Better Days Behind

Tara could feel the eyes on her as she entered the bar. No doubt to many of the men in there she looked like a tall glass, even in the frumpy, olive green military jacket, jeans, and boots she was wearing. Though they hid the mangled mess underneath. The scars and cybernetic implants that jutted from her synthetic skin. The catcalls and hushed murmurs referring to her attractiveness would've ceased had they all seen what she was.

She paid them no mind, however as she strolled to the bar and looked the mechanical bartender in the camera. "Just get me a beer."

The bartender nodded and went off to fetch a bottle.

She turned a round and scanned the entire bar. She had already picked out the man she was here for, this was just to keep a low profile. Travis Martin, he was the hapless dolt standing next to her, laughing and trying to chat up some girl with painfully obvious cybernetic tits. The kind that could change size to suit their partner's preference... What a time to live...

"So I said to the guy..." Travis continued to drone on.

"Travis..." Tara said coldly, yet loud enough for him to hear. "Owen Davian would like a word with you..."

Travis spun around so fast he practically spilled his drink all over the floor. "Shit! You a dead lock?"

Tara shook her head. "Freelance... You gonna make this easy for me or what?"

Travis responded by trying to smash the glass he had in his hand across the side of Tara's head. She caught his wrist with her hand and broke the bone with her grip. The sound was such a sharp and distinct crack it almost didn't register. He screamed, knees buckled and he clutched at his demolished wrist.

"I'll take that as a 'no' then?" Tara sighed.

"You just made a big mistake, woman." A larger man said from behind. She felt the blow before she could react. She went down on one knee. Travis had backup. She spun around and swept at the man's legs with one of her own. Despite his size, the force behind her kick was more than enough to send him toppling over. She got up just in time to see Travis's guard dog get up and attempt to tackle her. She side-stepped him, grabbed his wrist as he tried to reach for her, and flipped him up and over the bar. He crashed into the wall of drinks behind it and was soaked in spirits. The robotic bartender had already returned with Tara's beer and now set about reacting to the outburst by unfolding a rather large shotgun out from its right arm.

"Cease hostilities. You will vacate immediately." The bartender said, aiming its weapon at the goon lying in a puddle of booze.

"Looks like 86 is your lucky number, Travis." She hefted the man up to his feet with one hand and reached for the beer in the other. She wired some bits to the digital tip jar on the counter winked to the bartender. "Buy yourself some nice polish for your chassis. You deserve it."

"Thank you for your patronage..." The Bartender said automatically as Tara downed the beer and hauled Travis's sorry ass out of the bar. He was so focused on his broken wrist he didn't struggle all that much the rest of the way to Davian's estate.

She dropped the punk at his doorstep and demanded her payment from the stooge Davian used as a middle-man for all his business transactions. The bits were sent to her account, one under the name Leslie Most which was a fake identity she'd had a hacker doctor up so that Tara could actually use money and purchase whatever she needed.

Once it was done she returned home to her sorry excuse of an apartment. Though now she had enough for rent, food, and she could finally see the mechanic about the clicking noise in her right knee...

She took a shower, the water was cold but she didn't care. After working some puss out of the seams where her skin and cybernetics met on her right arm she quickly dried off and put on a white tank top and black shorts. It was hot enough in the apartment that a cold shower and some breathable clothing were preferable. Though Tara didn't much like seeing the scars... despite everything they made her feel disgusting.

She finished the day with some old Mongolian takeout and another beer before turning in. However sleep proved difficult as her thoughts drifted to Ira and she found herself crying into her pillow again. Wondering if she could've done something different so that the only man who'd ever really cared for her would still be alive. Once the emotions proved too much the strain was enough to send her into a dreamless sleep.

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