the smuggler’s bible


Up late, examining his work—dirt, water and clear air. It is all very good. Far above, constellations. He’s named six of them so far. He pauses, looks again. Something new flickers. Looks like a star at this distance.

But that color.

He turns, breeze on his face. Sharp hiss of the airlock. He senses the commotion before it washes over him. Voices, tight with panic. Somebody hands him the comms handset.

“Time to go, Ver.”

Goddamnit.  “Hiemis. I’ve got a whole fleet here.”

He waits. A delay, even at lightspeed.

“Well, I sort of figured they’d leave with you.”