The world isn't just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no?
And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no?
Doesn't that make life a story?
- Yann Martel, Life of Pi
“I’ve got a solution for you, Per.”
He looks at me, his eyebrows drawing together in surprise. I’ve broken our war of silence. “All right,” he says. “Let’s hear it.”
“It seems to me there’s a dearth of Scires,” I say. “Seeing as how you’re only about a tenth of all Marked.”
Perry nods. “Probably even less. There aren’t many of us.”
“Right. Which is why I was thinking you should propose to Vale that he loan you to other tribes as a breeding stud. He could make some money from your services and it would keep the two of you apart for long stretches of time. And I think the benefits, to you, are obvious.”
Perry looks back at the campfire. He rubs a hand over his mouth and nods like he’s pretending to mull it over, but I can tell he’s trying not to laugh. “That’s not a bad idea,” he says after a moment.
“I know,” I agree. It actually isn’t a poor plan. Perry’s never settling down and girls fawn over him anyway. Liv once told me that part of why they’re drawn to him is because he comes across as a mystery. We didn’t get any farther than that; I’d rather keep my best friend’s appeal a mystery to me too.
“If you’re open to that kind of . . . work,” I continue, “Vale could turn a nice profit.”
“Sure,” Perry says. “I could warm up to that kind of work.”
“Rise to the occasion?”
“Definitely.” A wide grin spreads over Perry’s face. “No problem.”
His question from earlier pops into my mind. Are you cured? I think we’re both on our way.
“You’re uniquely suited for the job,” I say. “A month here, a month there. You could really boost the population. In a couple of years there could be little Scires scurrying around all over the place. Or maybe not so little, since they’d be yours.”
Perry shrugs. “I don’t see any downside. Thanks, Ro. I’ll talk to Vale when we get back.” He turns to Wylan, whose black eyes are narrowed in suspicion. “Guess we figured it all out.”
Wylan looks from Perry to me and makes a sound of disgust. He flops to the ground and pulls his blanket over his head. “You’re both idiots,” he mutters.
Hardly. We got him to shut up, which is damn near impossible to do.
That makes us brilliant.