Sharon L Reddy

Hardline Lifer

©1994, 2000, 2011

Target Yonder

Millennium Works Collection

Smashwords Edition

ISBN 978-1-5838-502-9

Chapter One

The gavel came down and it was over. It had been a farce. A bad dream. They'd kept thinking they'd wake up. They kept thinking someone would stop it. They kept expecting their world would protest. Perhaps it had. Or perhaps seven hundred nine people were too few for Madras to bother with. Seven hundred nine and one trial and one verdict. Guilty. Guilty of being in the wrong place at the right time. Guilty of being on a ship that had needed emergency repair. Guilty of asking for help. Guilty of asking the Yano to aid them.

The charge was trespass. They hadn't even set foot on the world until the armed guards herded them into a shuttle, then transports and from those into a cage.

Pan was shoved into a transport with others. He decided there was some kind of sorting process going on, but he couldn't tell what the basis of it was. He was too stunned to think. Umi was shoved in behind him and he caught her so she didn't fall. They didn't speak. None of them spoke. They'd learned that fast. They were gassed if they did. It didn't make them unconscious. It made them hurt.

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