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I’ve got nowhere to stay. I can’t go back to Dad. I just can’t. The fire destroyed all that equipment he’d bought. And he had to pay for the damage to the room itself. Now he can’t expand the business at all. Hell, he can barely keep afloat. How can I go crawling back after doing something like that?

I ruined my father with my stupidity.

And I ruined myself too, by the way. When I walked out on Sean, I had a couple hundred slugs to my name. I couldn’t rent a room with that. I couldn’t even eat proper food.

I’m living on Gunk. Every day. Unflavored, because I can’t afford extracts. And…oh God, Kelvin…I don’t have anywhere to live. I sleep where I can. Areas without a lot of people in them. High floors where it’s godawful hot or low floors where it’s freezing. I stole a blanket from a hotel laundry room just to have something to sleep under. I have to keep moving every night to stay a step ahead of Rudy. It’s against the rules to be homeless. And he’s been gunning for me since the fire. He’ll use any excuse he can to get rid of me.

If he catches me I’ll get deported to Saudi Arabia. Then I’ll be broke, homeless, and have gravity sickness. I have to stay here.

I’m sorry to dump all this on you. I just don’t have anyone else to talk to.

Do NOT offer me money. I know that’ll be your first instinct, but don’t. You have four sisters and two parents to take care of.

Dear Jazz,

I don’t know what to say. I’m devastated. I wish I could do something for you.

Things haven’t been great here either. My sister Halima announced that she’s pregnant. The father is apparently a military man of some kind and she doesn’t even know his last name. There’s going to be a baby to take care of soon, and it throws a wrench into all our plans. Originally, I was going to pay for Halima’s education, then she’d pay for Kuki’s education while I saved up money for Mom and Dad’s retirement. Then Kuki would pay for Faith’s education and so on. But now Halima won’t be doing anything but taking care of her baby and we’ll have to fund her. Mom got a job as a clerk at a grocery store on the KSC campus. It’s the first job she’s had in her life. She seems to like it, but I wish she didn’t have to work at all.

Dad will have to work many more years. Kuki is now saying she’ll get an unskilled labor job somewhere to bring in money. But she’s selling her future!

We should count our blessings. Halima will be a good mother. And my family will soon have a new child to cherish. We are all healthy and we have each other.

You may be homeless, but at least it’s in the relatively clean, safe streets of Artemis instead of some Earth city. You have a job and are making some money. Hopefully more than you are spending.

Difficult times, my friend, but there is a path. There must be. We will find it. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you.

“Okay, this is some bullshit,” I said to the harvester.

The other two harvesters also rolled toward me. Probably to make sure I couldn’t hide behind a rock to get away. Their controllers now had me on camera from multiple angles. Whee.

I later learned what had happened: The boulder that murdered my air tanks made quite a thump—the harvester felt the tremor. They have very sensitive equipment in their wheels to detect ground vibration. Why? Because they dig on mountainsides. If there’s an avalanche brewing, the controllers want to know right away.

So the harvester called home to report the tremor. Back at Sanchez’s control center, workers checked the previous couple minutes’ video. They wanted to know if a wall of stony death was about to eat their multimillion-slug harvester. Guess what they saw! Me disappearing into the undercarriage! So they sent another harvester to see what the hell I was up to.

Then they called the EVA masters. I don’t know exactly how the conversation went, but I assume it was something like this:

Sanchez controllers: “Hey! Why are you fucking with our harvester?!”

EVA masters: “We’re not.”

Sanchez: “Well, someone is.”

EVA masters: “We’ll go kick their ass. Not because we care about you, but because we want to continue our stranglehold monopoly on EVAs. Also, we’re a bunch of assholes.”

So right now, the EVA masters were forming a posse to drag me back to Artemis. After that would come beatings, deportation, gravity sickness in Riyadh, and things generally going downhill from there.

I stopped to think about this new situation. There was no way I’d get back into town before an angry mob of EVA masters came out looking for me. So there was no point in aborting. May as well finish the job before the epic game of lunar hide-and-seek began.

The posse would use a freight rover for fast travel. They can go ten kilometers per hour. The uphill climb would slow them a bit. Call it six kilometers per hour. I had a half hour before they arrived.

Subtlety time was over. My plan to make shit happen after I got home was gone. Sanchez would recall all the harvesters for inspection. Mechanics would then go over each one with a fine-toothed comb and undo my hard work.

I had to permanently destroy all four harvesters within the next thirty minutes. On the plus side, Sanchez’s controllers had been kind enough to put them all next to me.

Okay, first things first. I grabbed a pair of wire cutters from my duffel, leapt onto the harvester that spotted me, and clambered to the top. The primary and secondary comm systems were both mounted to the highest point of the cab for maximum range. The harvester (now under human control no doubt) shimmied forward and back—probably trying to shake me off. But harvesters just aren’t very fast. I kept my balance easily and made short work of all four antennas. They were a little thicker than the wire cutters were designed for, but I got it done. It stopped dead as soon as the fourth antenna dropped. Harvesters are programmed to sit idle if they lose connection. You wouldn’t want your harvester wandering around on its own, right?

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