Tycho had been stunned when he unbundled the silk pants and sheer vest, finally realizing the situation he had gotten himself into. He was glaring at the locked door and then at the scraps of cloth on the bed, mentally berating himself.
They had promised to teach him to fly; using the thing he desired most to manipulate and control him. How could he have been so stupid as to believe them?
Several hours later, he was sitting on the bed in the same position Ferrl left him when a young girl in her mid-teens brought in a tray of something that could be loosely called food by someone with an imagination. She set the tray on the end of the bed, glancing uncertainly at Tycho.
Tycho noticed the hungry look in her eyes and the thinness of her frame under the worn clothing. He waved his hand at the tray, "You can have it. I'm not really hungry."
She looked around nervously before replying, "Thank you but you really should eat something. You will need your strength." He lifted an eyebrow questioningly but the girl just mumbled under her breath as she sat on the bed and began eating the bread loaf greedily from the tray.
Tycho watched her for a few minutes and then resumed his brooding, returning the room to relative silence. She tried once or twice to initiate more conversation but the young Alderaanian's stubbornness was showing.
Eventually, she stood and moved toward the door, taking the tray and remaining food with her. "You really should get dressed soon. The Master will most likely take it out on Ferrl if you misbehave."
"Why should I care?" Tycho grunted.
She stiffened; it wasn't often she stood up to anyone about anything but she owed it to Ferrl to set this young pup straight. "He looks after us and takes care of us as best he can under the circumstances. And, believe it or not, if it weren't for him you would probably be warming someone's bed by now." With a toss of her hair, she stormed out of the room.
In a childish desire to get in the last word, Tycho stuck his tongue out at her as the lock activated.
Ferrl was sitting on the floor of his room, watching the exchange on pilfered monitors. He felt his lips twitch in an almost smile at Reecy's rather melodramatic defense. He had a tendency to downplay his role as the children's protector and was embarrassed when the others called attention to him in this manner but it did feel good to be appreciated.
Ferrl's initial impression of the Alderaanian was that of a spoiled child used to getting his own way but Tycho showed his kindness in offering Reecy his food. The teen hoped it was not simply due to the fact the boy didn't know that he wouldn't be seeing regular meals here. He was concerned, however, about Tycho's forceful personality. It was going to get him into trouble with the Master, who was going to take great pleasure in breaking him.
He shook his head. You are doing it again. You have to stop getting attached to them, he reminded himself. But there was something about him. Someone, somewhere would be missing him terribly.
There was a soft knock at his door and Reecy slid in, still carrying the food. She walked over to the bed, handing the tray to Ferrl. She knelt beside him, examining the sleeping boy in the bed. "How is he?" she asked softly.
Ferrl shook his head, looking around the floor at the scattered medical texts. "Still running a fever. I can not figure out what is wrong."
She could hear the frustration in his voice that had become so prevalent of late. She turned and sat down beside him, resting her head softly on his shoulder. "Maybe that soup will make him feel better."
She glanced up at the monitors; Tycho had not moved except to bury his face in the arms crossed over his knees. "He's not like the usual runaways."
Ferrl considered Tycho's appearance as well as the comments about flying. "I do not think he is a runaway," Ferrl observed softly. "I have a bad feeling about this one."
Terra came out of hyperspace around a planet that would make Tatooine look like a Mecca of civilization. She had been here before with her father and knew about this seedier side of the galaxy.
She tried hard to clamp down on her emotions; she didn't have time for them at the moment. Tycho was in trouble; that much she could tell. She opened a frequency to the arms dealer her father worked with on occasion...
To be Continued...
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