"I'm just saying you could have gotten something with a bit more material, is all," Cathy said wearily, surveying her skimpy outfit. "I might as well be naked."
They were sitting in an all night sports restaurant waiting for their food.
"Yeah, and couldn't you find me anything other than a potato sack?" Sissy chimed in. She wrinkled her nose as she looked down. "It's just a bit undignified for a Starship Captain. Shapeless. No style. Don't you think?" The other women nodded vigorously.
"Well, you know, we didn't have much choice," John said. He settled back comfortably against the grubby plastic of the corner booth they were squeezed into, unfazed by the rain of complaints that greeted the results of his shopping trip with Greyhawk. "It was the only place open this late at night, and they only sold clothes that were on, uh, the more erotic side." His eyes crinkled in a devilish grin. "Hey, Greyhawk said he thought you'd look good in that, Cathy, and he was right!" Cathy shot Greyhawk a look, but he was busy examining his coffee spoon for spots.
John continued, "And they had no maternity clothes whatsoever. So we had to improvise, which I think we did okay at, considering. The stuff in that store ... uh ... really wouldn't have fit you, Captain. Trust me." He shook his head and chuckled at the remembrance. "Besides, we don't want you recognized as a starship captain. We're undercover, remember? So you gotta be undercover, too. Or at least well-covered." He beamed winningly at the grumpy Sissy.
"Thoroughly covered," she frowned, picking at the sack with distaste. "Not to mention itchy. I don't even want to know what this thing is made out of." She attacked an itch on the back of her neck.
"I like my outfit," Teresa said, displaying her black leather jumpsuit and preening. Sissy had to laugh then, and Greyhawk put his spoon down with a little relief in his face. Cathy rolled her eyes and smiled.
The television mounted overhead was on: "And police report the Pajama Bandits held up the Slice 'n' Dice Roadhouse on Southern late last night, robbing a number of patrons of their clothes, valuables, and motorcycles. Police say ..."
Greyhawk was beaming now, dirty spoon forgotten.
"Hey, they're talking about us," John announced in a hoarse whisper.
"The Pajama Bandits?" Cathy gave the men her most inquisitive eye.
"Aye, well, some of them thocht John dressed funny," Greyhawk explained.
"Me? It was you, you old haggis!" John mugged broadly. They snorted and elbowed each other.
"OK, OK," Teresa said. "You ditched the bikes, right?"
"Yeah, yeah," John complained. "I still don't see why we couldn't keep 'em. Mine was a real sweet ride."
"Primitive as this culture is, they still have sophisticated communications equipment," Cathy explained again. "And each of their vehicles has a unique identification code for taxation and monitoring purposes. Their security personnel would be able to identify those vehicles as being stolen, which would cause trouble for us if they were found in our possession." John sighed.
The television continued: "... the body of a 35-year-old suspected drug kingpin was found in his apartment early this morning by his girlfriend. It is being investigated as a possible murder ..."
"Hey," John nudged Greyhawk, "that's us too."
"What?!" Teresa said, "now you're out murdering the natives?"
"Nah, it was self-defense ... well, it was Greyhawk defense, anyway," John explained. "Cathy said we needed money. So we went and got some from a bottom-feeding dirt bag. And cleaned up the gene pool just a little while we were at it, ya know? A little public service, so to speak." John raised a fist, and Greyhawk touched it with his. "Hoo Rah!"
Teresa shook her head. "OK, can we be a little more low profile, please?"
The food arrived, the plates were distributed and the waitress left.
The television continued: "This just in: the body of a local handyman was found in an alley on the West Side this morning. The man was apparently killed with an unknown laser-like device that penetrated his heart."
The boys looked at Teresa. "Low profile, eh, lass?" Greyhawk said. "Like that?"
"Just eat your food," she said sternly. Bear and Greyhawk pretended to be chastened.
When the meal was done, and all were feeling refreshed, Sissy started looking around. Dawn was breaking, and the place was filling up with breakfast patrons.
"So what's next?" Cathy asked.
"Well, we'll need a base of operations," Sissy said, "an apartment or something. Then I suppose we just will have to wait for my shoes to go off." She peeked under the table. No glowing action there.
"OK," Teresa proposed, "Cathy and I will find us a place. John and Greyhawk, you stick with Sissy. Go to a park or something and just hang around until we contact you. See if you can get those shoes to light up."
Everyone agreed, and they got up to leave.
Sissy walked towards the door and the room went dead silent. Sissy turned, her face a question mark. Everyone was staring at her.
Cathy pointed to her shoes. She looked down. They were pulsing brightly.
"Oh, my God."
"Quick, let's get her out of here," Teresa said.
John threw money at the cashier and they rushed towards the door.
"Now, that's low profile," he muttered.
To be continued....
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