Mark “Coop” Cooper
Location: New Lancashire, United Commonwealth of Colonies
“Holy shit!” Coop struggled to catch his breath.
He was covered from head to toe in sweat. His neck had a kink in it, and his wrists were beginning to chafe from the cords she’d used to bind him to the bedposts. There was still some numbness left in his toes from the grand finale, but other than that he was immensely satisfied.
“Yeah…I know…right.” Aiko was breathing heavily and had collapsed on his chest.
She moved to dismount. They were both so slick with sweat all it took was her shifting her body weight to slide to the side, but she got caught in the mess of sheets and didn’t make it far. She maneuvered to get free, and ended up kicking him right in the dick.
“Aww shit!” Coop grunted. “If you want an encore performance you need to take it easy.”
“Sorry, baby.” She untangled herself more gracefully, and gave him an apology kiss. The kiss turned into a playful bite at the end, and that helped banish the soreness in his nuts.
Coop watched as Aiko walked away toward the bathroom. She was fine, but her ass wasn’t the only great thing to look at. You couldn’t tell when she wore her uniform, but the small engineering apprentice had quite a few tattoos covering her body. Some were phrases or quotes. Several of those were strategically placed to be covered by her bra-line. Dress and grooming standards could be pretty strict if she had a skipper who was a hard ass. Coop didn’t think Ben was too bad, but he had chastised her once about it. Putting the strings of words where they would only be visible when you were naked was a pretty smart way to get around it.
She had several on her upper legs and lower back. Some were images of something that was important to her. Coop had gotten a pretty good view of them over the last few hours and he was surprised to find they were traditional.
Tattoos had been big for centuries, and had gotten cheaper and cheaper to get throughout time. Since the GIC was essentially an advanced bio-tattoo, everyone had at least one. The cheapness of tattoos came from automation. Coop remembered a few kiosks in the PHA where getting a tattoo only cost about five bucks. Those were for the preprogrammed options. You could bring your own, but that cost more.
Aiko’s weren’t like that. They were traditional: done by an actual artist.
<They must have cost a fortune.> Some of them were very detailed, and his bet was at least ten grand for the lower back alone. He couldn’t guess the other because he hadn’t spent as long examining them.
“So, are you going to let me out of these?” Coop asked when she reappeared from the bathroom.
An evil grin spread across her face as she sauntered forward.
“Can I at least get a cup of water,” Coop begged. He was all for round three, but a guy needed to get some fluids back in him.
“What are you going to do for it?” she asked.
Coop was about to tell her all of the things he was going to do to her when a knock on the door interrupted them. It was not a normal knock, it was a pounding.
“I know you’re in there. Open up, Aiko.”
Aiko looked at the door for a second with confusion before recognition sparked something. “Fuck!” Her eyes scanned the room looking for something.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” Things had just gone from mildly kinky foreplay to serious in a few heartbeats.
“Shit…shit…shit!” She rummaged through the crap they’d thrown everywhere before, during, and after sex before finally finding what she was looking for.
A deadly looking knife.
She advanced on Coop.
“Hey, what the fuck!” He yelled as he strained against the cords. The bedpost groaned in protest before shattering under his strength.
“Coop! What the fuck!” She yelled back as she used the knife to cut the cords holding his feet. “You’re paying for that.”
Now, he felt stupid as he looked back and forth from his hands to the crippled bed. “Sorry, I thought you were coming at me.” He shrugged.
“If I wanted to gut you I could have done it during the show,” she grumbled as she finished cutting him free.
Coop looked back on the past few hours and counted no less than a dozen times she could have stabbed him. Hell, he was blindfolded a quarter of the performance. “That’s fair. I’ll pay the damages.” He was flush with cash, so he didn’t mind.
“Aiko! Open the fucking door right now!” The pounding was growing louder, and the door was shaking in its frame from the blows.
“Aiko, what the fuck is going on?” Coop looked back and forth between her and the door. “Do you want me to deal with that?”
He was tugging his CMU’s back on and standing up to his full height. He’d have to duck and turn sideways to get through the small door the irate person was banging on. He felt confident in his chances.
“No…no, I’ll deal with this. He’s my husband.”
That stopped Coop dead in his tracks. “What?”
“My husband, Bradford.”
“Bradford,” Coop scoffed. “What kind of name is Bradford?”
Aiko shot him a looked and he shut up. “I was stupid, got married right out of high school. I was ‘in love’,” she put the last two words in air quotes. “He was the cutest guy in school and had college and a job lined up with his father’s company. It was like everything fell into place.” She shrugged as she continued to pull on clothes. “I didn’t see the signs that he was a jealous possessive asshat until about six months in. I tried to get out, but he beat me, and his father threatened to ruin me too. It would have been embarrassing to the family if, and I quote, ‘an Asian whore didn’t think she was good enough for our respectable family’. So, I got out the only way I could. I walked down to the recruiting station, joined up, and took a shuttle out to Basic the same day.”
“Good for you. Guy sounds like a real shitbag.” Coop looked for her to the door. “You sure you don’t want me to…” he rammed his fist into his open palm.
“No, I got this, but stick around please.” There was resolve in her eyes, but worry too.
“Sure thing.” Coop finished getting dressed, and then plopped down on the bed, crossed his legs and put his hands behind his head. “Just ask if you need a hand.”
“Thanks.” It was a genuine thanks with an implied ‘I’ll fuck your brains out later’.
“Aiko, open the fucking door or else.” The door rumbled in its frame some more as she approached it.
“What do you want, Bradford?!” she remotely opened the door with the motel-supplied PAD.
Bradford was a bigger guy. Not Coop big, but big enough to suggest some sort of embryotic enhancements. Judging by Aiko’s story about his father, that seemed like a good possibility. Aiko looked small and thin compared to him, but she stood her ground with her hands on her hips, while Bradford’s eyes scanned the room.
His eyes settled on Coop, so Coop gave him a little salute.
“Who the fuck is that?!” Bradford pointed at Coop like he was fingering a perp in a lineup.
Coop would know the sensation since he’d been in his fair share during his PHA Rat years.
“That’s my fuckbuddy.” Aiko deadpanned, which brought a grin to Coop’s lips. “What the hell are you doing here Bradford? Was me joining the Fleet and moving halfway across the galaxy not a big enough message for you?”
“Sounds pretty big to me,” Coop agreed casually.
“Fuck you!” Bradford’s eyes never left Coop. “This is between me and my wife.”
“I’m not your wife!” Aiko shrieked back. “I’m nothing to you. Don’t you get it? I’ve moved on and I’m not coming back.”
“The hell you aren’t!” Bradford reached for her.
Aiko jumped back and Coop got to his feet in the same moment.
“I think the lady’s said her piece.” He took a few steps forward. “How about…”
“I told you to shut the fuck up!” Bradford screamed and pulled something from underneath his coat. “Now who has the upper hand, big guy?”
Coop found himself staring down the barrel of a pistol, and not just any pistol. <You’ve got to be shitting me.> He was willing to bet all the money he’d just made that Bradford was holding one of the pistol’s he’d just sold to those black market traders a few hours ago.
“Bradford, what the hell are you doing?” Aiko screamed as her eyes zeroed in on the pistol. She was probably thinking the same thing.
“Shut up!” He yelled back and tried to backhand her with the weapon. She slid back just out of the way, and Coop jumped into action.
Bradford clearly wasn’t used to threatening people with a gun. Rule number one was to not take the gun off the people you were threatening. Especially if one of those people was an HI trooper with enhanced fast-twitch muscle fibers.
As Coop leapt across the room, Bradford noticed his mistake. He tried to bring the weapon back on target and ended up firing off a round in panic. Coop felt the heat of the energy blast fly past him. If that blast hit him center mass it would probably kill him, or at least fuck him up enough for Bradford to finish the job.
<No way am I getting killed by some guy named Bradford.>
The shot went wide, and before the pistol could recharge Coop was on top of him. He hit Bradford like a battleship at ramming speed. The smaller man was picked up off his feet, and both men flew backward in a tumble of limbs.
They hit the ground and Coop immediately fought for position.
“Stupid fucker…” He was able to get a mount, and then had to roll away. Bradford was able to get the weapon up before Coop could pin his hand.
A second energy blast went up and through the ceiling. It was a good thing the motel was only one story, or someone’s night out could have turned into a very bad time.
“Stop shooting, Bradford!” Aiko screamed as she jumped in to try and control the hand with the weapon in it.
She wasn’t fast enough. He pointed the pistol in her direction, but before he could do anything, Coop drove his elbow into Bradford’s face.
Bone and cartilage crumbled under Coop’s powerful blow. One of Bradford’s eyes burst, and he immediately went limp. As Coop pulled his elbow back and looked at the damage, he couldn’t blame the other guy. He’d be passed the fuck out too if his face looked like that.
“Jesus Christ, Coop.” Aiko kicked the weapon out of Bradford’s hand and jumped to her feet like he was going to regain consciousness at any second and lunge at her.
“I stopped him from wasting you, so you’re welcome.” He grunted as he got to his feet.
They could both hear sirens in the distance, and both of their eyes went to their belongings where over fifty grand of illegally obtained cash chips was sitting.
“We need to get out of here.” Coop rushed to the cash and started pocketing it. The sirens were still off in the distance, so they had time.
Aiko didn’t reply as she bent over Bradford.
“Come on, we need to get going now.” Coop repeated.
“We can’t.” she replied. “The hotel room is under my name, so the cops are going to come and find me one way or another.” She stood up and faced Coop. The look on her face was dire. “Bradford’s dead, Coop. There’s no pulse.”
Coop just stood there for a second waiting for the shock to set in, but it didn’t. This wasn’t the first time Coop had killed a person in anger, and it wouldn’t be the last. He didn’t even feel sorry. The guy was a piece of shit. The only thing that Coop was worried about was the cops asking questions and finding the money.
“Ok, it was self-defense. His prints are all over the gun. There are two blaster marks where he tried to kill me, so this is a pretty open and shut case.” Coop convinced himself in a few seconds that everything was going to be ok. “We’ll get chewed out for screwing, but I’m not part of Argo’s crew anymore, so it’ll be a slap on the wrist. What we need to do is hide the cash fast.” The sirens were getting closer.
Aiko stood frozen for several seconds before shaking her head. “Ok…ok…” she seemed to be coming out of the momentary freeze of having her dirtbag husband killed in front of her. “Hiding places…hiding places.” She looked around the room.
“It’s got to be somewhere outside. The cops are going to tear the room apart as they gather the evidence. The roof?” He suggested.
“No, a blaster mark went through the ceiling so they’re gonna look up there.” Aiko shut that idea down.
“I got it!” Coop stated a moment later. “Grab me that knife and a bag.”
Aiko did as she was told and followed him outside and around to the side of the building. There were no cameras in sight, and they didn’t see anyone out this early in the morning. She handed him the knife and he went to town digging a shallow hole with the blade. It didn’t take him long to get deep enough to fit the bag full of cash chips inside.
Coop covered it back up and stomped on it to get it even with the rest of the ground around them.
“Go call nine-one-one and report what happened.” He ordered.
“What? They’re almost here.”
“It will look better if we report the attack. We can blame the delay on shock.” He ushered her back to the room, but left the door open while she made the call.
She was still on the line when the cops busted into the room with their weapons drawn.