“So when did this camp get started?”
“Dunno. Pretty sure it’s older than me, though I can’t exactly remember my first two years all that well so I guess it could have started up sometime then. But the earliest I remember, I was here. So, eight years, at the least?”
“Why the tents? Aren’t grebling colonies usually underground?”
Junior gives you a look that suggests you didn’t really think about it.
“They’re in caverns. Places that are already hollowed out. We can’t exactly live our lives covered in sand, y’know. And if we dug far enough to get below it, well, that’s where the tunnelers are. Anyhow, it’s not like we want to live underground in the first place, we only started doing that because humans kicked us out of everywhere else.”
Oh. Right. That makes a lot of sense.
“I just figured you’d get less of the desert heat underground. Actually, why are you all in the desert in the first place?”
You know parts of the answer to that question already, but you don’t really know the reason for running off to a desert instead of somewhere else.
“Because the desert is what we’re researching. Obviously.”
“To what end?”
Junior just shrugs.
“Dunno, I’m not old enough for them to tell me the details, apparently.”
“Well, apparently it’s something your church doesn’t like.”
“From what Jeb told me, they don’t like a lot of things. So I can’t say that really narrows it down.”
Hmm, maybe you should have some more words with that priest. On the other hand, you’ve still got the job Rider asked you to do. Or maybe you’re not done talking with this kid yet.
What’s your next move?
Teach Junior a swamp jingle.
The maybe go look for and/or be Rivers
Better get on with delivering the package.
Junior: Have stolen the package.