Elodia “Loader” Rodriguez

Time passes slowly when you’re standing blindfolded, shackled, and naked.

She didn’t really know how long she’d been chained to the bolts in the deck; she could have counted her heartbeats, but didn’t see much point. The naked part was annoying, but pretty much what she expected from the Patrol. It’s how they transported all prisoners – it made escapees kind of hard to miss, especially on the Station. Hell, she wasn’t even mad about being poked, prodded, and probed. What pissed off Loader Rodriguez was the number of idiots who had made up any old reason to drop by the holding cell to get a look. And god knows how many pictures would be circulating.

Not that she didn’t sort of deserve what she was getting, at least not as far as the authorities were concerned. She had, after all, punched out a senior officer. What was it someone in the bar had called him? Major Twat-face? Yeah, sometimes facial hair made men look like that, but this guy was really a dick! She smiled slightly – could someone with a twat-face be a dick, too? He’d had his hands all over her ass, and under normal circumstances Loader wouldn’t have minded much. But he was loud, and drunk, and didn’t bother to ask. And when she told him to knock it off, he laughed tobacco and scotch in her face and went for the gold. So she punched him in his pussy-mouth and laid him out on the deck.

So, here she was, marking time until the next scheduled transport took her Earthside for a court martial and about twenty years hard labor.


She jumped — hadn’t heard this one come in.

“So was it worth it?”

“Who the fuck wants to know?”

“Now don’t be that way, Loader. Personally, I think you shoulda kicked Twat-face’s balls into his cheeks.”

“I take it you were there?”

“Front row seat. Orloff’s usually pretty good about the entertainment, but this was superior – even by my highly refined standards.”

“Hmph? So whatta you want? A look? A feel, maybe?”

“Nah! Well, a look, for sure. Can’t help that. You are kind of…out there. But I’ve got a message for you.”

“From who?”

“Whom…and it doesn’t matter. Just don’t get too excited about your little planetary vacation trip. Isn’t gonna happen!”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Just wait for it.”

“What? Who are you? How – ?”


“Still there?”


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