Free Station (Flight of the Javelin Book 2) by Rachel Aukes

Free Station (Flight of the Javelin Book 2) by Rachel Aukes

Author:Rachel Aukes [Aukes, Rachel]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Aethon Books
Published: 2020-07-13T16:00:00+00:00

Chapter Seventeen

“Whoa there, people,” Throttle said while keeping her hands in the air. “We’re Jaders just like you. I’m Halit.” She used her first name in case these Jaders had heard of the trouble a ship captain named “Throttle” had caused on Jade-8. “And this is my partner, Finn. We work for Skully Pete.” The lie tasted salty, and she hoped the ragged men standing before her bought it.

A man at the center of the group stepped forward. A deep scar weaved across his face, giving him a permanent sneer. His teeth were so yellowed, they were brown. Like the others, he wore tattered clothing that looked damp with sweat. The temperature was so high, Throttle could feel droplets already forming on her forehead, though having rifles aimed at her and Finn didn’t help the atmosphere.

“You’re not one of the regulars,” the Jader said. “How do I know Skully Pete sent you?”

Throttle lowered her right hand glacially slow until she pointed to the marshal’s badge on her shoulder, and Finn followed suit. “We met Pete at Free Station. He dealt us in about a month back.”

The man’s eyes narrowed. “If Pete didn’t send you, I’ll have you know that we don’t take kindly to Peacekeepers getting in the way of honest work, and we don’t like Jaders robbing other Jaders.”

Finn spoke. “If Pete didn’t send us, you think we’d be stupid enough to walk right into your shop?”

“How many you got back on that ship?” the man countered, dubious.

“None. It’s just the two of us,” Throttle said. When he continued to eye her, she sighed. “Scan it. You can see for yourself.”

“Scans can be blocked. I think we’ll manually check out that ship and see for ourselves,” he said.

Throttle noticed Finn shift to her left, and she knew he was getting antsy. She gave the man a hard smile. “Good luck with that. I locked it down tight when I docked. I don’t know you, which means I don’t trust you. If I give you access to that ship before I get paid, what’s to stop you from shoving my partner and me here out the airlock? I think I’ll keep it locked down until our business here is wrapped up. Trust me, there’s no way you’re getting into it without my codes.”

The man’s sneer seemed to grow. “We could cut our way on.”

“You could, but I know how much harder it is to strip a ship wearing suits in zero g than in a ship with working environmentals,” she said. “Trust me, these Peacekeeper ships have some good hardware on them, and I’ve flown this ship. I’m betting you’ll find this ship will be worth a whole lot more to you whole than chopped up.”

When the man continued to eye them warily, Finn said, “Why don’t you give Skully Pete a call? He’s the one sending these Peacekeeper ships your way. Though I warn you, he’s a bit busy with the whole Free Station business right now, and he might not appreciate having to deal with other problems.


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