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   Chapter 27 No.27

Loderunner By Christina Engela Characters: 6460

Updated: 2018-06-30 12:02

"Dear Gary, In a tight spot and need a bit of a favor, if you don't mind. Please give this mail to CM and ask her to use some of her resources to send it with the attached letter and picture to a secure private email address for Mayor Frederyck Vallantdorf, Mars City. His eyes only, as the old books say. ASAP as usual. Can't trust any of his aides or staff. Long story, fill you in and make it up to you both over a couple cold ones at Shock Diamond soon.

Much obliged, Skooch."

Sure, he was following his own agenda, but after all why shouldn't he? Nobody else was going to bother with young Jaymie anyway, were they? Nobody really wants to be involved in somebody else's troubles – especially if that person was called a bender and pink and pansified, among other things. Then he uploaded the letter he wrote to Jaymie's father earlier and attached the picture he got from Vic. That done, he sent it, hoping it all worked out. It should, he thought – after all, Gary Beck, aka Beck the Badfeller was a bounty hunter on Deanna, known unofficially as the best in the business. His other half was Cindy-Mei Winter, a former Colonial Intelligence Agency operative. Sometimes contacts like this came in handy. Beck had saved his bacon more than once, and perhaps he would this time too. Tim was pretty much out of ideas otherwise. It was a bit of a gamble, but if it paid off, Jaymie would be able to go home soon. Perhaps even within a month or so – and if his hunch was right, the Olduvai Trust's days were numbered. And Giggling Harry might not be lying in wait for him when he got back to Deanna.

Then he sent a brief note to Dory, just to let her know he was safe on Mars and all was going well. He told her he loved her very, very much and that he was longing for her. The next thing he did was arrange for Celeste to be refueled. Five hundred credits later, yeah. Well, it had to be done or they wouldn't get very far at al

ccentric uncle Jed and his batty second wife who seemed to live for her soapies. But his visit turned into a real family gathering when she called them all over to meet their 'long-lost' cousin. Uncle Jed called him the 'missing link' and spent a few minutes roaring with laughter. Hmm. Very amusing. He'd never met any of them before; in fact the last time he had any news from them – some twenty years ago, he was still a kid living with his mom on Deanna. His cousins seemed to be respectable and doing well, which made him feel slightly threatened. He was surrounded by doctors, lawyers, a stock broker, a dentist and even a xeno-zoologist who kept asking perplexing questions about crabby-grass and strato-penguins. All he knew about those was one you avoided unless you wore steel-cap boots and the other occasionally livened up an already spectacular su – er, Ramalamaset if they flew too high. He was interrogated about his life on Deanna, his er, job such as it was, his meager income – and did he actually have a girlfriend? He said yes, named Dory, mentioned she was an interior decorator, and left it at that. It was really none of their business about Dory anyway. In the end she was more important to him than all of these strangers put together – and now so more than ever.

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