The door slid aside to let them enter, Number One leading the way. Waiting for them was a man sitting before his superior’s desk. In the shadows of the room, a shape moved, vague and not defined. To his trained eyes, he could tell it wasn’t human. However, that wasn’t an issue to them; they took money from anyone as long as the currency was good.
“Lee, I believe you know Mr. Logan?”
“Yes, sir, I’ve met him before.”
He took a matching seat beside the mysterious Mr. Logan while his superior took his place behind his desk. Number One opened up a box of Cuban cigars and offered one to each of the men. Both Lee and Logan declined while Number One clipped one. Lighting it up, he blew out smoke while looking at both of them.
“I have done what you wanted, Logan,”
“Has the information been delivered to the Sagnar?”
“I delivered it myself,” Lee said. “To the First Space Lord himself.”
“Good,” Logan’s voice was smooth, cultured. He sounded to Lee like someone who had been to a million-credit prep school, making sure he earned every bit of it.
“The only problem I have with it is the fact that four years of my intelligence is now known by a foreign government.”
“Almir is to be kept alive until we decide she should die,” a wheezing, inhuman voice came from the shadows.
“That is correct,” Logan said. “My Associates need her alive for a season. After that, she’s all yours.”
His associates? Lee thought. Just who the hell are these people?
After listening to the wheezing voice, Lee found himself wondering what they had gotten into. Sometimes they had a client who made demands, but not like this. It was normal for a client to want someone killed at home, work or church, that they dealt with all the time. However, to have someone tell them that a target had to live until they told them when, that bothered him more then anything else.
“Why is she so important that we need to wait?” Number one asked.
“That’s not for you to know,” Logan said.
“If my people are risking their lives to keep her alive, then I deserve to know. Especially when I have to give up four years of Fleet Intelligence infiltrations.”
“I understand your misgivings, Number One. However, if you trust my associates, everything will work out fine.”
“I have to hand it to you, Logan, you’re one smooth operator. I’ll tell you what: as long as the money is good, I’ll do your wishes. If it stops, then deal’s off and I will take out Almir.”
Lee watched as Logan looked towards the shape in the shadows. Cocking his head, as if listening to a radio, he closed his eyes for several moments. When he reopened them, the smile was wider then ever. Looking at Number One, a gleam showed in them.
“That is acceptable to my associates,”
“You know,” Number One said. “I’ve been curious; when will I get to meet these ‘associates’ of yours. They’re always in the dark, and they barely speak. You have to arrive and leave through darkened corridors. Now I understand the need for low-key and security, but isn’t this the extreme?”
“All in due time,” Logan said. “Everything will be revealed. If you don’t mind, gentlemen, we need to be leaving.”
Number One worked controls on his desk to lower the hallway lighting. As Lee watched, Logan stood up and entered the murky darkness. He heard a door open up, followed by the sound of something scrabbling, (no!) make that crawling out into the corridor beyond.
Once the door shut, Lee found his superior staring at him. The smile that had been on his face during the encounter was gone. Replacing it was a look of worry, and distrust. There was obviously something more going on her, Lee mused.
“Lee,” he said. “I have two more jobs for you.”
“First off, keep Almir alive when she gets back here on Earth. Fleet Intelligence will of course try to arrange a ‘accident’ while she awaits trail. You can’t let that succeed, understand?”
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