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On the Wings of Dirty Angels, Part 6

Posted on Fri Jul 7th, 2017 @ 7:08pm by Lieutenant JG Jai
Edited on on Fri Jul 7th, 2017 @ 7:10pm

Mission: Fastest Ship in the Quadrant
Location: Asteroid Blue Heaven
Tags: Jai

The smell of ozone was his only warning.

As the young-and-old doctor walked through the doors of the Drunken Binome, a shot buried itself into the wall about three feet to the left and just a head higher than Jai stood.

The smell of residual gas coolant gave credence to the notion that such hadn't been the first shot fired. Indeed, as the boy's brown eyes widened and he took in the interior of the bar, he was presented with a chaotic disarray of overturned tables. People huddled behind anything they could get behind, while a man lay on the floor -- obviously injured.

As Jai had learned since arriving here, the Drunken Binome was operated by B37T4-A, or Big Bertha. The feminine-identifying robot had originally been programmed as a lab assistant for a chemical company. Later advances in robotics and artificial intelligence design had led to Bertha being thrown out with the trash, but instead of being resigning herself to being reduced to scrap, the rusted automaton had wound up opening a bar out on Blue Heaven.

There, she'd met up with a waste disposal unit that everyone called 'Marty' and the two had mixed like oil and water. Their passions for one another were, perhaps, impressive given the limitations of their designs, but that passion led to destructive behavior - usually by Bertha - which was of increasing concern to the residents of Blue Heaven.

As he looked around now, Bertha was behind the bar. The robotic chemist had plugged herself into a voltage converter, the result of which was violent and erratic movements, as though drunk from the power surge. In one of her reedy, articulate limbs was a relic of the Antarian War, a gas-powered ion bolt caster that was little more than a high-tech slug thrower.

"You whore," the robotic bar tender managed, loudly slurring her words as her servos were unable to precisely calibrate for motion. The rifle waved wildly toward a squat, dirty-looking robot.
"I... I kill you and... and that automated hussy!"

Ever the peace maker, the Tibetan monk stepped forward. "Perhaps we could begin by placing the weapon on the..."

"Bertha, my love! My binary blossom, it was nothing!" Marty's roughly synthesized voice interjected, as the squat box-like robot seemed to dance from side to side. "A thirty second upload in a parallel connection, I swear! She means nothing to me!"

Turning toward the squat machine, Jai looked down at the waste robot and offered, "I do not believe such protests will be effect..."

"Upload!?" Bertha echoed, drawing both Marty and Jai's attention to the chemist-turned-barmaid at the distinctive sound of the caster bolt being drawn back. "UPLOAD!?"

"Upload? No, I didn't upload in her..." Marty uttered weakly.

This was, in the boy's mind, exactly what a train wreck in slow motion must look like.

"Go se," the child swore under his breath in Mandarin. Pressing his full body weight against the waste disposal unit, the Miran shoved Marty over as several shots ricocheted within the confines of the bar.

Jai's heart leapt up into his throat as he hit the floor. This was not what he'd envisioned when he'd been chosen to become a Starfleet medical officer.

Pediatric surgeon to be precise.

"I had reconstructive surgery for you!" Bertha barked, pausing her barrage as she gestured toward what were obviously a new set of oscillating processor tubes across the front of her torso.

Pressing up from the floor, the Tibetan monk positioned himself between the waste disposal unit and the chemist-turned-bartender-turned-mass-shooting.

Why?

To be quite honest, he had no idea either. But he was there, between them, and whatever karmic debt or curse had led him to place himself there seemed hell bent on dragging him further still into the madness of robotic love triangles.

"Yes'm, those are nice," Jai quipped vapidly, not entirely certain that made sense, and less so just what he was saying, but it made sense to say something as he gestured with both hands for her to put the caster down. "We can talk about this rationally and without the need for viol..."

"Bitch, you best recognize that's my man!"

There were very few times that Jai would have offered the opinion that discussion was meaningless.

As the automated food processor came wheeling into the bar, however, the monk had to resign himself to the fact that this was one of those times.

"Oh, hell no!"

As Bertha roared and snapped up the rifle, the spry, young Miran was already in motion.

Again, why?

He didn't know either. But Starfleet Academy training somehow connected and now the boy was jumping into action like he was James T. Kirk. Quick as a snake, a sweep of the boy's leg had sent the rifle skidding across the bar top.

Not exactly the standard pacifist response to this kind of situation. And, in retrospect, probably not a good response in any case.

By retrospect, of course, Jai meant... Marty.

"GET YUR HANDS OFF MY WIFE!"

As he turned, Jai saw Marty lunging for him, as the food processor came wheeling after. "That's my man!"

Had he mentioned that he hadn't signed up for this when he'd enrolled into the pediatric residency program at Starfleet Medical Academy?

 

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