Deathwalker 3.9

            “As you can see, the gravesite is just outside our system. The round-trip should take no more than a month.”
            “Assuming that he can get the good doctor to cooperate,” Ter Dryst interjected dryly.
            Ter Fless waved that aside with a degree of faith in my abilities that I was finding more and more disturbing – although not quite as disturbing as the map. Millenia ago, the area he’d gestured to would have been left blank except for the words, “Here be monsters.”
            “That area’s uncharted,” I blurted, staring at it with a mix of blatant horror and illicit excitement. To be the first deathwalker in an uncharted sector? That would either get me famous or dead very quickly. Possibly both.
            “Officially, yes,” Ter Fless admitted, “scans showed little incentive for settling in that direction, and since the Deists held the senate when the vote was raised, we have basically left the inhabitants alone.”
            I bit back the urge to ask if that was really the party name. Ter Fless also hesitated, lingering over his next words as if choosing them carefully.
            “However, the Carbon Core Convoy has done some… limited trading within those restrictions.”
            In other words, smuggling but not. Ter Fless was certainly clever and knowledgeable enough to stay within the letter of the law while completely violating the intent.
            “What Ter Fless is trying to say is that several of his ships are familiar with the planet,” Ter Dryst interrupted. He seemed to loathe wasting time – or roundabout conversations. I really wasn’t sure which. And I was a little too busy absorbing the fact that Ter Fless apparently owned Carbon Core to care.
            “More or less,” Ter Fless acknowledged reluctantly before moving on hurriedly. “The crew is readying as we speak. She leaves in 3 I.S.H., and there’s a cabin prepped for you. What do you say?”


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