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When Professor Trumbull dismissed the student, Shandari followed Hatfield out of the classroom. She hurried to catch up with him and when she got close enough, she thrust the remainder of the chocolate bar at him.
“Here, you can have the rest. If I eat too much candy…” She puffed her cheeks out to demonstrate. “Yeah, I know, not pretty huh?” Shandari walked alongside him and waited to see if he took the chocolate or decided to talk.
Charlie took the candy bar. “Tax brass, You can bet your bottom dollar that the professor counted everything he threw out at us today. This antique rifle for instance...it has to be a piece of junk otherwise why vaporize those we had not collected?”
Shandari shrugged. “Even old weapons can be rehabbed. Worse come to worst, you can bash skulls in with it. That Trumbull is some piece of work.” She said with her cat-eyes getting very narrow. “It’s too much of an obvious temptation to just write the old codger off as a loony-toon with tenure but he might be laying it on thick as a kind of long con, so that we underestimate him and let our guard down. Then WHAM! You get a fail, you get a fail, you get a fail.” She mimicked shooting “students” in the air. “He’s not going to fool me.”
He moved a few paces ahead of her and abruptly turned back around now backpedaling to stay ahead of his new acquaintance. “Birds of a feather. Other than the candy what did you sneak out?”
“Prunes.” She snickered and then showed him the contents of her brassiere. “Water purification tablets, fishing tackle, two spoons and a mirror.” She grinned. “And this cooking pot. It was too big to fit in there.”
He still didn’t trust her being an offworlder. But there was something that was intangible that allowed her in close.
His coat opened to reveal a pair of Pike- era phasers and two of the clear clamshell communicators with the wire grid antenna flip tops. He reached in with his free hand and picked out a communicator and gave it to her.
She snatched it eagerly. “Sweet!”
He spotted Rel across the mall tying the rope between two trees. He was already building a hammock outside the dorm.
“I hate him and Kobor too. Unfortunately I am stuck with those two offworld half breeds who think they are better than me because they are one of a kind...Hell even human twins are one of a kind. WHAT MAKES THEM SO SPECIAL?”
She wrinkled her nose. “He’s like fifty or something, What’s he doing here with all of us kids. I couldn’t care less about his genetics but if he turns out to be some sort of perv, he’s gonna be in for a rude surprise.” She made a snipping motion.
Let’s blow this joint and hike… Let’s go across the bridge to golden gate state park and see if we can go unnoticed at the academy all weekend. Better yet HAWK HILL. It is an old abandoned military fort.
She grabbed at the gun and took off running with it.
“Hay that is mine. You had the chance to get yours back at class!” hollered the now dopey feeling street urchin that he had always been as he raced for the foot of golden gate bridge.
“First one there gets to fish...if there are any fish that is….”
Shandari was fast and agile. He had to be smart. Seeing a double decker headed his way he lept into the stairwell and waved as he passed the still running offworlder on the bridge.
Someone came up to him for the fair near the end of the bridge. The bus slowed for the toll and he ditched the bus tumbling on the shoulder of the road.
He got up brushed off his now ripped up uniform and waited for his quarry to catch up with that stupid looking fishing rod.
He looked back at the bus… one thing was true about Barta...they definitely were more likely to get you where you wanted to go than the darn ducks.