The rusty nut splashed weakly into the puddle of garbage water, and Logona pulled it back with a length of transparent monofilament.

“Looks like it closed,” she said. “Doesn’t surprise me, the natural wormholes can be damn unpredictable.”

Ki shook his head. “How do I get back, then?”

“Well, there are plenty of permanent, or semi-permanent, wormholes,” Logona said. “But don’t just go jumping through them, or you’ll find yourself in a world of trouble. You need a tracer. I recommend Doctor Holey, mostly because I get a little somthin’-somethin’ from him if new customers mention my name.”

Ki stared at her.

“Oh hell,” Logona whined. “Didn’t I tell you this isn’t my usual gig? Fine. A tracer can tell you where you came from by giving you a once-over, yeah? Then you can make sure that you get to a wormhole that matches where you came from.”

“So this Doctor Holey can tell me where to find a way back?” Ki said. “I can go to him when I’ve found Chroma?”

“Hell no,” Logona said. “Doc Holey can tell you what you need to know, but you’ll need to hire somebody else to find one. A hunter, or maybe just a mapper if you’re tha hands-on type.”

Ki thought about this a moment. “If someone else had come through here,” he said, “perhaps meeting someone else, would they have gotten the same advice?”

“Most likely,” said Logona. “Mister Void, Doc Holey, and El-Lacunae are the only tracers near here, and no one who is combing is going to recommend the other two, on account of Void being a cheap-ass and El-Lacunae being missing and maybe dead.”

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!