Nerves chewed on my stomach as I smoothed my new station-issue coverall with SECURITY emblazoned on my back and chest and patches on the shoulders. Mining Platform Station Eight patches, owned by EnnisCorp. That was going to take some getting used to.
Once they hired me, EnnisCorp shipped me out on the nearest grav-jump ship en route to Station Eight. They put me in business class. Not luxury, but not economy, only one transfer during the week-long trip, and they didn’t lose my luggage, either.
Not that there was much to lose, not when I was still trying to outrun the memories.
Platform Eight admin gave me a sleep bay in Section Five: the bedroom, ‘fresher, and main compartment all set to neutral white and tan. I could buy an upgrade on the colors with my first paycheck. Or not, since I wasn’t sure yet I was staying. An Old Earth year contract did not a permanent employee make. The view, though…
Unobstructed by the asteroid fields being mined for water and minerals or by New New Milwaukee, brilliant stars cut into the black of vacuum, and a nice little blue nebula softened up one corner, prettier than any holo.
A tone cut through the sleep bay, reminding me I was about to be late for my first day on the job. Dammit.
Good thing I’d studied the station schematic—especially Section Five—until I thought I could get around backward and blindfolded, since I had to eel my way through way too many people, both in the slipstream and in the corridor, and then change my route mid-way when my new partner and trainer sent me a curt message to meet at the Watering Whole. Training Officer Luis Huerta—and yes, from his message he sounded just like that, in all capital letters—didn’t explain the change, so when I came around the corner and pushed my way through the crowd into the pub, only a reflexive duck saved me from being brained by the anti-grav chair being used more like a club in the raging barroom brawl.
“Station Security!” I bellowed. Of course, no one listened over the fight. I should have heard it, coming up the corridor. Maybe they had malfunctioning audio dampers—or illegals, since according to EnnisCorp regs, legal dampers shouldn’t have covered the screaming. I spun behind the chair-wielder, shoved a stunner against the base of his neck, and dropped him, tossing a tangler on his hands and moving on to the next person foolish enough to be in my path.
One black eye, a split lip, and seven tanglers later, I bumped into the only other guy with SECURITY across his back. He spun on me with a snarl and checked his punch at the last second.
Hello, Officer Huerta.
We pushed away from each other looking for targets, but anyone still standing had deserted the corridor, leaving the nine—damn!—he’d arrested, my seven, him, and me. Brushing futilely at the blood on my uniform, I tucked away my stunner, straightened up, and held out one hand. “Hi. I’m your new recruit. Amy Cordova. I go by Cordova.”
Luis Huerta counted the bodies on the floor and spoke into his com. “Luis here.” Pause. “She’s with me.” Pause. “Yup, sixteen under arrest. Get a couple med teams down here.”
Flushing, I dropped my hand and turned on my com. I’d forgotten in the excitement of the fight. My fingers were shaking from adrenaline anyway. I felt Huerta’s gaze on me, cool and assessing. “Nice shiner,” he said.
I jerked my chin up, debating on whether to say what I thought or try to keep my job another day. Now that I’d made the station mine with one hell of a brawl… I pressed my lips closed.
My partner’s boots crunched on broken glass as he walked over to the bar and accepted two drinks from a woman with brown hair down to her ass. I could take her in a fair fight, but standing there, looking like that, she wasn’t fighting fair. I ground my teeth.
Huerta returned and held out a glass. “Welcome to Platform Eight.” His smile was as slow as his drawl. “You’re going to fit right in.”
Powered by: Holly Lisle’s Free Flash Fiction Class
Find More Stories in the Blog Hop below:
Juneta Key Consequences
Mel Corbett If It’s Not Yours
Elizabeth McCleary Essence
Katharina Gerlach Scars
Karen Lynn My Story
Angela Woodridge Uninvited Guests
Kris Bowser Smithereens
Justine Ohlrich Two Deaths on My Birthday
Rabia Gale House Bound