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Extasis, Part Three

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Posted to the RoswellSlash mailing list February 10, 2001

Extasis 3/?
See Parts I and 2 for disclaimers.
Feedback: Goddess, that would be soo great and appreciated.

Yet, some individuals like the kind of babbling silences that cover so much that they make a mute seem chatty. They're so caught up in defining what they are, that they've forgotten an essential truth: It doesn't matter what you believe in, or if you truly understand, so long as you believe.

Take lil' Kyle of the Valentis, for example. He's managed to single-handedly lead a large sect of people back to Christianity; all that worshipping in secret crap, much depiction of their savior in obscure wall markings, and handshakes that most of the members can't remember anyway. I don't think that there were banners asking 'what would Jesus do?', but he 'pied pipered' his way across two solar systems, and insinuated himself in the lives of a lot of people who wanted to find out where they came from and what the United Collaboration hid from them. Behind all the piety though, the laws, such as celibacy are rarely enforced. I for one, know that Kyle has a fascination with the application of scented oils and he has been a dedicated student of the art for some years.

Officially, the United Collaboration; when it's not fighting among its factions, disapproves of a place like Solace. They have ridiculous notions about politeness. The silliest political correctness fantasy they have is that the natives of the planet Ptero, lived in some sort of blissful garden of Eden before the 'nasty pirates' came around and mussed up the rug. That's a pile of crap. The scavengers only moved in after the planet below had been abandoned by the government's leeches. See, the higher powers couldn't get their gold and spices from anyone with status for anything other than exorbitant prices, so the best they could do was steal it from the natives, and that soon became quite fashionable, with everyone following suit. Then, Queen Isabel took the throne.

My 'wife', slept and dreamwalked her way to the top of the monarchy with typical single mindedness until she had King Alexander under her thumb in the stickiest way imaginable. Poor sot was so overwhelmed at the attention lavished on him by a woman like Izzy, that he didn't look past her crimson painted lips to the blood under her nails. Shortly thereafter, the ruler moved into the background, and Isabel took control, and began to run things into the ground.

Isabel was very concerned about the state of Ptero, namely because she was no longer acquiring any further wealth from the area. So, because she was a devoted Purist, she decided that the best way to handle the situation was to drain everything out of the planet, then abandon it. But not only was the darling woman a devout non-believer in any benevolent deity, she was a whacked-out fanatic in the worst sense of the word. Look at her treatment of the natives of Ptero. For awhile, there was some small amount of resistance to the strip-mining of their planet, and once the royal army had surrounded the insurgents, the unhappy natives agreed to surrender under an Edict of Understanding; she immediately sent in her personal torturers and Inquisition. Her opinion of places like Ptero was that they needed religion- specifically hers. Unfortunately, she also believed strongly in predestination: if the natives were damned, the then only thing to be done with them was to speed up the process.

As things stood when I docked at Solace, the natives had been all but wiped out, and the rest of them were being distributed throughout the systems like nutritious and hard-working health-food bars.

Solace: haven of the disreputable, was a cesspit. Even that description was too kind. It was a hovel for all the slop and refuse of humanity. If anywhere there existed such a filthy, amoral dung heap, no one had survived to carry the tale back to Solace. Which was probably fortunate, the residents of Solace took small comfort in the fact that their home was recorded in the annals of scholars as "the most horrid cluster of ships and people ever encountered in the Pleiades cluster." They guarded whatever notoriety they received with steel, and the reputation of the base continued to flourish as virulent as a malignant legion on the flesh of the universe.

The lighting was bad and so was the food, rank plates and flickering bulbs that looked as if they were on their last legs as they guttered in the thick air. Of course, poor illumination was essential in places such as this, reputation had to be maintained, after all, and so followed the smell of the bar. Distinct were the fumes of alcohol, smoke curling languidly upwards, and sweaty, unwashed bodies.

Into this morass of inebriated filth, strolled two individuals who were about as out of place as a nun at a strip club. The mere lack of filth on their bodies separated them from most of the smugglers at the corner tables, and their exotic appearances were too strange for them to be any kind of Royal agents. But even as they were examined closely, their demeanor suggested that they couldn't care less that they were being given the evil eye by nearly every being on the premises.

One had on what had once been an exquisite aqua bodysuit, but now it had been modified with sections cut out to expose tanned skin. Her blond hair was cropped short, and tipped with a bright fuchsia, but only added to her appeal. She seemed a thing not quite real; made from the starlight that spilled pure and virginal over the windowsills, only to be corrupted by the darkness within. Casually deadly in her manner, yet subservient to her companion she regarded the room with alert and wary emerald eyes that glowed feral in the dim room.

The other was the male side of the coin. Lanky, but confident enough that there had to be some kind of power beneath his dark clothes, he was a good head taller than the woman at his side, and from the way he rested one large hand on her shoulder, they clearly belonged together.

Watching their progress across the hardwood floor, an especially observant slave trader by the name of Madame Topolski prayed that the redneck mercenaries in the side booths kept their horns down. They were stupid enough to insult the pair, and from just one glance, she could tell that of every creature in the bar, the two with the least to lose had just walked in the door.


Continue to Part Four

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