Proxy, 15600 words. An adjudicator faces his past and must decide if justice is worth the cost. Opening scene: I linked and dropped Heress a note and waited in the space port lounge with nothing to do but watch the rain slide down the tall windows. Ugly and dark outside, as always. Like looking into a mirror. Nothing I cared to see. I shut my eyes against the world and ignored the bustle around me. Maybe I slept for an hour. Maybe two. Someone nudged my foot with their own. Heress. Judging me with his permanent frown. Neat wiry hair capping his small frame. He said nothing. I said nothing back. Nothing needed to be said. I grabbed my overnight and stood, and followed him out of the building to his taxi. He got in front. I piled in the back and shuffled out of the wet coat. A clear partition separated us. Icons ghosted inside of it. Lodging. Restaurants. Entertainment. Any place I wanted. Heress said, "Off the menu?" "Like last time." Heress nodded and pulled the courier into the traffic nudging along under the huge portico. He turned onto the main highway to the city that took us through sections of warehouses and truck depots. Virtual logos and names for Hasco Enterprises, Cellu-Fab, and Danetti hung in front of them. I saw enough and linked off, gray buildings passed in gray rain. We said nothing until we crossed the wide notch in the crater rim, leaving the thunder of spacecraft behind. Heress said, "Who's the body?" "Lormen Taveret." I pulled my clip out and peeled off five hundred tronums in slips and pushed them through the pay slot in the center of the partition between the front seats. "He roughed up a rich girl, so I got to find him quick." Heress dropped a hand from the steering wheel into the catch basin to gather the money. He sighed. "I'll see what I can do, but it's short notice." "I didn't want to spook anyone." "Who Taveret?" He aborted a laugh. "Or that gorgeous frail?" "Drop it," I said, "I'm just here to do a job." I met his eyes in the rearview mirror. He didn't believe me.