Lucy returned to the Cerberus, carefully putting the Wyvern back in the precise spot it had been, right down to the exact millimetre.
She went to the Medical lab, noting that Paul wasn’t within. No matter, the vials were unlikely to be medicinal in nature. She’d let him and Leon be alone, she just needed the equipment. She got to work conducting her tests on the vials.
Kat pulled Farah close. “Sorry about the ear thing,” she whispered. “I was just trying to keep up appearances.”
“No, it’s fine,” Farah whispered back. “I’m just a teeny bit sensitive.”
Kat was about to say more when her communicator went off.
“Katie here,” she said.
“Kat,” Ophelia’s voice came through. “I’ve got a lead on Tirjan. It seems that a small group of Bilyi moved into the western district. I’ll send you the coordinates to check.”
“Sure we can pick that up for you,” Kat said. “It’s on the way to our next date spot anyway.”
“I can’t wait to hear the explanation for this one,” Ophelia said. “I’ll contact you two later. Enjoy your ‘date.'”
Farah looked at Kat, the question in her eyes obvious.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Kat said. “I agreed without asking.” She pressed her hands together. “It’s okay if we run a quick errand for my mum, right?”
“Oh, of course,” Farah said.
“That’s what I love about you,” Kat said. “You’re so agreeable.” She leaned close to Farah. “Ophelia’s given us a lead on Tirjan. We have to get out of here without arousing our tail’s suspicions.”
Lucy double checked her findings and walked briskly to the bridge.
“Ophelia,” she said. “Did you get a manifest for that package?”
“Oh, yeah,” Ophelia said. “It wasn’t anything that odd. Just some lithium. Unless our client lied to us.”
“I don’t think he did,” Lucy stated. “If you were to combine lithium with the vials I found on the station, you’d have a hell of a deadly nerve gas. There are a few species it wouldn’t affect, including Bilyi, but there are many more it would.”
“An attack on the station,” Ophelia muttered. “But why?”
Lucy shrugged. “Possibly as some kind of political statement or as a prelude to some larger scheme.”
“We have to stop Kat and Farah from delivering the goods,” Ophelia said.
“Why?” Lucy asked. “I have the vials they hid. Even if they take the lithium up to the station, there won’t be much they can do with it.”
“Good point,” Ophelia said. “Still, they’re going to wonder what happened and try to find a way to smuggle replacements.”
“Oh, certainly,” Lucy agreed. “And that’s why some honest citizen should probably give the peace-keepers an anonymous tip.”
“This is the area,” Kat said. she checked her mirror and rested her head on Farah’s shoulder. “They’re still following us,” she whispered.
“I have an idea,” Farah whispered back. “There’s only one tail. If we can think of an excuse to separate…”
“They’ll have to pick one of us,” Kat finished. “Good thinking. I’ll take the package. Call me when you find Tirjan. For now, follow my lead.”
The two brought their heads apart and Kat spoke loudly. “I’ll go find the vendor my mum mentioned. Why don’t you wait here?”
“I couldn’t do that,” Farah protested. “Do you even know where she is?”
“I can find her,” Kat said, sounding defensive.
“but Honey,” Farah said “you’re terrible with directions. Let me find her.”
“Are you suggesting that I can’t manage?” Kat asked. “Fine! I’ll look for her that way and you can look for her wherever. Whoever doesn’t find her has to pay for the hotel room.”
“You’re on!” Farah declared. The two walked in opposite directions, acting like they were in a huff. The agent following them hesitated for a moment before following Kat, as they’d expected.
“Guess it’s up to me,” Farah muttered. She double checked to make sure no one was following her and headed for the nearest public building. She walked over to the worker at the cash. “A fine mood day,” she greeted, remembering what she’d learned about Bilyi customs. “A question is what I have.”
“For me, it is a grand mood day,” he greeted. “Engaged, I have become. Work hardly even seems a chore. This question, your question, will I answer. If, that is , I am able.”
“Elevated, my spirits have been,” Farah said. “Both for the helpfulness of yours and for the news, joyful. Simple enough is my question. A friend old I seek, one like you and unlike myself. Tirjan, is the name by which they are known. Do you know, boy oh dear, where this one stays?”
He clapped his hands together. “Fortuitous are you this day. This Tirjan well, I know. The north and east from here is her abode. 512, reads the plate of location value.”
“Gratitude for you,” Farah said. “Pleased am I, for this answer.”
She finished the pleasantries and headed directly towards the building where she’d been directed. She waited until she’d found the building before calling Kat.