the smuggler’s bible

Eiko

Perriol won’t take it, won’t even touch the sleek black box on his desk after she explains what happened. It’s blank, except for an array of blue lights winking near one edge, and cold to the touch.

“Oh, dear,” he says. “You have complicated an old man’s life.”

“This was the job.” Eiko senses bitter trouble gathering and being compressed into too small a space. A hissing valve. A needle quivering in the red. “They’ll pay to have it back, that’s the whole fucking point.”

Perriol sighs. “You’ve stepped off the path this time. Things like that don’t matter anymore.”