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Traveler: Devaleran

101 pages1 hour


I try to appear casual and I ask, “Okay, what am I?”
Chudu looks at me for a bit and says, “I don’t know. You’re different. I can read most people when I first meet them. I can’t read you.”
I reply, as calmly as I can, “I’m from off planet. I worked my way here as a freighter deck hand. Back home, there was this girl. There was another mog. He wanted trouble. He got trouble. After the trouble, I left for elsewhere. Anywhere else. I don’t need any more trouble.”
Chudu continues to examine me. She then says, “You’re going to interview at General Freight tomorrow. That means you need to earn money. I may have an opportunity for you to earn quite a bit of money.”
I, continuing to play my role, say, “I don’t need trouble.”
Chudu says, “A clever man might be able to earn quite a bit of money, without trouble.”
“The last clever man I dealt with figured out a way to get the girl I wanted. However, he wasn’t quite clever enough.”
Chudu laughs, a sort of pretty girl, silvery little laugh that’s completely out of line with her appearance. She says, “There are a lot of clever mogs like that, here in Space Port City. You might find trouble, even if you don’t want it.”
I, continuing to play my role, say, “I’m a second degree Loro black belt. The average street mog doesn’t stand a chance against me. On the other hand, Mr. Orgnor the elder, who runs the gola, is a fourth degree black belt. I don’t need trouble.”
Chudu again laughs and says, “Mr. Orgnor the elder can fight, but he can’t think to the level I need. I suspect that a computer mog, such as yourself, can. We’ll see.” With that, Chudu gets up and leaves.
I take another nibble of my a high protein biscuit and another hit of my NuPro fortified tea. I look up to find that another girl is standing there.
The girl is wearing a sort of uniform with the name of the place on it. She says, “I haven’t seen you before. That probably means that you’re new here. You don’t want to mess with that Chudu, she’s a real witch.”
I tell the girl, “I’m new here. I came in here to grab a bite to eat. I then look up to find Chudu sitting opposite me. First time I ever saw her.”
The girl says, “I’m Frannie. We run a simple little cafeteria operation here. I saw you mix that NuPro stuff in your tea. They say that there’s a Loro mog, new in the area. What with the NuPro, you’re probably the Loro mog.”
“Guilty, as charged. Is the rumor mill here so good that everyone in Space Port City knows everything that happens here, same day?”
Frannie laughs and says, “Usually it doesn’t take a whole day. They say that you’re going to interview with General Freight.”
“Again, guilty, as charged. I’m a computer mog, when I’m not playing Loro. I need a job, to pay for rent, food, luxuries like that.”
Frannie says, “You’ll probably talk with Jorry at General Freight. Keep it straight and short. Jorry has no sense of humor at all. They do need help at general Freight.”
I tell Frannie, “I’ll do that. I need a job and I appreciate the info.”
Frannie says, “Deal right with Jorry and avoid Chudu and you’ll do all right.” With that parting advice, Frannie is gone.
I think on things for a bit. Too many people in Space Port City know about me and that’s bad for me. On the other hand, I can get out of Space Port City as a space freighter deck hand on short notice. They have too many pimps and criminals in Space Port City and I’m a working mog. Apparently General Freight needs help and I can fit in. Chudu presents an unknown risk. I’ll have to very quietly find out as much as I can about Chudu.
I finish my lunch and find myself with time on my hands before my scheduled meeting with Mr. Orgnor the elder. I decide to roam about the town and find out where things are.
I wander down the main street, carefully noting the names of the streets that I pass. Many of the businesses that I pass are bars, arcades, tourist junk shops, that kind of thing. I do

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