Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9
Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16 Chapter 17
Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20 Chapter 21
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The service corridors were quiet and not too busy with only a few station staff and business employees going to and fro, mostly ignoring us as I tried to guide us casually away from the Lucky Hanger. Derranna was a walking zombie and only mechanically moving her feet as my arm around her waist guided her and I pretended to talk to her while I argued with the voice in my ear.
"Kirith, you've got to lose the girl," Eamon Delvara sternly said.
"No way, Delvara. This is the second time she's saved my ass. She's coming with me."
"You don't understand, the pilfered pass you have will only work for one adult male. You try taking a second person without a pass into the stairwell and, with the level on alert, you'll get locked down and forced to cool your heels until security shows up. Lose the girl!"
"No!" I hissed. "There has to be another way! Let me think..."
"Well," he said with the calm of someone watching a holoreel and safe from the action, "you better think real fast. I've managed to block the restaurant's security feed so they don't know for sure what happened and where you went, but even station guards will figure it out eventually."
I checked my arm where I was winged to make sure I was not sporting a big bloody stain. The wound stung like hell but was superficial and my shirt stemmed some of the blood flow while my thick jacket hid the rest. "One less thing to worry about for a bit," I thought bitterly.
"Who are you talking to?" Derranna asked with annoyance. The shock of the events was starting to wear off and I was not sure if that was a good thing or not. I shushed her.
"Don't shush me! I don't even know why I am coming with you! You killed my master!"
I thought fast. "Maybe, but you killed Rusack and they will throw you in the brig and forget about you there. Come with me nicely and we'll get out of here." I added 'maybe' in my head. She frowned and started walking again.
"Kirith, they're moving into the service corridor from the bar. You should get out of there before the AI has time to analyze everyone on the cams and fingers you two as suspicious."
I swore under my breath and steered us to the nearest doors leading back to the public areas. "Think think think!" I admonished myself. Time was running out.
Nhi'khuna's voice came over the comm. "Kodachi, you need to cut your losses and stick to the plan. Time is running out."
We passed through the double doors into an public 'outdoor' eating area. I didn't see any guards so directed us calmly towards a busy thoroughfare. "No chance you're docked on level 23, eh Nhi?" I asked desperately.
"Don't be ludicrous. Stations have capsuleer facilities for a reason. Now ditch the girl!"
But an idea had formed in my head. "Derranna, Blodel's ship. It's docked on this level, right?"
"Why?" she asked with hostility in return.
"I don't have time for questions!" I responded with a firm squeeze of the arm around her shoulders.
"Yes," was the reluctant reply.
"Delvara, please tell me you can override the automated docking platform tractors."
He chuckled. "I see what you're thinking. But it will cost you. I'm going to burn all my access codes for this station to do this right."
"I'll pay you anything, I swear."
"Hello vacation on Luminaire! Start moving that direction."
Nhi'khuna broke in again. "Is this really necessary, Kirith? Is it worth the risks?"
"She saved my life, Nhi'khuna, twice. And my brother's too."
My mentor sighed. "Very well. I never liked this station anyways. Luckily for you I'm already in my pod. Delvara, let me know when to move."