“So what now, Junior?” said Lillis as he and Townes entered a seedy tavern, sopping wet and covered with sludge.
“Well, I reckon Allandale will have more than just those fools up his sleeve to throw at us. He's not too big, but he’s big enough that we ought to clear off Inops.”
“Believe me, I will not be sorry to see us leave this ball. I still don't right know how you talked me into coming here in the first place.”
“I tell you, Lillis, there’s no world spinning outside of Inops where they're desperate enough to fall for a con like that. If those wides what gave us the money hadn’t stolen it off of Max Allandale, we’d be in the clear. Besides, let’s not forget that this job was a success, eh?”
Townes opened his jacket very slightly such that only Lillis could see in. His inside pockets were stuffed with cash. He then took two cigars out of his outside pocket. They were in a plastic bag, and thus still dry.
"Eh?" said Townes, smiling hopefully "Right? Job's a good'n?"
“Alright, fine." said Lillis, taking one of the cigars. "Job's a good'n. Still, it could’ve been a hundred thousand quid; I say it still wouldn’t have been worth a trip to the trash heap of the galaxy. Anyway, let’s talk pilots.”
“Okay. What about Silver? She’s still on Fort Stank, right?”
“I’m not right certain Silver would be thrilled to see me again. What about Fletcher”
“Nay, he’s been in the Tlaloc system for the past few months, as I know it.”
“Right…” said Lillis, exhaling some cigar smoke
“You know, I think I might have heard that Noss is in town. He still owes us after that business with the Carcharans.”
“Okay, good. Let’s give him a call.”
Lillis turned to the bartender
“Say, you got a wire we can borrow?”
The bartender grunted and jerked his head in the direction of a small box on the far end of the bar. Lillis turned a knob on its side, causing an image to project upward from a somewhat grimy lens. The image was a menu screen, displaying a few options. It was dim, and tinged a faint green, which was only slightly improved by Townes wiping the lens off with a dusty napkin. Lillis jabbed his finger at a floating cube which read “Make Call”. The image shrunk back into the lens, and a robotic-sounding female voice said.
“Welcome to HoloCom Communications. Please state the name of the extension you would like to reach.”
“Ship: Emerald Moon” said Lillis. The voice was silent for a few moments.
“Ship: Emerald Moon” repeated Lillis, somewhat annoyed. The voice was quiet again.
“Displaying… two… nearby results. Would you like to contact…” the voice was replaced by a much deeper and more mechanical sounding one as it said “Gerumbio Noss”, then returned to the more pleasant voice “or…” Lillis interrupted
“Yes. Gerumbio Noss.”
The voice paused for about six seconds.
“Calling… Emerald Moon… Gerumbio Noss.”
There was a low humming noise as the call was made, then an image of a pear shaped ship rose upward from the lens.
“You've reached the Emerald Moon” said a woman's voice.
“Emmy!” Said Lillis “Is that you?”
“Hello, James Lillis.”
“Well, you sound just great. How’s old Rockskin treatin’ you?”
“Mr. Noss’s ship maintenance has been perfectly adequate.”
“Well, that’s right good to hear, that is. Say, speaking of Grumby, he doesn’t happen to be there, does he?”