“We can make it,” growled the Lotorian pilot as he clenched his teeth, using the nav controls to juke and weave the freighter through the tumbling rocks on the edge of disaster in Rigor Strand.

His companion and partner, a Llivori with a dark leather patch over his right eye, shook his snout and grumbled. “I never should have listened to you. Double-crossing a Medlidikke is always a bad idea. But double-crossing THE Medlidikke to top all Medlidikke? Madness.” He gripped the arms of his cockpit chair as the Bolamira shuddered under the impact of another blast from Vard Bokren’s hull puncher cannons.

“We can make it,” the Lotorian repeated, as if saying it over and over again might make it true.

The Llivori didn’t like the odds. He’d been friends with the rat-faced alien for the better part of a decade, but that wasn’t enough to override his own sense of self-preservation. He drew the plasma pistol from the holster on his hip, placed the barrel against the back of the pilot’s head, and pulled the trigger.

Once he shoved the corpse out of the nav console seat, the Llivori slid into place and assumed control of the Bolamira, easing her out of the scattered rocks of the Strand’s outer fringe and decelerating to a stop as the Medlidikke ship loomed behind.

He got onto the subspace radio, transmitting: “This is the freighter Bolamira. I killed my partner for putting us in this unfortunate position. Now I’d like to discuss terms of surrender. I want to make a deal. I want to do whatever it takes to make things right.”

The pirate’s answer: A killing cannon shot, right through the cockpit bubble.

By Brody

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