Four men sat rigidly around a rough-hewn, table staring blankly at the man who was speaking. A fifth man who stood staring out the window interrupted to say: “We need to get Fitzhugh out of there!”
“No harm will come to him.” Hightower sneered. “They’ll simply pick his brain and find nothing useful. You don’t think I’d trust any of you with information the Star Guides could use to stop me.”
Still feeling the pain which Hightower’s dangerous ignorance of military strategy had caused, and guarding what little he’d been able to learn from his brief glance at his cousin’s email before Crutcher yanked them from his office, Watson fell silent. His limited abilities allowed him to shield his thoughts from Hightower while he tried to work out a way to rescue his cousin.
Oblivious to Watson’s lack of attention, Hightower continued to inform the others of their part in his latest plan, expecting his instructions to be followed without question, even if the vessels before him; and he saw the men as nothing more, were unwilling and unresponsive at the moment. Watson knew Hightower was, at this point, little more than an errand boy whose wings had been severely clipped, despite the man’s tiresome arrogance. Any power he might have over the men seated before them was second-hand, at best. Keeping his face impassive while he watched what he knew was an impotent performance, he waited for their real leader to arrive and decide Fitzhugh’s fate.
* * *
Barbara placed glasses, a pitcher of lemonade and a plate of chocolate chip cookies on the table before joining the others. Everyone turned to face Kyra.
“I hope you have better news to report than we do.” Phil was saying grimly. “Fitzhugh’s mind is locked down tighter than a bank vault. Someone clearly knows how to keep us from accessing anything u...