Badge: Someone who belongs to any branch of civilian law enforcement
ICIMOD: Internal Cooling Injectant Modification
SREES: Short-range Emergency Escape Suit
The third shot of caffeine zings through me; brains to balls. My nerves hum on the brink of overload. I'm lit up from the inside. The pleasant sting of energy arcs through my jaw. I open my eyes and grit my teeth together like that will keep the feeling from fading. It doesn't of course, but a man's got to try. The music pounds my back like a hand.
"Impossible not to." I wipe sweat off my face.
Angie's glowing pink mouth hooks up at the corners. Her dark skin reflects her fluorescing hair and makeup. She shimmers like a mirage. A mirage with exquisite taste in contraband.
"That's the business."
"And I'm glad."
Her gaze suddenly shifts. "Look at this fuck."
I follow the direction of her stare. In half-grav, the crowd undulates like a wave. It's something that takes practice. New arrivals always look like they're about to fall over. The aforementioned fuck cleaves through groups of patrons with a rigidness that betrays unsteady feet. A badge. I can spot one just about anywhere. Light spears across his face and all the hairs on my neck stand on end.
Angie leans on the bar top. "I haven't seen an alleler in 80 years."
"People aren't supposed to look like that."
"Like a mannequin that knows it's a mannequin."
She glances at my cup. Some of her braids are drawn up into two buns. Gold spreads through them like a double sunrise.
"No uniform," she murmurs. "Must be a covert op."
"Shame. I've always liked the uniforms."
Angie gives me a look. If I didn't move her product so well, she would vent me into space.
The badge takes a seat one pod down. He's all Earth proportions so striding around in station gravity doesn't look too comfortable. He's blond and blue-eyed, of course. Not 'I can trace my ancestors back to Earth' blue. Ion blue. Star blue. 'The last hours of your life are going to be spent throwing up your innards' blue.
Someone ordered him to spec. You'd think he was an android or tactile sim until you looked him in the eye. Then you'd know. Something's really alive in there.
He taps his wrist. "Kepler Reg."
His voice has just the right among of depth and roughness to tick my skin. I bet he looks perfect while taking a shit, too.
He suddenly faces me. "You?"
"You want something or are you going to keep glaring?"
Angie smirks. Her braids shift between shades of purple. I stare back at him for a lot longer than is considered healthy, but he doesn't flinch. He's got something to prove. My skin is a quilt of scars that come in different shades of whites, reds, and purples. My left eye oozes tears all the time and irritates the lid. Half my nose is gone. Without a prosthetic, I wouldn't even taste Angie's glow.
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Lords & Ladies of the M'Verse: An Ooorah AnthologyScience Fiction
Each of the 100 stories featured herein will be set within a Universe of the writer's creation, all being a part of a larger, shared Multiverse. Writers have free reign to tell the story they wanna' tell and providing...