Nearly ten years the Summer fair had gone on – every year the government had tried to shut it down, convinced that it was a den of mages, thieves, and hackers. The organizers, however, always had every form complete in triplicate, every license up-to-date, and boasted that never in the ten years since the fair had taken over the strip of main street between first and fifth had there ever been an incident. So every year during the last week of summer people flocked to the grass and gardens that had somehow hung on in the middle of the city for food, music, and street performers.
Of course the street fair really was a cover for mages, thieves and hackers to do their business, but that wasn’t something everybody needed to know.
It was still early morning when Meg eased their food truck into the assigned spot – the parking was not made easier by Drey’s wing in her face and the worried exclamations about who or what they were about to run into.
“Relax, would you?” Meg muttered. She parked the truck and pulled the e-brake, shooting a worried glance at the vaguely threatening sky. Not that rain ever stopped the regulars from showing up, but, well, it was wet.
“We passed three watchers on the way here, and there’s another one about ten feet away. We’re going to get caught this time, I know it.” Drey hunched her shoulders, trying to hide further in the already cramped truck.
“This thing has been happening for ten years now and nobody’s gotten caught. Besides, I need gold plating and bytechips, and Trevor only ever comes out for this. Now go make yourself useful.” Meg smacked Drey’s shoulder, half shoving the dragon out of the passenger seat. Drey grumbled as she shimmered a deep purple color, keeping her shredded wings tucked close against her body.
“I’m gonna go stake the place out. Sonia’s coming, right?” Drey asked.
“If she’s not I’m gonna kill her myself. Shoo!” Meg waved, Drey sullenly stalked off, playing the part of goth punk dragon just a little too well. Meg watched her go for a minute before turning back to the mess that was their food truck – Stormy Dayz gourmet sandwiches. Available for catering. Honestly she liked the catering menu better – she got to play and pretty the food up in ways that just wasn’t practical for street food.
It turned into a fine day. Meg leaned out the window of the food truck, watching the people pass by. Business was good, but she was enjoying the break.
“I was told your special sauce is to die for.” A pale gold unicorn sidled up to the window, nervous and walking in such a way that seemed unusually timid. Even for a first-timer. Meg stared a sandwich.
“If it was the taco guy two booths down he’s just out of lettuce and doesn’t want to admit it. Chicken or pork?” Meg asked. Her hands flew over the bar, building up a vegetarian sandwich. Because unicorns didn’t eat meat, everyone knew that.
“Both. With a side of onions,” the unicorn replied. Meg paused, hand hovering over the chopping board for just a second too long. Mage and hacker, with a bounty to boot. Apparently Ivan thought they didn’t already have enough trouble.
“I don’t usually just hand out onions, that’ll cost you extra.” Meg turned back with the sandwich, plating it up with ease. The unicorn took it with her telekinetic rune, hovering the sandwich within easy reach.
“I can pay,” the unicorn said. Meg sighed, huffing bright pink hair out of her face as she leaned her elbows on the counter.
“You’re obviously new here, so I’ll point out the regulars. Gemma is performing tonight, stage three. Two booths down is Heidi – she sells the best bags and the price is right. Coradine is a block up, with the tie dye, she can get your color matched. And Drax is opposite – his drawings have the best chances in town.” Meg rattled off the list of movers – people who had a habit of being able to get fugitives into and out of the city.
“I don’t know, a little bird told me yours was the best,” the unicorn said. A little bird. Gigabyte. Again. Ugh. If he wasn’t her twin Meg would gladly throttle him.
Meg took a casual glance down the street – Heidi had the nearest Watcher distracted, but that wouldn’t last.
“Listen kid, I’ve got a special running tonight. Find me round tear-down time. You got a name?” Meg asked.
“Solara,” the unicorn answered.
“Solara, right. Now scram, I’ve got customers.” Meg turned away to deal with the line that was forming again. This was going to be trouble, Meg could tell. Luckily it was the kind of trouble she thrived on. Much as she whined… it was really fun giving the Hunters the slip.