Shadower

Lire ebook Shadower
Shadower
 

Chapter One
     
    He'd always figured he would end up in hell. He just hadn't planned on arriving there while he was still breathing.
    Well, he had been wrong—once or twice—before. Dreary and rank smelling, Giza's was a hellhole all right. Hazy lighting combined with narcotic-laden smoke created a murky mist, shrouding those present in anonymity. The dimness was probably for the better, Sabin thought, scowling as he stepped in some unidentifiable muck on the floor. Too bad the poor lighting couldn't mute the drunken bellows of the miscreants of the quadrant who congregated here, or the stench assaulting his nose.
    If he didn't need the solace of some good Elysian liquor, he'd have killed the time watching Radd repair his ship. Just the thought of that cursed ship was enough to propel him toward the bar for a refill. What a day! Galen had eluded him again—a reward of a thousand miterons blown to blazing hells. Then his ship had developed a problem with the stardrive, and he'd barely made it to Calt. Thankfully, he'd finally been able to commission a new ship, which would be ready within the next lunar cycle.
    He set his mug on the counter. "Hey, Thorne, give me a refill."
    A small, gnomelike man scurried along the inside of the bar. His bald head, overly large for his body, bobbed up and down. "S-sure thing, M-Mr. Travers." Ducking an empty glass heaved at him by a soused Antek and ignoring the raucous laughter from the rest of the drunks, Thorne poured more golden Elysian elixir into Sabin's mug. He deftly snatched the miteron Sabin tossed him before scooting back to his safe niche near an exit.
    So this was the nucleus of his existence, Sabin thought sardonically. Endless hours spent among the   dregs of humanity. He had no real home, nor anyone to go home to, for that matter. Never would. It was simpler that way, he reminded himself. "Here's to the carefree life," he muttered.
    As he lifted the drink to his lips, a flash of color at the end of the bar caught his eye. A woman leaned in at the counter, clasping a drink between slender fingers. Her hair had drawn his attention; hair a rich bronze color reflecting myriad highlights, even in the dim interior of Giza's. It was gathered into a sleek twist on top of her head, revealing a graceful neck.
    Her profile didn't appear too bad either, although he couldn't see the lines clearly at this distance. The tawny cape she wore hid her figure. She emanated an elegance not seen among the worn-out females who routinely serviced the degenerates frequenting this soulless planet.
    She was as out of place in this den of iniquity as a baby kerani in a pit of Oderan sand vipers. And she would last about as long. Sabin felt drawn to her, despite the fact that he usually avoided entanglements with women, preferring the uninvolved physical release he could find at the Pleasure Domes. This wouldn't be anything more than an offer to see the lady safely out of this hellhole, he told himself, striding to

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