Zez had her go-bag over her shoulder when she walked out to meet her new partner.
Instead of a Citadel vessel, a Sector Guard ship was sitting on the launch dock. A shadowy figure stepped into the open expanse of the cargo ramp. “Specialist Zez?”
She stepped forward. “That is me.”
A man in shades of dark purple emerged from the shadows. “I am Immune.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“My Sector Guard call sign. I am Immune to exterior influences.”
“Oh. Right. Well, I am just Zez.” She stepped forward. “May I come aboard?”
“Please. We have gotten a mission that requires your services.”
She blinked. “Really?”
“Yes. You can selectively freeze time?”
“Then come on. There are some issues that need your attention.”
She stepped onto the hatch, and it started to rise the moment she touched it. She hopped inward and stowed her bag in a cargo compartment.
Immune went to the command deck, and she followed him, settling into her seat for takeoff.
“Your folder is in the data screen in front of you. You might need to read up on the situation I am flying you into.”
She leaned forward and took the thin, transparent screen, using her thumbprint to activate it, and from there, she spent two hours going through the details of the riots that she was going to walk into the middle of.
“So, Immune is a very vague description.” Zez murmured it quietly.
“It is. Deliberately so.”
“Right. Of course. Sorry.” She got the idea that her new partner was not going to be the love of her life.
She twisted her lips. “You appear to be a Xrathat, correct? But you are not.”
He sent her a sidelong glance. “Correct. I am not a Xrathat, though I am surprised you know of the species.”
She smiled. “I took all the courses that the Citadel offered. Well, all the ones that I was capable of taking. Other species was one of my best courses.”
“I see. Well, all you need to know is that I am impervious to damage, and I should be immune to your influence.”
“Oh. Right. Of course.” She nodded and went quiet. It made sense that they would pair her with someone she couldn’t time-freeze.
“It is something you do not need to worry about. So, you are a blend of species?”
She sighed. “Born a slave, and my sister and I escaped to freedom. The genetic testing indicates that I am a blend of Nyal and Terran with a touch of Moreski thrown in.”
“That is an odd mix.”
She wrinkled her nose. “Yes. All we can guess is that my grandmother was taken by a Moreski noble while he was visiting her owner. We don’t know who our mother was, but we did happen to have the same father.”
“Unusual for a slave to have a specific mate.”
“I know. I tried to do research on her after I was able to access the records, but she disappeared. There was no record of her mate. It could have been her owner for all I know.”
He nodded. “Right. It is likely.”
She wrinkled her nose. “No record of him either. It is like they just disappeared off the face of M’rora.”
“Perhaps they did.”
Zez pivoted in her chair. “What?”
“Perhaps they did disappear. Your talents didn’t appear out of the ether. There is almost always a genetic component.”
“Maybe fate intervened and took them both.”
Immune chuckled. “Perhaps.”
She sighed and flexed her fingers. “I can transfer temporary immunity to my talent.”
“So I have read. Do you think you will be able to help with the riots?”
“I will as long as I know where our side is.”
He chuckled. “I will make sure that you are fully briefed.”
She sat back and closed her eyes. She needed to rest up if she was going to be stopping rioters and letting the evacuation get underway.
The planet of Nufelit had voted, and all aliens had to leave; they just didn’t want them to take their spacecraft with them. It was making for a tense situation, and the attackers were guarding the spacecraft with ferocious intensity.
Zez wondered if any of them knew how to fly.
She looked at the maps that covered the distance from the embassy stronghold where the evacuees were hiding and the vessels that could take them to safety. It was going to take all of her energy to hold the Nufelit that long, but she could do it.