War Hero

She'd added his location to the list of communities herself, and he was right, they didn't usually go along on supply runs unless there was a risk of Consanguine presence. But since she'd helped create the Threshold supply program in the first place, she could make her own rules.

She knew Sarah wouldn't care where they went so long as there wasn't somewhere else they needed to be, but it was odd that Alison hadn't asked her about the sudden detour. They'd been best friends since before the Vale, and there'd never been any secrets between them.

She avoided every one of his calls for the two weeks until the delivery. It was hard, but she wanted the conversation she'd promised to happen face to face.

Arrival went the way it always did. People tended to be very open and accommodating when you brought them salvation and supplies. They'd brought much more than just the comm and uplink gear - but for obvious reasons Heather wanted to deliver those herself.

As always, her fame was a hindrance. Everyone wanted to meet "Andy", and she had to resort to bulky coveralls and goggles to hide her flash. There were more than a few questions about the goggles in the dim indoor lighting, but at least she was able to get someone to tell her where she might be able find Yash.

Eventually, someone directed her to an old hangar in the center of the city. They'd apparently flown heavy artillery out of it during the war, and now, it was a hub of re-emergent, salvaged technology.

Ferrying the tech there, allowed her to see the acres of buildings derelict and abandoned, and still more that were completely razed. She remembered Kate saying that the first places to go dark before the war were the out of the way places like these, the places no one would miss.

The hangar was huge. Next to the towering shuttered entrance, was an intercom that looked to be put together from at least three different devices - and none of them intended for communication. She was deliberately vague when she accessed the interface.

"I've got a delivery of comm gear here," she said.

"Hang on a sec." a female voice responded, then in the background, just before the channel closed "See? I told you this thing would w—"

There was the whirring of a motor and a ratcheting noise as the door rolled upwards to reveal a brown-skinned woman who was nearly a head taller than she was. "Sorry about this," she said, "I told him the supplies were today, but he's spent the whole morning rebuilding the old comm because of some girl." She turned and yelled over her shoulder, "Yash! The new comm's here," she turned back and winked at Heather, "and I think it'll make you forget all about the old one!"

There was a loud thud from the back of the building and the sound of metal scraping across the floor

"You know the comm isn't the point Prashanthi."

There were pieces of machinery and electronics stacked almost to the ceiling, so she couldn't see him, but there was no mistaking the voice.

"She said the next t—" He stopped short as he came into view.

Heather waved.

He looked to Prashanthi, "They sent one tech?"

She shrugged.

"Well," Heather said, "I did help you fix the filter on your crappy comm."

It took a few moments for the realization to dawn on him. "Heather?"

She raised her goggles and nodded. "Heather."

Prashanthi put her hand to her mouth and gasped. She hadn't expected flash, but Yash just smiled and shook his head. "You did this just to prove me wrong about war heroes delivering comm gear didn't you?"

Heather almost laughed. "At your service." she said with a flourish, "Heather Vay Ayin Sodal. War hero."