The image is moving.
She closes the book and hugs it to her chest, smiling genuinely for the first time since she's been here.
"I'm not – it's not like that. I just don't like being stuck. I was afraid I was never going to see my husband again."
"Actually, if this works," – her smile falters a little on the word if – "I'd like to come back to visit sometimes. Write a book here, if you don't object. How hard would it be for me to get back here again, your way? My way, I'd need materials from home and a few days to set up. And a place to put the link-in point."
"Yes, exactly. A linking book takes the user to the place that the book was written."
She opens the book again and looks at the image.
"What would you do if you had a road to another town? I'd visit sometimes, meet people, explore the geography and wildlife, look at the stars. Atrus would probably want to take soil samples," she smirks.
She is taking a risk here, omitting details about how one goes about not leaving a book to be followed through, but the mention of political complications has put her back on edge.
"Would those systems object to you bringing me back in about half an hour, after I've had a chance to explain things to my husband? I am interested in talking about this – if it's not a terrible imposition on your time, that is – but I don't want him to worry."
She knows better than to assume that the days are the same length here. "About... five or ten times as long as I've been here so far."
She places the book open on the floor, touches the moving image, and fades away.
The visitor reappears, smiling and holding a slimmer book than the one before. "That was about an hour, by the way. I brought a pocket watch if you want to work out the exact conversion rate. Atrus certainly will, at some point."
"I was hoping to learn more about the political complications and what might be done about them. I'm Katran, by the way, I don't think we've been properly introduced." She holds out a hand.
"Keo, and this is my husband Kanaat," says Keo, shaking her hand. "The country we live in is called Esmaar, and introducing one or more new political units into the sphere of their diplomatic tasks will probably be some combination of annoying and exciting for them, depending on what your homeworld is like."
"As far as potential diplomatic concerns... there are the survivors of Riven, in Tay; the survivors of D'ni, in Releeshahn; the survivors of Terahnee; the natives of Earth; the natives of Averone; I don't know if there are any survivors of Channelwood..."
"History tends to be complicated."