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Wait with Me

A Chapter in the Orion Weston Anthology Series

Journal Entry 28 —Year 3810

They say bounty hunting ain't for the faint of heart out in frontier space. It's a strange sort of self-sacrifice that many would never consider doing for a living, losing all sense of safety and guarantee to chase after shuttle thieves and cold-blooded killers. The difference between them and me, I don't see it as such. It's freedom, the strangest form of freedom I will admit. I'm not much different from the vagrants who squat on private worlds or criminals who follow their heart's desire. I just know where I'm heading.

Kami Ria was the name of this particular destination. A very beautiful girl with a silver tongue and an ego she needed to feed. Her tongue was as sharp as any blade you could get your hands on. Though unlike a blade, it was a slow death when she got you. Debt, despair, and hopelessness were her killing blows of choice. The rich dumb fools were her usual pickings. Too much money and not enough sense seems to find its way to every corner of the galaxy. She would spend too much of their family's money or get them caught up in some scheme that left them isolated. Nowhere else to turn but to her.

Probably the worst bounty I've seen out here yet. I'd rather be shot than waste away as worlds keep spinning and people keep walking by. Stopping to talk to those now poor fools leads me to the Delta system. Six planets, no names for them, just an assigned number. Each was a single planet-sized city. I would have a better chance catching a molecule with my hands than finding her. Hell if it was just one planet, I could spend a lifetime searching. I learned that hunting is more than following a trail. Sometimes all you need is a little bit of bait and some patience.

I will be the first to admit I had a little too much fun drinking and gambling away most of my bounty earned credits. Bought a couple speeders that I don't remember where I parked, drank a lot of some purple liquid that I'm not sure was alcohol, and I'm pretty sure the boots I was wearing weren't mine. I rarely indulge, generally save for a meteor shower kind of day. Cycles would pass in an instant and I was no closer to finding her. Kami was getting to me in her own way without even being near me. All this indulgence has left me in my own head. Self-examination is something I generally avoid. I spend too my time with myself already. Eight cycles have passed and the bait has all but dried up. Some crazy man with enhancements or killer bugs from another world are much easier jobs and less scary than the remains this woman left behind. I became a drunken near credit-less mess trying to lure her. When the tenth cycle came, that's when I found her.

On the lowest level of I think Delta 2 or 4, she sat against the wall. She was unmoving and cold, honestly thought she was already dead. The riches and luxury she supposedly surrounded herself with were nowhere to be seen. She stirred when I spoke to her. Kami the master manipulator I built in my head was nothing but a slave to her vices. She never really had a plan. Her desires changed with the solar winds. She destroyed her body and mind. Her silver tongue once sharp and swift, now tarnished and slow. There was no point in bringing her in alive, she was dying. Soon. I could rush to save her life. I could put a bullet in her head like the poster said. She managed to speak three words to me, barely audible. She finally knew where she was going. No one deserves to die alone, even a heartless con who ruined lives. So I sat with her 'til the end.

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