Anna to open herself to the techno-mage ship. She didn't want to accept the inferior ship within her. It was not worthy of her, and it could do much damage to her unprotected interior.
Yet admitting the ship was part of her duty. She must do it. At least she would hold the ship for only a short time.
Before proceeding, she scanned it carefully. Its weapons were inactive, and she found no explosive devices, though such things could be hidden. Reluctantly, she opened herself to the stranger. With crude, clumsy maneuvers, he entered her.
In her large chamber, Tilar removed the strange hat he wore, and Anna realized now that it was some living adjunct, like Elizar's staff. He put the lumpy greyish organ into a liquid-filled canister, then fluffed the short crest of hair that crowned his head in the Centauri fashion. He wore a brilliant white shirt, an ornately decorated vest. He had something of Elizar's authority in his posture, but somehow seemed anxious instead.
"His ship could destroy us all once he's inside," Tilar said. "I don't know why they didn't allow him to land."
"They did not allow him to land," Elizar said, "for that very reason. They would rather he destroy us than an entire city."
"I'm just saying it would be much simpler to do this on the planet."
Elizar's jaw tightened. "And by 'do this,' I assume you mean interrogate and murder Kell."
Tilar stopped his fluffing. "You say that as if it's a bad thing. You're not having second thoughts, are you?" There was something menacing in Tilar's voice.
"Don't be a fool. Kell lied to us. He misled us. You have no idea my depth of hatred for the man. You wouldn't understand, because you never loved the mages, only yourself. What I find offensive is your imprecise speech. Did Regana teach you nothing?