TITLE: DARK STAR (Bk 1 of the Talent series)
Smuggling was a dangerous occupation but it kept much needed credits rolling in. Kat reminded herself of this as her stomach churned like an asteroid entering the upper stratosphere.
Taking a deep breath she stepped into the tavern and ducked into the shadows. Ignoring the raucous laughter she scanned the patrons, searching for the tell-tale cobalt hue of a Vorish patrol uniform. There were none. Relief made her light-headed.
“There has to be a better way to earn credits,” she muttered and drew her shaking hand away from the small hand-laser attached to her belt.
She scanned the room again, this time assessing individuals. Half a dozen alien races patronized Borvaal’s bar. Her arrival drew a few curious glances from the group of furred Hurrans and grey skinned Balian seated closest to the door. With a gentle thought she encouraged them to return to their drinks and conversations, pleased when their alcohol-muddled minds easily adopted her telepathic suggestion.
Sour sweat and stale smoke hung thick in the warm air. Her breath hitched and goosebumps prickled down her spine as past events mingled with the present. The crisp odor of burnt flesh and the echoes of desperate cries filled her mind. She could almost taste the dry dust of crumbled and broken walls in her mouth. She pushed the image back, hating how the simplest things triggered memories best left untouched.