My sci-fi noir story “Odd Jobs” leads off Space Tramps: Full-Throttle Space Tales #5 which goes on sale today. I’ve already read it, and it is a fun celebration of space opera fiction. Mine is a classic tale of fringe characters with uncertain motives, deals too good to be true, revenge, and a sex bot with a heart of gold. So I’m giving you a taste to whet your appetite. Here, have a few hundred words. On the house.
The bartender returned the smile. He left the bills on the bar. With a steady hand, he poured a pair of shots for the two of them. “Folks call me Chet. You got a name?”
Roscoe pursed his lips, wondering how much Iron Mike might have told this bartender. Considering the nature of his newfound employment was still very much undecided, he chose to play it close to the chest. “Haven’t you heard? Hull rats like me don’t have names anymore.”
It could hardly be further from the truth, of course. When a person had nothing, like most of the stowaways and drifters who scavenged for a meager existence in the bowels of the Django’s hull, a name was one of the few things they truly owned. He wasn’t surprised when Chet accepted the casual lie. The bartender would never understand what it was to live like vermin in the near perpetual darkness of the lower decks.
Chet lifted his glass, more focused on it than on Roscoe. “I got a tourist in here the other day, member of a delegation negotiating an embargo. He booked time with a consort bot I run. Like a sucker, I take cash. He went to town on my girl, and I have no way to collect on damages.”