Looks Good on Paper was far away. Far away, locked inside a secret base in a dangerous asteroid belt under intense scrutiny within a remote solar system. And Shara felt the distance.
She put up a good front, but felt completely overwhelmed. She never really thought that she’d find Truder, and when she had, thought that it would be something like winning the lottery. Instead, through being smart and successful she’d managed to insert herself into a maelstrom of dangerous politics and ruthless machinations. And now she was on Basest Desires, hunted by, oh, everyone
She believed Truder when he said Redmane would just kill her off after she took the money—either his money or their money. That seemed like a solid truth. But where did that leave her? Go on the run, alone, or sign up with a megalomaniacally insane rich prick.
“Okay, Truder. I’ll come in with you. I’ll help you as much as I can to get back to power, and then you pay me off and make sure they let me be.”
She couldn’t see any surprise, relief, gratitude, treachery, or cunning in his expression. Then he smiled, said “Thank you”, and shook her hand.
A few hours later they were deep in planning. She was helping him get up to speed on what things were like now, especially networks, banks, spaceports, and traffic control. And on whether the Navy were any different than before heâ€™d been away.
He was going to try to see a Redmane Partner, Ranir, a big shot in the sector who had been one of Truder’s people. That meant going to Brivik, a Redmane stronghold. It made Shara nervous, going right to the people who wanted to find him. But his plan sounded good, and she’d have to trust him.