Deals With The Devil


Romy re-read the booklet for what seemed like the thousandth time while she waited for Tara. She almost knew it by heart but almost wasn’t enough. There was too much riding on it. It reminded her of cramming for finals, and didn’t that seem like a long time ago. The oblivious person she’d been eight years ago would have laughed at her obsession now. But then hadn’t that always been the way. No-one ever thought they would change, when they were young.

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They’d taken the wrong exit out of the wormhole, that wasn’t in dispute. Lieutenant Berein just wasn’t sure how it was his fault.

“Second on the left, Lieutenant! Second on the left!” Captain Tarc’s frustration showed on her face (at least, Berein thought the blue-and-green sunburst pattern was frustration. He’d only been on the ship three months and he hadn’t entirely got the hang of her chromatophores yet. But whatever it was, she wasn’t happy). He could sympathise. This was a pig-in-a-poke mission if ever he’d seen one. He supposed one didn’t get to be captain by asking too many questions but on the other hand, being chosen to transport a top-secret cargo on the sly was unlikely to be a good thing. And now they were lost.

Well, they weren’t lost exactly. The navicom was very definite about where they were. What it couldn’t do was tell them how to get to where they were supposed to be, or not before they all died of old age anyway.

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