I am able to find an animal hospital in the Deeja Park district with round the clock staffing. Peko is still alive when I get there, but she has not regained consciousness.
I give the vet the bitten up tube of hand lotion from the spa. I explain that this is what the dog ate and I ask her to have it analyzed. The vet assures me that I can go home and she’ll call me with any updates on the dog’s condition, but I decide to stay. That irritates the staff, but I don’t care. I ask them to turn on the holonet screen as I sit back for a long stay in the waiting room.
I watch the news to distract myself, but instead I see yet another thing that disturbs me.
Buried among the stories is one about an intercepted transmission supposedly revealing that a secret conference of sector leaders is meeting at an undisclosed location in the Core. Some of the leaders rumored to be attending the conference have Separatist leanings, so the fact that they’re attending a conference with representatives from solidly Republic worlds means they may be having second thoughts about their alliance.
My first thought is that this is the worst kind of irresponsible journalism. If the conference is for real and it is secret, it ought to stay that way. My second thought is that if it’s false, the reporters do more harm than good by getting people to believe in a fairy tale where wars are averted because people actually sit down and listen to reason.
The reporters show a series of shots of suspected locations for the conference, followed by shots of twelve of the representatives thought to be in attendance.
Something clicks in my head.
I grimly realize that I’ve seen three of those faces -- and recently.Read more...