Tag Archives: Undesiredverse

Undesiredverse Question – Men and Women

In Chapter 15 of Undesiredverse: Wanted , we meet Zumani, Roman’s ex-wife or current owner, depending on whether you ask Roman or Zumani.

Zumani is a belladonna, a member of a species of hot supermodel type purple space babes.  Assassination is the number one industry on Belladon (I’m changing the name from Belandria’s Dawn), given that these ladies are able to so easily dupe idiotic men with their…assets.

As we learn in this chapter, a year prior to the events of this story, a cultural misunderstanding occurred.  Zumani asked Roman if he’d like to “tie the knot.”  Roman, an Earth human, took that to mean “get married.”  He loved her so sure, why not.

But “tie the knot” means something very different in Zumani’s culture.  She took Roman’s assent as an invitation to literally tie a damn rope around his neck and drag him to a priestess who performed a ceremony and declared Roman to be Zumani’s slave.

And thus we learn the lowly state of men on Belladon.  There aren’t any natural born males on Belladon.  The belladonnas just kidnap other worldly males and force them into servitude.  Men have no rights at all.

Throughout the story, Zumani never calls Roman by his name.  She just calls him, “property.”

As our story unfolds, Zumani becomes one of the many ne’er-do-wells on the hunt for Roman, hoping that by capturing him, she’ll be able to restore her honor.  After all, a good Belladonna never loses her “property.”

To me, this is funny.  SPOILER ALERT – I only expect Zumani to make one more appearance in “Wanted” but if people become interested enough to see the story continue into a series, I forsee further awkward situations.

Maybe Roman will try to buy himself from Zumani.  Maybe Zumani will protect Roman because, “Hey!  You can’t kill my slave!  He’s mine!”  Or maybe, just maybe, Zumani will learn to have one of those so-called “equal” relationships with our hero.  Ehh.  Doubtful.

My question for you, 3.5 readers is, why is this funny?  Let’s face it.  Reverse the situation.  A race of dudes that enslave women.  That’s like a twisted horror film.  But an alien chick chasing a dude around the cosmos because she believes she owns him…that’s kinda funny.

At least I think it’s funny.  Maybe you don’t.  If it isn’t funny tell me why.

 

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Undesiredverse: Wanted – Chapter 21

Jones ran a Health-Metrix Scanner over Mystery Woman. She had a penchant for shiny things and with all of the blinking lights involved, she was too busy staring at them all to repeat anyone.

“Running her vitals,” Jones said. “Skeletal mapping…organ mapping…checking for abnormalities…”

Mystery woman went crosseyed as Jones held the device between her eyes. He then ran it over the top of her head.

“…recording brain waves….and…finished.”

“About time,” I said. “What’s her deal?

“Based on the information in this report,” Jones said. “And after conducting a critical analysis of all variables at play…”

I was hooked on every word coming out of the little dude’s mouth.

“…and taking into consideration all relevant medical data.”

“Enough already!” I said. “What the hell is she?!”

“A completely healthy adult human female.”

I slapped my forehead. “I could have told you that.”

“But you didn’t,” Jones said as he held up his scanner. “And besides, now we have scientific confirmation.”

“So she’s definitely not a mongo?” I asked.

Mystery Woman turned to Jones and mimicked me. “So she’s definitely not a mongo?”

Jones pressed a button on his scanner, turned the lights back on, then handed it over to the woman.

“Here, play with this,” Jones said.

Mystery Woman took the device and repeated, “Here, play with this” but with a sense of childish wonder, as though she were staring at a work of art. She was healthy and she liked blinky lights. That’s all we knew about her.

“So you’re not able to discern any medical reason why Sourcemind wanted her?” I asked.

“Not at all,” Jones replied.

“Why is she bald?” I asked. “Does she have that dark age disease? What was it? Prancer? Dancer?”

“Cancer,” Jones said. “It was no laughing matter. There was a time when heart disease, cancer, and driving your vehicle into oncoming traffic while texting your girlfriend were the top causes of human death. But no. She does not have cancer. She just does not have hair.”

“Do another scan,” I said. “She can’t be completely healthy. She’s a hooker, for Christ sake, she’s got to have something. Your doo dad is malfunctioning.”

“It’s state of the art and accurately calibrated, thank you,” Jones replied.

“So she doesn’t have the clap?” I asked.

“Nope,” Jones answered.

“Syphilis?”

“No.”

“Gonorrhea?”

“No.”

“Warts?”

“No.”

“Arzorkial lesions?”

“No.”

“Zamenzium itch?”

“No.”

“Tullux sores?”

“No.”

“Upper Crimombolite Fungal Fusion?”

“No.”

“Saturn’s Ring?”

“Rekolakian Crotch Rot?”

“No,” Jones said. He was getting testy. “Roman, I don’t have time to listen to the results of your last physical.”

“You’re going to stand there and tell me that a working girl doesn’t even have a case East Pamalorian Cooter Flies?”

“I’m going to stand her and tell you she’s not a working girl,” Jones said.

Mystery Woman waved the blinky gadget around and giggled.

“Yes she is,” I said. “I found her in Izok’s harem.”

“She may have been there,” Jones said. “But she wasn’t working there.”

“And how could you possibly know that ya’ big green nerd?”

Jones coughed to clear his throat, then quietly mumbled, “Because she hasn’t, you know.”

I didn’t know. The look on my face made that clear.

“The petals are still on the rose,” Jones said.

“What?”

Jones rolled his eyes.

“Her factory seal has yet to be broken, so to speak.”

“Stop talking in riddles, man!” I shouted.

“SHE’S A VIRGIN, DUMBASS!”

Jones was too loud to be ignored. Mystery Woman looked at me and on cue, screamed, “SHE’S A VIRGIN, DUMBASS!”

“You are?” I asked. Why I expected anything other than the “You are?” she asked me in return I have no idea.

Jones handed her a tongue depressor. She didn’t find it as interesting as the scanner, but she checked it, ignoring our conversation again.

“How is that even possible?” I asked

“Not everyone gets it on with anything that moves, Roman,” Jones said.

“Oh what do you know about it you asexual freak?”

The look on his face. Jones rarely got mad but when he did. Wow. He walked away.

“Aw, come on, Jones,” I said. “I’m sorry.”

Without looking back at me, Jones extending the middle of the three fingers on his right hand at me before leaving the room.

“What are you looking at?” I asked Mystery Woman.

You know the rest.

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Undesiredverse: Wanted – Chapter 18

“GUZAFFO SARKI

MERCANTILE LICENSE #775-4198B210Y”

So read the words stenciled across one side of the metal container my compatriots and I were hiding in.  Over a hundred joja birds kept us company.  Filthy, stupid, chubby fowl with big googly eyes.

They’re good eating though.  Better than chicken.  I didn’t want to tell Mystery Woman that though.  She found one of them to be particularly likable, picked it up, and was stroking it like a pet. 

Jones and I stood near the door, straining over the constant clucking sounds to hear what was going on outside.

My old pal Guzzy was a pseudo-intellectual, the type of being who never fails to use ten words when two would do.  He laid it on thick.

“Officers!”  I could hear him saying outside.  “You honor this humble star wanderer with your presence.  Oh how I thank you for your brave, fearless service.  To what twist of fate do I owe this auspicious pleasure?”

“Cut the shit, Sarki,” one officer said.  “We’re looking for a two humans, one male, one female, and a Vek.  You seen ‘em?”

“A Vek outside the Rakan Collective you say?”  Guzzy asked. “Unusual.  Unheard of even.  No I should say I have not encountered this dastardly trio you speak of, but know I shall be praying to the heavens that you find these reprobates and bring them to justice immediately and without delay.  Why, to think such ruffians are out on the streets, offending decent citizens with their odious mischief makes me so…”

“Shut your hole dirtbag,”  the officer interrupted.  “What you got on board?  You got documents for all this shit?”

“Why of course, officer,”  Guzzy replied earnestly.  “I am certain a thorough inspection by a highly trained security professional such as yourself will determine that everything is in order.”

“Yeah?”  the officer asked.  “Maybe the boys and I’ll will just have a little look see…”

“Of course, officer,”  Guzzy said.  “Let it be never said that I stood in the way of law enforcement.  Oh and while you are here, will you accept this donation to the Paragon Security Officer’s Charitable Giving Fund?”

A brief pause.  “A cred chit?”

“Yes,”  Guzzy said.  “In the amount of a hundred thousand credits.  Untraceable liquid cash.  Oh, I hope that’s acceptable.  I left my Sen-Pen on the flight deck so I can’t access my personal account at the moment but I have unwavering faith that a respectable individual such as yourself will get it to its intended destination posthaste.  Surely you’d never do something deplorable as pocketing it to utilize for your own selfish purposes.”

“Huh,”  the office said.  “All right, boys!  We’re done here!  Move out!”

“Yes,”  Guzzy said.  “Perhaps that is for the best.  While there is no end to the joy you bring me with your visit I would feel utterly reprehensible were I to monopolize your time any longer.  Go forth and shine the light of justice on…”

“Quit while you’re ahead, dumbass,”  the officer said.

“Quitting, good sir, quitting,”  Guzzy replied.

I heard the sounds of footsteps clanking across the metal floor, then silence.  Moments later, only one set of footsteps clanked our way.  Then there was a knock on the door.

I opened up the slit.  One and only one enormous eyeball peered in.

“Voss?”  Guzzy asked from the other side of the door.

“Yes?”  I answered.

“The coast, as they say, is clear.  Wait until we’re past the orbital shield  and then you and your fellow vagabonds may feel free to roam about the vessel at your leisure.”

“OK,”  I said.

“Oh and Voss?”

“Yes?”

“Consider my debt repaid.”

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Undesiredverse: Wanted – Chapter 8

“Jonesy, I’m coming in hot!!!”

“What?”  my trusty pilot asked.

“GET YOUR ASS OVER HERE NOW!!!”

“Gadzooks, what did you do?”

I stormed into the harem.  Hanging from the ceiling by a steel rod was an ancient tapestry of the noted shai philosopher, Sufros.  I ripped it down, tore the rod off and shoved it between the door handles. 

Just in time.  The second goon wave banged on the door, shaking it furiously.  The prostitutes, er, I mean ladies, were aghast. 

“Which way out?”  I asked.

No answer.  They were all either too loyal to or too scared of their employers to say anything…except for one.  She was a lovely, turquoise skinned zeltu who either robbed a basketball store or was incredibly endowed.  A ruby was embedded in her forehead which unfortunately for her, was a symbol in her culture that she was considered to be from a low class, not a being but mere property to be bought and sold.  That meant her tongue had been cut out at birth, as she was meant to be seen, not heard.  Her thoughts and opinions were considered meaningless, which is too bad, because I bet she had a lot to say.

She pointed her tail over her shoulder toward the back left corner.

I grabbed her shoulders.  “I’d kiss you but I have no idea where you’ve been!”

I slipped a thousand credit chit.  Chump change I know but it was the least I could do.

Jones was still in my ear.  “Give me some mustard and throw a little smoodchix on that will you?”

“Are you shitting me?!”  I asked Jones. 

I introduced the door to my boot.  The reverberating pain in my foot told me the door was going to win.

 “Roman, we’ve talked about this,”  Jones replied.  “The world does not revolve around you.  You caught me while I’m ordering a snack.  As soon as I pay for it I’ll get there.  You’re not the only one with needs and right now I’m starving.”

“THEY’RE GOING TO KILL ME!!!”

Momentary silence on Jones’ end, followed by a, “Oh fine, I’ll be right there.”

Three more kicks.  It wasn’t budging.  Meanwhile, the door to the harem was made of less solid stuff.  It was buckling.  The goons would be through any minute.

I drew my hand cannon and was about to unleash hell on the lock when I felt a finger tapping me on the shoulder.  It was the mute zeltu hooker.  I stepped aside and watched as she slid open a panel, stared at it for an eye scan and…CLICK!  The door unlocked.

“Oh what the hell,”  I said as I grabbed her, dipped her, and gave her a passionate kiss.  She even pushed her bumpy tongue back into my mouth.  Of course she did.  I’m Roman Voss.

I ran up a flight of stairs.

“Jonesy!”  I shouted.

“What?!  I’m on my way!” 

“This is going to have to be a fly by,”  I said as I rounded a corner and headed up a second flight.

“Seriously?”

“They’re up my butt like fifty feet of colonoscopy cord,”  I said.  “They’ll blow you up if you land.”

“I’m putting in my application to Swanky Burger after this,”  Jones said.

BZZZZATT!  BZZZATTT!  You like my sound effects?  That’s what it sounded like when my pursuers unloaded their heaters on me.  They were horrible shots, but they were hot on my heels and laser blasts were flying over my head.

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Undesiredverse: Wanted – Chapter 6

“You humans have an odd way of saying thank you,”  Sourcemind said.

“‘Thank you?!’”  I said as I stood up.  “I had him right where I wanted him!”

“From my vantage point it appeared you had a 97.8 % chance of survival,”  Sourcemind explained.  “You came to collect Tau’s head, did you not?”

“Not literally,”  I said.  “I’d of gotten more had I brought him in alive.”

“Semantics.”

“You’ve cost me my glory in the great beyond,”  I said.

“You ridiculous organics and your superstitions,”  Sourcemind said.  “The only thing that happens when you die is that you cease to be.  There is no alternate state to look forward to.” 

Izok was bald so I had no choice but to pick his knogin up by the beard.  Disgusted by the mess, I instantly dropped it.

“Yeesh,”  I complained as I removed a pillow from its case and bagged my prize.  “This thing is leaking everywhere.”

I tied the pillow case shut, then tied it to my belt.

Sourcemind piloted Ninety-five behind the throne, where there was a door.  He rapped on it three times.  After waiting a moment, he used Ninety-five’s saw hand to cut a hole around the lock, then kicked the door down.

I followed the metal monster.  We found ourselves in Izok’s own personal harem, a room with no furniture to speak of, just several oversized pillows filled with exotic females of various shapes, sizes, colors, and species.

My impromptu colleague of sorts projected a red laser grid over the room and stood silently for a minute until he pointed a finger at the back right hand corner.  I walked over with him to find a wiggling blanket.

I lifted it up to find a trembling human woman.  Her head was bald but even so, she was beautiful.  She had a pair of deep blue eyes, full red lips and a figure that would make you look twice, maybe even three or four times more.  She had no jewelry or make-up on, just a simple white cloth robe.

Sourcemind clutched her arm and dragged her off.  The woman slapped at her captor’s hand and scratched her nails along the floor, trying desperately to hold on.  The other ladies remained quiet and still.  It was a safe assumption they were no strangers to disturbing sights.

“What are you doing?”  I asked as I followed Sourcemind back into Izok’s chamber.

“Our business here is complete.  You have what you want.  I have what I want.”

“LET ME GO!”  the woman screamed but alas to Sourcemind, she might as well have been an insignificant ant.

“She’s what you want?”  I asked.  “What the hell are YOU going to do with a woman?”

“It is of no consequence to you, human,”  Sourcemind said.  “I shall take my leave now…”

The robot’s shoulders sagged and its head dropped.  Its grip remained firm.  I pulled out my boot knife and tried to pry its fingers apart.

“Please!”  the woman shouted.  “Don’t let him take me!”

The monster woke up.  It was Ninety-five again.  He turned and pointed his saw at me, letting it run just inches from my throat.

“Well, if you put it that way.”

Ninety-five hoisted his hostage over his shoulder and walked off.  She kept kicking and screaming until a syringe popped out of one of the robot’s fingers.  He stuck her in the neck with it and she passed out.

The elevator whirred.

“Ninety-five!” I shouted.  “Wait!”

The contraption looked at me.

“You’ve got to take me with you!”  I declared.

Ninety-five looked up, as if deep in thought, then looked back at me.

“That is not within my mission parameters.”

He retracted his saw hand and replaced it with a missile, which he used to knock a massive hole in the wall.  Twin jet thrusters popped out of his back and he took off into the night sky with his prey.

The elevator dinged.  Six shai goons poured out.

“I’m not paying for that,”  I said, pointing to the destroyed wall.  “That one’s on the clank.”

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Undesiredverse: Wanted – Chapter 4

Izok’s crib was magnificent.  Trophies and treasures crafted from the finest rare metals adorned his walls.  His floor was pure sacamora, a black marble like substance.  He sat on a jewel encrusted throne he’d made himself, surrounded by females of all various species, each more alluring than the next.  They fanned him and fed him berries.

A coarse furred banji beast rested its head at Izok’s feet.  It was majestic.  Quite a site indeed.  The pink eyes, the massive fangs protruding out of its mouth, I’m surprised Izok was able to find one.  They’re virtually extinct.

“Roman!”  Izok shouted across the enormous room, his echo reverberating in my ears.

“Hello Izok,”  as I said when I reached him.  “Your stock certainly has risen.”

“Do you like it?”  Izok asked as he outstretched his hands and looked around his digs.

“It’s a step up from the chaizo,”  I replied.

Izok laughed, then clapped his hands twice.

“Leave us, bitches!”

The ladies took their leave.  Izok stood and embraced me, pulling me close with his tree trunk arms.

“Ahh, it’s been too long, brother,”  my host said.

“It has,”  I added.

Izok pulled back, then looked over his shoulder.  He made a big deal about it.

“What are you doing?”  I asked.

“Looking for the knife,”  Izok answered, flashing a wry grin.

It isn’t easy dealing with a shai.  Since their eyes reveal nothing, your only hope for figuring out what’s on their mind comes from what their mouths are doing.

“I could say the same thing,”  I said.  “You know how I feel about the Cabal.”

“I knew joining them would end our friendship,”  Izok said.  “But let’s face it, Roman.  The Cabal’s done more for me lately than you ever have.”

“They’ve done more to me too..”

“Oh, are you still on that?”  Izok asked.  “Families come and go, brother.  Money’s all that matters in this life.”

Ninety-five popped out his lazer cannons.

“Stand down,”  I said.

“Step aside, human,”  Ninety-five said.

“Sourcemind, are you in there?”  I asked.

Ninety-five powered down.

“I have to say I’m surprised you’ve partnered up with the machines,”  Izok said as he looked Ninety-five over.  “They’re going to kill everyone before the Cabal ever will.”

“It was a forced arrangement,”  I said.  “The head clank caught me with my dick in my hand.  Literally.”

The banji beast, six feet long and roughly a deuce and a half, rubbed its cat like head against my knees.  Izok yanked back on a chain attached to its neck.

Ninety-five turned back on and Sourcemind was in control.

“Will you two stop measuring your appendages and kill each other already?”  Sourcemind asked.  “Get out of the way, Roman so I can blow Tau’s head off.”

“It’s not our way,” I said.

“What?”  Sourcemind asked.

“Roman and I are just a couple of hood rats from the same shai chaizo,”  Izok explained.  “Our mutual master, Ashakti, trained us well in shai martial arts.  He’d look down on us quite disapprovingly from the great beyond if one of us were to kill the other in anything short of a duel.”

Sourcemind retracted Ninety-five’s cannons.

“Oh for the love of…fine.  Do your human bullshit but I’m not leaving without your latest acquisition, Tau.”

“We’ll see about that,”  Izok said.

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Undesiredverse: Wanted – Chapter 3

Two suit sporting goons stopped on our approach to the elevator. They both wore shades though it seemed pointless. Shai eyes don’t give anything away, after all.

“I’m an old friend of your boss,” I said.

“And this thing?” one of the goons asked as he pointed to Ninety-five.

“Some discount military hardware I’d like to unload on Izok,” I replied. “Let’s just say he fell off the back of a delivery ship.”

Ninety-five looked at me. “I am not stolen merchandise I am…”

I patted him on his metal back.

“Shut your interface hole and speak when spoken to, robot,” I said.

The head goon relayed my arrival to Izok. After a moment, he nodded to me. “He’ll see you.”

Another goon tried to scan me with his Sen Pen but was stopped.

“It’s ok,” the head goon said. “The boss says they’re cool.”

We were shown into the elevator. I punched the button for the penthouse and we were off.

“Deception was the inaccurate course of action in that situation ,” Ninety-five said in his cold tone. “My strategic programming indicated the best option was to shoot them in the face and take the elevator by force.”

“Well that doesn’t sound very strategic at all,” I replied. “I think your programming is on the fritz.  Just let me do the talking.”

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Undesiredverse: Wanted – Chapter 1

As Narrated By Roman Voss

Malostet – 2999 A.D.

Alien Jones laughs when he learns he will get no profits from Undesiredverse sales.

Alien Jones laughs when he learns he will get no profits from Undesiredverse sales.

1:00 A.M.

Thump.  Thump.  Thump.  Thump.

The bass launched an assault on my eardrums.  The strobe lights weren’t helping either, though they achieved the desired effect of making thousands of useless lowlives look more interesting than they actually were.

The DJ shouted some nonsense then cranked his synthesizer on high.

“Ladies, gentlemen, andacrons, filozens, polaprops, and all of the various, assorted Rombekian sexes too numerous to mention at this time, welcome to Loktai Cren!  Is everybody having a good time?”

No,” I thought as I moved through a crowd of scantily clad flesh. “I am not having a good time.”

Loktai Cren.  Roughly translated from Shai to English, it means, “The Skin Palace.”  If you’re a pervert who enjoys hooking up with random strangers and don’t have much in the way of standards, you’ll of enjoy this joint.  Hell, you’ll of love all of Malostet for that matter.  The entire planet is Andromeda’s answer to Vegas.  Just pop a few penicillin chews before you book your trip.

I pushed my way across the dance floor, bumping into tails, claws, scales, all kinds of non-human body parts, although there were plenty of my kind in attendance as well.  In fact, one of them, wearing nothing but his underpants and a pink top hat jumped out in front of me and got in my face.

“Dance, man!”  the loser said.  “You gots to dance, baby!”

“Move,”  I replied.

Feel the vibes, guy!”  the idiot said.  “Let go and become one with the music!”

“Your snot box is about to become one with a clothesline,”  I said.

The dumbass put a greasy hand on my shoulder.  Right on my duster.  From the outset of this tale, I’ll tell you one very important rule.

No one touches the duster.

Punch.  Drop.  No one noticed or cared.  That’s the type of place it was.  Frankly, that’s how most places in the Undesiredverse are.

I stepped over his twitching body.  Stop worrying about him.  He was warned.

I reached into my pocket and retrieved my Sen-Pen 89.0.  It looked more or less like a regular silver writing implement.  As mobile devices went, it got the job done, though it was no Nokarima Mind Box. 

I clicked it, turned it on, then put it back in my pocket.

“Call Jonesy,” I said.

My pilot’s reply came through on my cochlear implant.

“Boss?”

“You ready to bug out?”  I asked.

“What, you’re not scoring with the talent?”  Jones asked.

What timing.  Just as he said that, I spied a slimy Steegotz, shimmying all seven hundred of its grotesque pounds around the room, spewing a heavy mist out its blowhole all over anyone who got too close.  The medical community claims that Steegotzian blowhole discharge doesn’t contain any contagious germs but I still didn’t want any of that gunk on me or my duster.

“There’s no talent to speak of.”

“I’m just powering up,”  Jones said.  “You’ve got a real crap bucket here.  They want extra because they had to dig up a hundred year old converter unit.”

“Fine,”  I said, disgusted.  I was even more disgusted when I felt a claw pinch my ass.  It happened so quick I couldn’t figure out who did it. 

“Just put it on my credit.”

“Which account?”  Jones asked.  “They’re all maxed out.”

“Improvise.”

“Oh.  Charge and barge.  Gotcha.”

“Get over here,”  I said.  “I don’t want to spend a minute longer here than I have to.”

“Aye aye, mon capitan.”

Finally, I made it to the bar.

A stage hovered above the crowd.  There were thirty stories worth of dance floors in the entire tower and all the beings above gathered at the bannisters to look down on the main show below.

I took a seat.  The DJ babbled on.

“And now beings, put your hands, hooves, flippers, paws or whatever you’ve got together for…THE ZIMBA ZIMBA GIRLS!”

“Christ on the cross,”  I thought.  Anyone but them.”

The Zimba Zimba Girls were Earth’s top act.  You couldn’t step two feet out the front door of your unit without hearing someone playing their dopey cyber funk songs.  All screeching and moaning.  Elaborate costumes.  Multicolored hair.  Crazyness.  I assumed this trip was going to give my ears a rest but I walked right into a stop on their intergalactic tour.

“Who do I have to spark to get a drink around here?”  I asked out loud.

Poor choice of words.  I cringed as I felt a cold, six fingered hand wrap itself around the back of my neck.

“You can hit me with your big spark stick anytime, lover,”  cooed a sultry female voice.

I turned.  That elongated forehead.  Gray, scaly face.  Two creepy yellow eyes.  The daintiest pair of nasal slits I’d ever seen.  Otherwise, a fabulous human-like figure.  She was hot for a perrek.  On Earth, we’d of called her a butter face.

“Keeva?” 

“Hello Roman, dearest,” she said.  “I knew it was you.”

I struggled for words.

“How uh…how are you?”

“Absolutely dreadful since you walked out of my life,”  Keeva replied.

“Oh please,”  I said.  “I bet you say that to all your tricks.”

She lit up a crex pipe.  It was pink, like her dress.  She puffed it and attempted to pass.  I cut her off.

“Yeah thanks but no thanks,”  I said.  “I like to live.”

“Gorgoza shit,” the lady of the evening said.  “You’re going to sit there and tell me you’re clean?”

“I didn’t say that, but crex will kill a human as sure as orange juice will waste a perrek.”

“It will?”  Keeva asked.  “I swear, I need a flowchart just to keep track of what kills who anymore.”

The barkeep took a moment out of his busy schedule to mosey on over.

The Shai.  There’s been a long dispute as to whether or not they count as humans.  Essentially, they’re very close to being human albinos, with the exception that their eyes are completely blank, devoid of any retina and as eerily white as their skin.

Loktai Cren was owned and operated by some seedy Shai underworld types, so naturally all the paying gigs in the club went to their own kind.

“Your mother licks herpes sores off the backsides of dead elephants then eats waffles for dinner in the company of a flatulent orangutan,” the barkeep said.

“Excuse me?”  I asked.

The booze jockey reached a finger into his mouth, brushed it along his bottom lip, then shook his head.

“Sorry about that.  Lousy defective translator chip.  Gotta reset it constantly.  What’ll it be, mac?”

“Rizzle Juice,”  I replied.  “And don’t skimp on the rizzle.”

“One rizzle with an extra drizzle of rizzle, coming up.”

Keeva leaned in closer.

“You know I have missed you.”

“I’m surprised you even remember me,”  I replied.  “That was forty years ago and…”

I stopped myself. 

“Have many suitors?”  Keeva asked.  “True.  But none as memorable as you.”

I was certain that was just a hooker line, but it was nice to pretend that someone cared.

She brushed her fingers over my head.

“You’ve grown your hair long.  You barely had any that night.”

“Basic training regulation haircut,”  I said.

“Are you still in the service?”  Keeva asked.

“That didn’t work out.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I’m not.”

The barkeep returned with a stein full of sweet, delicious rizzley goodness.

That scaly hand was on my knee now.

“Perhaps we can pretend you’re on shore leave all over again, sailor?”

I took a swig.

“That ship…has sailed.”

Keeva was taken aback.

“And here I thought that night was special.”

“It was,”  I said.  “And I’m still itchy.”

“You haven’t gone paloproptastic have you?”  Keeva asked.  “Sure, the outer glands are thrilling but once you get underneath that mushy layer its all sharp bone and acidic excretions.”

“No,”  I said.  “It’s not like that.  I’m here on business.”

“Pleasure IS my business,”  Keeva said.

“No sale, baby,”  I said.  “Peddle your inputs somewhere else.”

Keeva’s face turned sullen.

“I’m not peddling, Roman.  I really am quite pleased to see you.”

“Can’t say as I blame you,”  I said as I turned away.

Keeva took another puff then brushed her hand across my cheek.

“Poor thing.  I can see you’ve grown cold since our special night.  I wonder what happened to make you so?”

“I’d tell you but it’d probably take three or four days,”  I said.

I took out my Sen-Pen and set it to hover vertically above the bar.

“Last photo,”  I said.

An image of a Shai male popped up.  Tall guy.  Long beard.  Muscles.  Scar on the right side of his face.

“Has he been around?”

“Izok?”  Keeva asked.  “Sure.  He’s got the penthouse suite.  Something tells me you’re not here to just say hello to an old friend?”

“Something tells you right.”

“Keep my name out of it, please.”

“Of course.”

“Its none of my business, Roman,”  Keeva said, “But you do know Izok is a made being in the Cabal?  You’re inviting a lot of heat on yourself.”

“That heat’s been there for years,”  I said.  “I never asked for it.”

Keeva smiled, opened her mouth and stretched her long tongue out all the way to my cheek, slathering it up and down before pulling it back with a snap.

“You still taste delicious.”

“I moisturize.”

I had a few prepaid cred chits in my pocket.  I pulled one out and slid it across the bar.  She stood up and slid it back.

“I don’t want your money, fool.  I want…”

“What?”  I interrupted.  “A man to take you away from all this mess?”

“Maybe.”

I took another belt of rizzle juice.

“I’m not him, baby.  I’m knee deep in it.”

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