Sunday, January 30, 2005

Thirty; Jimmy Holmes

"What about Kira?" I asked.

"She's in danger too," said Axel who had been quiet until now.

"Open the door," said Bubbles, who fluttered her eyelashes at me.

"How'd this happen?" I asked, my hand going for the button that would open the door but not pressing it.

Four sets of eyes were fixed on me as Tex replied, "They took us by surprise, while we were waiting for Kira to return from her mission. It was over before we even knew what was happening. They stunned us and the next thing you know we're locked up down here."

"Stunned you?"

"Yes," replied Tex, "One of them comes down here once a day to fetch us food."

"Usually the one that looks like me," said Axel.

"Open the door," said Bubbles, fluttering her eyelashes again. I looked back at her and got the impression she'd undone the top button on her space suit, I was sure it had been done up a moment before.

"Why would they do this?" I asked, my finger hovering over the open button.

They gave me a collective shrug.

I still didn't press the button.

"Maybe I should talk to them?" I said, "I'm good with people."

Axel actually laughed, but it was Wrench who said, "Don't be a fool, they'll either kill you or lock you up in here with us."

"They killed Jax," said Tex.

I thought about that for a second, "You said, or rather the other you said, he ripped you off and jumped ship."

"Of course they said that," said Tex, "Do you really think they would have told you they killed him? And then offered you his old job?"

"Hang on," I said, "Kira knew about Jax, and she's been away."

"Just open the door Jimmy," said Bubbles, she had undone the top two buttons of her suit now. If no other reason than to see how far she'd go, I decided to keep the door closed for the moment. She had great...

"That's because," said Tex interrupting my thoughts, "that's what we thought, until we found his body."

I thought about this for a moment and snuck another peek at Bubbles cleavage.

"How do I know they’re not the real yous?"

"What?" they all asked at once.

"And that you’re not just pretending to be them so that I'll let you out?"

They exchanged worried glances.

"They could be the real yous, or rather thems, and you could be impostors pretending to be them." I thought about this for a moment then added, "And even if they’re not the real yous, how do I know that the real yous, which would be you, aren’t criminals or something, and need to be locked up, whether you’re you or they’re you? And even if they’re not you, you are, why should I care?"

"Because," said Bubbles, "eventually, they'll kill you and Kira too."

I looked at her. There was only one button still fastened on her suit, she really did have great...


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