Lursula wasn’t in the business of petting kitty cats. She actually loved cats. Which is why she was in the booming business of petting humans. Lursula was made of daggers. Her customers knew that—but they didn’t seem to care about it. To her, a paying customer was never wrong—though that never stopped her from questioning their mental health.
Last night ended up in a ruined dress and a dead regular. He didn’t pay her up front for a death by stabbing, but somehow he had gotten away with it. Maybe she got a little carried away. That didn’t matter. Lursula loved that dress. Replacing it would be an expensive chore.
After spending the entire night cruising the OmniBrink for leads on a replacement dress, she finally got around to calling Ymsri’s boys at around 8am. Charlie and Rexxus arrived at her apartment in less than ten minutes.
Charlie took one look at the guy on Lursula’s kitchen floor and shook his head.
“Lursy—we can’t take care of this one. Sorry babe.”
“What—so I’m supposed to keep him?” she replied.
“He’s a Nhevrixian Magistrate.” said Rexxus.
“Fuck. My. Ass.”
“We are not…in the assfucking business.” smiled Charlie.
“Just get this guy out of my apartment.”
“Sorry Lurse-Lurse. No can do.”
It was unusual that Ymsri’s boys wouldn’t take the job. Scrapers weren’t choosy about clean-up work. Gigs like these were their bread and butter. It was unfortunate that the dead Magistrate was a Nhevrixian. If he’d been Olintaj they wouldn’t have batted an eye. The only way to get him out of her apartment now was to report his death to the Nhevrixian embassy in Gjaletek City.
After taking a few photos of the Nhevrixian, Lursula hopped onto the nearest transport into Gjaletek. It was Wednesday—she was losing money by the minute. This wasn’t the life she had planned on. Frustrated, she tried losing herself in the red mountains of rust lining the cityscape.
The transport made a stop in Friesgsten, then Juripthna, and finally Kivturi. At the Kivturi stop an old, fat, though healthy looking man came and sat down next to her.
She tried not to make eye contact. He poked her in the shoulder incessantly for about ten seconds.
“Go sit somewhere else.” She leered.
“Can I ask you something?” he replied.
She tried to ignore him.
“It’s not often that I see an android made for performing surgery dressed as a pleasure model. Come to think of it—I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone or anything quite like that.”
Lursula put her head into her lap and sighed. “What’s your point?”
“Well—why are you doing that sort of work?”
“Maybe I like it.” She lied.
“I somehow doubt that.” he smiled. “Say…do you want get out of here?”
“That’s not what I mean.” he laughed. “I mean do you want to get out of HERE.”
He nodded. “Correct.”
“You’re lying again.”
The transport stopped. The man got up. And started to dig in he coat pockets for something. She was ready to be taken out of the transport by gunpoint. These types of idiots were always looking for a free ride on the “Fuck Me Harder” express.
“Gum?” he asked while unwrapping a wad.
“I’m all set.”
“I’m just trying to be polite.”
“Well be polite, somewhere else. This conversation is over.”
He shook his head. “I have a little something I want you to have. For when you figure out how to be…honest with yourself.”
He pulled out a small data-chip and pressed it firmly into her hand.
She grabbed his wrist.
“Look you little hemorrhoid, unless you’re going to pay you had better get your fucking hands off me before I rip them right off.”
“I—I—I apologize.” he stammered. He immediately got up from his seat and made his way off of the transport. “Please, if you get a moment.” he said holding his wrist. “Look at that chip. It may be worth your while.”
The doors closed. It was days like these that Lursula wished she had a way to go back to being a surgeon. In those days she didn’t have to think of ways to make a living for herself. In fact, she really didn’t have to think about living at all. Her programming had done all of the heavy lifting. Back then, she had been asleep. Happy and asleep. Well as happy as a mindless android made for surgery could be. She often wondered if it would be possible to go back to bed. And then again, why would she even want that? What use did this sprawling heartless city have for a woman made of knives? It was pretty clear to her that something in her life had to change. Re-purposing herself as a pleasure model was a good short term plan, but it didn’t have any staying power. She needed to find a real job–like yesterday. After all, how else was she going to be able to afford a replacement dress?