Hi, Leon. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hiya, sweetheart. How ya doing? Me. You want to hear about me? Well. *scratches ear* I been stuck in a dead end job for a while. After I got my lawyer certificate, good anywhere in the Empire in case you’re looking, I thought I’d have it easy and cruise right into one of them expensive offices with all the perks. But the only people who’d even talk to me were Belliff Shipping.
What kind of job or jobs do you have?
I pushed paperwork, legal and illegal, for Belliff. What, you didn’t know Belliff is a front for Targon Syndicate? I figured that out the second day on the job. Even smugglers and pirates need someone to track their goods. But now, I don’t know what kind of a job I’ll be able to get. I ain’t cleaning floors, no matter what. I got some pride, ya know?
How do you juggle those different roles?
*shrugs* Doesn’t much matter. The only real difference is who I file it with- the Patrol or the Five. You know, I’d like to turn honest. Naw, scratch that. Being a lawyer is about twisting things to get what you want. Isn’t it?
How well do you know Dace and Jerimon?
Those two. Why is it everyone wants to know about them? What about me? I want the spotlight sometime, too. After I hijacked their ship, I’m not sure they’ll ever talk to me again. Course it’s their fault I ended up in Patrol custody. They took me to Tebros, right to the Patrol, instead of out to Freehaven where I might have had half a chance of avoiding both the law and my former employers.
What are your goals, and how do they intersect with those of Dace and Jerimon?
I want to survive. Those two are gonna get themselves killed. They don’t play with nice people. Crossing Targon is gonna cost them. And then there’s those aliens chasing them. *shakes head* They’re both doomed, quote me on that.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
On the record or off? I ain’t admitting something that might get me years on a prison planet somewhere. But I’ll tell you this, running from Viya Station with Dace and Jerimon counts as crazy. Those two are nuts. They flew right through a firefight with the Patrol. In a courier. I thought we were goners for sure. Did I tell you they locked me in the bathroom for most of that flight? Dace, she’s the crazy one. Totally insane.
What’s your philosophy of life?
Grab it and squeeze it for everything you can get. Also, don’t be afraid of mixing plaid and polka dots. You like my suit? *stands up to show off lime green/orange plaid with pink and blue rainbow dots* Brand new. I got a great tailor, Manny. I’ll introduce you sometime.
Please tell us one thing you’re very good at and one thing you can’t do very well.
I’m good at everything, sweetheart. Just a matter of attitude. But I love arguing in court. People say I’m great at offending people, but that’s all on purpose. I’m really a kind, sweet, gentle soul. They also say I can’t talk soft. *stage whisper* I can be real quiet, if I need to.
What do you want people to remember about you after you’re gone?
Leon Gravis, Lawyer Extraordinaire. Yep, want that on my tombstone but not for a long time.
Is there any message you want to tell us?
Watch out for crazy people. They’ll get ya every time.
Thanks, sweetheart. Been a pleasure talking with ya. Call me sometime.
Pursued by the Targon Crime Syndicate bent on revenge, the Patrol intent on recruitment, and the Sessimoniss who want their god back, the last thing Captain Dace needs is a handsome copilot with romance on his mind.
But that’s exactly what she’s got.
She didn’t realize she was smuggling when she accepted the courier job. Now Targon wants her for stealing the shipment and the Patrol wants to arrest her. The Sessimoniss want their god back. And Jerimon’s aunt is planning their wedding.
She doesn’t know which scares her most.
Priestess of the Eggstone: The Fall of the Altairan Empire Book 2 by Jaleta Clegg
We rounded the last big moon into clear space. I checked the nav program one last time, to make sure we were headed the right direction before we jumped. The chatter of local pilots was steady as a background noise that dissolved into static as we passed into the moon's shadow. The ship lurched, then slowed, the engines whining.
I flipped switches, trying to find the problem. Jerimon pushed the thrusters all the way to the stops. The engine whine rose in pitch. The ship shuddered. The emergency lights flashed. Warnings hooted through the ship.
"Shut it down!" I yelled over the noise.
Jerimon stubbornly tried to pull more power from the engines. His face was pale and his chin set as he goosed the throttles. I reached across the controls to slam the switches off. Jerimon slumped in his chair, hands over his face. The engines spun down. The alarms shut up, all except one. It was a quiet, insistent beeping with a single, flashing red light.
I checked the screen, then muttered a bad word at the unknown vessel showing on the scans. "Who'd be using a tractor beam out here?"
The ship was bigger, but that didn't mean much. Anything was bigger than my ship. The scanners didn't show any ID traces from the other ship.
"Does it look like pirates to you?" Pirates weren't uncommon in this sector but Rucal had a major Patrol station out beyond the moons. What pirate would be stupid enough to operate under the Patrol's nose?
I knew of at least one, but he was in prison. I scowled at the screen. In a few moments, I wouldn't need the scanner. I could just look outside.
Jerimon dropped his hands to his lap, staring bleakly at the monitor. If he didn't know who was on that ship, I'd eat my socks—the ones I'd been wearing for three days without washing because I hadn't found the time.
"Who are they and why are they dragging us in?"
Jerimon shook his head, eyes locked on the approaching ship. He gripped the chair so hard his knuckles went white.