This is number 5 in a science fiction series I started. Here are the links to the previous ones if you wish to catch up. This is completely made up as I go and started on a suggestion from a chat. Comments welcome.
Georgia crouched down to pick up a piece of fruit she nudged off the table. "Now," she whispered into her com.
Though she knew what would happen, the force of the blast left her ears ringing. Several people bumped past her before she managed to get under the table.
The electromagnetic pulse knocked out lights and cameras, but not life support. Those areas had protections and safeguards to prevent disruption. After this, she though, even Penny Lane would be secured with redundant systems, space station operations would see to that.
The market took up the center of deck nine. The gang confined the disruption near the Chentry section. They hoped to blame the whole operation on anti Chentry separatists.
Market goers began to bump and jostle in their panic to escape the darkness. Georgia scurried from her hiding place, feeling for the edge of stall tables. The scents of fresh cut fish, guided her to the left and down two tables.
She knew security officer Jones sat and had coffee with his cousin every morning at 10. As she rounded the corner she heard his gruff voice bellowing, "Stay calm!"
The panic in his own voice only served to upset more people. "He's doing my job for me," thought Georgia. As she moved closer she bumped into a table of hissing insects. As she reached out to steady it, she felt a tentacle slither under her fingers..
Shuddering she snatched her hand away and began wailing to attract Jones to her. As he neared she grabbed a passerby and body checked them into a small group she heard milling about.
She ducked under the bread table across from the now fighting crowd and listened as officer Jones tried to stop the chaos she created.
Georgia reached up and grabbed a loaf to nibble on while she waited. The pungeont flavor of the sourdough took her back to the first time she went to a Penny Lane.
Benhi had just handed her a phone that served as ID. She turned it over in her hands and checked to see her face staring out at her.
"You'll have to learn how to use it before you go out. You don't want to be fumbling with it when asked," said the Chentry."At least you can read, that's a step up from most people who live on the street."
Georgia clicked through the menus and noticed that she had a few credits on balance. Benhi told her that she'd earn more as time went on. She smiled to herself at the new found personhood, though it did make her feel a bit dizzy.
Early the next morning she dressed in her brown overalls and black shoes and headed to the market. Benhi wanted her to run an errand for him. She needed a few things for herself as well. The Chentry don't have hair so Benhi neglected to buy her a comb. She made do with her fingers, but she needed to learn proper grooming.
They decided that she would start out as a low level worker and build her ID as time went on. She needed time to adjust to having an address.
In the past, she avoided the market during the day. Though it proved excellent nighttime scrounging grounds.
Now that she could browse and even buy a few items, Georgia savored the pungent aromas of fresh local delicacies. One stall piled fish around all four sides. Three aproned dark haired men stood around the center table gutting and skinning items for customers too lazy to do it themselves. She eyed the chum bucket and thought about the times when she'd found fish heads to eat after the market closed.
She kept to the edge as she glanced at bread and fruit and guessed at a couple of items where more Chentry stood waiting their turn. Vats of dark liquid roiled with living thing waving tentacles out the top. Cages of hissing insects protested with piercing chirps when the clerks grabbed one out to sell.
Georgia lurked past the minstrel strumming a lyre. He thrusted his chin at her hoping for a tip, but she didn't know how to do it so she scurried past. He turned to look for easier pickings.
An argument between a pair of stall owners ensued near where Georgia stood. She looked for a place to hide , but realized that no one else was paying any attention to the loud voices. She forced herself to hold a passive expression and moved away.
Lost in the excitement of the new experience Georgia realized she missed the alarm on her phone. When she found Drax in the electronics section, He yelled at her for being late.
"You think I have all day? Now you wait for me." With that the brown skinned man sat and began watching something on his phone.
Georgia watched him a moment then looked down at his wares. Old useless junk, she reasoned. Nothing on his table shone with the gleam of modern tech.
She decided to try a bluff and see how he would react. "I guess Benhi will have to take his business to someone else. Someone who delivers." She turned to walk away.
He stood and glared at her frowning a moment, then shrugged and smiled. "Any friend of Benhi's" he trialed off. Taking the package from him, she gave him the stern look she always got in the orphanage. His smile faded as she turned away and hurried back to her mentor.
Back at the space station, lights began flashing about and crowds filled lit corridors. She slid in near Jones just as the gang gave her the all clear.
After the market cleanup, the security chief picked her up when he saw the video of her ducking down before the blast. He used this as an excuse to debrief her. She feigned complete ignorance. She didn't know what they were exchanging, only that they needed her to keep Jones occupied. She did report on some minor gang activity and they agreed that nothing would be done.
Her cover more secure, Georgia rose within the ranks of the gang and kept her under cover status with the chief. Soon she began using both resources to trace the people responsible for killing her mentor.