“You’ll need me,” Dina calls. “Don’t leave without me.”
I’m already thinking about who else we should take. Hit, March, and Vel for their hand-to-hand skill, Doc in case anyone is wounded. Dina and I round out the group. Of them all, I’m the most expendable. That’s an interesting sensation.
Once I’d have protested at the stupidity of this. We should’ve just blown them to atoms and went on to Emry Station. For good or ill, I don’t think that way anymore.
It doesn’t take me long to assemble my gear: shockstick, torch-tube, a few packets of paste. You never know when that will come in handy. If we manage to save anyone over there, they might be starving. Slavers aren’t known for their kindness.
Once prepared, I head over to the hatch to wait. With the tow cables in place, we’ll launch the boarding apparatus and connect to their hatch doors. Vel has the expertise to get us in, even from the outside. I pull on the full compression suit, but leave the helmet off. It gets sweaty in there fast, and I don’t want to wear it longer than I have to.
I’m slightly queasy over the idea of entering the boarding array. It’s no more than a few thin centimeters of an alloy allegedly perfected for use in space. Seeing how Far-wan “perfected” other technology, it leaves some room for concern.
One by one, I notify everybody who’ll be going with us. I don’t need to check with March on that. I know he’ll agree with my call. Too many, and we’ll hinder one another in the close confines of the smaller ship. Too few, and we won’t have the skills we need to make this work. It’s a delicate balance.
Maybe that’s the mistake we made on Hon’s Kingdom. We tried to do it on our own. I just hope history’s not repeating itself, because it was
idea this time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
is a national bestselling author. She has a degree in English literature and a spotty résumé. Before she began writing full-time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a corn-field, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, two children, two cats, and one very lazy dog. She likes books, emo music, action movies, andDr. Who
. You can visit her on the Web atwww.annaguirre.com