Shipment by William Quinn

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SUMMARY: ~9000 words. It's about a Captain, his cat, and their shipment of something they really should have asked more about.

I tossed another one back, my fifth for the evening. My customer was already an hour late and showed no signs of being here anytime soon. That's one thing that really irks me. Its one thing to let me know you can't make it. It's another entirely when you just don't show. Oh well, what else could I expect from a customer?
I was contemplating buying another one, maybe trying a beer from planet Sipsa. I had heard they had a nice kick to them, with no consequences in the morning, although I'll believe that once I've tried it. I still say it sounds too good to be true.
I opened my mouth to get the waiters attention so I could order that beer when I caught a whiff of something rather enticing. My attention was drawn towards the entrance, and I'll admit it, I stared a little bit.
Standing just inside the doorway was a gorgeous woman who had to be from Nocta. Funny thing about Mother Nature, she exists on all worlds, and always works her will.
Nocturns, or what most people referred to as Nocturnals, (unless one is around,) are original Earth human stock. A few hundred years on a planet that only sees the sun around 2 hours out of every 28 will do interesting things to the human body. Their eyes closely resemble that of a cat. Their skin is quite pale, not that pasty color most people think of as pale, but more a devoid of pigment pale. Mother Nature also has a nasty sense of humor; the vast majority of Nocturns have red hair. Why red? I have no idea, except to say that's Mother Nature for you.
Either way, on the women, it makes for a devastatingly lovely combination, and I already have a soft spot for a cute face.

I must have had some points stocked up with Lady Luck, as the femme fatale's eyes swept the room they eventually settled in my direction. She then proceeded to stalk– not walk, towards me.
"Captain James York?" the words poured from her mouth like liquid chocolate, dark and sweet.
I nodded at her then motioned for her to sit across from me; my train of thought was delayed at the station.
"Rather simple name, but it suits you." She sat down, waved for the waiter, and then turned towards me. Her pouty lips curled upwards, I enjoyed the affect it had on me.
"I'm a rather simple man. How can I help you?" It was the best I could come up with, my brain was still struggling to overcome the information overload that was this lovely woman.
"I'm Faye D'mortua. We've been discussing shipment of a few items the past couple of days?"
That snapped things back into focus. As I said, if there is one thing that irks me, it's a person who can't be bothered to let me know they'll be a no-show or late. Pretty or not, I let her know exactly that.
"Please forgive me Captain York-"
"-James please."
"Forgive me James, I ran into some complications on the way and was unable to let you know I wouldn't be here on time." She was rather cute when distressed. My internal struggle to be irritated was quickly losing ground to that soft spot for a cute face.
"We can let that go for now. You said you had business you wished to discuss in person Miss D'mortua?"
"Yes." She seemed somewhat pensive.

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