Part 24 Chapter 16-Civilization

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The cliffs narrowed, then opened out into a broad, sparkling bay, the shift from grayness startling. Sailboats cruised, black sails against blue-green water. I leaned against Tyee, his warm solidity comforting me. Only a few miles brought about this change from the harshness of Comryez Pass to the richness and welcome of Komoko Sound.

The local Seaguard hailed. Acting Magnate Peggea Komoko here. Welcome, Shewolf.

Hawthorn entered the lounge. "Politkofsky! I was incarcerated against my will. On the job. Translate for me. Let's get to the bottom of this."

Incarcerated? He'd been safely in the storage locker.

"Oh, that. The ship went into lockdown." I gave my all-is-well smile.

"I was prevented from doing my job. We're meeting to discuss it."

"I haven't been notified of a meeting," I said.

My comset buzzed. "Ms. Politkofsky, report to the conference room for debriefing."

Hawthorn smirked.

I squeezed Tyee's hand. "Thank you for sitting with me. I appreciate it. I have to go now."

#

Alop paced on the bridge as Shewolf entered the territory of Clan Komoko.

"Captain Alop Fennako in command," he responded to their hail. "Carrying diplomats to Fennako City."

"You have the codes," sent Komoko, and Alop recognized the voice of Peggea Komoko, a leader in the reconstructed Seaguard. She'd vouched for him to take command of Seawolf. Alop, unaware until now of his tension, relaxed.

"Alop, I heard you had trouble with Comryez," said Peggea.

"Well, you know Comryez." Alop preferred to keep the Comryez attack below water. Given the weather in the Pass, this was almost literally. With the fog, news cameras would have been unable to get good views of the happenings. That was fortunate.

"I can speak with them," Peggea offered "We can put pressure on Comryez if necessary."

"It's not necessary, but thank you."

"That kid with the ridiculous name, Tyee Fennako. Heard he's your junior captain," said Peggea, surely fishing for information.

"The ship is technically registered to him," said Alop, providing no additional clarification. "You have our documents."

"Aye. I'm looking at them, but wasn't going to mention it directly. How's he doing? Last I saw him, he was a pup whining about his broken neuro and his silly name. Told him to grow up. If he wanted to become the real king, he should get himself officially appointed, show some initiative. Seaguard doesn't need neuros or whiners."

"That must have been a while ago," said Alop. "He's doing well, steady and responsible. Peggea, be aware that he has codes to this channel."

"Greetings Tyee." She paused for a response. "I don't think he's listening."

"Ears come in all sizes." Alop's real concern was Missy overhearing unflattering opinions of her sweetheart. If he'd calculated correctly, the two of them were holding hands and looking deeply into each other's eyes. In the circumstance, Missy might develop a dislike for Peggea and that would set them at a disadvantage politically.

"About Space Transit?" asked Peggea.

"That's what you really want to know. Yes?"

"After the epidemic. I had fantasies. I imagined Space Transit as a huge shark. When it got close enough I would strike and take my revenge. You know I wouldn't. But Comryez tried this. Yes?"

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