since. He’d gone into debt to an Exchange-owned holding company for Fatman, and he pretended to have a gambling problem against which he sometimes took additional loans. In truth, the credits from the loans went to Arra’s ongoing care.
But he was treading water there, too. He could barely make interest payments and while he tried to keep his head above water, Arra remained in a prehistoric, unpowered wheelchair. Zeerid did not make enough to purchase her even a basic hoverchair, much less the prosthetic legs she deserved.
He’d once heard tell of technology in the Empire that could actually regrow limbs, but he refused to think much about it. If it existed somewhere, the cost would put it well beyond his means.
He just wanted to get her a hoverchair, or legs if he could hit a big job. She deserved at least that and he planned to see to it.
The engspice run to Coruscant was the start, the turning point. The front-end money alone could get her a hoverchair, and with his slate wiped clean afterward, he could actually start making real credits without all of it going to paying down debt.
Credits for prosthetics. Credits for regrown legs, maybe.
He’d see her run again, play grav-ball.
He returned the holo to the safe and stripped out of his “work” clothes, sloughing away Z-man the spicerunner to reveal Zeerid the father, and dropped them into a hamper. After he landed, he’d activate the small maintenance droid he kept aboard; it would clean and sweep the ship and launder his clothing.
He threw on a pair of trousers, an undershirt, and his ablative armor vest, then took a collared shirt from its hanger and sniffed it. Smelled reasonably clean.
He swapped out his hip holsters with their GH-44s for a single sling holster he’d wear under his jacket and fill