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Black Market

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Black Market
by s.a.


Zoe counts on both hands the number of times it has happened. An untraceable message on the cortex, leading her to a shabby motel room on an outlying planet with a name not worth remembering. She leaves them all behind when she does it, especially Mal, because she's afraid one day he'll get this bu dui idea too and she have to use all her fingers.

She dumps the body in the incinerator and tosses the sheets and whatever else that's irreparably stained in afterwards. The gun is pocketed, to be resold on some backwater where they don't care about little things like serial numbers and licenses.

The note is pocketed, to be carefully read and then placed away with the others resting watchfully in a small brown tin.

The bodies she has seen and taken care of once had names; the signatures scribbled in despair at the bottom of the notes once had signifigance. They no longer do, and Zoe needs almost all of her fingers to mark the passing of each of her comrades--one every couple of months. Her heart grows harder and heavier with each senseless death, and the secret she is forced to bear, alone.