“You,” Gil called out, when silence finally descended. “In the ship. You can’t win. We have your scout surrounded.”
“We don’t want to hurt you. We just want to meet you and examine your cargo.” If they were lucky, it would be something lucrative and easy to trade.
“We’re open to negotiation,” he paused, “in light of the fact that we just saved your life.”
The one word was bitten out, but Gil’s eyebrows shot upwards. A female. What a pleasant surprise. If there was one thing he knew, it was how to handle women. A slow smile curved his lips. Disregarding Kotase’s frantic movements to keep down, he stood.
“Where do you think that tractor shear came from?” he asked at a more normal volume.
The scout’s doorway remained empty, then a figure filled it. She was tall, with a straight curtain of ebony hair framing a slim face and a pair of enormous blue eyes. Her skin was a gleaming coffee, smooth and delicious even under the stark and unforgiving illumination of the cargo bay. Her eyebrows, winged and delicate, were raised in disdain. Any doubt that she was the shooter was dispelled by the sight of a large black personal weapon hanging limply in her right hand.
“You cut the destroyer’s tractor beam?”
Gil shrugged, and his action was enough to kick-start her paranoia. She raised her pistol, aiming it at him. Around him, the other members of his crew raised their own weapons. Calmly, Gil held her gaze, willing her to relax. “Seemed like the right thing to do at the time.”
“Why?” If she’d noticed the number of weapons pointed at her, she ignored them. The expression on her face was one of open suspicion.
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