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Bleak Town

Bleak Town

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Published by Jaye Patrick
Jarik Drexon is hunting an alien killer in Bleak Town. No-one sane goes there, unless it's to die. She needs help from the one man she should stay away from... but can't.
Jarik Drexon is hunting an alien killer in Bleak Town. No-one sane goes there, unless it's to die. She needs help from the one man she should stay away from... but can't.

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Published by: Jaye Patrick on Dec 29, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/03/2010

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Bleak Town1
 
Bleak Town Bleak Town Bleak Town Bleak Town 
Copyright: © 2009 Jaye Patrick 
J  
arik opened her eyes to darkness. Night, thick and sinister surrounded her. An echoin her mind of... something, an unfamiliar voice, confused her.
 Blech.
She felt…
awful
, all achy and tired and plain…
blech
.She slowly sat up, winced and pressed a hand to her left side. Jarik turned, put herback to the alley wall and leaned her head against soot-stained bricks of an alley. Adark, narrow alley, rank with the acrid stench of piss and shit and rotting garbage. Herstomach rebelled and she suppressed the nausea.At the end of the alley, rats squeaked with hunger, paper rustled in the light,stinking breeze and traffic, a quiet hush, sounded too far away for her comfort. Jarik shuddered.Someone was responsible for her being here. Jarik leaned forward and rested herforehead against her knees, closed her eyes. She winced again at the jab of pain, at thestretch of abused skin and muscles just below her ribs.
 
Bleak Town2
Think!
She ordered the confusion to clear.
Why am I in an alley, all messed up?What…
happened?
Greller.
The name echoed in her mind, followed by images. A tall, gelatinous-skinned alien. Green, multi-limbed, with scared/furious, pupil-less black eyes, three of them set in a triangle on a narrow, mucus-dripping face. Shouting, pleading, demandsand threats – hers, his – then pain and nothing.She’d had no chance against the Rocknar. Eight highly flexible, octopus-likeappendages against her four.
 Not a fair fight, and then he…
Her eyes opened and she looked around. He’d
stung
her. With his long, nearprehensile tongue. Lashed out, like a lizard tasting food. She raised a hand to her rightcheek, touched her fingers to her flesh. The skin felt hot, swollen and tight. Herfingers brushed over the tiny barb in the middle of her cheek and she used herfingernails to pluck it out.Warmth dribbled down the hot skin. She pressed two fingers on either side of thehole and more fluid oozed out. Hopefully, the thin stream of blood was mixed withpoison.“Make that nine appendages.” She muttered and pushed to her feet, used the wallfor balance as the world swirled before her.Jarik drew out a small, clear packet from the pouch on her belt, tucked the barbinto it. He’d made a fatal mistake in stinging her.Greller was dead meat, a walking corpse, food for worms when she caught up withhim. She’d damn well chop him up for sushi! Using personal poison against an officerof the law was a guaranteed trip to a death chamber.Too many aliens had come to Earth in search for sanctuary. Most of those alienswere wanted on their own worlds for a variety of crimes, but some were legitimatemigrants. Earth, too assured of its isolation and solitary status in the universe,suddenly found itself frequently invaded by a multitude of species. Panic, hysteria,punitive laws quickly enacted followed.
 
Bleak Town3Each country resolved to deal with the problem in their own way; some evictedthem, some eradicated them, some captured them for study and some simply took them in as an act of humanitarianism. The stupid freks.Fifty years later and Bridge City was still dealing with that carte blanche offer of sanctuary. To keep the population under control, the Police and Public Safety officerswere given the job of enforcing penalties. Jarik could arrest villains and take them inand let the courts exercise draconian punishment, or – if the crime was heinousenough – she could take them out with extreme prejudice. Greller deserved the latter.Jarik staggered to the mouth of the alley and tried to shake off the dizziness. Notmuch traffic around and even fewer people - none of whom would look sideways tohelp a cop. Old, mud stained buildings with their windows missing overlooked adebris strewn street. Busted street lights, dented garbage cans, burned out cars, graffitiwrit large in luminescent paint on anything stationary.Uh oh, she was in trouble. She was
inside
the border of Bleak Town, where thepoor, the drugged, the lawless and despairing lived; where murderous gangs ruled andoutsiders might as well have ‘victim here’ tattooed on their foreheads.
 No one
camehere without permission, and she was pretty sure she didn’t have it. And since shedidn’t have permission, that also meant her vehicle was parked at the perimeter – withall the gear she needed.A wave of light-headedness washed over her and she shut her eyes until it passed,pressed her hand against the grimy wall to keep herself upright. When the stomach-churning spinning slowed to a stop, she felt brief tap on her thigh.“Wha...t?” She mumbled and looked down at the child-like, brown-skinned andbrown-eyed Pixitar. The small alien bore a striking resemblance to the pixies of Celticlegend, and their personalities were as capricious as those creatures in the old folk tales.“Missus need help?” Fingers continued to stroke her jean-clad thigh with sucker-tipped fingers.“You see a Rocknar come out of here?”The Pixitar nodded. “Skank run like appendages on fire.”

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