A streak of darkness flew at the Bi’isil. It knocked him over. The little gray alien tumbled away as the dark streak resolved into a wide-eyed Egilka. Ru’imbu lay still, his telepathic thoughts registering shock and pain. It was a heartbeat before Clajak realized he could move again.
Fury made the room red-tinged. Clajak took a step towards the Bi’isil, who was trying to sit up. The Dramok thought how nice it would be to stomp all over the little bastard and hear his twig bones snap.
Egilka grabbed him and shoved him at the still-open door. “Run, Clajak! The little shit has a stasis field emitter and collars!”
Clajak thought he had enough time to exact revenge before Ru’imbu recovered. The idea of grinding the Bi’isil prince into a puddle was a delightful one.
For once, common sense took hold. The Bi’isil was nobody of consequence, not to Kalquor anyway. However, he had just enough rank to cause problems between the worlds if the Crown Prince of Kalquor murdered him. The Galactic Council might even get involved if Ru’imbu’s parent was high enough in rank to complain. Clajak’s parents were already having to explain the delay for the clanning ceremony. Adding this little altercation would only get him more censure from the Empire.
Clajak nodded to Egilka with reluctance. “Let’s get out of here before he recovers enough to act.”
They were out of the brothel in a couple of breaths. “My berth,” Egilka said and took off down the lanes of the crowded city.
Clajak caught sight of two Tragooms standing at the corner of the brothel. Big and ugly with skin like granite and snouted, tusked faces, they blinked at him with tiny eyes. They wore the dull black and silver collars of Bi’isil slaves. Ru’imbu had brought guards then. He’d probably have them tearing the brothel apart within a few minutes to claim justice for the ‘insult’ he’d suffered.
“Clajak! Come on!” Egilka shouted, having stopped a few yards away when he realized the Dramok wasn’t following.
Clajak thought of how quiet the building had been and that there had been no one around as he and Egilka had rushed out. He thought perhaps the brothel owner had heeded the Plasian’s warning about her angry client and cleared everyone out. He certainly hoped so. Bi’isils might be weak in bodies, but their technology more than made up for it. They were quick to render their enemies dead or enslaved. Often-lawless Dantovon would do nothing to stop or punish Ru’imbu if he went on a destructive tear. With Tragooms added in the mix, devastation was certain.
Clajak turned on his heel and dashed after Egilka. “The bastard brought his pet Tragooms,” he told the Imdiko. “Disappearing would be a good plan.”
Egilka nodded. “My room is on the opposite edge of the city. I suggest we get there as fast as we can in case the Bi’isil tries to find us.”
Clajak grinned. “Try to keep up, old man.”
He took off. He heard Egilka splutter at the insult, but the hard thuds of the Imdiko’s shoes beat on the ground behind him. Running at top speed, so fast they were only blurs to most of those they passed, the pair were soon at the opposite edge of the city.
Releasing September 18