Bio Rescue by S.L. Viehl


Bio Rescue by S.L. Viehl

Author:S.L. Viehl
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Penguin Group US



The Skartesh stepped up their demonstrations at Main Transport over the next week. They seemed to time them in order to confront Jadaira going to or returning from a patrol, and there were more of them demonstrating every day. The pilots’ pod, in turn, responded with more open aggression every time they saw them. Dair was starting to wonder how much worse it was going to get when two security officers showed up at Transport to inform her that her presence was required over at Security.

They didn’t let her wriggle out of it as usual. In fact, they escorted her to the security chief’s office.

“Thank you so much for stopping in, Commander,” Chief Norash said as he stomped back and forth in front of the long wall of monitors. The vids, which served as part of the Colonial Security grid, monitored every major common area in the colony. Groups of dancing, yipping Skartesh filled a quarter of the screens.

They had to be the reason Norash had brought her in. “There a problem, Chief?”

“You are my problem. You and the Skittish. If you haven’t noticed, they’re staging protests.” He swept his lengthy nasal appendage toward the monitors. “Religious protests, according to their leaders, and since they’re being held in an area designated for public assembly, I can’t disperse them.”

“Okay.” She scratched the side of her neck and decided to play dumb. “And I’m here because . . . ?”

“You’re the one they’re protesting against, Commander.” The striped skin around his small eyes twitched. “You and all of the native Kevarzangians. This is because, according to them, you have violated their cultural taboos against relations of any kind between land dwellers and aquatics.”

“That’s not good.” But why was she being blamed for it? Why wasn’t someone yelling at Shan? “Anything else?”

“If you’ll look at monitor six, you’ll see that quadrant official with the Skartesh leaders. He’s announced his support for them, and in his spare time even managed to draft an amendment to the colonial charter.” Norash’s tone made it clear what he thought of that. “If it’s approved by the council, anything that violates cultural segregation preferences will be illegal.”

She stared at Njal-Geir, who stood with the Amariahs and was addressing a group of colonists. “Oh.” Damn.

“Come with me.” Norash led her back to an empty conference room, away from the many curious ears of his staff. “I want some answers.”

She met his angry gaze. “So ask the questions.”

“There are sixty thousand Skartesh on the planet, which almost equals the League’s current species census.” He went to the console and brought up the largest group of Skartesh protestors on the display. “Now that they’re all here, I have to know what they’re planning to do. What have you discovered from Amariah?”

“From what I understand, they’ve come here to prepare for their final journey to a place they call Paradise.

I have been unable to determine the exact location, but it’s either Skart or a planet close to it,” she admitted. “Rushan Amariah



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