Their feet squished soggily in their boots as they made their way towards Hrothgar's hall. Theodora kept them in the open. Halfway to Heorot, they came upon a rutted wagon road that led them towards the first of the outlying farmsteads. Zorikh studied the neatly furrowed fields with awe. He was actually seeing a Dark Age farm! On the closest field's far side was a small wooden house. It was more like a hut, Zorikh thought, or what he thought of when the word 'hut' was mentioned (aside from Jabba, that is, followed by images of Princess Leia in her little slave-girl outfit). It had a thatched roof, and had only one window that Zorikh could see. In a further field, Zorikh spied figures working with long handled tools; planting or seeding, or whatever farmers did when they weren't harvesting. He guessed that it was spring. Theodora stepped closer as they walked. "Zorikh, please forgive me for being so flippant with you."
"That was flippant? Now I know you're not a native New Yorker. No problemo."
"What I should have told you is that this is my time and place, Zorikh...like Manhattan with the sushi place and Papaya King and your agent is yours."
Zorikh turned his full attention from the farm and its surroundings to her. "I figured you were just a really artsy German person." He said slowly. "So you're saying you're Saxon as in 'the Saxon Shore' Saxon."
"A bit later than that, but you've got the right..."
"Like Saxon as in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicles?"
"Like Arthur versus the Saxon invaders?"
"Okay, that's quite enough." She snapped. "Firstly, it's not an invasion, it's a migration. We need lands and homesteads, we're strong, they're weak! Secondly there's no need to bring that Roman into it! One brief shining moment indeed!" She then added, "And don't give me that dung about 'Romano-Britons' either, they're Roman enough! Any race that begins with 'Romano' is Roman!"
"Or a cheese." Zorikh muttered, but wished instantly that he hadn't. He thought it wise to let her cool down. "Gray's Papaya, by the way." She turned incredulously to him. He thought it wise to explain further. "You said earlier to meet at Papaya King on Eighth Street. There's no Papaya King on Eighth Street, but there's a Gray's Papaya. I guess sorta like we're not in Denmark, we're in Kent."
Theodora, not having known Zorikh for very long, was unprepared for this and was therefore forced to smile. "Yes, it's like that."
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