They half-expected him to tell them that their whimbrel might be a fae, that there were fae who adapted to urban life. River City had them. Grand Shore probably did, too. But he must have bit his tongue. He knew that they knew.
Cat began eating, and Asmeret took the opportunity to do the same. The silence between them was filled by the waves, the late-season tourists, the squawks of gulls and other shorebirds. Asmeret spoke again, “The program still isn’t working. That’s what I wanted to talk about.”
“Same issue as before?”
They dipped inside their tent and opened their laptop, inviting him to follow. “It’s not finding any patterns in where the Firebird chooses to descend. I’ve run so many models based on different bird species. I’ve tweaked weight, altitude, habitat preference… nothing’s turning up.” They opened a series of images for him: GIS maps–similar to ones he’d been sent before–built from gigabytes of useless data.
“It was designed to predict shifts in the migration routes of large flocks, not one bird. Not to track whatever the Firebird is doing,” they continued.
“Well, you've been doing wonderful so far. I’m sure something will turn up! We have data from Phoebe now, along with Kirk.”
“I’ve already added them in, and,” they stopped him before he could suggest it, “I have run models using a few different probable locations for Phoebe, since she doesn’t remember. This just might not be possible. I helped develop this program, I know what its limits are. The Firebird isn’t a normal bird- no one’s even seen it in flight.”
I had a lot of fun with CK! Unfortunately a few mishaps kept us from seeing each-other as much as we had planned, but everyone is OK which is the most important thing.
I also wanted to say that I'm dusting off my Ko-Fi. If you like Katabasis and want to throw a few bucks my way, it'd be much appreciated! This isn't related to anything in particular- I'm not in a financial crisis and I don't have any big bills. I just want to give people the option.