Egilka shouted in the prince’s ear to be heard over the scream of a Isetacian trade ship taking off. “Where are we going? What are we doing here? We can’t even pay to get off this damned planet!”
Despite the exhausted countenance that told the Imdiko that Clajak was as close to done in as he was, the Dramok surprised him with a sly grin and a wink. “Then we’ll have to rely on the generosity of others.”
Egilka stared at him dumbfounded. “Generosity? On Dantovon?” Apparently, Clajak’s brain had melted in the jungle heat. Yet he looked so damned confident. Almost cocky, the smug bastard.
Trying to figure out where his companion’s assurance came from ... heat-induced madness or inside information ... Egilka ventured, “Maybe if we’re lucky, we’ll run into a vacationing Kalquorian or clan. You know we can’t bet on that, though.”
Clajak slowed enough to allow Egilka to walk by his side. His arm slipped around the Imdiko’s waist and squeezed. “Calm down, my worried friend. I still have a trick or two up my sleeve.”
Not reassured in the least, Egilka glowered at him. “I’m not terribly fond of your tricks, Clajak.”
The jerk laughed. “No? You will be when we’re back in Empire space.” Clajak’s eyes widened as he looked past Egilka. His grin spread wider and he shoved against the Imdiko, angling them from the middle of the traffic flow towards the launch pads to their right. “Now there’s a definite possibility.”
Egilka eyed the ship Clajak guided him towards. He frowned at the large, almost triangular capsule sitting on spindly metal legs that extended beyond the craft’s booster rockets that would lift it beyond gravity’s pull into space. One figure strolled beneath the vessel, made tiny by the craft’s impressive bulk.
Egilka gave Clajak a quizzical look. “An Adraf freighter? They will definitely want us to pay for passage. Up front, no less.”
They reached the edge of the launch bay, standing in the shadow of the towering, angular vessel. Clajak’s face was positively sunny as he looked it over. “We don’t have to pay if they don’t know we’re aboard.”
Even in the din of the port, Egilka’s voice rang loud in his disbelief. Clajak gave him a shake. “Will you quiet down?”
Releasing mid-December 2015