Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dick-Ache and Letty, three cycles earlier:

It's gettin late in the night, and the only ones left at the poker table are other sharks like us. Billie's probably doing dirty dirty things with the bouncer, after gettin herself kicked out earlier for fightin -- I ain't seen him back since he escorted her out. And Twister left to do god knows what. Ride along a mountain ridge in the moonlight while chewin tabaccy and hummin' a ditty? It's hard to tell with him.

Which leaves Dick'n'me, n'these two hustlers from the trash city. None of us really need the money, we're all in it for the game -- so the stakes're gettin pretty unusual. The hustler on the left, McGee, had ta shave hisself a bald spot right on top'a his head, and after one round I had ta give the other one a kiss he'll *never* forget. In fact, I think I might have ruined him for other gals, but to be fair he *did* ask for it. This round they're anglin for humiliation, probably to make up for McGee's new bald spot.

"Okay, I'll see your wet stain on the front of the pants and..." McGee's friend, Simons, pauses dramatically; "...I'll raise you having to bed ugly Benna over there at the bar." The two of them exchange significant glances. I know their hands as sure as I know my own, I can read each card in that one glance, in the set of their shoulders, in the steel of their voice.

All at once, I know exactly how this is going to end. All that's left is to sit back and enjoy the show. I fold, and, as if on cue, Dick shouts out, "all in, baby, let's do this!"

He loses, of course. Dick might not be able to read people the same way I do, but even he had to know he didn't stand a chance. But there's still a sparkle in his eyes as he pours his whiskey right down the front of his pants, and, quick as a shot, sidles up to the bar. For the first time tonight, McGee and Simons are shocked silent.

I always enjoy watchin Dick-ache do his thing. There's a kind of flow to it, like each step just inevitably follows from the one before. Like when we'd watch ballets back in finishin school. He approaches Benna -- lonely bitter sad distrustful Benna -- and just launches himself into the stream.

The thing about Dick is, he genuinely likes people. All people. He doesn't see them all that clearly, the way Sam or I do; but he sees the good side of'em clear as day. He'd sleep with the entire world if he could... but since he can't he just takes what he can get and enjoys every second of it.

Now he's got her looking at the wet spot at the front of his pants, and they're both laughing. The hustlers, McGee and Simons, are staring, frozen, jaws dropped. Dick gives us a lascivious wink, and with a slap on Benna's ass, the two hastily make their way up to the private rooms.

That's my cue. Don't want Simons to think the kiss was anything but a wager, after all.

"It was a pleasure playin with you two gentlemen, but I'm headin out. If you're ever back in Khayr-ad-Din, though, maybe we can have a rematch? I have a friend who helps run a casino..."


Hermes 72 - Heavy Gear RPG - Most artwork Copyright 2002 Dream Pod 9, Inc.