The wreckage of the taxi Hauler that had held the man known as Marty Aston floated around me, bits of blackened debris bumping against others as the twisted patches of machinery and hull plating drifted by the canopy. I took a sip of coffee and continued to stare at the floating remains of the ship. It was long past time that I’d normally have retracted hard points and jumped away, but this one felt…different.
It wasn’t just that little slimeball Aston. It was the other passengers, the bridge crew, the pilot…
I took a deep breath, looking down at the coffee in its mug. The interdiction, the ignoring of pleas for mercy, opening fire-
It was easy. It was quick. And you feel-
A piece of the wreckage drifted by the Betrayal’s bridge, leftover arcs of energy flashing from the ruined components.
-you feel nothing. No regret. No inner conflict. Just another job done. A month ago, you’d have been panicking over that. But how have you been making a living this whole time, anyway?
For ten years, I’d been living out of a spaceship. I hadn’t had an official address since my days in the Imperial navy, and settling down just wasn’t in the cards. As the wreckage floated by, all the old demons in the back of my mind began to make themselves heard. In the corner of my eye, I swore that I saw a floating, lifeless body drift by in the distance...
A lot of people have died so that you can stay flying. According to the law, they had it coming- but what’s your gut say?
Images flashed through my mind, places and people and ships and deals and long-buried feelings from the past. I saw my mother and father, my old Pilot’s Federation academy friends, Rax- God only knew whatever became of him- and the numerous hardened faces of those I had hunted.
Time was, I could tell myself that I was doing my part for law and order and fall asleep just fine.
The melancholy deepened, a chill feeling growing inside me.
But that was a long time ago. And what if it’s all been for nothing? Why are you even out here? Kyndi ain’t exactly a law-abiding citizen. She’s good, but-
I sighed and stared outside the canopy. Nothing but blackness stared back.
- but she ain’t invincible. She could be in prison, she could be stranded somewhere, she could smoke too much o-head and fly into a star-
The feeling of dread deepened. She could have smarted off to the wrong crime boss, and be dead in a dumpster. And you’d never know. All that would happen is that you’d live the rest of your life wondering what ever became of Kyndi Jane McCaskil.
For the rest of the chapter, click here! Huge thanks to Simon Datura for the "holo-Kyndi" image! And of course my thanks to Marra and Jem for everything!