Discovery part 5 by Ronald Faltus

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SUMMARY: Gareth learns more about the bracelet and the scum suppling them.

Back at the bar, it took several more rounds before the bracelet would begin to really respond to Gareth's inquiries about the necklace. By that time, Gareth had lost feeling in his face and was sure that he would be sick. But he focused hard on what the bartended had to say, pooping a hand full of stale bar nuts to quench his turbulent stomach. Like he had known before, the bartended had bought the necklace off a smuggler for his ‘girlfriend'. She was still seated at the bar, and was more than happy to show off the gift to him once again.

"It cost me a ton of credits, but for a piece of alien stuff, it was worth it."

Gareth snorted involuntarily at the comment, but managed to cover his reaction by taking another drink. "Yeh, well I'm not too worried about the price. Were did you get it from?"

Before he responded, the bartender poured Gareth another glass and placed it next too the still almost full one in front of him. Gareth understood the suggestion, and rummaged thought his pockets and dug out his last ten credit bill. It represented the last of his money, but he felt compelled to find out more about the bracelet's origin. After reexamining it on the woman's wrist, he was sure of exactly what it was. He just hopped that the cost for information wouldn't exceed his meager resources.

Satisfied with the installment, he handed Gareth his change and continued. "Got it from a guy named Sands. He had a dozen or so of them, but the sold them out pretty fast. I go the last one."

The number jolted Gareth, one or two was bad enough, but dozens was unfathomable. These bracelets were not just some thing you could find laying around. They were not uncommon, especially if you knew were too look, but the only way to get at them was grotesque. Gareth's skin grew cold; as a fresh wave of nausea erupted form his abdomen.

Pushing the sensation aside, he hoped the answer too his next question didn't result in him having to buy another drink. "Sold out, that's a shame. Any word if he might be getting some more in?"
"Said he's going to head out too were he got them and pick up some more. That is, once ‘you know who' leaves." He pointed upward as he finished the sentence, referring to the GPS cruiser orbiting above.

Gareth raised his glass and swallowed hard. It was worse than he thought. You just don't go out and pick up these bracelets. The fact that this Sands was making return trips to this source filled him with concern. He was doing something terrible wrong, wholly immoral and irreverent. Gareth had to stop him, before he could desecrate any more of the past.

"Any way I can find Sands before he leaves?" Fighting through his growing anger, he managed to mask his words with calmness. "So I can put in an advanced order with him."

The bartender responded with another full drink, setting it down next to the untouched one. Gareth handed over the rest of his money, this time indicating he didn't want any change back.

"Keep it."

"Thanks." The bartender grabbed the credits and pushed them into the till.

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