Hidden 9 days ago Post by Gingy
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Otto Halstead
Dreamways Diner & Fuel Refinery
The Asteroid Belt, GFA#157

“What do you want?”

Otto lifted his face off the red-and-white checkered table and cleared his throat. “Hm?”

“Aren’t you going to order?” The hostess—a spritely red-haired woman in roller skates—had her arms folded.

“Oh.” He wiped his unkempt brown hair from his brow and leaned back into his sparkly red booth seat. “Sodapop. And a chocolate sprinkled donut. And….” Otto quickly surveyed the menu. “Chicken-fried steak. Extra gravy.” The hostess gave him a knowing half-smile and skated back toward the bar top.

Otto surveyed the retro-futuristic diner. The gentle nostalgic hum of lap steel guitars whispered through the radio to an audience of two. The rather peculiar hostess skated around aimlessly as she waited for the faceless cook behind the doors to finish Otto’s dinner. The two were alone. The diner was chillingly empty.

The window Otto now leaned on had a rather bland view of floating asteroids and wandering ships. Still, he had a quiet admiration for the asteroid belt. It was the only functioning human ecosystem in the Solar System independent of Galileus rule. So long as you were a competent enough pilot to navigate the maze of rocks, the Asteroid Belt was as good a place as any.

Otto gazed at his ship, which was parked and gassing up outside. This sleek bucket of bolts was named the “Kingfisher” and had seen wear-and-tear beyond the wildest dreams of this region’s space cowboys.

“Here you go,” said the hostess as she laid out a bountiful feast in front of the weathered space traveler. A steaming chicken-fried steak, glistening chocolate donut, and opened glass bottle of coca cola awaited.

“Thanks,” said Otto, offering a moment of polite gratitude before burying his face into his steak.

The waitress giggled as she intently watched Otto devour his food. “Long day?”

Otto chuckled, his mouth full of food. “You could say that.”

“Nice ship.”

“You must be joking.”

“You should see the kind of royal pieces of shit that fly our way. It might change your perspective.”
“She was a far finer ship when I first met eyes with her on Callisto. She’s been through a lot.”

“Like what?” asked the ginger-haired waitress.

Otto waved his hand dismissively “More than you’d care to hear.”

“You can at least tell me what brings you to our particular asteroid.”

Otto sighed. He looked around the diner again. “I guess you haven’t had much in the way of business or conversation. All right, I’ll bite…”

The waitress gazed at him expectantly.

“I’m headed to Mars in a few days.”

“Oh? Where are you from?”

“Callisto,” Otto lied.

“You and everyone else.”

“Sorry to disappoint.”

“Oh…I’m not disappointed.” The waitress sat at the booth across from Otto and crossed her legs, clearly desperate for any sort of conversation.

“This place sure beats Earth, I’ll tell you that much.”

“You were on Earth?”


“So you’re a vulture?”

“Eh. That’s not how I’d put it.”

“Well, ‘vulture’, my shift wraps up in a few hours. I can stick around and wait for you if you’d like…?”

Otto caught her drift. He gave a half-smile and chuckled under his breath. He splashed a few coins onto the table—plus a remarkably generous tip—before sliding out of the booth. “Perhaps another time.”
Hidden 8 days ago 8 days ago Post by LemonTarts
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"Io Sinclair”

”The Aurora” Club
City “Aries”, Mars

Io spun a shot glass filled with gem colored gelatin between a thumb and a forefinger, the neon wash of lights that danced across every surface almost but not quite hiding the Earth sky blue stains of hair dye on her hands.

The club was raucous as always, a heavy bass beat so visceral it was correcting the timing of her heartbeat. She tossed the gelatin to the back of her throat, bringing a delicate hand to her lips as if to ease the alcoholic undertones of the otherwise sweet shot.

“Easy there, Blue.” The bartender, an older man with a handsome face regardless offered her a genuine smile, the only one she’d seen from him all night. “Don’t want your clients thinking you’re easier than you already are.” She tossed her wavy, newly dyed blue hair over a shoulder, gave him a withering look and a rude gesture.

“Shut it, Indus. If I were a dumber broad I’d say you were jealous.”

He shrugged, pushing another, larger glass her way. He leaned in close, so close she could smell the clean scent of his aftershave cut clear through the clubs musk. “Don’t look now, but bring this drink to the man over there, plum purple suit. The one that’s been making eyes at you for the past hour.”

She lofted a brow. “It almost sounds like you’ve got us a job.”

“Then your ears are as working as well as that dress. A Galileus political bigwig rang me up today, said we’d be getting a particular man in a particular suit who spends the rest of his time in his big fancy house with his beautiful wife and children on Callisto.”

“Sounds boring, why are you wasting my time? Does your contact want him dead?”

“Better. The mans name is Arric Timble, a reporter for an interplanetary news hologram. My contact said he is in possession of some very damning photos that could ruin my contacts career and position. Thankfully Timble keeps it on his person in that handy dandy little briefcase of his. A little more of this,” He pushed the drink towards her. “And a little less of that,” He gestures towards her dress. “And you should have full access to those files.”

“What’s in it for me?”

“A hefty paycheck and you get to see the photos?”

She gave him a winning wink and a smile. “Sold. You know me so well.”

“Unfortunately, now take him this drink. The ice is melting and his eyes are starting to wander elsewhere.”

With a quick kiss on his cheek she grabbed the drink. “As if.” She spun, and began sauntering over towards the man in the plum purple suit.
Hidden 7 days ago 6 days ago Post by Gingy
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Harvey Fitzpatrick
The Hanging Gardens
Callisto, Jupiter System

The Hanging Gardens of Callisto were not the single most arrogant thing mankind had created since barreling into space—that honor belonged to the twin casinos in the Mars system, Phobos and Deimos—but Mr. Fitzpatrick considered it within the top five. Leaving Earth behind meant that mankind had the chance to revise its history. Never mind that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were destroyed and had their legacy embedded into an immaculate image. No, no…I guess to them, we’ve left Earth behind. History is clearly irrelevant.

Harvey marveled at the floating zero-gravity planters, containing palm trees, grape vines, pear trees, olive bushes…all the stuff they’d predicted had been grown in Babylon. They had been immaculately orchestrated on a giant roof terrace of the Callisto City Hall, three hundred stories above the ground. It was one of the single most beautiful sights in the New World, but so few had been able to see it. To preserve its tranquility and “dignity”, only a select upper crust were permitted to enter the grounds.

Breathing in the pungent air of the miraculous floating plants, the gentle hum of ethereal cosmic jazz singing through the night, Harvey sighed happily, but with restraint. He savored the time he spent up here, even if he was living a bit of a lie by doing so. He lit a cigarette, took a drag, and let loose a huff of red smoke. The colorful night-lighting of the garden glinted against his sweaty black hands.

Harvey heard a set of footsteps approaching behind him. He let loose a faint sigh. “Already?”

“Mr. Fitzpatrick…” The voice was not the one he’d expected.

“Hmm?” Harvey turned around, and to his surprise, before him stood John Crowley, the tall silver-haired treasurer of Galileus. For most, this would be a cataclysmic arrival, but it should be mentioned that Mr. Fitzpatrick came into his wealth via his ownership of the Callisto Opera House, rendering him a bit of an accidental magnate of the New World.

“I might need your help.”

“…Again? Have people forgotten that I’ve sold my company?”

“Well, that’s just it. Phobos Casino & Resort is about to be vacant at the top,” muttered Mr. Crowley.

“Huh. Old Robert Devlin kicked the bucket?”

“He’s in ‘hospice’, as they’re calling it,” said John.

“Interesting, except, I’m not sure why you’re telling me this,” said Harvey.

“Word has it that they’re going to ask you to throw your name in the ring.”

Mr. Fitzpatrick’s eyes widened, and he laughed. “Me? Hah. Don’t they know that I’m a washed-up playwright? There’s legitimately thousands in the solar system more qualified.”

Mr. Criwley shrugged. “No offense, but I don’t quite understand it either. I simply thought you’d like to hear it from me before they’re knocking on your office.”

“Well, thank you for that.” Harvey looked visibly disturbed.

“Aren’t you too young to stay retired?”

“No one is too young to retire out here. Make your money and get the hell out. Pops was terrible with money, but he was wise, in his way.”

“Just think about it,” said Mr. Crowley. "Galileus trusts you, and perhaps we can finally regain some semblance of control over the Mars system with your influence." He tipped his hat and returned into the foyer of the hall.

Harvey’s gaze returned to the city beneath him. They were considering him for C.E.O-ship of the single largest den of depravity in the solar system? Why? He took another drag from his cigarette and shook his head. He’d believe it when he saw it.

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