Davin prefers taking a hard drink to taking a punch, but when his crew's contract is canceled, he's up for both.
The Wild Nines provide security for Eden Prime, a small spaceport on Jupiter's frozen moon, Europa. Some people on the station, though, need someone to pin their problems on and Davin's crew make the perfect patsies.
Enter Viola, an engineer ditching her dad's dreams for a joyride around the solar system. One bad choice of bar and now she's tied up with Davin and the Nines, lasers blasting at their backs.
Can Davin and Viola stay alive long enough to get revenge, or will they become one more played pawn in someone else's game?
“Mister Masters,” the shape said, its voice a meandering whisper. “You and your band have been charged with a crime. A grievous one.”
Davin heard Mox tearing open Cadge’s bag, the little man coughing up a storm as he breathed in fresh air.
“Never thought of us as a band. More like a company. A squad,” Davin replied, taking a step towards the man. Putting distance between himself and Trina, Merc.
“Murder, Mister Masters,” the person continued, still leaning against the corridor wall. “The given punishment by the Free Laws is death.”
“The Free Laws?” Davin laughed. “Those are a bunch of crap.”
A product of the corporations to govern outer space. No government, no votes by any populace. Just a bunch of people in a board room deciding how they wanted to punish peons they didn’t like.READ MORE
“Androids do not judge,” the person said. “We are merely an instrument of justice.”
The androids, impartial enforcers of Free Law punishment, provided a company would pay for one. That Eden coughed up the coin wasn’t exactly surprising. That Davin’s hands were sweating, his heart pounding, that wasn’t surprising either. Androids, he could do without.
“Guess I’ll take you as a compliment. Didn’t know we were worth that much,” Davin said, then, to Mox and Cadge. “Get going. I’ll distract him till you get by.”
The android didn’t reply, turned to face Davin straight on. Mox and Cadge, the former carrying Merc and the latter holding Trina, edged away.
“You got this captain?” Cadge said. “Guy looks a little messy.”
“Just go for the ship when it comes at me,” Davin said. “I don’t want to worry about you.”
The android broke into a run right at Davin. Its coat billowed out behind, and as the android ran, its arms pumped forward and a pair of nasty looking knives appeared in its palms. Up close and personal, then. The kind of fight Davin wanted. The captain raised Melody and, backpedaling back to the boulevard, pulled the trigger.
Melody’s six green bolts converged on the android, who, just before the shots struck home, jumped off of the corridor floor, pushed off of the side wall, and flipped over the bolts. The android hit the ground running. A helluva move. Only meters between the two of them.
In his peripheral, Davin saw Mox and Cadge make a break down the corridor with their precious cargo. Davin had to last long enough for them to get away.
The android passed the bay doors, went out into the boulevard lights. The android’s face had a rigid exactitude to it. A perfection to the skin, the bones. Lacking life's nicks and scratches. A man’s face, but not a man. And it was about to kill him.COLLAPSE