Sprint laughed, pulling his friend to him in an entirely heterosexual bear hug and squeezing him tenderly.
‘Don’t trust them,’ the engineer whispered, his voice dropping to a whisper. ‘Star Corps command. They’re not who you think they are.’ Before Dash could respond, or free himself from the now uncomfortably long embrace, he heard a warm voice addressing him warmly.
‘Well, aren’t you a sight for sore space-eyes?’
Dash looked up. Colonel Daringman was striding across the landing bay with long strides, a wide smile on his smiling face. In an instant, Dash knew something was different. His Space-Zen instincts told him that Daringman was a traitor at the very least and quite possibly a shape-shifting Mhal-Evol’Unt agent. From now on, Dash knew he wouldn’t be able to trust anyone. From now on, he was on his own – a maverick space-cowboy operating outside the restrictions of the military command structure. Also, he suddenly realised that he had never known who his father was and maybe he should start being motivated by the desire to find out.