The timing had to be precise and her information needed to be legitimate. She paid plenty just for the supplier to give her a time and place where the meeting could take place. Then then there was getting there. Blake had been stuck in old town Bardeeshi for over a year working during the day stitching flex bags for some produce supplier just to have enough money to turn the internet on at night. Blok fed all his workers if they finished their quota so she never went hungry or needed to spend the money on food. That didn’t mean that she wasn’t thirty pounds lighter since she arrived on the middle transport planet. The internet was more important she need to maintain some connection to the other worlds.
At first the hunger of only eating the bread, tofu and glog that Blok gave them was unbearable, but all she could do was stay low and blend in with the million or so immigrants that could never make it past Bardeeshi. Most believed if they could get there and save enough money to move on towards Desanti and then Fortude then just maybe on day Paradise Landing would be the last before heaven itself. Unfortunately Blake knew how it felt to be these people unable to see an end to the dreary hell that was Bardeeshi.
Work was scarce. Transporters brought produce and supplies from all over the boarder lands in giant cavernous ships and workers on Bardeeshi sorted the food worth shipping forward. The bags Blake and the other workers stitched together would carry food from tomatoes to apples to billions of people all over the free worlds. Blake never thought after years of training to protect the UFP she would hope to meet a quota to not starve. She feared they would find her dead in her room one day of starvation. She’d rather die at the end of a gun barrel so if the time came she’d walk to the consulate and yell as loud as possible, she’d die face first in the pavement not cold and hungry, that was not honorable for any soldier.
Being hungry and dirty did nothing for warding off the many diseases the people brought with them on transport ships. Many people even children were turned away after months on the ships going from worm hole to worm hole. Most wouldn’t make it back to their home world that was the cold hard fact of life for so many trying to find a better world to call home. Unfortunately the most outer worlds were the most hospitably and livable. Bardeeshi was not one of them. It rained most of the time and the rain had a sort of sulfur smell that burned your nose if you sucked it in. All the drinking water was purified for human consumption and any animals that people brought with them from off world. The native flora and fauna adapted long before to such harsh conditions. Scientists worked hard to get humans this far but money goes only so far to get each planet to a stage that is economical and this was it for Bardeeshi. It was for transport and not luxury living.
Blake’s huddle was simple. It had internet and electricity that she turned on at night for a short time to get the place warm and to charge her network. The came around once a week and took payment. The distributer for a while had been trying each week to charge her more until one time he left with a knife gash that ran from one ear to the other, just enough to remind him next time not to screw with her. She wasn’t sure how many time she could do that or how long. She slept very little and at less and less. One morning she realized she was more than tired or hungry but sick from some nasty bug probably from the food or water or the person who use to sit next to her at work. Even if she wanted to leave Bardeeshi the health control would stop her at the gate.
To get well meant going out into public which meant showing ID’s which put her in harms way more than she had in almost a year. But with what the locals called the cough of death which she assumed was tuberculosis she wouldn’t make it for another month or so and the shot to the head would begin to seem like the last resort.
After a long day of work and staying long enough to eat Blake asked Blok where the most private medical exchange was. On Bardeeshi a person could get most any drug they wanted, it all came on the ships and was distributed right there on the port decks, anyone could easily steal enough to make a living on the black market. But if you didn’t want to get some other disease from taking blackmarket drugs you went to the exchanges. Those who ran them had to have a license and was checked regularly on who purchased those drugs which meant you had to have a UFP license. Her’s would immediately threw hundreds of flags so when she arrived in the beginning she had one made but money was limited so the background went only so far. If someone questioned her more than a few years back her license would be blank. But for the exchange she hoped it would be enough to get medication.