A tiny angel

drops from the stars above and

reaches out for me.


Somewhere, out among the retrograde, open-orbit moons of Jupiter, the Belter colony of Jubilee was approaching aphelion. It was a typical structure of its type--a central revolving sphere surrounded by agricultural toruses and a network of solar collectors, mirrors, and radiator blades. Preceding it on orbit by some few hundred kilometres was a fleet of two dozen scout-ships flying in formation.

In the Belt, these ships would have ranged over nearby space in search of the asteroids whose capture and processing supported Jubilee's five thousand souls, but here their task was to detect and vaporize approaching hazards. Jupiter was an avid collector of stray asteroids, comet nuclei, and assorted debris; new material was constantly being added and the orbits of old material were constantly changing. The most dangerous part of the colony's orbit through the Belt was the approach to Jupiter to sell their processed ore on the Galilean market.

Slava, in Scout-ship Fifteen, was as excited as she could be. Not since she was a child had the city swung round Jupiter. She wondered if there was the slightest chance of visiting the Galilean moons--especially the infamous Ganymede.

She doubted it. Ganymede was hardly a fit place for an unattached young woman. The stories told of that place, late at night in the girls' dormitory, were scandalous. Not even pilots, who had some status, were likely to be granted planet-leave.

Something on the screen caught her attention and she touched on the comm.

"Fifteen to Central. Reporting occultation of M2 17Kpc in Aquarius. Large, dark object."

"Scout-ship Four. We have confirmation and parallax."

"Central. Can you make it out, Slava?"

"On full magnification. Still hard to see. Computer indicates object crossing our trajectory at angle of 32 degrees, eight to two o'clock. Moving at...point three kps."

"No threat indicated, Fifteen."


Still, Slava continued to monitor the object, out of curiosity if nothing else.

"Central. Fifteen again. Object is under constant slight acceleration."

"That's strange. A dark object, you say."

"Yes. Radar indicates a hexagonal shape. It appears to be a solar sailer."

"Interesting, Slava, but still no threat."

Slava waited a moment. "Uh...Central, I'm very curious..."

"What a surprise!" She heard laughter from various sources in the fleet and blushed, but she went on:

"A solar sailer running without lights or radio-beacon should be reported, don't you think?"

"Yes, I guess you're right, Slava. We'll report it. Thank you very much." There was just a touch of irritation in Central's voice.

Slava was intimidated for a moment. She chewed her lip as she watched the screen. She reached for the comm, hesitated, then touched the sensor.

"Scoutship, Fifteen here."

"Yes! What is it, Slava? We are somewhat busy here, you know."

"I'm sorry, Central. But what if someone's aboard?"

Central sighed audibly. "Slava, it's an unmanned slow-freight with a beacon malfunction. Do you want to try for salvage, is that it?"

"No, it's just that... Yes."

"Permission denied, Fifteen. Your job is to maintain formation. Protecting Jubilee is first priority. Besides, we're in Galilean space now and salvage represents a legal wrangle we don't want to get involved in. We'll report it when we get a chance. That’s all we can do."


"Permission denied, Fifteen."

"Come on, Slava," said another voice. "Leave it alone."

Slava pouted. She took out a ship-ident chip and loaded it, zipping through the rapidly morphing shapes as she chewed on the ends of her blond page-boy.

"Fifteen. Sorry, Central, but..."

"For God's sake, Slava."

"Please, Central. Listen. Most freighters have diamond-shaped sails or heliogyro form. Hexagonal sails are characteristic of Galilean-registry pleasure-craft. I think it may be a yacht."

"So, it slipped its moorings and went adrift. How does that concern us?"

"There may be somebody on board."

"Have you heard a mayday?"


"Then there's no-one aboard."

"Suppose the mayday is malfunctioning."

"No beacon, no running-lights, no mayday. Three systems down at once? Come on, Slava."

"What if there was a central power failure."

Central was trying his best to be patient. "Well, Slava, in that extremely unlikely case, life-support would be down as well. Anyone aboard would have been asphyxiated days ago."

"But there might be bodies. We should try to recover them. That would be the Christian thing to do. This is a pleasure-craft, Central, and there could be innocents aboard. Perhaps even children. Lost without a trace. What would the Council of Elders say? What are the odds that such a ship on such a course would drift into position to be intercepted by me? In a few minutes that will no longer be possible, and in a few hours it will be so far out and accelerating so rapidly that no one could ever catch it again. Surely, this represents a Providential..."

"Listen, Central. This is Seven. If we don't let her go, she'll fret about this for weeks. We can re-form and cover her position. Why not let her check it out?"

"Because she has duties to perform, that's why. This is a disciplined society. As a scout-pilot, she should know that better than anyone."

"Central. Number One here. Slava's a good scout. One of the youngest ever to qualify. I've learned to trust her hunches myself. I suggest we let her go." Number One laughed. "If only to give us all some peace."

Central hesitated. "Okay, Number One. If you think it's wise. Check it out, Fifteen."

Slava beamed with joy, wiping away her tears, and punched out figures on the computer. "Thank you, Central. I can use Pasiphae for gravity-assist and swing into parallel."

"Don't take any chances, Fifteen. Watch your fuel."

"Yes, Sir."

Acceleration thrust her into her couch as she shot off across the void. The minutes crept by. Pasiphae, the 27-kilometer moon, tumbled toward her, pulling the scout into a new trajectory is it passed. With a perfectly timed burn, she kicked off in pursuit of the departing sailer.

The great aluminized sail was gleaming in the sun as she overtook it. She could read the figures printed on its surface, despite a number of holes and rents in the tissue-thin fabric.

"Central. This is Fifteen. I'm overtaking the object. Registry 246-B-21. Halls of Olympus Hotel."

"Is the emergency pod still attached?"

"No, it's gone."

"Then they must have bailed out long ago. You might as well return to..."

"I've come all this way. Another few kilometres and I can peek inside."

"Negative, Fifteen. You must be running low on fuel now."

If we hadn't wasted so much time arguing, she thought, I wouldn't be. She felt a little thrill of pleasure at her sinful disrespect.

"Fifteen? Acknowledge."

Slava waited. The sail filled the sky before her, a vast, rippling landscape like a windblown wheat-field stretching to the horizon--though Slava had never actually seen a wheat-field, or a horizon for that matter. Many of the guys were slack and the gondola was oscillating.

"Slava, where are you?"

"Just above the gondola. I'm blinded by sail-reflection. If I move up just a bit, I can have a clear view through the port."

"Negative, Fifteen. Repeat: negative. If you get caught in one of those guys, the whole sail can come down on you and wrap up your little scout like a birthday present. Do you understand?"

"Just another minute."

"No, goddamn it! You are ordered to return to base." Central would have to do penance for swearing on the job, she thought. She had never heard him do that before.

Slava corrected her ship's attitude, rolling ninety degrees so she could look down through the side port as the gondola swung beneath her. The sail's reflection bathed the cabin interior in golden light.

"Central, I'm as close as I can get, I think. It appears to be...Oh, My God!"

"Slava! What is it?"

"There's a man inside. He just drifted into view. He's curled up. Limp. I think he's dead."

"Try spectro-analysis."

"Of course. Yes. Carbon dioxide. Almost no oxygen."

"He's dead, Slava. Return to base while you still have fuel. You've done all you could."

She reached for the controls, and hesitated. "I can snag the capsule and return with his body, Central."

"You don't have enough fuel."

"He looks like a sleeping child. So peaceful. Handsome, too. Bearded. Like a Greek god."

"You're accelerating out of the system. If you're going to get back home, you've got to burn now. I don't want to send any more ships out after you, Slava."

"I'll just say a short prayer over him, all right? I've got my reserves."

"Don't go to reserves unless you... Oh, all right, Slava. Bury him in space, then get back here. We've got the ship's registry. The hotel can inform the next of kin."

Slava stared down at the dark stranger, her lips moving in silent prayer. I therefore commit your body to the void from which we come, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the...

"Holy Ghost!"

"What is it?"

"I've just noticed something clutched in his hand. It's a face mask. And I can see suit-tanks drifting nearby. If he's a good spacer, he could have kept himself alive for days that way. He might be alive now."

"All right, Fifteen. You win. Grapple if you can and cut that sail loose. But be careful, will you?"

Slava heard a dozen voices cheering in her earphones. She thrust her hands into the waldoes. Asteroid-grapples opened, claws extended on hydraulic, telescoping arms. With practiced skill, sweat dewing her brow, blood oozing from her chewed lips, Slava inched the scout closer. The gondola swung menacingly.

There was a bone-jarring thud. She seized the gondola and held it close to the scout's breast.

Quickly she slipped her hands from the waldoes and grabbed the laser-cutter. The beam was invisible in vacuum, but on the screen she could see the target-scope searching out the guys. She squeezed the trigger.

A cable parted. Another. They whip-lashed, clutching like tentacles. If the scout were snagged, the sail could drag it for hundreds of kilometres off course before she could EVA and cut it loose by hand, and every second counted, not only in terms of her own fuel, but for the sake of the stranger's ebbing life. Another cable parted, and another. The sail began to billow wildly. The last guys parted.

Slava yawed the scout-ship about and streaked off. Behind her, the sail was being slashed to ribbons by recoiling guywires, long strips of aluminized mylar waving like octopus tentacles as it collapsed upon itself and drifted away.

"I've got him," she said. "Returning to base." She was already loosening her restraints.

"Acknowledged, Fifteen. I'm sending Two and Twelve to guide you in. Oh, and congratulations, Slava. I hope for your sake the poor devil's alive."

"I'm going to pull him out of there and give him oxygen. Then I can drop the gondola."

"Of course. Be careful, Slava."

"I'm always careful, Central."

It didn't take long to suit up, mate the hatches, and crawl into the capsule. She dragged the man into the scout-ship, discarded the gondola, which tumbled away into oblivion, and pressed an oxygen-mask to his face. His chest rose.

She tore off her helmet and put her ear to his breast.

There was the faintest of heartbeats.

Slava's eyes filled with tears. "Thank you, Lord," she said. "I knew he was alive."

In a few hours, she stood in the colony hospital, looking down at the figure on the bed, his dark features in childlike repose, stark against white sheets. Above him, meters recorded his breathing, his now-normal heartbeat. He stirred, opened unfocused eyes, and said:


Slava took his hand. He gripped hers painfully for an instant and then let go as he slipped back into unconsciousness.


Slava found a guard at the door of the stranger's room. He put out his arm and blocked her way. "Just where do you think you're going, Miss?" he rumbled.

She stood before him with her fists on her hips, reaching about to the level of his badge. "I'm going to see the stranger, if it's any business of yours."

"Sorry, Miss," he chuckled. "You're a perky little thing, that's for sure, and probably just what the doctor ordered. But my orders are no-one gets to see him till the Chief is finished with his interrogation."

"What is he, a criminal? The man nearly..."

"That's what we intend to determine, Miss. Now if you'll just..."

The door opened and the guard stepped aside for the Chief of Security and the Hospital Director. "Is there some problem here, Officer?" the doctor asked.

"This girl wants to see the prisoner, Doc."

"Patient, Officer; he's not a prisoner yet. We're finished now, Slava, you can go in."

"Wait a minute, Doctor," the Chief said. "Do you know this girl?"

"Of course. This is Slava. She's the scout-pilot who brought him in. She's been here before."

"He wasn't awake then. Sorry, Miss, but I don't think he's the sort a girl like you should be associated with. He's a smuggler, you know. Probably got a record as long as your arm."

"I don't care if he's the Callisto Slasher. You've got no right..."

"Slava saved his life," the Doctor said, "as she's trained to do by your Security forces. Naturally, she's professionally interested in his condition."

"Well, I suppose it's all right. I've got no time to argue anyway. I've got to get online to Ganymede and contact his people." The Chief stalked off down the hall and the guard went back to his place.

"You go on in, Slava," said the Doctor. "I'm going to see about getting a chair for the Officer."

"Thanks, Doc. I appreciate it." The guard smiled for the first time.

Slava pushed open the door and entered. The stranger was sitting up in bed and eating voraciously. He glanced up with a puzzled expression, and suddenly a beautiful smile lit up his features.

"I know who you are. You're Slava."

"How did you know?"

"Pilot's uniform." He glanced down at her tiny figure. "The Doc told me all about it. He's the only one who'd tell me anything. That must have been some pretty fancy flying, Slava."

"Thank you." She felt suddenly shy and tongue-tied.

"Thank you. It's not every day a little blonde angel swoops down and plucks you from oblivion. I'm only sorry I wasn't awake to see it."

"That's all right. You..."

"I what?"

"You looked so beautiful. Like a sleeping child."

He smiled again and his dark eyes twinkled with amusement. "My name is Karil, by the way."

"Did you say Karl or Karol?"

"No. Ka-rill. Ali Karil."

Slava's eyes grew wide. "Ali Karil? The poet? The Martian Rebel?"

"I'm afraid so."

"Your books are banned here. But I've read your poetry just the same."

Karil put aside his tray. "Look, I've been answering questions all morning, and nobody's answered any of mine. Will you?"

"All right."

"This is Jubilee, right?"


"That's what the Doctor said. I've never heard of it. Of course, the Belt is full of colonies I never heard of, but this one is...strange."

Slava burst out laughing. She had a delightful laugh.

"Is that funny?"

"No. Yes. It's just that it's the only place I've ever known. It's funny to hear it described as strange."

"Well, it is. I've been treated like I'm some kind of carrier. Like I'm going to infect the place."

"We don't get many spacers here. They're not generally welcome. We're kind of...How shall I put it?"

"Insular, like a lot of space islands. Isolated. With a small-town mentality. Well, I'm not here to corrupt your youth and seduce your women. I just want to get back to Loris and Atty."

Slava's face fell. If anything, she looked more fetching when she was sad than when she was happy. "Your...wife and child?"

"No. No. Loris is my Captain and Atty is my ship. Atalanta. I don't have a wife and child."

Slava smiled.


"We've been in the Belt for twelve years," Slava explained. "We pick up iron in the Inner Belt and carbonaceous chondrite in the Outer. Then we process for minerals, ores, and water and trade on the open market when we swing past Jupiter."

"Can you really make a living that way? A whole town? I know a lot of miners who can barely feed their own families. Most of them are loners anyway. They work hard for a couple years and blow everything on a big binge in Ganymede, and then go back into isolation."

"Well, we feed ourselves with our own agriculture and trade for what we can't produce. From a good type-D asteroid--mostly montmorillonite--we can extract aluminium, magnesium, silicon, oxygen, water, sometimes even diamonds. Stony chondrite can be as much as seventeen per cent nickel-iron. Once I brought back a ten-ton C-type that turned out to be four per cent platinum."


Slava blushed. "Am I talking too much?"

"I love to listen to you. When will they let me out of this chair?"

"Soon. When your friend Loris comes." She fell silent.

Karil wheeled his chair close to the balcony parapet. The inner sphere of Jubilee was a garden, spread out below and curving round the sky. Houses were set among the flowers, under the trees. Brightly coloured hang-gliders soared overhead. Children splashed in the low-gravity pool at the far axis, their cries drifting across the sphere.

"It's nice here," he said. "Very pretty. And quiet. Not like Ganymede at all."

"Oh, but Ganymede must be so exciting! And all the places you mentioned--Mars, Titan, Earth. Earth must be the most beautiful place in the system."

Karil laughed. "You'd love it, Slava. The gravity's a bitch, but it's an amazing planet. Full of surprises."

She rose and went to the parapet, leaned out, looking down at the gardens. "I'll never see any of those places."

"I wouldn't be so sure about that," Karil said. "You strike me as the kind of person who can do anything she sets her heart on."

She turned and said, "I have to go now. I have duties."

"I'll see you later then?"

"Yes." She started to leave, stopped, turned suddenly and kissed him. "You make me crazy," she said. And she was gone.


Loris could see them behind the observation port. Karil waved and smiled and the little blonde beside him in the red ship-suit was wriggling with excitement. She let go of the rail to grab Karil's arm and point, began to drift away, and Karil laughingly dragged her back.

"Looks like Karil's found himself a girlfriend already," Loris said.

"I believe so," Atalanta replied. "She appears to be the excitable type, doesn't she?"

"She's cute, but you'd think she'd never seen a freetrader before."

"That may well be the case, Loris."

They completed the docking manoeuvres and Loris unstrapped and made her way to the boarding lock. In a moment Karil drifted up the ladder-well with the girl in tow.

"God, I'm glad to see you, Lor. You too, Atty."

"And we're relieved to find you safe and well," the ship purred. "We were terribly worried."

"I'm all right. Slava here saved my life."

She was looking about with wide-eyed fascination. At the sound of Atalanta's voice, she squealed with pleasure.

“Welcome aboard, Slava,” Atty said. “I’m happy to meet the angel that saved Karil.”

Karil made the introductions.

"How do you do," Loris said with a notable lack of enthusiasm. Karil's proprietary grin was irritating.

"Oh, you're so beautiful," Slava said. "Karil, your Captain is so beautiful. I love your hair, Loris. Is that how they wear it on Ganymede? May I see?"

"I guess so. Sure."

Slava drifted closer and stroked Loris' hair, as Karil beamed like a stage-mother. "We're not allowed to wear our hair long in the fleet," Slava said. "Too dangerous in free-fall, they tell us. But lots of people wear their hair long like you and Karil, and it doesn't seem to cause any problems. You can always tie it up when you get into a p-suit. Oh, that's okay for Free Traders, they said. They like to look all scruffy and unkempt--like to think they're pirates. But you're both so beautiful. And your skin is such a beautiful colour, Loris. Karil didn't tell me you were so beautiful. Really." She caught sight of the hatchway to the bridge. "Oh, the bridge! May I see, Karil?"

"Of course. Come on. Let me show you." He took her hand and they kicked off through the hatch. Loris looked after them with a sour expression, then pulled herself into the galley.

"I think I'm going to need a drink."

"Why don't you fix one for Karil and Slava?" Atty said.

"She's bad enough sober. Can you imagine what she's like when she's drunk?"

"Why, Loris, she seems perfectly delightful to me."

"You're programmed to like people, Atty. Personally, I think all this innocent exuberance could get pretty irritating in cramped quarters."

But she took three tubes of wine out of the cooler and made her way to the bridge.

"Why do you have extra acceleration couches?" Slava was asking.

"We can fit half a dozen in here if necessary. But we set that one up for our boss, Professor Kelley. He's a frequent passenger."

Slava's eyes widened even more. "The same Professor Kelley who's building the Wily Odysseus?"

"That's the one."

"How exciting!"

"In fact, right now..."

"Karil..." Loris said.

"Oh. Sorry. Can't talk about it. Industrial secrets, you know."

Loris rolled her eyes heavenward.

"I understand," Slava said gravely. "I've never seen an astro-tracker like this."

Karil and Slava began to compare notes. By the time Slava had finished explaining the Belter techniques for locating, snagging, and processing asteroids, she had gained Loris' grudging respect. The girl actually seemed to know what she was about.

"I'll get you another drink," Loris said. "Your throat must hurt."

"I'm sorry. I talk too much. Everybody says that. Oh, may I see the galley?" Before she knew what had happened, Loris was steering her through the cargo holds and life-support section, explaining how the algae-tanks re-oxygenated the air as it circulated. Karil tagged along, grinning like a fool.

Then Slava was shown the sleeping-quarters.

"It's so cosy," she exclaimed. "But not cramped at all. Not like my little scout. Is that...?"

"Is that what?"

"Is that a double sleeping bag?"

"Haven't you seen one before?" Karil said.


"They’re pretty common on free-traders. Most of them are crewed by couples, of one sort or another. Mom and Pop smuggling rings." He laughed. "Since we carry the Professor so often, we set the portside cabin up for him, and we bunk in here."

"But you're not... I mean..." Slava put her hand over her mouth. "I'm sorry. It's none of my business."

"Don't be embarrassed," Loris laughed. The perplexity on the girl's face was amusing. "Karil and I are very close. We have to be. But we're not sexual partners. Not that way."

"Not that way?"

"You'll shock her," Karil said, scowling. Loris could not tell if his expression revealed anger or merely concern for the girl's sensibilities. For that matter, she was not that sure of her own motives. Perhaps she fully intended to shock the girl.

"You're right," she said finally. "Forget it. It's too complicated."

"No." Slava put out her hand and touched Loris's arm. "Tell me. If you want to. I don't want to pry. It's just that... Maybe I'd better go." She turned and drifted out of the cabin.

"Wait," Karil said. He caught up with her at the lock. "What's the matter?"

"No, really," she said. "I'm on duty in a few minutes. I shouldn't be invading your privacy like this. Thank you for inviting me aboard. Thank you, Atty."

"My pleasure, Slava."

"And you too Loris." The latter had joined them. "I've always been told that Free Traders were bad people. Not to be trusted. But you're so nice." She kissed Karil, hesitated a moment, then kicked over to Loris and kissed her too. "I'll try to see you before you...before you leave."

She swung down the hatch and was gone.

"She's lovely, Karil," Atalanta said. "Very sweet."

"She's a little darling, all right," Loris said. "God help us." She turned away.

Karil went after her. "What do you mean?"

"Forget it."

"No. What do you mean?"

"I mean she thinks you're exotic and dangerous, but she's the dangerous one."

"Dangerous? That little thing?"

"Oh yes. You're really playing with fire this time, Karil. She's got that perfect mixture of innocence and budding sensuality. And you're feeling the perfect mixture of lust and protectiveness. That's a hard one for men to handle."


"Really! If it was only your feelings, I wouldn't care..."

"Thanks a lot."

"Seriously. You'd be over it in a week. But this isn't a Martian girl, Karil. And God knows she's no Ganybabe. Right now, she's got this fantasy of you sweeping her up in your arms and taking her away from her humdrum life, but if you actually got your hands on that hot little body of hers and she found out what it can be like..."

Karil started to protest but gave it up. "You're right, Lor, as usual. Maybe we should just get the hell out of here now."

"That won't help," Loris said. "You've got to say good-bye, at least. Besides, I've got to pay my respects to the Council here, pay the docking fees, and your hospital bill. I suppose the hotel will be after us our asses as soon as they find out..."

"Oh my God," Karil said. "I forgot to tell you." He recounted his little confrontation with the Poseidon. Loris listened with amazement.

"We'll have to check out the Poseidon Earthshaker when we get back to Ganymede," she said. "Find out who owns her. And who owns them, if we can."

"Shall I lodge a protest?" Atalanta asked.

"No. They think Karil's dead and their secret's safe, whatever it is. Slava's people aren't going to spill the beans. They don't mix with Galilean types. First, I have to get my duties as Captain in Port over with, and Karil has to say good-bye to Little Miss Sunshine."


Karil was waiting for Slava when she got off duty. The other pilots looked at him with barely concealed contempt, if not downright hatred as they passed, but Slava's face lit up. They sat together in the canteen.

"We'll be leaving pretty soon," Karil said.

"I know."

"I'm sure we're never coming back, either."

"I know that too."

"I want to tell you something important. Just to repay you a tiny bit for saving my life."

"Oh, but..."

"Listen. I grew up on a space colony too..."

"Really? Like this one?"

"No, not like this one. It was a High Company luxury estate, in Earth orbit. I had everything I was supposed to want. Wealth, privilege, more room to myself than you could imagine. A safe, comfortable existence. Any kind of food, or books, or women that money could buy. I could even have had real power, if I didn't mind stabbing a few people in the back to get it. I ran away from all of that to risk my life and live a hunted existence in a series of cramped ships and tunnels..."

"For love." Karil had thought he was laying it on too thick, but the seriousness of her expression told him otherwise.

"No, not for... Well, yes, it was for love. But not just for love of a woman. Well, maybe two or three. But also for love of Progeny and his ideals and the Martian people and freedom and everything that my aristocratic High Company family could never stand for. If you really want to get out there and see the Martian deserts and Earth's oceans and Saturn's rings and everything else, I know you can do it. But think carefully, Slava. Because this is an empty and dangerous and lonely solar system, and you'd be leaving the kind of safe and loving environment that you'll probably never find again." She was eating it up.

"You found it. You found it with Loris and Atty. The kind of intimacy that most married couples never have. And in the Martian people you mentioned. I've read your poetry, Karil, and I've read about you too. The Martian people adore you. That's your real home, and though it may be risky for you to go back there, it won't be forever. God, I wish I could go with you, Karil."

"No, you don't..."

"Do you know what it feels like? I've dreamt of someone just like you all my life, and when God literally drops you in my lap, you belong to someone else."

"I don't belong to anyone, Slava."

"But you do. Don't you see? I have to go now, Karil. Good-bye." She kissed him quickly and turned away.

He started after her down the corridor, but suddenly a woman appeared--husky, uniformed, scowling--and blocked his path.

"My God," he said, "it's a duenna. Excuse me. I have to speak to Slava."

"She doesn't want to speak to you. Go away. You people aren't wanted here." Burly men appeared with lasers in their hands, and he was escorted to his ship. Loris was making flight preparations.

"What the hell did you do now?" she demanded, eyeing his armed escort.

"Nothing. Let's get the hell out of here. Screw their goddamn small-town morality."

In a moment, the city of Jubilee was falling away behind them, just another point of light among the stars.


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