the smuggler’s bible

Nor

Nor presses his thumb to the security plate and takes a deep breath while the lockbox’s vacuum seals disengage. He pauses with his hand on the latch.

“Was it sterilized?”

“Of course.”

“Properly, I mean.”

“Yes, very thoroughly.”

Nor pushes back the lid, stares for a moment and lets it fall shut.

“How are they? The ones who brought it back?”

“A few might pull through. It’s touch and go. They bought us some time, though. Just a little at least.”

The seals hiss sharply and tighten as Nor slides the box away. “Worth it,” he says, “to be ahead.”