But there are a few half-started manuscripts lurking in the WIP folder. Personally, I don't think this is half bad. Maybe it'll be an incentive to get off my arse and do something more with it.
It's called Vagabond's Conquest. Although that's subject to change without notice.
The noise of the crowd swirled around Brent like a storm. Highs and lows, shrills and flats, all meaningless sounds mixing with the cocktail of stale beer and the unmistakable tang of carra weed. Swallowing the last of his beer he shoved himself to his feet. There was no point in staying here. In fact, he'd better get Vagabond out of here before the station master impounded her. His stomach lurched at the thought of losing his ship. Fuck Narvak. Brent had only been an hour late, bugger all in the scheme of things. But Narvak didn't wait for anybody, and some other space jock had been given the job.
Brent sidled past a group of half-drunk miners. One of them had the girl who'd tried to seduce him sitting on his knee, his gaze fixed on her tits. Brent couldn't blame the miner. He would have been doing the same thing if he'd had the credits.
Outside the bar the air in the street was cooler, even here in the middle of the station. He headed off toward the transit system which would take him to the distant docking bay where Vagabond rested along with the other tramp haulers. The street was virtually empty in this industrial part of town. The din from the Wayfarer and a couple of other taverns ebbed and flowed. A streetbot beeped toward him, gathering up the litter. Brent stepped around the machine and was about to walk on when he heard someone trying to stifle a cry of pain. He hesitated for a nanosecond, then moved on. Not his business. He had his own problems. He'd taken two paces before another sound jerked him to a halt.
That splat was someone hitting someone. The woman's cry of pain was bitten off. A male voice growled, the tone threatening. He knew that scenario all too well, listening to his father beating up his mother. He remembered the bruises on her face, the cut lip, the broken ribs. He couldn't walk away.
Brent let his ears lead him to the narrow alley between two buildings that he'd just passed. In the shadows he made out a hulking figure standing over someone on the ground. "On yer feet, bitch. And don't try that again."
The figure on the ground stirred.
"Hurry up bitch. I ain't got all night."
The man didn't move, but the woman whimpered as she struggled to all fours. He chuckled. "Hurts, dunnit?"
Fury raged up Brent's gut. Bastard. Gutless wonder. "Let her be, asshole."
The man whirled, his left hand clenched. "Mind yer own business, buddy. She's a prossy. I paid for her, so she does what she's told."