Fatal Blade (Decker's War#3)

Fatal Blade (Decker's War#3) by Eric Thomson Read Free Book Online

Book: Fatal Blade (Decker's War#3) by Eric Thomson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Eric Thomson
visible mirth.
    “My understanding of their damned tongue might not be the greatest, but I get the feeling I’ve just been insulted,” he muttered in an aside to Talyn.
    “He wondered whether a weak human like you was warrior enough to handle that stolen Imperial Armaments blaster on your hip.”
    Zack turned his head to look over his shoulder and shouted an imprecation in broken Shrehari at them.  One of the humanoids made an obscene gesture at the Marine before they vanished through the open airlock.
    “I wish you hadn’t done that,” Talyn said, amusement dancing in her dark eyes.
    “Why?  Some of the bastards never got over the fact that they didn’t win the war, even if it was seventy years ago.”
    “Problem is, you told them to have sexual relations with their fusion reactors.  I’m afraid they’re laughing even harder right now.”
    “Meh,” he shrugged, “fusion reactor, mother, they both sound like a constipated raptor giving birth.  Bloody barbaric language, that.  Speaking through the business end of my gun used to get the point across just fine.”
    “Brush up on your Shrehari if you’re not going to ignore them.  Shouting out an invitation to commit acts of fornication with a power source won’t get you any respect.”
    “Although it might be fun to witness the buggers do it.  Crispy Shrehari.  Sounds just about right.”  He scanned the immense cavern again.  “Where to?”
    “The bazaar.  It’s in the middle of the cavern.”
    She stepped off so suddenly that he had to take long strides to catch up.  They made their way between low buildings painted in a bewildering array of colors, dodging humanoids from a dozen species.
    Decker’s eyes kept scanning his surroundings for threats, something that had long since become second nature for the Pathfinder.  A quickly glimpsed face caught his attention before it disappeared again into the crowd.
    He grunted softly.
    “What?”  She didn’t slow down but glanced sideways at him.
    “I’m sure I just saw one of the sector’s head Jackals, the man our analysts figure was behind the little hijacking that had our guy and his rebel buddies end up in the Marengo stockade.”
    “One of them on a semi-legal Rim station?  Shocking.”  She nudged him.  “Next thing you’ll tell me is that they have their thumb on the local government.  By the way, do try not calling the Confederacy of the Howling Stars by that name in public, okay.  It’s not worth the trouble that’ll ensue.”
    “I sure won’t call them Star Wolves.  That would be giving the bastards a compliment they don’t deserve.”
    “Then don’t mention them at all.  It’ll be better that way, for us and the mission.”
    She slowed her pace when they emerged from the side street into a large plaza dominated by a tall, central pyramid.  The construct’s top tier seemed to merge with the cavern ceiling as if it were supporting the weight of the spinning asteroid.
    “I think we’re here.”
    “Your bazaar reminds me of the underground Casbah in Hadley,” Zack said, a sad smile twisting his lips, “except cleaner and less aromatic.”
    “And safer.”  She pulled him out of the way while she scanned the perimeter.  “Or to be more accurate, it’s safer if you stick to the station’s rules.  The policing here tends to be a bit harsher than elsewhere.”
    “Personal experience?”
    “I try to learn from the experience of others.  You should try it someday.”
    “Where’s the fun in that?”
    “To each his own I suppose.”  She nodded towards the left side of the plaza.  “Let’s try over there.”
    “Any reason why there and not in the other direction?”
    “Was that an idle question or do you want a lesson in field craft?”
    “Both.”  He matched his stride to hers, heedless of people stepping out of their way to avoid being run down.
    “Then pay attention, Ser Gant.  I’ll explain this only once.  See the rather

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