Discovery part 6 by Ronald Faltus

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SUMMARY: Gareth trails his mark.

Gareth stumbled out of the bar, and it took him a second to understand why he was having difficulty seeing outside. Eventually he realized that it was well into night, and the streets in this section of city suffered from a sever lack of lighting. This is probable why it was popular with the degenerates and criminals that prowled them. They enjoyed the deep shadows; it allowed them to ply their trade away form the threat of inquisitive eyes. But the streets were by no means deserted. Nearly all the customers from the bar had left all at once, depopulated in a subtle rush too the door. Once tipped off that the GPS cruiser's had departed the news had quickly filtered through the crowd.

Falling into line with the exodus form the tavern, Gareth and the group snaked towards the starport. Even though everyone had the same destination, each kept a discrete distance form one another. A civil way of indicating that I know what you're up too, but let's just pretend that we are all merely out for a nice evening stroll so as not to draw attention to ourselves. Which was fine by Gareth, he really didn't fit in with the group to begin with. True there was a price on his head, but he was innocent. His only crime was getting caught up with a company that was trying to protect their assets form the truth. Ironically he thought how many of the others around him would plead the same defense? Probably all of them would state that they were only poor victims of circumstance.

As he walked, Gareth felt himself being pulled to the left, the alcohol messing with his sense of balance. He had not only to concentrate on remaining upright, but to keep track of the man several paces ahead of him. Towering a good head and a half above everyone else, he was easy to pick out of the crowd. Added to his distinctive features was a black patch over his left eye. Gareth thought it quite cliché for a space pirate to adorn such iconic eye ware. Still it made him an easy mark to follow, even in Gareth's inebriated state. Not that he wanted to look too conspicuous to Sands, altering his stride to vary the distance between the two of them. The last thing he wanted at this point was to tip off the giant. He had already witnessed him man handle a bartender and Gareth knew that he presently wasn't a close match to the lumbering pirate. Unfortunately, his attempts at subtlety caused him to bump into at least a half dozen other scoundrels in the group, making him come off more as an uncoordinated drunk.

After a few slurred apologies, Gareth found his cadence, and settled into a steady walk. It dawned on him that they were all heading to the space port anyway, there was no need to stay on Sand's heals. The realization startled him, forcing him to question exactly what state of mind he was in. Yes, he knew he was drunk, more so than he had ever gotten before. But the brief glimpse of clarity made him ask if he wasn't able to figure out the simple fact that they were all headed to the same destination, how sane of an idea was following Sands in the first place.

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