“He’s awake,” the Llivori nurse said, giving the human a curious look. Whiskers flared from her snout as she considered him with beady black eyes. “You don’t look like family.”

“Oh, I’m not, but I am looking into this incident,” the stranger replied with an easy smile. He had curly black hair and stood about five-foot-eight. His friendly demeanor seemed to go a long way with her.

“An investigator, then, with the Vor Law Enforcement Agency?” she asked.

“I do have some questions, yes,” he hedged.

She returned his smile. “All right. Just a few minutes, though. His injuries are serious. We don’t want to overwhelm him.”

“As you say,” he agreed.

They found the patient in room 342. The name on the chart hanging on the wall: RIBAS SALEK. “No guard detail?” the human asked.

“Not since yesterday,” the nurse said. She then waddled off to see to another patient, leaving him to visit briefly with Salek.

The human frowned, then stepped into the room to find Ribas sitting up in bed, propped up by a pile of blue pillows. “Good to see you’re still among the living, Mr. Salek.”

“Have we met?” the wounded Llivori grumbled.

A smile from the human now. He plucked a small flexplas card from the pocket of his suit jacket and offered it to Ribas. “Jacob Gettleman, attorney. I’m available for retainer if you want to recover damages for what happened to you.”

“Are you even licensed to practice on Kamsho?” Ribas asked.

Gettleman grinned. “In Vor *and* Ope’mot. Outverser lawyers are in growing demand, oddly enough. Seems to put people at ease who might otherwise be worried about prejudice and political agendas.”

“Right,” the Llivori freighter captain growled. “Because everyone knows Outversers never get political or prejudiced.”

The lawyer shrugged. “I’m available if you need me, Mr. Salek. Keep the card. Call me if you want to get rich.”

By Brody

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