Toller awoke to the sound of footfalls in the hold. He’d used cargo straps to secure his blanket-wrapped self into a niche for a nap. Leiv, source of the noise, switched on the lights. The boy loosed the strap hitches and stretched. “Where are we?” he asked.
The tall man came over to sit next to the boy’s sleeping spot. “We’re back in Expansion 6 by Genoe, where I can pick up my ship. Do you feel like going back to Joe’s in Dalmeera? You’re welcome back at your old job, and I can bring you there. Wendel also said she can keep you on if you want, but it’s more dangerous and harder living.”
“Like, flying out of a volcanic eruption dangerous, or escaping from a violent kidnapping kind of dangerous? Hard living like… fighting other kids for bets until you have to leave a city when the betting kids start to turn on you?”
Leiv nodded and shook his head at the same time, making a garbled sigh. “If you’ve had enough of that, then you’re welcome to take your leave of it. Any which way is fine to us. Do you know what you want to do?” His smile was frank and kind.
Toller undid his blanket burrito and stood up, folding his blanket for stowage. “I’ll stay on board with Wendel and continue the piloting lessons.”
“Okay, go join her in the co-chair when you’re ready. I’m going to manage the linkup.”