WWW#2 – Skipped a Beat – Text #2

Chance Encounter at The Lucky Dallas

by Garry Vakarian

Even though Motoko was an investigation journalist, she always liked to have a day off after every story she published. Invariably, those days were spent at her favorite joint, The Lucky Dallas, writing poems by the hundred and drinking gallons of that old beverage called coffee. What she loved about the place was the nineteenth century feeling, the tobacco smell, cowboy boots and all that shit. I, not so much, but God I loved her. It was in this very place that we first met. My heart skipped a beat the second our eyes crossed, exactly one year ago.

My partner and I were investigating a theft linked to corporate espionage between Manosoft and Kriegor Heavy Industries. Local P.D. was as useless as usual, so Governmental Police was given the case. We got tipped off that a Manosoft corporate stooge used to drink in this place, so we headed there to ask him a few questions. The Lucky Dallas was in biodome #4, one of the oldest. I hated this dome, because the live streaming data network wasn’t available, and neither were our cyberbrain sync functions. In this day and age, can you believe it?

Anyway. We entered the coffee shop, and started looking for the fellow. We searched the whole damned place for ten minutes, interrogated every patron but no sign of him. As we were at the point of giving up and calling it a day, one of the bay windows suddenly shattered behind us. My training instantly kicked in, and I rolled behind a seat bench, gun in hand. Stelvio, my team mate did the same, and I swear we were so synchronised we could have won the Olympic rhythmic gymnastics. Stelvio was disappointed. No shootouts or bombing, just two people fighting each other covered in glass shards.

They weren’t even local thugs or corporate security, just a blue collar guy and a thin woman. We easily separated them, Stelvio grabbed the man, and I, the girl. That’s when we discovered the guy was the Manosoft rep we were looking for. Stelvio cuffed him and took him out to our patrol car for further questioning at the precinct. That was when my catch started to struggle, and tried to get free from my grip. Until then, I had only seen her back.

Let me go! I’m a reporter for the Callisto’s Herald. Let me go, or I’ll write about police brutality!” she screamed passionately.
Whoa, easy miss, G-police. Calm down and I’ll release you” I said as calmly as possible.

That’s when she stopped fighting, and waited for me to loosen my grip on her. Two or three seconds after I released her, she turned around. A punk angel straight out from heaven was my first thought. She had a soft face like those plastered around holoboards for beauty commercials, albeit with few scraps and cuts. Her crystal purple eyes gleamed like a thousand stars. And to top it up, she had long blue hair like sea waves in a storm.

I… I’m… Thank you.” she stammered before regaining her composure. That’s when I was sold out. That’s when my heart skipped a beat, and lightning stroke me. Ten seconds or so passed by, until I could speak again.
You okay?
– Yes. So err, when can I see him?
– You mean the other guy? Not gonna happen. He’s in custody and actually, we’ve got a few questions for him.
– Let me guess, it’s about the KHI stolen shipments at spaceport 123? It’s a dead end, trust me. You’d better follow freelance hovertrucks floating around manosoft dome.
– How’d you know?
– I’m an investigation reporter remember? I was also the one to leak the info to your people.” She said and winked at me.
“I’m intrigued. Please tell me more. Maybe around a drink since we’re in a bar? Or another one if you don’t like this Texas decorum.
– Are you kidding me? I love this place! Have you tried the lone star special? It’s my favorite.
– What is it?
– Coffee. The best one in all Callisto if you ask me.
– Never heard of it.
– Tsk, tsk, tsk. What a shame. I’ll have to educate you mister g-police!

That was the start of our collaboration and adventure together. I must say, she looks better now with her ponytail, but I miss the rough looks.

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