With probably the greatest sci-fi story EVAH told nearly done, done (
In a vast, uncharted spot of space, Baby parked The Starsky next to an asteroid that resembled a giant potato. It took the two of them an hour and fifteen minutes to find Tito’s tracker. Baby found it in the refrigerator duct taped to the back of the vegetable crisper she never opened. They crushed it and flushed the pieces down the toilet. She had bought them time to figure out what to do next. The buzzing and vibrating phone on the ship’s dashboard told her that it probably wasn’t enough.
Her phone was lighting up with the word ASSHOLE as it vibrated across the dashboard. It wouldn’t stop ringing. She was afraid to turn it off because at least she knew he wasn’t standing right there in front of her if he was still trying to call.
If he’s on the phone, he doesn’t know where we are, she thought. We’re alright for now.
Outside, light years away, a nebula was forming. Baby tried to put the sound of the phone out of her mind and focus on the colors. Thankfully, she didn’t have to listen to Chad bitch about the constant ringing. He was in the shower and was most likely using the last bit of her Earth shampoo. At that moment, she could sit in her ship and give herself a few minutes to worry about absolutely nothing.
Colorful nebula dust slowly formed into the face of Cliff, the biggest asshole in her life. Cliff, the reason she was sitting in a ship that was her own but not hers. A ship whose pink slip was held by a bastard gangster shrimp.
Cliff the asshole had been the love of her life. He had that special something that kept her coming back for more. But Baby Disco had been raised to be independent.
She hadn’t used Cliff to fill some missing fatherly void in her life, she genuinely liked the guy. And the fucker liked her ship. The ship she paid good money for. It was old when she got it, but every penny that went into it was earned working jobs, babysitting, whatever she needed to do. She had purchased her own ship and felt pretty fucking good about herself. It was a classic, almost an antique but it was fast. She worked harder to make it better. It felt good to build up something and have it as her own.
The Starsky, her ship. She named her ship from a memory of her father. It was simple, but it worked for her. She didn’t care if she never saw the guy again, but she shared his last name and naming her ship after a memory felt pretty good.
She loved Cliff and when he got his big idea, she wanted to help him. So she sold her one and only possession to Tito to help fund his online underwear apparel shop. At the time it seemed like a great idea, a bond between the two of them. Everyone who had known them, all of her former friends, everyone from that life,
RocketWear™ was a huge success.
Billionaire Cliff, the underwear celebrity and hotshot fashion designer love of her life disappeared on a partly cloudy Wednesday morning with a twenty-five percent chance of showers in the evening. She had been sleeping in the fifty thousand square foot mansion they had picked out together and woke up to the sound of people in her living room.
The family moving in was surprised and terrified when a half-naked woman strolled out of the bedroom. The police were called and Baby couldn’t have been more confused. Why was this family telling her she was an intruder in her own house? How the fuck did that make any sense?
When the cops got there, it turned out Cliff had sold RocketWear™ for ten billion units a few days before and didn’t tell her. After that, he liquefied all of the assets he co-owned with Baby, including the house where she had been sleeping. That family in her (former) living room had bought the house at an auction and were moving in.
Cliff had skipped town with a fortune and left Baby with jack shit.
The only thing she could do, the only thing she wanted to do, was to go back to that gangster and earn her ship back. A gangster criminal.
So getting The Starsky back, for all its sentimental reasons, was Baby’s mission. Get it back and maybe keep on living. Maybe one day she’d find Cliff and stick a blaster up his ass.
“Yeah, she’s in la la land again,” a voice said. Chad, it was Chad. “Who knows where her head is when she gets like this. Yeah, I see it all the time. She talks in her sleep, too. I can hear it through the bulkheads sometimes.”
Why is Chad talking? Reality faded back, swirling onto the spot where her phone had once sat. It was gone. Gone and had stopped its constant ringing.
“Uh-huh, yeah, she does that a lot,” Chad said. She swung around in her chair and Chad was behind her with her favorite towel on her head and holding her phone. He looked annoyed. He also smelled good. The prick definitely used the last of her shampoo.
Oh fuck, that shithead answered the phone. He’s talking to Tito. Oh my God, let him be smart! Let him magically have gotten intelligent and be making up some excuse. Come on, Chad, work some magic here!
“Sure,” Chad said, “Here she is.”
Baby used every hand signal she could think of to wave Chad off but he ignored her. The colossal queer sneered at her and shook the phone in her face. She shook her head but he finally threw the phone at her and stormed off.
“Stop being a pussy,” Chad said, “Talk to Tito. He’s nice.”
She watched Chad adjust his towel as he disappeared and put the phone to her ear. “Tito, hey, what are you up to?”
“Baby! Baby, my little darling. I was beginning to think you were avoiding me.”
“I was,” Baby said.
Tito laughed. In the background, she could hear the sounds inside his bar. The drone of customers and tinkling of beer glasses gave her a little bit of comfort. At least he wasn’t coming after her personally. “That’s why I like you, Baby. You always know when to lighten a very serious mood.”
“That’s me, Tito, always here for a good laugh.”
“Those Zzskk assholes called me up. You and your pink fairy friend fucked up my diamond deal. You remember the diamond deal, right? I assume you do or you would have been answering the phone.”
“Oh, how could I forget?” Baby closed her eyes and wished she could throw her phone out the window. If only we weren’t in deep outer space.
“Well, I had a feeler out for you guys. John and Paul, they got pretty close to you, but you got stupid or lucky. We’ll let you decide which. But, I really needed those diamonds. Shit, I even had a price on your head,” Tito said. “But I just got some good news
“Well, that’s nice,” Baby said. “I’d rather be pals than make someone rich by being dead.”
Tito laughed again. Baby thought of Cliff and wished his
“Come on, this is serious,” Tito said. “And you’re going to love it.”
“Sure,” Baby said, “I’m already loving it.”
“Twenty years ago or so, a few years after you were born, I ran a job with a guy. We stole two hundred billion credits. Then he hid the money and got himself arrested. He’s getting let out of prison, and I want you to pick him up. Then find out where the money is and bring him to me. You do this, and we can forget the whole diamonds incident and I’ll drop the price of the Starsky. I’ll give you a good deal on that hunk of junk. A few percents under market value.”
Baby shook her head at the idea, even though she knew Tito couldn’t see her. Some asshole telling her something he wouldn’t tell Tito twenty years ago? “And why would this man tell me?”
“That’s the best part, Baby Disco. This is the part that’s amazing. The man you’re going to grab is none other than Captain Bingo Disco.”
“Yep,” Tito said, “yo daddy.”