Friends in low places

Jantar gave him her best smile and downed the shot in one smooth motion. She looked at the bartender, "If you have anything like MALK, my brother will take that." MALK was a malted, fermented milk derivative common back home and she hoped there was some version of it here. The bartender chuckled, poured a big mug of the chunky swill, and set it on the counter for Tars. He sipped it eagerly. It was low on actual content, favored by poor drunks mostly, but it gave him a buzz none the less and filled his stomach.

"Thanks for the drink and sure, I'll tell you a story..."

"I'm Jan and this is Tars and yes, we're looking for work. We don't mind getting our hands dirty - the dirtier the better, as long as it pays better then too. We're Outlanders but not Borka by birth though we lived among them our whole lives. The mine we were at collapsed and everyone scattered. I won't let those big muscles of his," she said giving her brother's arm, "be wasted on a drill or hammer anymore. And as for myself, well, I'm guessing you saw what I can do. So... you like my story?"

She downed her second vodka.

Boris mulled it over. "I need more... everything." He downed a third and then a fourth and gave her a long look. "Sounds like a tale from story no one want to watch... boring. And I see all kinds of fighters. What you think makes you so different?"

"I'll show you," she said. And she headed back out to the street. She spotted a ragged speeder whose owner was resting against it, trying to coerce someone far too young for him to come for a ride. Boris and Tars joined her and she gave Boris a wink.

She strolled over to the pair and the little girl ran. "Hey handsome, if you're looking for someone to ride, I think I'm more the sort you'd want to handle than some kid." She threw out her chest, stood wide, and let him take a long look at all her curves.

At first, he'd looked mad he'd lost his prey, but then clearly excited by the prospect of a real woman. He started coming toward her, hands already out preparing to grope her. a millisecond before he could, she dropped, swept the leg and sent him sprawling. She caught him by the shirt before he hit the ground. "Today's your lucky day, I'm going to let you live, it'll only cost you your bike."

When he opened his mouth to protest, he caught her other fist and a mouthful of broken teeth. She dropped him and he screamed in pain. Surely, there was some obscenity mixed in whatever he was saying but Jan ignored him, choosing to deliver a stomp to his manhood. He screamed louder the second time. A delivery truck of some kind was rolling through and Jan gave Tars a gesture toward it. Tars came over to him, picked him up like a bag of garbage, and tossed him into the passing truck.

Jan turned and elegantly bowed to the crowd in all directions. "I've got a bike for sale, going cheap... who'll give me 10 credits," she declared. Everyone looked too stunned to say anything. She went over to the bike, eyed it over, and rattled off the make, model, and general capabilities of it, along with the minor fixings it would need. A man called "10!" from nearby, then another called "15!" A few minutes later she was being handed forty eight credits and strolling back over to Boris.

"I can fight, I can shake down, and not just drunks and perverts," she said boldly. "So what do you say... how about that job?"

Boris thought it over and then laughed deep and loud. "Yes... Yes... you just the sort my friend Sam need. I call him and tell him you coming and here is where he lives...," he said scribbling a note down and handing her an address. "I'll make sure either hires you or gets you a job for sure...Good?"

Without a word, she bowed again and he pointed them to a Hopper and gave the driver the directions as well just in case. "Should be 50 to get there, don't let this one make you pay more," Boris said slapping the driver on the shoulder. He groaned and shrugged and they headed off to meet Sam.

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