“Fascinating, isn’t it, Captain?” Reese asked.
“What is?” Flynn replied. They sat at a small café on Hugo station. Flynn occupied himself with reviewing the list of supplies they needed to repair Calypso.
“These data slates,” he traced the shape of the slate on the table. Flynn had to admit they were small. Perhaps a little over a dozen centimeters long and maybe eight wide, they couldn’t display much information at a time unless they used a holographic projector. “These are Hierarchy-style slates,” Reese continued. “Much slimmer than those in the Alliance.”
They didn’t seem very practical to Flynn. Portable, yes, but having so little information on the screen at one time would be frustrating.
“What’s your point, Reese?”
“Only that devices such as this are easy to relieve from a person.”
Flynn stopped looking at his slate, then stared at Reese. The man was perfectly calm, as ever, quietly sipping a cup of tea as he still traced the shape of the slate with his free thumb.
Flynn’s voice dropped to a whisper. “You stole that?”
“Captain, you wound me. Such a vulgar term. I found it by employing some sleight of hand.”
“You picked someone’s pocket?”
“If you must, yes.”
Reese set his tea down and made a forestalling gesture. “Please, Captain, stay your judgment. I’m confident that the owner will return for it soon. I was merely keeping in practice. The ability to hide and retrieve parcels about a person is basic tradecraft.”
Flynn went back to looking at his slate, but he didn’t see anything on the display. Why did I hire an ex-spy, again?