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Chapter 16

      "This makes no sense," Jeremy said, "Why would you put the backup generator here, of all places? You've got what? Some hangars and storage around here, and nothing else."

      Thuruk looked at him, smiling.

      "What?" Jeremy asked.

      "I'm waiting for you to realize you've answered your own question."

      Jeremy looked at him, no understanding.

      "You said it yourself, this makes no sense. This is someplace where no one would think to look for it."

      "How about scans? Even powered down, it's bound to show up."

      Thuruk shook his head. "This whole area is shielded. It's in the hull. Something pretty complex, from the subversion division. I don't get it, but it makes scanners see various containers of goods."

      Jeremy though on it. "You guys really aren't merchants." Gral had implied that much, but he hadn't pushed the issue.

      "We do trade, at times. Some stations only know us as traders. Being merchants can give us access to information we wouldn't have otherwise." Thuruk led Jeremy out of the room and sealed it behind them. "We are hunters. Our government sends us after criminals, or enemies. Most of the time, we are left to decide what we hunt ourselves. As merchants we listen to the whispers, seek out the scents that lead to those who plot against us, and take them down."

      Jeremy looked at him. "You sound like you know a lot about that stuff, for a tech."

      Thuruk laughed. "You'll find that most of us are more than just the title we wear. I am leader of one of the hunter squad. I know what I'm talking about, because, when I'm not working in engineering, it's my duty to go through the information we have gathered and find the parts that lead to our next hunt."

      "Should you be telling me those things?" Jeremy asked after a moment of silence.

      "You're one of the crew now. One of us. It's your right to know what we do. As Gral's Heart, you'll learn the workings of the ship, and in time, you'll lead us, like he does."

      Jeremy swallowed. "I guess nothing says 'welcome aboard' like putting pressure on the new guy."

      Thuruk put an arm on his shoulders. "Never doubt that you are up to the task. You are a warrior, in time, you will be one of the best."

      Jeremy looked at him askance, trying to figure out if his friend was just trying to make him feel better, or was serious.

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