Firebird- Part Fifteen
Firebird copyright (c) 2006 TA Chase
Rue’s eyebrow rose. “So Iceman, who’s Stargazer?”
“A colleague. He supplies me with items I can’t get here on planet.” Vlatko smiled at him and headed towards one of the computers. “Stargazer. Ready as always. Be advised I have a visitor.”
“Is he pretty?” A harsh chuckle came over the speaker.
Goose bumps rose on Rue’s skin. He didn’t know if they were from unease or interest in the rough masculine voice talking to Vlatko.
“As pretty as the firebird.” Vlatko’s dark eyes ran over Rue, making the thief feel as if the man had stripped him naked.
“Can’t wait to see for myself. That bird of yours burns brightly. Meet me at the landing strip.” The intercom went silent.
Vlatko headed to a door opposite the computer wall. He opened it and took a step inside, pausing to look back over his shoulder at Rue. “Aren’t you coming?”
Rue was surprised. He’d figured Vlatko wouldn’t want him to know where the landing strip was. “You want me to go with you?”
A puzzled frown marred Vlatko’s forehead. “Why wouldn’t I?”
“When I find the filed, I’ll be able to contact I.U.M. to pick me up and having a landing strip would make it easier. They’ll be able to get at you when ever they wanted.” He joined Vlatko in the narrow hallway.
“True, but since you’re not going to find my files, I’m not worried about what other knowledge you gain. You might want to reconsider contacting the I.U.M. when you’re ready to leave. They did set you up after all.”
Vlatko lead the way down the dark corridor. The lights were motion operated, turning on when they approached and going dark after they passed.
“I thought you said there wouldn’t be a transport for another month,” Rue accused.
“I lied in a way. There won’t be another commercial transport for a month. Stargazer’s ship isn’t commercial and he wouldn’t take you. No matter how pretty you are.” Vlatko stopped at the base of a steel ladder. “I’ll go first.” He started to climb.
“Why wouldn’t he take me?” Rue followed.
“He’s trying to stay under the I.U.M.’s radar.” Vlatko’s voice drifted down to him.
“Yet he’s helping you.” Rue blinked in the burst of light created when Vlatko opened a hatch at the top of the ladder. “It doesn’t seem very ‘under the radar’ to me.”
“It is when you find out that Stargazer is the oath-brother to the last man I killed.”
Vlatko reached down and pulled a stunned Rue up through the hatch. Rue found himself standing in the corner of a enormous cave whose mouth was wide enough for a small ship to fit through. A rather non-descript ship rested on the landing pad all ready.
A pale man walked towards them. He was an inch or two shorter than Rue, but the confident way he walked and met Rue’s gaze made him seem larger.
“Why” was all Rue could think of to say.