Freedom Flight by Mercedes Lackey & Ellen Guon

Freedom Flight by Mercedes Lackey & Ellen Guon

Author:Mercedes Lackey & Ellen Guon [Lackey, Mercedes & Guon, Ellen]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2011-03-14T00:00:00+00:00

Chapter Seven

The Dralthi fighter slowed as it banked through the clouds, tilting down toward the main Firekka continent. Hunter glanced at his sensors, doublechecking that there were no Kilrathi ships in the area. He’d passed a couple Kilrathi heavy troopships on his way in, parked in orbit above, but no other ships.

They’re off trying to find out where theTiger’s Claw is, he thought soberly.I’ll have to be damn careful on my way out of here, that I don’t lead them back to the Clawand theAustin .

It was still night as he brought the Dralthi in for a landing on the shuttlecraft field, with just a hint of golden light touching the edge of the horizon. A heavy wind blew across the field, making the Dralthi wobble unsteadily as he set it down. The wind was hot and dust-laden, stinging his face as he crawled out through the bottom hatch.

Several Firekkans were wheeling down to land around the Dralthi. For a moment he thought something was wrong with them, they were moving less gracefully than he’d seen them fly before. Then he realized why, as the heavy assault rifles slung over the Firekkans’ chests were brought up to aim at him.

“Hey, don’t shoot me, mates!” he said, raising his hands above his head. “I’m here to see K’Kai. You know K’Kai? K’Kai?”

They glared at him suspiciously, their beady eyes blinking as they stared at him over their assault rifles.

It’d be real stupid to evade all of those Kilrathi patrols and get here just to be shot by some of K’Kai’s people, wouldn’t it?he thought. “Come on, mates, just let me see K’Kai, all right?”

Finally one of them nodded, and gestured with the rifle for Hunter to start walking.

Hunter stopped at the edge of the field, looking across the rope bridge at what was left of K’Kai’s hometown, silhouetted in the early morning light. The tall, elegant towers that he had admired so much before were now scorched and blackened, marked by dozens of explosions. Half the towers were missing the top portion of theirexpanses, others had awful holes blown out of them.

The sight made his heartache, made him yearn for a Kilrathi ship in his sights with all missiles ready to fire. The Firekkan behind him prodded him in the back with a rifle barrel, and he started across the woven bridge, which had somehow survived the attack.

The Firekkans brought him to one of the tall towers. He ducked inside the entrance, looking around.

One Firekkan lay on the floor, his torso wrapped in bloody bandages. Another Firekkan knelt over a third, applying bandages to a wing that was torn nearly in half. Hunter swallowed, looking away.

“Hun-ter?” a familiar voice said from above him.

K’Kai dropped down to the floor in front of him.

He was relieved to see that she seemed to be unharmed, except for a small bandage wrapped around her right thigh.

“Hello, K’Kai,” he said.

She canted her head to look at him curiously. “Why are you here, Hun-ter? All the other Terrans have gone from Firekka.


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