Guilt in the Age of Indifference

Py-S’tem Station grew closer like a giant squid at sunset, backlit by the crimson gases of the nebula, its bulbous head surrounded by long tentacles of docking runways. They were about to be swallowed up.

Not Tul, but his passengers, of course. He’d been working the prison transport route from the Alcona system to Py-S’tem too long to call it a temporary contract, but he preferred not to think of it as permanent. He had a decent crew, and the work was easy enough, but if you’re in the trade long enough you can see the black-and-white delineation between law-enforcing and law-breaking sway and swell and come apart.

Just a few more runs, and it was time to get out.

He engaged the moorings on The Long Arm of Justice and made a short announcement to those under his ward: “Wake up; we’re home.”

Kicking his feet up onto the deactivated control station, he unrolled his supercell from his jacket pocket and downloaded a new packet of pornography off the station’s datanet. Unloading the prisoners wasn’t his responsibility. He wondered if any of them were guilty, but lost the thought when the download completed.

Notes: I used an image as a writing prompt for this piece. I found it on page 153 of my copy of The Art of Homeworld.

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