It was sweltering out on the desert between the two tribe’s strongholds. I considered myself extremely lucky I was able to convince Rand to let me retrieve my spacer suit. Most suits were equipped with some type of internal temperature control. I knew I was coming to an arid planet when I ordered this one and paid top money for the premier IT unit. A girl doesn’t want to look ‘limp’ when she arrives. Little did I know it was going to get such an intense workout.
Fatu passed me the skin of water. I waved it away.
“I need a potty break before I can drink anymore,” I confessed.
Fatu whistled to Salib, who pulled to a stop in front of us.
“She needs bush time,” Fatu called to his superior.
Salib nodded and turned his back on us to look out over the barren landscape.
“There,” Fatu pointed.
Sure enough, it was a clump of bushes. Not enough to cover me from head to toe, but enough to cover me in a squat. I hopped down. Fatu followed.
“I’m not going to run,” I assured him. I waved my shackled arms around me taking in the desolate area as far as the eye could see. “Where the hell would I run?”
In spite of my statement he continued to follow me. When I reached the bushes he did the gentlemanly thing and turned his back.
“Whatever possessed you to come here?” Fatu asked over his shoulder quietly. “You should have known better. The charts have this planet in red for a good reason.”
This guy was not from around here. “Who are you?” I asked.
“Someone who knew what he was getting into when he came here,” he said for my ears only.
I finished but remained down so I could talk to him a little longer.
“You actually chose to come here?”
“More like assigned,” Fatu admitted.
Oh, shit! He was with the G.O. - an undercover agent.
“Damn,” I hissed under my breath.
“Yeah, you can say that again.”
Salib whistled without turning around. I guess it was not appropriate for even my captors to see my female butt. Fatu whistled back.
“Come on,” he said.
I zipped and came out to walk beside him.
“You took a big chance telling me,” I said under my breath. “I could blow your cover and give Salib something else to think about other than me.”
“You better think twice about doing that if you want any help getting out of this mess you got yourself in.” That was all Fatu could say before we were within earshot of Salib and climbed back into the cart.