His name was Mr. Sunshine. One of the better known, and as properly feared, members of Pax Humanis. He had been working on a station for some time now when he meets a member of a fluffy, bipedal, cat-like species. They were frequent visitors to this station because it was one of the regular trade stops along their delivery route. They delivered medical supplies and mail, mostly. And, occasionally, carried passengers. One young female of the species meets the cat-loving Mr. Sunshine not knowing he's a dangerous man, not knowing much of Pax Humanis, all she knows he is human and she had wanted to learn about a race she'd only heard bits and pieces about from her elders. She was a grown cat, dangit! But she doesn't really understand what she becomes for him, in her own feline ways, until another human, loud and crude, tries to drag her away. -- Anon Guest
Despite being an Uplift, Lil had never seen a Human in the flesh before. She had been taken from the Nufurria creches as a baby and fostered out to a loving family of more... natural felinoids. They'd helped support her extra medical necessities and raised her to be a functioning cogniscent in Galactic Society. Until that moment, she had never met her maker species, and her parents had worried about that.
Lil did some checks on her personal psych-eval app to make sure this wasn't some remnant of genengineered subservience and was relieved when she came up clear. Good. She didn't need an escort, but apparently the Human in the nice, neat sweatervest did. There was warning tape around him that blared, Caution! Deathworlder! in huge letters and rather urgent colours. Silver, black, yellow and red. Lil couldn't see what was so dangerous about a Human at an easel. He looked... perfectly at peace.
According to Lil's data-reader, he was an average Human male. Average height, average build, average colouration. She crept up to look over his shoulder, outside of the caution tape and bollards, of course. He was painting a portrait of a worn and weary Skitty who just happened to be lounging on a mossy pillow in a simulated sunbeam. This Human's picture was comparatively idyllic. The mossy pillow plant had become a grassy meadow dappled with sun and spotted with flowers. The old, battered Skitty was still old and battered, but his wounds and scars were somehow more noble. The coat was glossier in the portrait than it was on the cat.
"You should read my vest," said the Human painter. "Most people leave me alone after they do that." The vest had stitching on his back that said, Pax Humanis Enforcer in large, friendly letters.
Lil, who had a sheltered life, said, "What's Pax Humanis?"
The Human stopped painting to stare at her. There was something about his eyes... something Lil didn't understand, but felt just that tiny bit afraid of. "It's a group of people who help maintain Galactic Laws," he said. "When people think they can ignore the law, and ignore it loudly... people like me step in and make sure that they aren't ignored. It can get very messy." He was calm and factual, and more than a little chilling, but somehow...
Somehow Lil knew he was harmless. "I didn't mean to interrupt your painting," she apologised. "It's beautiful."
"Thank you. You weren't interrupting. I think this one is done." He considered the piece for a moment, tapping a paint-stained finger on his chin. "Yes. Now you, Miss...?"
"Lil. Short for Lilcoon, but my parentals aren't fond of it. They keep suggesting better names."
Sigh. "Yeah, it's kind'a obvious. Nufurria's one of those places you went to. It's full of some real bad sorts. So I heard."
"I was not recruited for Nufurria," he said. "My name is Mr Soon-sheen-eh. People tend to read it incorrectly. I am pleased to make your acquaintance, Miss Lilcoon."
Now she saw the plain, everyday suitcase with the name on it. "Oh. I could see how that would happen."
They got to chatting, about Lil's upcoming surgeries to turn her clawed hands into something far more dexterous, about places Mr Sunshine had been and how nice the station cats were, when he had an opportunity to befriend them. "I like cats," he said. "With patience and understanding, they are not nearly aloof as many say they are. You just have to be willing to be still... and have a lot of chicken."
Lil laughed, right up until some drunk grabbed her. They stank horribly of too much booze and slurred, "Hey, pussy, you got some for me? 'Course you got some f'r me." They dragged her backwards, away from Mr Sunshine.
Several things happened at once. Security people started talking into their comms. Mr Sunshine dropped his brush and leaped over the hazard tape. As soon as his feet hit the other side... Mr Sunshine was not very sunshiny any more.
He was something... menacing.
Lil remembered that she had claws and raked at her attacker, hand and foot. She tried to bite. Tried to struggle. The drunk stuck their tongue in her ear, like they were trying to groom her.
Then the world flipped around and Lil landed on hands and peets. Free. Struggling to catch her breath. Trying to regain a sense of where she was. Mr Sunshine was dusting off his hands and telling the swarming Security people that there was no lasting harm. The drunk was on the floor, trying to breathe. They were making panicked 'wheep' noises with every struggle to intake breath.
Someone wrapped her in a warming blanket and carefully escorted her to the nearest Medik junction. Warmth and a soft space and -yes- chicken helped. She still worried over Mr Sunshine.
"Is he safe? Is he okay?"
"Miss... Lil. Mr Sunshine is, possibly, the safest cogniscent on board this station. In fact, he is also the most dangerous."
The meaning of 'psychopath' was explained to her with careful voices and gentle tones. Mr Sunshine wasn't evil, they said, he just had a debilitating disconnection between himself and regular emotion. People with his affliction saw nothing wrong with violence as a solution to people who were... bad. Death being the ultimate solution. It had taken years of therapy and training to get him to accept that not killing people was also a viable solution.
Mr Sunshine was, at that moment, delivering a calm, reasoned, and logical deposition to the Security forces who had failed to spot a drunk, Human Nufurrian as a threat. "I could have broken his nose and driven the bone shards into his brain casing, perforating some important arteries," he said. "I could have brought both hands quickly over their ears, killing them instantly with the concussion. I could have stabbed them through the rib cage with the back of my paintbrush. I chose the more peaceful option of knocking the wind out of them." He took a sip of his beverage. "Please inform Miss Lilcoon that she can press charges against him, and any charges against her are outweighed by their greater offense. She was, after all, only reacting defensively."
The most dangerous cogniscent on the station took another sip. "I understand this is grounds to have me expelled back into Sanctuary space. However, I do hope that someone takes care with my painting. I rather like that one."
[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / Dimcha]
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