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There are five of them, in sackcloth and a star pattern, rocking endlessly on a floorlike mesh of taut steel cables. The star’s missing a point. The taller suit applies pressure to Celesque’s joints until she kneels at the vertex.

Below her stretches sickening space.

Kirrily grabs her chin and Celesque sees that her head is half-shaved, one eye milky, ear a twisted keloid. “You tipped those two amateurs to my dirty laundry, didn’t you?” she asks in that beautiful, husky voice, and holds up a bluetooth. “You owe me some time.”

Celesque is terrified.

She really, really should be.