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Facing conversationally inward, three ships anchored to each other moved together through space like a slowly twirling lily.  They were the only gleaming thing in sight.

The actual conversation was occurring aboard the ship displaying greatest authority, an instrument-bearing member of an Imperial Alpha fleet.  It would be very, very hard to tell that its identifiers had been altered.

Five people fit snugly in the equipment chamber.  Leanders, grizzled, stood silently, contemplating middle management while others drove their bargains.  He looked across at the one he called boss, repeatedly surprised by his presence.  Not just the unlikelihood of it; the man could turn nearly invisible unless he spoke, and he hadn’t spoken for a while.  Sturlusson was looking around the interior of the craft with an ear following the discussion.  It wasn’t the newest of Imperial ships – looked like it was made of routine repairs.  Nevertheless, it had squeaked over to this rendezvous with a bit of shine left on it.

Leanders was feeling relieved and even lighthearted after a series of simple stash drops.  Raev’s one fist was held clutched, like it was holding the strings tying everything together.

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