Meanwhile, at a Top Secret Government Organization…
Agent: “…and that, fortunately, was the moment the device overloaded and self-destructed. Division 6’s damage-control team was able to convince the public it was just a ignited leak from a gas line triggered by a malfunctioning industrial diesel generator.”
Chief: “Excellent; the last thing we could’ve been able to handle was that chemical getting to the water supply. Ah, our refreshments are ready. Thank you, Lav’der.”
Agent: “Hmph. I’ll pass. God knows what sort of… space goo… might’ve been slipped into the drinks by this… alien.”
Lav’der: “For the last time, sir, I am not an alien!”
Chief: Enough, agent! She may not share your seniority, but I will not have you addressing a fellow member of this organization so disrespectfully! Apologize to her at once!”
Agent: “She has antennae and a tail! And huge black eyes and no nose or ears! SHE IS AN ALIEN!”
Lav’der: “I WAS BORN IN OHIO, YOU IGNORANT PRICK!” -- ChaosWolf1982
"Oh, I'm sorry," said Agent Jankers. "Would you prefer I called you a Twitch? Or maybe a Coldback?"
Lav'der blushed green. "That language is inappropriate and inaccurate."
"Or maybe you prefer Greenie," said Jankers.
"And that's three write-ups. Jankers, You're piloting a desk and spending all your holiday time in Sensitivity Camp."
"Aw, Cap... I was just showing this humourless Binker--" Lav'der gasped and covered her mouth. "--how much worse she could have it. You both need to grow a pair and a sense of humour."
Captain Higgins sighed. "Bang. Zoom. To the Moon, Jankers." She got out a form and started filling it in. "Effective immediately. Pack your shit. Walk or get dragged, your choice."
Jankers chose to get dragged.
Two years later...
The people who put in the Civchip assured him that the scars would fade. They assured him of a lot of things. Including the fact that nobody would be rude enough to mention the raw scar by his frontal lobe. Not their fault. They weren't from around here and didn't know Humans.
Some of his older, slightly-reformed coworkers commented instantly. "Failed the course, huh?"
"What was your first hint?" snapped Jankers.
"Got'cha neutered, too? Where's the cone of shame?"
Jankers almost thought about using the N-word against Knight, but remembered in time that the Civchip enforced all forms of political correctness. Instead, he said, "Up your mama's butt with the rest of the neighbourhood."
The last three months on the moon base had been learning exactly how extensive the Civchip's limits on his vocabulary was. He couldn't even think of certain words without feeling a nasty shock to the 'nards. All Rethnaalian neuroscience, of course. All the Mods were. The perfect system for punishment and reform, all without leaving a single scar. Mental or physical.
Jankers could speak testimony about the punishment part. Every zap to his groinal area felt as real as if he were hooked up to a taser. Yet the actual flesh remained unharmed. His nuts may not actually experience the pain, but you couldn't tell Jankers that.
And to add insult to injury, Lav'der had been promoted in his absence and was sitting where his partner usually would. She stood and smiled and said, "Welcome back, Jankers. Glad to see you back."
Fucking Tw-- OW! Fucking Rethnaalian B-- OW! She was doing it on purpose. He knew it. He knew she was flaunting his new... augmentation. And the limits it set him.
"Still working through the mental vocabulary," she said. "That's why I got you this," and she reached under her desk for a garishly bright gift baggie emblazoned with the words, Feel Better Soon!
It was a dark-coloured pillow with a fold-out flap for his beleaguered junk. The tag declared it to be a Soova Pillow, and it came with an app for his phone.
"The Civchip only makes you think you feel pain, but if you really feel relief? It works."
He growled, "You're secretly enjoying this, aren't you?"
"Only because I know that the Civchip is used only in extreme cases where the patient is unreformable." She took a clearing breath. "I'm working on it. Rethnaalians can experience Schadenfreude, too. Now. There's some evidence for a Milt smuggling ring in the eastern docks of Savanna, Gorgia. You up for some sleuthing against the Skelrathi?"
"I guess," he grumbled, roughly shoving the Soova Pillow into his satchel.
Out of such crude clay, many a Buddy Movie has been made.
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