20060712

1.3

Or so the thought. She swung the door open to find her ship stripped by scavengers. Almost half of the exterior plating had been removed, and wires dangled from its' underbelly, where they'd taken the power core. They had come in through the ventilation duct on the far wall. The vent grill had been broken out and lay on the floor. She cursed to herself and ran a hand over her shaven head. The main hatch on the side of the ship had been left open, and she climbed inside. The control board had been ripped up and most of the internal computer components had been taken. She sat on the edge of the hatch, her feet hanging out the side and worried how much of a delay this would cause. The repair was no problem. She knew people. She hopped down from the ship and walked out into the street, locking up the hangar behind her.

She passed the preacher on the way into The Puccai House. He was still rambling about the Great Lords and damnation. The hotel smelled like dirt. The wind had blown sand and garbage inside, but the fat woman behind the desk paid it no mind. She sat with a cigarette in one hand, and a cheap romance novel in the other. The burly soldier on the cover cradled a dark-skinned jungle queen in his arms, while fending off aliens with a pistol. The woman looked up at Saeera amd took a hit off the cigarette.

"You got a combox here?" Saeera asked. The woman motioned her head towards the rear of the building.
"In the bar, in the back." Smoke billowed out between her cracked lips as she spoke. Saeera walked past the stairs and into the back room. The bar was mostly empty, save for a few, most likely travelers in need of a drink, but not wanting to make the journey into the city. It smelled slightly better than the Red Prince. The holiday celebrations played out on the screens above the bar. Saeera found the combox in the corner, and picked up the receiver. She wiped it on a nearby tablecloth and cradled it in her neck. There was a bit of loose change in her back pocket, enough to make the call. She dropped the coins into the box and dialed Rix.

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