“My part was to find the books. I’ve found them. Before long all of Khizara will know what’s in them, this isn’t exactly a private enterprise. But you’ll read them first. You can take off and use whatever information is here before anyone else does,” she said. “Before that, though, I want what you promised. The location of Hakai, which I’ll pass on to Behazh immediately, and the name.”
“We’ll read the books first.”
“You know what I can do.”
“Go ahead. At the first sour taste, the first mental prickle, these books will be dust. Three books, all positioned under scanners that can carefully read them or, set properly, pulverize them.” She waggled a gloved finger over the control pad. Permac had tried to teach her the fine art of poker bluffing. With a Tokorellan, the bluff might not be possible, but she hoped Gordek wouldn’t take any chances. The scanners couldn’t destroy the books, but no one else was in the room to contradict her.
Gordek licked his lips. His eyes darted from the books to her still wagging fingers.
“Well done,” he said. “For the moment.”
“Over there,” she pointed to the direct communication link between the survey party and Behazh. “And be accurate.”
She watched him hunch over the terminal and enter the coordinates. As he straightened, she directed her mind toward his. She hoped she’d detect any deceit. She felt anxiety and anger. He didn’t like being trumped.
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