Lost in Barbarian Space

Free Lost in Barbarian Space by Anna Hackett

Book: Lost in Barbarian Space by Anna Hackett Read Free Book Online
Authors: Anna Hackett
Tags: Science-Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Military
forward with a hard-driving punch at Honor. She was ready to block it when something slashed down fast between her and the droid.
    Colm’s sword split the droid in two. It fell to the mats in a sparking mass of broken metal and wires.
    She stared at it, open-mouthed. “Uh, warrior, you weren’t supposed to kill it.”
    Colm slid his sword back into his scabbard. “It was trying to hurt you.”
    “It’s a machine, Colm. It was doing exactly what I asked it to do. I spar with these things all the time.”
    A flush of dull color hit his cheekbones. “I am not sorry.”
    She rolled her eyes. “Okay, this was my fault. I’ll have someone fix—” she eyed the destroyed droid again “—er, throw it in the trash.”
    “Hoo, what happened here?”
    Honor closed her eyes and prayed for patience. She faced the newcomer. “Darzan. Ah, nothing. The droid apparently doesn’t have a warrior setting. This is Warrior Colm Mal Kor. Colm, this is Agent Wade Darzan, a new member of our security team.”
    Darzan looked like he was trying not to laugh. “Yeah, sorry, these droids don’t come with a simple, low-tech setting.” The man was enunciating his words like he was talking to a child.
    Honor frowned at him. What did he think he was doing? They’d all been briefed that the Markarian language was very similar to English.
    “That’s what you’re used to here, right, barbarian?” Darzan finished.
    Honor stiffened. “Agent Darzan, you’re out of line.”
    Beside her, Colm stayed relaxed. He held up a hand. “I don’t fight machines, no. I fight wild darken beasts and other men my size.” Colm eyed Darzan’s shorter, more slender body.
    Darzan went stiff. “I’m a trained security agent…I know more about combat than you’ll ever be able to dream about.” He pulled his laser pistol out. “You might wear fur and have a big, old-fashioned sword, but you’re no match for this baby.” Darzan aimed his weapon at Colm’s chest and smiled. “I could kill you in a second.”
    Colm moved so fast he was a blur. His wristbands glinted in the overhead lights as he grabbed the laser pistol. A twist of his hands and it crumpled. He dropped it onto the mats.
    Darzan goggled. “That’s my weapon! You can’t—”
    “Would you like to challenge me?” Colm’s voice was low and silky. “On Markaria, we have challenges to the death. Just you and me in an arena…only one walks out alive.”
    “Ah…” Darzan’s complexion suddenly looked green. He glanced at Honor, his eyes pleading.
    She crossed her arms. She wasn’t helping him out here.
    “You can even bring your weapons.” Colm dusted the last of the crushed stunner pieces off his hands.
    “Agent Darzan, you pulled a weapon on a guest for no reason.” Honor kept her tone as cool as she could, but anger was vibrating through her. “I will be reporting your inappropriate conduct to Darc. You’ve been rude to Warrior Mal Kor. What do you think Darc’s going to say about that? Scratch that, she won’t say anything. What do you think she’ll do ?”
    Darzan’s face paled more.
    “And what do you have to say to Warrior Mal Kor?” she said.
    Darzan swallowed. “My apologies.” The man looked like he wanted to crawl into a maintenance shaft and hide.
    “Dismissed, Agent Darzan. Get strapped in for take-off. Come on, Colm. We need to get to the cockpit.”
    She exited the gym and Colm followed.
    “Colm, I’m sorry.”
    He stopped. He looked calm and unconcerned. “You have nothing to apologize for.”
    “Yes, I do. That idiot is a part of my group and…”
    “Honor, there are small, nasty idiots everywhere.” He smiled. “Even on Markaria. Apparently fancy technology—” he waved at the ship around them “—doesn’t change that. A man…or a woman…is judged on their actions alone. Not those of the people around her.”
    He just kept surprising her. She let her gaze trace the hard blades of his cheekbones, the strong, chiseled

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