Silas' fingers itched. He needed a dano and a stiff drink.
Everything had been going so well. As well as could be expected, given they were on the run, wanted for crimes they both did and did not commit, and slowly going insane from the lack of sleep.
Not exactly smooth per se, but better than he'd let himself hope. They'd spent weeks hunting down every scrap of information every whisperer in every dark alley had to offer; all the while hoping against hope that the next one would have a clue for the minx's whereabouts. Silas had begun to doubt the smuggler was real. He'd begun to think it was all a joke; a story their shine-riddled brains had dreamt up to keep them sane.
Outlaws in empire space never lasted long. The Empress' lapdogs were tireless and ruthless in their thirst for blood. They called it justice. Silas thought it looked a hell of a lot more like tyranny.
Then Jace had dug up the lead on Las Tumbas. It was a nothing town in a nothing part of the empire. Silas had never heard of it. He didn't even know there was a town that far out from the sun. Getting there took an age and a half and Silas wasn't sure it was worth the credits. Rumors of rumors of a girl running the black like it was the back of her hand? But Judge said it was too ridiculous to be anything but real.
Nothing ran the black. It was dangerous. A wild place full of nightmares real and imagined. The black had messed him up something awful. It had messed up all four of them. The empire dogs didn't set foot out there. It was the best place to lay low and hid from the law's reach.
Bandits weren't looked kindly on, but they were usually tolerated around the fringes. If they stayed far enough out from Central and kept their scores relatively low, no one would look too hard for a group of mangy thieves. Not many of the outer citizens wanted to draw the Empress' attention.
But they'd gone a fucked up royally with their last job. The sights still haunted him. He wasn't sure, but he suspected none of the other's were fairing much better. Silas hadn't slept well in weeks. The sight of massacre, the sounds of the imperial guards shouts, the blood, so much blood. It all haunted his dreams.
They'd been on the run ever since. The black was the only place they were safe. They'd spent too long out there. The absolute darkness was no better than the blood. The silence and the shouts both deafening.
The engines spluttered, breaking Silas' trance. He wiped at his eyes, trying to dislodge the imagine of black blood oozing out of sightless eyes. He wasn't there anymore. That was over and done with. Now they were just trying to make it right.
He looked up at the girl, the smuggler, the minx. She was supposedly all of it. She didn't look like much. The bags under her eyes were dark and her hair was limp and grease. They'd had showers back at the motel while they waited for her to make a move, and now Silas thought they looked better than she did.
The cook didn't look much better. The two were arguing about something, but Judge and Jace were arguing as well. Mac was off in the corner, trying to catch Silas' attention. A boy covered in coal dust sat off to the side watching all of it.
Silas didn’t know where everything had begun to go to shit, but it were certainly there now.
Somewhere in the bowels of the ship, alarms sounded. Silas cursed himself under his breath. He’d thought it and the universe had responded. They hadn’t quite been completely in the shit, but now, without a doubt, Silas knew they were headed there.