the smuggler’s bible

Pluto Vespasianus

They try unsuccessfully to save one for questioning. Pluto Vespasianus leans his rifle against the rim of an old fountain and begins to poke around while Aoi reassures herself that everyone has been accounted for. Her tally is perfect, of course, but so is her adherence to protocol.

Far back in a corner created by the low walls of a footpath, behind a steel park bench with slats fused by laser fire, Vespasianus finds a great quantity of blood and a body curled around an object.

He drags it into the light and groans, “Those bastards. What a rotten trick.”