were well trained, Kyler gave them that. Three times Sirn’s hunters nearly had
him. By now they had to know he wasn’t the woman. A few times they got damn
close, but they were in a transport and he had on a float vest—he could
maneuver into places they couldn’t.
He’d made the right decision to send Kaistril
and Sabralia to safety while he took her id chip and cloak. Sirn’s men would
have picked up Sabralia, though she was a wily little thing. His brother
Kaistril had chosen well. Too bad she had a contract marriage with Emperor Sirn,
but that would be dissolved soon enough. It may have already been ended, if
Sirn own men had murdered him. They would know soon enough.
Kyler zoomed behind a small floating plaza,
then zipped along at the same pace as a group transport, careful to crouch low
so he couldn’t be viewed through the windows. He got to a larger plaza, one
full of people eating from various vendors.The hunter’s transport flew under a
glide path not far away.
are com vibrated and he ducked behind a group of people standing near a
aboard. We have unlatched from the dock and will soon be in the path to the New
Prague jumpstream. Are you all right?”
was his brother Karvar letting him know Kaistril and Sabralia were safe. Soon they’d
be home in New Prague, along with valuable Gorvas military data.
grinned and floated up to the top of a girder, near the base of a plaza and
paused to give a quick reply. “I’m good. Am down in the center of the sphere
where thick traffic and hoards of people are keeping the hunters confused. Will
catch commercial transport home tomorrow.”
that Kyler worked the small id chip out of his arm. Once in air, the biochip
would lose its power supply to broadcast and the hunters would only have
pulled Sabralia’s floral cloak off, glad to be wearing just plan black spacer
knits. The hunters might have a picture of his face and would be looking for a
tall black haired man, but his black spacer suit was similar to the common
wearing apparel here on the hub. He floated up to the plaza floor, looking
carefully about for the hunters. He tossed the floral cloak into a recycler and
leaped off the plaza for a thick strut, using his float vest to maneuver across
the empty space, then climbed down it to a utility area behind an eatery on a
spotted the hunter’s transport on the far side of the plaza. He crouched and
saw an open access to the underground of the plaza, a utilitarian oval door,
hinges locked to keep it open. He leaped and landed with a hard thud in the
utility tunnel, his head spinning with the impact, and he needed to catch his
breath. He was pretty sure his jump into the doorway was out of the line of
sight of the hunters. He peered out the doorway and could not see the
transport. He carefully closed the access panel.
Star Goddess, he was tired. His torso and back ached since he had to work to
keep an upright stance with the float vest. He would have been more comfortable
in a swimming type position, as the vest was intended, but most of the local
used floatboots, boards or scooters and stood upright, so he worked to blend
in. He hadn’t had a workout like that since he was an ensign. Kyler grimaced at
the sore spots. He’d sat at a com console too long for this type of action.
was fun, though, eluding Sirn’s top hunters. He was always the commander of the
ship, taking reports and barking out information and orders. He’d forgotten how
much he enjoyed actual field work.
This utility level ran underneath the plaza.
He should be able to travel it and come out in another area undetected. He’d
get a disguise and food and shelter. He stayed out of sight, get some type of
wig or cap for his adventures tomorrow, book a trip back to New Prague.
access tubes weren’t built for comfort, he had to walk hunched over, bumping
his head now and then. He was the tallest of his family, taller than most
people he met. His bulk was a disadvantage sometime. As he turned a tight
corner a savory smell wafted toward him. Was he below a restaurant? That would
be good. He hadn’t eaten since early in the day, upon waking. He could hear
voices, so he must be coming to a storage area.
He turned again and came into an opening.
Small children sat against the wall, slurping from hot tubes. A Starwoman
cloaked in the long white robes of her order filled tubes from a keg and handed
them to more children.
“Look, Sister Skyleen. A big man!” A small
child’s voice piped up loud and clear over the chatter, catching the attention
of the other children, who hushed.
Sister Skyleen whirled around with a swish of
fabric from her loose robes. A sweet aroma, some floral scent he couldn’t quite
name, filled his mind.
stared at each other in open-mouthed shock. Kyler was stunned at the shiny
black curls that peeked under her hood, at the large warm hazel eyes framed in
curly black lashes.
Starwomen older? Hard and worn from devoting their lives to the Unfortunate?
This woman was…delicious. Skin the color of spice cake, deep rose red lips.
He heard the
movement behind him too late to counter it. Sharp, stunning pain radiated
through his skull and all went black.