Kane is seated in one of the overstuffed chairs in The General’s office. She’s decked out in her usual, but “Babs” Miller isn’t.
The vampy Jessica Hahn look-alike, who’s sitting on the desk in front of Kane, is sporting spiked-heel pumps and a Merry Widow. Her skimpy uniform skirt is obscenely short. It’s more like a wide belt doing business as a skirt. It’s also very tight. It flows over her slim hips and clings to her slender thighs. Her legs are sort-of crossed, said micro-mini-skirt is hiked up dangerously high, flashing a teasing glimpse of some frilly petticoats and matching red lace panties. More of her goddamn games. She’s always testing. Always probing. It’s her way. It’s the inhuman way.
And if the teasing ever stopped, Mondo would assume she was no longer loved and she’d be right. Besides, Mondo likes looking at her cute auntie’s gams. Miller has pins a girl could kill for.
“Good screw this morning?”
The fresh haematidrosis of Mondo’s forehead is evidence of recently being Touched. In another five minutes, probably less, there will be no evidence of her wanton violation.
“Yes, fine. The usual IA circus. Shit chickens, those fuckers put me through the ringer for snuffing a bunch of Uglies!”
“Busy bee, you ought to be used to it by now.”
“I doubt if I ever will. The damn paperwork’s the worst part of it.”
“Like your mother and your favorite aunt keep telling you, it’s all part of the job. Every career has its downside. And look on the bright side. You didn’t have to go to confession for killing Lectors like you would if you had whacked something with a soul like Elf or Krull. You know. Real people.”
Miller gives Kane the same knowing wink Jenny gave her when she tramped in at the crack of dawn, lookin’ every bit like she’d been in a firefight. Jenn didn’t even scold her for the jacket getting trashed. Her roommate just accepted her apology for its demise and offered her a hot cup of delicious boscoe.
“So, what’s the gig you mentioned over the phone?”
“Simple pop and drop. Mission particulars are in my reading room.”
“Who’s the package for?”
“A movie star by the name of Liz Hurley.”
“I’ve heard of her.”
Miller leans forward, giving Kane an eyeful of her bodacious cleavage and the thought-provoking puppies that go hand-in-glove with such a crevasse. Even more games.
“Your destination is the moon, Earth’s, where she’s shooting a feature.”
“They’re pretty human up there.”
“So please conduct yourself properly and be very careful.”
Kane stands up and kisses Miller on the forehead.
“I didn’t know you cared so much about me, auntie.”
“I don’t. But if something does happen to you up there, you wouldn’t believe the forms I’d have to fill out, and in bloody triplicate no less.”
They both chuckle.
Why does the trip to the Earth’s moon take an hour-and-a-half for the passengers and zero-time for their luggage which is Jumped after them via commercial TDS? ‘Cause humans like to feel the trip is worth what the airlines charge, or so the story goes.
Mondo Jumps via her flip-phone from the station house lobby to Lambert Field where her pick-up awaits in a storage locker. After leaving her holsters with airport security, to be Jumped with the rest of her flight’s luggage, Kane boards Trans World Airline Flight 103 bound for the Moon. It’s the usual streamlined silver speedster, a needle-nosed cigar-shape set atop three swept-back Drive-fins, standing majestically on the runway, with cabins of varied opulence.
The Gravity Drive of Flight 103 perverts the planet’s gravity well, VTOLing the rocket ship into Earth orbit, where, after a scenic delay, its Jump Drive automatically kicks in. The TWA jetliner incrementally traverses compressed outer space, guided by the RCA Victor Company’s infallible Galactic Positioning System, also known as GPS. When the commuter emerges into Lunar orbit, it will take another respite. From there the subroc will VTOL to its final destination: a runway on the Moon’s surface.
Mondo kicks back and relaxes, ready to enjoy her time off-planet. The last time she went to the Moon it was with her mother. They came in like a lamb and left like a lion. So, she didn’t get a chance to do a lot of sightseeing. She plans to rectify that shortcoming on this outing. A nondescript brown-paper bag, which has been stapled shut and affixed with a wax seal, rests in her lap. Being the only inhuman in first-class means being seated off to oneself. Only the stewardess dares to come near her. Then, out of the blue, she feels that familiar persistent tug: blood calling to blood.
“Is the window seat taken, Miss?”
Kane looks away from the movie screen and toward the aisle. The smooth sultry voice belongs to a Vampire who looks like a Brunette version of Bettie Mae Page, right down to Bettie’s signature China-Doll bangs, bangs cut straight across the forehead.
This Bettie look-a-like is decked out in black. She’s wearing a cut-out dress, that’s silk, of course, and patent-leather pumps with 6-inch spiked heels and pointed toes. Her glue-on (skintight dress) is by Ozbeck, and it’s not bps. So, forget about it being Silken, like a nun’s habit. Her classic-style pumps are by Valentino, and these formals are not FSX version jane. So, forget about them being black-ops footwear like Kane’s casuals. Such as she, a mob boss, has no use for body armor, let alone the organic variety. So, any persuasion of exo-casing is out of the question. And, make no mistake about it, to someone who’s fly, this white girlie reeks of being mobbed up.
A lot has changed in a year. Kane no longer seethes with hatred whenever she’s around Vampire, because she was rooked. She enjoys being around Lost, again. When she was mortal, before she was Lost begot by Lost, she relished the company of Vampire. And more than Kane’s attitude toward faerie folk in general, and Lost in particular, is different.
She sent a Thank You card to Most for the expensive gifts Most gave her for her first Christmas as an inhuman: the latest Motorola flip-phone and a Sashka. The latter being the very same one she used so expertly on Big Girl. And she sent Mildred and Margo, Mother’s Day cards, and gave Jenny a Valentine’s Day card: actions which pleased her faerie loved ones to no end.
She’s avoided getting cancelled as a Judas or becoming a brunt-out husk eaten up by hate. There are no manifestations of multiple personality disorder. So, forget about either semi-autonomous personality splintered off from a fractured Id or anomalous constructs of neurotic displacement. As any reputable shrink will tell you, she’s a productive member of society. She has a healthy mind and an intact psyche, and possesses the expected personality quarks. This says volumes. ‘Cause Dark are the real challenge to re-create. A Biblical percentage of those who are made are pathetic basket cases. That’s why Kane is such a marvel.
“No. It isn’t taken.”
“Thanks. By-the-by. My name is Liz, Liz Velvet. I’m safe, white, and fifty-something.”
Velvet moves so gracefully past Mondo that it’s almost as if she’s gliding across the plush carpeting of the jetliner. She slides effortlessly into the thickly-cushioned seat.
“I’m Mondo Kane. I hope my maudlin manner and dress don’t offend. I didn’t mean to intentionally displease.”
My. My. My. Good-looking. Well-mannered. Old ways trained. And exceedingly polite. What a catch. Girl, oh girl, I need to get to know you Miss Kane, Biblically speaking, that is.
As they shake hands, Mondo notices the Deth’s head carved deep into the palms of Velvet’s lily-white hands. Velvet is an eraser, a professional executioner. Moon Gov, like most off-world governments, employs erasers to carry out all death sentences. These executions are public and televised. Any death-row inmate will tell you that, if given the choice, they’d rather be spaced than be executed by an eraser.
“I was freaking out the humans back there in second-class so much, ‘cause I’m a Vampire or an eraser or both, that the stewardess asked me if I would sit in first-class with you. Of course, I had to trade up to a first-class ticket. It cost me an extra $250.00.”
“My mother’s Brunette.”
“So were my first two wives. It’s a small universe after all.”
“Divorced. I’m looking for wife number six.”
“Yep. All of it bad.”
“Sorry to hear that.”
“Things could be looking up, though.”
“You don’t say.”
“I prefer Dark meat.”
“’Cause all you Blondes got d’em red snappers, and you give the very best head.”
“Jee whiz. I’ve heard the same things about you Brunettes.”
“May I call you Mondo?”
“Yes. Of course.”
“Mondo. I own a private club called the Black Velvet. It’s listed in the phone book. Do drop by and visit.”
Liz abruptly ends the conversation, contenting herself with looking out the window. Mondo goes back to watching the movie, but not before giving the luscious raven-haired Liz the once over. Kane’s new white girlfriend is so DD-licious in spite of being so carnivore lean. There’s not an ounce of unnecessary fat anywhere on Liz’s body. There’s only enough of it to keep her butter-smooth and feminine-looking. She’s no stick, though. She’s quite curvy, hence the comment about being feminine-looking. Also, forget about the faintest hint of disfiguring muscularity or the barest suggestion of steely muscle tone, hence the comment about being butter-smooth. So, don’t think aerobics instructor or fitness model, let alone female she-male athlete as in Hugs “Huggy Bear” Huggins or the extreme rough look of a real hard body with the overdone washboard abs and fake-lookin’ molded-on tits like Miss Olympia, Lisa “Muscles” London. Think: exotic dancer or cheerleader, porn starlet or Vegas-style showgirl. Think: Swedish Bikini Team, Cosmo Covergirl, or Baywatch beauty! Think: lethal pin-up whose mesmerizing face embodies both beauty and stridency. Single-out those images and keep ‘em in focus. They’re the definitive images of white womanhood.
Because Kane’s mother is Brunette, much about this Blonde also bespeaks of a Brunette. She’s got a Brunette’s hard-haunting looks, raw animal magnetism, and factory air. Although she doesn’t have a Brunette’s black hair, her wild tousled plumage is worn long, draping her shoulders and breasts in their preferred fashion. Hers is also that big hair of theirs. Her Bettie Page-style bangs cause that luxurious hair of hers to fall on either side of her beautiful face: their trademark Betty-Cut. She also has their other trademark, that horrible something in such a beautiful face; namely, madness! Although she doesn’t have their white as milky opal, white complexion, she is fair-skinned, that pale, kiss me, Scandinavian hue. It’s all about being Blonde and all of the Brunette influences that apply, distilled into three little words: beautiful, sexy, and dangerous.
Once they reach the Moon, Kane’s a Dark oddity awash in a sea of humanity. Except for a pouf gargoyle and minotaur couple on holiday, she’s the only faerie menace in sight. Culture shock doesn’t even begin to explain the half of it. Behind the tolerance and politeness, Mondo can see a mixture of fear and hatred in these humans’ eyes.
This big nasty bitch, this embodiment of “Scandinavian” beauty, this epitome of tallness and fairness, wanders out of the huge terminal building of Moon City’s spaceport in the same nonchalant manner she wandered around in it for an hour. In no particular hurry to get to her hotel, Kane looks up and gasps at the view she couldn’t fully appreciate through the terminal’s three story windows. Outer space beckons to her through the nearly invisible dome covering the city and its associated ‘burbs. The whole metropolis is unlisted. There are no jacos (Jump coordinates) in the phone book, only toms (telephone numbers). Here, she can use her flip as a comm-link, but not as a Jump-link.
Kane decides to walk the six blocks to the Chase Park Plaza. Liz Velvet has other plans for the Blondeness perfected, though. A chauffeur-driven stretch limo pulls up to the curb beside her. The passenger door swings open. Kane cautiously peeks inside.
“Hop in, Mondo. I’ll give you a lift to your hotel.”
“Thanks. That’s very white of you.”
Mondo slides in back beside Liz. The driver closes the door and raises the privacy screen, remotely, of course. The car speeds off.
Liz relays the destination via intercom to the driver. Then she moves closer to Kane. There’s no one else in the passenger compartment, which seats nine. Velvet slides her hand inside of Kane’s shorts and begins fingering the girl’s twat.
“Moving too fast for a single white female?”
“Not at all.”
Kane leans back in the plush bench seat. Her chaotic hair is already pulled back behind her ears, exposing a nape of smooth white neck.
“Yesss,” Liz snarls, as she climbs atop Kane.
While straddling the girl’s slender waist, she sinks her fangs deep into Mondo’s neck. Horrible sucking sounds overlay Kane’s moans of ecstasy. It’s been a long time since the thousand-year-old civil servant had blood this good.
If only the tart were an unprotected human. Then it would be child’s play to turn her into a living marionette, with moi as the un-dead puppeteer. Instead, I must waste time wooing my intended.
In what seems like a few seconds, when actually several minutes have elapsed, the partition lowers. It hasn’t taken long for the two to reek of pheromones: sex scents which Bubba’s immune to ‘cause he’s faerie.
“We’re three blocks from her hotel, boss. Even with the usual traffic congestion at this time of the day, we’ll be at Miss Kane’s hotel in five minutes.”
“Thanks, Bubba,” Liz responds, fresh blood dripping from her hemo smeared mouth.
Bubba raises the screen.
“Now, it’s my turn.”
Mondo tosses Liz onto the rear-facing front bench seat. Now it’s Kane straddling Liz’s waist, puncturing her neck with the extended canines of a razor blade smile. Horrible sucking sounds overlay Liz’s moans of ecstasy. At no time does Kane let go of the package. Business always takes precedence over pleasure.
The car comes to a stop. Bubba raps thrice on the screen. Both women blunt their teeth, retract their fangs, and compose themselves. They wipe the blood from their necks and mouths with monogram silk hankies handed out by a conveniently-placed dispenser. After quick inspections in the mirrored ceiling of the limo for any blood their cleanup efforts may have missed, Liz raps twice on the screen. Bubba opens the curb-side passenger door, again remotely, of course.
“Thanks again for the ride and everything else.”
They exchange one last goodbye kiss, full on the lips. Kane gets out of the limo and switches into the hotel lobby. The car speeds off. This woman knows how to cat about, be it in high-heels or flats.
Her “runway” trained bump-n-grind is truly the stuff that a leg-obsessive’s dreams are made of: the sensual grace of a ballerina, punctuated by the suggestive wiggle of a high-fashion model turned stripper. Mondo struts up to the front desk.
“Clerk, I need Miss Elizabeth Hurley paged.”
The clerk pretends to not notice the blood trickling from two rapidly closing puncture wounds in the girl’s neck.
“My name is Miss Mondo Kane. There should be a room reserved for me.”
Then, Mondo turns her back to the clerk and leans suggestively against the front desk. She surveys the luxuriously appointed room. She flicks out her deliciously-long tongue and wets her lips. Dark or not, she’s one nice piece of ass. Every male eye, and quite a few female ones for that matter, are riveted to her. Still holding the package securely, the ultra-buff Kane hooks both thumbs inside of the boned waistband of her bikers.
“Miss Kane, according to the computer, you have a two week reservation in one of our executive suites. It’s Suite 666. The computer also indicates that your personals are in the hotel safe. They’re from TWA Flight 103 out of St. Louis, MO.”
“Please. Bring ‘em to me.”
The clerk arrives back with Kane’s holsters at the precise moment Miss Hurley and her entourage is stepping out of one of the elevators.
Kane straps on her holsters, first the single and then the double. As per shoot’er tradition, the sword belt must precede the gun belt. Her duster’s slipped back on and that sexy pose is resumed; her duster, her full-length double-sided hooded coat.
Hurley walks over slowly, followed closely by Hugh Grant. She’s dressed in an outlandish era-clashing outfit that’s best described as “Elizabethan England meets the American Suffragette.” He’s wearing the ubiquitous tuxedo. They’re surrounded by six burly bodyguards who are dressed in off-the-rack.
The toughs are essentially human, with some Troll or Ogre mixed in. There are some very unfriendly-looking bulges under the armpits of the muscles’ suit coats, bulges liken to those of gun cradling shoulder-holsters.
“I was paged, clerk.”
“By me. I’m Mondo Kane.”
Kane hands Hurley the package. Hurley in turn hands it to Hugh. The two beautiful women shake hands. They carefully size each other up, calculating the physical attraction quotient of the other by dead-reckoning.
“You’ve got bigger bulges.”
“Must be the grenade launchers.”
“Thanks for the prompt service.”
“The pleasure is all mine.”
“Staying at the hotel?”
“For at least a couple of weeks.”
“Good. Maybe we’ll bump into each other again.”
“That would be delish.”
Hurley and company move on into the dining room.
“Now, I can play tourist. Clerk. Have a bellhop show me to my room.”
Mondo isn’t jaded enough yet, to be anything but impressed by her digs.
“Wow, daddy-o, what a krazy pad. It’s definitely kooky!”
Jordan stands by the open door, sizing up the tomato he’d love to give something to wow about. Kane, who’s likewise checking out the hard chiseled body advertised by his slimfit uniform, removes her duster and holsters, giving the bellhop a real eyeful. Bill decides he definitely needs to play hide the salami with this broad.
“Anything else, Miss Kane?”
“My. My. My. Travel is making me forget my manners.”
Kane removes a sawbuck from her spellbound cigarette purse. The hardshell clutch is no bigger than her hand; in fact, it’s the size of an oversized cigarette case, which is why it’s called a cigarette purse. But thanks to a simple spatial displacement spell, its interior is many times larger than its compact exterior would indicate possible. The spatial for her clutch was the very first one a young Mildred Most learned to weave. Margo Miller was Most’s magic teacher, a tradition that continues with daughter Mondo.
“No need for that. All gratuities are included in your hotel bill.”
“I know. But this gumshaw is Elf to Elf.”
“Thanks. That’s very white of you. If you need anything, just ring room service and ask for Jordan, Bill Jordan.”
“I’ll do just that.”
Jordan leaves. Kane locks the door and invokes her usual privacy spells. Feeling lazy, she lets the remainder of her armor peel itself off. Then she heads for the bathroom, idly wondering what that beefy kick, Bill, tastes like.