Tithenai let out a long, ragged sigh of discouragement. "I get what you guys are saying, though," she conceded. "I'm involved in this mess whether I want it or not. And I think it's time for me to pick a side even though I do not want this. Don't you tell me how I feel."
Compassionately, Sylnie said, "We're not trying to tell you how—"
I cut her off with a wave of my hand. "Song lyric. I recognize that one. It's Nine Inch Nails. She probably didn't really mean that part."
"And you guys have definitely treated me way better than those other guys have," Tithenai continued glumly. "And you make a good point that you're actually trying to help people. So, I guess, when it comes down to it, if I have to choose, I'm on your side. When times get rough and friends just can't be found, like a bridge over troubled water, I will—"
"Whoa, Tith," I interrupted, "I think you're letting this one get away from you. Bottom line is, you're with us, right?"
She swallowed and bobbed her head slowly. "Yeah. I'm with you guys. Just promise me I can go back to my cave and my couch when this is all over, okay?"
Sylnie gave me stern glare. She seemed to be non-verbally communicating to me that I had better make that promise to Tithenai or else.
"I don't know when this is all going to be over," I answered gravely. "But if you want to sit there playing video games for the rest of eternity, I'll do my best to help make sure that happens."
She flashed me an unnerving, sharp-toothed grin of gratitude. "Awesome. So…what would you like to know?"