Okay, let me start off by saying my part in all this is pretty minor...Jake Goldstein here, owner and operator of the Asteroid Cantina, the best bar in Old Town. I cater to only the highest quality of low-lifes in the Thieves Quarter...smugglers...Dream Merchants...the finest prosties in the area...but you don't want a holovid about the Asteroid, you want to know and me and Sinbad sh'en Singh. Right?
Sin and I go 'way back, to the time when he was a wet-behind-the-ears escapee from the Toxic Zone, 15-years-old and a veteran of a dozen years behind bars! He was one of Shark Tyvarius' proteges. Ol' Shark had fathered a whole herd of moonpups by his various mistresses and for a while, everyone thought the kid with the cat's-eyes and fangs was simply another of his brood, but the smuggler was quick to deny this one and since that was so unusual, everyone accepted it as truth. Anyhow, Shark taught Sinbad everything he could, making him his most infamous pupil, wanted by the Fed on five planets before everything was over. When Sin bought spatial territory from Shark to call his own "run," he made the Asteroid his Home Base and he and I became friends--I was actually Sin's best friend, and that's high praise, knowing how he hated humans. I was also executor of his estate whenever he finally lost his race with a Coast Guard torpedo.
I remember the day that little Natural came to the Bar. Andrea Talltrees. Man, she looked so pristine and out of place, politely asking the Merchant Marines to move aside so she could step up to the bar! She wanted to see Sin, said the bartender from the Blue Owl had sent her. Well, that guy had a rep for procuring, so I knew why he'd sent a female to Sin, what I couldn't understand was why he'd sent a Terran female. I was surprised when Sin took her into one of the "consultation" rooms. More surprised when she came out in one piece. Turns out I was wrong on all points, as I found out later when Sin asked me to help disguise her and get her false ID so he could get her off-planet and away from the Fed.
That was the last time I saw Sinbad sh'en Singh until nearly a year later when he showed up at the Asteroid, still recovering from major reconstructive surgery, toxed out of his mind, demanding the most potent raw-barley whiskey I stocked, and looking as if his heart had been shattered into a million micro-particles. He spent a lot of time "consulting" with Saydee, my best girl, after that, until the day that Natural kid, Cash, showed up. That little beggar was someone I wanted to backhand and I saw that Sin did, too. A real little troublemaker. Ogled Saydee, lit himself one of Sin's best illegal cigars, tried to drink most of his beer, with my pal doing his best to stop the kid and hitting a brick way wherever he turned. Let's face it, Sin knows nothing about raising kids--especially a teenager. Nevertheless, he left with the kid, causing a lot of raised eyebrows, and leaving me to assure them it ain't what you think!
Frankly, I don't know what to think!
You see, it's two days later now, and Sin just showed up, looking like that cat who'd been served a dozen canaries in a bowl of cream, grinning from one point-tipped ear to the other, and telling me he's got a kid of his own and he's on the way to the Brotherhood Council to resign. Resign! I can't believe it! Sinbad sh'en Singh, an Abider, living the Straight and Narrow? If that's the way it's going down, more power to him, and Good Luck, Ol' Buddy!
Hope they invite me to the wedding!
(Sinbad's Last Voyage is the first novel in the series The Adventures of Sinbad, released as an e-book and paperback by Double Dragon Publishers. It has also been made into an audio book in abridged form by Books in Motion. Sinbad's Wife is scheduled for publication in June, 2008.)