Knox Pashaa: Chapter 5

The back wall of the cubicle office was a large window that overlooked a transit section of the station. Long lines of magnetic rails hummed quietly under blue lights behind reinforced glass. A train silently passed when Knox reached the threshold of the room. He was met by the targeted glances of three individuals.

A Human leaned against the clear wall in front of the passing windows deadpanned with a fashionably manicured beard and glasses, hands in the pockets of a green vest, his nose flared as he registered Knox’s presence. To the right of him sat a Stetti in a swivel chair hunched over a data tablet. She was slight and had on a bland corporate grey suit, white feathers on her head styled to one side slightly over her eyes, she looked up at Knox through her “hair.” Against the cubicle desk to the left, was another Mirrani, her dark green eyes and the white shirt under her trim black suit were the only contrasting shades from the general shape of disdain and shimmering darkness that was her being. Those green eyes met Knox like a spray of arrows.

Knox smiled through the volley.

“So, you showed up after all.” The first voice came from the Human, but Knox only gave him the barest of glances in his direction before turning back to the Mirrani woman.

“Hey, Shaina.” He said.

She pushed up from the desk with a smooth motion and took a few steps towards him. Stopping in front of Knox she put her hands in her pant pockets and looked slightly down at him.

“How about we skip the song n’ dance.” She spoke in a smooth cadence and motioned with a casual hand for him to sit in the unoccupied chair at the desk, near where she had been before. For the first time since he woke up this morning he was reminded of himself. A flash of uncertainty flashed across Knox as he shifted in his burgundy suit. He did as she said but as he crossed the room he composed himself, returning to the confidence he had been maintaining and took a seat, crossing his leg over his knee.

“What the hell, man?” The Human said, now standing up from the wall. “The point of us being on a team is that we work together on stories. Now you take this crap about a Fubari trade scandal to the editor?!”

Knox leaned back in his chair, not acknowledging the Human, but turned toward the Stetti and spoke to her instead.

“The problem with working for the intergalactic gossip community is that word travels faster than the elevators.”

“...Yeah…” said the Stetti. She had trouble keeping her eyes in one direction through her feathers.

The Human stepped between them, crowding Knox in on one side.

“Hey, jerkoff, I’m serious here.” he said.

“We all are.” Shaina crowded the other side of Knox.

“Y...Yeah.” said the Stetti from behind them.

Knox rubbed the back of his head. “Don’t worry, I put in a good word for you guys with the editor.”

“Oh I’m sure you put in a good word for us.” Said the Human.

“You’re a terrible liar.” said Shaina.

“Yeah!” said the Stett.

“Hey, you guys already got your piece. Higher tariffs, impacts everyone, it was a good spin story, I just went the extra mile and got the real jam. You gotta love a good scandal, and besides, the Trade Union will pay way more for secrets than positive spin.”

“You broke into an arms factory!” said the Human.

“I *walked* into the arms factory!”

“We did all the research and background work. You’d have nothing if it wasn’t for the team.” said Shaina.

“Quite unethical.” said the Stetti.

Knox balked. “Well, if you guys wanna get off my case, I might tell you about a fresh new lead.”

The Human and Shaina spoke in unison.

“What do you mean?”

Knox leaned back in his chair.

“Only a few precious moments ago, I caught a broadcast from one of the lesser monitors out in the pit. The heir to the Gordall lineage. His DNA turned up in a census on some remote world in the Fubari Royal Territory. We’re gonna find out if this guy is the real deal.”

By Jason Pratley

Jason Pratley joined the team sometime in 2013 when he created the concepts for the gods of ODR. He has since become the Writing Director and de facto loremaster for DDG. Check out some other stories and content at jvfpp.wordpress.com and goodevilcomic.com