the smuggler’s bible

Sarum

They call for the lever man in the middle of the night. Sarum is awake, sitting on the edge of his bed, waiting.

“I know,” he says. “Right. I know. Twenty minutes.”

He leaves his wedding band on the desk, then dresses and heads for the airlock. The scientists on the expedition team have found something special in the derelict—two meters long with a pearlescent handle and a complicated swivel joint. They rig the blast shielding while Sarum stretches.

Later, he sits with a cup of really terrible alien espresso and wonders if anyone ever invented a bigger rush.