(Found this in an old folder.)

Drenched in sweat, head throbbing from the overload I’d just put my translator through, I kept my face carefully neutral. The dealer snapped his hand up in a salute, pressing my hand to his at 90 degrees, I could feel the click-pull as the data ports locked together. When I started tapping out the pattern that would transfer the credits, the dealer let himself smile.

“It is a good deal. Cheap at twice the cost.”

I undocked from his hand and shrugged. “We’ll see.”

I stood close to my purchace until I was sure the dealer was out of sight, and then I bent down to take the woman’s arm. Her eyes were wide with terror, her clothes torn and filthy.

“Don’t worry, ma’am.” I told her softly in Earthspeak, “I’m here to take you home.”