Kano leaned back in his formfitting bar chair. “Listen, I’ve been clean and sober for sixty days now, and I don’t give a shit who knows.”
“That’s quaint, you still use Earth time. For us normal people, what is that in station cycles?”
“Too long, two hundred and forty cycles.”
“That’s impressive. I thought you looked different, new uniform?” Rollin said as he sipped his drink. “You smell like you’ve had a bath, too.”
“Nuts, if you weren’t my partner—”
“—I’d kick your ass.”
“You want a drink?”
“Rollin, I think you need to get your gears looked at. One must be too tight in your noggin.” Kano knew the joke about his former partner’s cybernetic implants would spin him up, nearly as much as jokes about sobriety.
His former partner wasn’t human, but he belonged to a race that could be mistaken for a human, a Patapay. The main visual difference was the multiple cybernetic enhancements each of the members of the race sported. If an entire population could have an addiction, it was these people. They lived to have the newest, most powerful implants installed, the cost and risks be damned. Kano hated painting with too broad a brush when it came to an entire race, but this stereotype held true and fitting.
A silence separated the pair. Kano’s former partner didn’t smile. Perhaps he had used the joke once too often. A beep in Kano’s ear interrupted the awkward moment. He had a call. He considered himself saved by the beep.
“I need to go, someone needs me.” Kano excused himself. No longer on the Force, he’d been demoted from the premier law enforcers to the third string. The local section patrol, but it still allowed him extra water credit.
Rollin joked from across the table, lifting his glass high in a salute, “Need to rescue a dog from a tree?” Slaughtering the joke.
Kano started to correct his friend, “That would be a fireman… Keep your head down, will ya?” Kano wasn’t sure why he said that, it just seemed fitting. Rollin tried to use ancient Earth sayings but never got the hang of it.
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