Deathwalker 2

             The blinking light on the console warned me that the Whisp was hungry, too. With a worried eye, I studied the readout of sol levels. It would get me to the main office on Ialu, but as soon as I cashed in this job, I would need to hit a fuel station. The gnawing pain in my stomach would have to wait.
            “Don’t worry, Whisp,” I said, patting the console affectionately, “This job pays enough to feed both of us.” Mother would have reminded me that the ship’s computer wasn’t really conscious. I smiled wistfully and wondered what she’d say if I told her who I’d talked to today.
            As I steered the ship back, the tension of the past few hours finally began to seep out of me – and with it, the desperation of the past few weeks. Arriving on Ialu had been relatively easy. Compared to some of the planets the Kaihmi traveled to, Ialu’s gravity adjustment and visa requirements were simple. Maybe, too simple.
            I grimaced as I remembered how confident I’d been when I’d landed. My ease at navigating the planet’s landing and legal systems made me think that I was equally prepared for a career as a deathwalker. After all, Neith had trained me. It wasn’t as if I’d never spoken to the dead before, so I figured I’d be ahead of the game compared to the soft planet-people who had only studied theory. That still made me shudder. The idea of sending people out alone with no more than theory was stupid and cruel.
            No wonder there were never enough deathwalkers to go around.

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