QSFer O.E. Tearmann has a new queer cyberpunk short out in the Aces High, Jokers Wild series: “Bad Hand.”
Jump into this fun, spooky short with your favorite queer cyberpunk cast!
Tweak gets a nickname.
Naomi gets to lend a hand.
The Wildcards get a little more than they signed up for.
Maybe they’ll think before they pull pranks next time.
…or maybe not.
“You’re going to stain your bandages with the grease off those things,” Naomi observed dryly. Tweak glanced at her hand, where the long white bandage that swathed her arm from shoulder to fingers wrapped twice around the palm. She held it out proudly. “Nope. See? Billie b-bakes the chips. No grease. Amazing, and n-no grease. Best. Junk. Food. Ever.”
Naomi blinked. “Huh. She’s getting good.”
“Told you,” Tweak agreed. Turning off the ion wand, she checked the motion of the articulated joints. The first two fingers bent easily, but the next three were still a little sticky. She switched the ion wand back on.
Fifteen minutes later, the cleaning routine was done. Naomi’s bitching wasn’t.
“One of these days I’m going to get them back for these fricking pranks. I know it’s Day of the Dead tomorrow, but seriously. Shaving cream.”
“Dead? What’s dead?” Tweak asked, cocking her head. Naomi glanced at her.
“Oh yeah. You wouldn’t know, would you?”
“You could fix that.” Tweak retorted. Naomi shrugged. “It’s just an old holiday that hangs on out here. We celebrate people we lost, make a point of talking about them. Remembering together. People pull pranks and blame it on ghosts, people leave out old friends’ favorite stuff for their spirits if they haven’t made it to Heaven yet. Or Hell, I guess. It’s old enough that it’s all kind of messed up; people tell different stories depending on who you ask. There’s a holiday thing tomorrow night, you’ll see. Course if those two tell me ghosts did this, I’ll make them ghosts. Fucking shaving cream,” the munitions officer added under her breath as she slotted her arm back into its socket. She closed her eyes, double checking the reception between her neurons and the device. The arm rotated and flipped the middle finger. Naomi gave a cranky little smile. “My arm deserves to get some of its own back after what it’s gone through.”
Tweak tipped her head, waiting until Naomi was done talking. If it was that easy for her to get words out, she was sure she wouldn’t waste them on complaining and going in a circle about weird old holidays. She watched the black plastic fingers bend and twist. “True. So. Whatcha gonna do?”
Naomi sighed. “I don’t know, but it’s going to have to be good to get them back for fricking shaving cream. Seriously, a munitions specialist and a requisitions specialist. They about get killed by the Corps once a week, they kick ass on missions, and then they spend their free time like this? Why?”
“Cause they about get k-killed once a w-week. That’s what Aidan says.” Tweak shrugged. “You’re good. I got work. See you. Vids tonight.”
O.E. Tearmann lives in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, in what may become the Co-Wy Grid. They share the house with a brat in fur, a husband and a great many books. Their search engine history may garner them a call from the FBI one day. When they’re not living on base 1407 they advocate for a more equitable society and more sustainable agricultural practices, participate in sundry geekdom and do their best to walk their characters’ talk.