the smuggler’s bible

Estrella

Estrella sprints down the corridor, waving her squad into rooms as she passes. Higher-ups want full coverage. They want a facility so sparkling clean the goddamn bolts smell like Pine-Sol. There’s a sound from above like the muffled clapping of chalkboard erasers heard down a long flight of stairs.

“That’s the top floors,” she says over her shoulder. “Hurry things up, lieutenant.”

“Jesus, how many are they going to fold up?”

“They’ll drop the whole stack on our heads if they think it’s worth it. Status!”

A chorus of “clear” answers her.

“All right,” Estrella says. “Bring in the principal.”