Their enemies are closer than they think...
On their first official mission with their new starship, the Nighthawks discover a traitor on Genese. Someone is selling location data to annihilate vessels in the Alliance flotilla. But luckily, the smuggler with the traitorous evidence opens the package and reveals the truth to the Nighthawks.
Now, Lieutenant Helga Ate and her Nighthawks must save the fleet while keeping the smuggler safely aboard the Ursula. But more is at stake than anyone realizes. Their Geralos rivals are becoming more desperate in their quest to track down Seekers for consumption.
Can Helga save the fleet, protect the smuggler, and keep her Seeker identity a secret from those who want to destroy her?
Fio Doro ran her fingers over the leather seat next to her, taking in the texture and scent, relishing and wishing that she could afford a car like this. For an up-and-coming fortune-runner of Basce City, this was one of those moments that either became a common occurrence from scoring the bigger jobs, or a once in a lifetime view of the ceiling, the one job that would pay enough credits to change her life for the better.
The Cel-toc in the driver’s seat hadn’t spoken to her since they made their introductions. She had been scanned for weapons and contraband, then ushered into the back of the aircar. Here she waited for her mysterious contact, who had hired her through “the company,” so this was to be the first and only time they would see each other.
Reaching out to touch the square glass panel in the seat’s headrest in front of her, Fio changed its display to become a mirror, touching up the black around her eyes. She scrutinized her appearance, trying to imagine how she would appear to a stranger looking to hire a smuggler. Did she look reliable, seasoned enough, or would this be yet another client lost due to her youthful appearance?
The front door popped out with a loud sound before sliding backwards to open as a dark form slid into the front seat. “Drive,” he said, in a deep baritone, accented with the rolling r’s of a Virulian. The door slid shut before the interior of the vehicle became awash with light. Fio felt the ground drop from below them as the aircar took off into the sky.
“You have ten minutes to convince me that I’m not wasting my time,” the deep voice said, still not giving her the courtesy of an about-face, a name, or direct acknowledgment.
“I’m Fio, and I’m the best at this, which is why you took this meeting,” she said confidently. “I know Basce City like the back of my hand, and have the support of four of the six major clans. Those relationships give me access to zones where your product can be transported quickly and discreetly. I may look young to you, but I’ve been doing this since I was sixteen, running with the Lords. I’ve got runners, gunners, and transports, all ready to haul your cargo.”
“Ever move living cargo?” the mysterious man said.