The parlor of Boss's estate was the sort of tasteful lavish that left one feeling comfortable and impressed, but not resentful. The woman herself was casually draped across a chaise lounge, skirts falling over her legs and the edge of the furniture like a chartreuse waterfall. Cash sat across the room from her on a high back chair that kept her normally relaxed demeanor from slouching. The cigar between her lips had created a small cloud of smoke that swirled slowly in the air around her head. The only sound in the room was the dull repetitive clack of the antique grandfather clock in the corner. Another piece of Boss's remarkable collection of obsolete earth paraphernalia.
There was a hesitant knock on the door.
"Come in." Boss did not look up from her book as she answered.
The door creaked slightly and Gideon's twitching snout rounded the edge, her eyes glancing back and forth warily. When she was satisfied they were alone she propped the door open further and slipped inside.
"Nobody here yet?" Gideon had been residing in one of Boss's guest rooms with nowhere better than a jail cell to lay her head at the moment.
"Not yet," Cash said simply before standing and moving toward the liquor cabinet.
Juri had been tasked with bringing back a batch of her Moonshine and the boy had surprisingly delivered without burning her homestead down in the process. As she poured the crystal clear liquid into a rocks glass she pondered offering him a job when this was all over. With a contented sigh and drink in hand, she fell back into her chair. Gideon paced, her ears flicking erratically in anticipation. There was a rapid patter on the door and before Boss could part her lips, Gideon bounded over and swung it open.
Csy flounced into the room. They were currently attired as an androgynous human with shoulder-length dark curls pulled back at the temples and held with a glittering glass brooch. Their slacks were form-fitting and a deep rouge with thick pleats that ran down the front of their thighs. Willowy beige arms protruded from a white flowing shirt with a deep v down the front that left practically nothing to the imagination. Without even so much as a hello they bee-lined for the booze.
"Hi!" said Gideon excitedly, "I'm-"
"Let's leave off with the introductions until everyone is here," Boss said as she carefully turned a page.
Csy took a loud sip of scotch as they gazed down their nose at the Vox whose ears had drooped on either side of her soft face.
There was no knock this time as Tate lumbered into the room. His obnoxious size made any of the seating arrangements improbable, which he must have been accustomed to, as he found an open section of the floor and made himself comfortable. He had abandoned the floral shirt and shorts for the traditional attire of his people, a kilt of starchy fabric that shone with a metallic gleam. His upper half was completely bare, displaying the maze of concentric scale patterns that decorated his chest.
Gideon was about to say something when Boss shot her a look over the top of her book, the Vox covered her enthusiasm with a cough.
A few minutes of awkward silence passed. Gideon tapped her toes nervously by the door, constantly peaking out into the hallway as if to summon the last member of the team with her anticipation alone. Tate had entered some sort of fugue state, his four arms balanced on his legs and eyes closed. Csy leaned casually against the liquor cabinet, their eyes slowly scanning the room as if searching for something.
There was a single knock on the door.
Gideon opened the door in unison with Boss's command. "Come in."
Asimov stepped into the room. His attire had changed by not a thread since the last time Cash had laid eyes on him, however he had chosen to leave his leather apron at the shop.
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Gunslingers & GalaxiesScience Fiction
[Editors' Choice] Cash Guthrie was once an infamous bounty hunter, but those days are long behind her. Now she's living in self-inflicted exile as the sole purveyor of radioactive moonshine on the planet of al-Sufi. Now Boss, a former lover, wants C...