Hello everybody! Sorry I took so long to update, but school took a lot of time away from writing - five essays, anyone? I'm back writing now, and I've completed about half of chapter two. I'm posting it now as it's over a thousand words long and I don't really want anyone to strain their eyes reading for awhile. As soon as I complete the rest of chapter two I'll post it here, but for now enjoy!!
CHAPTER TWO: DRAWING NEARER
Looking around the bench she sat on, Erica observed everyone around her with calculating eyes. While there were families taking strolls, businessmen and women on break, pickpockets darting through the crowds and other unsavoury characters going about their daily business, there were no officials in sight. Mind you, that was probably because everyone here was armed and dangerous. Even the children here carried blades and blasters. Cerianon wasn't a rough place, but it was easy to end up dead if you went down the wrong street.
From across the street a flash of light hit her eyes, nearly blinding her. Oooooh, she moaned inwardly , Why do I have to do this? Usually she frequented the better parts of the city, but if she wanted to escape she'd have to deal with darker side of life. Not that it was a bad thing, but she usually preferred to not piss off the mafia or any of the local gangs. The metal glinted again, practically burning out her retinas with the sun's reflection. That's it!! Standing up and clenching her fists, Erica weaved through the crowd, intent on putting an end to the flasher. Despite her anger, she snickered. Good one, she thought to herself. Her laughter stopped abruptly as the alley loomed before her in all it's shadowed glory. From within its depths she could hear heavy breathing, and six feet off the ground two large, beady red eyes gleamed down at her.
"Well, kid, whath'll ith be?" a voiced growled from the darkness with a raspy lisp. "I goth evrything from Megaweed thoo the hard thstuff."
Erica paled as she realized what she had gotten herself into. I knew I should've minded my own business! Why did I have to go stick my nose where it didn't belong?, she moaned inwardly.
"Uum.... ne-never m-mind... s-s-sorry f-for both-bothering you..." she squeaked out. A low growl came from the shadows.
"Thorry! I'll make you thorry!" roared the voice, as a furry hand holding a blaster rose towards her face.
So that's what was reflecting the light, she thought detachedly. I really hate fighting, but he leaves me no choice... and it'd be good to have a decent weapon where I'm going. Sighing, she ducked under the outstretched arm and rammed her shoulder into the creature's midsection. Unable to keep it's balance (and it's breath), the blaster clattered to the cold tarmac as the creature fell over. A rather large CRACK! sounded as it hit the ground. Poised on the balls of her feet, Erica braced herself for further combat. When it became clear that the dealer wasn't stirring, she finally slumped her shoulders and relaxed.
"Humph, I probably should practice more. I'm getting slow", she grumbled. "Oh well, let's see what this guy's packing." But first, she picked the blaster up from off the ground. It was miracle that it hadn't gone off. If it had... well, things could've gotten pretty ugly. Turning on the safety - or at least she hoped so, she didn't really know much about blasters and such - she stuffed it into her front pocket for quick and easy access. Walking forwards, she made her way towards the dealer only to find herself on the cold, hard ground. Wha? I tripped...? Pushing herself up, she looked around and spotted the source of her fall.
"Harmless my fanny", she snarled. It was a large, scaly tail attached to what she now knew was a rat. To be specific, a Fierce Harmless Rat. Scowling, she crawled over to it and poked his snout to make sure he wasn't faking it. Better to be safe than sorry, Erica thought as she began to rummage through the rodent's coat.
Pulling out syringes, bottles, bags and other drug paraphernalia, she laid them to the side. Right now she wasn't interested in them, and an offender status wasn't what she needed. What she needed was money, and possibly a ship. Her fingers brushed something flat and metal. Yanking it out, she crowed "Jackpot!"
In her hands lay a holopad, and it was even unlocked for her. Instinctively she pulled up the credit balance, and gave a low whistle. Glowing at her was 12 324.5 Cr.
"Thank Giles", she breathed, staring up at the sky. She was free! No longer would she have to put up with the supervisors and other kids at the orphanage. Now she could do whatever she wanted, and all she had to do was stay hidden for two years!
A new thought occurred to her. If the dealer had that many credits in his balance, maybe he had more stashed away. Pocketing the holopad, she began rifling around in the rodent's remaining pockets but found nothing else except for a slim card, which she scrutinized closely. Gasping in astonishment, she stared at it unbelievingly. It was a passcard for a ship - a ship that happened to be docked in the city's docking bay. Only minutes ago she was dirt poor and looking for a ship, and now she had one and plenty of cash.
"Thank you, Giles! You won't regret this, I swear! I promise I'll donate 2 000 Cr at a shrine, thank you so much!" Kneeling over the dealer, she thanked him, too.
"I know you're going to be pissed when you wake up, but thanks so much for everything. I really appreciate the help, even though you'll probably never see me again." The dealer lay still... almost too still... wasn't he supposed to be breathing?
"Oh no...", Erica whispered, horrified at her discovery. "I never wanted that, never that...", but the rodent still lay there unmoving. No no no no no! I'm not a killer... it's not my fault he his head too hard. Oohhhh, what am I going to do?
Shaking, she turned around and ran out of the alley. There was only one thing for her to do now, and that was to escape.
Sherry weaved between the tables, nimbly avoiding groping hands. Grrr.... I just hate humans. Normally she wouldn't have even considered a job at the casino, but she did get paid 100 Cr an hour, not including tips. A six hour shift could pay her rent for the month. The only downside was the uniform- or lack thereof. She just had to deal with the drunks. And the jerks. And her boss. And the other waitresses... gee, basically everything sucked. Maybe I really shouldn't work here... but this outfit DOES look good on me... Grinning tiredly, she managed to make it to the bar without any handtastrophes. Sighing with relief, she dropped the tray of empties into the auto washer.
"Well, that's it. PHIL, I'M LEAVING!" she hollered to the dejected-looking lobster bartender.
"Clack clak clak clik clak..." he slowly clacked his pincers.
"Yeah yeah, I'll see you next week... maybe." Humming to herself, she went into the backroom and changed her clothes. If she was lucky she'd be able to catch a shuttle back to the station right away. If she couldn't... well, she knew how to hit a guy where it hurt. She hadn't grown up in the slums without learning a thing or two. Plus there were her claws. There were some upsides with being part-feline.
Pulling out her holopad she stared at it, hoping that a shuttle was scheduled to go to the station. There was. Thank the gods! If I run I might be able to make it. It'd take too long to use the regular routes, so she'd have to go through back passages to make it in time. She shoved her holopad back into her pocket and darted out the back entrance.
To the left lay a well-lit passage. To the right laid a dim, lonely passage which was probably only used for maintenance. Sheesh, you'd think this was a horror movie. Oh no, which path should I pick?, she thought mockingly, the beautiful, sparkling path with tons of people or the scary dark one which will get me killed by some monster? Lets just go down the dark path and see what it's like! Giggling at her own joke, she turned right and began running.
Left turn, right turn, straight, left again, keep on going... The walls blurred around her as she continued to run towards the docking bay. Most people couldn't run down passages in the dark- but then again, she wasn't most people. She was half-human, half-feline with benefits from each. Such as seeing in the dark, for instance. The passage grew lighter, and up ahead she could see the docking bay.
"So...close..." she panted. By now she had almost reached the end. Just a couple more steps and- WHUMPH! Shrieking, she skidded across the floor and directly into something sticky.
"Please don't let it be garbage, please don't let it be garbage..." she muttered. She opened her eyes and immediately wished that she hadn't. It wasn't garbage, it was... oil? But oil isn't sticky... Right next to her lay what looked to be a duffel bag? A rug? Whatever it was, the black goop seemed to be coming from it. Shuddering, she slowly climbed to her feet.
"Eew..." She tried brushing off the goop, but it just spread more. Retching, she hunched over and got out her holopad.
"Today is the worst day of my life. Why? Whyyyyyyy!?!" she moaned. According to her holopad the shuttle had left just a minute ago. If only she hadn't fallen. But little did she know her day was about to get A LOT worse. A Galcop officer had heard the commotion and came her way.
"Is everything alright there?" he asked with authority. Not wanting to be seen covered in... well, whatever it was she quickly turned away.
"Yes, yes, I'm fine."
The Galcop officer kept on heading her way. The shriek was obviously feminine, and there was no one else around. He grinned at the prospect of being able to have some fun. After all, his word was law. However, his grin quickly disappeared as he saw what was laying next to her.
"Miss, I'm gonna have to take you in."
Sherry hissed as her arms were grabbed and fought to get free.
"What the hell are you talking about?!? I just missed my shuttle!"
"Yeah, well, I'm sure he misses his life more than you miss your shuttle," the officer replied angrily.
"What do you mean? Who's life?"
"That beetle you've just killed."
"But I didn't kill...." Horror overcame her as she realized what she was covered in. Blood. Beetle juice. Whatever you call it.
"I think I'm gonna be sick..." she moaned as waves of nausea washed over her.
"Well go do it elsewhere and not on me. Do you know how expensive this uniform is?"
"But I didn't do it!!! I swear!!!" Sherry pleaded, gulping air in a vain attempt to settle her heaving stomach.
"Yeah, well tell that to the judge," the officer said as he began dragging her away. Sherry twisted her head around and saw the officer's id. I'll remember you, Officer Herri. I'm gonna get out of jail, and then it's payback time.
...TO BE CONTINUES IN CHAPTER 3: OH SHIP!!
"My goal this weekend is to move... just enough so that people don't think I'm dead." -Anonymous
Last edited by Huntress on Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:04 pm, edited 7 times in total.