William was awake, sitting up and wrapped in a torn blanket. One of the scrappers, an older Neveric woman, brought him over a cup of hot chocolate.

" What exactly happened?" she asked.

" We were leaving from Siluria in a passenger liner. I fell asleep... I was woken up by a bomb going off. He threw himself over me to keep me safe. And then some people came out of the cargo hold and started shooting anybody they thought was still alive."

A gruff looking man spoke.

" Ship's fuckin' useless to us then. DASS is gonna want it to investigate the incident," he said. Lit a cigarette. " It's a hot."

" ...Where did he go?" William asked.

The woman shrugged.

" Wanted to know where the shower was, said something about metal in his back."

" You're lucky you had a Starka to cover for you. They don't die easy," the man tacked on.

" Mm."

He took another sip of his drink.

" They don't much like covering for people, either. What are you two doing, traveling together in these parts?"

William looked down at the steam coming off his cup.

" ... I'm going on vacation so I can meet his family," he said absently.

" Not much of a vacation so far, is it."

The woman cut in.

Where'd y'all set sail from? Where're you going?"

Stuff still felt really fuzzy around the corners.

" We left from Siluria's Septim. We were headed to a second flight on Ruxiam-1... Though I'm certain we've already missed that one by now. Still alive to trade in our tickets, I suppose."

" You must have gotten blown pretty heavy off course," she said. " We're by the DASS Sector 22, about an au from 23."

" Ah, in a spoke... That makes sense."

Narrow zones with no planets or colonies, defined only by their lack of definability. Full of wrecked ships from the war and open to extra-legal activity.

" I tell you what, I got a buddy that sells on Ruxiam-1. I'll call him in to take this all out and turn it in. We ain't gonna get shit for it anyway, best not to have it in the hold too long."

William stared down at his reflection in the cup.

" ... It's one thing to bring a mummy aboard, to return it to where it belongs, but fresh blood is uneasy to look at, isn't it?"