Disclaimer: As well as Halo and Firefly, this story borrows elements from the Mass Effect series, the copyrights of which belong to Bioware and Electronic Arts. Neither CII nor myself own any of these properties; just our version of them.
FIREFLY Mk2.5: RECKONING
Do Me a Favour...
Alan Tyler had not had a full night's sleep for several days. Out in the blackness of space it was hard enough for the body to tell when it was supposed to be asleep as it was; it was like suffering a permanent case of jet-lag. That, however, wasn't the reason that Alan was finding it hard to sleep, and he found himself wishing it was.
For several days, he had been seeing the face of Kiryuu Knight over and over. He had been imprisoned in a dream world created by something from beyond the boundaries of reality, and the sight of Kiryuu, reduced to tears by an unspeakable pain, had been haunting his dreams ever since. He had seen visions of Kiryuu before him, in pain, before some indistinct horror came and dragged him into the surrounding darkness. He knew that Kiryuu was alive, but finding him seemed more impossible than before. He and the rest of the Fleet Shadow of Fury had been searching for what was surely over a month with no results. The frustration was mounting, both in himself and his crew.
He sat upright in his bunk, rubbing his temples with his claws. He saw no sense in trying to go back to sleep; once he was awake he stayed awake. He stared blankly around his cabin; he had very few possessions, so the room was rather plain. He spent a minute staring at the cryo-chamber attached to the wall, contemplating the idea of stepping into it and taking a long nap. He abandoned the idea, however, since cryo-sleep didn't stop the subject from dreaming.
After getting himself dressed, he climbed out of his cabin and headed along the metal corridor to the flight deck. Out of the windows he could immediately see a spectacular view of the Horse Head Nebula, shimmering softly with a purple light against the blackness of space. To the right the prow of the Reverence-class cruiser Divine Journey could be seen. Next to it, and indeed any other vessel in the fleet, the Firefly-class transport ship Serenity was positively dwarfed.
Alan was not the only person who was awake. Sat at the pilot's console was Bishop, a thin man with lanky brown hair. Of course, Alan was hardly surprised to see that Bishop was awake; he was an android, and thus didn't share the same rest or dietary requirements of the rest of the crew.
"Don't you ever sleep, Bishop?" he asked, a wry smile stretched on his reptilian face.
"I do have periods were I need to power down and conserve energy," Bishop replied. "You could call it 'sleeping'."
"You just don't need to do it so often?" Alan asked, sitting over at the co-pilot's console with his head in his hands.
"No," Bishop replied simply. He then looked over at Alan, an expression of concern crossing his face.
"This is the third night you have been awakened by a bad dream," he said.
"That obvious, was it?" Alan groaned.
"Do you want something to help you sleep?" Bishop asked.
"No," Alan said bluntly. "I dunno if it would work on me anyway." He leaned back, gazing up at the Nebula. He had only seen it through photos before, and he never thought that he would live to see it with his own eyes. Bishop remained silent, focusing on keeping the ship flying. He had learned long ago that organic life-forms didn't appreciate people prying into their business too much. There were a few moments of silence, before somebody else walked onto the flight deck.
"Hey, Professor," a Hispanic-sounding voice said from the doorway. "You got any new info on..."
The voice trailed off, and Alan turned to look right into the eyes of José Lovano, the Hispanic gunner of the crew. Both of them looked at each other, with José now looking extremely awkward.
"Uh, never mind, boss," he said quietly. "It don't matter..."
"What doesn't matter?" Alan asked, getting to his feet. "What info are you going on about?"
"None of ya god-damned business," José snapped, his familiar tones of snide defiance resurfacing.
"This is my ship, José," Alan retorted harshly, "therefore that makes it my bloody business. Now what the hell are you doing sneaking in here at the crack of dawn? What's this info you're pestering our pilot for?"
He stared daggers at José, his golden cat-like eyes narrowed and his arms folded. José, in spite of staring defiantly back, knew that he was in trouble whether he told his captain or not.
"Tell him, José," Bishop sighed wearily. "You might as well come clean now, and frankly I am getting tired of covering for you. If you don't tell him, I will."
"Somebody better fucking tell me something soon," Alan snarled. "I won't have my crew keeping secrets from me, especially if they'll get in the way of our mission." An awkward silence followed, before José let out a deep sigh.
"Alright, alright," he said, throwing up his arms in defeat. "I guess you were gonna find out sooner or later anyway, amigo." He shuffled his feet slightly, looking to Alan rather like a child who had been caught doing something naughty.
"I'm not just here on Malcho's orders, boss," José began. "Ever since we took off, I've had Bishop scouring the frequencies for any sign of a certain split-face. I've been coming up here early every day just to check if Bishop had found him. I didn't want you to know because I knew you'd never go along with what I need to do, not when your best buddies are involved."
"What the hell are you talking about?" Alan snarled. "Were you sent to spy on anyone in the fleet?"
"No, nothin' like that, puto," José retorted. "Though I'd rather they weren't involved. This is between me and the shit-stain I've been hunting; I'll be damned if he gets dragged before whatever passes for a court in their lands."
"Alright, alright," Alan cut in, clearly not in the mood for another anti-Sangheili diatribe from José. The way the mercenary acted, one would think that the war was still raging. "Just get to the point. Who's this Elite you're looking for?" José paused for a moment, as if contemplating his answer.
"His name's Dorva 'Elus," he said, his face twisted as if he had swallowed something particularly bitter. "He was one of Telek 'Heros' boys after he defected. He acted as an advisor to squads of ODSTs. I didn't trust Telek or any of the other Elites, and I was right not to." He looked away from Alan for a moment, looking as if he wanted to punch the wall.
"Dorva was assigned to my unit when we went on an off-world assignment," he continued. "We got a tip that the Covenant was getting a foothold on a planet in the Exodus Cluster, and my team went with some of Telek's boys to check it out. Dorva was our main advisor, and some of his Elite soldiers went with us. My team had not been on that planet fifteen minutes before we found out we'd been had..." José was now looking extremely bitter. "The Covenant ambushed us, and Dorva and his lot turned their guns on us. The bastard had never defected; he'd sold us out. It was a massacre... I only survived by feigning death. No other humans walked away from that fight." He looked back at Alan, his breathing becoming harsher.
"I knew better than to ever trust a split-face again," he snarled. "I swore to myself that if I ever saw that Dorva bastard again, I'd put a fucking bullet in his head. So I've been getting Bishop to keep an ear open for any sign of him."
"That was years ago though," Alan said blankly. "What makes you think he's even still alive?"
"I don't know," José muttered. "All I know for sure is that I have to know one way or the other. I owe it to my squad to make sure he got what was coming to him. I didn't want you to know because you're buddy-buddy with Telek's gang, and I don't want them involved. I wanna be the one who finds the chupaverga."
Alan was silent. If what José was saying was true, then it would certainly explain his distrust of the Sangheili in the Fleet Shadow of Fury. He had to be extremely desperate to catch this Dorva if he was willing to go behind Alan's back to do it. It was clear that José had made his mind up on the matter, and if he knew someone with a mind for revenge right, then it would be very difficult to dissuade him.
"Captain," Bishop then said. "If you'll indulge me for a moment, I have information for José. Check the co-pilot's console."
Alan turned to face one of the screens on the console, where a star chart was now visible. José crossed over to him and peered over his shoulder.
"I picked up a transmission only a few minutes ago," Bishop said. "It was a written message in a peculiar dialect, but I definitely caught Dorva 'Elus' name. The transmission was intended for a recipient at the co-ordinates on your screen." Alan looked at the screen, which was now showing a large garden planet, complete with the co-ordinates underneath.
"Any idea who sent it, or who it was for?" Alan asked.
"I'm not sure, Captain," Bishop responded. "I'm not familiar with the language that was used; human colonisation has so far been very limited, and contact with other sentient life-forms has been scarce. We have not had many opportunities to learn intergalactic languages. A name seems to be mentioned right at the beginning, however; Inoste Hazra. Perhaps this is the recipient of the message."
Alan looked over at José. The message seemed to have put a great deal of fire in the mercenary's eyes, as he was peering at the screen with a look of barely-repressed triumph.
"You do realise that we can't just go chasing this lead, right?" Alan asked. "We'll have to let Cujo know where we're going."
"Oh, what the hell?" José howled, as if he had been denied a real treat. "Didn't you ever sneak out of the house as a little lizard?"
"This isn't sneaking out after curfew!" Alan half-shouted. "We're supposed to be on a mission here! I don't think the fleet would appreciate us sneaking off on what could well be a wild goose chase!"
"Alright, fine," José snarled. "Go and tell teacher about us, if it means that much to you, you god-damned boy-scout!"
Alan snarled, but he opened a communication channel to the Divine Journey. Fortunately for him it seemed Cujo was having a restless night too, for he answered the hailing in seconds.
"Alan?" he asked. "What is it? You look just about ready to kill."
Alan paused for a moment, trying to calm himself down, looking between José and the screen. He had an idea in his head, but he had the feeling that he would not succeed; he wasn't feeling in a very persuasive mood.
"We need to head off on a small errand," he said. "We're heading out to these co-ordinates." He sent the information that Bishop had supplied over to Cujo. The Sangheili looked at it for a moment, before his eyes widened.
"These co-ordinates..." he said slowly, as if hardly daring to believe it. "You're heading to the planet Illium? What could you possibly want from there?"
"It's..." Alan started, looking awkward. "It's not something we can talk about..."
"Alan," Cujo said firmly, "I don't wish to hear excuses. You're a Shipmaster in the Fleet Shadow of Fury now, and I expect full disclosure from all in the fleet. Now tell me why you feel the need to dash off to the other side of the galaxy or I'll drag you in here with my gravity lift."
Alan sighed. He knew that it was pointless to argue with the Acting Supreme Commander. He simply didn't see the point in hiding the truth. So, ignoring the scandalised look on José's face, he explained everything.
"José's got a lead on an Elite he's been looking for," he said. "Does the name Dorva 'Elus mean anything to you?" At this Cujo suddenly released a loud snarl, his mandibles quivering threateningly.
"That name is mud among the fleet," Cujo snarled. "We all know what he did to the ODSTs in the Exodus Cluster. Rest assured, if we had caught up to him we would tear him limb from limb!"
"Well, José's feeling pretty much the same way," Alan said. "We picked up a transmission that suggests that he's alive on Illium. I'm sending you the message now. We can't make sense of it; perhaps you'll have more luck." He sent the message over to Cujo, who read it twice, his brow furrowed.
"I see what you mean..." he muttered. "It looks like it was written in the language of the Salarians... It's a message for one Inoste Hazra, confirming the hiring of several mercenaries for the sake of protecting this Hazra while he helps Dorva to go into hiding. These mercenaries are a part of a group calling themselves Eclipse."
"How can you read the Salarian language?" Alan asked, intrigued.
"We are a widely-travelled race, Alan," Cujo replied. "The Sangheili have been in contact with other races for a long time, since long before we even heard of humanity. It makes sense that Dorva would head for a world where sapient trafficking is common, and that he'd be out in the Terminus Systems with the rest of the scum..."
"I think you'll have to tell me all about it sometime," Alan said. "Anyway, if this Dorva really is about to go into hiding, I'll never hear the end of it if we don't look for him." He saw Cujo about to argue, but quickly cut in. "Hear me out. I need my team to be focused completely on our mission. José needs to see some closure on this matter; I can't afford to let anyone get distracted by what might have been. Besides, we're a lot less likely to spook Dorva than a full fleet of Elite ships is."
Cujo sat silent for a moment, thinking things over. He wanted to see Dorva pay for what he had done, but he knew that he had to keep focused on his search for Telek and Kiryuu. He also knew that Alan was right in that the Serenity crew could pursue this lead without drawing too much attention. He sighed and shook his head, which said to Alan that he thought this was all a very bad idea.
"Very well," he said. "You will need to move quickly and discreetly; Illium is about a week away in slip-space, and of course you'll have to be very careful not to scare Dorva away. Your best chance is to find this Hazra person; find him and I'm sure he'll lead you straight to Dorva. I'm sending you a translated copy of the message; it looks like it contains meeting instructions. What do you plan to do with Dorva when you find him?"
"Crucify the bastard, that's what!" José called. Cujo just rolled his eyes.
"Whatever you do, be discreet," Cujo said. "The last thing I want is to have to come and bail you out. I also suggest getting translators if they're available; a lot of races congregate in Illium's capital of Nos Astra. I'm not sure how much contact the Asari, who all but own the planet, have had with humanity, but I'm sure they'll have the technology to help you understand them. I'll give you some basic info about them as well, and any other species you might encounter; it'd help you to at least know what's trying to hurt you."
"Got it," Alan said. "I'm glad someone had the foresight to invent universal translators."
"By the way," Cujo quickly said, "never sign anything on Illium. It's a very competitive free-trade world, so its regulations are very lax. You might end up selling yourself as an indentured servant. Everything's legal on that planet except murder."
"Uh... okay..." Alan muttered, really unsure of what to make of that statement. "We'll go and look into this. With any luck we can get it all resolved. Of course, knowing our luck he'll probably have left the world by the time we get there."
"I would tell you to get straight back here if that's the case," Cujo said, "but I have the distinct impression that you plan to see this through to the end."
"You could say that," Alan said. "I'll never hear the end of it otherwise. We'll rejoin the fleet as soon as we can."
"If you need to find us, we'll be staying here for the next few days before heading for the Argos Rho cluster," Cujo said. "Good luck in your investigation, Alan, and I hope it meets a swift resolution." With that, he hung up.
"Boss..." José said. He was silent for a moment, before he mumbled a word that sounded a bit like "Thanks".
"I should think so too," Alan said, smirking. "You don't know how hard it is, having to stick my neck out for you lot." He turned to Bishop. "Right, set a slip-space course for Illium."
"Roger," Bishop replied.
A month and a half prior…
"Telek," began a voice into his mind. "Telek. Wake up…"
"Hmmm…" Telek 'Heros rolled over in his bed, pulling the pillow over his head. "Five more minutes…"
"Your shift starts," said the voice.
He felt a cold hand on his shoulder and he shivered. Telek pulled the cover over his shoulder. Then, he rolled onto his back and slowly opened his eyes. His vision was blurry and he squinted from the light just now reaching his retinas. Before him was a blue, wispy, ghostly, draconic face peering down at him. Telek grumbled, rising up onto his elbows. That face was not a face he liked waking up to. That face was Dunkelzahn.
"Who the hell made you alarm clock, Shorty?" he growled at the ghostly Great Western Dragon.
"I figure I'd do Commander 'Canthon a nice gesture of waking you myself," replied Dunkelzahn. "She did seem like she had a lot of work to do today."
"The last thing I want to see when I wake up in the mornings is Casper the Friendly Ghost Dragon with a cheery smile on his face," Telek said as he flung the covers off. He got out of the bed only to phase right through the ghostly form of Dunkelzahn. "Yaaahhh!" he yelled, feeling the cold pain of death prickle its way down his spine when he passed through the ghost. It felt like for a moment he was out in space without any protection. The cold violently woke him up. "Now, I know why Shri did it. It's like taking a cold shower of liquid nitrogen. Do you mind gettin' your ectoplasm outta my personal space?"
"So sorry," the ghost said, whisking away towards the other side of the room.
"I had to go on this wild goose chase finding Kiryuu Knight," Telek growled. "A chase that could land me in some penal mining colony for the rest of my life and now my ship is being haunted by a dead draconic American President who has no concept of personal space. Why me? Why couldn't I have been done with dragons?"
"Telek, you need me," said Dunkelzahn. "I'm the one who can sense where Kiryuu is."
"And you've been sucking at your job, 'navigator'!" Telek bellowed as he got dressed in his golden and copper armour. He put his helmet on and gave a good slap to his cheeks. Telek pressed a few buttons on a holopanel near a food processor and out popped a cup of coffee. Taking a sip, he turned back to the dragon. "You keep tellin' me you can feel where he is, then you lose him, then you got him again…make up your damned mind!"
"Wherever he is, I can only get fragments of his consciousness seeping out into the ethers," said Dunkelzahn. "This is something you cannot understand. It's very difficult work trying to locate him, wherever he is."
"Well, do you have him today?" Telek asked. "Because I'm growing impatient! Sanghelios is under an attack by the damned Jiralhanae and I'm not there to kick their asses. Now, you better tell me where the hell Kiryuu is, or I'm chucking that crystal of yours out the airlock."
"Is that how you solve all of your problems?" Dunkelzahn asked. "Just throwing it out into space?"
"Okay, that's it, you're gone," said Telek, making his way towards the crystal sitting on his desk. "Should have done this days ago…"
Dunkelzahn sighed and snapped his fingers. Suddenly, Telek froze in place. The door opened and Shri 'Canthon made her way into Telek's quarters. She paused, seeing her commanding officer frozen like a statue with Dunkelzahn shaking his head in dismay.
"Oh, not again!" she called. "Not again! D! Don't freeze the Supreme Commander."
"He made the threat again," said Dunkelzahn.
"He always makes that threat," said Shri.
"Well, this time, he was going to do it. I've spent 500 years playing chess with King Ghidorah; I will not spend the rest of eternity out in the coldness of space."
"Unfreeze him," said Shri. "Please, D?"
"Very well," said Dunkelzahn, snapping his fingers. Telek nearly fell over when he was unfrozen. Shri came out to catch him.
"I hate dragons…I really hate dragons," he said.
"I know, I know," said Shri. "Come on. We need to get to the bridge. Joli has some information that might interest you."
Telek threw his arm around Shri and she guided him out of his room. Dunkelzahn prepared to follow them, but Shri, turned around and shook her head.
"Not this time," she said. "This is something different. Something we Sangheili need to handle ourselves."
"What happened?" Dunkelzahn asked.
"Let's just say, it will be a rest from our long search for Kiryuu," said Shri. "Besides, I have a feeling Kiryuu isn't gonna go anywhere any time soon. We have enough time to search for him. Come on, Telek."
"Good, I can have some peace from that overgrown spook," Telek said as the door closed behind him, locking Dunkelzahn inside. Despite the dragon being a Free Spirit, he was bound by the crystal. As long as the crystal stayed in the room, Dunkelzahn was not going anywhere. This definitely gave Telek a break from the rather motherly Great Western Dragon. They made their way onto the bridge of the massive super carrier, the Shadow of Darkness. It was the proud flagship of the, well, half of the fleet Shadow of Fury. The other half was back on Sanghelios fighting the murderous Jiralhanae. He hated leaving Otto, his old teacher and friend, as well as Rtas to deal with the Brutes, but he was convinced he could bring Kiryuu and the Master Chief home. After all, if he could, he would never leave anyone behind. He cursed his own loyalty for sticking him out in the middle of bum-fucked-nowhere, looking for any hopeful sign of Kiryuu Knight and the Chief. There was nothing out there, but vacuum and darkness. And cold.
The Sangheili bridge crew stood at attention as Telek walked onto the bridge. Once more he took a sip of his coffee, a new addiction he picked up since his attempt at sobriety, and sat down on his gravity command chair.
"Well, what new thing have you found me, helmsman?" Telek asked.
"It was a signal," replied helmsman Joli. "Not Covenant, or Sangheili, or even Human. But it mentions a name. I figured you may want to know who it is before I inform the other Shipmasters."
"Alright," said Telek. "Tell me, what's the message?"
"It pertains to a Sangheili named Dorva 'Elus," said Rolu. "They are transporting him to somewhere in the Terminus Systems. That is about a month's journey from here."
"Did you say Dorva 'Elus?" Telek asked. Suddenly his eyes filled with a fiery rage and he gripped the sides of his chair tightly with his hands. His mandibles bunched up in the Sangheili equivalent of a snarl as he growled deeply.
"Does that name mean something to you?" asked Joli. Telek let his ignorance slip. Joli and Rolu were new to his command, only recently serving under him since he took control of the brand new super carrier for the fight on the Ark. However, Shri knew who he was and even she was showing the same angered scowl Telek had.
"Dorva 'Elus was a traitor!" Shri replied. "He betrayed our human allies to the Covenant dogs and then massacred them. We thought he was on our side. But he was not. Even after he knew the truth about what the Halos did, Dorva still was loyal to that self-righteous idiot Truth!"
"I wanted to kill that asshole when I found out what he did," Telek said. "I had to kiss Kiryuu Knight's metallic ass to get him to understand that I did not order Dorva to lead those ODST to their deaths like that. He took all that I worked for in trying to build a peaceful understanding between my band of separatists and the UNSC, and he threw it out the window! After that, I had to start from day one again. HICOM questioned whether or not they could trust me anymore, or even worse, whether or not they should just kill me and my fleet because of that betrayal. I had to stand trial for his actions! He disgraced me in front of Lord Hood. Dorva went into hiding after that. And I vowed if I ever saw him, I would give him what he deserves, a good impaling on my sword. But the war kept me from hunting that traitor down."
"We have a location as to where he is," said Joli. "Well, it is a rough location."
"Good enough," said Telek. "Well, that's it. I'm going after Dorva. We'll put this search on hold for now. It's not every day I get the chance to execute a traitor. I am going to enjoy every minute of it." He pressed a button and pulled the screens for the shipmasters of the other ships of his fleet.
"Cujo, Mitsu, Tulsa, Wago…and Tom," he began.
"Right here, Excellency," said Mitsu.
"Always ready to serve, Excellency," said Wago. He was such a kiss-ass.
"Ready, Skipper," said Tom.
"Ready, Excellency," said Tulsa.
"Good that you're awake, finally," said Cujo. "Stayed up too late last night again?"
"My new roommate is a pain in the ass!" growled Telek.
"Well, don't send him over here," said Cujo. "I already had to deal with him once. Thank God I was able to relieve him to Kiryuu when I had the chance."
"Can't wait till that day comes for me," said Telek. "But right now, I feel like I need to take a hiatus."
"Excuse me?" Cujo asked. "Hiatus? Okay, why? We're looking for Kiryuu, here, and you're thinking about a vacation?"
"Yep," said Telek. "And don't follow me either. I want you to keep up the search for Kiryuu."
"No," said Cujo. "No, absolutely not! Not this again. You're not skipping out on us again! Why, why are you doing this?"
"There's a bit of business I need to take care of and I need to take care of it alone," said Telek. "I don't want to risk any of you getting caught or put into unnecessary danger. I need to do this alone, discretely."
"But, Telek!" called Tom. "We need you here to command the fleet."
"Nah, Cujo's a good enough commander," said Telek. "He can fill while I'm gone."
"But what about me, Excellency?" asked Wago. "My ship is bigger…I should be put in charge, not Cujo."
"No body likes you, Wago," said Mitsu. "Shut up!"
"Well, you tried to kill me once, Wago," said Telek. "So, I still don't trust you. And your ship doesn't cloak."
Wago lowered his head in defeat. Telek just laughed.
"God, I love that pathetic expression," he said. "He acts like I whip him."
"But my ship carried a Prophet Hierarch…." Wago said.
"Boo!" called Tulsa. "All the more reason why you stay at the bottom of the food chain, Wago."
"Okay, that's enough," said Telek, holding up a hand to his Shipmasters. "Look, all of you, Cujo's temporary Supreme Commander while I'm gone. You take orders from him, just like last time when I left."
"Don't go, Telek," protested Cujo. "Please. Not this time, not again. The last thing we need is to have one of our heavy hitting ships gone. We're all criminals again, deserters at Sanghelios' time of need. What if we're discovered by a Sangheili ship—or even worse, a Jiralhanae ship?"
"You all know what to do," said Telek. "We've done it time and time again when we run into problems with the Covenant. But in Wago's case, hide him somewhere or, Wago, just jump—I don't care where—the rest of you cloak and get out of there as fast as you can. Set a rendezvous point and meet back there when you feel it's safe. I need to handle this on my own. Okay?"
"There's no arguing with you, is there?" Cujo asked.
"You know it," said Telek. "I'll be back as soon as I can and I'll drop a line when I'm done."
Just as he was about to click the screen off, Shri touched his hand.
"Wait," she said. "Cujo, tell Dovi to behave himself, will you?"
"I will," said Cujo. "He'll be pissed to find you gone again. You know how he worries."
"I know," said Shri.
Just as soon as all of their faces disappeared from Telek's holoscreen, he turned back to his helmsmen.
"Okay, random vectors so we can scrub this tub of bots," he ordered. "Then, make your way to the Terminus Systems. We'll only get one chance at this."
"Yes, Excellency," said Joli.
Telek leaned back in his chair and sighed. He knew Dunkelzahn was not going to like this little detour off the beaten path at finding Kiryuu, but he had to handle this first. Besides, he left his other ships in a good spot, an area where Dunkelzahn felt Kiryuu's vibrations the strongest. He knew that they may have some luck in finding the giant mecha while he was out looking for the traitor. At least, that was what he hoped. He wanted Dorva, and he wanted Dorva dead. But he wanted to be the one to slice Dorva in half.
"Telek, are we doing the right thing?" the Spec Ops Commander asked. "Leaving the others behind like this, not telling them about Dorva?"
"We are," said Telek. "I know they would want to get their hands on the traitor too. And a whole group of ships jumping into the area would cause a bit of a ruckus. Dorva might flee the area before we're able to get a hold of him. Go back to my room and tell Dunkelzahn what we're doing. He won't like it, but he'll have to just sit and spin in his little jar while we're looking for the traitor."
"Yes, Excellency," she said. Shri turned around and walked away, heading out of the bridge. Telek faced the screen just as his ship made its blind jump into slipspace. He knew one way or another, he was going to bring Dorva to justice for his crimes.