A few days later, Akaraak is having a casual conversation with Mohra about what they’ve been up to and tells her about the special guest they took out on the most recent hunt, the journalist Darren Beamwalker. Mohra doesn’t recognize from Akaraak’s stories that this is the same person she talked to, and she never bothered to get his name, since he was just a flunky, not the wealthy donor. However, after Akaraak laughs about being addressed as sir instead of professor, it comes out that he thinks this human had military training. Mohra wrinkles her nose at that… a military human, asking Akaraak all kinds of personal questions, and Akaraak invited him into their house?! And suddenly, she has a thought; it’s a long shot, but Rayyka dated a human in her teens and then ran off to join the Imperial Army with him. (Renn has no idea about any of that; it wasn’t him.)
Mohra: How old did this human look? 30ish?
Akaraak: Surely you don’t think he could possibly have been that sleemo who convinced Rayyka to run away from home?
Mohra: Oh, please, Rayyka invited in only trouble, and she got it. If it hadn’t been that Imperial cadet it would have been someone or something else.
Akaraak: And you think I took him out hunting? That’s ridiculous, and anyway, how could I recognize a human I was only passingly familiar with 15 years ago, when that person wasn’t even fully grown yet?
But then Akaraak catches himself…. Mohra doesn’t know, but there might be a way. That night, in his study, he enters the convor enclosure and goes over to the plank under which he found the bag last year when he was remodeling the room to be his office. There are some pictures in there of Kash and her bad-influence boyfriend, after all. He pulls up the board and reaches in for the bag… but it is gone. Akaraak is shocked. He examines the room for signs of a break-in. He looks under a few other floorboards. He checks over the various entry points to the house. Nothing. No signs of a break-in, and he can’t find any evidence of anything stolen from any other room. Someone entered this room, went into an animal enclosure, and specifically took Kash’s bag; it had to have been that human. Akaraak is unsure what to do… he never told Mohra about the bag and the journals, how can he now tell her they were stolen? And what does it even mean? If that was the old boyfriend, why would he come back now, after all these years, and get that bag? Unless… Is it possible Rayyka is actually still alive?