“Indeed, we did. Thank you so much for your help,” Magnus said. He had a grateful smile and a look of complete relief. “Thank you so much, Madam Rae. You’ve saved me from agonizing over my decisions. How can I ever repay you?”

“As always, your highness, credits shall serve their purpose,” she spoke modestly.

His eyes widened in surprise, as though only just remembering the payment portion of the call. “Of course, of course. Your services are worth every bit.”

Magnus picked up a date pad on his end, punched a few buttons, then placed his thumb on its thumb pad. Moments later, there was a ding, and the payment appeared on her screen. Her eyes widened appreciatively.

“You’re most generous, sir.”

“Yes. Yes, I am,” he returned. “Thank you, again, Madam Rae. Until we next meet.”

He flourished his hand, then disappeared from the viewscreen. Raekah truly slumped in the chair this time, pulling off her scarf with relief. She used it to fan her face.

“That thing is hot,” she murmured. Her attention turned to Altair. He clearly had thoughts about the whole shenanigans. “How did I do?”

He shrugged. “You made 25,000 credits off of it, so I guess pretty well.”

“That is quite a bit, isn’t it?” she said, unable to hide her smug satisfaction.

Altair could only shake his head in amusement. “You really have a gift for this, Raekah,” he said with a smirk. “But just remember, your luck will eventually run out.”

Raekah just waved her hand dismissively. “Oh, lighten up, Altair. It’s not like I’m hurting anyone. Besides, look at that payment the prince just sent me! More consultations like that one and I will live like a queen on my own space station when I retire.”

Altair rolled his eyes. “That’s not the point. You’re not just scamming people out of their credits; you’re giving them false hope. And what about the danger you’re putting yourself in with these fake potions and elixirs? You could be risking your own life.”

But Raekah wasn’t listening. She was already heading back to her lab, eager to finish up the brew she had been working on prior to the prince’s call. When she walked into the lab, the potion she’d brewed had changed to a lovely shade of burgundy and glittered in the light. It had stopped bubbling in the terrifying manner it had been earlier. She picked it up and smiled at the AI who arrived shortly after her.

“See, Altair. Everything is turning out great for us today. We’ll just say that it’s a topical treatment and not to be ingested. No harm, no foul.”

But deep down, she knew Altair had a point. One day, her scams were going to catch up with her. And she didn’t want to think about the consequences of that happening.

Swallowing her doubts, she gave Altair her next command. “Do be a dear and set a course for Lyra’s Landing.”

He froze for a moment and appeared to flicker while Altair plotted the course as commanded. “Course laid in.”

“Let’s get to it then.”

I Hope You Enjoyed the First Episode

Thank you so much for checking this story out. If you like what you’ve read, don’t forget to like the story on Vella. Also, be on the lookout for the next story in my Crimson series, Hell-Bent. I’m editing it now, so it should be hitting Amazon and Smashwords in the near future.

Until next time, Keep your Mind in the Gutter!

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