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Rachel downed her beer and wiped her mouth on her sleeve. Terribly uncouth, yes. Did she care? No. The only thing Rachel cared about at the moment was finding a way to get off this rotten pile of metal, officially known as the World Space Station. Two years-she was doomed to two years on this deep space hell. The judge had given her a choice-come here as a custodian or go to prison on Earth. At the time, the space station had seemed like an easy choice, but now Rachel realised Earth prison might have been the lesser of two evils. At least there she wouldn't have had to clean up after filthy slobs all day, she might have got a glimpse of the sun once in a while and maybe even a breath of fresh air instead of the stale crap that was pumped through the vents here. The food couldn't be any worse in Earth prison, either. And while she had more freedom here, just knowing she was so far away from her family and friends made this seem even more confining than barbed wire and prison walls.
Her crime had been minor-hacking into the computer files of an insurance company to retrieve a bit of harmless information to sell to a competitor. But, combined with her past history of breaking and entering and other petty crimes and the fact it was an election year, the judge had decided to make an example of her. So here she was, two weeks into her sentence, already looking for a way to escape.
Catching the eye of the bartender, Rachel pointed to her glass. The bartender glided over and gave her a charming smile.
"You look like you could use a little fun tonight. Brody's the name. I see you in here a lot-it's time we were introduced. What's your name?"
Rachel wasn't really in the mood for conversation, but she was curious about this man, who had been tending bar at Orbitz every night she'd been in-which was every night since she'd arrived on the station. Tall and muscular, with dark skin, black hair and just a hint of Irish brogue in his speech, he was friendly, cheerful and quite handsome. Rachel was particularly attracted to his unusual eyes-big and deep green, like a pair of emerald earrings she used to own.
Though Rachel tried to avoid direct eye contact as much as possible since it often led to unwanted conversations, she could have sworn she saw a luminous glow coming from Brody's peepers when she did sneak a glance.