The Stars, My Brothers
He sat down on the edge of the bunk.
"How long?" asked Kieran.
Vaillant answered as casually as though it was the most ordinary question in the world. "A bit over a century."
* * * * *
It was wonderful, thought Kieran, how he could take a statement like that without getting excited. It was almost as though he'd known it all the time.
"How--" he began, when there was an interruption.
Something buzzed thinly in the pocket of Vaillant's shirt. He took out a thin three-inch disk of metal and said sharply into it,
A tiny voice squawked from the disk. It was too far from Kieran for him to understand what it was saying but it had a note of excitement, almost of panic, in it.
Something changed, hardened, in Vaillant's flat face. He said, "I expected it. I'll be right there. You know what to do."
He did somet