His private com channel beeped for attention, and Vadef smiled with affection to identify his Dramok’s frequency. Vadef and Miv’s clan leader was the spyship’s first officer. Simdow had been left on board to command the vessel while Captain Tranis led the group on the colony. No doubt Simdow was hard pressed to keep patient while the majority of the ship’s crew was busy with their invasion and capture of General Hamilton, who they’d found in the colony’s temple. Chasing the Earther general’s transport ship had led them to this little moon. Finding all the women had happened purely by chance.
Vadef didn’t keep his clanmate waiting for more than a second before answering. “Vadef here, my Dramok.” Because it was a private frequency, the Imdiko thought he could ignore military protocol.
Simdow’s smooth voice rolled over him like a gentle wave. “Hello, Vadef. I understand they’re keeping you busy down there. Congratulations on your part in capturing an enemy general and 120 Mataras.”
The Imdiko picked up on the excited note in his clan leader’s tone. “Yes, we’ve been very busy, though I personally can’t take any credit for Hamilton’s capture. You sound like you have news. What’s going on?”
Simdow’s voice was low, which meant he was still on the bridge of the spyship. He shouldn’t be making private calls if he was on duty. Vadef knew it had to be important for his Dramok to break the rules. Captain Tranis would have Simdow’s head if he found out.
Despite Simdow’s near whisper, there was no mistaking the delight in his tone. “We have our pick of Mataras from the colony. A Matara for our clan, Vadef! Any one we want except for the one named Cassidy Hamilton. The captain’s clan has already made claim on her. But we can choose any of the others because we’re the next ranking clan on the ship.”
Vadef’s breath froze in his chest. Captain Tranis’ clan was claiming the one missing girl, an of-age aspirant they’d caught a glimpse of just before taking over the colony. Cassidy Hamilton had been a pretty, pale thing in the darkness of the convent’s night as she ran screaming from their invasion party.
Still, there was one female who was even prettier. Vadef looked into her sky-blue eyes as he tried to speak.
In a croaking voice, he told his Dramok, “I think I have the perfect one, Simdow. I’m reading her file right now.”