Alicia waited while Theseus continued to scan through whatever information he had found. He had paled. She didn't like to think what kind of trouble would worry him that much.
He finally looked up at her, pocketcomp still in hand. "We should have been considering where the explosives were coming from."
Alicia looked around with surprise. He was right. She had run the department that kept records on pretty much everything New Worlds for Humanity bought and she'd been conscientious enough to learn what almost everything was on those lists, so that if something went out of balance, she knew the use.
"There were some explosives," she said. "That the company bought, used on new worlds to clear the ground most often. They could not be imported to Earth and I can't believe they could have slipped even a tiny bit onto Earth. The officials are really watchful for that sort of stuff."
She leaned against the wall, exhausted. Very few people were around right now, and those she saw were so stunned and afraid that she thought the two of them could have walked out without any disguise and not been noticed. She felt the wave of exhaustion as well. Everything that had happened since this afternoon just simply could not be real.
As she thought those words, emergency aircars flew past, sirens screaming. Her nightmare was being shared by thousands of others. She only now realized that people who knew her would have seen the report that she was a terrorist. She had relatives and they were going to be harassed.
"What is going on? Do you have answers finally?" she snapped. This might not be his fault, but he was as close to an enemy as she had right now.
"Did you read about the cache of weapons Earth Government intends to drop into the sun?"
"Yes. A lot of older, unstable --" She stopped. "What port are they launching from?"
"You want to guess?"
"But why?" she asked, more confused than before. "What could they want with these old weapons? Surely they have better out on Caine's Hold."
He looked up at her. "You already know the answer. You told me it."
"They could not be imported to Earth and I can't believe they could have slipped even a tiny bit onto Earth. The officials are really watchful for that sort of stuff."
"Good memory." She blinked, staring at the wall behind his head. "So they really want it for here."
"Ross House never did as well on Caine's Hold as the others. I am guessing at Ross House involvement but there is another scenario, in which Brown needs a power base to fight off Ross House when they came for him. Brown strikes me as the sort of person who might try something so daring and stupid."
"Like making a deal with Ross House to begin with."
"And he already has the weapons. That's how he's blowing things up."
"But everyone is still after us," she said with a shake of her head and a nervous glance around the area.
"He still wouldn't want people coming after him. We make a good target. But not for much longer. I'm calling in help."
"Calling in --"
"IWC forces," he said and looked at her. "This isn't something you and I can handle."
"You could go to local forces --" She stopped herself, looking around with worry. "No, you can't."
"No, it would not be wise. Even if we survived being caught, it might take months before this mess could be sorted out, especially scine it's bound to get worse before it gets better. No. I need to contact the IWCS, and I can't do that from something as low powered as my pocketcomp. I need to get to the port and use their communication's equipment. I think that will be the easiest way to do this."
She looked at him for a long, silent moment before giggling. "Easiest," she managed to repeat.
"You don't want to know the other options," he said. He stood, smoothing down at the dress he wore. I'm going to need a uniform to get into the port."
"I'll find you somewhere safe --"
"No," she said, surprising even herself. "I go with you. I can, at least, keep watch when you need it."
He stood up straighter and looked into her face. She found it odd, looking at the old woman, but seeing Theseus there. "You cannot really know if I am telling you the entire truth."
"I suspect you aren't," she said. "I suspect there are many things that have to do with your work that you aren't prepared to say to me. There may be things you know about Brown that brought you here. I don't care. Being somewhere safe isn't going to help me in the long run, especially if you fail simply because no one was there to help."
"Yes. Thank you. I don't often work with people, and rarely with people who don't panic. You are a wonder Alicia."
She hadn't expected such words and really didn't know what to say to them. "What do we do now?" she asked.
"We waylay a couple guards and take their clothing," he said.
"Maybe it's not too late to panic?"
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