the smuggler’s bible

Pluto Vespasianus

He spends a few minutes lying on the floor trying to think of a word. It’s tough. Everything seems hazy and there’s a noise coming from somewhere far away. All he can see is a few meters of pitted concrete and swirling plaster dust. Difficult to focus, he thinks. What was that damn word?

“Vespasianus,” Aoi says again. “We have to go. Command dropped something big on the city.”

He coughs. “Check the comms tablet.”

“Useless. Just some nonsense about ‘direct transmissions discouraged.’”

“Oh,” Pluto Vespasianus says as she hauls him up limply by his jacket collar. “That’s it. Discouraged.”