1. The best clubs have bouncers that see past the glamour and let her in with a knowing smile.
2. Whispers follow him wherever he goes, like sharks behind ships the rumors swim in his shadows, waiting for the slightest misstep to flare to life again.
3. “I agreed to help the police,” said the robot with barely concealed distaste. “Helping you is just unavoidable collateral.”
4. There’s a hitch in his voice when he talks about his old ship, as if she’d been a person and not a hunk of plastic and steel.
5. Tiny hooked thorns line the ribs of the thumb-length seedpods, delicate enough not to harm skin but stubborn enough to entangle in hair and fur with only the lightest touch.