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Extra info for Deathstalker Prelude 01 - Mistworld
I'll be with you as soon as I can. " "I'm not sure, Director. I've had the port espers scanning the ship, and apparently they've been getting some rather . . " Steel frowned. " The duty esper shrugged unhappily. "It's not easy to explain, sir. " "If I must, I must," said Steel. "Maintain Yellow Alert, and contact the city Watch, just in case anyone tries to break quarantine. " He blanked the monitor, and thought wistfully about sweetbreads and pastries. The esper scan was probably just a false alarm, but he didn't feel like risking it.
His wispy white hair hung uncombed in long feathery strands, and his face held more wrinkles than Mistport had streets. He'd been a huge and muscular man in his day, but although his frame was just as large, the muscles had slowly drifted away over the years, until now little remained of the giant he had once been. No one doubted his right to sit at Council; he'd earned that right through blood and sacrifice. His past deeds as both warrior and politician were legendary. But these days his mind tended to wander, and since he slept through most meetings anyway, Steel wasn't alone in wondering why the man couldn't just retire gracefully with honour and doze by his own damned fire.
A handful of smugglers' ships lay scattered across one pad, five silver needles glowing ruddy from the flickering torches. Beacons suddenly flared into life around the largest pad, like corpsefires on a newly built cairn, and Cat realised with a thrill of excitement that there was a ship coming in. Ships of any kind were growing rare these days, and any new arrival was good news. Cat turned reluctantly away, and looked down at the streets below him. Nobody moved in the empty alleyways, and the pale blanket of freshly fallen snow remained unbroken.