“See ya around.”


“Nice doing business with you, Ollie.” A sweaty mountain of a man with spidery wisps of hair, close-set eyes and a gap-toothed smile nodded his great head once as he unloaded a single crate into the dusty clearing. When he was done, he grinned and headed up the gangplank. “See ya around…”

“Wish I could say the same, Dorsey. Wait, that’s it? Where are my clothes?”

“Keepin’ em,” Dorsey grunted with his rusty voice. “Gonna rifle through ‘em and smell them.”

“That’s just great!” Oliana Loire threw her hands up in disgust as her ship rose into the night sky without her. There was a fleeting pang of despair as she mourned the loss of her home, her belongings her security and perhaps even more importantly, her first bounty. Quite a good one for a newbie. As she stared up at the retreating ship, the image of Dorsey’s scaled hands with their weird sporadic tuffs of knuckle hair pawing through her things and his puffy red mole-like face buried into her clothes appeared in her mind. Oliana shuddered. “Uck, I’ll burn them all and have the entire ship fumigated when I get it back.”

And get it back she would. There was no way she was staying on this hot god-forsaken ball of dust. She’d rather be cold than hot, at least you can pile on clothes and skins, there was only so much you could strip off and then you’d still be hot. This planet had two suns and the nights only lasted six hours. She plopped herself onto the nearest rock to think about how she’d landed herself in this situation and what she was going to do about it.



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