Episode 21

Episode 21

NOVA

(Exasperated sigh)

I’m just asking if you have an auxiliary powercell. Or at least the pieces I need to make one.

SHOPKEEP

Who’s asking?

NOVA

Me!  I’m asking!  It is literally just me, myself and I!  Do you think I have a goddamned gremlin in my coat pocket who’s gonna jump out and shank you or something?

SHOPKEEP

That’s oddly specific.

NOVA

I know you have what I need.

SHOPKEEP

What are you looking for?

NOVA

Oh my god.  I’m about five seconds from telling your partners about the fourth in your relationship.

SHOPKEEP

(Annoyed)

Bah, nonsense.

NOVA

See where I’m pointing.  I will walk 2 kilometers that way, make a left.  I will then go up one flight of stairs.  I will knock on the red and gaudily decorated door covered in children’s drawings.  I will have a very unpleasant chat with the woman who opens the door and yes, at this time of day she will be a woman. And she will tell you that this is the last straw in a long list of betrayals and she will take your other lover and your kid to stay with her parents where she will remain until your pride breaks and you beg her to come back with tears streaming down your face while you crawl around like the piece of shit you are.

(beat)

Or is that not how this was solved the last time you got caught?

Pause

SHOPKEEP

Fuck you.

NOVA

(Blandly)

That’s how you got into this shit in the first place. 

SHOPKEEP

A power cell?  For what?

NOVA

A 4th generation android.  Preferably something I can charge off the ship’s cell.

SHOPKEEP

Just buy a newer android.

NOVA

Says the person whose life decisions led them to being blackmailed by a young human girl.

SHOPKEEP

Look if you don’t want to do business with me

NOVA

(Friendly)

Oh, not at all.  I like doing business with pieces of shit like you.

SHOPKEEP

You’re not getting a discount.

NOVA

We’ll see.  How much?

SHOPKEEP

4,000 imperial.

NOVA

What the hell man?  I’m not stupid.  It’s worth 800 tops.

SHOPKEEP

Not for a cell that can power something that old without frying it.

NOVA

(Blandly)

Really?

SHOPKEEP

Look, I don’t want you here any longer than you have to be.  But I can’t take that much of a loss.

NOVA

(Sighs) 1500?

SHOPKEEP

Sure

Something heavy slams on the table

Now scram.

NOVA

Pleasure doing business with you.

Beep as funds transfer.

SHOPKEEP

Stay far away from me and my family, got it?

NOVA

You know it’s only a matter of time before you fuck up, right?

SHOPKEEP

Fuck off.

NOVA

Thanks for the sale.

Ambient sounds of the market.

SYLAS

Ho Nova!

NOVA

Ho Sylas, I’ll be stopping by your house tomorrow, if you don’t mind.

SYLAS

It’s no trouble at all.  What are you looking for?

NOVA

Looking?  Oh.  It’s nothing.  Already got what I needed.

SYLAS

That’s an old battery.

NOVA

Yup, cost half my damn arm but I need it to power something on my ship.

SYLAS

I’ve never seen you dock, are you sure you travel off planet.

NOVA

Pretty sure I didn’t just dream the last week and a half of hyp jumps.  Or if I did it was a very long and very shitty dream.  Do you have any more recommendations?

SYLAS

Did you finish The Empress and the Chef

NOVA

Yup, very raunchy, much debauchery, so very poorly concealed.  The bitch had it coming.  But this time, can you direct me to something good?

SYLAS

I thought you liked raunchy.

NOVA

I like anything so long as there’s an attempt at a plot.

SYLAS

She did head an uprising.

NOVA

Sylas, she didn’t really do that on purpose.  It just happened that her need to go fuck the kitchen boy hit around the same time she needed to make an appearance elsewhere and she kind of just scooched her way into being a symbol for the rebellion. 

SYLAS

But she did actually put work into becoming the symbol later.

NOVA

Only to die because she couldn’t keep her dress down for five minutes.  That’s on her.

SYLAS

We’re going to agree to disagree here.

NOVA

Having the cuckolded king be the one who ended her was satisfying though.

SYLAS

(Outraged)

She only wanted to make a world where she could live with her lover.  Beyond class systems and beyond birth rights.

NOVA
Uh-huh

SYLAS

(Annoyed)

Alright, you don’t like that one.  Try The Sister’s Lament.

NOVA

Story based on the Cyantic Faith?

SYLAS

A parody of it.

NOVA

Pass.

SYLAS

You’re not making this easy. 

NOVA

You’re the one who approached me in the market.

SYLAS

How about

NOVA

Actually, you have anything on Eolara?

SYLAS

Like deep, deep fantasy?  Magic powers and planet shaping?

NOVA

That’s the bitch.

SYLAS

Uhm (beat) the king of Eolara, I guess?

NOVA

You have it so I can download it?

SYLAS

I always forget you aren’t connected to the database.  I can have it by tomorrow.

NOVA

And two more, please.

SYLAS

Walking away.

Sure, sure.

Sound of the crowd fades.

AROR

Your boy came back.

NOVA

What?

AROR

The boy you took to the galactic embassy, came back a few…uhm…maybe three of your imperial hours ago?  He looked pretty shaken up.

NOVA

(beat)

Was he alone?

AROR

Some union soldiers came looking for someone like him but I didn’t think he wanted to be found.

NOVA

How many hours?

AROR

Three.

NOVA

Shit.  Ah, thanks Aror

(kissing sounds)

I owe you big time.

AROR

20% will do

NOVA

You damn tightwad.

AROR’s laughter in the distance.

Jogging on dirt, pulls to a stop.  Sigh of relief

Sup, Galaxy eyes.

HATOV

I didn’t have anywhere else to go.

NOVA

(Kindly)

Yeah, I figured. You start hallucinating yet?

HATOV

What did you do to me Nova?

NOVA

(beat)

You with me pretty boy?

HATOV

I’m fine (beat) at least, I think I am.  Or I was, it’s, it’s, not the air that’s bothering me.  It’s the galactic union (beat) I’ve never doubted them before and now my head is filled with questions and I (beat) I don’t know what to do.

NOVA

Come on, (mumbles) we’ll recharge your rebreather before youstart seeing shit.

Mechanical door opens

Footsteps

Door closes, Nova sets battery on table

HATOV

(long pause, then tentatively)

What is the galactic union like over here?

NOVA

(Sighs)

Clattering, and searching for a wire.

They’re whatever they need to be.  They just want their fingers in everything so they can nudge situations into their favor.  They’re not evil if that’s what you’re thinking, they’re just selfish.

HATOV

What are they doing to my planet?

NOVA

I wouldn’t know.

HATOV

Why do you want to go to Eolara?

NOVA

(beat, sighs)

Everyone has things they’re running from, Pretty boy.

HATOV

You don’t seem the type to run.

NOVA

I used to think the same thing.  Turns out I was wrong.

HATOV

Does it have to do with what you were looking for on Gnorria and when you dropped me off?

NOVA

(pause) Damn, Am I really that transparent?  Uhm, (beat) Yeah, in a way it has everything to do with that, I guess.

HATOV

Can I trust you?

NOVA

(seriously)

You can trust me to be who I am.  You know what I do, you know what I am.  I sell information to the highest bidder.  But I can also release information too, if you’re willing to hire me.

HATOV

But I don’t have money.

NOVA

Yet.

HATOV

(quoting, darkly)

You don’t do anything until you see units.

NOVA

I’ll make an exception if it benefits me.  There aren’t a lot of hard and fast rules as an Inco.

HATOV

(Laughs mirthlessly)

I’m considering making a deal with a demon.

NOVA

And?

HATOV

It might be the biggest mistake of my life.

NOVA

(Blandly)

I’d say that one goes to whatever got you tossed out of an airlock.  But sure, making a deal with me is somehow worse.

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