Ticket’s Price

A glittering gem is not enough

Spine stiff, Sofie waited. Marcos plucked the monocular off his face and rubbed at his eye, before plopping the device onto the table with a plink. “A glittering gem is not enough.” He pressed a finger to the top of the stone but didn’t send it skittering back across the table.

Sofie kept the polite smile on her face. “You sure about that? I mean, a smaller one got me passage from Atlanta to Arcana, and on to here.”

Marcos chuckled, his lips drawing back to show overly white teeth. “Positive.” The gem was still trapped beneath his finger. “The currents aren’t nearly as harsh on the air ships in those parts. I could sell the ticket for a second gem?”

His voice was cloying and stuck against her skin, making Sofie want to shudder. Instead she tilted her head slightly. “Now that can’t be right. That was the not the price Louis, Paul, or Albrecht gave me.”

Marcos chuckled. “Unfortunately, their information is a bit… out of date.” His eye twitched, a movement so slight and gone Sofie almost missed it.

Almost wasn’t quiet. She dropped her gaze, before looking back up. “Surely there must be something we can do here?”

His smile lengthened into a grin as he released his grip on the gem. “Well,” he said reaching across the table reaching for me.

I slammed my knife into his hand pinning it to the table. Snatching up the gem I leaned forward. “Give me the ticket.”

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