I called him Donald because he waddled like the duck in that old time cartoons that were so popular in the twentieth century. The boss and I were on the outs so I was sitting on a couch watching vids from the computer library. Instead of knocking on the door, he waddled in and gave me a hang-dog look.
“You coming?” Donald filled the room. He may waddle like a duck, but the man was all tank.
I tried to ignore him, but it was hard to ignore my second in command. He knew how to loom.
I was one of the few humans in the entire cosmo that was allowed to run around among the galaxy set. Our world had been declared dangerous because of our propensity to use almost anything as a weapon even our bodies. The cosmo wasn’t a gentle place, but they had declared us as too dangerous so we were quarantined. Most humans didn’t even know that there were aliens out there. There were times I wished I was one of them and I was home on my blue-green planet playing golf.
No, I was picked because I was a troubleshooter. I was plucked out of earth because my skills were hard to find in the galaxy, universe, whatever.
“The team are getting together at the pub,” Donald voice went an octave higher. He thought the higher sound was more persuasive.
“I don’t have a team anymore,” I tried not to sound sulky. “I was just fired.”
“Oh man,” I said. “Don’t smile. You could scare old ladies into heart attacks.”
“Come on, Tiny,” he said again. “You know if Ms. Frigg had fired you, that you’d be on the next spaceship to earth and mind-wiped.”
“Joe,” I said automatically. My name was Joe, but it didn’t matter to the team. I would always be tiny. I waved my hand at the vid, giving it the one finger salute and the vid turned off. I had my own private gestures that I used on my electronics. It was my way of keeping it human.
I followed waddling Donald down the hall, out the port, and into a main center of the space station. The halls were actually circular, and the rooms were built in the inside of the circle. The gravity was close to Earths. So I didn’t have to do any strange floating.
I had been eating a lot junk food since my “firing” so my middle had expanded a little. A couple of drinks wouldn’t make me thinner or fatter.
At the pub, the techs (rabbit and hamster) plus Ermie, the earworm were in a booth waiting for us. The rabbid rabbit and Hammie had already started on some green concoction that looked green and smelled like fermenting grass. Ermie was sipping a thimble that was too large for his body.
The waitress, tall, long legs, and pincers on the end of her arms, brought Donald and I two frosted glasses of beer. I sighed. After that loud discussion with Ms. Frigg, she really knew how to kill a guy with words, I was ready for some relaxation.
Except when I looked up and saw Ms. Frigg floating through the door and toward our booth, I snorted the beer through my nose. “What the f— is she doing here?”
Donald turned towards and took a long look at Ms. Frigg. She was in a red dress that fit her chest like a skin then flared and swirled from her hips. If it was possible, she was poetry in motion. Ms. Frigg was definitely humanoid.
Ms. Frigg ignored my exclamation and greeted the group, “Thanks for coming. It is a dangerous mission, but you guys are the only ones that can do it.”
Shit, I thought. Here we go again. But even if the female was Ms. Frigg, the most dangerous female in the galaxy, I couldn’t refuse her. What would my mother say?
Continued next Friday