March 29, 2019 at 5:25 pm #17037
5:14am, 4 June 2078, 14402 S. 34th Lane, Seattle
Zag lay in bed, reminding him of all the good points about where he lived:
– Solid concrete floors under his feet
– A large garage, with space for his van and his bike and room left over
– An area where he can go for a run, or just a walk to get tea, without much chance of being stopped for walking-while-tusked
– But yet it isn’t so lawless that he can’t go for a run or a walk
– Dino’s Diner might have the best Soywarma in the city
All good reasons to live here, he reminded himself, as the morning call to prayers from the nearby Shia temple finally subsided. Moments later the air shuddered as the morning sub-orbital from New York came in to Sea-Tac. Eventually quiet descended, but then like clockwork he started hearing the squeaking springs from the Mendelsons, who lived on the upper floor of the ‘terrace home.’ How a couple of scrawny humans could work the bed into such symphony was a mystery Zag wasn’t at all sure he ever wanted to solve. Where they got the passion to make such music almost every morning at their age, that he wouldn’t have minded knowing — he couldn’t even seem to keep a boyfriend for more than a few weeks, forget about finding one that wanted to bang on the daily for decades. Not that his family would tolerate him settling down with a boyfriend when they wanted more children for The Cause.
Ugh, that was enough thinking; thinking always brought him down. He sprung out of bed and ran through some quick steps and spins to get his blood flowing. Half a minute to pull on shorts, a harness for his link, and a respirator, and he was ready to head out for a dawn run. He had a meet later on, best get training in early today.
Evening, 4 June 2078. Zero’s Bar, Puyallup
However much fun it had been racing down highway 5, he almost enjoyed the last stretch through the dilapidated streets of Puyallup more. The near silence of the Mirage’s electric motor at low speeds, lazily looping around the worst of the pot holes, knowing that there were predators sizing him up, it all came together to remind him of the warm-up just before a match of any sort. He could feel himself settle into the zone as he approached the bar.
He killed the light on his bike for the last couple hundred meters and rolled up softly enough to startle a couple of the guys hanging around outside. One started saying something about the racing bike, but then Zag straightened up and rolled his shoulders, and the loser babbled to a stop. Zag took off his helmet and respirator, then gave his best attempt at a friendly smile and admitted “It’s a bit small for me, but the Pawns won’t stop a crotch-rocket as often as they will a hog. Leaves my back tight after a while though.” He suddenly spun into a combination of air punches, foot sweeps, and finally a standing back flip then added “There, that got the kinks out. You boys have a good evening now.”
Had he been showing off? Of course. But the size he was, at a place like this, someone would feel a need to challenge him if he didn’t make an impression first. It was just the way things were. There was no question of sliding through unnoticed, it was only a question of guiding the noticers to the conclusion that they didn’t want to frag with him. To that end, he unzipped his ‘Urban Explorer’ jump suit far enough to expose some pectorals, then commanded the nanites under his skin to form armor plates. The jump suit was going to grab attention, being in the green and yellow of the old Brazilian flag, but hopefully people would next notice the obvious cyber, and think better of tangling with him.
If any pretty guys wanted to get an eyeful of his pecs, he wouldn’t complain about that either. Pretty guys didn’t seem likely at Zero’s, but then again he was here so who knew what other miracles might happen? So he strode to the bar like he was walking under a spotlight, and made sure to stand straight even though that forced him to step around a low hanging lamp and to raise his voice to call his order down to the stunted bartender. Made him glad he wasn’t a troll; he’d have ended up wearing those lights on his horns and would have needed a telegraph to place his order.
Then he leaned back against the bar, holding but not yet drinking a glass of whatever rotgut they were passing off as whiskey in this place, and let people take his measure while he took the measure of the bar.
<<Tanya [Zag] In your impressive array of implants and gear, do you have a chem sniffer? I’m wondering if this stuff is safe to drink without getting a nephritic screen implanted first. And did you see, there is a fragging dryad in here? Has to be another runner, right? Hey, how come you never see any male dryads, do the women lock them all up at home or something? Although I’ll admit that this one looks butch enough that even I am almost interested.>>March 29, 2019 at 6:13 pm #17040
FRACKY FRACKY FRACK FRACKY! Batshit was running late. She pedalled furiously the last 100 meters. Skidding into the car park. She found a drain pipe and Shackled the bike to it. Struggling from under her poncho she pushed through the door. She waved to Tanya with out looking. Tanya’s sigh was the open expression of her exasperation. She exposed this exquisite being to the best in life yet here she was in a pair set of over sized denim dungarees knacked off fit, a massive tee-shirt and knitted croptop jumper sleave hoodie thing. She had that dammed back pack with her board stuffed in it. God help us, what was she spending her pay on. She disappeared dispite Moniques best effort, they lost her for two weeks after the job.
Then she watched the magic as the bedraggled hair, under the beanie, parted and the eyes came out, and then that little lost girl smile as she headed for the bar. barman leans close.
“you got ID” he askes
“yeah, ‘cors” she flicked him an ID ARO.
“you gotta be in here for bet little girl”
“meeting friends. But sokay I can look after myself. I worked bar before”
” so like you’re looking for work? where you work? ”
“Harry’s over by the docks, but I’m just doing gigs now”
“Harry’s, mebe I call him, ah got number?”
“you got my soda?”
“here you go”
“and here you go” she said tapping her com’
She walked over to Tanya
“you are incorrigible, you know that”
“I’m guessing that’s not good”
The barman brought over some peanuts with a friendly smile
“never mind ” Tanya gave upMarch 29, 2019 at 6:31 pm #17043
Ulrich sat down his beer again. His intention to take a sip had been thwarted by pure revulsion looking at the glas. So he had just pretended and set it down again. Keeping his eyes open, he had noticed the sudden influx of women. Either this place had hitherto unknown charmes that inspired the fairer sex to come here, or they were part of a team. At least they seemed all to know each other. The ostentatious displayed weapons speak of either gang members or a particular class of runners.
Either this were the other prospective team members or another snatch team send to collect him. So far, none of them had shown any interest in him, so he stayed calm and waited for “Al” to make an appearance. After that the decision if these were friends or foes would have been made – one way or the other.
While he had still access to his skillful personality splinter, he started a matrix scan of his immediate area, trying to see if those women had interesting hardware on their persons…March 29, 2019 at 7:20 pm #17044
Al had spent the previous night re-checking The Gov – besides rebuilding it, he’d installed a lot of very sophisticated systems over the past month. This had been his most ambitious restoration/enhancement to date, but so much of it had had to be done with software that he hadn’t enjoyed it half as much as he’d thought he would. He worked until four…until he finally thought he could sleep. Which he had. For two hours. Then the dreams welled up…but that was more slumber than he usually got anyway so he’d popped a beer for breakfast and started his day.
A man of unswerving discipline, he’d started by watching a full twenty minutes of his Carl Ryder chip collection and even given serious thought to getting up off the beanbag chair to run through some of the moves. Then it was back to study as he spent several hours finishing season six of Karl Kombatmage. By noon he was hungry enough to open another beer but not enough to bother going out for food. He practiced his magic for a bit, then realized that, depending on how things went, he might have company here at some point. Putting on his Docs seemed like a tremendous effort, but a man who didn’t work for a living was no man at all, and neither had he been raised in a barn. An hour later the rusting fridge was stocked with soyritos, condensed nacho cheese sauce, and more beer. Next to the fridge was a case of generic tortilla chips.
He’d spent some time looking at the Ricky Jay bio he’d downloaded, vaguely wondering whether he should use his sexy-manga-conversion app on it, and before he knew it the time had come to take off. He loaded the gun rack in the rear window of the Gaz, along with his various bags (with one in particular nestled into the chemically shielded smuggling compartment). Pulled the Gaz out, then dismounted to shut the boathouse’s big doors and lock them. No wifi crap for Mardecai’s place.
The plan had been to get to Zero’s early. And since some others would likely have the same idea, he’d planned to arrive very early. Halfway there, though, he’d seen a new chicken place and figured he could spare just a few minutes. The chicken had been good, and he was still on schedule to at least be on time, but there’d been some dwarf kids shooting craps in the alley behind the place and the next thing he knew he was going to be thirty minutes late. Or ten if he drove like he could. Being a consummate professional, he took the latter option, dropping his speed below lethal levels only as he hove in sight of the bar. Because he was cool.
Zero’s was the closest working bar to his digs in Orting, and while not exactly a regular, his face and truck were known here – though only as a drinker, not a player. He ignored the men outside and went straight to the bar, the chicken joint not having served beer. His fancy eyes had no problem with the gloom, so by the time the beer was in his hand he’d spotted Becky and Tanya. The former he’d know anywhere, new hair or not. The latter, like his friend Isaint, tended to completely alter her appearance with greater frequency than he changed his shorts. But she’d sent him an image of today’s biker-chick-chic. He knew they’d both spotted him, and they knew he’d seen them. They were known quantities, so not his priority.
He’d also spotted the little raggamuffin next to Tanya. The men here were rough, but they didn’t tolerate short-eyes, so there was only one other thing a girl that young could be doing here. Tanya said she’d bring two, and while Gregor might have been a candidate based on appearance and proximity, Al knew the guy and knew he was not it. Which left the chromed ork in the flashy jumpsuit. Maybe. Either way, they were Tanya’s contacts, so again not a priority.
No, his priority was the pale-looking guy with the angular features in the gunfighter seat on the other side of the room. Al knew him from his picture, but otherwise didn’t know him at all. And, recommendation or not, there being a certain amount of responsibility that came from introducing someone to a group like this, he figured he’d better get to work on changing that. The guy’s beer was still full, so Al ordered just one more – for himself – and walked over. He set the beers on the next table over, pulled up a chair from that table to sit near the guy – Ex-Gladius he went by – not too close, just barely within wingspan.
Al grinned at the guy for a moment, yellow teeth clamped on a half-spent filterless Lucky Strike dead in the center of his mouth. His nose had obviously been broken several times, his hair had apparently been cut by a blind man, and his face was unevenly unshaven – like he might have taken a razor to part of it a few day ago, but maybe other parts not so recently. His brown jacket looked as old as it was, but the leather was real, and so were the RAF insignia, making it worth more money than his truck. Of course, neither the jacket nor the truck were all that they seemed. Under the jacket was a yellowing wifebeater that was not tucked into his faded olive fatigues.
He was a little guy, maybe five-three and gristle-lean, and the way he slouched in his chair made him seem even smaller. He extended a hand that was completely covered in catastrophic burn scarring, fingers tipped by tobacco-browned nails. “Two more an’ the gang’s all here. Alouicious Harlan Guthrie, esquire. Pleased ta make yer acquaintance, kemo sabe.”March 29, 2019 at 7:34 pm #17045
“So what you been up to Christof?”
“I came in for a job.”
“Job?” Becky says surprised; you do not seem like a shadowruner.
“No… nothing like that – I am a bartender.”
“No really? What is your street handle? Let me guess “Slasher”, “WonderWoman” amm…
Becky replies in a dry voice “You can call me Ugly”
Christof snorts speaking his drink from the surprise.
“Ugly?! How could you possibly get that kind of handle?”
“If I was ugly, I’d have a street handle. Long story Christof. I’ll tell you if you’ll meet me again.”
She shares a digital card with him, existing only in AR.
Becky notices Lady Tanya – but does not entirely recognize her. She knows her from another life, and Becky looked fundamentally different, like a trophy wife that she was. Feminine, delicate, weak. She was not weak even then actually – but she pushed her body a lot since then. Becky probably just not place her in that specific place, expecting some more upscale environment.
She notices the handsome orc and yet another Dryad. She never sees her kind, they are quite rare and just randomly pop out here and there without much of explanation. Unusual individuals for an unusual job perhaps. Getting her freedom of movement again, Becky finds herself moving toward Lady Tanya not sure if she wanted to approach her or take a closer look.
The woman and her companion seemed to be hitting it.
She bit her lower lip with a strange feeling of deep sadness, all the things she lost when she quested for physical perfection, and all the things she gained. It wasn’t sadness per-say, but it brought painful memories. Her one-sided obsession needed to end, she deserves someone that would genuinely want her. Not just show her off as a toy, or use her as a loyal asset. Perhaps part of her motivations to alter her perception was to test the man. Would he maintain his interest after she gave up the hair, gained ton of weight, and augmented herself? Or did he only like barbie dolls.
The answer was more complicated than Rebeca realized, but she made progress understanding that she was in a bad place. Cutting the connection was more than she could bring her to do, and she hated how seductive she turned when Roger just appears. How all her world narrowed to just have him.
Why was she remembering these things about herself – what in the woman sparked these memories in particular?March 29, 2019 at 8:20 pm #17046
Batshit kept a. Level head. There were three people who really didn’t fit (not that she did but that was why she hadn’t bothered to dress up)
She kept her focus on Tanya as they discussed the new roller Derby Hall opening so. Though she would not admit it, Bronwean was sure that money came from Tanya.
Between the five of them it was obvious there were preexisting relation. But she decided they would come outin the wash as they talked and worked.
She shifted her focus to the rest of the room checking the reaction of the patrons to this sudden shift in power.
Someone was going to try to kick off at some point. In a bar like this it’s inevitable.
Tanya smiled “OK madam zerox talk to me, who’s here”
Batshit lean back putting her feet up “OK so our team: the human, the orc and the dryad. The patrons two main gangs each end an two other smaller group. And the barman has call Harry look keeps looking over to catch my eye. Be right back”
She scooted over to the bar. stood up on the foot rail so she could lean in.
Tanya’s couldn’t hear the conversation but few moments later she was back smiling and so was the bar keeper.
She had a virgin soda sporting an umbrella and a cherry, she could see dust on the umbrella.
“What’s got you two smiling?”
“he asked me to open when he does an open mic, battle of the bands night, if it ever happens”March 30, 2019 at 3:57 am #17051
Ulrich looked Al for a moment with suspicion, but then decided that whatever disguise his enemies were likely to use, they probably wouldn’t have chosen the one sitting before him.
Ulrich shook the man’s hand with his own, slightly scrawny yet firm hand.
The aspect told him, that Al was one of the awakened, despite having augments that infringed on his holistic self.
“Good to meet you. Are these there part of your group?”
He nodded with his bald, gaunt head towards the pool tables.
“I would like to keep this close and safe. So what is your deal for me?”
March 30, 2019 at 11:50 am #17059
- This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by Jack_Spade.
“The two crazy hot numbers is solid. Same as the ones we’s waitin’ on. Both hot. An’ both solid. One’s the shortest little keeb ya ever did see, but she’s got that kinda sexy short-girl figure – reckon y’all know what I’m talkin’ about. The other one, well, you’ll know her when ya see her, but she don’t categorize so easily. Ain’t met the other two yet. Ya ever notice how many hot womern are in this perfession? Hell, half the reason ol’ Al’s still in it. Anyhoo, amigo, close is as close can be, whereas safe is a no-can-do. Yer lookin’ fer safe, can’t imagine what brung ya here. As fer the deal, we’ll hear that from one them we’s waitin’ on. Ya gon’ drink that beer?”March 30, 2019 at 1:40 pm #17064
Saturday, June 4th, 2078, Zero’s Bar, Near the Puyallup Barrens, Seattle
Tanya’s memory pulls out the Dryad’s name….Rebecca. She is, or was, the mistress of one of the Finnegan’s and frequently accompanied him to public events as his arm candy. It occurs to Tanya that the Elf was very likely more than eye candy and was perhaps no longer the man’s toy. She was glad of that, if for no other reason than no woman should be enslaved like that. With a quiet laugh, she considers if her marriage to a crime lord has put her in the same position. It is a quandary that perhaps she can share with Rebecca.
She gets the short message from Zag and smiles as she takes a pull from her beer, finishing it off. >>Oui. mon ami, yes, I have that device. Hate to go anywhere without it. My bottle of the Dos Gatos was good. You can either assume that yours is, too, or you can stroll up here and I can test it.<< After sending the message, Tanya orders another beer from the waitress.
She catches Bronwean as she enters the bar and watches her move up to the bar to talk to the man there then turn to walk to the stage and approach her. Tanya taps the man next to and nods in Bronwean’s direction before leaving Gregor’s shadow to go meet her. ”Hello, dear. I am glad that you made it. Some of the others are still arriving. This is not my show, so I cannot tell you what it is about, but the Johnson ought to be here in a while to clear things up. I am quite sure, though, that it will be very dangerous and that the payout will be generous. For now, get as comfortable as you can and let’s wait. By the way, I am glad that you did not dress up for this. What you have on is just fine. Choosing the correct wardrobe for the specific occasion is quite important.”
As Bronwean nods and moves back to the bar in response to the barkeep’s summons, Tanya sends off a message to Al. >>Mon ami, my plus two is here. From what I can tell, two of yours are here, as well. Are we still expecting your third? I expect that Silk will be late.<<
When Bronwean returns and tells Tanya her news of the open mike opportunity, she frowns inside but keeps her voice level. ”That might have been a bit precipitous. If the Johnson arrives before your slot or during it, you may then have to disappoint people by not doing or not finishing your set to make the meeting. In situations like this, it is always best to avoid getting involved in something that may cause troubles. Please be careful.”
Just then the cute waitress arrives with Tanya’s beer and she takes it before repeating the kiss with Tanya from earlier. There are more hoots and hollers from the pool table crowd as the kiss extends for several seconds before the waitress leans back and breaks it. She is blushing slightly as she turns to leave, flouncing her short skirt and wiggling her shapely ass as she walks away. Tanya opens the bottle, passing her ring over it as she does to verify that it is safe to drink before lifting it to her lips and taking a good pull from it.
A voice from one of the tables catches her attention. ”Hey, Red, your turn at the table. You gonna take it or forfeit your coin?”
Tanya wipes her lips with her arm and laughs. ”Keep your hands on your cue and off my drink.” She saunters to the table to watch the break and nods, smiling. ”Now, I do not intend to shark any of you. I really am quite good at this and intend to take your money. Any sort of side bet before I take my turn?”
There is some laughter before her opponent and two other men put 50 nuyen on the table, matched by 150 that Tanya pulls from inside her open vest. She nods to one of the girls, who steps forward to take the money to Gregor. Tanya bends over the rail and lines up her first shot. A few minutes later and she runs the table, much to the amusement of the onlookers. Even the men who lost the money do not seem too angry, She had warned them, but it might be harder to get people to bet in the future. As the winner, she stayed at the table, but not before walking back to Gregor and taking a drink from her beer and collecting her wager, placing the money on the inside of her vest. The next two would-be sharks lose just as badly and Tanya finds the rail clean of money as no one wants to lose their fee. She loos over to Rebecca. ”I feel that you are good at this. Want to beat me?”
March 30, 2019 at 2:43 pm #17069
- This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by Mercy. Reason: I clarified who the waitress was kissing
Rebecca notices Al, and nods in recognition. He is talking to some guy which she sizes up. On the matrix side, she has a high rating comlink running silent along with a high-quality agent that is continuously scanning the matrix for unusual icons, a second mid-range comlink active and displaying SIN. Aside from these Becky is wireless free.Spoiler:
Becky watches the beautiful ginger kisses the waitress and is a bit put-off by her outspoken behavior. She probably does not even know the waitress or her romantic status – then again, she clearly understands that a generous tip can buy a lot more than a kiss in these places. These people are about as lowlife as her family was. Still, the aesthetics of the feat are undeniable and she enjoys looking despite herself.
Becky accepts the invitation for a game, but would not go into an extravagant amount of betting or ego competitions. Not that she minds, she likes personality clashes and ego competitions – but the Drayd is initiating with master Omaya and he demands humility and modesty. She shaved her beautiful hair to please the man, and signal that she would solve her problems in a different mannerism. Hoping that the lady would accept she places a 100$ bill on the table and says ”I am decent at this.”
She selects a stick and says ”You seem to be quite an attraction around here.”
March 30, 2019 at 2:45 pm #17071
- This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by Gilga.
Batshit took in what Tanya said she made a call
“hey bad man? How you doing? I’m good, trying to rundown a lead on.. Yeah. non moved on. Listen I’m going to need my box. No not yet gimme 24 and I’ll send you the place. No I’m in a notel at the mo’ OK cools love you.. No really of all the folks I know think I do like me dad ha ha see you”
She moved over to the tables, too many eyes tracking her to stand alone.March 30, 2019 at 3:12 pm #17076
Al’s Fairlight did what it always did when he was working – translated Tanya’s text to voice and sent it to his earbud. He sent a very simple text in his pocket – child’s play for a guy that could do the sorts of card tricks he could. <<Yes all.>>
Her display with the waitress had almost gotten him excited, but only until he remembered what she really looked like under all the techno-trickery. Still, had had to hand it to her, she didn’t do anything small.March 30, 2019 at 3:20 pm #17078
Saturday, June 4th, 2078, Zero’s Bar, Near the Puyallup Barrens, Seattle
Tanya watched Rebecca put her money down. [/color=blue]”The normal fee to play at the table seems to be only 5 nuyen. It is not necessary to make the bet, but I will cover it if you are serious. As the challenger, you are allowed the break.”[/color}
Tanya steps back from the table to give the other woman some space. She nods at the break, noting the lay of balls on the felt. ”Nice. You did not give me much to play with here.” As she moves about the table to look at different angles, she continues talking. ”Sometimes it is alright to be a bit of an attraction in a place like this. You and my young friend would be attractions just by being here, you know. By the way, I think that I know who you are and I believe that we have met on more than one occasion. Am I supposed to know or that something I should not talk about?”
11March 30, 2019 at 4:01 pm #17080
Rebecca sighs ”5$ you say… excuse me, I never been here before. I can do 5$ as well, I just play for fun. “
She responds ”People remember me, I stopped trying. Do you know me? You look familiar but I am not sure that I can place you quite right. I… have very flexible social cycles.” When Tanya suggests not mentioning things she clicks. Rebecca assense her and then tries to remember which Mafiosi girl matches the image. Back then, she tried to sense all the important figures, just so she knows if someone impersonates them. ”Tanya…? “ she asks in recognition. Then she explains herself. ”Roger Finnigan is not a secret… I was his property for the vast majority of my adult life. I only gained my independence about five years ago. His wife Linda helped me do it, I think she wanted her husband back, and secretly hoped that I would not make it. I am still alive, but she gets her husband 90% of the time, so I guess she is satisfied with this new arrangement as well. “
Becky stops and searches for the right words, there are no right words, most women would not like her either because she crushed a marriage, or because they see her as a prostitute, because she grew in wealth and not in the streets, because she is too pretty, or because they compete with her for dominance. She gives Tanya an innocent look and is unable to convey her emotions to words. ”Look… I know who I am. I am at peace with it. People that worked with me tend to respect me and I am aware of the fact that most women would not like me.”March 30, 2019 at 4:23 pm #17083
Saturday, June 4th, 2078, Zero’s Bar, Near the Puyallup Barrens, Seattle
Tanya lines up a couple of good shots but the cue ball ends up in a bad position to make a third and she steps back to give Rebecca her turn. During a pause, she continues the conversation, starting with a wry chuckle. ”I have been linked to a large number of married and unmarried men, and some women, both married and unmarried as well. My public life is not secret, either. I never considered myself anyone’s property and am glad that you have managed to break free, even though I would hazard a guess that it was not easy and I want to let you know that I am a good listener if you wish to talk about it. I also know what I am and am quite comfortable in my skin, whatever it happens to be at the moment. I confess to wondering why you think most women would not like you?”
12March 30, 2019 at 4:52 pm #17085
Becky replies without lifting her look from the ball ”You are in luck really, I never chose my lovers. I can barely imagine what it feels like.”
”About women… My biased coin of past experiences. I am not the best one to describe my own shortcomings. Al witnessed some fierce catfights – I bet he can explain better. You are like the most friendly female colleague I met in a while. “March 30, 2019 at 5:10 pm #17086
Saturday, June 4th, 2078, Zero’s Bar, Near the Puyallup Barrens, Seattle
Tanya nods, the woman has definitely had the short stick, so to speak. ”Girl, I think we need to have a serious chat after the meeting. I will be available if you want. As to being friendly, I put that down to my desire and practice of not pre-judging anyone I am working with, letting words and actions speak for themselves. I also like to look for the good in people and try to help others come along. In short, I like to think that I am a god team player who can bring some good skills to the group. I am very open to someone telling me of my shortcoming and letting me know the weaknesses of my plans, as long as the critic is willing to help come up with a better plan. Just ask Al if you are interested, he was easy to criticize but more than willing to help with a plan B………….or C or D.”
Tanya gets another shot and sees the pattern of the balls on the table and smiles. She runs the table with little effort and collects Rebecca’s fee from the rail. She turns to her companion and gives her a slight bow. ”You are quite good. I am almost sure that you could have beaten me if you were really into doing so. There is no money on the rail as it appears that no one else wants to lose to me, so do you want a rematch? It will only cost another 5 nuyen. and the J is not here yet.”
13March 30, 2019 at 5:12 pm #17087
Ulrich frowned, still struggling with the language despite his talent.
“I was not clear, my fault. So, you vouch for those two and there are two more to come. I take it then that those two will vouch for the other two. Good.
I will not speak of if my soon to be team mates are hot or not, it is not good for the job.
As for safe: I meant I want to take as little risk as I can while I meet a new team. I do not want one of us to get hurt or to die for a false word or a dumb show of strength. I do not know why, but some feel the need to show off that they are hard and tough – and I do not take a kind eye to threats, big or small.
As for the beer – take it if you want. It smells like warm piss.”
It was probably the longest conversation he had held in the last year – a testament to the jovial effect that little guy had.March 30, 2019 at 6:32 pm #17095
Al absorbed the other guy’s speech, the grin never leaving his face. The man had a serious stick up his ass or he wasn’t comfortable speaking American or both.
“Sheee-it, compadre, that’s what beer’s supposed ta taste like. Ol’ Al don’t go fer none o’ that craft shit. Might as well ask me ta smoke a menthol. Or vape.” The last word left his lips with a palpable air of disgust. He took the man’s beer from the table and moved to the other table where his other spare beer was.
“So yeah, ya capished it real good. The one with all the tittage, picture o’ diplomacy, oughtta work fer the corporate court, that one. Same as the J on her way. Now the sportier hottie with the red what’s-left-of-her-hair, she can git her back up, but she’s workin’ on it. But you don’t seem like a throw-the-first-punch sorta cat, so ya won’t have no problem. Then there’s the short one I mentioned – she’ll give ya some lip if’n she senses strength or ya don’t seem woke enough, but that’s jist a porcupine standin’ its quills up – she don’t mean nothin’ by it. Nah, no hair-trigger tempers or itchy trigger fingers here, least not among the ones I know.” Al hadn’t mentioned names – he figured that was for each individual to do on their own if they wanted. “Reckon I’ll go be sociable – what say ya come with?”March 30, 2019 at 7:06 pm #17097
Ulrich nodded and got up. It was the polite thing to do – even among criminals there had to be standards. If need be, he could leave all that behind and be out of here within a few heart beats. Once again he was glad to have veiled his shape to all who were able to use their hyper consciousness. Opening yourself to these sensations made you vulnerable to hostile mind constructs. Not to mention being easily recognizable otherwise.
He unfolded himself from his seat and unconsciously tried to wipe the grime from his bottom.
Ulrich’s coat concealed his gear well enough, but a very keen observer probably could still make out the concealed quickdraw holster as well as the stun stick on his upper right leg.
A few strides brought him next to the biliard table. He nodded at the assembled ladies and left the introductions to Al.
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