The Bold Marauder, Chapter 1, Part 4.
 
New pledge! So, new installment.

 

Prologue 

Chapter 1, Part 1 

Chapter 1, Part 2 

Chapter 1, Part 3 


 

Adam laughed. “Are you recruiting your first crewman here, then?” Samson looked at him.

“You seem untroubled by the thought.”

“You seem untroubled by drinking with a Gene-Man.”

“A point, Brother Adam. A point.  I have no work for someone from the Black Gang, though. At least not yet.  An well-pensioned engineer can write his own contract, these days.”

“Of course,” replied Adam. “I’ve already gotten a guaranteed offer.  It was all arranged between the Navy and the Creche. I could be Second Engineer on the Jupiter run, peacefully nannying helium-three back to Terra on a latest-generation freighter.  Safe as houses, that.  I’d have my own gang within a year, and be behind a desk in five. Excellent pay, with solid stock options and a fine view of the sunrise every hour and a half. Which would make me a perfect catch for a good woman. At least, for certain the Darwin Creche would think so, and they’d fill up my office with demure, sweet young things eager for a war hero husband until they proved their point.”

Adam poured another drink. “Or I could get the Hell out of here while the getting is good. Go to the Up-and-Out.  See the universe beyond the Oort.  And bloody well keep company with women looking for something else besides a husband.”  He contemplated the glass, and then drank the contents. “I’m sure the Creche will get over its disappointment.”

The Gene-Man looked over at his drinking companion. “You don’t talk about yourself much, do you?” At Samson’s shrug, Adam continued, “That’s fine, Brother Samson. But: if you have warrants sworn out on you at the moment, or debts, or just an irate mob after your spleen, tell me now and save us both some time. I owe you a favor, and ‘revenge’ is a good a reason as any to get the Hell out of Sol System, but I have a low view of trouble I didn’t help cause and don’t approve of.”

Samson snorted at that. “Fair enough, but I lack the time and desire to dabble in most men’s hobbies. So: no papers out on me, in any human court or nation. Some few individual men might consider me their enemy, but the ones who tried to do something about it will never try again.  No debts, either. Nothing that can be paid off in coin, at least. And when a mob does howl for my blood it will be far, far from Sol System.” Samson’s smile was bleak as his eyes flickered to the door. “They will not enjoy the meeting.  Speaking of meetings: did you see the Loonie enter, just now?”

Adam casually smiled. “Of course I did. He’s one of the ones from the alley.  The one who refused to run. He’s clearly looking for us, too.  Are you going to call him over, Samson?”

“Why, Adam? He will find us soon enough. The boy needs the practice in scanning a room for his quarry.”

“How do you know that?”

“Because he is young.  It is a skill you usually learn after your second or third scar.”