Published as a part of A Companion In Zeor #13 , 14 & 15
Jason glanced across at Tomar, who was now kneeling up on the edge of his bunk bed.
Deciding it was best to try and take the boy's mind off their present predicament. Jason stood up, and stepped onto the other bunk, his hands resting against the wall to steady himself.
'Come on then, try and climb onto my shoulders,' he instructed. This however, proved to be more easily said, than done, and by the time it was finally accomplished, they were both laughing uncontrollably. That this was partly due to nerves, at least on his part, Jason had little doubt. However, if only for a few moments, it was taking the boy's mind off their predicament.
Finally however, Jason ended up standing on the bunk bed facing the grey painted wall, both hands braced against its coldness. Tomar was sitting on his shoulders, one hand grasping his long hair, the other clutching the edge of the small rectangular window.
'Well? What can you see?' Jason gasped out, for the shoulder Vidal had healed still felt sore. He already had a fair idea of what the boy would be looking at through the window.
'We're in space.'
'I gathered that. Where exactly in space are we, can you tell?
'Well, are we in orbit around the Earth or are we en route to the Moon?' He tried to keep the impatience out of his voice.
'The Earth - I think.'
Jason bit back his frustration. If only he could look out himself, but he couldn't. He had no other recourse but to rely on the child! Shen it to hell!
'Yes, yes it is the Earth, I can see it now. We seem to be rolling over a bit, it's in view now, and it's really big. It's almost like I can put out my hand and touch it. Wait a minute.' Tomar grabbed the edge of the window with both hands and turned his head. 'I can just see the edge of the Moon now. So we're in orbit of ...ahh.' He had leaned across too far and had over balanced.
'Let go! Hell, that's my hair you're hanging on to!' Even as Jason spoke they both landed on the bed in a tangle of arms and legs. 'Shenshid!'
'My mother says I'm not to use that word.'
'You're not using it - I am!' Jason stated; rubbing his scalp vigorously as he looked at Tomar's hands, to see how much hair he'd pulled out. 'We won't try that again! Now, you reckon we're in orbit around the Earth. So we're either going to rendezvous with a larger ship or.'
'You mean a bigger ship than this?' Interrupted Tomar, excitement evident in his voice.
'Possibly.' The last thing he wanted to do was suggest that they might even be rendezvousing with an interstellar vessel, perhaps a commercial freighter, which would mean...he pushed the dreadful thought from his mind, only to be considered if and when it actually happened. After all the Earth or Moon were bad enough, but a destination in the Asteroid Belt, or even another planet in the Solar System! And what if it turned out to be in a distance Star System!?
The possibilities got more horrendous the more he thought about them. 'With any luck they might finally take us to the Moon.' He finished quietly, even that suddenly seemed to be a better destination than any other. 'Lie down and try to get some sleep, the time will pass more quickly if you do.' Jason advised his young charge.
Another hour dragged by, and they'd still not been given anything to eat. Jason was not worried for himself. He had learned to do without eating for quite long periods of time in the past. It was not a pleasant exercise of course, but it was one that he could cope with. He was far more worried about young Tomar. For like most growing children of his age, a lack of food could have a deleterious affect on his health very quickly indeed, and the lad was far from robust.
Indeed, unlike his young brother Ian, who had still not established but who, according to his father, looked more Gen with each day that passed. Anyone could be forgiven for thinking that Tomar, who was skinny and had the undeniable build of a young Sime, might very well become one at some time in the future!
In some ways such an occurrence would be a pity, for Jason would dearly love to see Maxwell Trent's arrogant certainty shattered, as it would be if his eldest grandson established as a Gen. What would the old goat do then? He considered the idea with unholy delight. Forgetting momentarily how such an outcome would undoubtedly also affect Tomar's life, and in the Trent family, it would not be for the better!
Jason sighed as he heard Vidal's cautionary voice in his head, telling him that nothing was a foregone conclusion in this World. Indeed only time would tell whether a child would finally become Sime or Gen, and all the praying or wishful thinking in the world, would not alter that simple, undeniable fact.
Whilst none of the myriad Sime/Gen Baby Tests that were currently on the market, were a hundred per cent fool proof. Some people of course relied on them; others quite simply did not bother, or could not afford to bother. Preferring to have their teenagers carefully monitored when their time drew near. For nowadays many parents looked upon having a child who might turn out to be Sime or Gen, in much the same light as having a Son or Daughter - preferring not to know which, until the actual birth or changeover occurred. It was just another aspect of modern day life.
Suddenly the calm was shattered once again by the sounds of docking. But who or what were they docking with?
'Tomar are you asleep?'
'Good. I think we're docking with something. Do you fancy taking another look outside the window?'
A short time later Tomar clambered once more on to his broad shoulders, before he pulled himself up to the small window by his thin arms, and finally peered outside.
'The Earth is still close by, and I can see the Moon too, but it's a long way off.'
'Can you see another ship?'
'No. I think, yes I'm almost sure - Jason - we're docking with one of the commercial satellites. Wait a minute I think I can make out part of the name or number on the side. It says, "Small letters - space - Bancroft - space - SUN in capitals - space - Inc. I can also see a number, 447." That's all.'
'Good. Come down now, and be careful this time, I've only got one head of hair and I'm quite attached to it.'
They both sat down side by side on Tomar's bunk. 'Bancroft SUN Inc. Of course, I've got it!' Jason snapped his fingers in triumph. 'Stephen Bancroft SUN Inc. 447.'
'What does the SUN bit mean?'
'Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. 447 refers to the areas on the various planets or their satellites, where the Stephen Bancroft concessions are located. On Saturn it's area 4, but as it also has 18 Satellites, that could well be anywhere. On Uranus it's also area 4, and on Neptune.'
'It's Area 7!' Tomar stated before he could do so.
'It must be really difficult trying to mine on those planets or their Moons, they're all pretty hostile to human life. We learned about them last year.'
Jason nodded, and then spoke as though thinking out loud. 'Which explains why all the Bancroft concessions, whether in mining or otherwise, are carried out entirely by robots. As far as I'm aware Bancroft's is one of the most technologically advanced and automated enterprises in the entire Solar System.
'In fact, less than ten per cent of their entire workforce is human, and no humans actually work on any of the three main locations. But human supervisors are in charge and control the day to day running of the actual sites, which they do by remote control, again using Robots. The supervisors work from space stations which are in orbit around the three planets, and only leave when it's time for them to return to Earth for R & R.'
'My Grandfather uses a lot of robots on his projects too.'
I just bet he does! Jason thought wryly, but did not voice the thought out loud. At that moment the door swished open and Conor Lockwood stood in the entry. 'We've arrived. I hope you've been comfortable?' Jason could hear the sarcasm in the man's voice, but Tomar quite obviously could not.
'Not very, and I'm hungry.'
'Stop whining kid, you'll get food soon enough.' He snapped. 'Come on follow me, and any nonsense from you,' and he glared at Jason, 'and Geno will take care of the boy - understood?'
For the first time Jason saw that there was another man behind Conor who was holding a blaster in his hand.
Almost at once, they were walking down the narrow corridor, Conor leading the way with Jason behind and Tomar behind him. The second man Geno brought up the rear, his empty hand resting on Tomar's thin shoulder.
Seconds later they stepped out of the shuttle, and Jason realised they were in the cargo bay of the large satellite station. No effort had been made to cover up the Company name or number, which to Jason's mind, again did not bode well for their future wellbeing. Although he realised thankfully that Tomar was too young to appreciate its true significance.
One other thing that Jason noticed, was the fact that there were no Simes, as far as he was able to tell, involved in the kidnapping so far. In many ways he hoped that this would prove to be true. For escaping from fellow Gens would be far easier, if there were no Simes around.
Gens after all could not augment, nor could they zlin. As Maxwell Trent had pointed out yesterday evening. Was it really only last night?
Then again, he knew his own selyn field was rising rapidly. Another reason to hope that there were no Simes involved. But it also meant, that Vidal would be rapidly approaching transfer! What a hell of a fiasco this was turning into.
Jason had little doubt but that he could defend himself, should the necessity arise, but with young Tomar to consider, it was certainly not a prospect to be relished.
Perhaps that was why, if there were any Simes involved, they were being kept well away from him? For if these people had done their research properly, and he had little doubt that they would indeed have done so, they would know that he was Vidal's Companion. Why else would Conor Lockwood have bothered to use a field dampener in the flitter, to mislead the bodyguards?
The abductors must also have known that he was visiting Vidal's family, which again was common knowledge. The only thing not in the public domain, was the fact that they both worked for the TIB, and in what capacity.
So unfortunately, for both Tomar and himself, he was quite obviously not dealing with amateurs!
'And where exactly is my grandson?' Maxwell Trent's voice sounded like ice cracking, as he stared at the two renSimes almost quivering before him.
'I'm sorry N'vet, as I just explained, someone switched vehicles, and when we got back to Capital City the flitter in front of us was not theirs.'
'You at least apprehended the occupants of the flitter I hope?'
'And they had apparently been paid to drive the decoy vehicle, and knew nothing more. They'd been told it was domestic. That the boy's mother was refusing to give her husband access to the child, and so the father was taking him away for a vacation. They knew nothing else N'vet. They were both Gen, and Hajene Sara Nicholls of the civilian police agreed that they were definitely telling the truth, as they knew it to be.'
Maxwell took a deep breath as he considered the matter. The two imbeciles cowering in front of him, as incompetent as they were, had at least had the sense to call in Hajene Nicholls. A woman who knew which side her tentacles were warmed, as Maxwell Trent knew very well. She would also keep the whole affair out of both the police and public records. Making sure she spoke to him or Tute, before she took the matter any further.
'Couldn't you zlin that there were only two Gens in the flitter in front of you, and no child? Before you reached the City!?'
'No N'vet.' The second Sime said at once. 'We're not Channels. Two Gens, are two Gens, and a child's nager!' He shrugged his thin shoulders as he spoke. 'And we were five hundred metres behind them.'
'I'm aware of what a child's nager is like imbeciles!' Maxwell zlinned the approach of his major-domo, and looked towards the door as the servant discreetly entered his Master's library. 'Well?'
'This just came N'vet. I thought I should bring it to you straight away.' He offered the silver salver on which lay a small package.
Trent dismissed all three Simes with an impatient flick of a tentacle. 'And you two. Don't leave the grounds.' He called angrily after the bodyguards.
As soon as he was alone Maxwell opened the package, and then viewed the computer message he found inside. After which, he sat stone faced, staring at the picture on the wall opposite his desk. It depicted his own great grandfather and his wife, and their three children. Vidal had pointed out when he was much younger that the painting looked lopsided. Maxwell had silently agreed with his son, although he had never told him at that time, why it should be so.
In actual fact, the reason had been quite simple, and he remembered that it was his own father who had explained it to him. There had been four children at the time the artist had painted the family. Several years later Morgan, his Great Grandmother's favourite, had established. Morgan as was the usual practice in the Trent family in those days had then been sent away, never to be spoken of again.
No one knew for sure what his fate had been, but Maxwell thought he had probably gone to one of the Householder orphanages, or perhaps he had been sent for adoption. It was many generations since he would have been sent to one of the more exotic auction houses. Afterwards the artist had been asked to remove Morgan from the family portrait, which had of course left the picture - uneven.
Maxwell looked towards the door as he zlinned his son's approach, and Vidal, augmenting, came through it like a whirlwind, to stop abruptly in front of his father's desk.
The older Sime got quickly to his feet, his face twisted with fury. 'You know I do not allow augmentation in the house Vidal! Explain yourself!'
'Apologies father.' Vidal said automatically, and then went on, 'Have you heard?'
'Who told you about it?' His father demanded at once, not bothering to prevaricate. 'No one in the family, as far as I am aware, knows that Tomar is missing. In fact, I have only just listened to the message the kidnappers sent.'
'Tomar? I don't understand. I too received a message. It only referred to Jason.'
Maxwell sighed and sat down in his chair again. 'Mine only mentioned Tomar.'
'So what are we going to do about it?' Vidal only just managed to stop himself from shouting the words, as he looked at his father's implacable face.
'I have already called Tute. He's a good man as you know, and has been in charge of security throughout the entire Group, for decades now. I've asked him to drop everything and come here at once. He'll have at least a thousand people looking, before the night's out. I'm calling in every favour I can on this one Vidal, someone out there knows who these lorshes are, and I intend to know too. I want my Grandson back!'
'Of course. I can understand that. I too, want my Companion!'
'Shen your Companion! It's through his negligence that this has happened at all. He was in charge of the boy after all.'
'And where were the boy's bodyguards at the time father? If trained guards can't thwart a kidnap attempt, how can you expect Jason to do so?'
'Shenshay Vidal! I'm talking about blood here, not some useless Gen lorsh.'
Vidal drew in a deep breath and stared at the older Sime, his eyes too, as cold as ice. 'I refuse to answer you in kind father, since I know how worried you are about Tomar. But if I ever hear you speak of Jason in that manner again. I will leave this house and never enter it in your lifetime. Do I make myself clear?'
Maxwell gave a brief nod. He knew he had overstepped the boundary as far as his son was concerned, but he was a proud man, perhaps too proud to admit as much. They both were.
'Have Jerome and Margot been told?'
'No. I have only just found out myself, and they contacted me, not the boy's father.' He paused and then went on. 'I have been wondering if it's wise to tell them, at least until we have some definite news.'
'They are Tomar's parents, father. They have a right to be told! You can't keep something like this from them.'
'Margot will only have hysterics.'
Vidal said almost wearily. 'What mother would not?'
'Very well I'll tell Jerome shortly. In the meantime sit down and tell me what your message said?'
'Probably much the same as yours. It said they, whoever "they" are, are holding Jason, and that he would remain unharmed as long as their demands were met. That I was not to inform the authorities, but was to sit and wait for further instructions, which I should receive in the next twenty-four hours.'
Maxwell suddenly looked his age, as he got slowly to his feet to pour himself a glass of wine. He knew his Son would not accept one during the day, so did not bother to ask him. Turning he moved to stand against the window staring out blindly. 'Yes, it's the same as mine. Almost word for word. Except that it referred to Tomar, and not the Gen.'
'His name is Jason father, Jason! Not "the Gen".'
'Don't press your luck Vidal.' He drained his glass and then moved back to place it on the desk, before he sat down again. 'I will contact my Bankers to ensure that there will be sufficient funds available immediately.'
'They will undoubtedly ask for millions.' Vidal warned quietly.
'I know. And as long as Tomar is returned unharmed it will be worth every credit.' The elderly Sime's tentacles appeared from their sheaths to lash the air as though trying to break someone's neck, as he vowed. 'Once he is back here. Then twice the amount I have to pay to them will be offered to anyone who gives me their names. They will regret the day, they ever touched a Trent.'
'I don't need to remind you father. Very few kidnap victims are ever returned to their families, unharmed.' Vidal murmured.
'I know. And I promise you Vidal. Should they harm Tomar in any way. Then I will pay anything - anything at all - to know their names and where they are to be found. Someone will accept the offer.'
'I agree. Greed is a great incentive.'
'True.' Maxwell Trent said coldly, then looked across at his Son. 'They may well ask for an equal amount for the - your Companion Vidal. Are you prepared for such expenditure?'
'Yes.' Vidal replied, and decided at that moment not to tell his father that he had already spoken to Sam Betjeman. Who had pledged at once to use every means at his disposal - which was considerable - to find out what he could about who was holding Jason and if possible, where he was being held. For Jason, like Vidal, belonged to the TIB, and they looked after their own.
'Are Tomar's bodyguards still here?'
'I've already had their report and questioned them, you may see a transcript if you wish.'
'I'd rather ask them a few questions myself.' Vidal said quietly.
His father pressed a button at the side of his desk and ordered the two men to attend him in his office at once. Then he stood up and walked towards the door. 'I shall go and speak to Jerome, he can tell Margot. Let me know when you've finished your interrogation.' The door closed behind him.
Vidal walked around the desk and sat in his father's chair, his dark eyes moving to study the lopsided painting. He now knew why it was unbalanced, and also that it epitomised everything, that over the years, he had come to hate in the Trent family. Perhaps, when his father finally died, a new chapter would be started? Unfortunately years ago when he had finally decided to leave home, he had given up hope that Maxwell Trent would ever change, and he could still see no reason to alter that assessment.
He looked up quickly, as he zlinned the two Simes approaching the office door.
When they finally left his father's study an hour or so later, Vidal had discovered nothing new. But he was pleased that he had spoken to them. If he had not done so, he would always have wondered if his father had asked all the relevant questions, or if there was perhaps something more - that the two Simes could have told him - if only they had been asked the right question.
A short while later Tute arrived, and Vidal left him ensconced with his father, while he went to find Sheldon and Vicky.
They had of course already heard the news. Margot was so upset that the whole Household, both family and servants, could not but know the full story by now. Although all were aware, that they must remain silent. For neither the civilian authorities or the news media could be told what had happened.
'Was Jason hurt when they took Tomar?' Sheldon demanded as soon as he saw Vidal.
'Jason was taken too.'
'Your father never said they had taken Jason as well.' Vicky interrupted.
'He wouldn't.' Vidal said bitterly. 'He's not important - he's only a Gen.' Then quickly and succinctly he told them everything that he knew so far, about the entire affair.
'When Betjeman finds out where they're holding them,' Vicky stated, in a tone that made it clear that as far as she was concerned, there was no doubt but that Vidal's superior would certainly discover their whereabouts. 'I want to help rescue them.'
Vidal touched her hand with one tentacle and squeezed it gently. 'Thank you Vicky. But you know I can't accept your offer, not at this time.'
'Darling, you're pregnant.' Sheldon reminded her softly.
'A few weeks that's all. If you were Gen and not Sime I'd be none the wiser, and neither would you, not for ages yet. It's not going to slow me down for months, is it?'
'If Vidal wants help Vicky, he only has to ask me. Jason will understand.'
'Shelly, are you telling me I can't help my friend?' Her tone was both stubborn and dangerous.
The two Simes glanced at each other, and Vidal could sense his cousin's worry over both Vicky, and their child.
'He's not saying you can't do it Vicky. He's only asking you to consider the baby - before yourself, just this once. Is that asking too much?'
Victoria was a strong woman both physically and mentally. She knew her own worth and had always been in charge of her life. Some things, because of her job with the TIS, had often frightened her, but she had always faced that fear, and had never run away from it. Which was why she did not want to do so now. It was quite simply, not in her nature.
She raised her dark head and drew herself up proudly to her full height as she considered the problem. Several seconds ticked by as she fought that inner battle. Whilst both Simes who were standing silently beside her, could read the conflict that was clearly evident in her nager, and both knew the exact moment that she capitulated.
'Okay, I hear what both of you are saying, and I won't do anything to harm our baby. But I want to be kept informed of everything that's going on Vidal. I don't want you or Shelly deciding not to tell me something important, just because you think it's for my own shenning good! Is that clear?'
'Absolutely.' He touched her hand with one tentacle, as Sheldon kissed her soft cheek. Not for the first time Vidal realised that Vicky was several inches taller than Sheldon, yet strangely, one never appeared to notice the fact. Probably because Vicky, was a very feminine lady.
No Sime in the Trent Household went to sleep that night, although Sheldon used his powers of persuasion to get Vicky to do so. Vidal had little doubt he had also used his Sime ability, but neither man spoke of it.
It was the next morning that Vidal had another surprise. He was just approaching his Father's study when his father's major-domo informed him that he had a visitor. Vidal had already zlinned the immediate vicinity, and was aware of a slight blur in the ambient that was vaguely familiar. But before the elderly servant could state the visitor's name, a familiar voice spoke from behind the Sime's back.
'Tony, what are you doing here?' He asked, as he appreciated once more the Gen's undeniable skill in making himself almost totally invisible to Sime senses. Jason was getting quite good at the feat, and could sustain it for several minutes, but would never be as good as Tony ambrov Zeor to whom it was by now, second nature.
'May I speak to you alone Hajene?'
'But of course,' he turned to the servant. 'Will you tell my father I'll see him later? Come this way Tony.' He lead the way into the library, zlinned to make sure it was unoccupied, and closed the door firmly behind him. 'Now, what's all this about?'
'Jordan spoke to Sam Betjeman yesterday. We'd just arrived back from Phobos. Sectuib sends his regrets for what has happened, and wishes to inform you that Zeor will do everything they can to track down the perpetrators. In the meantime, he has sent me to cover for Jason.'
'Cover for Jason? I don't think I understand?'
'I'm expressing myself badly, forgive me. Jordan knows that you may not find Jason before your next transfer.' The Gen studied him closely for a moment. 'If I'm not mistaken, you are only about a day away?'
Vidal did not even try to keep the surprise from his face. 'Yes.' And I wish I knew how Tony does that? After all, Jason usually has no idea at all, unless he keeps count of the days on a calendar, which he usually forgets to do anyway. Then he smiled ruefully, for he suddenly realised why he was feeling so much better. The young Companion was obviously soothing him through the ambient.
The Gen returned the smile as he went on. 'In your search for Jason, you could well find yourself anywhere in the Solar System. Indeed in the Galaxy, or even on a space shuttle - perhaps parsecs from any Sime Centre that could cater for your need. Jordan has therefore sent me to help you in the search and, if your Companion is not found in time, to serve you.'
Vidal stared at the young Gen. He had little doubt that he would present no problem to Tony. Indeed, although he had never spoken of it to Jason, the idea of taking transfer from him, was something that had crossed his mind when he had first met Jordan's Companion. But then again, it wasn't right. First because of Jason's feelings, and secondly and more importantly perhaps, because of Jordan.
Before he could voice his doubts however, Tony continued. 'Jordan asked me to speak to your therapist - Gregory Rudd - he was kind enough to look up your chart for me. It appears I am just one day ahead of you.' Another brief smile touched his lips. 'It should just sharpen the gradient enough to make the experience for both of us - memorable.'
'But I can't just take Jordan's Companion! He's Sectuib in Zeor for shen's sake. He's a working Channel. He needs you far more than I do.' Vidal said, suddenly pleased that good as he undoubtedly was, Tony ambrov Zeor could not zlin the ambient surrounding him. Because at that moment, Vidal was totally unable to stop himself from wanting to experience what it would really be like to take transfer from a Gen of his undeniable ability? Whilst at the same time, deep down he had no wish to take transfer from anyone but Jason. More to the point perhaps, what if he really could not take transfer from anyone else? Now that was something he had not thought about recently!
'It is accepted in Zeor that the highest rated transfer partners break step on a regular basis. It stops dependencies from forming and.'
'But that's no longer a real problem, not with the latest drugs on the market, surely?'
'True. And Zeor allows their use when less able Simes are involved. However, our 4+ Channels are not expected to rely on such remedies.' The young Gen said with obvious Householder pride.
'Of course. But are you sure Jordan will suffer no harm? I don't want to cause him any problems.'
'I assure you, you won't. We have many able Companions who can serve him adequately, though not as well as me. I take it you accept his offer?'
'Yes, and I'm grateful. I did wonder what would happen if I had to break off pursuit to find a suitable Donor. That's if I could find one out there,' and he waved a tentacle in the air as he spoke. Indeed he could well imagine what the channel in charge of a Sime Centre off world would say, if he turned up on their doorstep asking for transfer! 'And even if Sam arranged for another Gen to be assigned to me temporarily. I doubt he would be anywhere near my capacity or speed.'
'Good, then it's agreed.' Tony said quietly, then stepping closer he extended his hands palms facing up, as he formally offered his services, and Vidal placed his own hands into them. Then extended his tentacles, and wrapped them around the Gen's wrists, as he silently accepted the offer.
Vidal knew that only Householdings like Zeor still practised such strict formality where transfer with an outsider was concerned.
He also knew that in the Tecton and in some of the lesser and newer Householdings, many of whom said they were simply adopting a more modern line. Transfer was now looked upon as little more than the sale and purchase of a commodity.
However thankfully, there were still some traditionalists, many of whom were Householders, who were now disputing this idea. Saying that it took something away from the act to pay for it, because, at the end of the day, transfer was both the giving and the accepting of life itself. Which meant, as far as they were concerned, that it was wrong to bring it down to nothing more than a cold commercial undertaking.
Jason too was quite vociferous on the subject, and had already signed the paper that stated that any earnings due to him for his selyn, (until such payments were no longer acceptable), should be paid by the Tecton on his behalf, to various Charities that he nominated.
Vidal agreed wholeheartedly with the philosophy behind the movement, and often wondered if these groups, perhaps without realising it, were now leaning more towards the Distect point of view. After all, no one in the Distect paid for selyn. He himself had long thought that not all Distect members were the monsters they were painted. Perhaps what was required was a combination of the best of both systems, and who knew then what would ultimately happen? Especially if the Sectuib in Zeor's various ideas on the subject, ever came to full fruition.
It might also be. That what they hoped one day to achieve with the Distect, was only one small step on the path to the true unification of society. After all, didn't every great journey have to start with just a single step? It might not happen in his lifetime, but - Vidal shook his head quickly to push the strange thoughts to one side, as he realised Tony was speaking to him. If he wasn't careful, he too would be having the same visions of the future, that only the Sectuib in Zeor was supposed to have!
'Sorry Tony, I missed that - you were saying?'
'Oh nothing important, just that Jordan spoke to Sam Betjeman before I came here. He had already arranged to send someone to you today to give you transfer. Sectuib took the liberty of telling him not to bother.'
Vidal smiled tightly, 'it's as well that I accepted your offer then isn't it?'
The Gen nodded, and then said, 'Sabrina asked me to thank you for the birthing gift you sent for young Josh.'
'It was the least I could do. Shen he must be all of six weeks old now, tempus fugit!'
'True. And at the end of the month Sabrina and Josh are going to spend some time with her mother and family at Carre, while Jordan is off world with us. At least he'll know they're both safe.'
Read Chapter 5
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