[53] Illiterate

“What do you mean,” Saren said, spitting out the syllables, “‘you can’t read it’?”

“I’ve never seen this radical before.” And Nihlus pointed to a symbol that resembled a backwards ‘orn’ with two extra strokes thrown in. “Does that say ‘lorn’?”

Evidently, it did not. Saren’s mandibles actually went slack for a second. Maybe in shock. But the subsequent tucking was fury. Definitely fury.

“You’re illiterate.”

“I think I handled that last report just fine, thank –“

“You can’t read the preface of Service without a translator?”

“I never had to read the preface of Service without a translator,” he hissed back.

Saren shook his head. “Fine. We’ll start with a translator.”

“Sorry, I didn’t load ‘ye olde bird-tongue’ on mine.”

Saren looked like he was about to pick up the substantial tome and break his spine with it.

[52] Miracle

Saren yawned. “Not likely. Go to sleep.”

Brushing aside the soft command like so much Armali silk, Nihlus propped himself up on his elbows. “But it’s possible.”

Saren didn’t answer.

“It is, isn’t it?” he muttered. “Let me guess. It’s going to take a miracle.”

The fold-out cot creaked when Saren finally turned to face him, catching his eyes. “Statistically speaking.”

“Oh yeah? What are those statistics telling you?”

Continue reading [52] Miracle

[50] Family

It was over. The assassins were dead beyond a shadow of doubt. The Dalatrass was alive, just unconscious. Devlon Industries’ involvement remained a secret. And yet, Astau was growing tenser by the second, his fingers flying faster and faster over the keys.

Saren checked the Dalatrass’ bandage once more, then joined him at the door. “Everything okay, sir?”

Continue reading [50] Family