Flash: Above the Crowd

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Davon took a second look at the women on the lower decks. Choose one had been the command, but how to choose? Looks were just appearances, the luck of genetics and the kindness of unkind life. Whomever he chose would be his responsibility for as long as he lived, and while pretty would help, attitude would be key. He couldn’t make out a single voice in the cacophony among the kidnapped. He and his successful warriors would each get one, leaving the other sixty or so to be dumped back into storage for future rewards. Rewards for the four of them as long they survived, rewards for their circus and bread opponents (as Mannon named their ring-work) when their luck finally failed.

If he did not choose, they would kill one of the women randomly, or so their alien trainers had informed them. Davon leaned forward, easing the pain and bruises left from operating the mech frame in zero g. Squinting with his interface eye, he focused on details. Most of the women were crying, having appropriate hysterics from being only recently been released from the storage fluids. He and his men would need ones, at least initially, who recovered quickly, adjusted fast. Soaked clothes clung to the bodies, making it impossible to pick out tailoring, everything tinted by the blue fluids. Styles, wealth, individuality stolen with their futures by their kidnapping from Earth.

Who could stand out in those circumstances?

One woman shoved some others back to get space, dark hair and taller than those around her. Leader or bully?

The three furthest from the storage chamber seemed to be chatting somehow over the noise. Promising, but only if his teammates picked up the other two. They were dryer than the others, likely the first ones rolled out, so their relative calm may not be reflective of their adaptability.

He scanned for other outliers.

A busty woman was holding a much smaller woman whose arm folded against her body strangely.. Maybe crushed in the crowd. Neither appealed to him, but Mannon had mentioned a preference for curves. Davon captured her image in his false eye and sent it to his second. His second in command liked taking care of others, it would be good for him to have someone to take care of him.

Davon’s eyes drifted over the crowd and found one monkey had climbed to the mini-ledges supporting the cargo bay structure, where ropes could hook containers for shipment. Barely a hands-width wide, the ledge raised her out of the crowd.

And closer to the overhead lights.

Which the woman needed … since she was reading a fucking book.

Where did she get that?

Okay, he had to get an answer. He snapped her image and sent it to his supervisor. “This one.”

(words 465, first published 8/19/2023)

Above the Crowd Series

  1. Above the Crowd – 8/6/2023
  2. First Pick – 8/13/2023

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