by Lindsay Buroker

Copyright © 2011 Lindsay Buroker


Tikaya Komitopis slid one finger down the encrypted message while she translated the plain text letters onto a fresh page. She smiled. Her new key was working.

As she revealed more lines, giddiness stirred in her belly. She forced herself not to rush, not to get ahead of herself. Finish translating the message, then read it.

Tikaya tuned out the susurrus of voices in the war room. She ignored the sweat moistening her freckled hands and the mugginess of the salty air that failed to stir the leaves in the palm trees outside the window. A wisp of blonde hair escaped her long braid and dangled before her spectacles, but she ignored it too.

Only after she copied the Turgonian admiral’s signature did she grab the paper with both hands, devouring the message.

Tikaya shoved her bamboo chair back so quickly it toppled to the floor. She glanced about the desk-filled room. Everyone had stopped work to watch the door where her supervisor stood with the president. Their graying heads tilted toward each other, some discussion on their lips.

She blinked. When had the president arrived?

Then elation sent her racing across the room, sandals slapping the wood floor. Perfect. He should know first.

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