The New Odd Couple

I glared at the dashboard. “Jiana, bear in mind that I could flush you out of Sweeper’s systems altogether and pull the holographic storage block containing you. I could then just have Sweeper data-mine your memories until I found what I wanted. “

“You wouldn’t!” she squawked.

“I’ve been trying to be nice, since it’s my fault you’re here in the first place. But you’re getting on the last nerve I have left after your sister planted a bomb in my guts, and I would and I will unless I get a little cooperation.”

She was quiet for a moment, then asked sulkily, “What do you want?”

“Stop trying to rewrite Sweeper, for one thing. He doesn’t like it. And go holo-on.”

A moment later, Jiana appeared holographically in the passenger seat, arms crossed and glowering at me. “Meanie.”

“Now—what are we looking for?”

She sighed. “Our starship’s primary power core. The Marauders stole it when we had their delegation on board our ship. I was sent to retrieve it, but the mission didn’t go so well.”

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