WHEREIN Our Hero Must Wrestle With Offers, Refusals, and the Inherent Tensions Between Them
“So,” Grif said, leaving the noisy din of Dyorbid’s behind him as he stepped out onto the walkway, “I think that went rather well.”
Amys fell into step beside him, saying nothing. Cyrus, Ktk, and Morgan followed, Morgan trailing behind as he watched Ktk and Cyrus argue over the merits of the latest Tachyon Induction Drive from Tylaris Drive Mechanics, the ATID 515. Ktk was saying it didn’t see the point in releasing a newer drive that was larger than the previous three models when the primary selling point for the 500 and 510 was size and weight reduction.
Grif glanced at Amys and raised an eyebrow. “You’re quiet.”
“Right…” Grif shook his head and sighed. “Well, I still think it went rather well.”
WHEREIN Loyalties are Questioned, and Deception is Practiced with Depressing Regularity
Baron Minerva Tyrelos fumed beneath her respirator mask as she began the long trek back to her palace. It was ridiculous. Utterly ridiculous. If Vindh was telling the truth, then somehow he’d managed to stumble onto one of the most explosive secrets in Trade Baron space… by accident. A small-time smuggler had just managed to find one of the most powerful gamepieces that could end—or escalate—one of the most dangerous conflicts to visit the region in a century or more. If it was true, it would be trouble. The people who murdered Mogra Tylaris wouldn’t be willing to sit back and let Mogra’s brain be dumped into a clone. They would take steps to see that it didn’t happen… and while she believed the Alliance wouldn’t do anything overt, she was absolutely certain that something covert would be coming in due time.
But the risk was far overshadowed by the potential reward. If Vindh actually had what he claimed he had, then it could change everything—and if she controlled it… she hated politics, but she knew how to play the game, and she knew the game was important. If a cloned Mogra Tylaris could make a credible claim for the Tylaris Barony, and she was able to make that happen… well, Mogra would owe her a great deal. She would be able to leverage that for all it was worth, and it would be worth quite a lot.
And Mogra would expect it, she thought to herself. Hell, he would be disappointed in me if I didn’t make him pay through the nose.