He was surrounded by a sea of faces. Every so often, anticipation would swell up slowly and then all of a sudden burst, in a wave of emotion. At the table to his left, a woman cried out with glee, jumping up and down with excitement and squealing like a piglet. At the table to his right, a man stared down at his hand, sweat dripping from his tightened brow. The highs and lows seemed exaggerated, like a caricature of day-to-day life. To Connor, it was just another day at work. The regulars at the Black Stallion were some of the richest of the spacefaring elite, visiting Vega’s only station from their ships and colonies to try their hand at the latest games of chance; it was the only gambling establishment to achieve the coveted six-moon rating for hospitality. In the course of their stays, some would win and some would lose, and though the latter was more common, people kept coming back.
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