The Golden Drive, it was one of a million spacer bars scattered through the galaxy, but also Patches’ favorite. Situated near the border of Alerian space, it was a top spot for lucrative contracts from the Trade Alliance. All he needed was one of those, and his cred shortage would be over for a time. Only problem was that his ship was old and not the type most respectable companies were looking to hire. So, he was stuck taking the shit jobs no one else wanted. Mostly the type where he was stuck fighting more than flying. Being a freighter captain in the middle of a few raging wars was a tough profession, but not one Patches was too quick to give up. Owning his own ship was a dream he’d had since he was just a young pup, and there wasn’t a chance in hell he was giving it up just because he was a few creds short on payday.
Walking through the synth gold plated door, he took a deep breath and relished the old familiar scents so keen on his nose. Every race had a particular scent, and as good as his nose was, he could smell them all. The one he liked best was that of Sam’aka, and for some strange reason, her scent seemed to like him too. It only took a second before he heard Sam’aka calling his name over the loud, obnoxious Terran music. Taking only long enough to pull a half-smoked cigar from his old spacer vest, Patches sauntered across the tiled floor and right past the two bastards who had no business being in place like that. Most captains owed money, but he was one of the unlucky bastards who owed it too men who didn’t take kindly to him missing a payment or two.
Normally their type waited for him to return to his ship. These idiots though had gotten impatient, and wandered into a place they had no business being. In a spacer bar, the law didn’t bother taking notice of something like a shoot-out. If a spacer died, there was always another desperate bastard to replace them. So most common folk considered it a good thing for his type of man to die. It was just that lack of caring Patches was counting on when they confronted him. Lucky for him though, Sam’aka wasn’t the only friend he had in the place. There was another man, an Oregoth he’d once called a partner. He wouldn’t go so far as to call the man a friend, but so far, they’d had each other’s backs. For freighter captains, that was about as close as two rivals could get to being friends.
“Got a beer for me Sam?” asked Patches, using the one name he knew she hated. Then again, lately she’d hated most things he said. Maybe it was his charming personality finally coming through, or the fact he’d broken up with her on his last trip to the Golden Drive. Either way, it wasn’t a grin he saw on her face when she slammed a warm beer down in front of him. He’d been around long enough to know when she placed a warm beer in front of a customer, it wasn’t because she liked him.
“Creds?” asked Sam’aka, her eyes narrowing dangerously as they locked with Patches.
“Good to see you too Sam’aka. I kinda missed ya out there,” said Patches, his hand lingering on hers a second longer than he really needed to as he handed her the cred chip.
“I see you haven’t changed much Patches. Always trying to sweet talk your way out of my bad graces.”
“Is it working?” said Patches with an awkward wink. For some reason, he never had figured out how to keep his lips from curling up whenever he winked. Sam’aka told him it was endearing, or at least she had at one time. Now he only saw her shake her head as she turned to walk away.
Knowing there wasn’t much chance to get her forgiveness, Patches lifted the beer to his muzzle. Just the smell of the bad tasting brew made him want to vomit. After more than a week without one though, he was content to see just how much he could handle before it came back up. Damn how he wished he could plug his nose. He couldn’t help but think maybe there was an advantage to being a human, especially since claws didn’t do so well to pinch his flaring nostrils together.
Watching Sam’aka’s seductively swaying tail, he couldn’t remember exactly what had made him want to break up with her. It wasn’t until he saw her look over her shoulder that he realized she still cared about him, at least enough to pull out a nice cold beer for him to sip on. He hoped it was for him anyway, given there wasn’t anyone close and she was starting to walk his way again, there was a better chance than not she’d gotten it for him. Putting the rancid smelling beer back on the bar, he tried to give her his most charming smile. Most of the time he hated smiling, especially since his long fangs always tended to show when he did.