Pulse #2, Feb 2 2014 - Page 14

HAIR: PART ONE by Womby I’d been sitting at Disco Lando’s waiting for a date, and it was becoming increasingly obvious that I’d been stood up. I was about to leave when I noticed a lone customer get up from his table and walk to the toilet. I couldn’t believe my luck. He had left his jacket draped over his chair. Casually I got up and made my way to the bar, brushing past the jacket. With expert skill born from years of practice, I pocketed his bulging wallet and changed course for the exit. Pausing outside I quickly checked my haul. Identity card for one M. Mongrel, some UEC, a picture of his wife or girlfriend and a couple of receipts. One was for a load of empty barrels, and the other was for 6 months rental of a deluxe hangar. Scrawled on the receipt was a lock code. Jackpot! There was however a problem. The guy was going to notice his missing wallet - I had to re place it before he got back. After retracing my steps I glanced around the room, but couldn’t see him. Assuming he was still in the gents, I deftly returned the wallet and headed back outside. Sharon and I had known each other for a long time. She turned tricks in this area, and I occasionally bought information from her about some of her wealthier clients. She owed me a favor, and I figured now was the time to call it in. I described Mr. Mongrel to her, and she agreed to keep him occupied for a percentage of the take. Having ensured no unwanted interruptions, I wasted no time in heading to the address on the hangar receipt. It was in a deserted area, surrounded by a lot of condemned buildings. Keying in the lock code resulted in the access door swinging open, and as I stepped inside I heard it closing softly behind me. The place was huge. I counted several smaller ships, mostly Hornet Variants, a Cutlass and a 315P. That is not what caught my immediate attention, however. Right in front of me was a shiny new Constellation, worth on its own more than I could earn in a lifetime. Behind that I could make out a Freelancer and a Caterpillar. All I had to do was transfer them to my own hangar, then fly them out one by one to Spider to get forged serial numbers. This was far better than I could have hoped for! First things first. I was going to need more time. I sent a mobiglass message to Sharon, telling her 12 to “take care” of Mr. Mongrel. This was huge. Then I boarded the Constellation to give it a pre flight check. I had just finished powering it up when I was overcome with fatigue, so I headed for one of the bunks in the Constellation. Next thing I knew, I was back at the entrance. WTF? I must have blacked out for some reason. I checked my mobiglass. Nothing from Sharon. Heeding the call of nature, I headed back to the Constellation. It was powered down. Strange. Moving to the head, I relieved myself and washed my hands in the basin. It was then that I glanced in the mirror. My hair was gone! OK, maybe someone slipped me something hallucinogenic at Disc Lando’s, and I shaved off my hair before blacking out. Yeah, that was almost plausible. Still no message from Sharon. I decided to wander around and check the cargo. There were numerous barrels, neatly arranged in stacks. I checked the nearest label. “Hair: human”. If I’d had any left, it would have been standing on end right about then. That was the start of my current existence. It has been months. I still can’t get out. My hair grows, then one day I black out and I am bald again. I live on a diet of raw fish, that is mysteriously replenished whenever I sleep. For some reason my mobiglass is cut off from the outside world. It stopped working the day I arrived in this place. I am writing this on my mobiglass, and will send it if communications are ever restored. Help me. Please.