.CMP confess; tell the truth; admit (something)
uong elm. bits; particles; dust; fragments
uōng elm. urinate; deficate; spit; eject (liquid)
uth (u) cnj. and
uth (u) elm. add
x.ū v.REV try/attempt (››› yo _____)
X’yan elm. Xi’an (formal abbreviation)
X’yan elm. Xi’an (official abbreviation used by the Xi’an)
Xa name nano-second
xa. nlz.CLTC [simple tool or biological organ for X]
xā’ye elm. rigid; firm; unbending; hard
xān elm. confident; bold;
xauo’a elm.CMP word; discrete part of speech (divided by spaces (also taiuo’a in the technical sense))
xauo’alue elm.CMP relational particle or elemental used in this fashion (also taiuo’alue and taixauo’alue)
xaxuan elm.CMP toy (as children might play with); piece of sports equipment
xe’ri elm. clever; smart; creative
xē’s.o’e elm.CMP collaboration; cooperation; cooperative; cooperate
xē’suelen con.FOR “Greetings” “How do you do”
xē’sueren con.SEMFOR “Greetings” “How do you do”
xe’thlūn elm. commune; connect deeply (emotionally)
xē” elm. meeting; coming together; joining
Xi’an elm. Xi’an
xii rel. at a point in time (of the clock)
xii chj. when (point in time)
xii elm. a point or some points in time
xii’hyan elm.CMP always; consistently (from xii e hyan)
xii’ra elm.CMP sometime; sometimes (from xii e ra)
xii’xi elm.CMP often; a lot; all the time
xii’xy.oa Q. when (at what (point in) time?
xiihual elm.CMP whenever
xiin elm. writing; composing
xiin’t.osy’e’yan elm.CMP introduction
xiiyā elm.CMP again (adv.); o xiiya (repeat); o xiiyāxue’a (update)
xiiyāxue’a elm.CMP renewal; update
xo’ma elm. success; succeed; win (a competitino)
xo’xyo elm. similarity
xu v.NEU try/attempt (››› yo _____)
xua v.FAM need (››› yo _____)
xuā’cha elm. fire; burning; combustion
xuai elm. give (sense of hand over; deliver)
xuan elm. game; play; fun
xue’a elm. new; novel; innovation
xui v.FAM try/attempt (››› yo _____) num. hundred thousand 100,000
xy.ii’u(ang)/(pyō) elm.CMP great great great grandmother (mother’s lineage)
xy.iikua(p’yō) elm.CMP great great great great grandmother (mother’s lineage)
xy.iip’ua(ng) elm.CMP great great grandmother (mother’s lineage)
xy.iis’ye elm.CMP great grandmother (mother’s lineage)
xy.iiy’a elm.CMP grandmother (mother’s mother)
Xy.ō line Shoh
xy.oa Q.sffx which (what)?
Xyā’xya name “Granny”/“Nana” (endearment term used by children for any grand-mother)
xyam elm. barrier; wall; shield
xyang cnj. due to the matter of
xyao elm. mean; meaning; semantic; signify; significance
xye elm. child; immaturity
xyē’na elm. relax and have a good time; chill out; relaxation
xye’pi elm.CMP infant; baby; pre-toddler (of a stranger or any unrelated person)
xye’uai elm.CMP toddler; young child who has begun to walk
xyi rel. from; eminating from; starting with
xyiing elm. wild; raw; untamed or untamable
xyo elm. home; residence
xyo.y’en elm.CMP rented/tempoary houseing; an apartment; a dormitory; etc.
xyopuānghui elm. apartment complex
xyū v.LAUD do
y.a’u deix. this (after an indicated noun)
Y.ah’a PN.feml Yahá
y.āng elm. sleep; rest; uncounscious
y.e cnj. while (durative)
y.e’a deix. yon (away from both of us) (after an indicated noun)
y.i’i col. eburnian elm. tunnel; hallway; passageway connecting rooms or caves; tubing elm. point (in physical space); location (on a map, etc.)
Y.ū PN.male Yuu
y.ui rel. in response to
y.un’i elm. alternate; option; other; another (different) one
Y’ū name “Hubs”/“Husby”/“Man” (to a male from a male partner (typically))
ya elm. sense; detect; intuit (from avaialbe information)
ya elm.SRV “epic” (holy, in the sense of ‘beyond belief’)
elm. more
ya’i v.LAUD need (››› yo _____)
yā’i elm. patience and perseverence
ya’nai elm.CMP learn; commit to memory
yā’suith elm. fright; terror
ya’than col. caesious
yai rel. regarding; about; on the matter of
yāi elm. clothing; garments
yal elm. sentient being; sentient; posessing consciousness
yāl elm. female sex; female organ
yal’ma elm.CMP animal (with which a relationshiop is possible); pet
yalnya elm.CMP “a people”; race; species (of intelligent creatures with culture)
yalyuai elm.CMP an “alien intelligence”; sentience (of an unidentified nature)
yan elm. student
yāng̦ pn.NEU we (exclusive)
yao vcp. [abilitive (“can”)] yaol
yao elm. ability; skill
yath num. one 1
ye elm. a generic day (not necessarily corresponding to celestial movements)
Ye’ua line Yewa
yeā v.IMP do
yekrū v.IMP need (››› yo _____)
yemā v.IMP try/attempt (››› yo _____)
yen cnj. as X (of “as X as Y”)
yen _____ yon _____ cnj. as X as Y
yen” elm. temporary; impermaent; fading (of colors, etc.)
yeng elm. fire; burn
yenū v.IMP be of a class
yeōn v.IMP cause/produce/effect
yesā v.IMP eminate/reflect
yeth elm. knowledge; awareness
yethē v.IMP please
yetō v.IMP want/desire (››› yo _____)
yeyiing v.IMP equate
yi elm. belief; adherence to
yi. nlz.CLTC [“-ism”/“-ity”]; system of; belief in; dogma of X; affinity or proclivity towards X
yi’.ān elm. beautiful; attractive; compelling; beauty
yi’a elm. convey; transmit; communicate; message
yi’o v.LAUD please
yi’oa n. data
yi’p.ūh’yath elm.CMP the military (defense) branch of the bureaucracy
yi’p.ūt’ung elm.CMP the general bureaucracy (non-military service)
yii’lai elm.CMP non-kindred
yii’yu elm.CMP paternal ancestor (grandfather)
yii” elm. flow; transmission (biological); fertility
Yiim PN.feml Yiim
yilen elm.CMP harmony; peace among different factions
yin elm. bump; swelling; mound
yith elm. fire; eject (non-liquid); expel (non-liquid)
yo nlz. [subjuntive clause head]
yo elm. missing element; lack (e yo to’ath (e) no’a)
nlz. yo contracted with o
yo. nlz.CLTC [lacking X; witout X]
yo’ col. white (lacking all color)
yo” elm. alive; living; surviving
yoa elm. past; the past; history
yoaith elm.CMP sickness; disorder; disease
yoii elm.CMP darkness; blackness
yon cnj. as Y (of “as X as Y”)
yōn elm. pseudo; unofficial; quasi (infix)
yonai elm.CMP confusion
yoso elm.CMP alone; on one’s on; without help or assistance
yoten elm.CMP famine; a lack of food
yothai elm.CMP hard; difficult; not easy
yoxii elm.CMP infrequent; not often
yoyāi elm.CMP naked; nude; without clothing
yu elm. male
yu.yii” elm. father (clinical term); stud
yu.yii” elm.CMP biological father, clinical term
Yu’.ii name Father (reverential)
Yu’.ii name Father – The polite & reverant word for another’s father or one’s own
yu’.o elm. try out; taste; try on; give something new a chance
yu’.och’ā’e elm. a guided visual introduction or tour
yu’a elm. gray to black market; quasi-criminal
Yu’a-________ PN.role Quasi-criminal employed in _________
yu’a.r’o PN.role ‘heavy’ who carries weapons
yu’a.r’o’p.ut’o’ath PN.role sharpshooter assassin
yu’a•o.r’o PN.role non-sharpshooter assasin; “mercinary”
yu’aoa’u.ii PN.role snitch; informant
yu’ariimya(tō) PN.role (money) launderer
yu’ariioa’r.u PN.role rumor monger; fake news creator; double-agent misinformant
yu’at.o’a’r.u PN.role rumor monger; fake news creator; double-agent misinformant
yu’at.ōngh’uitā PN.role collector (for a loanshark or security bribe) literally: ‘caregiver for the neighborhood’
yu’at.ōngya PN.role bodyguard
Yu’i name Daddy, Dad
Yu’i name Father – what children and adults call their fathers
yu’pa elm. soft; squishy; flexible
yu” num. four 4
yuai elm. value; worth
yue elm. experience; go through/live through something; immersiion in X; naming element for elders
yue elm. naming suffix for mature experienced professionals
yuē pn.NEU We (inclusive)
yueuang elm.CMP generic title word for “elder”
yuexuan elm.CMP gaming experience; simulation (for fun)
yute’.ah’a n. hot man; stud; beaux
yuth elm. reward; compensation (for effort); salary
zai pn.SRV y’all

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      A recorded hymn played as they sent Arun “Boomer” Ains­ley into whatever great adventure awaits in the everafter. Gavin set the service in the Rhedd Alert hangar, and the recording sounded terrible. The last somber note rebounded off the room’s hard surfaces and harsh angles.
      He wished they could have had a live band. He would have paid for an orchestra, if one were to be had on the orbit­al station. Even a bugle would have been a better tribute for the man who had brought Dell into his life. For the man who taught him and Walt so much about living a free life.
      Dell’s arm felt small around his waist and Gavin pulled her in close to him, unsure if that was the right thing to do. He turned to kiss her hair and saw Walt’s lean form looming beside them. Walt’s face was fixed in a grim mask.
      Gavin knew his brother well enough to know that Walt was berating himself inside. He didn’t deal well with guilt or re­sponsibility, and Gavin suspected that was a big part of why Walt always ran.
      The gathering started to break up. Pilots and the hangar crew busied themselves with tasks around Rhedd Alert’s battered fleet of fighters. Dell didn’t move, so he stayed there with her. Walt rested a hand on his shoulder.
      “Gavin. Oh gods, Dell. I can’t tell you how sorry I am.”
      Jazza leaned in and spoke in a low tone, almost a whisper. “Landing gear up in ten, boss. Your rig is on the buggy.” She motioned with her chin to where his ship waited.
      Dell turned into him and squeezed. “Be careful.”
      “I will, babe.”
      “You come home to me, Gavin Rhedd. I’ll kill you myself if you make me run this outfit on my own.”
      He pressed his lips to the top of her head. Held them there.
      “Wait. What?” Walt’s jaw was slack, his eyes wide. “Tell me you aren’t going back out there.”
      Jazza bumped Walt with her shoulder, not so much walking past him as through him. “Damn right we are, Quitter.”
      “You know what? Screw you, Jazz. All right? You used to quit this outfit, like . . . twice a month.”
      “Not like you. Not like some chicken sh—”
      “Jazz,” Gavin said, “go make sure the team is ready to roll, would ya?” With a nod to Gavin and a parting glare at Walt, she moved away into the hangar.
      “Let it be, Walt. We really do need to go. After last time, we can’t risk being late for the pickup.”
      “Screw late!” Walt’s eyes were wide and red-rimmed around the edges. “Why the happy hells are you going at all?”
      “Walt —”
      “Don’t ‘Walt’ me, Gavin. There is a pack of psychopaths out there trying to kill you!”
      “Walt, would you shut up and listen for two seconds? We don’t have a choice, okay? We’ve got everything riding on this job. We’re months behind on this place and extended up to our necks on credit for fuel, parts, and ammo.”
      “They can damn well bill me!”
      “No,” Gavin said, “they can’t. Your shares reverted back to the company when you quit. But I’m legit now. You think we lived life on the run before? Just you watch if I try to run from this.”
      Walt turned to Dell for assistance, “Dell, come on. You gotta make him listen to reason.”
      “Boomer’s shares transferred to me when he died,” Dell said. “We’re in this together.”
      “Okay, boss,” Jazza called. The three of them looked to where she stood with a line of determined crew. “It’s time.”
      Walt watched the big bay doors close as the last of Gavin’s team left the hangar. His fighter and the few remaining ships looked small and awkwardly out of place in the big room. Standing alone next to Dell gave him a great appreci­ation for that awkwardness.
      “I’m so sorry, Dell. If I’d been there —”
      “Don’t,” she stopped him with a word, and then contin­ued with a shake of her blue-tipped hair. “Don’t do that to yourself. I’ve been over the tactical logs. He got beat one-on-one, and then they OK’d him. There was nothing you could have done.”
      “I still feel rotten,” he said. “Like, maybe if I hadn’t left . . . I don’t know.”
      “Gavin blames himself, too. That’s just the way you two are built. But believe me, there was never a soul alive able to keep my dad out of the cockpit. He was flying long before you Rhedd boys tumbled into our lives.”
      That gave him a smile. A genuine smile. It seemed to bright­en Dell’s mood, so he did his best to hang onto it.
      “Come on,” she said. “It’s been a long couple of weeks. Join me for some coffee?”
      He did, and for a time they spoke softly at the tall tables in the hangar’s kitchenette. Dell caught him up on life aboard Vista Landing since he had left. She was clearly exhausted and not simply from a sleepless night and her father’s funeral. Her shoulders sagged, and dark circles under her eyes were the product of weeks of labor and worry. The constant apprehension of the Hornets’ vi­cious attacks had apparently exhausted more than just the pilots. It seemed odd that the attacks felt strangely personal.
      “You know what I can’t figure out?” he mused aloud. Dell looked at him, tired eyes politely expectant. “What the hell are these guys after?”
      She nodded, “Yeah. There’s been a lot of speculating on that question.”
      “Hard to say, isn’t it? Could be political wackos opposed to the research in Haven. Or maybe it’s one of the old gangs that don’t like us going legit. Could be it’s a group of Tevarin lashing out against UEE targets. Who knows?”
      “Naw. If they were Tevarin, we could tell by how they fly.”
      “Then you tell me, if you’re so smart. I mean, you were out there. You fought them.”
      Walt shrugged and took a sip of cooling coffee. Something she said nagged at him. “Hey, you said you had navsat tac­tical logs from the fight, right?”
      “Yeah.” What remained of her energy seemed to drain away with that one word. Walt cursed himself for the insensitive ass that he was. He’d just asked her about re­corded replays of her father’s murder.
      “Dell. Ah, hell . . . I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have asked.”
      “It’s okay,” she said. “I’ve been over and over them already. Really, I don’t mind.”
      They moved to a console and the lights dimmed automat­ically when she pulled up the hangar projection. She se­lected a ship, and oriented the view so that the hologram of Boomer’s Avenger filled the display. No, Walt reminded himself, it wasn’t Boomer’s ship any more. Dell was his heir and — along with his debt — Boomer’s assets now belonged to her.
      Dell bypassed the default display of the structural hard­points and dove into the ship’s systems. Something caught his eye and he stopped her. “Wait, back up.” She did, and Walt stopped the rotating display to look along the under­carriage of the ship. He let out a low whistle.
      “That, Walter Rhedd, is a Tarantula GT-870 Mk3.”
      “I know what it is. But where did you get it?”
      “Remember those pirates that gave us so much trouble in Oberon? I pulled it before we sold the salvage.”
      He certainly did remember, and the bastards had kicked the crap out of two of their ships with their Tarantulas. “How’d you get it mounted on an Avenger?”
      “Hammer therapy,” she said. He gave her a confused look, and she held up one arm, curling it to make a muscle. “I beat the hell out of it until it did what I wanted.”
      “Damn, girl.”
      “Did you want to see the flight recorder?”
      They watched the navsat replays together in silence. It looked like one hell of a fight. Chaotic. Frantic. The Rhedd Alert fighters were hard pressed.
      Jazza had moments of tactical brilliance. As much as she rubbed him the wrong way, Walt had to admit that she made her Cutlass dance steps for which it wasn’t de­signed. Gavin orchestrated a coherent strategy and had committed extra fighters to drive off the attack. Some­thing was wrong, though. Something about the fight didn’t make sense.
      Walt had Dell replay the scene so he could focus on the marauders. It didn’t look like much of a fight at all from that perspective. It looked more like a game and only one team understood how all the pieces moved. The Hornets flew to disrupt, to confuse. They knew Gavin would send a force forward to protect the transport. He’d done it every time they had met.
      “See that?” he said. “They break apart there and get called immediately back into formation. They never leave a flank exposed. Our guys never get a real opening.” He pointed out one of the attacking Hornets. “That one calls the shots.”
      “That’s the one that OK’d Boomer.”
      Reds and greens from the navsat display sparkled in Dell’s eyes. Her voice was emotionless and flat. Walt didn’t want to see her like that, so he focused again on the display.
      The marauder he’d identified as the leader broke from the melee. Gavin gave chase, but from too far behind. Boomer intercepted, was disabled, and his PRB flashed red on the display. The Hornet took a pass at the transport before turning to rejoin its squad. Then it decelerated, pausing before the overkill on Boomer.
      “Why take only one pass at the transport? They’ve hit us, what? Six times? Seven? And once they finally get a shot at the target, they bug out?”
      “You said, ‘us’,” Dell teased. “You back to stay?”
      Walt huffed a small laugh. “We’ll see.”
      “We’ve been lucky,” Dell offered in answer to his question. “So far, we’ve chased them off.”
      “You really believe that? They had this fight won if they wanted it. And how do they keep finding us? It’s like they’ve taken up permanent residence in our damned flight path.”
      That was it. He had it. The revelation must have shown on his face.
      “What?” Dell asked. “What is it?”
      “Back it up to the strafe on the Aquila.”
      Dell did, and they watched it again. He felt like an ass for making her watch the murder of her father over again, but he had to be sure of what he saw.
      And there it was. Strafe. Turn. Pause. A decision to com­mit. An escalating act of brutality. And then they were gone.
      “She’s not after the transport at all. We were her target this whole time.”
      “Wait,” Dell said, “what she? Her who?”
      “Please tell me your ex hasn’t drunk himself out of a job with the Navy.”
      “Barry? Of course not, why?”
      “Because I just figured out who killed your father.”
      Morgan Brock called the meeting to a close and dismissed her admin team. Riebeld caught her eye and lifted one hand off the table — a request for her to stay while the others shuffled out of the conference room.
      Riebeld kept her waiting until they were alone, and then stood to close the door.
      “I take it,” Brock said, “that our Tyrol problem persists despite the escalation?”
      “I got word during the meeting” — he took a seat beside her at the table, voice pitched low — “that they should be making the jump to Nexus soon.”
      “Our discreet pilots? Are they deployed or here at the sta­tion?”
      His answer was slow in coming, his nod reluctant. “They are here.”
      Brock checked the time. Did some mental math. “Disguise the ships. We will leave at 1700 and meet them in Nexus just inside the gate from Min.”
      “Morgan,” Riebeld’s eyes roamed the room, “these guys aren’t taking the hint. I don’t know what losses we have to hand them before they back down, but . . . I don’t know. Part of doing business is losing bids, am I right?” She didn’t disagree and he continued. “Maybe . . . Maybe we ought to write this one off?”
      “A comfortable position to hold in your seat, Riebeld. Your commission is based on the contract value. I barely turned a profit on that job for years. I did it willingly, with the expected reward of windfall profits when traffic to Haven surges.”
      “I get that,” he said. “I really do. But at some point we have to call it a loss and focus on the next thing, right?”
      “Then suppose that we let the Tyrol job go, and Greely and Navy SysCom see what they want to see from bou­tique contractors. I can already imagine anti-establishment politicians pushing for more outsourced work. Hell, they will probably promise contracts to buy votes in their home systems.”
      She watched him squirm. It wasn’t like him to wrestle with his conscience. Frankly, she was disappointed to learn that he’d found one.
      “If Rhedd Alert won’t withdraw willingly,” she said, “then they will have to fail the hard way. Prep the ships, Rie­beld. We have done very well together, you and I. You should know that I won’t back away from what is mine.” He seemed to appreciate her sincerity, but Brock wanted to hear the cocksure salesman say it. “Are we clear?”
      “Yes, ma’am,” Riebeld swallowed and stood. “Perfectly clear.”
      “Any luck?” Walt pulled up Barry’s record in his mobiGlas and hit connect.
      Dell sat at the hangar console trying to reach Gavin and the team. Her brow furrowed in a grimace and she shook her head.
      “Damn. Okay, keep trying.”
      Barry connected. The accountant wore his uniform. He was on duty, wherever he was, and his projected face looked genuinely mournful. “Hey,” he said, “long time no see, man. Listen, I can’t tell you how sad I am about Boomer.”
      “Thanks.” Barry had known Dell and Boomer for most his life. He’d probably been torn between attending the service and allowing the family to grieve in privacy. Regardless, commiseration would have to wait. “We need your help, Barry. Please tell me that you have access to the propos­als for the Tyrol contract.”
      “Of course I do. And who’s we? Are you back with Dell and Gavin?”
      “I am,” he felt Dell’s eyes on him when he said it. “Anyway, we need a favor. I need to know the ship models and con­figurations proposed by the incumbent.”
      “Morgan Brock’s outfit, sure. No can do on the ship data, though. That information is all confidential. Only the price proposals are available for public review, and those only during the protest period.”
      “Come on, Barry. We’re not talking trade secrets here. I could figure this out with a fly-by of their hangar in Kilian. I just don’t have time for that. I need to know what ships those guys fly.”
      Barry breathed out a heavy sigh, “Hold on. But I can’t send you the proposals, okay? You guys are already on thin ice with this contract as is.”
      “Tell me about it. And thanks, I owe you huge for this.”
      Walt waited, throat dry. He scratched at a chipped edge on his worn mobiGlas with a fingernail.
      “All right,” Barry read from something off-screen, “it looks like they’re flying a variety of Hornets. Specifically, F7As. I can send you a list of the proposed hardpoints, and I hap­pen to know that Brock herself flies a Super Hornet.”
      The mobiGlas shook on Walt’s wrist. His face felt hot, and he forced his jaw to relax. “Barry, if you have any pull with the Navy, get some ships to Tyrol. It’s been Brock this whole time. She’s been setting us up to fail. And she’s the bitch that OK’d Boomer.”
      “I’m going, Walt. That’s final.”
      Walt rubbed at his eyes with the flat part of his fingers. How did Gavin ever win an argument her? Forbidding her involvement was a lost cause. Maybe he could reason with her. “Listen. When’s the last time you were even in a cockpit?”
      “I know this ship. I was practically born in these things.”
      “Dell —”
      She threw his helmet at him. He caught it awkwardly, and she had shed her coveralls and was wriggling into her flight suit before he could finish his thought. She stared at him with hard eyes and said, “Suit up if you don’t want to get left behind.”
      Dell was as implacable as gravity. Fine. It was her funeral, and he realized there was no way his brother had ever won an argument with her.
      They finished prepping in silence. Walt pulled the chocks on her Avenger when she climbed up into the cockpit. He gave the hulking muzzle of the Tarantula an appreciative pat. “You have ammo for this bad boy?”
      “I have a little.”
      “Good,” he smiled. “Let’s hope Brock isn’t ready to handle reinforcements.”
      Walt mulled that thought over. It was true that Gavin had split their team in each fight, but Rhedd Alert had never sent in reserves. Each engagement had been a fair and straightforward fight. Brock wasn’t likely to know anything about their resources, however limited, beyond the escort team. That could work to their advantage.
      In fact, “Hey, Dell. Hop out for a tick, will you?”
      “Like hell I will.” The look she shot down at him was pure challenge. “I said I’m going and that’s that.”
      “Oh, no. I’ve already lost that fight. But you and your cannon here got me thinking about those pirates in Oberon. Tell me, did we ever find a buyer for that old Idris hull?”
      “No. It’s buoyed in storage outside the station, why?”
      Dell looked at him skeptically and he grinned. “We’re going to introduce these military-types to
      some ol’ smugglers’ tricks.”
      Gavin held the team at the edge of the jump gate between Min and Nexus. “All right gang, listen up. You know the drill and what might be waiting for us on the other side. Jazza, I want you and Rahul up on point for this jump. I’ll bring Cassiopeia over after you and the rest of the team are in. Anyone not ready to jump?”
      His team was silent as they arranged themselves into position with professional precision. The pilot aboard Cassiopeia sounded the ready and Gavin sent Jazza through. The others were hard on her heels, and Gavin felt the always-peculiar drop through the mouth of the jump gate.
      Light and sound stretched, dragging him across the inter­space. Another drop, a moment’s disorientation, and then Nexus resolved around him.
      Without warning, Mei’s fighter flashed past his forward screen. Incandescent laser fire slashed along the ghost grey and fire-alarm red ship, crippling Mei’s shields and shearing away sections of armored hull. Mei fired back at a trio of maddeningly familiar Hornets in a tight triangular formation.
      Jazza barked orders. “Mei. Rahul. Flank Gavin and get Cassiopeia out of here. Gavin, you copy that? You have the package.”
      He shook his head, willing the post-jump disorientation away. He didn’t remember bringing up his shields, but they flashed on his HUD and his weapon systems were armed.
      “Copy that.” Gavin switched to the transport channel, “Cassiopeia. Let’s get you folks out of here.”
      The crew onboard the UEE transport didn’t need any more encouragement. Gavin accelerated to keep pace with the larger ship as two Rhedd Alert fighters dropped into posi­tion above and below him. Together, they raced toward the jump gate to Tyrol.
      The Hornets wheeled and dropped toward them from one side. Gavin’s HUD lit up with alerts as Jazza sent a pair of rockets dangerously close over his head to blast into one of the attacking ships. Her ship screamed by overhead, but the Hornets stayed in pursuit of the fleeing transport.
      Alarms sounded. They needed more firepower on the Hornets to give Cassiopeia time to get clear. He yelled a course heading, and Cassiopeia dove with Mei and Rahul on either flank.
      Gavin pulled up, turned and fired to pull the attention of the attackers. He spun, taking the brunt of their return fire on his stronger starboard shields.
      The impact shook the Cutlass violently, and his shield integ­rity bar sagged into the red. Gavin turned, took another wild shot with his lasers, and accelerated away from Cassiopeia with the Hornets in close pursuit.
      Navsat data for the jump into Nexus crept onto the edge of Walt’s HUD. Several seconds and thousands of kilometers later, the first of the embattled starships winked onto the display. His brother and the Rhedd Alert team were hard-pressed.
      Walt watched Brock and her crew circle and strike, corralling the Rhedd Alert ships. Gavin tried to lead the attackers away, but Brock wouldn’t bite. By keeping the fight centered on the UEE transport, she essentially held the transport hostage.
      Time to even the odds.
      Jazza tore into one of the Hornets. Walt saw the enemy fighter’s superior shields absorb the impact. He marked that Hornet as his target, preparing to strike before its defenses recharged.
      He killed his primary drive and spun end to end, slash­ing backward through the melee like a blazing comet. His targeting system locked onto the enemy Hornet, and his heavy Broadsword blasted bullets into it.
      Mei’s battered fighter dove through the streaming wreck­age, but the Super Hornet, presumably Brock, waited for her on the other side. A blast from her neutron cannon tore through the Rhedd Alert ship. Mei ejected safely, but their team was down a ship.
      “Gods,” Gavin’s voice was frantic. “Get the hell out of here, Walt. Form up with the transport and get them away from the fight.”
      Walt ignored him. He came around for another pass and triggered his mic to an open-area channel. “The game’s up, Brock.”
      His words cut across the thrust and wheel of close com­bat, and for a moment the fighters on all sides flew in quiet patterns above the fleeing Cassiopeia.
      “You know,” Walt said, “if you wanted us to believe you were after the transport, you should have saved your big guns for Cassiopeia instead of overkilling our friend.”
      “I suppose I should be disappointed that you have found me out,” Brock’s voice was a pinched sneer, and every bit as cold and hard as Gavin had described. “On the other hand, I’m glad you’ve shared this with me. I might have been content disabling the majority of your so-called fleet. Now, it seems that I will have to be more thorough.”
      She fired, he dodged, and the fight was on again in earnest. Walt switched his comms to Rhedd Alert’s squad channel. “Brock was never after Cassiopeia, Gav. She’s been after us.”
      “Maybe I’m a little distracted by all the missiles and the neutron cannon, but I’m failing to see how that is at all relevant right now.”
      “We’re no match for the tech in her ships. If she goes after the transport, they’re toast.” He rolled into position next to Gavin. Together, they nosed down to strafe at a Hornet from above.
      “Great,” Gavin said, “then why did you tip her off?”
      Walt suppressed a wicked grin. “Because,” he said, “she can’t afford to let any of us get away, either.”
      “If you have any brilliant ideas, spit ’em out. I’m all ears.”
      “Run with me.” For all Walt knew, Brock could hear every word they were saying. She would tear them apart if they stayed. He had to get Gavin to follow him. “Run with me, Gavin.”
      “Damn it, Walt! If you came to help, then help. I’ve got a pilot down, and I’m not leaving her here to get OK’d like Boom­er.”
      “This ain’t about doing the easy thing, Gav. Someone I truly admire once told me that this game is all about trust. So ask yourself . . . do you trust me?”
      Gavin growled his name then, dragging out the word in a bitter, internal struggle. The weight of it made Walt’s throat constrict. Despite all of their arguments, Boomer’s death and his own desertion when things got hard — in spite of all of that — his brother still wanted to trust him.
      “Trust me, Gavin.”
      Brock and her wingman swept low, diving to corral Cassiopeia and its escorts. Jazza redirected them with a blazing torrent of laser fire and got rocked by the neutron cannon in return. The shields around her battered Cutlass flashed, dimmed and then failed.
      Walt gritted his teeth. It was now or never.
      “Jazz,” Gavin’s voice sounded hard and sharp, “rally with Cassiopeia and make a break for it.”
      Walt pumped his fist and accelerated back the way he’d come in.
      “Walt,” Gavin sounded angry enough to eat nails, but he followed, “I’m on your six. Let’s go, people! Move like you’ve got a purpose.”
      Walt pulled up a set of coordinate presets and streaked away with Gavin close behind him. The two remaining Hor­nets split, with Brock falling in behind Gavin to give pursuit. Even together he and Gavin didn’t have much chance of getting past her superior shields. Instead, he set a straight course for the waypoint marked at the edge of his display. When incoming fire from Brock drove them off course, he corrected to put them directly back in line with the mark.
      Brock was gaining. Gavin’s icon flashed on his display. She was close enough to hit reliably with her repeaters. As they approached the preset coordinates, Walt spotted a rippling distortion of winking starlight. Correcting his course slightly, he headed straight for it. Gavin and Brock were hard behind him.
      “Come on,” Walt whispered, “stay close.”
      On the squad display, he saw Gavin’s shield integrity dropped yet again. Brock was scoring more frequent hits.
      “A little farther.”
      Walt focused on the rippling of starlight ahead, a dark patch of space that swallowed Nexus’ star. He made a slight course correction and Gavin matched it. Together, they continued their breakneck flight from Brock’s deadly onslaught.
      The small patch of dark space grew as the three ships streaked forward. Walt opened the squad channel on his mic and shouted, “Now!”
      On his HUD, a new ship flared onto the display. It appeared to materialize nearly on top of them as Dell’s Avenger dropped from her hiding place inside the blackened hull of the derelict Idris.
      Walt punched his thrusters. The lift pressed him into his seat as he pushed up and over their trap. He heard Dell shouting over the squad channel, and he turned, straining to see behind him. Bright flashes from Brock’s muzzles accompanied a horrible pounding thunder. Dell had left her mic open and it sounded like the massive gun was threat­ening to tear her ship apart.
      “Heads up, Gav!”
      Dell’s voice hit Gavin like a physical blow.
      He saw his brother climb and suddenly disappear behind an empty, starless expanse. Then Boomer’s Avenger materi­alized from within that blackness, and Gavin knew that his wife was inside the cockpit. She was with him, out in the black where veteran pilots outgunned them.
      His body reacted where his mind could not. He shoved down, hard. Thrusters strained as he instinctively tried to avoid colliding with her. A brilliant pulse like flashes of light­ning accompanied a jarring thunder of sound.
      Gavin forced his battered ship to turn. The Cutlass shud­dered from the stress, and Gavin was pressed into the side of the cockpit as the nose of his ship came around.
      He saw the first heavy round strike Brock. The combined force of the shell and her momentum shredded her for­ward shields. Then round after round tore through the nose of Brock’s ship until the air ignited inside.
      “Dell” — the flaming Hornet tumbled toward his wife like an enormous hatchet — “look out!”
      Brock ejected.
      Dell thrust to one side, but the Hornet chopped into the hull where she had hidden. The explosion sent ships and debris spinning apart in all directions.
      He swept around to intercept her spinning ship. Walt beat him there. Thrusters firing in tightly controlled move­ments, Walt caught her Avenger, slowed it and stopped the spin.
      Gavin rolled to put himself cockpit to cockpit with his wife.
      She sat in stillness at the controls, her head down and turned to one side.
      “Come on, baby. Talk to me.”
      She moved.
      With the slow deliberateness of depressurized space, she rolled her head on her shoulders. When she looked up, their eyes met. Dell gave him a slow smile and a thumbs-up. He swallowed hard, and with one hand pressed to his heart, he shut his eyes silently in thanks.
      Gavin spun his Cutlass and thrust over to where Brock floated nearby, his weapons systems still hot. He paused then, looming above her as she had hesitated over Boomer.
      Her comms were still active. “What now, Rhedd?”
      He remembered her from the meeting with Greely. Tall, lean, and crisp. She seemed small now, drifting not more than a meter away from the battle-scarred nose of his Cutlass.
      “Gavin?” Dell’s voice sounded small after the ruckus of the fight.
      Walt eased into view alongside him. His voice was low and calm, “Easy, buddy. We weren’t raised to OK pilots.”
      “She’s not worth it,” Dell said.
      Brock snarled, “Do it already.”
      He had studied Brock’s reports for months. She had more ships and more pilots than he could ever imagine employing. What drove her to harass them and kill one of his crew for this job?
      “I just want to know why,” he asked. “You’ve got other contracts. You’ve probably made more money than any of us will see in our lives. Why come after us?”
      He held Brock’s eye, the lights from the Cutlass reflecting from her visor.
      “Why?” she repeated. “Look around you, Rhedd. There’s no law in these systems. All that matters here is courage to take what you want, and a willingness to sacrifice to keep it.”
      “You want to talk sacrifice?” he said. “That pilot you killed was family.”
      “You put him in harm’s way,” she said, “not me. What little order exists in these systems is what I brought with me. I carved my success from nothing. You independents are thieves. You’re like rodents, nibbling at the edges of others’ success.”
      “I was a thief,” he said, “and a smuggler. But we’re building our own success, and next time you and I meet with the Navy,” Gavin fired his thrusters just enough to punch Brock with the nose of his ship, “it’ll be in a court­room.”
      She spun and tumbled as she flew, growing smaller and smaller until the PRB on his HUD was all he could see.
      A pair of Retaliators with naval designations were moored outside the Rhedd Alert hangar when Gavin and the crew finally limped back to Vista Landing.
      Crew aboard Cassiopeia had insisted on helping with medical care and recovery after the fight. The team scheduled for pick-up at Haven was similarly adamant that Rhedd Alert take care of their own before continuing. Technically, no one had checked with Navy SysCom.
      Did the Navy fire contractors face to face? For all he knew, they did.
      Gavin saw to the staging of their damaged ships while the others hurried the wounded deeper into Vista Landing. When he’d finished, he exchanged a quick nod with Barry Lidst who stood at ease behind Major Greely.
      “Major,” Gavin held out his hand, “I assume someone would have told me already if I was fired.”
      His hand disappeared in the major’s massive paw. “I sup­pose they would have, at that.”
      “Then to what do we owe the honor?” Dell and Walt joined them, and Gavin made introductions.
      “‘I’ first, then ‘we,’ ” Greely repeated, “I like that, Rhedd. I appreciate a man who accepts consequence personally but insists on sharing accolades with his team. Tell me, son. How’d you get Brock?”
      Gavin nudged his wife. With a roguish grin, Dell pulled her arm from around Gavin’s waist and stepped over to pat the Tarantula on her battered Avenger.
      “Nice shooting, miss.”
      Dell shrugged, “Walt pulled my tags, nav beacon and flight recorder before we left. I was sitting dark inside a decoy when the boys flew her right down the barrel.”
      Barry leaned toward Greely and in a completely audible whisper said, “It might be best if we ignore the illegal parts of that.”
      Greely waved him off. “This is what the ’verse needs. Men and women with the courage to slap their name up on the side of a hangar. A chance for responsible civilians to create good, honest jobs with real pay for locals. That an ex-military contractor tried to muck that up . . .”
      Gavin and the team got a good, close look at what angry looked like on a Navy officer. It was the kind of scowl that left an impression.
      “Anyway,” Greely composed himself, “not a soul in the ’verse would blame you for writing us off as a bit of bad business. I’m here to ask that you stick with it.”
      Gavin was reluctant to bring their financial situation up in front of their one paying client, but they were tapped out. Rhedd Alert didn’t have the cred to buy ammo, much less repair their downed fighters. “Actually, sir. I think we may need to find something a little more lucrative than getting shot up by disgruntled incumbents.”
      “About that,” Greely rested his hand on Gavin’s shoulder. He led him to look out one of the large hangar windows at the Retaliators buoyed outside. “My accountant tells me there may be some room to renegotiate certain parts of the Tyrol contract. But that job won’t be enough to keep your team busy now that Brock’s out of the way.”
      Gavin laughed. “On that point, I most certainly hope you are right.”
      “Well . . . I’ve got more work for an outfit like yours. I hope you’ll accept, because you folks have surely earned it. Tell me, Rhedd, are you familiar with the Oberon system?”
      Behind them, Walt dropped his helmet.
      The End
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