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The voice of Bor's long-time shipping nemesis "Hands" Malray cut in over
the channel. "I don't give a frag who he thinks he is or why he's got us
waiting. Militia Commander or Grand Chancellor, none of that matters. He's the
one with that Nebula-A parked in front of us, and I don't fancy an ion bath.
Do you?"

Borrath hated to admit when Hands was right, but he was so very right. He
and the others weren't parked here because they agreed with the new
initiatives on system safety put forth by the Militia. They were here because
they didn't really have a choice. No one had been burned out of the stars yet,
but more than a few ships had been comp-cooked by ion blasts and hauled
dirtside for search and repair.

He knew someone was eventually going to say it, and "Twitcher" Xeelo
didn't disappoint him. He spoke just enough Rodian to make out, "Martial law
was better than this."

Borrath grabbed himself a cup of Go and settled into his chair. This was
going to take a while.

"I hear that! The Republic didn't care what we were hauling as long as we
passed a weapons scan and had up-to-date reg!"

"Oh, blow that out your airlock, nerfer! You never must have gotten
boarded by a squad of clonies looking for Sep spies. They tore my ship apart
looking for people who weren't there! I wouldn't even be flying if the Militia
hadn't picked up the tab for piecing my transport back together."

"Spoken like a true symp! Hey, Moonrun, why don't you go to the head of
the line and point your guns at us like the rest of these Militia swine?"

Borrath tuned out for a while, thinking about his own problems. None of
these people had touched on the main thing yet.
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