After having escaped from Kelso Station, Tina and her crew run low on supplies.
Both stations they can visit are in pirate hands. They have to make a toss-up which would be the safest. They choose the bigger station.
But while they’re in the dock, trying very hard not to be noticed until they can negotiate the ridiculous supply wait times before they leave again, Tina finds out that her daughter Evelle is a prisoner at the station.
Trying to free her brings Tina much closer to the pirates than she ever wanted to get.
Snippet from the book:
“And how much is that?” Deep dread settled in Tina’s stomach, because the subject of money was one they hadn’t covered up to now.
Rasa said, cheerfully, “Five thousand credits.”
“You have got to be kidding.”
“No, that’s what he said.”
“I don’t have that much money. I don’t have near that much money. At Kelso this costs less than half that amount. That is just a rip-off. And clearly just because you are in this area, and sitting here like a rich person, so they think we have lots of money. I am not paying five thousand credits because I don’t have five thousand credits.” As she spoke Tina lowered her voice more and more but other people were listening.
Eventually one of the men said, jerking his head at the crowded room on the other side of the glass wall, “That’s what they pay out there, too. It’s the going rate for this place.
” Tina stared at him. “You’re kidding, right?”
“No. I wish I was, but I’m not.”
Finn was going to have to pay if he wanted to get out of here. Which, clearly, he did.
She said to Rasa, “I’m going to talk to Finn. Stay here.”
“I’m not going anywhere.” Rasa put a biscuit in her mouth.
“Come on, Rex.”
But Rex wasn’t listening at all. He stared at the wall screen. He said in low voice, “Mum.”
Tina turned to the wall screen and saw her own face from an ugly, poorly exposed photo taken many years ago when she still worked for Project Charon.
The announcer said, “The situation at Kelso Station has worsened, with the Federacy now taking control of the station again. They have captured our freedom fighters, and have executed a number of our brave soldiers. We are aware that the traitor we came to capture has escaped the station, unfortunately. If you have seen this woman, please do not talk to her or engage her, because she is considered dangerous. She is in possession of important information that may determine our survival. Contact the authorities straight away. If you are watching this, hand yourself over to authorities in orderly fashion. You will not be able to leave this station alive otherwise.”
Tina turned away from the screen. People were still watching the announcement, and she didn’t think any of them had recognised her. Yet.
“We’ve gotta get out of here,” she said to Rex.