Every day is a gain.
Syah paused. “Before you ask: no, I’ve never smoked deathheart. Nobody I know has. You smoke it, supposedly you get seventeen trips like you wouldn’t believe.”
“Seventeen, huh? Don’t tell me, let me guess: the eighteenth kills you dead.”
Syah swigged his beer. “Got it in one. As in, your brain leaves your skull via your ears. At high pressure.”
“Ahh! I’m eating here, Syah. And I was joking!” He spread his hands and gave me one of those too-good smiles, so I wasn’t sure if he was exaggerating. He might not have been. The Tomb Worlds aren’t for the timid.
“You don’t have deathheart on Jefferson, then?” asked Syah. “Must be nice.”
I ignored the very slight edge in his voice — the other colony worlds sometimes resent how ready Jefferson was for human habitation — and answered his question. “Not in the field. Back during the Assertion of Independence a militia company found what I guess you’d call a seed bank: there were a bunch of alien plants in it, ready to be planted. Deathheart was one of them. But that’s not surprising, right? The plant can thrive, under a lot of different planetary conditions. I guess Bolivar just hadn’t been cleaned up enough for humans yet.”
“Lucky us,” muttered Syah.