“Would it not have been wiser to lead him on, and uncover what they might be planning?”
“What, and let ‘em know something was going on here?” Rob Flint waved it off. “Not a chance. I’m a vet, not a spook. From Jersey. Can’t do the whole wilderness of mirrors schtick. Leave that to you guys.” He sobered. “’Sides, no offense, but I got my daughter to think about, you know? If they think I’m some loose cannon who hates their guts, they’ll go find some other guy to play with.” His face softened as he glanced back into the room. “Aww, poor baby….”
Teal’c stepped over to the aviary, where one determined sky-feathered creature was testing every hinge and wire it could hover near with claws and teeth. Systematically. “That one was within NervGear?”
“She was, with a couple others,” the vet nodded. “That cage was way too small to fly in, and you know they’re social. Really social, like parrots. So we moved them in with the rest of the flock.” He sighed. “Not sure that’s working out for her. She checked out the others a little, and nobody’s acting like they want to start a fight. But all she seems to want is out.” He shrugged. “Eh, it’s only been a few hours… what?”
Teal’c held up a hand for silence. There was… something. Not a sound. Not a scent. Only a surety, as Tekma’teh Bra’tac had, of a presence with the potential for violence. A presence that-
Whatever I sense… senses me.
“When honorable warriors recognize one another’s presence,” Teal’c called out, “it is reasonable for them to speak, to determine if there is true need for blood to be shed.”
“Blood? Shed?” Rob Flint’s voice rose, blue eyes wide as he stared at the door. “Whoa, wait a minute! Hanging up is one thing; if somebody got in here, we should be calling security-”
“We will not,” Teal’c said bluntly. “No one has gotten in, Rob Flint. And if there is no threat, there is no need to call security.”
One breath. Two.
The door opened.
Teal’c inclined his head. “Kirigaya Kazuto. Or do you prefer Kirito?”
“Murray.” The black-haired teen returned the honor. “Or would we be wrong to name you Teal’c?”
Ah. Asked and answered. “Teal’c is indeed preferable,” he allowed. “Do your companions wish to enter? I have been informed by the caretakers that certain creatures here are tropical, and sensitive to drafts.”