This is a continuation of Outer Exploration but hopefully stands alone.
“What the hell?”
The man looked up from the stake he’d been driving into the rocky ground. “Hello Avani, nice to see you too, welcome–”
Avani dismissively flipped her right hand out and away. “Three weeks! I’ve been gone for three weeks Emre and the expedition entirely changes from hiding underground so as not to disturb the natives to building a city and announcing our presence?!”
“Oh, that.” Emre stood up and stretched inside his suit before placing the welder down. “Yeah, two days after you left a trade delegation from a local group approached us. Seeing as we were already found out, the Chief decided we had to show good faith. Apparently,” Emre said gesturing behind him towards the glowing lights illuminating the rickety structure, “a trading outpost is good faith. We’ve got a treaty in place with the locals too.”
Emre could see Avani cock an eyebrow through the faceplate of her suit. “That was fast.”
“They’re… direct. And wanted what we wanted.”
“Yeah. Hardcore. We’re having trouble converting our stuff into formats they can use fast enough. You’re probably going to get pulled into that project.”
“After I see the doc,” Avani said sliding her sample case off her shoulder.
“Oh, damn, here, lemme take that case then. What happened?” Emre asked as he hitched the sample case onto his shoulders.
“Slide down one of those rocky trees last week. The seed-pod I was reaching for was a) further out than it looked and b) a lot heavier than expected. Got banged around inside the suit a bit.”
“Just another glorious day in the science corps.”