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Deadman's Hand - The Kowloon Job (Chapter Cover Art)

Chapter 20[]

Dead Man's Hand: The Kowloon Job[]

Tranh Truk Ngo Memorial Spaceport
Nha Tranh, Kowloony
Federated Commonwealth
Bucklands Province
1st July, 3054

Joker watched the four former Jade Falcon MechWarriors make their way down the steps to the waiting Duchess with a strange mix of bemusement and sadness. She had long ago made peace with the fact that she had no home, no family waiting for her, but there was still a certain stab of pain every time she was reminded of what she was missing.

Would Sister Lucy, the closest thing she had to family outside of her crew, be waiting for her if she returned to that far distant world where she was dragged-up?

******, she didn't even know if Sister Lucy was still alive, or what state the orphanage was in. She had closed the door on that part of her life the day she hopped into the cockpit of a Wasp she had no legal rights to be anywhere near and ran for it. It had only been, what, five, six years? Since that day, but it felt like a lifetime. She certainly wasn't the same cocksure, foul-mouthed kid she'd been when she left Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. Sometimes, she wondered if anyone back there would even recognize her...

Joker heard the slap. Even over the noise of a busy spaceport, she looked down to see Henry holding his cheek as his sister glared daggers at him... then enveloped him in a fierce embrace and start crying uncontrollable.

On second thoughts, ****** that. Families were too weird for her.

"Ain't that always the way." Kelso appeared at her side, watching the unfolding drama with bemused interest.

"I'd have to take your word for it." Joker shrugged, "What about our other guests?"

"Social worker come picked them up from the other hatch. That gave them a little something from the petty cash to help them get started." Kelso lent against the hatch way, "How long we staying?"
"Few days. Maybe a week. Depends on how long it takes to get that LRM launcher on Jay's Archer fixed." Joker mused, shoving her hands in her pockets, "Someone from the AFFC Quartermasters office is supposed to be coming over to make an offer on the salvage, and the balance of our payment for this little family reunion should clear soon. Then it's a case of resupplying and finding a new contract. Ain't no rest for the wicked..."

"And the righteous don't need it." Kelso agreed, "It's a hell of a life, for sure."

FINI - The Kowloon Job has concluded. However, the Jobs keep rolling in for the mercenary band.

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