Magnus looked up to the sky, glaring at the dark clouds slowly gathering overhead. The clouds had followed his group for hours, and were finally threatening to overtake them; even as it seemed the storm was approaching, there was no indication they were anywhere near their destination.
WHEREIN Our Hero discovers the Perils of Driving Too Fast
Grif shifted in his seat, glancing at the tactical display nervously. It was blank. It shouldn't be blank, he thought.
"Anything on the sensors, Morgan?" Grif tried to keep the concern out of his voice.
"Big rocks, floating through space," Morgan answered gruffly.
Grif grinned. Since he'd been commandeered by Velis, Morgan had been in a foul mood. He has no one to blame but himself, Grif decided. That's what happens when you notice a detail that all of the resources of a major galactic spy organization have managed to overlook.
Commodore Hu Mavis stared down at the motionless body of the broken man lying at his feet. The room no longer echoed with the sound of screaming; the man was now mostly silent.
Standing across from Mavis, also looking down at the broken man on the floor, was a servant of God. He was a Sword, chosen by God and the Emperor to defend the Radiant Throne from her enemies. No two Swords were alike, save only in their dedication to the Throne: some kept their names when taking on their new life, others abandoned their names altogether. This Sword's name was Kyas, but he was known only as the Viceroy.
WHEREIN Enmity Is Formally Established, Bets Are Made, Money Is Lost, and the Terrans Find Vindication
In the end it took three weeks to bring the Fool's Errand completely back on line. Bennet proved to be an enormous help in that regard--even Ktk was impressed with his speed and skill. Meanwhile, Velis' people set up their command center in the general mess. All but one of the sealed containers were unsealed: according to Cutter, they were medical equipment.
When Grif asked Velis about them, she confirmed Cutter's guess. "You remember Halge said we could alter your appearance, right down to your DNA?"
"Nice," Grif said. "What about the one still in the box?"
"Not important," Velis said. Something in the way she said it convinced Grif to drop the matter.
WHEREIN Gears Turn and Complicated Things Go Whirrrr
Grif Vindh, Captain of the Fool's Errand, peered over the navigation console display and frowned. "Damn it all," he said, "it did it again. What the hell is wrong with this thing? The screens don't even try to drop."
"Not a problem on my end." The frustration in Cyrus' voice was evident even over the intercom. "The gun is sending the drop code."
This was Grif's third refit. He remembered hating the first two—the first when he'd been the pilot on someone else's ship, the second shortly after he'd purchased the Fool's Errand—but he'd largely forgotten why. Now he remembered: buying and installing new technology was easy. Trying to get new technology to integrate properly was nearly impossible.