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   Chapter 13 No.13

Free-Wrench By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 5287

Updated: 2018-01-19 12:02

She took a slow breath. "Well, Captain, and again for the sake of 'for instance' as you put it, if you were to try pulling one of these apart, I don't think you'd be doing much else ever again. I've seen these boxes being built. I apprenticed under their maker, in fact. It takes a hell of a lot of force to get that trith coiled. If you give it the chance to uncoil without the proper care, it will straighten itself out, and something that thin moving that fast won't slow down much on its way through wood, steel, flesh, or bone. In case you haven't noticed, those cross pieces holding that box together are also made of trith, because anything less couldn't withstand the stress. Once I'm satisfied you've done all you can to keep your end of the bargain, I'll be happy to show you how to take one apart and maybe even help you cut it up. But not before."

"And if I decide to sell it intact?"

Nita sat quietly, trying to keep her expression steady and hoping that it came across as steely resolve rather than panicked realization. The captain let the silence hang in the air for an uncomfortably long time before he saw fit to break it.

"Don't worry yourself, miss. I did a fair amount of mischief in my younger days, but I haven't got the vinegar for that anymore. Better or worse, I'm a businessman now, and I pride myself as a straight shooter. It's cost me a fortune, I reckon. Plenty of men I could have swindled good, if I'd had the mind to. But being honest also kept my head off of the chopping block and out of the noose more than once. I'll take that trade ten ti

a long night, Captain. I work the night shift."

"See Lil or Coop about stringing up a bunk someplace, but see Gunner first. You'll find him at the wheel, back up on deck. He's the fella without the full complement of fingers." He picked up the coil box and handed it to her. "You'll want to keep this and the rest of the payment well hid. I vouch for my crew, but even so, you don't leave a steak out around a hungry hound dog."

"Um… where should I hide it, Captain?" she asked, stowing it in her belt again.

He puffed on his cigar. "That's another thing you should have thought of before you came aboard. As of now, you are the lowest-ranking member of my crew. You'll follow any orders they give that don't conflict with mine, and you'll have all the privileges they have, which is a mighty short list. Roundabout suppertime we'll all meet up in the galley, and we'll discuss the particulars of our little agreement, as well as how and when things are likely to happen. Until then, get good and acquainted with the Wind Breaker and her crew."

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