Milaya knew a user when she saw one. Someone who had been using Senna was easily to spot, if you knew the signs. And Milaya had plenty of practice. It was easy for her to simply glance across the room and see the man who had been smoking Senna. He was always the jumpy one, the flushed one, the reckless one. And of course, there was the tale-tell lust. And the effects lasted for a long, long time. That's why they called it Everlast.
The man that Milaya spotted in the smoky bar had obviously smoked too much Senna. He was practically on top of some girl, who seemed all too willing to have him. And he was looking around frantically, completely paranoid. Milaya wondered if had managed to get a hold of some distilled Senna. The liquid form of the drug was even more potent.
Milaya watched the man with only a little interest. Today, it wasn't her job to watch for, and catch the users. No, today was her day off. And goddamn it, she was going to have some fun.
She meandered her way through the crowd until she reached the bar. She grabbed a low stool and sat down. "What'cha want, Mil?" The alien bartender slid over.
Milaya grinned. This was supposed to be an all human bar, but somehow, that never seemed to work out. Even the management was breaking their own rules. But then again, Isi didn't look alien. The Rakish looked more like a skinny female, albeit with white hair. "Something sweet," she told Isi.
The alien nodded and pressed a few buttons. A gadget dispensed streams of colorful liquid into a tiny clear cup. "No money," Isi insisted and Milaya nodded. Off duty staffers never paid.
The drink was sweet and the sugar already gave Milaya a rush. Not to mention the caffeine. They didn't bother putting alcohol in drinks anymore. It was too expensive and the results were easy enough to obtain other ways. Alcohol was only for the rich commanders, not the type that frequented this seedy bar, anyways.
"Look at that!" Isi crooned, pointing a slender finger over Milaya's shoulder.
Milaya turned around and sighed. The Senna user was coming over to her. That was another way that Milaya could tell if someone had been using; they were always attracted to her.
"Hey baby," the man came over and practically sat on top of Milaya. He reeked of Senna. Definitely a user.
"Not interested," Milaya shrugged him off. She hoped he would leave her alone, she really didn't want to have to deal with this.
The man leaned in closer and pursed his lips. "You sure you don't want some of this?" He smelled like vomit and sweat.
Milaya was used to the advances of drunk or high men and gave him a shove away. "Why don't you go back to your baby over there?" She pointed out the woman that the man had left. "She seemed more than willing."
The man grunted and left, obviously sensing that he wasn't going to get anywhere with Milaya. Isi returned to the scene and laughed as Milaya explained what had happened. "When are you back on duty?" She asked.
Milaya checked the large timekeeper set into the wall behind Isi. "Another hour. I should probably go get changed."
Isi smirked. "What does Jarl want from you today?''
Technically, Milaya did the odd jobs around the bar. Sometimes she worked with Isi. Sometimes, she prepared food back in the kitchen. If there were important customers here, often from the Galactic Army, she served them. Milaya shrugged, "Not sure."
Isi nodded. "Then get," she grabbed the finished drink from Milaya's hand and shoved her away.
Milaya chuckled to herself as she walked away. She was used to pushing her way through the crowded bar. And it was always crowded. It was the only human bar on the space station. And most humans liked being surrounded exclusively by their own race.
Milaya never minded aliens. She found the humanoid Rakish fascinating. And the tiny Etil were adorable. But, aliens never hired human girls to work at their bars. It was an unspoken law.
Just as she was reaching the exit, a hand caught her arm. Milaya reached into her pocket, ready to spray the man with a paralyzing mist if he tried anything. But then, he turned to her and her breath caught. His face was marred with a multitude of scars that crisscrossed. It was truly hideous.
"What do you want?" She whispered.
The man grinned, a gruesome expression. "You. We need to talk, sweetheart."
Milaya felt her stomach clench and sprayed the man quickly in the face. There was a reason that no one, except users, bothered to come on to her. She was ready for them. Only, this man didn't look like a user. He wasn't rich or privileged enough to afford Everlast.
But already a crowd was forming. Milaya kicked at his frozen arm, and walked out the door, inhaling in relief as the air grew fresher.
AN:Hope you liked it!
by the way: I'm judging for La Campanella Awards (http://)campanella(.)overloaddd(.)com [minus () ] You should go check it out and nominate some good stories.