The Betrayal Revised Chapter 16
Loving wound her way through the tangle of craft on the flight deck with a sigh. She didn’t delight in the fact that Kate had been right about every move Fleet had made. They were sending her friend off-planet for the purpose of killing her, and there wasn’t a damn thing she could do about it.
If they think they’re going to kill Kate that easily, Jennifer thought with a snort. Then I’ve got some ocean front property on Venus I’ll like to sell them!
She shook her head when she arrived at her destination. Under the fighter was Kate’s flight crew chief, along with four of her crew. Busily changing something out, she felt her attention drawn upwards. The steady stream of profanity, she thought, could only mean something was irritating Kate. Scratching her forehead with a finger while her eyebrows rose, she found it hard not to laugh.
It’s a good thing no one really can hear her, Jennifer thought. Because she sure could peel the paint off the Roanoke talking like that!
“I see you haven’t lost your ability to be colorful,” she said to the open air.
She watched Kate crawl out of one of the engine hatches. It seemed different, she mused, to see her friend in a pair of camouflage pants. The change of pace was nice, she thought with shrug while waiting.
“It’s nice to see you too, Jennifer,” Kate said as she knelt on the top of the wing.
“Are you having fun up there?”
“Are you kidding me?” Kate chuckled. “I haven’t had this much fun since basic training!”
“And now I know you’re lying,” Jennifer rolled her eyes. “Don’t forget our dinner party tonight.”
“You think I’m going to forget that?” Kate said as she wiped her hands on a cloth she had in a back pocket.
“I don’t know, sir,” Jennifer teased. “You do tend to have a one track mind at times.”
The single fingered gesture that Kate gave her made Loving chortle with glee. Now this was the Kate she knew, she thought, not the one who was feeling defeated after losing to the battle cruiser at Nu Scorpii. While it didn’t mean she was guaranteed to come back from the attempt on her life, Jennifer was willing to lay money that Kate had better then even odds of surviving now that her mind was in the game.
“You know I had a visit from Thad last night?” Kate asked her.
“No I didn’t,” Jennifer frowned at that news. She didn’t care for Thad; he always seemed to be attached to Reyes too much for her liking. It didn’t help that the Intelligence chief gave her the creeps.
“Yeah,” Kate chuckled. “He came to…give me some advice.”
“I see…” Jennifer clicked her tongue and she worked on the hint that Kate was meaning. Ah, she mused, she was meaning where Reyes was! “Are you going to take his advice?”
“Yes,” Kate said simply. “I needed the advice-even if it wasn’t given freely.”
Freely? She thought until seeing the fire in Kate’s eyes. He was sent by Reyes to tell you where he was, wasn’t he? And you’re still going to go see him, knowing there will be a waiting committee there for you?
“Are you sure that’s advice you want to take?” she felt a chill run up her spine at the thought of Kate going to see the former Intelligence chief. Didn’t Reyes send Kate’s former lover to see her, just to tell her where he was? Why in the hell would she consider it a good idea to take him up on her visit?
You might be walking into a bigger trap than on Haven, Jennifer thought, her body tensing.
“I haven’t made my mind up on that yet,” Kate said.
“You ever thought that the advice given just might lead you into trouble?”
“Every bit of advice I get leads to trouble,” Kate shrugged. “Am I supposed to ignore it?”
“No don’t ignore it,” Jennifer told her. “But think it through before you make a move.”
“Don’t get sarcastic with me,” Jennifer said with a sigh. “You know I’m right!”
Kate fell back onto her haunches with her legs kicked out before her. Jennifer could see the thoughts running through her mind. Would she listen to reason, she thought, or would Kate go tearing off impulsively and get herself in trouble again? If past experience was a measure, Jennifer already knew the answer.
She’s going to go after him, she thought with a snort of disgust.
“I’m going to have to think about it,” Kate admitted.
“Damn right you are,” she said as she reached into her pocket to pull out a data chip. “Your physician isn’t able to make the dinner due to her duties. This is a very…interesting fitness routine you need to look at in your free time. It will help you to understand your own mind.”
Jennifer tossed the chip up to Kate, who snatched it out of the air with unerring precision. She watched her friend look at the chip with a bemused expression. If she reads that before she leaves, Jennifer thought, then she might reconsider seeing Reyes. The bastard was an even bigger scumbag that she had even guessed!
After reading the report, Jennifer had stared at the screen for long minutes, her mind numb. She knew that the information had to get to Kate, and fast, but she needed the time to soak it in. How could someone do such a thing to another human being? Wasn’t the memory blocking enough for him to do?
No he had to take it one step further, Jennifer thought as she snapped back to the present.
“When should I check out this fitness routine?” Kate asked her.
“I’d wait and check it out before we have dinner,” Jennifer said as she checked her chronograph. “I’ve got to get back to my wonderful office.”
“You flying a desk now, Jennifer?” Kate smiled at her.
“Unfortunately,” she said. “I’ll see you at dinner tonight.”
Watching the back of her friend recede into the distance, Kate found a pang of loss strike her. She was absolutely right, she thought to herself, in saying that going after Reyes would be walking right into a trap. However, by sending Thad like he did, did the man give her much choice?
The devil himself isn’t as nasty as that bastard is, she thought as she walked back over and crawled into the maintenance hatch again.
“Captain,” Rickard called from below the fighter. “I’ve found part of the problem with your targeting system.”
“Yeah?” Kate said as she worked her hyper drive. “What was it?”
“It appears that both the main computer and the subsystem that controls the gun have a slight fault in them.”
“Replace them, Chief,” Kate said as she grunted to get a piece back into position. “I need them to be working at one hundred percent efficiency.”
Now lets see if I can get you working like I want you to, Kate thought toward the sub-light thrusters…
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