118.3 \ 310

Pliskin nodded carefully as he accepted the chip from Princess Soleil. “Mm-hm. Okay.” He was giving her plenty of credit. He wasn’t there to make argument or take control; he didn’t need to in order to get something, because she was here to give something. If they exited this situation in one piece, that would be good. “A few of the properties I’m dealing in may have immediate market impacts that reach you, wherever you might be. I am very pleased to meet you, Princess Ascendant Soleil, Magus. You can call me Ravl, or Pliskin, or The Ravl Pliskin. Would you like to let me know if there is any weight of interest related to your endeavors?”

Soleil took a pause to assess the invitation, and decided that divulging a fragment might give her an ace in the hole, somewhere along the way. “Vibrational sciences,” she said.

Just then, an unexpected sight greeted them at the windows. A small riderless vehicle unlike any in human manufacture bobbed in the air outside the top floor of the building, where it could get their attention. Though it looked as if it were trying to blend in, it also flashed its name repeatedly in its outward display.

MOONSHADOW
MOONSHADOW
MOONSHADOW

“Moonshadow!” exclaimed Soleil. “Oh, wow – can we get this… buddy, somewhere safe…?”

“This is your buddy?” asked Pliskin, curiosity strongly piqued.

“This is my mount,” answered the Princess. Karma nodded to Ravl.

“And you,” he addressed to Karma, “also know her buddy?” Karma nodded again. “And I… could meet this friend of yours.” His thoughts worked quickly. “There’s a balcony on the other wall, with slide-open panels. It could scooch right in.”

“Onto the tile?” Soleil shrugged off her own consideration; Moonshadow floats, and didn’t look dirty. “It is intelligent,” she said with a tone of caution, “and well behaved.”

“Good, good. Yes,” was the reply. With a flutter of breezes, Moonshadow made a polite entrance, turning on its rainbow lights when it came inside.

“You can talk to it if you like. It is an it, according to it.” Soleil let Ravl have a mini freakout, exchanging pleased introductions with the vehicle. With a play of fondness over her face, the Princess unzipped her suit’s glove compartments, shook out the vacuumed control gloves and slipped them on. She walked up and laid glove to handlebar, and Moonshadow pulsed warmly. “You can explain later,” she said to the sled. To Pliskin, she said, “You have the information I’ve given you.” He nodded, and petted the machine where she gestured that he may pat. To Karma, she said, “I’ll go my own way from here. Thank you for being in touch.” She engaged the connections and awakened additional systems. Soleil rolled out the hood in the suit, got it form fitted over her head, extended the hardening visor and pulled it down. She turned on the Vedani suit’s chameleon camouflage. Against the sky, she looked slightly transparent and reflective, a fully covered and essentially invisible rider. “Let’s go, Moonshadow my friend.” Out through the opened section doors, they flew together.

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