"I guess this isn't a good time." Lendill folded into the kitchen.
"Here. It has bourbon in it." I pushed my cup of tea toward him and rose from my seat to make another.
"Land and sky, Reah, this is strong." Lendill took a sip from my cup.
"Yeah. Sit down," I said. "What do you want?"
"Is that any way to treat a mate you haven't seen in months?"
"You only show up when you want something," I said. "So what is it?"
"Bel has disappeared," Lendill swallowed more tea, grimaced and then swallowed more.
"Wizard Bel?" I hadn't seen Bel for years, yet I knew he still worked for the ASD.
"Yes. I sent him to investigate a problem on Surnath, and he vanished. We can't find him."
"What kind of problem?" I asked, sitting down with my freshly poured and spiked tea. I didn't even ask Teeg if he wanted any. I was still pissed at him.
"A worker in an electronics factory went crazy and killed twenty of his coworkers after getting his hands on a laser pistol somehow. And then, two weeks later, a secretary at a legal firm kills six people there. The governor of the Realm on Surnath asked us to investigate. We thought it was just a copy crime. Bel was in so he volunteered. Was there for three days before he came up missing."
"That's terrible," I said. "And you tried mindspeech and everything?"
"Yes. No answer. Bel isn't one to fall easily into a trap. So we're all concerned."
"Me, too," I nodded. I'd known Bel when I was a conscript in the Regular Alliance Army.
"Norian and I are willing to pay top credit if you'll work a special assignment on this."
* * *
Wizard Bel is missing, after investigating two crimes on Surnath. Reah agrees to work this special assignment for the ASD, and discovers that Bel's disappearance is linked to far deeper and much darker crimes. The criminals behind these crimes hold the survival of both Alliances in their grip and it is up to Reah to expose them before their final plans become a reality.
- Item #: HD5-A