Walking through the corridors, Kate made sure her steps were confident and purposeful. With the bright light contrasting the black jumpsuit with her complexion, she looked like a warrior out for a kill. Which she was, she reminded herself, if she thought about it. There was no way she could get to Ferini directly-yet-but she would keep her eyes out for ways to try to disable the ship if possible.
That might be my best bet for survival, she thought with a shiver that was unnoticed by the guards.
There was nothing special about the corridors they walked down; other then the lack of people visible. For the size of vessel they were on, she mused, there should have been crewmembers in her sight as they hustled about doing their duties. The entire ship couldn’t have been automated to carry just Ferini and his guards, so where was everyone?
If I know him, she thought with a snort. He’s probably using slave labor to run this ship!
Even though she tried to make her movements appear confident, she had no clue what was waiting for her in the gym. One thing was for certain, she mused as she saw little black boxes spaced regularly along the corridor. If those were repeaters for his shut down codes, then there was nowhere onboard that she could go without him being able to recapture her with the push of a button.
A sigh escaped her lips as they came to a stop before a door. Whatever he had up his sleeve, she reflected, it was waiting for her on the other side of that door. A quick glance at the two guards besides her told her there was no way she could avoid entering the room. If she didn’t go voluntarily, they would make sure she went in one-way or the other.
“Step inside,” one of them said, his voice harsh and cruel sounding in the empty corridor.
She raised her arms at the guards in a conciliatory gesture. Mea Culpa she tried to say to them with a slight shrug of her shoulders. After the beating they had given her earlier, she thought, they should have known she wasn’t going to try to resist them. As long as her bionics was powered down, there was no way she could fight them and win.
And despite the comments from others, she thought with a weak smile. I might be crazy-but I’m not suicidal!
“That’s a nice thing to know,” Brown said with a chuckle.
You stay out of this! Kate admonished her with a groan.
“Well boys,” she said, using her sarcasm to hide the dread she was starting to feel. “Don’t just stand there; how’s about opening the door?”
The two men growled their displeasure at her, but they did what she told them to do. Ferini must have warned them not to do anything to her, she mused, not unless they had do. That was a fact she stuck in the back of her head for usage later. Wiping her bare hands on her jumpsuit, she watched the door slide aside.
When she stepped through the door, she could barely contain a groan of doom. She had been right, she told herself, Ferini did have something up his sleeve-and it wasn’t good. Standing in the center of the workout mat, he was surrounded by hamburger on three out of the four sides. Everyone looked at her with a hungry expectation that made her heart sink even further.
The bastard sure did cover things from all angles, she thought with a sigh.
Behind her the door slid shut and guards she hadn’t seen filled in the fourth side. As she stepped onto the mat, she looked them over as a funny feeling raced through her body. It was something she had a hard time describing, the feeling wasn’t something that had burned like when her bionics had been shut down. No, this was more like a feeling of increased energy, like she had taken several cups of coffee in a short period of time.
I think my bionics are powered back up, she thought with a mental smile.
“So nice of you to join us, Katie,” Ferini said in the same bland and cultured tone he always used.
“Keep calling me ‘Katie,’” She muttered. “And I’ll rip your vocal chords out.”
“I think you would have a hard time getting past all my men,” he smiled at her, a cold, ruthless smile crossing his lips. “I think you recognize this?”
For the first time, she noticed he was holding her katana and scabbard. With an admiring eye, he turned the handle over in his hand, looking at the shiny blade. Gleaming in the bright lights, he swung it a few times, his eyes lighting up at how easily it moved in his hands. It was obvious, she reflected, that he admired the superior workmanship that went into making the sword.
It had been a gift to her from Reyes; she remembered the day he gave it to her. With her prior training in swords, he had recruited a Master from Earth to train her in the ancient oriental art of the sword and martial arts. While he skills had been excellent for Necko, they were deficient when the Master took her under her wing. By the time she had finished her training, she was as skilled with martial arts, and the sword, as any ninja and samurai warrior had ever been.
“This is fine workmanship,” he said to her absently while looking at the blade. “Where did you get this?”
“From my Master on earth,” she said simply. “After completing training.”
“It’s an amazing piece of work,”
“You didn’t bring me here to talk, Ferini,” she said. “So get on with it.”
“Impatient are we, Katie?” he smiled at her again. “Then so be it, I brought you here to see how your fighting skills were. Since I can’t have a child with you, I can at least hopefully make money off you fighting.”
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