The Ikterian bartender pours me a shot of distilled rocket fuel using his top-right tentacle. He cleans the beer kegs with his left three. “How come you Earthers always drift through the galaxy like ships with no harbour?” he asks as I transfer him six credits, hard earned in today’s salvage job.
“Can’t go home.” I shrug like it doesn’t bother me and down my drink, savouring its fiery descent down my oesophagus.
He narrows his five eyes. “Let me guess, you caused a preventable ecological catastrophe?”
“Worse. The government kicked us out and turned Earth into a nature reserve.”
A. Zaykova (she/her) was a medieval bard in her past life and is training to be a space pirate in the next. For now, she lives in Wellington, New Zealand, where she writes sci-fi and works in government PR. She can be found here: