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Computer viruses no longer exist, yet Vexen's medical transport is held hostage by one. The hologram engineered to combat the deadly program develops an identity crisis. An alien intruder is discovered stowed away in the cargo bay. And the evil reptilian Delphan demands immediate surrender of her ship. Can anything else possibly go wrong?
Vexen turned to watch the screen. It went black, then flickered. Her eyes narrowed in wary recognition as the reptilian image of Dxofsia Delphan stared down at her.
With no preliminaries, he ordered, “Lower your shields and prepare to be boarded.”
Vexen pressed her lips in a hard line, biting back a sharp retort. She wholly knew the brutalities this monster was capable of if crossed, and she strove to maintain a calm demeanor.
“Greetings, Dxofsia Delphan.” She inclined her head in aloof, but respectful acknowledgment. “You are aware I am only a medical supply transport ship. I carry nothing of value that you can sell on the black market.”
“Spare me your trifling words, Captain Vexen Rhinehart. Your ship is no longer under your control. You have no means to thwart me.”
Vexen raised a warning brow. “Your sensors are mistaken. I am in complete control of my ship and its weapons array.”
“Answer me how when the virus has totally incapacitated you.”
She straightened abruptly, throwing him her full attention. “What virus?”
A three-toed claw waved in the air as though he sought to brush aside her question. “The one I implanted with the help of a Gorshah spider.”
Vexan stood motionless, her mind awhirl with the obvious meaning of his statement. She thought of the blob lying frozen on the engineering deck.
“There is no Gorshah spider on board,” she told Dxofsia Delphan.
The dark pupils in his golden eyes shrank to barely perceptible slits. “I care nothing for your ignorance. Comply with my order. Lower your shields or I will open fire.”