Monday, January 11, 2016
August 22, early
Dramok Resan. Asshole. Motherfucker. Stupid piece of shit that should be given to Tragooms except Tragooms deserve better.
I’d say I hate the man, but hate is such a mild word. Hate doesn’t begin to cover it. Not in the least.
If I didn’t have so much to fear in this universe, I’d be done with him. I’m in pretty good health now, all things considering. There is no need for physical therapy anymore, which is one of the duties Resan performs on the ship. But no, I have a crazed psychopathic stalker coming after me and Anrel. I have to be the universe’s biggest trouble magnet, attracting every evil creature in existence. So I need to train for absolute fitness. And of course the man who is the top trainer on this ship, the man who Oses says must be my trainer is Dramok Resan.
Our hatred is mutual. There is one thing and one thing only that we agree on: our abhorrence of each other has no real reason behind it. It’s just one of those things. You know how when you despise someone, the least little irritation that you’d laugh off from anyone else gets blown all out of proportion? It can be just the tiniest little insignificant quirk, but when it comes to that one person you can’t stand, it’s apocalyptic. That is Resan for me, and me for Resan. We can’t look at each other without disgust curling our lips. We go out of our way to drive each other into madness. It turns out Resan is a lot more skilled at assholery than I am. I guess that’s a good thing since I don’t want to be a jerk in general. But it would be nice to out-asshole him once in awhile. It would be awesome to make him shut up just once.
Today was not the day that happened. The son of a bitch won another round. Just thinking about it makes me want to take his head off.
Physical training always starts off with a run. I’m up to half a mile now, typically running routes through corridors. Candy and Katrina were with me as usual, and running slightly better than me as usual. Katrina has always kept herself fit and trim. She’s that awful breed of person that is a born athlete, I believe. Candy and I are younger, but we’d both recently recovered from being infected by a hostile organism and massive doses of poison. Plus I’d had Anrel. We go a little slower, me particularly so.
We were on our run this morning, huffing and puffing our way around the ship. Betra was taking care of Anrel, so I was able to concentrate on the workouts that were coming. Or I would have been, except Resan jogged along behind us. Insults as usual were the order of the day, taking me out of what might have otherwise been an invigorating exercise and turning it into torture.
“Earthers are so weak. What a waste of skin. Is this the best you weaklings can do? Shalia, if you go any slower I’m going to run over you. Pick your feet up! This isn’t a sightseeing tour!”
It certainly wasn’t his best insulting, but imagine this monologue going on the ENTIRE RUN. Nonstop. He ran right behind me, practically snarling in my ear, telling me I wasted his time, I was lazy, I was worthless, I was ... well, pick your most demeaning term. Meanwhile I’ve learned to not hold back in my efforts. I paced myself because I was determined to make the entire distance. Sweet prophets, the hell Resan would have given me if I couldn’t finish the distance he’d assigned for the day. But I can say with no second thoughts whatsoever that I worked hard.
I wanted to be strong. I saw big changes in my body at long last. The pooch of my post-pregnancy belly was melting away. I was developing toned muscles where I’d never had them even at my healthiest. Exercise was a kind of drug once I had gotten past how much I hated doing it. Now I looked forward to making my body move, to seeing it firm up and get stronger. I might have even enjoyed the actual work if it wasn’t for the hateful creature who was in charge of making me fit.
“Why don’t you just give up? You’re never going to amount to anything. This is a waste of everyone’s time and energy.”
I enjoyed visions of my fist punching that blathering mouth and kept going.
Today’s route took us through the ship’s central area. The promenade is a large circular space. In the center is a fantastic hologram of the star system that makes up the Kalquorian Empire. Shops and clubs line the walkway for use of the crew and passengers.
Knowing Resan the way I do, I kept my eyes on Candy’s back as I jogged around the floating sun and the planets that orbited it. I didn’t look at the pretty hologram, a constant reminder to the crew of what greater good they worked for. I didn’t look at the people we passed and I didn’t acknowledge calls of hello or encouragement. I didn’t look at the stores that carried mostly goods for Kalquorian men, though a few things were there for us Earther girls too. I didn’t look in the direction of our now-finished dance club that would celebrate its opening tonight. I most especially didn’t look at the black door of the pleasure club that sat next door to it.
I focused on giving Resan as little ammo to attack me with, not that he ever needed any. Which he abruptly proved in a new, humiliating twist.
I damned near jumped out of my skin when his voice blared as loud as an announcer with a microphone. “Move it, Shalia Monroe! Look at the little Earther princess, trying to run!”
Now I looked around. It was the start of day shift, and the night shift was taking care of errands as they came off work. That meant there was plenty of the Kalquorian crew moving about. Of course Resan’s amplified carnival barker voice got their attention.
I heard snickers and saw amused grins all around as Resan kept running that mouth of his. “Look at this pathetic creature. Lusgo worms move faster than her! I walk faster than you run, Tragoom meat!”
I located the big hateful jerk, who had moved from behind me to trot along a few feet to my right. At least he had to do that much, not walking as he claimed. Still, it was a slow trot for Resan’s long legs.
I guess if my vision wasn’t so blurred by hatred I’d think him attractive. Instead, I like to pick out his physical shortcomings. His eyes are too big and round. His nose a bit too pointy. I’ve seen handsomer.
He spoke into a silvery square box as he stared directly at me. Yep, a voice amplifier. Son of a bitch.
“Shalia Monroe, slowest woman in the universe. My grandmother, may she live forever, runs faster than you.”
I rolled my eyes. “In her best gown,” I added with him. Resan must have been running out of insults because he was starting to repeat himself.
It was still embarrassing. My face was hot and not from exertion. My stomach did a slow, sick roll the way it always did when I was put down in front of others. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I felt the urge to cry as Resan continued to ridicule me in front of so many people, braying it loud and echoing throughout the promenade.
This was the kind of thing that excited Betra? This horrible humiliation that made me feel small and insignificant? Pathetic? I would never judge my Imdiko lover for his urges, but I sure didn’t get it. Not one bit.
I didn’t cry. I didn’t react. I grimly kept running. We finally left the ship’s center to finish our run in Resan’s training room.
We got there, us three women gasping for air. My legs shook as I went up to the stack of hourglass shaped grav-bells. I selected one and dialed it to ten pounds. Candy and Katrina walked to opposite ends of the room, walking off the tightness in their muscles after the run. The mirror in front of me showed Resan swaggering up from behind me. He still held the voice amplifier.
I turned, pivoting on the ball of one foot, my arm arcing around. I released the grav-bell, aiming it for Resan’s chest. He’s too damned tall for me to have gone for his head.
Those big eyes of his widened even more as he jerked to one side to avoid getting hit. I dashed forward while he dodged the grav-bell. I aimed a kick at the hand holding the amplifier. Direct hit. Oses would have been proud to see me execute his training so well.
The little silver box dropped from Resan’s hand and landed on the floor. I stomped it and felt it give way under my running shoe with a satisfying crunch. I glared into Resan’s stunned face.
“If you ever pull a stunt like that again, next time it will be your mouth that gets smashed,” I snarled. “Don’t you ever humiliate me like that.”
“Oh, was the little princess embarrassed? Were her feelings hurt?” Resan sneered, recovering from his surprise in a hurry.
An all-too familiar scent wafted from him. I couldn’t believe it. I checked the crotch of his pants. Oh hell no. They were tenting. The bastard was getting aroused.
It was my turn to be shocked. “You disgusting piece of garbage,” I gasped, stepping back.
He shrugged, not worried about it in the least. “Your disgrace is my delight. Deal with it.” He grinned. “Now that I know how much you hate being humbled in front of others, I’ll be using it at every opportunity.”
With that, he threw down the gauntlet. For the next few minutes, Resan and I screamed obscenities at each other. Usually we don’t reach that point until the end of the training session. Threats of bodily harm were traded. We ranted and raged.
While we were at it, we got to work. I have become quite the multi-tasker when it comes to training and cursing at once. I noted Resan kept a close eye when I used weights that were light enough to toss his way. Ha! At least I’d given him something to think about.
Candy worked doggedly as she always does, letting Resan’s occasional tirades in her direction spur her into doing more. Katrina rolled her eyes at his attempts to put her down, laughed at him, and even once outright yawned in his face as if he bored her. It was their usual.
Since I was the only one he got a rise out of, he focused most of the abuse on me. That was fine. I looked for a valid excuse to go for bodily harm. Unfortunately my one chance at surprise had been used. I had no hope of going toe-to-toe with a battle-tested Dramok used to training brutal Nobeks.
Resan kept pushing, going so far as to keep me longer than Candy and Katrina. He said I owed him for throwing his equipment at him and missing. “Pathetic display,” he snorted. “A Nobek in his first year of training camp would have hit me.”
But I’d seen the instant of surprise on his face. I’d scored against him for once. I think that was what really made him mad.
I trained an extra half hour until I couldn’t lift even one pound any longer. Yet he kept dogging me. “Where do you think you’re going?” he demanded as I put equipment away and wiped it down.
“To see my baby. I’m done.” My voice was ragged after all the screaming.
“I didn’t say you’re done. But it’s what I expected. You’re a quitter.”
“Fuck you.” I turned to the door.
“Not in your wildest fantasies, Earther.” Resan moved fast to stand by the door so I’d have to pass by him on my way out. “But I’ll be glad to make you cry in front of everyone else next time. It will give me something to think about during my ... alone time.”
He stroked the crotch of his shorts as he said that, smiling in that hateful way of his. I swear, if I had been able to make it happen I would have yanked both his cocks off and crammed them down his throat.
Instead I stormed out. Instead of going to my quarters, I went to see Oses.
I am not a tattletale. First of all, I asked to be trained like any Nobek would be. Being belittled by my instructors is part of that. ‘Tear you down, build you back up stronger. Make you mad to prove us wrong,’ is the reasoning. However I thought Resan had gone too far this time. Never mind the innuendo turned my stomach on a purely visceral level. Resan might have the right to humiliate me, but he was NOT going to talk to me in a sexual way. Even though I knew I did no more for him than he did for me.
My timing couldn’t have been better. Early morning shift means Weapons Subcommander Ebnad is on the bridge while Oses goes over the night shift’s reports in his office. Oses sat at his desk as I swooped in.
I was flattered that he put his computer on pause the moment I set foot in the room. The floating monitor winked out, and he folded his arms on top of his large desk and nodded to the chair in front of it. “Door closed,” he ordered. His eyes riveted on me, giving me his undivided attention.
I flung myself in the chair, too worked up to enjoy sitting after my brutal workout. I raked my fingers through sweat-soaked hair, not caring the mess I looked like. Oses has seen me worse.
“Resan?” he guessed.
I blew out a breath. “Look, I don’t want you taking up for me without good cause. It diminishes me in his eyes – ha! As if he could think any worse of me. But there have to be some limits set on certain things.”
Oses’ controlled expression darkened. “Explain.”
I told him about the whole issue with Resan embarrassing me on the promenade, me flinging a weight at him, and then him later touching himself in a sensual manner with the promise he’d be thinking of me. “I hate the humiliation he put me through, but I know that’s not a big deal to you guys. I’m not bitching about that. However, that business of him being lewd—”
“Out of bounds,” Oses said. He shook his head. “We have certain punishments when it comes to training Nobeks. Some include sexual debasement, which I already told Resan would not be tolerated with you women.”
“He didn’t get the message,” I said.
“He may have thought it only meant he couldn’t touch you in that way. Not that he wants to. He’s made that abundantly clear.”
“Good. I’d rather fuck an Ofetuchan than that asshole.”
Oses sighed. “I’ll talk to Resan and make sure he knows sexual anything is off limits, including speech. He needs to be tough with you, but I won’t have you feeling insecure in that manner.”
I couldn’t help but plead a little. “Oses, let someone else train me. I can work hard without that bastard.”
He considered for a moment before shaking his head. “Resan is too well versed in Earther anatomy and abilities. He had to be in order to train others for fighting during the war. He is the best, Shalia.”
I slouched in the chair, dispirited to know I wasn’t going to get out of working with my hated enemy. “If I didn’t feel like I needed this training so bad...”
“It’s because you need it that I won’t shortchange you by giving you someone less than our finest.” Oses smirked. “I would have paid a year’s wages to see his face when you threw the grav-bell at him.”
I grinned back. “It’s worth the hell he’s putting me through in retaliation. I hope I get another chance to scare him.”
Oses narrowed his eyes. “Next time, you’d better hit your target. I’m not training you in combat techniques for you to miss your enemy when you get the chance to strike. If you hadn’t scored the kick, I’d punish you.”
I looked forward to my next lesson with Oses. We had moved beyond self defense. Real fighting skills were being taught now. Between that and knife training with Nobek Idow, I’d found enjoyment to counteract the misery of Resan’s work. Well, almost.
I sighed. “I hate him so much.”
“Use that hatred to prove him wrong. Make it your tool. You’ll need it now that you’ve given him something to use against you.”
“What, the humiliation? Damn Oses, even Betra would have wanted to crawl into a hole and hide from that level of debasement.” I shriveled a little inside. Being called down so loudly in front of everyone had hurt more than I wanted to admit to myself. Resan had found my weakness.
Perhaps Oses saw that. He switched the subject to nicer things. “Are you ready for the club opening tonight?”
My heart lifted to think of it. “Dance the night away like I don’t have a care in the world? You’d better believe it.”
“Who’s keeping Anrel?”
“Tep and Megan.”
Oses frowned. “I thought his clan was seeing Sonia?”
“That was last week. I wear a pair of panties longer than Sonia sticks to a man or a clan.”
Oses shook his head. “I used to know everything that happened on this ship. With you women, things move too fast.”
“Yeah, having freedom to enjoy sex after so many years of repression is turning us into bunnies. Almost every woman on the ship is a bit of a sex maniac now.”
Oses smiled at me. “You are one of the very few who doesn’t switch partners every few days.”
I wiggled my brows at him. “When a girl finds perfection, she sticks with it.”
He snorted, as if to say he wasn’t buying the flattery. “I’m surprised you found anyone to keep Anrel. Everyone has been talking about the club opening for weeks.”
“It’s not big enough for everyone to go at once, especially since a lot of the women attending tonight are bringing guests. Megan drew lots to get in tomorrow night. She volunteered to keep Anrel for me for the grand opening.”
“So Tep jumped at the chance to help watch her since his clan is currently romancing Megan.”
“He says he’s in baby withdrawal. And it’s only been a day since Anrel was released from Medical.” I chuckled. “Megan accused Anrel of being ‘the other woman’. All in fun, of course.”
We had a few more minutes of chitchat. I was aware Oses had work to do, so I soon excused myself. I was in a much better mood than when I’d shown up ranting at his door. I was free of Resan for the rest of the day and I had a fun night ahead of me.
The best revenge on Dramok Jerkface Resan is to enjoy myself despite his bullshit. I will make it my mission to have a wonderful dance club grand opening.