World of Opportunity: Party of One
Written by CavemanNinjaJoe :: [Sunday, 26 August 2012 02:26] Last updated by :: [Tuesday, 04 February 2014 21:35]
World of Opportunity: Party of One
by Caveman Ninja Joe
In the depths of space a small, lonely station floated through the void. This was Kar'mal Outpost, perched at the furthest edges of the Ranaa Empire, the last 'civilisation' between there and the unexplored Outer Territories. It was home to few, but a frequent refuge for those who didn't wish to be found.
Inside the station's only bar, the Blue Z'Tak, it was happy hour. Patrons of all colours, sizes and shapes huddled inside. Most sat around the bar or tables, downing drink after drink. A group of tall, rotund Birzati sat in one corner, helmets at their side, getting blind drunk off the oxygen rich atmosphere. Nearby, a nasty looking Zerent wedged his beak into a leaking gas pipe to sample the fumes.
The calm was shattered by a loud KABOOM outside the entryway. Almost in unison, the patrons looked up, and saw the steel blast doors had bowed in the middle.
A second loud BOOM. The doors bent even more.
The next time the doors didn't bend; they buckled and ripped free from the doorway. The crowd ducked for cover as two giant metal slabs crashed through the bar scattering tables, chairs, and several unfortunate Quartzians. Another object sailed along behind the doors; a humanoid figure, wildly spinning heels over head. On landing it tumbled along the floor, only stopping when it smacked into the steel countertop, leaving a nasty dent.
In unison, the bar patrons stood to look at the new arrival - a young Ranaa woman. If not for her naturally deep purple eyes and blue hair, she could have been mistaken for a human. The woman, a smuggler named Jer'Tha, stood up and casually dusted off her spandex-esque silver and blue suit. Seemingly unperturbed, she sat down at the bar.
“Barkeep! A bottle of Ceptoid Brandy. Cold, no ice,” she said, in her naturally husky voice.
The stunned bartender, an old, hulking, hunched over Tamarian, regathered himself enough to nod and pull a bottle of swirling purple and blue liquid from under the counter.
She nodded, then plunged her hand into a pocket in the blue cape that flowed off her left shoulder.
Suddenly, a bolt of fluorescent green plasma streaked through the counter, narrowly missing both the woman and the bartender. A Sletha stormed in waving its weapon around, firing wildly. The remaining bar patrons ran for the exits, leaving only Jer'Tha, the bartender, and a very pissed off Sletha inside.
Jer'Tha fixed the new arrival with a furious stare. Fire raged behind her bright green eyes, and exploded outward in a burst of brilliant blue energy. Her eye-beams sliced and burned through everything in their path. The Sletha dove and rolled aside at the last moment. The beams still came close enough to singe its arms.
“Jer'Tha! You're mine!” it screamed at her, raising its weapon, glaring at her with all four of it's bloodshot eyes. Jer'Tha, thinking fast, tried to rush him, hoping to reach him before he pulled the trigger.
She couldn't. A bolt of high energy plasma raced towards her.
Oh, Smert... Jer'Tha thought ruefully, closing her eyes just in time. The blast struck her full in the face, and she went flying. Again. She toppled through the bar, shattering the tables and chairs she smacked into on the way, and came to a rest against the far wall, right under the mounted and stuffed head of a many-horned, multi-mouthed beast. She didn't move.
The Sletha strode up to it's prey. It's elongated mandibles distended and laughed gleefully. It stuck the muzzle of the plasma gun in Jer'Tha's face, so close the barrel nearly went up her nose.
“You shouldn't have missed your last shipment, smuggler,” it said coldly. Its finger closed around the trigger.
Suddenly, Jer'Tha's hand shot up from her side, and gripped the gun. Before the Sletha knew what was happening, she squeezed.
The barrel emitted a sharp, tinny squeal. Though constructed of solid titanium, it crumpled like tinfoil in Jer'Tha's superhuman grip. She pressed further; chunks melted to molten paste between her fingers, and still she squeezed. The power cell casing cracked open creating little jets, then a massive eruption of brilliant, glowing green plasma. It blasted across the Sletha's face, searing everything it touched. The Sletha stumbled back, clutching at its charred scales, screeching in agony, flesh fusing over its right eyes.
Jer'Tha just smirked, then casually tossed the gun away.
Agonised and half blind, the creature raced for the door. As it ran, an inexplicable burst of wind blew through behind it. It ignored it. It kept going. It had to escape.
It ran smack into something. The collision knocked the Sletha to the ground, leaving it sprawled on it's bony behind.
Jer'Tha stood over it, hands on hips, a mischievous glint in her eye. She raised her left hand over her right shoulder, drawing the moment out as much as she could, grinning all the while.
“Nighty night,” she said cheerily, like a mother addressing an overtired child. Then she backhanded the Sletha, hard. Now it was its turn to be sent tumbling through the bar, crashing into one thing after another, shattering each and every bone in its scaly body. It crashed into the far wall hard enough to leave a perfectly formed impression of its body in the steel, only to flop out and collapse face first on the dirty bar-room floor.
Dusting her hands theatrically, Jer'Tha sashayed back to the bar, her wide hips swinging from side to side, and sat down. She pulled what looked like computer chips out of her cape's pocket, and lay them on the counter above the cowering bartender. She picked up her drink, slugged it back, and licked her lips. She raised her glass.
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