What Is Omega Station?

Omega Station, aka the Rock. A barren, airless asteroid on the outermost edge of the galaxy, home of the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor. Dotted with commercial, military and residential domes, the outer surface is the place to live for those who can afford it or are lucky enough to work there.
But the vast majority of the Rock's residents don't live in the surface domes; instead, they have tunneled downwards, moving ever further towards its fiery heart. The upper levels are safe, comfortable, secure—or as secure as anyone can be on
Omega Station. The lower levels, now; they are home to the detritus of a double dozen races and species, all living in uneasy juxtaposition, fighting, loving, eating—and being eaten.
The Rock's location in space, the last real port before exiting the galaxy, has made it a valuable commodity to many governments and private corporations, as has the addictive drug straz, which grows only in its recycling vats. Control has been taken and given in a hundred bloody battles over the years, but those who live in the lower levels—and further down, in the Depths—are often barely aware of whoever claims to be in charge.
No one, really, rules the Rock, whatever they may claim, however many weapons and warriors they throw against it.
For the Rock is eternal…and it has many secrets...and many stories...

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Part 11 of SCUM by J. A. Johnson

"Ah, Caravello, dear fellow. Thank you so much for allowing us to usurp your office. Ograd, this is Banastre Caravello, manager of the Starview and, oh my, several other places here and there." Rudof Dyll's lean face lit up in a thin smile.

The chubby Human stood still for the space of a heartbeat, then trotted towards the desk and took a seat.

"Not at all, Master Dyll, not at all!" he boomed in a voice three sizes larger than expected. "You're always welcome. Now, what have we here, what have we here?"

Simikus knew this was his moment. If he could get this new Human to accept him as a supplier, he was as good as rich.

"Let me fill you in a bit, Banastre." The smile was still on Dyll's face, but there was quite another look in his eyes—one that had nothing to do with humor. "Master Ograd Paxa here has a little…proposition that he suspects you might have some interest in. Something to do, I believe, with that nasty drug called straz."

"Oh, does he now?" Caravello's chubby face also lit up with a grin. It did not make him look happy. "So now, Ograd—I may call you Ograd, may I not? What's the story on this straz supply?"


Caravello studied him in silence for a moment, and Simikus tried his best not to squirm under the scrutiny. The Human had looked pleasant and cheerful—at first. Now he seemed as cold as the storage space where Simikus kept his ka'frindi.

"What grade straz are we talking about? What volume? Who's your supplier? How did you come to know about it, and where is it now?"

Caravello seemed to place more emphasis on the last question, but even in his jangled state of mind, Simikus had no intention of revealing that information.

"It's top grade stuff, top grade." That sounded good, Simikus thought, but Caravello regarded him impassively. Well, if that wasn't enough to interest the Human, the quantity surely would. "I have one hundred and ninety one grams of it."

Caravello's thin brows lifted, and Simikus could feel his confidence lifting with it.

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