Fiction Friday – 22 Nov 19

‘I hate this place,’ Jino breathed, his back against a sandstone wall in a tight alley.

Beyond the entrance half a dozen Ardent Troopers ran past. Although he couldn’t hear the chatter in their helmets he knew they were looking for him. Not half an hour earlier his deal went to shit. Some four armed, green skinned bastard had double crossed him. Jino had barely made it out alive and now sported a couple of new scars. But that’s the risk he had to take. He was at the end of his rope, no money, no fuel, no food. He had no choice but to take the local job.

Jino had tried to do it the right way. Take the bounty in alive. But they never want to do it the easy way. Always putting on a brave face, threatening Jino with violence. As if such things were going to scare him. He had seen them before, had dealt his own hand. So it got messy, and as usual, Jino came out alive.

He didn’t like killing the man. But there was a hefty price on his head. The money would get him back home. Give him enough to get on the straight and narrow. But then that four armed freak had to fuck it up. He wanted a bigger piece. He stole the head from Jino and would have already handed it in for the credits.

Jino left his hiding place and made for the docking bays. He might still have enough fuel to get off planet. He couldn’t be sure, but he hoped. Security was light on, no doubt searching for him deeper in the outpost. Jino’s experience made it easy to fool the Ardents, they were thicker than a four inch cargo bay door. He reached bay seventeen and flipped the hatch mechanism to let himself into his ship. A few moments later and he was sitting in the cockpit. Flicking buttons the ship hummed to life and sent through a request to open the bay doors. As the request rung through he made a second dial off planet.

Voices sounded from outside and drew Jino’s attention. Watching from the bay entrance was that damned traitorous son of a bitch and with him were a handful of his thugs.

Jino? Is that you?’ Mika’s voice echoed through the comms.

‘Mika, yeah, it’s me,’ Jino replied. ‘How you doing little brother?’

‘I’m ok. Are you finished with your work?’

‘Yeah, almost done. Just a couple of things to tie up.’

‘Will you be back this cycle?’ Mika asked, his voice full of hope.

Jino watched the green alien’s thugs setup around him and new the inevitable was coming. ‘Uh, listen Mika, I got another job to do first. It’s a big one, gonna pay big. But I won’t be back for some time. Alright?’

There was silence, then a sniffle, ‘I guess so.’

‘Hey. Come on. You know I’m doing this for you and Mum,’ Jino struggled to keep his voice calm and as one of the henchmen raised an anti ship launcher at his vessel the bounty hunter added, ‘I love you, little brother.’


Artwork in the banner by Pablo Dominguez – Check out his ArtStation page here.