The captain decided to ignore that last statement. "Just because these…barriers have defeated previous controllers doesn't mean that they're unsolvable, Master Dyll."
"Throob," agreed—disagreed?—the Vamir.
"Yes, Captain, you speak the true, of course. But these latest little…incidents? That rather nasty explosion at Dock Thirteen? What was the loss there? All those other explosions? And the way those insurgents keep taking over the comsys, sending out those dreadfully unpleasant rants about your own Consolidated Guard, those vociferous complaints about Malpairiso Sector. And after all, you can't even find that pirate or whatever he calls himself, Malik Blayne, can you? Worrying, Captain, for a peaceful, quiet gentle such as myself, I must say. Very worrying indeed."
Eversyn sighed; he could see it was going to be a very long meal.
Rudof Dyll strolled along the wide central corridor towards the connecting airlock leading to the surface and the shuttle to his domicile, the Dyll Dome. The Vamir Algensio stalked by his side.
This was a merchant corridor, upscale, of course, as it was on the actual surface of the planetoid that was home to—that actually was, in fact—Omega Station. Clothing, jewels, rare imported food and drink, slaves, bed partners to whet the tastes of the most jaded customers, all these and more were just a few of the items for sale.
Rudof yawned at importunate purveyors who tried to capture his attention, unless the item in question caught his attention, as did a string of seven small slave boys matched in height and coloring.
"Yes, yes," he said, cutting short the slaver's description, "but they'll grow at different rates, won't they?"
"Oh, indeed no, honored Master," the slaver protested. "They've been carefully selected, and genetically indoctrinated, naturally."
"Naturally," Rudof said, eyeing the boys again. One, the one on the left, had a bruise across his bony ribs and traces of dried tears on his peaked face. "Well, clean them up and send them along. They'll be rather pretty working in my conservatory."