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   Chapter 28 You're out

Bactine By Paul Kater Characters: 10957

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:03

Clelem took the news in a strange way. Daniel got the feeling that the man suddenly was ice cold inside and wondered why that was. There was no emotion at all. Not even an inquiry after Daniel's health, or how he had survived.

"I will arrange for the fare for a carriage to take you back to Skarak, Mr. Zacharias. You will report to the President of the Ship Owners Society at once after arriving. Measures will be taken." That was all.

Report to Seigner Skinsh ko Talush? Why him? Why not to Clelem?

As he sat in the carriage, he had acquired a basket with food for the long trip, he kept wondering about the strange attitude of Clelem. At first he had seemed such an admirable person. The strange way in which he had made his daughter be his personal hostess during the soirée had already struck him as odd, but this last exchange was totally incomprehensible.

No matter from what way he approached the issue, he could make heads nor tails from it, so he went back to worrying about his friends.

The carriage stopped in several places to take in a few more people who were also travelling to or towards Skarak. It surprised Daniel somewhat, as he had never needed to share a carriage, but it did make sense.

It took Daniel little over a day to reach Skarak. Sleeping in the carriage was not too difficult, but he desperately wanted to shower and put on some clean, fitting clothes. Still, he first made his way to the ship-shaped building of the Ship Owners Society.

Varning was there to open the door to him. "Mr. Zacharias. We have been expecting you. How horrible an incident, how tragic." The man shook his head and quickly went ahead, leading him to the office where Waldo Skinsh ko Talush was waiting for him.

"Mr. Zacharias. Take a seat. Do you need some tea? Sturt? Something stronger?" The man looked genuinely concerned.

"No, Seigner, thank you." Daniel told his story, while in the back of his mind the wonder remained why Clelem, the owner of the ship, was not there. Perhaps it was the way things were done on the planet, but still it bothered him. The more as only several days ago he had been invited to a party at the man's house. Again the strangeness around Clelem's action regarding his daughter tugged at him. Daniel tried to shake it off and focus on the matter at hand.

Seigner Skinsh ko Talush looked at Daniel in silence, after hearing the account. He was pondering and evaluating. "Mr. Zacharias, " he finally said, "it is with no pleasure at all that I have to tell you that Seigner Clelem Dandra ko Galem has asked me to relieve you from your assignment with respect to his ships. He does not feel you are adding to the safety on board, not to the security against pirates."

Daniel felt the blood pull away from his face. He had successfully managed to repel that first attack. It had almost cost him his life. Because of that very fact, Clelem had invited him to the soirée. And now this?

The president seemed to guess his thoughts. "You are certainly entitled to feeling rage, Mr. Zacharias. I am quite surprised about this decision also, but it is in the end the Ship Owner who decides." The man went through some papers on his desk until he found an envelope. "I have prepared this document for you, sir. Would you ple

. I am very surprised."

Warlem smiled. "I understand. It was not hard to discover what had happened to you and the ship of my father. And my father was also quite loud about his renewed opinion about you, which I think is entirely inappropriate." The young man looked sideways, as if making sure he could speak freely. "I would like to meet with you, Mr. Zacharias. To personally apologise for what has been done to you."

Daniel was flabbergasted. This was not what he had expected at all. "That is very kind of you, sir. I was on my way for supper. Is there a way we could combine meeting and a meal?"

"Of course, " Warlem said. "I would be honoured if you allow me to invite you for supper. Let me send you the address of a good restaurant. Call a carriage, expenses will be covered, and I hope to see you in, let's say, half an hour?"

Daniel looked at the entrance of the restaurant that the carriage had delivered him at. It looked as if just watching the door would already cost credits.

Inside, Warlem was already waiting. He treated Daniel to a magnificent meal, as they talked about all kinds of things, like justice and opportunities to get by on this planet. When Daniel brought up the idea of just quitting the whole thing and and moving away to his sister's area, Warlem advised against that.

"There are so many ways to do things, Daniel. Running away will not help you, I am certain. I believe there is many a ship owner who will employ you, despite of what happened - I mean because of what you did. It is finding the right one, one that can influence this man, Skinsh something, of the Society."

"I am not sure if that is the way to do things, Warlem. After all, I failed in my job. That will be held against me."

"Listen, Daniel, my friend. You almost single-handedly beat off the pirates in their first attack. It almost killed you, yet you were still around and willing to take them on again. If that does not make you a hero in many a man's eye, then I am not of this world."

Daniel pondered that for a while. The memory of meeting Huajo Dogom ko Tzuy waved at him. That might be a way back in. After all, the man had offered him a position.

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