"Got a credit?" said a man in rags, pushing his toothless face up close to Aart's.

"What? No."

The man scowled and hurried away to the next person.

Noise pounded Aart's eardrums; the hawk of merchants, the buzz of engines, the whirring of overhead ships. Conversations in a myriad of languages surrounded him, threatening to overwhelm.

He took a deep breath. He needed food, water, a place to sleep. For that, he needed money.

He groaned as his eyes fell back on the shuttle; a shuttle filled with gold. His stomach dropped. If he'd just stopped and thought about it for five seconds he could have grabbed a handful of gold and had enough money to survive for weeks. As it was, he couldn't risk going back, and even if he did he had no way of opening the door.

"Idiot!" he cursed himself, smacking his palm against the building beside him.

He rubbed his eyes. He didn't know how things worked here—wherever here was—and he had nothing to his name.

He steadied himself against the building and calmed his racing thoughts. What did he have? What assets? Just himself. He could mine, but somehow the city-like district didn't look like it offered many mining opportunities. His only other skill, one which had got him out of trouble before, was his ability to talk to people.

He stood straight and brushed as much dirt and blood off himself as he could. He steered clear of those dressed in fine robes and went instead to a young man dressed in slightly tattered clothes who stood on the corner selling bruised apples.

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