The Unity Chronicles

Fresh Start

Unity Standard Time: 09:12, 23rd of August U107. Nuovo Firenze, Sulis (Minerva system)

The clatter of glasses woke him up. Raising his head from its resting place on his arms, one of which he blearily noted was wet with drool, he peered about him.

The room was quiet, apart from Luci restocking the glasses below the bar. Her expression suggested to him that she had made a little extra noise in order to wake him. He scrunched his numb face into what he hoped looked like contrition, and sat up.

The room spun and so did he, almost losing his balance on the low-backed bar stool. Righting himself with a little effort, he squinted at the clock above the many-coloured bottles. It was almost three in the morning, local time; little wonder the bar was so quiet. Not much hard-drinking tended to get done midweek.

A slap on his shoulder jolted him and his reflexes, albeit drugged, kicked in. He spun to his left, pushed at the person there with his left hand to send them staggering back, and drew the blaster from the shoulder holster with his right.

The bar stool was not in a cooperative mood, however, and squealed a final protest before depositing him on the floor. He landed heavily on his back, legs tangled in the stool. His blaster, however, was trained directly at the -- admittedly blurry -- figure standing nearby. He noted that Luci had stopped moving in what was left of his peripheral vision.

"You are a fucking mess, Wil."

The blur coalesced into something resembling his partner, Troy. He'd last seen him at the prefecture where they had had a blazing row about a case that hardly even mattered to either of them.

"Come on," he said, holding out his hand. "The Intendent wants to see you first thing in the morning."

"Firing me?" Kerri managed.

"He should. But no, word is you're being seconded by the Order. They want you for their intel division. You're lucky they only read your record and didn't ask anyone their personal opinion."

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