Millie smiled very sweetly at her partner and he blushed. The two women who had been working on backing him into a dark corner went two different directions, fast. Millie was blond, beautiful and big. She was also wearing battle armor and guns.
"Timothy, we have work to do."
"I'm not good at mingling."
Millie smiled. Timothy was shy. He was also the greatest computer programmer in the universe, as close to immortal as there was, ten cens shorter than she was, had gorgeous curly red hair, and was the most beautifully muscled human male she'd ever seen, all over. They were a superb team. They served the First Daughter and the Grand Mage. Or, they subcontracted as a mercenary team for Shorla and Van. Same job. Same boss.
"We're fueled and ready. Trixie will be getting impatient."
"Yes, I suppose she will be. Trixie, interface."
The self-aware ship called Trixie constructed an interface with Tim's mind. Only his mind was capable of full interface. No other was as logical. A rogue program had once tried to leap that interface. It gave Tim a massive headache, but had allowed him to trap the program that had been running loose in one of his tech friends.
Timothy was Tim to all self-aware technology. Tim was the human they told tech jokes. He understood the humor. Trixie was very young. She'd only become self-aware a few days before when Tim and Millie had programmed her to the level of complexity necessary. That wasn't enough of course, but they'd had no doubts she would and a great deal of assistance assuring it. They knew they'd succeeded when Trixie told them Genie was a flirt. Genie was the most powerful computer in the universe. Tim was the only one who could employ his full function.
"Millie, I don't know if I can do this."
"Timothy, we're the best for the job and you know it. Glo and Colin might pull it off, but they don't fit the stereotype very well. You and I do. I won't let anyone get close. It's not at all out of character for a Slevati to fry someone who gets friendly with her companion."
"Slevati domfemmes don't have companions. They have... They own males."
"You don't think playing my love slave will be fun?"
"No, I don't, but no one else can reprogram that computer as fast as we can. Hello, Trixie."
"Hi, Tim. Hi, Millie. Genie just relayed the go ahead. The ship missing story is planted. Your 'haul' will be recognized, Millie. The 'courier' was carrying a large number of gems. Tim isn't happy."
"I do understand, Trixie. I wouldn't want to wear a collar and leash either, but it's the only way a man can set foot on Slevati territory. Timothy, I do understand."
"I know. I'm... I'll go get ready."
"Millie, help him. I'll loaf."
Millie grinned and went after Timothy. Trixie was a wise ship. Timothy would have less difficulty getting into the role if she showed him she knew it was only a role. She'd still have to initiate things, but once begun... She shivered in anticipation. Timothy brought his full self to only one activity.
"Timothy, come with me. Trixie says she's loafing. We're going to plot, plan and prepare in the spa. Then I'll help you get ready for our act."
"I'm being set up."
"You most certainly are. I want you absolutely sure it's only a role you're playing and WE both know it. Shall I grab a bottle of Djinn Smoke?"
"Yes, but because it's pleasant, not because it's necessary."
Millie was quite pleased with the compliment. The liqueur, which was the only exported product of Timothy's world, was a potent aphrodisiac if one knew its secret. Timothy's five brothers teased a great many women on their world carried a bottle at all times just in case he passed by.
"You're beautiful, Timothy."
"You're beautiful. I just spend a lot of time in the weight room."
"Mm, hm. Ooh, you're tense. I'll pour you a glass of Smoke, then massage your shoulders while the spa loosens the knots."
The massage lasted a long time and they both got one. Millie was one of nine women Timothy didn't have to be careful not to break. Timothy, his brothers and father, and Millie and her cousins made up the six teams who worked for Shorla. Timothy was also pledged to the Grand Mage as Alchemist. Van had created the amulet he wore and also the rings that identified them as serving the First Daughter.
Timothy was thirty-three and looked twenty-two. Millie was twenty-one. She was a princess. Timothy was the father of the Sultan of Djinn. The sultan was sixteen. Timothy had looked twenty-two since he was fifteen. His father looked thirty. He was over two thousand. Timothy smiled and kissed Millie. The living ship of the Great Guardians had assured his partner would 'look thirty' too.
"No doubt this is a role we're playing?"
"No doubt. There never was."
"Any doubt we can carry it off?"
"No, Millie. Help me get ready?"
"Yes. Timothy, I won't use these."
"I'll think of some reason. I won't do it, Timothy."
"Millie, the rings are stasis clips, except the ear hoop."
"I'll pierce your ear, but I won't even put the others on. No, Timothy, I know nose and nipple rings are the norm, but I... think they detract from your beauty."
"I hope you can get away with it. Put this one on. Millie, you must. It's the primary chain ring and it will be too obvious if you don't."
Millie nodded and knelt. She gently lifted Timothy's beautiful testes and slid the thick gold ring beneath them. She carefully centered the chain ring. Once the large ring was closed, it wouldn't move. She gently guided his huge penis through the ring and pushed it against his body at the base of it. She took a deep breath and snapped it closed. It looked like it had been welded, but its lock was code and frequency keyed. He was now held high and tight by a cen thick ring. When he began to turn away, Millie held his hips with her hands, leaned forward and gently kissed him.
"Trixie, construct a gold chain to drape around his hips. I want a sapphire blue satin panel twenty cens wide and fifty cens long in the center front. Make him a gold torc for his neck too. I won't put a collar around his throat. Timothy, I'm going to put a sapphire in your ear and one in your navel, then dust your eyelids with blue. We'll get away with not piercing your nipples and septum if you're trimmed nicely."
"Thank you. The panel will help. Manacles and hobbles, Millie."
"I'm changing those too. Trixie, gold manacles and hobbles and make sure they look and feel strong, but Timothy can break them easily."
"No problem. He can snap anything short of duraloy, and that if it's less than a half cen thick. I'll make the chains look nice and sturdy. Timothy, the third ring from the left on the manacle chain is slightly weak. The fifth from the right on the hobbles, the same. All items are in the service slot."
When Millie finished "decorating" Timothy, she whistled. He was incredibly beautiful.
"Timothy O'Leary, this may be a short investigation. I may end up just shooting them all to keep them away from you, ESPECIALLY if you blush like that. Trixie, keep your telepathic circuits open. Let us know fast if anyone recognizes either of us."
"That's not what they are, Millie. I can send and receive on any frequency, including human thought. Telepathy is quite different."
"I know, but Pickles can't break Shorla of calling it that either. Probably because it's shorter than 'all your receptors in the human thought frequency range.' Telepathic circuits is MUCH shorter."
"Any luck with the comp, Trixie?"
"No, Tim. It must be a completely isolated system, non-aware and board programmed. Even Genie can't establish an interface. Tim, I'm not sure it is a computer."
"Explain that, Trixie."
"It's more than shipping schedules and probable cargoes. There are probable course computations and estimated speed and... Tim, nothing that isn't complex enough to be self-aware could make such accurate estimates based on the personality profiles of the cargo vessel captains. I think we may have a comp that is nothing more than a data store and matrix graph and a human genius interpolating the data. We need that data store wiped, but the reprogramming may be on a human."
"Damn. Timothy, I'm beginning to like this less and less. If she's right, we could be hunting for a wrist comp worn by a genius."
"In an aberrant society."
"You know the background of the Slevati?"
"Yes, but I'm uncomfortable and need a reminder they're not just all insane."
"The Slevati are women pirates. This sector has three very odd patriarchal cultures. One is a religious fanaticism. The women of that world are kept in locked compounds, or veiled head to toe and hobbled and wrist chained when not locked up. They're considered mans' 'temptation' and the dimorphism of the sexes is a trick of the 'Great Demon.' They believe man was originally intended to be single sex and reproduce by budding. Scientific inquiry is NOT allowed. The world is agra and the only tech is inside the locked and guarded spaceport. The women labor in the fields in veils, manacles and hobbles. Fifty is considered an appropriate number for a man to possess. He never sees their faces. All sex is for offspring and witnessed. The second odd culture is spacefaring. Women are traded between ships. The racial planner coordinates the trades. Women are breeding stock. All men on one ship are family. They are given women selected to balance the gene pool. There are usually about three on a ship with fifteen to thirty men. Excess daughters are sold. The buyers are real slavers. Nearly everyone wants them out of business except their customers. Said customers never admitting they are customers. They buy and sell both men and women, but women are their primary trade stock. A lot of lonely prospectors and farmers buy. The women they buy are lucky. They don't have a choice in the man they get but they're seldom kept as slaves. The ones sold to mines, work camps and pirates aren't so lucky. Most die of abuse and hard labor. The Slevati are primarily women who have escaped or been freed by Slevati."
"They're pirates, but until this one came along they, basically, attacked the shipping of those three cultures and actually reduced the number of real pirates in the sector."
"Exactly. Now, our story is you were already a prisoner being held for ransom or sale, whichever was higher. I took the pirate ship and you made the mistake of ordering me to free you. I'm just teaching you a good lesson, or so I keep telling myself. I even plan on freeing you, eventually. Trixie looks enough like Pickles on long range scan that no one will realize it was actually Shorla and Van who took the pirate. They're just too recognizable to pull this off."
"Wait a moment. Trixie, interface. All right, Mistress Domfemme, put on the lead chain and open the hatch."
"A kiss for luck and here we go."
Millie led Timothy from Trixie by the chain attached to his torc. She was careful not to walk too fast. He'd snap the hobbles before they'd trip him. She didn't feel well dressed either. Normal Slevati garb was battle armor and guns. She didn't mind that. It was just that those were all they wore. Of course, if she'd been forced to wear loose robes and veils her entire life, she might have a thing about covering her body in cloth too. Timothy began attracting attention immediately.
"Oh, my, he's pretty."
"I stun people the first time they reach for him. They try again, I burn their hands off. I took him in battle and he's MINE. This is his first outing."
"Not fair to cover what looks to be very nice equipment, but I'll live. Keska."
"Millie. Too nice, Keska. I'd rather not spend all my time with a gun in my hand. Like the effect?"
"Yes. No rings?"
"Just the one. I actually plan on letting him go. He was being held on a ship. He ORDERED me to free him. He's learning manners. He's trying, but it's not easy for him."
"You took a ship?"
"A pirate. Nice haul. They actually believed they'd been taken by a full crew, not real bright. Disabled and emptied their ship, then notified the auths to pick them up."
"So you're the one who took the Terror."
"Terror wasn't even a scare after their weapons were shot off. My ship doesn't like being shot at."
"Very. I did a favor and got a jewel. The lady likes me and she doesn't like pirates. They weren't nice to her. Ever been offered a privateer contract? Interesting idea, but too limiting. Wouldn't include anything BUT pirates. I don't like slavers or working in fields in chains either."
"Ooh, know where you came from. I was on a duthi ship. I HATE slavers. I was nine when they raided our settlement. Took me til I was twenty-three to escape."
"I'm only twenty-one, but I've seen enough to know some things are evil. That's why I'll let him go, eventually. He's from the core of human space. He doesn't know how he ended up on a pirate ship clear out here. He does know stacked stunner headaches aren't pleasant. Point me at a casino where they'll exchange rocks for chips and not make me mad. I know fair value. I can estimate how much I should get by the cost of a beer. I have a large number of pretty rocks."
"Heard somebody had taken a gem courier. Didn't know the Terror had done it. That one he's wearing part of the haul?"
"There's one in his ear too."
"Hadn't got that far yet. Matched stones?"
"Cut just for him. I call him Timothy. He rarely forgets that's his name anymore. Do you, Timothy?"
"Good boy. Casino?"
"The Drift Cloud is just ahead. Nice lounge, straight games and as fair as you'll get on your rocks. Care if I tag? I want to see faces when you walk in with your pretty."
"No problem. Enjoy the company."
Trixie scanned Keska and was pleased. She was Slevati so she could fight slavers. She'd already decided she liked Millie and would keep an eye on her back until she shipped out at dawn. She particularly liked the fact she was just "teaching a lesson" and had no plans to trade, ransom or sell her "pretty." Trixie identified her ship and berth and communicated her surprise to Timothy. She was first officer on the Lady Vengeance. It was the biggest Slevati ship running and was making slave trading very dangerous and quite unprofitable in general.
Tim told her to quick-scan the rest of the ships orbiting the moonlet and down on the pad. She told him she had the best drive, guns and shields and was the only one self-aware. There were too many people in the domed port to scan.
Millie prepared herself. Someone was going to reach for Timothy. She was sure of it. She thumbed her right gun to stun and grinned at Keska. She liked the grin she got in return and watched as Keska set her guns on stun. She led Timothy through the doors and Keska dropped back a meter. They hadn't gotten three meters in when a woman reached for Timothy. Millie drew and stunned her before she touched him.
"Damn! You're FAST."
"Only know of one woman faster, Keska. We had the same teacher. Be nice, femmes. I'll send a drink for her headache. She won't be out long. I hit her with minimum stun. He's mine and I don't share. The operating phrase is: look but don't touch. Understood? Good."
"That table won't be a problem. Even drunk, those five know good advice. Oh, oh, Sula's here and she's noticed your Timothy."
"Odd. Hard crew and none of them talk about where they pick up their pay. Stick together. Sula may be the only one of the seven who likes men for any reason and I think she hates them too much to enjoy that. See the whip scars?"
"Yes, and the knife scars and burn scars... That woman has been tortured. The bunch around her all look like they were."
"Guesses. No hard info, but we think she killed every man on a kavari pirate ship and freed the other six. Their ship used to be a kavari corsair. A VERY nasty bunch no longer raids worlds, ships, or space docks. She's dangerous, Millie. They all are, but she's crazy with hate. Her guns DON'T stun."
"I'll stay away from her."
"I hope you can. Table or bar?"
"Table. Over there. It's close to the gaming area and far from Sula."
"Good choice. Auto bar! Serve two at table six. Lithori pale ale. Serve one shot Dust Downer."
"Shot of Dust Downer?"
"Looks like whiskey, but not extremely alcoholic. It's for your Timothy. They see you pour a bit down him, reinforces the notion he's yours. Feed him goodies and lock him to your chair. The clip chain will let him kneel or sit and he's short enough he can probably even stand. Make sure he knows not to sit on the chair unless he's on your lap."
"He's already gotten that message. Is it safe to leave him to play?"
"Once he's secured, it would be considered a breach of conduct to mess with him. You get barred from the Drift Cloud, you might as well look for a new port."
"Good. Kneel, Timothy."
Timothy held himself still. Millie reached beneath the panel and clipped the chain attached to her chair to the small ring attached to the one he wore. He could see she hated it in her eyes. He was now one of four males chained to a chair. He blessed her for her idea of the panel. The other three wore only rings and chains. He watched a woman grab one by his nose ring, pull his head back and pour two shots of liquor down his throat. She was collecting money for his "use" for one hour periods.
"Share or rent?"
"I don't share and he wouldn't really get started in an hour."
"Ooh, sounds like you got your money's worth."
"Easy, Millie! Femme, he's capture, not trade. Millie doesn't LIKE slavers. I don't like slavers. I wouldn't hang with someone who'd traded with one."
"Yes, Keska, I'll spread the word."
"She knew you, Keska."
"Most do. I'm first off on the Lady Vengeance. We ship at dawn, about five hours. Only a seven hour rotation, but we still say dawn."
Millie slapped Timothy hard. He'd forgotten and spoken. It could get him killed. He knew it.
"You may apologize."
"Mistress, I spoke without thinking. Thank you for the reminder. I shall not forget again."
"I explained unruly boys are confiscated and disciplined."
"You mean, chained in an outer corridor for five standard days, then returned to their mistress if they survive. Most do. Someone usually gives them water. If I see one chained, I do. Of course, I feed stray pups and kits too."
"So do I. Don't hate men. Hate the system, but not the people. Too many places where men and women are treated equally and treat each other well. Why he's here. He should have said please and thank you, not 'You. Get me out of here immediately.' I'm reminding him. Earth hours?"
"As usual. Ah, our drinks. To fast friends made fast."
"I like. Both the toast and the ale. Next round on me. What's this?"
"Someone wants to see your Timothy drunk. I doubt those are Dust Downers. Millie, give him all three shots. Spill some on him. Not too much or they'll know you dumped it. Order another Dust Downer and leave it on the table. Serves notice you think he's had enough for awhile."
"I can't leave one of the two?"
"Don't. Too noteworthy. Someone has an excuse to be insulted."
Millie grabbed Tim's hair and pulled his head back. He gasped when she poured the second shot down his throat and his eyes watered. She spilled more of the third than she gave him. She worked at laughing so it seemed natural. She grabbed a napkin and roughly mopped him. She hoped she'd been fast enough no one noticed how much she'd spilled.
"Autobar, one Dust Downer to this table. Where's the cashier, Keska?"
"Far end of the casino. I'll sit til he gets it settled. Don't worry. I'll feed a chip to the auto server if you're not back in time."
Timothy was having trouble getting it settled. The Dust Downer tasted awful, but the shot and a half must have been a hundred eighty proof and the other ten percent rocket fuel. He felt his body's chemical defenses kick in and alerted Trixie. She relayed to Millie. There had been something in the shots or the Dust Downer besides alcohol. Since the auto server had brought them, it was a 'usual.' Millie got back to the table in time to feed the server.
"Timothy, are you all right?"
"No, Mistress, I feel strange."
"Boost. Should have guessed."
"What's boost, Keska?"
"Calling it an aphrodisiac is deceptive. It stimulates erection. Nothing else. He's going to get hard and stay that way for hours."
"Maybe I spilled enough?"
"Not likely. See? He's starting to sweat. Feel him. He'll be getting hard already."
Tim was sweating all right. His metabolism was working hard to get rid of the drug. He wasn't getting an erection. Of course, if Millie handled him much longer, he might.
"He's not, Keska, but it's not easy to get him that way. I wasn't exaggerating when I told that femme he was barely getting started in an hour. If you haven't got at least six, don't. He can't BE rushed."
"Hmm, a very interesting thought. Nice color too."
"He does turn a pretty pink. Timothy, do you know why it didn't work?"
"Perhaps because my people were genetically engineered for a somewhat toxic environment, Mistress. I have no other explanation."
"More probable than your answer, Millie, but I did like yours better."
"Thanks, Keska. Damn!"
"Sit down, Millie. I don't like it either, but if we butt in... The same rules that let her get away with that protect your boy. If he screams or bleeds, they'll confiscate him and throw her out. Come on. Let's get to the gaming tables. She's watching your Timothy. She's working on some kind of bet or challenge. If we're not here, she can't make it."
"Timothy, if someone touches you or my chair, you are to yell for me. Do you understand?"
Tim leaned back against the chair and closed his eyes. He didn't want to see what the woman was doing to the man on the table. The table he was beside had a ring where a nose ring could be clipped hanging above it and a ring with a short chain attached in the center too. All the tables did. The custom of showing off male captives was supposed to be dying out, but every chair still had a clip ring and every table still had 'display' rings. He sensed someone near and opened his eyes.
"I don't know who she is, but she has good taste. I'm Sula. I intend to see what's under that panel. Merba wants more. She's playing with hers, but she's watching you. He won't scream. The last time he did, she shoved an electrode up him and gave him random jolts for four days. She's been taking bets for three days. She's going to put a ring in. I've got five down he comes. Will you come when one's pushed nice and slow through yours? I'll be watching to see."
When Keska and Millie returned to the table, the woman who had watched Timothy while she abused another sauntered over to it.
"You missed a good show."
"Don't like your shows, Merba. Don't like you. Millie doesn't even know you and she doesn't like you."
"Too bad, Keska. They're collecting. They want to see him dance. I just want him."
"He's not for sale, rent or trade. Go away. Keska, dance?"
"If they collect five thou for charity, he dances, up there. No one can reach that platform while it's up there, but they'll put him on it. They can't pass him around or delay, but he'll be handled and he MUST dance. The money goes to good. It's needed. There are women who never recover from what they've been through. It pays for shelter and care. Top contributor prepares him and picks the music."
"Oh, well, that's easy. Come on, Timothy."
Millie unclipped Timothy from her chair, led him over to the platform and yelled for attention.
"Who's collecting?! Catch. These will take it over twenty thou."
Millie tossed three huge rubies to the woman collecting and motioned the platform down. She grinned at Timothy, led him onto it, took off his hobbles and tucked the bottom end of the panel through his hip chain at the back. The women roared with laughter. She'd topped Merba and kept her from getting anything she wanted. Even Sula appreciated it. Millie winked at Timothy and stepped off the platform.
"Aren't you going to chain him?"
"No, he's not going anywhere and chained... Well, you'll see. Music! Cossack's dance from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet! Twice through. Give him a minute to loosen up!"
Timothy grinned, flexed, then shook himself loose. He had Trixie give him the exact variance of the artificial gravity from E-normal, paced the platform and did a back aerial. He landed right on the edge. Women gasped. He chose his position and nodded he was ready. The music began and he surged into motion. Women were cheering and standing on chairs and tables BEFORE the music repeated. The place exploded in cheers when he finished. Millie signaled the platform down, stepped up on it, untucked the panel and grinned.
"Take a bow, Timothy."
He took a bow, then blushed when the women stamped, cheered and pounded on the tables. That didn't quiet the cheering.
Keska carefully spread the story of how Millie had found Timothy and why she'd brought him to the port. He and Millie made a great many friends they didn't know they had. Merba wasn't among them.
"Millie, my captain is going to love this story. She'll be sorry she missed it. She's got a real dislike of Merba. Her fingers twitch when she sees her. She says she dreams she has her in her sights and is pressing down the firing stud. She's on the ship because Merba's in port. Damn. I'm beginning to feel the same. If she doesn't quit abusing him in front of me, I'm going to blow her away."
"I'll help. Isn't there anything we can do?"
"Not really. Don't even know who he is. Do know he's not allowed to speak or even gesture. The cap doesn't think he's duthi though. Let's game. She's starting again and I have to get elsewhere."
"We could go elsewhere."
"Safest place for Timothy is here and clipped to a chair."
Timothy looked closely at the young man. Trixie copied and began a search. Timothy turned his back on Merba. He made it quite obvious that was what he was doing. Trixie said, "Bingo." in his head. The young man was Tomy VanDoren. He was a statistical wizard and had garnered three doctorates in industrial psychology in three specialties. He was a genius and capable of the work they'd originally thought was being done by a comp. He'd disappeared from his office one evening nearly a year before. The piracy they were investigating had begun shortly afterward. Millie grabbed Keska's arm when Trixie relayed what she'd found.
"Keska, the man Merba's got is Tomy VanDoren. Super whiz in stats and the best personality profile person period. Big do in Segis sector when he disappeared. Taken right out of his office. Got a wife and two little girls. She spent everything she had to get his picture plastered everywhere. Couple shipping companies think he's the only one who could be planning a pirate problem they've developed."
"Shit! She's going to bring the whole sector down on ALL of us. Segis sector?"
"Yes, he was personnel exec for Travin Interplanet and if THEY get wind of it..."
"There won't BE a sector to come down on us."
"Let me think. Blowing her away in space won't really help, Keska. It sure won't help him."
"That obvious I was thinking about it?"
"I was, so I figured you were. No, we want to take her here and do what we can to help him, get him home and hand her over to Segis with as much loot as we can find. Makes us good guys and makes our real enemies sound like the liars they are when they scream we're disrupting 'legitimate' trade. Now, how am I going to do it?"
"Tell Sula. She won't warn Merba and she won't get in your way. It may also keep her from working on a plan to get Timothy. Good time. She's at the craps table. Get two ales, hand her one and talk quiet and fast."
"Keska, Fate smiled on me and put you in my path. Be back."
Millie handed Sula an ale and she stepped away from the table. She sipped and listened while Millie gave her story and plan.
"Not now and never was. DO look at pictures of pretty men."
"Your pretty man interests me."
"I'm going to cut him loose, Sula. If you interest him then, it's his choice. He doesn't deserve quite as much as he's getting. The story is I had guns in both hands and was making like a crew of ten and he ordered me to break him out. It's just a lesson and he knows it. I'm hoping he decides I'm interesting afterward. Hell of a man."
"All right, I'll leave him alone. Going to tell him so."
"Do and he may find you interesting."
"Sure. He can look for a place I'm not scarred ugly."
"Sula, a HELL of a man. He'll see right past the scars. Can't promise anything except I'm sure of that."
"He did impress you."
"He let me do this. I couldn't have forced him. He accepted it as a reasonable action on my part."
"You're in love with him."
"No, I'm in love with a silver haired, green eyed, young god. Of course, half the women in human space are, but I got to dance with him. I did a pretty spectacular stunt and won myself a ship and a too short dance with the Grand Mage of the Magelor. Can't tell stunt. Just the right place at the right time, wearing my guns and picked the right side."
"You have a knack?"
"Let's say I'm pretty sure anybody I shoot deserves to be dead."
"Got to talk to your boy. He looked pretty arrogant, so I played heavy."
Sula walked over to where Timothy was chained to the chair. She looked down at him and smiled.
"I talked to Millie. She says you don't deserve and you're putting up with. I'd still like to see, but I'll wait for you to show. First man I thought worth that. Ever."
Timothy suddenly stood to his limit, grabbed her belt, pulled her to him and kissed her. He sat down and grinned up at her. Sula blinked at him in surprise, then looked up when Millie burst into laughter in the doorway of the gaming room. Sula laughed and raised her tankard to Millie in salute. Her girls were not going to understand, but they didn't understand why she even found men interesting. She began planning another raid. A slaver had sold twelve women to a mining corp. It was the third time the corp had bought. Time to close slaver, mine and corp down. She'd sell any men the women said were abusive. The same with the corp exec. The slaver would take a walk in space. That her girls would understand.
Keska and Millie left together with Timothy in tow. Sula and her girls were gone. Sula had leaned on the table by Millie and said, "Four days or we didn't make it. Keska, tell the captain I'm taking Orbus." Keska was explaining who Orbus was and why the slaver was so hated.
Millie pushed the hand with the cup of water away. She was suddenly fully awake. She had a stunner headache and Trixie was trying to get through it.
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