“Fuck and I thought Michael’s dad was bad."
I pull my eyes off Alex to see Rachael standing, slowly and seductively.
“I’ll go next.” I notice she rolls her eyes at Elorie’s encouraging stare. “But I ain’t taking my shirt of; though I’ll air my list of woes.” She laughs just a little before taking a deep breath. “So technically my Author started messing up my life before I was born by having my father unwittingly feed my mother a teratogen...”
“That’s a chemical that causes birth defects,” Elorie explains to everyone before facing Rachael’s glare. “It’s a scientific term and not everyone here is likely to know it.”
“Anyway,” Rachael rolls her eyes, “this teratogen caused my DNA to mutate, but only partially, so I’ve been curse to be Half-Nueri for the rest of my life.”
“Nueri?” I request, noting a few other blank faces about the group.
“Fancy name for Werewolf,” she explains, “only I don’t get the benefit of transitioning. Nope, not I,” her focus goes back to Elorie as her tone gets bitter. “Instead I just get really pissy every six months or so; it’s like PMS times one hundred. Then about a month later I’ll be the best lay you’ve ever had.” Her eyes flit to the others in the room as if daring someone to challenge that statement. “Of course this doesn’t take effect until I’ve just entered my teens, see as half-Nueri I also develop faster, which of course my parents were clueless about so I got roomed for a month because some spacer was hiting on me.”
I notice Elorie is biting her lip and I wonder if she’s trying not to comment, or worried about what’s next.
“Well about five months later we land on the planet the Nueri Teratogen is from and my parents feel I’m trust worthy enough to do some of their collection work. So off into the wilderness I go where I meet Michael, who just happens to be a full Nueri, and in wolf form. Do you know how weird it is to feel an intense attraction to a wolf man, who can’t talk to you? Bestiality complex anyone?” She glares at her author, who flushes slightly. “Well next thing you know it’s after transition. Michael and I have sex, I end up pregnant and, we’re both taken captive by a group of Free Nueri. And this all happens when I’m what," she looks to her author, “fourteen, fifteen?”
“I’d have to look at my notes,” Elorie states quietly.
Rachael snorts, “Notes smotes. Now in truth all that wouldn’t have been bad except that six months later, Management attacks the village. My child is hidden by the Free Nueri, Michael is taken by Management and I’m, ‘rescued’,” she uses air quote, “by my parents. Top this off with the fact that my father has my mother place temporary blocks on my memories.” She glares at Elorie, “Twice.”
“You broke the first set,” her author shrugs, “and you were about to make a suicide run to try and rescue Michael AND your child.”
Rachael growls at her author as she begins to pace. “So they put the second set of memory blocks on and stuff me into Deep Sleep to recover only, when I wake up, I’m the only one alive. The other Deep Sleep occupants, my mother, my father, my little brother and the Captain, are all dead. And she,” Rachael’s finger streaks out to stab toward her author, “she lets me f***ing think I killed them!”
I watch as Elorie stands and places hands upon her character’s shoulders and whispers something to the woman before sitting down. For a moment Rachael stands there breathing heavily.
Turning to pace again she continues, “So after nearly dying myself, since the ship hadn’t been maintained for more f***ing years than I’d like to remember, I’m rescued by pirates. Transition comes around again and amonth later I've seduced the Captain’s son and end up pregnant, AGAIN.”
I watch Elorie shrug again to her character’s glare. “You’re biologically wired to.”
Rachael shakes her head. “Well this time I don’t get to give birth. No, the f’ing Captain has me get an abortion. Only he’s a Pirate, so I get the poorest treatment possible, AND to top it off the six month fetus is sold to some Cybernetics corporation for experimentation!”
“Rat bastard,” Shard comments. “Did you kill him?”
“I wish,” Rachael states, “or turned him into the authorities; would have served the murdering son of a B*tch right. I did,” her grim expressions turns into a wicked smile, “strand him and his lover and his son on a Space station Light Years from their home base and any of their ships. Damn close to the Planetary Authorities too. Of course he had enough connections to turn my ship into a death trap, not that it wasn’t already, being as old as it was still...”
Rachael pauses a moment, her expression changing. As she smiles she is beautiful. “Taking partners for six months a pop,” she reminisces. “Running cargo of all sorts about the galaxy; never knowing if you weren’t going to be able to fix the latest thing to break. Not that, that’s a spacer’s life. Never knowing if it’s going to be your HLS or engine that’ll go next. Will you be drifting and praying for someone to save you or dead while you’re ship keep barreling on the last course you set for it. And...”
Rachael’s eyes close and her smile deepens. “Flitting your ship through the asteroid fields to stay hidden. Your nondescript and rundown ship fooling all who look at it into thinking it can’t do the things you can make it do. Scaring the pants off your partner but taunting death at every turn.”
“She an adrenal junkie,” Elorie whispers, apparently feeling the need to explain her character.
“Then she turns it to sh*t by making Michael and I run into each other again.” Rachael’s eyes have popped open to glare at her author. “Of course Management’s messed with his mind, so he thinks he killed his wife and kid and of course I don’t remember him due to my memory blocks. Then he forces me into Deep Sleep so that he doens’t kill me in Nueri form and...”
Rachael shakes her head, “it gets f***ing complicated.”
“You two figure it out in the end,” Elorie points out hopefully.
“Yeah and I get stuffed back into Deep Sleep for it.” Rachael sits down with a huff. “I fucking hate Deep Sleep,” she mutters with another glare toward her author.