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The Wizard of Karres: Chapter Five

       Last updated: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 01:15 EST



    The two Sedmons looked at each other thoughtfully. The choice of courses available to Captain Pausert from the Alpha Dendi cluster were just too numerous. Without some sort of clue to guide the Sedmons’ ship, they would have difficulty in guessing the best interception course.

    If the Venture had made it out of the Alpha Dendi cluster... The signal had stopped. Then briefly, just for a second, it had registered again. There had been nothing since.

    Of course, Pausert might be using the witches of Karres to move the ship. Or Pausert might really be a witch himself. When the Venture had come to Uldune, the Sedmons had been of the opinion that Captain Pausert and Goth were Threbus and Toll, doing an age-shift. When the agent on Green Galaine on Emris had later reported Threbus and Toll meeting Pausert and Goth, the Sedmons had realized that they had been mistaken. But it was still not clear if Pausert was a Karres witch himself or not. It seemed as if the captain was nothing more than a citizen—with a price on his head, to be sure—from a small and stuffy republic called Nikkeldepain.

    But the witches could do that kind of substitution very successfully. You couldn’t trust superficial appearances when dealing with them. And now the Sedmons realized they had a problem, even when they were far off.

    “We’ll have to go to the Alpha Dendi system. Just to check.”

    “It’ll lose us time.”

    “Can’t be helped. I think we’d better try to slow them down if they’re ahead somehow. They still bank with the Daal’s bank back on Uldune. We could intervene there.”

    “That could be a bit awkward for Pausert.”

    “We could set it up so that when credit checks are run, the account comes up as requiring our clearance.”

    “Well, that would make for a delay.”

    “Which is what we want, after all.”

    Subradio messages were sent. The Sedmons’ ship turned to the Alpha Dendi cluster.

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