Im glad. Look at it this way. If you make the drop, youre even with The Exchange. Maybe you even walk away, huh? If you dont make the drop, youre dead and who cares?

Oren chuckled at his own cleverness, and Zeerid wished for nothing more than to choke the bastard.

Then I need more, Zeerid said. If he was going to get dirty, he wanted enough credits in hand to buy a shower for his conscience. Not just a clean slate. I want two hundred thousand credits on top of wiping out the debt, and I want a hundred of it paid before I land on Vulta, which means youve got a quarter of an hour.


This is non-negotiable.

You need some play money, huh?

Something like that.

Very well. Done. The first one hundred will hit your account before you touch down.

Zeerid bit his lip in anger. He should have asked for more. When do I go?

The cargo is en route to Vulta now. And when I say its time to go, you move your tail.

Fine. Zeerid drew a deep breath. You done talking, Oren?

Im done.

Then Ive got one more thing.

What is it?

The more I come to know you, the more I want to shoot you in the face. Just so you heard it from me at least once. Two hundred thousand or no two hundred thousand.

This is why I like you, Z-man, Oren said. Put your ship down as Red Dwarf and follow the docking instructions. I will contact you when the cargo is ready.

You loading Fatman, or am I flying something else?

I dont know yet. Probably well load Fatman in the usual waya modified maintenance droid. Youll know when I know.

If it aint Fatman, make kriffing sure its something else fast.

I will be in touch.

Fine, Zeerid said, though it wasnt fine. He closed the channel, sat back in his chair,

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