by H. A. Titus -
Cara sat on a catwalk, the shadows obscuring her as she watched the smuggler unloading his ship. She’d noticed him last night, handing out bread to a few orphans in the marketplace. He looked nice, so she’d followed him so she could get a look at his ship. She wouldn’t have dared with some of the smugglers, but this man she trusted as much as she could trust anyone.
His ship was a newer model, sleek and pristine. If she ever got her hands on a ship half as good as this one, she’d be happy.
It wasn’t quite fair, she told herself. She liked flying. When she was five Foundings old, she’d snuck on board a trade ship for a round trip to Zirconia and back. But, being an orphan, she’d never be accepted in a flight school, even if she had enough money to pay for the classes.
Maybe this guy would give her lessons. He’d handed out food, hadn’t he? That was more than any of the other smugglers, or even the honest merchants, would do. It was strange that he would care about the orphans, yet disregard the Peace Council’s laws.
Footsteps echoed in the corridor. Cara stood up and leaned over the railing. Three Enforcers strode down the row of docking bays toward the ship. She looked back at the stack of boxes. The smuggler had gone inside.
She bit her lip. Did she have time to warn the smuggler?
The smuggler ducked out of his ship just as the Enforcers reached his stack of cargo. They stood facing each other for a moment. Cara could see the smuggler’s face, his blue eyes calm, his muscles relaxed. Didn’t he understand what the Peacekeepers were there for?
One of the Enforcers finally cleared his throat and spoke. “Pieter Kinsrol, you’re under arrest.”
Pieter. So that was his name. Cara expected him to make a run for it, or dart back inside his ship and try to escape. Instead, he nodded and spun around to receive his handcuffs.
Cara gently slapped herself. Had she just seen what she thought she’d seen? Who in their right mind would just let himself be arrested?
As the Enforcers led Pieter away, Cara jogged along the catwalk to keep up. There had to be a way to help him. And by the Whale, she was going to find that way.