Chapter 35

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"You know, I'll rather miss the shed.  It had a certain charm.  A certain something.  A certain . . . je ne sais quoi.  I just can't quite put my finger on it."

"Might it have been the copious amount of home-brew that it contained, Prime Minister?"

"Oh, I don't think so.  No, no, no.  While it's true that I don't mind the occasional relaxing tipple, alcohol has never been all that important to me.  No, I suspect it was more the rustic charm, not to mention the whole safe-port-in-a-storm aspect of the place.  Mind you, now that you mention the home brew, I do feel that it was a little unreasonable of the young ladies to only allow us three bottles, here on the tank."

"Prime Minister, there were only three bottles left."

Decently attired once again, the female baristas sat on Marilyn's bridge and watched their neighbourhood rapidly receding below them, the scorched earth and smoking debris of their recent battle soon lost from sight

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Decently attired once again, the female baristas sat on Marilyn's bridge and watched their neighbourhood rapidly receding below them, the scorched earth and smoking debris of their recent battle soon lost from sight.

With easy access to their own wardrobes, they had found replacing their shot-away clothing much less of a challenge than their male counterparts.  Nonetheless, they were not thrilled at the idea of repeating their brush with nudism, the next time the action heated up.

"I dunno," grumbled Mel.  "Wonder Woman and Supergirl never have to worry about their bits being exposed, when they're fighting evil."

"True," agreed Cora, "although their outfits are pretty skimpy to start with.  You never see Batman in a sleeveless number, or a mini-skirt.  What we need is something more like what he wears."

Mel pulled a face.  "Forget it.  I'm not wearing that much black."

"I'm not talking about the colour, Mel.  I mean something armoured, and not prone to falling apart the first time a Rigellian shoots it.  It's a shame Flixl Whats-his-face didn't come up with some super-outfits to go along with his superhumans."

Pushing back his yellow hardhat, EJ thoughtfully scratched a presumably virtual itch, on his virtual forehead.  "You know, Marilyn has a military-grade 3D printer on board.  The Rigellians use them for all kinds of stuff - spare parts, weaponry, ammunition and even uniforms.  She could whip you up some outfits.  They wouldn't be indestructible, but they'd be a whole tougher than ordinary clothes."

"Ooh, that's right," enthused the tank.  "It'd be ever so much fun.  I'm thinking tassels, I'm thinking satin, I'm thinking diamantes.  I can just picture the designs.  Leave it to me and I'll have you withstanding thermonuclear blasts and looking fabulous."

"Marilyn," warned Cora.  "They have to be practical.  No tassels."

"But—"

"No diamantes, either.  But if you could make us some tougher clothes, that would be wonderful, thank you."

"Yep," agreed Mel.  "As much as I enjoy the idea of mooning the short-arses, I'd rather do it by choice.  Design away, tank-girl."

Cora glanced at the doorway leading back to the crew quarters, where they'd stashed their VIP guest and his long-suffering bodyguard.  "Anyway, it could be that our fighting days are over.  Now that we've got the PM, hopefully we can just fly around cloaked until the deadline passes."  She made a valiant attempt at a smile.  "Then we'll be home free."

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