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side hurt and her shoulder throbbed. Her hands shook and shivers wracked her
body. The side of the bandanna on her head was soaked in blood. The tumble down
a ravine had resulted in collusion with an outcrop of rock. Add that growing bruise
to the laser burn on her side and she wasn t feeling optimistic.
Sore. Bloody sore. That s what she was feeling.
Tasi glanced up at the tavern. Hiding in it wasn t an option. Now she knew just
how bland the rooms were and how she could get trapped inside one. No, she
needed a space craft.
Glancing around, Tasi tensed and slid further back into the shadows. The
soldiers were starting to fan out in the street and the peacekeeper had returned to
the Enforcement Building. The Aoras must have been given have permission to
search. Soon they d be all over the settlement. It was time to head for the docking
bay and see what she could steal.
Keeping to the darkness, she crept through the alleys, hiding behind debris when
soldiers voices got too near. Several times soldiers walked into the alleys, and it
was only by the skin of her teeth that Tasi managed to stay a few steps ahead of
them.
The streets still had settlers thronging it, but many of them were now heading
for home. Travellers headed for taverns, and it wasn t long before the only noise
came from the taverns, music pounding out loudly onto the streets and laughter and
curses and voices of the occupants drifting out onto the streets.
The docking bay gave no joy. Even from where she stood in the shadows at the
edge of the settlement, she could see the Aora soldiers stood at the entrance gates
and several patrolled the perimeter. Their red kyrats shone in the night.
Maybe she d do better to head back to the forest while the soldiers were
concentrating on the settlement. They wouldn t be expecting that. She could find a
cave and curl up and rest.
No. No rest. Can t rest. Have to keep going.
130
A flash caught her eyes and she lifted heavy eyelids to see two Aora battle
cruisers sweeping through the sky, their searchlights illuminating the area like
daylight.
 Damn it. Closing her eyes briefly, Tasi took a deep breath. She had to focus,
had to concentrate, get above the fever burning through her, push past her limits
and keep going.
If she faltered now she d die, and all would be lost. For all she knew, she was
the last Guardian standing.
If she didn t move, she d be the last Guardian on her knees. She almost giggled
at the thought, and then laid a cold hand on her burning cheek. No time to fall
apart, old girl. Move.
She shifted back into the shadows, turning her gaze towards the forest. If she ran
now, they d spot her. She had to find a place to hide until it was safe enough to
head back to the forest
A shout sounded.  Over there! Behind that building!
Damn it all to hell and back. Tasi spun around and ran. The battle cruisers
wheeled in the distance and started towards the settlement, the search lights
sweeping across the docking bay and then the road leading into the settlement.
Soldiers appeared, running into the alleys, their lasers held up in their hands.
131
Five
Tasi swung into a narrow alley and threw herself at the fence. As she scrambled
over the top and fell down the other side, she saw smoke filling the alley behind
her. A soldier loomed out of the smoke, a mask across his face. His eyes glittered
behind the shield and he lifted the laser in his hand.
Tasi lifted her own laser and fired twice, dropping the soldier on the spot, but
more loomed behind him out of the smoke and laser fire tore smouldering holes
through the fence beside her leg.
Forcing all thought of weakness and pain from her mind, Tasi tore into the
darkness, hearing the sound of the soldiers as they climbed the fence and then their
boots thudding as they resumed pursuit.
Harsh voices sounded ahead of her, voices to the right, and when she swung into
yet another alley she heard voices coming from ahead of her.
Heart pounding, trying to control her ragged breathing, Tasi looked around [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]




 

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