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The scarlet light hung diffused in the smoky air. All around, she could hear the hushed voices of her co-workers, each one finding their mark and working the game. Tonight, she was looking for something special. She crossed her legs and scanned the room. Her red dress came just above her knees, her legs bare and yet she didn’t feel very sexy tonight. She never did on night where she needed to make her mark. This night was no different.

From her perch at the bar she could see the entrance and kept one eye there always, but with the rest of her honed senses she listened, picking out pieces of conversation across the room. One client was busy discussing the finer points of political reign while slyly using every sexual pun he could find to seduce his mistress. She couldn’t help laughing quietly to herself, these girls didn’t need seducing, they were paid to give these men a good time. Some men would quietly take them to the back without another word, others needed to make a connection.

She sipped her red beverage as she waited.

“Hey there, Legs,” said a man sitting next to her. She stopped herself from rolling her eyes. She was not on call tonight. Tonight was different.

“Zoe,” she corrected him.

“Zoe,” he smiled. “What say we slip off to the back and get to know each other?”

“That’s not how it works here,” she smiled. “If you want me, you have to talk to Bear.”

“Aw, come on, Legs,” he pleaded.

“Zoe,” she corrected him, more sternly this time. “And I’m not on tonight. Go talk to Bear and make a different arrangement.”

The man scowled at her and left the bar in a huff. She smiled coyly to herself and waited.

When the door to the street opened she saw him. He entered the room and commanded power. There was no mistaking this was her mark tonight. She watched as Bear greeted him at the door. They chatted like old friends, money was exchanged and Bear pointed to her at the bar. Her mark tonight was the Speaker for the Council, Speaker Zimmerman, and he commanded respect everywhere he went, even here in the brothel. He strode toward her and she turned on her charm.

“Bear tells me you’re my girl if I am looking for a good time,” Zimmerman said.

“Bear would be right,” she smiled.

“He has a good eye for beauty,” Zimmerman replied.

“How about a drink, sir,” she said.

“No, thank you,” he brushed off the gesture. “I am much more interested in getting down to business.”

“Yes, sir,” she answered. She stood and led him through a door to the back and down a thin corridor to her quarters. She closed her door behind them and pressed her back against it as it swung shut. It was game time.

“How long do we have?” she asked.

“I have you all night,” he answered. “And I intend to take my time.”

“Good,” she smiled. He sat on the edge of her bed and began to take off his shoes.

“I wouldn’t do that, if I were you, sir,” she said.

“And why is that?” he thought she was playing.

“Because you are under arrest,” she produced a plasma riffle from behind her back and pointed it at his head. “By the order of the Fourth Council of the Celestial Syndicate you are wanted for crimes against humanity. I am to escort you to the Planet Uthel to stand trial before the Syndicate.”

“Do you have any idea who I am?” he asked standing. He was at least a head taller than she was and he towered over her, scowling. “I am the Speaker of the Council of Treiff. I can have you killed without lifting a finger.”

“You will come with me to Uthel to stand trial, or you will die,” she did not back down.

“And who are you to threaten me?” he asked.

“I am your keeper,” she answered and fired her weapon. Zimmerman slumped over in a heap and threatened her no more.

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