“No. You go first,” she requested, not being as prepared as I wished.
“I was just going to say,” he started, probably improvising, “that you look lovely tonight.”
“Thank you (!).” Cute tittering, cute covering of mouth. “Oh, I was going to check out *Whitson* tonight,” she realized. “*Sorry*.”
“Kind of your double, I’m assuming.”
“Kind of,” she agreed. “Um… uh…”
“Well,” he decided to insert in the awkward pause. “Baker Bloch still has ties to Lower Austra, *roots*, even.”
“In Squared Root City here, yes,” she said, remembering some of her lines now thanks to the prompt. Not all, but perhaps enough to get by if she can fill in the rest with filler.
“Zero Club.” He glanced over his shoulder at the sign; another prompt. “Just like Baker was looking for. A place Baker, the male one, could Zero Out and reset everything.”
“Good to know.” She was struggling. The Whitson gaffe threw her off her game. She decides to end the scene and do some research.
“I’m going into space again,” she said after learning she was. Thanks once again wikipedia! You’re a life line. “It’s a joint venture between Axiom and SpaceX.”
“So… Axis,” he responded. “Like me.”
“My name is not Axis any longer. My name is Newt.”
“I know that.”
“I don’t like to be reminded of my Axis past.”
“I… won’t say anything more about it, won’t bring it up.” She cleared her throat. The research got her into hot water (!). She said his new name to reinforce her conviction. “Newt, yes I like it.” She recalled a tree growing out of his head instead of the other place. She realized she had to part with Whitson on this, Mars or no Mars. She had to choose… well pump over spaceship.
(to be continued)