The Hotel Noble was the centerpiece of Casblan, stretching upward nearly the width of the station. It was the most neutral place on the neutral satellite, its rules strictly enforced by employees loyal only to Noble. What happened within its walls remained within its walls. Planetary governments had fallen because of decisions made in the Noble. Master Trenton had chosen his venue for negotiations well.
Mera turned from her inspection of the hallway's vatnslitur prints at Ladye Alinora's sharp command. They had met up with the Ladye outside the hotel, having left House T'o'lz after the others had left to meet Trenton. She taxed them with their whereabouts as soon as they stepped from the vagn.
"My wife wished to speak to her former family." G'ar had answered for her. "I could not deny her."
Alinora's cheeks flushed with rage and her dark eyes snapped. "You fools!" She hissed through clenched teeth. "Have you betrayed all our plans?"
G'ar pulled Mera close to him and pushed past his mother. "Do not fear Ladye. My brother's murderer will be dealt with today." Only Mera was aware of the effort it cost him to keep himself from unleashing his power. It railed against her shields, its energy leaving her breathless. An invisible wind rattled the entrance doors before she could clamp down on the wild energy.
She'd been unable to persuade G'ar to abandon his plan and leave it to others. It was the Ladye's plan. But rather than invade L'ars Ca'dean's mind, G'ar would probe his mother's. Mera was charged with keeping his power under control, while the others would protect Trenton and Ca'dean if necessary. If the Ladye was guilty, G'ar would charge her so before the witnesses.
"And if she is guilty?" Mera had asked.
G'ar's face set in firm lines. "What must be done, will be done."
Mera asked no more.
The door to the conference room Master Trenton had booked for his meeting with L'ars Ca'dean was in front of them. A tall, thin man on guard stared impassively at the Ladye as she swept up to him. "Inform El-Zora L'ars Ca'dean that the Head of House El-Zora has come to take part in the proceedings." She waited with no appearance of impatience as the man spoke softly into a small hljóðnemi clipped to his jacket. A moment later the door slid open.
Mera followed Alinora, G'ar at her side. She felt her heart begin to pound and swallowed. This was it. Nothing must go wrong. She would not lose G'ar now. She brushed his arm to test her shields and for courage. A slight nod of acknowledgement was his only response.
T'o'lz Inik, Ixzander, and K'ihn each stood behind a man seated at a large, oval table. Across from them, his back toward the door sat L'ars Ca'dean. He turned his head, his face impassive. The T'o'lz men expressed the same lack of interest. Only the three Terrans showed surprise and annoyance. "What's the meaning of this?" one of the three demanded. He pushed away from the table and stood, looking almost frail next to the bulk of T'o'lz Inik, though his voice was deep and commanding.