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EARTHQUEST

D.A. Madigan

Copyright D.A. Madigan 2012

Published at Smashwords





PART I - SOMEONE ELSE IN DEEP SHIT A LONG LONG WAY AWAY

Chapter 1. The Word For World Is 'Mudhole'

K'Thallians are one of the most widespread of the Galactic Human sub-races. Found on most worlds accessible by starship, the K'Thallians originated on a roughly Earthlike world with more than double Earth's gravity and atmospheric pressure. Adaptable, durable, enormously strong, and as a general rule, not hugely intelligent, the K'Thallians have been exported as contract labor (and, in the sector's more lawless and therefore semantically honest regions, slaves) throughout the outward spiral arm of the Milky Way on more than 1200 of the well exploited 7000 World Lines. K'Thallian metabolisms require two to three times as much fuel as the Galactic Human baseline, making them easily exploitable, but also making them extremely short tempered when they've missed a few meals.

-- Touring The Milky Way For Fun And Profit, Webster Madison

 

I stood up, flexed my fingers to make sure my gloves were on fully, pushed my hat down more firmly, rocked slightly in my cowboy boots. "Okay," I said, finally. "Lights. Camera! - "

The room I'd been in blinked and was replaced, immediately, by a narrow, filthy street between high, ancient looking, very shabby buildings that were unsettlingly alien in their overall shape, angles, and proportions. The street was full of ugly people and uglier non-people. No one seemed to be paying any attention to my sudden appearance, which was just as well.

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