43

“We are in touch. We are linked.” The large man serviced the one-person vehicle, readying it for travel. He looked up at what he was speaking to. “I can feel her extreme emotions. I may even understand, and respond. That said, you-” he yanked a strap to tighten, “-have a ways to go in your part of this scenario.”

The reply shimmered warmly through the air around him. “Do not worry yourself on our behalf. We are under no constraints to show you our work.” The snarl was evident, if not visible. “If forces continue to operate correctly, events will occur with proper timing. Human.”

“If you insist on being obscure. So very draconic.” Despite being short of speech, he knew they’d be fully vocal about any issues. He hit a button and the small airlift hummed to life, picking itself up off the ground. He hopped onto the platform and gripped the handlebars. “I have people to be in touch with. My supply network, they’ve bungled something.” He yanked the straps securing his packs. “You know how to reach me.” The Vedani airsled’s field popped up around him, and he sped toward the southeastern horizon. The shimmering heat waves around him dissipated with a hiss. Only the dark plain remained, tossed by the breeze.

43

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