It’s late, he’s tired, he wants to be home. The moon is hidden, the night is heavy and thick, the only light he sees comes from his headlights. The road stretches on, invisible, coming into view only at the edge of his high beams with a startling suddenness that makes him feel like he’s driving too fast, which is true.
Waaaaay back when I first started posting fiction I used to post podcasts of every episode I published. You can still go through the archives and listen to my original attempts at recording Pay Me, Bug! -- if you insist -- though when I listen to them these days, I die a little inside.
Having all my fiction in audiobook format is something I really want to happen. My preferred solution for this is to get a brilliant narrator to read all my stories, bringing each character to life. Unfortunately, right now my budget for narrators is...
WHEREIN Our Hero is Reminded that there is More than One Distraction
The Avadis system wasn’t, at first glance, a particularly interesting place. Its planets had little to mine that couldn’t be found elsewhere—making it an unattractive claim for Trade Barons—and the system sat far enough inside fringe world space that it held little strategic value for the Alliance of Free Worlds or the Radiant Throne. It did, however, have a gas giant that no interstellar power had claimed as its own, and a consortium of concerned interests that were determined to make sure it stayed that way.
Free fuel attracted a lot of interest.
The economy that sprang up around the free fuel depot mostly followed the pitch “as long as you’re here, you might as well buy something.” There was a brisk, thriving trade that focused on the kinds of things people who didn’t like paying for things would buy. Illegal things, in other words: the Avadis black market was so openly displayed it was nearly silver.