This is a companion to A Thousand Times. That mercenary Lucky that the narrator was on about? This is about her.
Grace “Lucky” O’Hara hated being late. She took pride in punctuality. A punctual mercenary usually had a full purse but this bounty had proved to be time-consuming and troublesome. Though time marched relentlessly on, the price wouldn’t change but it would take time away from other opportunities.
She thought she might bruise this bounty a little more than usual.
The nightclub was packed full. The legends said Detroit had once been one of the world’s hellholes. A black hole that sucked in money. Now it flourished. The Lake Lands had more fresh water than you could shake a stick at and it made them wealthy.
Well, it made some people wealthy.
The nightclub was a favored spot of the people just under the upper class. The more highly prized servants of the wealthy class. The best and brightest, who maintained the wealth of their masters and got the best table scraps. They were a healthier class of people, better fed and better clothed with enough leisure time on their hands to pack a nightclub full of people. Lucky had to admit she liked this sort of crowd. They weren’t a depressing lot and they did know how to have a good time.
She wondered if any of them knew that Detroit was the Overlord’s next stop.
He had ignored the Lake Lands for a long time. It was new money, and there were prettier, more developed places to be. But he couldn’t ignore the Lake Lands and its lord and its decadence any longer. Their success was a ticking time bomb, and he was the explosion that could take them all out in the end.
Well, it didn’t matter. She could pick up and move at any time. She just had to take care of this one bounty and warn the radio station. They could pick up and move, too. She had made a deal to move them and all their stuff, no questions asked, on the next train down to the Carolina territory. Anyplace anywhere could use a little rebellion. Especially if that place didn’t include the Overlord.
But that was later. Right now, she was on the hunt for a man. Lucky didn’t fool herself in thinking that true, loyal love was common but it still bothered her when the inevitable happened and one partner or the other went off and did something horrible. This one was a lying, murdering, cheating, stealing bitch and she was going to drag him off to his ex-girlfriend’s three great big hulking angry brothers.
She was going to give him a few good bruises first.
The music pulsed around her and she found herself dancing a little as she pushed through the crowd. Some people made way for her. Some people saw her long, slim, fit form and tried to press close. But no one blocked her way. They flowed around her like water, as if pushed by some inexorable force, and she reached the far end of the club in only a few moments.
The tables were in shadow, each one lit by only a few flickering candles, and he was dicing at one of them. She grabbed him by the neck and hauled him back, leaving his playing partners gaping after them before they launched himself on the chips at his place. He fought but she slammed the butt of her gun against the back of his head and he went limp. Made him harder to move, but Lucky was special. She was stronger and faster than normal humans.
A convenient back door spilled them out into an alleyway, where she got in a few good punches until he was even more compliant, and then she was off. A few hours more and she’d have her money, and a few hours after that she’d be getting the radio station all packed up.
She looked forward to it. Lucky was always on the move.