Mark “Coop” Cooper
Location: Toronto-Buffalo-Cleveland-Detroit Metropolis, Earth, United Commonwealth of Colonies
Coop was spent. Fucking for three straight hours had that effect on a man. He took it as a personal point of pride that he could rally multiple times before he was done, but it hadn’t filled him with his usual level of satisfaction. Despite being exhausted, sleep eluded him.
Hailey was curled up on her side, facing the wall. Squeezing into his twin bed was always uncomfortable, but they didn’t know anything different; it was all the PHA had. The rhythmic melody of her breathing told Coop she was asleep. He wanted to wake her up and apologize. He’d been rougher than usual, and it would leave its marks. His own lip was bleeding, and he had some angry red scratches running down his back and arms, but most of that was easily covered up.
He was angry at how rough he’d been, but that was surface level. What he was really angry about was leaving her. Despite how much fun he had with Hailey, what they had was an arrangement. Hailey was with him, and that offered her protection. Sure, they screwed like two rabbits in heat; but they weren’t in love. He was a boy with raging hormones, and she was a girl who didn’t want to be sold around the PHA; him leaving put her in danger.
Coop wanted to think of it as business, but it wasn’t. It wasn’t love either, but it was something that was familiar. He knew the shape of her body pressed against his. He knew what she liked, and she knew what he liked. It was a great arrangement, and maybe one day it could have been more; but now they’d never find out. He desperately wanted to hang onto anything familiar.
<Fucking Fleet fuckwad,> the surge of anger made Coop shake hard enough that he got out of bed. Tomorrow was going to be just as hard for him as it was for her, and he didn’t want her to face it exhausted.
He tried not to jostle her too much as he slipped out of bed. She groaned and rolled over to occupy the whole small space, but she didn’t wake. Just as silently, Coop slipped out of the room and into the apartment.
Just because it was night didn’t mean it was quiet; both inside and outside the tower. Even from their fifth floor interior apartment Coop heard laughs and screams. There was the occasional gun shot, and the much more frequent sound of sirens racing by. Being so close to the Civil Administration building; which also served as the police headquarters, meant they got to hear every hog going out on a call.
Inside the tower, in nearby apartments, Coop heard more screams of pain and pleasure. The tower’s defenders would check out the painful ones, and daydream about the pleasure filled yells. These were the sounds of home; sounds he’d memorized over eighteen long years.
“You feel any better?” Coop’s father called from the other room.
The lights were off but the soft glow of the holotable was enough to illuminate the room. A three dimensional rendering of some game show was playing on low volume in the center of the space. Coop’s father’s eyes didn’t drift from the show when Coop entered.
“My balls feel like two used up old raisins.” Coop dropped down into a seat opposite his father.
Walter paused the show with a hand gesture, and swiped the program out of the way so he could talk to his son. “Sounded like you two were having fun in there.”
The statement left them in an uncomfortable silence. Neither man was what people would call a “sharer”. Emotion was a weakness in the PHA. People could take what you told them in confidence and use it to destroy you, your reputation, and anything you were working towards. For Coop, being emotional meant people wouldn’t trust him to get the job done. If people thought he couldn’t get the job done then no one would hire him. If no one hired him, then he ate nothing but BSA shit for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Coop would rather jump into the core than be some feeble, weak piece of Rat shit. Weak pieces of shit didn’t get ass like Hailey’s, and weak pieces of shit ended up dead or worse.
“You made a decision yet?” The question brought Coop’s mind back to the present.
“Ha,” Coop laughed a single, humorless laugh. “Fuck if I know.”
“You want my opinion?” Walter knew his son’s answer before he even asked the question.
“Well I’m going to give it to you anyway.” Walter leaned forward, placed his elbows on his knees, and looked over clasped hands at his son. “I think you should take the armed forces gig.”
“Ha,” the laugh this time was surprised with a twinge of humor. “Yeah, ok. I’ll join up, march in a straight line with all the good boys and girls. Say yes sir, and yes ma’am, and then die in some backwater shit colony all so our great Commonwealth gets a better deal on some fucking cloth that some alien spider shits out its ass. No thanks, Dad; but thanks for the stellar advice.”
Walter didn’t miss the heavy sarcasm, but he kept on going. “It’s better than taking a dick up the ass and a shank in the kidney in Attica,” he deadpanned. “You aren’t built for a place like Attica, Mark. Big Bubba is gonna make you his bitch and then shove his balls down your throat when you mouth off. At least in the military you’ll get food, shelter, and cash.”
Coop knew well enough what could happen to him in a prison, and it didn’t help that his father was laying it out for him. It also didn’t help that he was dangling the money line in front of Coop’s face.
“What good is some digital bank account if you’re dead?” Despite Coop’s ambivalence, this was becoming a real discussion.
“Then don’t fucking die, Mark.” Coop didn’t like it when anyone used his first name, but his father was the only one he let get away with it. “Whatever branch you end up in will feed, clothe, and give you a bed to sleep in for free. If you’re smart and don’t blow your paycheck on booze and whores then you could end up with a big chunk of change by the time you finish up. You won’t have to live in the PHA, and you’ll have skills that people will pay good money for. You’ll be able to make a better life for yourself than what your mother and I had.”
That was a low blow, and Coop let his dad know it. He picked up the dish that was lying on the table beside his chair and chucked it at his father’s head. Over forty years in the PHA had honed the old man’s reflexes, and he easily dodged the flying plastic. The dish clattered loudly to the floor, but nothing broke. Despite the decrepit people in the PHA, the government had built this place and everything in it to last.
“Think with your head instead of your balls, Mark.” Walter continued like nothing had happened.
Coop didn’t answer; he didn’t want to even look at his father. Ever since his mother threw herself off the top floor of the tower things had been hard for him. Coop’s father, despite this evening, wasn’t around a lot. He was a leader in the tower and that occupied a lot of his time. Coop was left to raise himself, and had developed into his own man without a lot of help. Coop was proud of what he’d been able to accomplish, and pissed that he had to do it alone. They were conflicting thoughts, Coop knew that, but he didn’t really care.
<And now the old man wants to give some fatherly advice.> Coop nearly spat at the thought.
Coop was filled with anger toward his father, and the PHA, the system, and at the Commonwealth as a whole. He was even angry at himself for getting caught in the first place. But even with all that anger boiling in his gut, Coop still listened to what his dad was saying. Coop might be a welfare Rat, but he was far from stupid.
“Whatever.” Coop wasn’t going to explain himself to his father tonight, he had better things he could waste his time doing than arguing.
“Whatever.” Walter echoed the response, knowing the conversation was done. With a few flicks of his fingers the game show popped back to life.
Coop walked right through the holographic representations of the contestants and back to his room. The ambient light of the holotable didn’t reach all the way to his door, so it was dark when he entered. It took a moment for his eyes to adjust, but when they did he liked the sight.
Hailey was awake, and spread provocatively across his bed. Her head was propped on her shoulder, and she had a look on her face that Coop knew very well. Both of her perky breasts were calling to him, and he felt his body begin to respond to his yearnings. She stretched out her other hand and beckoned him to come closer.
Even if Coop wouldn’t say it to his father, or anyone else, he’d made his decision; but making the decision and wanting to think about it were very different things. Instead, Coop occupied his mind with memorizing Hailey’s gorgeous ass as he fucked her silly. That was a much better use of his time tonight.