Many thanks once again to Jeff for a great piece of art for Aramis. Go check out his page
I aint no angelThe Heart of an Outlaw
Don't got no halo
I cut off my wings
Made my momma scream
I'm your darkest dream
They call me Devil
My heart is empty
They call me Devil
Just try and tempt me
I'll steal your soul
I'll eat you whole
Aint no other way
They call me Devil
And you should be afraid
I will tell you lies
I'll crawl inside your mind
Grab hold of your eyes
I will make you mine
And Im gonna take my time
Call Me Devil
Friends in Tokyo
Two attractive woman came round the edge of the bar, bottles in hand and in mid-conversation.
"...from what I've seen, Aramis doesn't care about money." The woman speaking possessed fiery red hair and could be considered a very handsome woman for one approaching those middle years. Shapely curves announced her well in advance, but it was her 'marked' sex appeal which kept those well-earned stares.
...he says he doesn't care about anything. But he does..." Came the response for the brunette. While not as well put together as the first, her flowing raven locks coupled with pale blue eyes, gave her the tools needed to stop a man dead in his tracks. "...it's just no telling what it's going to be."
"Let me tell you about your handsome friend, Aramis." The brunette began as she lifted the bottle and gave each a stiff pour. "Me and him, Duece...a few others...did a little flying a few years back..."
The redhead, taking the glass, stopped the her mid-sentence. "Wait. You were a 'Wild Card'?"
Lifting the glass, the brunette gave toast. "No LZ Too Hot. No Mission Too Dangerous. That was us." Giving the drink a quick lift, she drained the glass and refilled. "...anyways, most of us were contractors. Didn't believe in the War between Fondor and the Empire. It was just business. And, well...business was good."
Offering the redhead another pour, she continued. "We were flying around a lot. As you have to when you're in that line of work...then that Fort AmberCon thing happened."
"The Battle of Fort AmberCon. I've heard of it. It was the Confederacy's first victory against the Empire, wasn't it?"
"Guess that depends on who you ask. Aramis...well, he never spoke much of it. Hid his distaste for it behind those gorgeous eyes of his and that Devil-may-care smile."
"Wait," the redhead began, "...did you sleep with him?"
Laughing, the brunette nodded as she downed her drink. "Well...he was charming...and handsome...and it was wartime. So that stuff is ok."
The smiling redhead took the bottle and poured them both another. "Ok...go on."
"Well somewhere along the line, the Brass decided we needed new recruits. Engineers, troopers, Techs, the like. And one of the new recruits happened to be this little tiny Chandra-fan." Downing the liquid, she continued as her companion filled the glass. "No one could understand a damn thing it said. We didn't even have a protocol unit to translate...so we let it be. However, the damn thing had a fascination with ship drives and began working on any ship it could get its little mitts...claws...whatever it has...on."
"Well at first, we objected...but that little bat creature had a true gift. It was like it could speak to the engines. Well...this of course, led to many of the pilots to feeding it chocolates and other sweets to entice it to work on their ships. That is...all except Aramis. He had just won an old Imperial light freighter captured during one of the raids in a game of cards. Really more of a VIP shuttle then anything useful. Also the damn thing had a learning curve like you couldn't believe."
"Anyway," she began as she downed another shot, "...Aramis loved that ship. Spend every waking moment and downtime working on it. Wouldn't let anyone near it. That is till the little Chandra-fan found her way inside."
"I've never seen a man so angry. He was furious. Literally and verbally took her to the woodshed." The brunette began laughing. "Well that little thing just 'peeped' and 'squeeked' right back. It was funny watching the both of them waving their hands about furious at one other."
"Turns out the little thing figured out what was wrong with the ship and had fixed it. I've never seen Aramis at a loss for words. He just stood there looking at the ship then the Chandra-fan...then back at the ship again. Till he finally nodded, and walked away."
"About this time, the Empire had decided that enough was enough and attacked the Base with the intent of sending every living one of us to whatever Hell we believed in. First run, was merely to soften us up - bunker bombs, daisy cutters, the like. That is...tell the troops moved in."
"All manner of Hell was breaking loose. Pilots trying to prep their ships, civilians running around in circles, and troopers trying to keep the enemy at bay." Looking at her glass, she shook her head. "Well, I wasn't alone thinking that we weren't going to make it."
"Somehow in the midst of all this chaos, that little Chandra-fan had managed to get tangled up with 'Old Double Deuce'...the meanest of the Wild Card pilots." Laughing out loud, she leaned back in her chair. "Well...Old Deuce...*laughs*
....he went flying head first into a pile of crates of rations and such."
The redhead looked at her with a curious smile. "What happened?"
"Well Deuce was pretty angry when he jumped up...and being Deuce....he shot the Chandra-fan." Shaking her forefinger, she continued the story. "Didn't kill it though."
"Before you know it...Aramis was there kneeling beside the little creature. His face had gone all strange...saying that we should hurry up and evacuate any civilians that we could. Said he would stay behind with the Chandra-fan and they we should just go on without him."
"I thought he was kidding...but he wasn't. And there was Old Deuce...ready to kill them both." Looking to her companion, the brunette laughed. "And all this...with the Empire busting down the front doors."
"Well another blast came and blew a gas line in the hanger pretty much destroying all the shuttles. And a stray blaster round took out Old Deuce."
"Aramis...as calm as a man about to go sit for Sunday dinner...picked up the little Chandra-fan and told me to follow. Putting her inside his ship, he told me to get in and pilot the ship to the Blue Ridge...and there find a safe way off this planet."
"I asked him what the hell he was going to do." Looking into the liquid, she shook her head. "He just smiled at me and said he was going to buy us as much time as possible."
"I never thought of him that way. You know - a hero. He just gave me a wink and closed the shuttle door."
There was a little bit of silence as the brunette reflected upon the final moments of the Confederacy before she let out a steady breath. "Well I did what he asked and flew me and that Chandra-fan out of there."
"What happened to Aramis?" the redhead asked.
"Well he and another soldier - Napoleon - I believe were captured and taken to the North. There, they were left to rot in the Imperial War Camp - Fort Triune. But as I hear it...that little Chandra-fan waited on Fondor for an opportunity and eventually helped him escape."
Pouring one last drink, the brunette looked to her companion. "You want to know the funny thing?"
"Aramis never even like that damn Chandra-fan." Letting out a sigh, she smiled. "Just goes to show you...you never know what the Devil may care about."