Why did he open his big mouth?
“So you think that this is your business?” said the man with the sun globe earrings and half moon tattoo on his purple, bulbous face.
Rex put his hands in the air and backed away before bumping into the girl. Why couldn’t he just shut up when it came to women?
“Look I’m just saying, you shouldn’t grab someone like that…” he trailed off as the man pulled out a Balosian Mark X blaster the color of water-rusted machine guts.
“Who do you think you are, telling Pally who he can grab and who he can’t?” asked another purple skinned man who also wore sun globes earrings but lacked a lunar tattoo of any variety.
Rex felt the cotton in his mouth go dry or was it his mouth that turned dry like cotton? The blaster the thug waved in front of him had a funny way of jumbling his thoughts.
He felt a slight tug on his arm and turned to see the Helen of Troy he’d saved making slight jerking motions with her head toward the edge of the holotrain platform they were standing on. His eyes darted to the dropoff and he grabbed her hand and fled before a blaster bolt had a chance to play the part of Trojan Horse, ending their little drama by evacuating the bones inside the walls of his abdomen.
“Vy are ‘chu doing ‘dis fer me?” asked the girl with hands that the felt like warm cookie dough.
“Run,” he said, grunting and pulling her along as curses and blaster fire erupted behind them. Why was he doing ‘dis fer her? Because he couldn’t stand to see some fake tough guy take advantage of a woman? Because he hoped he could score with a vulnerable vixen after he saved her? Because he wanted to be the hero?
They darted off the platform and Rex thanked the Scientific Method that he hadn’t rescued some former mili’s woman, instead, he’d gotten lucky and absconded with the arm candy of some common street thugs who only brandished their piece to old merchants and naïve girls.
He started to relax as they rounded the bend that would take them away from the holotrains and towards the port hub. His ship and crew would be readying for their trading run to Kelesan and, with any luck, Bolt would be tinkering with the front mounted laser harpoon. It sure would look good sprouting from Lunar Faces face.
Rex started to relax; he was going to jump into space with a beautiful and grateful woman and he hadn’t even had to take a few bruises for it. She sounded foreign; he wondered if she had any particular tricks he hadn’t tried ye-
Searing pain radiated through his body as he felt like he’d dipped his Achilles Heel in lava. He crashed to the ground, dragging the running woman along with him. She landed on top of him and he could feel her body press against his. It felt soft and firm in just the right places. She pushed herself up and looked back over her shoulder a moment before staring down into his eyes. Hers were green; he was a such a sucker for green eyes.
“Zanks fer dah help, but zeh cannot catch me.”
She kissed him and he let the ecstasy of the pillowy soft lips push down the pain coming from below the ankle he wasn’t sure existed anymore.
She held on a moment more and then she was gone, her memory like vapor on his lips.
Rex let his head roll back and stared up at the corridor ceiling, focusing on the kiss as the kicking began.
“This guy think he can mess with our chicks?” said the lunar tattoo, pulling out his pistol and standing over Rex, pointing the weapon.
Rex looked down the inevitable barrel. He knew he was going to die and he supposed he should be scared.
But he wasn’t. He was tired. Tired of waking up and wondering if today would be the day some government patrol ship would finally blast his ship out of the air. Tired of worrying about how he would make payroll for a crew that would desert him in a second if the coin dried up and tired of the cold loneliness of an empty chamber in deep space; even when a warm body lay next to him.
He’d been on hundreds of high speed runs through pirate infested space. Survived two wars, smuggling for both sides and he’d even managed to outrun a dying sun. Yet here he was, about to die at the hands of some two-bit thug all because of a woman whose name he didn’t know. Life was cruel. Even so, if that lip lock ended up being his final act why hadn’t he at least opened his mouth?