Ku watched her blossom every step of the way and his pride in her was obvious.  Where she had scrawled her name on her ship in nail polish, Ku had it removed and repainted beautifully.  He had also improved her engines when he had them modified to except the more efficient fuel.  She was ready to travel anywhere in the universe, even through wormholes.  There had been an entire week in training for that alone.  She knew at any time she could return to Earth, but she would be the alien now.  It had only been a few months since her departure, but everything, including her, had changed.  Cody crossed her mind once in a while and if she did go back, it would be to see him.  There was nothing else there for her.

"You can make your first run tomorrow.  Let me show you a map.  The coordinates have been loaded, but I thought you might like to see where you are going."  Ku said.

Lanie nodded.  The universe was vast; however, with the technology she had, most places were a day trip.  There was one area she was told never to venture into, the species who roamed there were deadly.  Once she was able to load her own coordinates she would have to consider those, but for now, it was done for her.

Ku pointed out several things for her to look for as she traveled.  She had learned how to dock with the various types of airlocks she would encounter.  Never having to worry about air quality or a language barrier due to the biological devices that had forced themselves on her, she was prepared for most anything.  The different species that she had encountered in contact with, took news of her back to their planets.  She was The Ice Queen, a force to be reckoned with.  That was the plan, so she would be able to get in and get out without much fanfare.  Lanie was growing into the role, but sometimes the confidence deserted her, and she doubted herself.  That would have to change.  Ku dismissed her and told her to rest up.

Tonight she would spend the evening with the boys, she intended to drink them all under the table and maybe even start a fight. It would make a good story to tell.  Besides, she needed a little courage building exercise.  Stopping by her rooms to freshen up, she peeled off the leather outfit and before she showered, Lanie rubbed the material down with leather cleaner.  As she stepped into the shower, she promised to buy a few more leathers with the money she would earn, maybe a white one.

A last look in her mirror, slightly cracked in the upper left hand corner, hair perfectly spiked.  She then pulled on her stiletto boots over the smooth taut leather covering her legs.  Lanie was as ready as she was going to be.

It was a short walk to the merchant center.  Shops, restaurants and bars all randomly spread about the area.  Lanie couldn't see all the way to the other end, the air quality was hazy and orange; lighting from the businesses caused a brighter glare, which created dark recessed areas where illegal dealings could be had.  That, and from the sounds she heard some were of a sexual nature as well.  Quickening her steps, she found her way to the bar she frequented.

Hearing the music before she could see the doorway, she realized how true the saying was that music was a universal language.  The sounds were slightly different, but the melodies were similar.  Smiling, she moved through the opening into the bar.  It was crowded, but over the bodies, a few appendages reached up and waved a welcome.  Lanie recognized the grey tentacle of her friend, Kondelk, and headed towards it.

Greetings, so far, had been normal and she taught them the fist bump, for those that had fists.  As she approached Kondelk, Lanie could see he stood alongside others she knew.  They had ordered her a drink and one of them held it out her.

"Thanks Froil!"

He mumbled, but she understood him to say it was his round to buy.

She nodded, "Okay, I can afford to buy one round for y'all.  After that I'm busted until I get back from my trip and get paid."

Lanie never had to spend any of her money.  She was a novelty, and everyone wanted to buy her a drink so that they would have an excuse to talk to her.  This suited her fine this evening.

One particular large male offered to buy her a drink.  He was covered with fur, even his face.  Introducing himself as Lanpel, he said was curious about her pale hairless skin.  The conversation started out harmlessly enough, until he couldn't keep his hands off her.  Pulling away, she asked him to stop.  He appeared driven to feel her skin, sometimes inappropriately.

"Stop it!  I mean it!"  She yelled above the music.

Her friends could see she was in distress.  They merged upon the couple surrounding them.

Kondelk placed a tentacle on the guy's shoulder, "Everything okay?"

"I'm sorry, I got carried away...her skin...it's so smooth."

Froil mumbled something and looked very intimidating at Lanpel.  Lanpel looked at Froil for a moment, and then reached into the bodice of Lanie's outfit.

Her friends were all on him very quickly.  He was not only large, but also strong and it took all of them to retrieve the hand down the front of Lanie's outfit.  Once Lanie was free of his grasp, she was pushed aside, while her friends pummeled Lanpel.  Cowering into a corner of the bar she watched as the fight consumed others.  Within moments, bottles were whizzing by her head, as others became involved; people yelled over the music, blood of several different colors splattered the floor and walls, the sound of fists hitting skin popped through the air.  The original group still had Lanpel in their grasp and moved him across the room.  Reaching the glass window in the front of the bar, they unceremoniously tossed Lanpel through the glass and into the street.  You would think that would end it.  The others had no idea why they were fighting, so it continued.  Some of the first ones into the fray, which included her friends, began to tire.  They began to stager and fall back.  Luckily, all weapons were checked at the door and the fight waned.  Soon they decided they were more thirsty, rather than to keep fighting.  Those who were still conscious made it to the bar, the others lay bleeding on the floor.  Ending as quickly as it began, the injured ones were eventually removed and things returned to normal, relatively.  Her friends gathered around her again.  Although they smelled a little gamey, were a little dirtier, a little bloodier, they had stood up for her, it was more than most had done for her on Earth.


12/22/2012 7:55pm

Another one down. I didn't notice anything, but I'm a little tired tonight and not in an editing mode. One thing, a little gamey? It should be gamy (I think, but look it up in the dictionary) and if one smells that way, it is usually more than a little. Leave off the little.

12/22/2012 8:17pm

When I was tripping or OD'ed on all my recreational chemistry, back when I was treating myself like that, I used to think the world was a whole universe, especially when I had to drive home wasted. It was heavy.


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