Bev Bora had become a mini-celebrity in Bridge town, the common name for the occupants of the Bridge area of the Longship Primavera. Her notoriety came first as a result of her obsession with watching the broadcasts from the other three longships, two of which were out of range and one of which had suffered a catastrophic disaster, presumedly wiping out all occupants and leaving the transmission focused on a surviving meadow somewhere inside the longship Zima and nothing more.

All that changed when a woman appeared in the meadow wearing a red dress, who walked up and shut off the camera. That led the Zima’s internal system to switch to another camera, the first indication that anything inside the ship was working.

Now Bev Bora was no longer the crazy obsessive watching a dead ship, but the foremost expert in determining what might be happening on the Zima. The four longships were headed in different directions, but the Primavera was very interested in what happened on the Zima in order to avoid it themselves.

Bev laid out several schematics of the Primavera and the Zima alongside several photos of meadows. The command team on disaster prevention gathered around along with Marnly who had been with her when the lady in red had appeared.

Bev pointed at the photos. “These top two images are stills of the Zima’s previous camera and the current camera. These bottom two are of the meadow we think is the equivalent here on the Primavera.”

The top two were empty meadows. The bottom two had several command staff walking through them.

“Is that the same person in both?” asked Marnly.

“Not just the same person, but at the same time,” Bev answered.

“It’s the same meadow?” asked Specialist Lombardozzi.

Bev nodded. “The schematics show how we identified it. We eliminated the vegetation from both Zima images to get an estimate of the contour of the terrain,” as she spoke the vegetation disappeared from the top images, replaced by line-drawings of the ground. “The lady in red helped us make a much more accurate estimate of the first image since we saw her walk up, but it’s still pretty accurate for the second.

“As you probably know, terrain and camera placement in all four longships was standard. Ground level varies because of soil placement, vegetation and erosion but we factored those conditions out. That led us to 5 places on Primavera that could correspond to what we know of thirst image and 12 that could be the second.”

“So how did you narrow it down to these two?” asked Specialist Hahn.

“You mean one,” said Marnly.

“Exactly,” agreed Bev. “One location showed in both lists. This one,” she tapped the Primavera images and they merged into a 3D representation showing the command staff member from all sides.”

Bev turned to the Distance Monitors behind them. Only two were active. One of them showed a series of images from cameras within the Primavera. The other showed the current still from Zima. Bev manipulated some controls and the Primavera screen stayed on one meadow.

At first glance it looked similar but not identical to the Zima’s image. Trees were in different places and the ground cover looked slightly different.

“If you look past the trees and grass, you can see this is the same spot. Were 99 percent certain this is the equivalent location. What we don’t know is–”

Bev stopped. Nobody was listening to her anymore anyway.

The lady in red was walking into the meadow again on the Zima’s screen, heading straight for the camera. She smirked a little as she got close.

“No!” Bev yelled, “Don’t do it again.”

This time instead of just disabling the camera though the woman looked into it and mouthed some words, then shut the camera off. Just like last time the screen went blank. If things proceeded as last time it would be awhile before the Zima found another camera to show, if there was one.

“What was she saying?” asked Marnly.

Bev scanned back to show the woman again. She called up a speech emulator and a computerish voice said “Are you listening? Because I’m watching.” then the video showed the woman disabling the camera again.

“What is she watching?” asked Marnly.

“The meadow,” said Bev.