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Using a dust bin for support, he pulled himself up onto his feet, zipped up his fly, and staggered down the alley in search of a way to spend his savings.

But as Dick's tired feet slapped down wet street after wet street, and time and time again he was refused entry into the space-port’s bars and clubs, it soon became obvious that even the worst dives weren't going let him in looking and smelling as he did.

He began to feel sobriety catching up with him with each step, but like a martyr being whipped this only spurred him onward. He had waited months for this holiday and the voice in his head was on hand to remind him that events could always take a sudden turn for the better. ‘Keep looking, Dick,’ it said, ‘Something fun is probably just around the next corner... You'll see...’ But with each cold reception and barred entry the night began to chill even Dick's thick skin, and he couldn’t help feeling disappointed by his Terran home-coming.

“Welcome to The Planet of Original Sin!”, flashed a sign in his head, “Guaranteed to bring you down to Earth.”
“Oh for fuck’s sake...” moaned Dick, “What’s a red-blooded male gotta do to get a good time on this planet, eh?... Uh-oh... shit...”

He had strayed too deep into the dimly lit courtyard of a vast slum-block, and realising his mistake he retreated into the shadows and let his eyes adjust to the lack of light. As slums go, it was practically identical to those he had seen all over the Unified Galaxies: crumbling hive-like structures, overflowing dust-bins, used needles and cigarettes ends and soiled condoms littering the concrete, a dead tree surrounded by a patch of mud... How people could live like this was beyond him; the pungent and musty aroma of urine alone was enough to make him gag.


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