Day 9 - StevenBrandt's An Officer of the ISMS

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An Officer of the ISMS

by StevenBrandt

There was caffeine in that human dwelling, I could almost smell it. As I sat in my transport watching the place, I snorted. Humans. The creatures were disgusting, to be sure. Just the sight of their smooth, dry skin made me itch. Even worse was their clothing, material that could suck the moisture right off the flesh. The mister in my roof puffed, spraying me with cool, mealworm-scented water.

One of the humans opened a cloth sack, revealing a collection of large dark beans. Jackpot. If that wasn't coffee, I would eat a pile of egg casings.

"Don't move!" I cried. One human tried to run, but I leaped and landed heavily atop him and began secreting toxins.

"Hey, man," the other said. He was scrawny, even for a human. At least he'd shaved the hair off his face. "The coffee is decaf."

"Oh, really? You decaffeinated the beans?"

"Um, yeah man. Genetically modified in the greenhouses of Mars. It's all good, Bro."

I shot my tongue out and grabbed a bean. After my mouth began to numb, I spit the thing out and grimaced.

"In the name of His Majesty, the Almighty Toad King, I charge you one gold coin," I said. The caffeine buyer only had to pay a fine, and I got a cut. The unconscious, scumbag dealer beneath me would get locked up.

"Please, man. I didn't know."

"Yeah, sure. Tell it to Liu-Hai."

"Liu-Hai! No, hey, I'll give you anything you want." The poor schmuck was trembling now.

Liu-Hai was a God of Wealth. On this end of our fine city-planet, where humans lived in their bright and dry apartments, free of any insect life, he was more than that. To the coffee addicts and lovers of caffeine, he was feared as The Almighty Toad King.

"Look, man, I've got money at home. Real gold. Pure stuff." He hooked a thumb toward a house down the road. It was submerged partly in water, with lily pads growing around it.

"That's a toad dwelling," I said.

He shrugged. "That's where I live."

I hesitated. My lower eye membranes rose and fell a few times as I considered his words. It could be a trap. "You better not be messing with me. I've dissected better looking examples of your species than you in biology lab as a kid."

"It's legit. I swear to his Almighty Toadness and all."

"I thought humans didn't like water."

The creep laughed and ran a hand through his hair. "My girlfriend's a toad."

You see all kinds of scum working as an officer in Illegal Substances and Mental States, or ISMS as it is fondly known. Most of the humans I know openly called themselves monogamists, making their perverse lifestyles publicly known. To make matters worse, they coddle their children by feeding and housing them. Of course, it comes as no surprise that these offspring grew up whiny, dependent, and with the same low moral standards.

But a human and a toad? I'd heard of such relationships, of course. Still, it was hard to believe.

"All right, scumbag, let me load the dealer into my transport, then I'll come and collect the fine."

"Is he going to be okay?" the human asked, gesturing to the dealer.

It was then I noticed I was still secreting toxins. I hopped off and kicked the unconscious man with a flipper. He groaned.

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