“This is the cargo?” said Stella. “A computer drive?”

Whitaker hugged the transport case to him like a baby doll. “Not just any computer drive,” he said. “This has a complete set of updated teleporter keys, cryptographic ciphers, and routing information for the GesteCo Galactic Teleporter Network!”

“Email it,” Stella said flatly. “This ship has a cargo capacity of 75 metric tons. That thing weighs 7.5 metric kilograms, if that.”

“Coherent data streams go through the GTN,” Whitaker replied, owering his voice a note, as if the data might overhear, “and we’re worried about this information falling into the wrong hands. We’re using local FTL networks to do the update, but I need you to take me to Ultimata Thule so we can start the update from there too.”

“Sneakernet, huh?” Stella said. “Fine. But GesteCo is wasting its money.”

“GesteCo can’t waste its money,” Whitaker said, offended. “If it pays for something, that thing is worth paying for.”

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