Because Quickshot released just last week, I've decided to share a teaser of my own today. Warning: contains explicit language and some grim desciptions. This is taken from fairly early on in the story as Sal is stuck on Denga station waiting for something to occupy her...
Three lunar rotations later...
This sucks Kyvellian dick. Sal stalked the narrow walkways of Denga station, silently daring anyone to get in her way. They didn’t. Her reputation swept a clear path ahead of her, which only infuriated her more. A good fight right now would at least break the monotony of being stuck on the station waiting for a job. A good fuck would work better, but her bed remained as empty as the Barony Bitch’s cargo hold. She needed one or the other filling, and soon.
In the meantime, she had to eat, and a drink might take the edge off her temper, so she headed for her favorite eatery. The Big Bang was a rough dive, but the alcohol was cheap, the clientele were varied, and no one went there looking for trouble. Sal’s trigger-happy status meant only the terminally drunk were stupid enough to bother her. Usually by the time anyone was that drunk she didn’t even need her weapons. Intent on drowning her sorrows and then some, Sal wasn’t worried about someone harassing her. Not here.
“Hey, Sal.” Cheery, the bartender, greeted her, and indicated an empty booth with a nod of his head. Cheery had got his name from someone slitting his cheeks open, giving him an artificial grin from ear to ear. He liked the nickname so much he hadn’t bothered having corrective surgery. He wore the scars as a badge of honor—and possibly to remind the clientele that, despite the injury, he’d gutted both assailants attempting to rob him, then pinned their preserved hides over the bar until the health and hygiene board demanded their removal. The message had got around.
“Hey.” She flashed him a bright grin, and took her seat in the booth. It left her facing away from the door, but a specially angled mirror meant she could watch who was coming in if she felt the need.
“Hey, Sal. Cheery sent over your usual. Triple shot rocket fuel.” The skinny young barmaid slid her a tall glass full of golden liquid and crushed ice. Sal swallowed quickly to stop herself from dribbling. She hadn’t had a drink in months, and this was Cheery’s smoothest stuff. If she didn’t go too overboard on it, she wouldn’t even have much of a hangover tomorrow.
“Thanks. Any chance of some food?” Her stomach growled in agreement.
“Sure. Special is Millennium Shrimp.”
“Seafood? Wow, Cheery’s really going upmarket.”
The barmaid snorted. “Freeze dried imports. Cargo ship got stranded here when trouble broke out on the edge of the system and the jump-gate got hijacked. Then the captain drank his docking fees so they seized the ship.”
“Hmm.” One person’s misfortune was another’s promise of a decent meal. “I’ll take it. And a side order of Cheery’s hot sauce.”
The barmaid raised her eyebrows. “You want that and the rocket fuel? Your stomach must be titanium lined.”
Sal grinned and gave her a wink. “Yeah, but my taste buds aren’t.”
Dinner was the best she’d had in forever. She hadn’t eaten seafood since leaving her home planet. True, it wasn’t as good as the fish gumbo her adoptive parents had made, but the shrimp still tasted of the sea, and Cheery’s hot sauce hid the aftertaste typical of space-shipped food. And with her second triple shot already half consumed, it was looking like a good evening.
Then a man slid into her booth, put one arm around her shoulder and ran his other hand up her thigh while whispering desperately in her ear. “Please. Pretend you know me for the next five minutes.”
|A Space Opera Short Story|
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Sal, a legal carrier (just about) of whatever comes her way, puts her trust in just two things: her guns.
Keeping out from under Imperium eyes—especially those belonging to a certain Ehi Wahu—while making a living, and trying to keep a lover who can tolerate her twitchy trigger fingers, are the extent of her ambitions.
Then a kiss from a passing stranger, and a promise of the biggest score in a long time, tempt her. Devin fulfils more than one need, but he comes with more trouble than one woman can handle. And this time it'll take more than her guns to save her. She'll have to trust a man again.
WARNING: for over 18s only. Adult content including sex, bad language, & implied extreme violence.