[43] The Divide

Saren crossed Taetrus off the list with a sigh.

“It’s better that we found out sooner rather than later,” Nihlus said, echoing his own thoughts. “Almost there. I can feel it.”

No doubt about that. The keen edge to Nihlus’ gaze, the set of his mandibles, the way he rubbed his knuckles — he was feeling it, feelinghis way through this whole fiasco. Sometimes Saren worried about him.

Sometimes he envied him.

“That leaves 17, Thracia,” he scanned down the page, noting the tea stains, noting how the successive cross-outs grew messier and messier, “and 29, Nimines. Thoughts?”

Nihlus took the writing pad from him. And that was another thing. The need to see, to touch. As if running a thumb over pigment ink would allow him to peer through Nimines’ atmosphere and spot their Primarch. As if tapping his talon over the number 17 would send an encrypted message to their lost General.

Saren let go of a breath he’d held for far too long. “Well?”

Nihlus closed his eyes, tilted his head back. “Both.”

Ah, so they agreed.

“It’s their last chance,” he continued. “I don’t see any other way they can pull it off. They think we wouldn’t dare risk it.”

Their eyes met.

“They don’t know us.”

“I need a ship.”

Saren smiled. “Done.”

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