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Frisco

Frisco finally crawls out of the grimy J-tube and finds himself under a little dome. A ring of light paints his shoes.

He finds the valve at the top, jimmies in a tool and twists. A stream hits his arm. He has to cup it in the light to be sure: glittering dust, and the chunks of uncut diamonds. Frisco bites his hand to keep from giggling. He fills his bag, his pockets, his shirt.

In the control room, Adrian yawns and leans to the mic. “We ready?” he says. “Solid carbon fuel test thirty-five point two. Ignition on my mark.”

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