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C. E. Dorsett
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The Valkyrie broke out of hyperspace in orbit of Adrakaya. Daru studied the sensor
display for the Mista.
“We’ve beat him,” she said. Her shoulders relaxed, and she sighed. “The Mista
will have to use the gate. We should position ourselves to intercept him.”
“Why did he come here?” Maya asked.
Daru didn’t know if she should say anything. It was hard enough for her to hear
Ianus’ plans, much less to have to explain them.
“He had said something about exploring the Forbidden Lands,” said Pryor, “He
wanted to find the A’nath-ari for some reason.”
Maya’s face went pale, “The A’nath-ari?” She said in a whisper, “Why would he
want to find them? He doesn’t,” she nodded at her brother, “Does he?”
“No,” said Pryor, very assertively, “That isn’t the reason. I’m sure he would have
Daru glanced back and forth between Maya and Pryor, “What are you talking
“What do you mean?” Maya asked, in a cold steady voice, “I can’t answer a
question without knowing the subject.”
“What did you just ask Pryor about?”
“I shouldn’t say this,” Maya closed her eyes, “And I’m sorry I can’t tell you
everything, but just remember this. The A’nath-ari have not been in hiding. They move
in secret, never being seen by the eyes that watch all. Sometimes it is better not to know
some things, than it is to know them.”
“Is that it?”
“I can’t tell you anymore, I’ve already said more than I should.”
“More than you should? You haven’t said anything.”
Pryor shook his head, “If you are going to make your life in the Chian’niu, you
must learn to see the words between words. We have chosen to live our lives in the
shadows, subtlety is the trademark of our kind.”
“Subtlety?” Daru rolled her eyes, “You mean being down right enigmatic. The
more time I spend around you older makers, the more I feel like I’m trapped in a
labyrinth of misleading words.”
“You’ll learn,” said Maya, “When I first joined the Jade Moon, I thought the
people were incapable of coherent speech. Eventually, I got used to it. You will too.”
Khensu Min looked up from his displays, “The Mista has just received gate
clearance. They should be emerging any moment now.”
“Hail her,” said Maya, “It’ll be easier to start a dialogue now.”