Captain of the Presidium 2 (Chapter 5)
Sixty seconds after Cilla flounced out, Gye glides in, planting his big cup eyes
on me until I asked; "What is it?"
"You going to turn me...."
It annoyed he'd ask. It annoyed that Anisette Rhyse would have warned there
was a price on Gye's head. I wondered if everyone thought I was as base as
Gye was reputed to be.
"I've known about your...problem...since we left Ceres. That's why I told you to
stay on the ship."
"Why are you protecting me?" he asks as if it was the most impossible action I
"Get out, Gye." I say tiredly.
I suppose it didn't translate, as he sat as near to me as the sofa allowed.
"They won't pay you. They'll tell you it's the wrong GyeBarKrysTomaka. They always do."
He spoke softly, resigned, but his eyes held something more.
"How many Gye...whatevers are there?" I flicked, not particularly interested, until
I got the answer.
"About fourteen thousand."
"You kidding me?" I tossed, for I didn't know him to have a sense of humour.
"No. All my brothers have the same name. My father's brothers have the same name as my father, their sons have the same name as I."
This was ridiculous. I knew Gennies were strange, not this strange.
And he wasn't finished.
"I am a descendent of Mical Sergye, Piet Barthol, Vlad Kryshenko and Bart Tomaka."
The way he'd spoken I knew there was something I should know about these guys, but their names meant nothing to me. Obviously, they meant quite a bit to him, and to the Gennies.
"All descendents have the same name. My father was TomakaGyeBarKrys, his grandfather was KrysTomakaGyeBar,as were his brothers. His father was BarKrysTomakaGye, as were his brothers."
He was saying this too flat, too calm. To break the ice;
"So how do you know when your mother calls you?"
He looked at me peculiarly.
"Never mind," I wave.
He returned to his program ignoring my interruption;
"They will always say you caught the wrong one, refuse to pay the reward, yet
will execute me."
"Did you do these things?" I point to the wanted poster, which mentioned
murders and mayhem.
"Gye, what's going on?" I asked softly.
He'd dropped his eyes, then raised them, met mine, but didn't speak. I did.
"You're a member of my crew. You'll get the same respect, the same protection as
He just sat there, and when I realised the discussion was ended, I stood, moved to
the door. He unfolded, came to me, we went into the corridor. I went to the Bridge, he wherever.
I had the feeling he partially 'trusted' me, or was making a link.
I kept telling myself it was the 'package', the innocent look on his face, his soft voice, the puppy dog eyes. He was an assassin, a spy, a mercenary, and all
I told myself my impetus was to Not displease Madame Rhyse. Ten Million is not enough to support me for the rest of my life. For if I offended Hawking, I would never work again.
It made me feel smarter to stack it in that param. Vested self interest as opposed
to compassion for the Gennie.
The next time I reached my cabin Frank was there with the same wanted poster.
I had my story so pat I rolled it out in a breath;
"Hawking advised we are not to turn him in or we will never work for them again."
Frank, being stupider than he looked, talked about 'other' companies for about
two point six seconds then his brain kicked in. No one will displease Hawking.
Not even their rivals. For to offend Hawking is to guarantee being put out of business.
Guthrie finally caught the currents.
Rhyse says, we do.
He banged his lips, casting sexual implications, I didn't lift them. Gye was a spy.
What Rhyse and Hawking hoped to learn I didn't need to know this minute.
I'd find out.
When Frank left my cabin I went to lock the door. It opened, and there was, yup, Gye.
"You're getting on the last nerve I have left," I told him.
"My survival is very important to me," he said without humour.
"You don't trust me?" I asked.
He laughed, a loud burst of sound from his stomach. I didn't see anything funny.
Insulting was a better definition.
"If I depended on the clemency of normals..." he tossed.
"What would they do to you? Those that want you?" I ask.
He met my eyes; his voice stayed soft;
"They would put a thong around my neck, one on each wrist and each ankle, after stripping me naked. I would be bound to pitons on the bulkhead. They would cut my flesh so my blood would run into a sewer beneath me, and replace my blood with a mercury based poison which would eat through my organs."
"If they did it correctly, I would remain conscious throughout, and see my body dissolve before I died, knowing my blood, my genetic material was obliterated. I would be reduced to a lump of slime which would be frozen with my uniform and other possessions, and when convenient sent to my clan."
"Why?" I ask.
He shook his head, broke the gaze, but didn't move away. I suppose he was considering if to tell me, and then,how much.
After a few moments he met my eyes again.
"They consider it an offense against nature that I should carry the genetic material of the Quartz; Piet Barthol, Bart Tomaka, Vlad Kryshenko and Mical Sergye."
I guess I looked more stupid than usual.
How much did I know about Gennies?
"The Quartz, the four, are of Moldavia. Their offspring should have hair lighter
than yours, eyes bluer than yours and skin whiter than yours. But I am Sagir,
my ancestors came from Suriname. We were not careful in whom we...endowed...with our genetic material."
"I can't buy that!"
"It is not being sold, Captain. It is. Those are the facts. All Sagir are hunted by Dalmar. The reward of Ten Million is on every one of us."
I kept shaking my head.
"I hold the same key, the same genetic material in my key, that the Dalmar hold in their's."
"Key?" I echo.
He looked at me as if I were a retarded chipmunk. I thought he'd explain but he went on.
"When we are young, if Dalmar capture us, they sell us into slavery. If we are older, they put rewards on us hoping you, or Guthrie or Cilla, risk their lives capturing one of us."
He paused, considered, his eyes again came to mine,
"You see Captain, they win. If you or Guthrie or Cilla tries to capture me and I resist and kill you, then I'm a murderer. If I try to escape, perhaps seise this ship, I'm a pirate. If I reach a planet or a space station and am hunted and retaliate I am guilty of mayhem. Hence, the wanted poster is accurate."
"Hawking knows this..." I try.
"Anisette Rhyse knows this." He corrected.
"So everything we normals know about you Gennies is a lie?" I tempt.
"I do not know what it is you know of my people."
"You are mercenary, treacherous, vain, selfish...."
He made a small smile, "You can go on, I've heard it all before." Jauntily he walked out of my cabin, leaving me with more questions than I knew I held.