May. 29th, 2011

I picked up Grabsy a few hours later. He had chosen a small piece of wreckage to attach himself to, figuring the authorities would have better things to do than chase down every piece of debris from the satellite meltdown. He spent a few minutes inflating his lungs before talking to me.

"I'm getting tired of orbital work," Grabsy complained. "My joints hurt more than they used to. Also, blood stains never really come out."

"But you're so good at it," I said. "Everything went smoothly, I trust?"

"Oh, sure," said Grabsy. "I threw a cable loop around the freighter cabin. When you guys told them to start reeling out, the loop cut the ship in half. The guys in the ship weren't suited up; they went for a vacuum swim in a hurry."

"What about the guys screwing with the satellite controls?" I asked.

"Yeah, well," Grabsy replied noncommittally. "They weren't armed, and suit containment ain't what it used to be."

"I don't suppose you found anything of value on the ship?" I asked.

"They had it stripped down for weight," Grabsy told me. "I guess they wanted to save their delta-V for precious objects."

I didn't ask if Grabsy found the body of McMillan. First, I had no idea what McMillan looked like. Second, I figured there was no way he could have died so easily, or even been on that ship. Guys like Swami and McMillan aren't like the rest of us. They think three moves ahead of the furthest move we can think of. I figure when one of those two dies, they'll have the nearest star rigged to go nova out of spite.

We dropped back down to Tierra Salvador and snuck into the junkyard. Lopez and the goons had assembled there with a big pile of gear. They also had the cash machine containing Swam1. It had obviously been torn out of the bank's wall and carried to the junkyard by hand. "Oh, hi!" said Lopez, wiring the bank machine up to a power lead. "I figured this would make meetings simpler."
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