“For fucksakes, BAMF, could you, for once make it to the ship on time?” Colonel Ramsey, a giant green-stocked carrot dangling from his mouth, hollered when he caught sight of the massive woman lumbering down the dock.
“What’s the rush, Colonel?” BAMF yelled back, her deep voice echoing off the bulkheads. “It’s just a quick hop over to Pega Station.”
“Pega?” the woman to Colonel Ramsey’s left asked, but he held a finger to his lips and hushed her.
Colonel Ramsey waited for BAMF to get closer before replying. The woman was his ship’s engineer and primary muscle, and he couldn’t do a job without her—unless it was a stealth job—BAMF stayed on the ship for those.
It wasn’t because the large woman couldn’t be sneaky. Her clothing—of which there was little variation—was relatively sedate, knee-high boots, tight cargo pants with too many pockets and a camisole with ‘Suck These’ printed on it.
The problem was the bling. BAMF always wore a few dozen thick chains made of a variety of precious metals, her ears were pierced in a more places than he could easily count, and her fingers wore so many rings it was a miracle she could move her fingers.
When she walked the noise was like an engineering shop, and the jewelry was so well polished it would probably reflect light in the dark layer .
BAMF reached them and Ramsey replied in soothing tones. “It’s Stick, she just likes to be punctual, she’s all strapped into her pilot seat and ready to go—you know how it is.”
BAMF stopped and stared at the colonel. “Our pilot? Stick? That fool ain’t been punctual a day in her weird little life!”
Colonel Ramsey shrugged as he chewed on his carrot, its leafy green end waggling in front of him. “Yeah…I mean it was bound to happen eventually, right?”
BAMF‘s broad features crinkled as her eyes narrowed, and she tilted her head making her chains clink angrily. She glanced at the woman who stood beside Colonel Ramsey. “Who’s the broad?”
Colonel Ramsey reflected for a moment on BAMF, who was a woman—you just had to double check—using such a dismissive term for another of her gender. “She just needs a ride over to Pega Station, paid well, so we’re giving her a lift.”
“Something’s off. You lying to me, Colonel?” BAMF asked and widened her stance. “You gonna take the Van FTL?”
“Mandy, you know I wouldn’t do that to you. I know you hate FTL. We’re just hopping over to Pega, no dark layer, no FTL, no interstellar travel.”
BAMF’s eyes darted to the woman at Ramsey’s side once more and then back to the colonel. “You never call me Mandy unless you’re lying.”
“I’m not laying, Ma—BAMF,” Ramsey said with a broad smile and looked to his companion. “Right, Petra? Pega, that’s where you’re going.”
“Yup, sure, I have important business on Pega,” Petra replied.
“Just met you Petra, but you’re a bad liar,” BAMF said and took a step back—right into Lashes who sunk a nano-injector into BAMF’s neck.
“Ow! What!” BAMF said as she spun. “Lashes! You bitch, immaaaaaa.”
With that last word dying on her lips, BAMF fell to the deck and Colonel Ramsey smiled. “Excellent, glad to see that went smoothly.”
“Raahmsey that didn’t go smoothly!” Lashes whined. “You said this stuff would work fast!”
The colonel ignored Lashes’ annoying tone. “It did.” He prodded BAMF’s prone figure on the deck. “Took just a few seconds.”
“Yeah, a few seconds where she saw me,” Lashes lamented. “Now she’s going to smash me to dust when she wakes up.”
“Nah, don’t worry,” Ramsey grinned. “We’ll just make her a platter of toast points and she’ll be as happy as a pig in mud. Now help me pull her in.”
Lashes bent down and grabbed one of BAMF’s arms while Ramsey took the other. Lashes was a dainty girl and BAMF weighed a metric buttload, but with Petra’s help they managed to drag BAMF into the ship’s small cargo hold where they left her to sleep off the effects of the nanobots.
“Is this how you usually operate?” Petra asked as she followed them onto the ship.
“This?” Lashes replied with a concerned frown. “No, only when…well…yeah, most of the time.”