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   Chapter 15 No.15

Dead Man’s Hammer By Christina Engela Characters: 5133

Updated: 2018-06-30 12:02

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City Planners liked to keep things low around here. After all, this was a young colony with few cities. There was a heck of a lot of vacant land to build on. Hell, there was a lot of land to deforest, clear and make vacant for people to build on. Mostly, novice City Planners would be sent to backwater colonies to learn their trade (where it wouldn't really be noticeable if they screwed up) and to put it into practice, so that by the time they got to the bigger and older colonies they would get it right. There was an axiom that went: 'things never get better, just different shades of worse' – which Peggy-Ann was beginning to think was true, as she pulled up in the parking lot outside Mei's apartment block.

The ten story high building was one of the tallest on Deanna, and also one of the prettier ones – if a chunk of concrete and glass could be called that. She settled on "less-ugly" in the end of her negotiations with her sleep-deprived self. Ramalama was still a bright disc low in the sky, reflected in the sides of the building, making it look for the moment even less ugly – and maybe even a little spectacular.

She had promised Mei she would pick her up that morning. She didn't realize she would also be bringing her more bad news. When Mei opened the door of her apartment, she was surprised to find her looking rather more together than on the previous day. She was wearing a black leather outfit like the one she had first met her in. Mei's hair was gelled flat and she looked almost cat-like. The only

g ago that was, she had no idea, but it felt like forever. The main thought on her mind was 'Why?' She just couldn't understand what was happening. And then there was the small thought that this person might work for the Mines, just like the last time at the ranch… She'd peed herself already because the woman – she realized that much – had left her no option.

Saying 'I need to go to the loo' was rather difficult through the rag in her mouth and the duct tape. The woman didn't seem to care either way about that, which made her think deep thoughts about her predicament. Amazing how clear the mind was under these circumstances. When the woman had finished kicking and punching and swearing at her, she realized this was no game, and the cavalry wasn't going to turn up to rescue her. It was highly likely she was going to die, and she knew it. And she didn't want to die. So for a long while she just lay there in the still darkness, too afraid to even whimper. She just prayed. And she hoped that Mary-Jo was okay.

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