The Tornado Sojourns (2) – Chapter 03 – Unwelcome News
For Shiyne and Terrell the time was passing by much too quickly at the cultural centre, amidst the museums and art galleries, enjoying the sculptures and antiquities and they doubted they would get to see all the places that they wanted to.
So, they decided to forgo lunch or refreshments, this was a tough call for Shiyne as she had an enormous appetite for such a small being.
But her appetite for culture and knowledge was even more voracious.
By forgoing lunch, they managed to view all the exhibits on their list without having to rush and they were just walking towards the main thoroughfare where they alighted the Hover Tram when they heard a voice
“Terrell is that you?”
And when they turned around a smiling human was facing them.
“It is you” he exclaimed and stepped forward to embrace Terrell
“My dear Zelen” he said, “it’s wonderful to see you again so soon”
The man was Zelen who Terrell considered to be a fellow journeyman and when they both found themselves on Alwi they became very good friends.
After a moment or two Terrell proudly introduced Shiyne to his friend and then there was more embracing before Zelen said
“Do you have time to share a glass?”
“I think we can make time” Terrell replied looking at Shiyne who nodded in agreement, but she was a little uneasy as she was certain that Zelen had something on his mind but she couldn’t quite grasp what it was.
This was not mere intuition on her part because Shiyne was a Vann and all of the Vann were telepaths, by varying degrees, and many of them left their home world at some point to use their gifts to earn a wage.
Those at the zenith of their talents work as corporate negotiators or in the justice systems of the Legion.
Shiyne was a Vann with mid-range capabilities and she could read most species to some extent, her skills were limited with the more sophisticated or complex brains, lesser minds were easier for her to explore.
In addition to reading minds she could also implant thoughts and the suggestions would stay in place longer with someone who was more intellectually challenged.
She was struggling with Zelen because although he looked like a human he was in fact from Kelissa and Kelissan’s were very closely related to humans but had some significant physiological differences.
One of those being that they had two brains, or perhaps more accurately their brains had two halves, much like a human brain, but in the case of Kelissan’s the two hemispheres were unconnected which was why she was unable to get the full picture.
The conversation stalled somewhat once they were seated in a crowded bar and it might well have continued to stall had Shiyne not said out of the blue
“Something is troubling you”
“Yes, I was just wondering how to phrase it without causing offense” he said
“Speak freely we are not easily offended” Terrell said
“Ok then I will begin by saying that it is believed, and you need not confirm nor deny, but it is believed that when the Tornado left Alwi it carried a passenger of Royal blood” he began “bound for Delta 500 and once there the said Royal passenger or for arguments sake let’s say, Princess, took her leave of the Tornado and her crew and was promptly abducted by Ghambran agents”
“That all sounds very feasible” Terrell said while Shiyne continued to scan Zelens complex mind.
“Ok then now allow me to speak in hypothetical terms, firstly let’s say that persons unknown mounted a rescue of the Princess, with great success, and made their escape on a freighter after tricking the kidnappers into following the wrong ship into hyperspace”
“Well that all sounds very exciting” said Terrell “so is there to be a happy ending?”
“That is in… flux at the moment” Zelen said
“Well the Princess was by all accounts betrothed to Prefector Collis of Ghambra” he said
“Was?” retorted Terrell
“Yes, it appears that the Prefector is a very impatient man and although he was very taken with the young Princess, he was not prepared to wait indefinitely and has wed another” he explained
“So, there is to be a happy ending then” Terrell said brightly
“Possibly” Zelen said ominously
“Why?” Terrell asked with suspicion
“It seems that even if the Prefector has moved on his agents have not, and although they no longer seek the Princess, they are hell bent on revenge for the humiliation they endured” he said
“That’s not so good” Terrell said
“Not at all my friend”
“It would be prudent then to keep some distance between the fox and the hounds” Terrell added
“Yes, and if I were the fox I would want to put as much distance between me and them as possible” Zelen said
“It would be useful to know where the hounds are” Terrell said
“Alas I am unable to enlighten you on that matter” he responded and then added
“Well I’m afraid I must take my leave of you”
He and Terrell stood up and embraced
“Take care my friend”
“I will, it’s a big Universe”
“Be safe in it” Zelen added “And look after this beautiful you woman”
“I will” he replied and then Zelen and Shiyne hugged
“Thank you Zelen” she said
“So, what do you think?” Terrell asked her once they were outside in the street again
“I think we need to get back to the Stroller”
When they got back to the Stroller the others were already aboard Shiyne and Terrell joined them inside and then they gave an almost word for word account of the conversation that past between them.
“That’s not good” Zerrad said
“Not good at all” Malena agreed “let’s gets back to the Tornado and update the others”
“Ok back to the ship it is then” Shiyne said
When the Stroller got back to the ship Shiyne reported to Merri and the Captain immediately called a crew meeting in the mess room.
“So good news and bad news” Merri said, “I had hoped we might be ok for a bit longer but apparently not”
“Its great news that they aren’t interested in Asti anymore at least” Lyris said “But it would have been useful to know where the Ghambran’s are exactly”
“Zelen didn’t know that” Terrell said
“He didn’t exactly say that the Ghambran’s had lost interest in me” Asti pointed out “He just said that the Prefector had found another wife”
“But you have no value to them now” Lyris said
“They could still take me back to Gouveia so my grandfather can offer me to someone else in marriage” Asti said
“It won’t come to that” Merri said
“It sounds as if they aren’t going to give up looking for us though” Zerrad added
“What do you think Bagg?” Merri asked
“I have no problem in believing the Maxil Weltz and Vint Reganus would feel sufficiently humiliated to want to hunt us all down” he replied, “However I have two doubts, the first one is that Prefector Collis will give them unlimited time to indulge their revenge, and second that they are close enough to us to pose anywhere near an immediate threat”
“But you don’t think we are safe?” Shiyne said already knowing his answer
“Not entirely” he replied, “So I think it would be prudent to move on to pastures new and maintain the distance between us until they are finally recalled to Ghambra”
There was silence for a few minutes before Malena broke it
“So where do we go?”
But there was only silence in response until clicks and whirls began to emanate from Vanzyl which were clearly directed at Pulsat
“Ok I speak” he said and more clicks and whirls followed
“I telling, I telling” Pulsat retorted and to the assemble group he explained
“Vanzyl say Eikon cluster”
Then more clicks
“He say, plenty planets, plenty people, plenty ships, plenty cargo”
“Eikon cluster” Parse mused
“That’s not a bad shout” Merri said
“Hiding in plain sight” Bagg added
“Well done Vanzyl”
“Yes, well done” Merri said and Vanzyl uttered a soft whistle like a plaintive flute, then he looked at his friend and whistled again
“Head very big now” Pulsat said and snorted