Ahoy at the Silverstorm - Part 2

By Dana Terry & Ron Wilcoxen

Ikara shook her head. "Drink all you want. I'm out of here for now." 

"Where d'ya think you're going?" Roark slurred as the woman dropped 
her feet to the floor. 

"To find something worthwhile to spend my time on," she told him, a 
frown crossing her features. "I don't feel like getting my head blown off 
because you've had too much to drink." 

She jumped to her feet and walked away. Had she been hard-pressed, 
she would have admitted to a grudging respect for Roark, but not when he'd 
been drinking. They'd worked together for years, even saved each other's 
lives a time or two, but that only made good business sense. Roark had good 
instincts for the line of work they were in and she was loathe to lose that 
advantage and he knew he had a fairly loyal associate in her, someone who 
wouldn't stab him in the back. 

Ikara abandoned the idea of watering down his rum. He was long past 
the point where that would have helped and, if he found out, it would only 
lead to a fight. She had no desire to be patching herself up tonight, so she 
wandered over to the dagger contest instead. A smuggler with very little 
apparent intelligence leered at her as she whipped a dagger from the top of 
her boot. Instead of aiming at the holo-vid, she spun and whipped it just to 
the side of his head, cutting his ear in the process. "Keep your eyes in 
your head," she said, her voice deathly calm. "Or it'll be your eyes I spear 
to the wall next." 

He nodded, his adam's apple bobbing as he swallowed hard. He moved 
back as quickly as he could, stumbling over another of the bar's patrons. 
Ikara pulled her dagger from the wall and turned to salute her captain with 
it. Roark shook his mane of white hair and lifted his mug in return. 
Instead of joining in the game, Ikara sat back to watch. She motioned 
for a glass of brandy, cradling it in her hand when it arrived. She sipped 
at it lightly, nursing the drink as she listened to those around her. She 
knew that at the table, Roark was doing the same. 

This was interesting, she mused, turning her attention toward a 
conversation at the end of the bar. So, the Emperor was planning a little 
getaway, was he? And with the family, no less. A slow smile spread across 
Ikara's lips. She stood and rejoined Roark. 

"You've got something," he said, looking up into her eyes. 

She took a slow sip of the liquor in her glass, prolonging the moment. 
Roark glowered at her. She set the glass down carefully before seating 
herself next to him again. "I've got something," she affirmed. "If you 
think you're up to it." 

"Alright finish spliting the gizzard and swallow it." Roark was keen 
to find out just what his first mate had stumbled onto. 

"This would be our biggest one yet, Captain." She leaned over and 
told him what she'd learned. "The Empress has planned a cruise. The 
wealthiest of the Imperials will be there. Think what this could mean; what 
the financial status of these people is." She grinned. "At least, what 
their status is before we board." 

"A thing this big needs expert timing and expert infomation. I'll 
need to study up on this and figure out where to waylay them. We also need to 
finish shopping for a crew more desperately than ever." The smell of wealth 
had a powerful, sobering affect on the cutthroat. 

To be continued in Part Three 

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