After everything she had seen—and considering everything she was—maybe she should have seen this coming. So LISA wasn’t just technological magic; it was magic magic.
That about figured. She should have seen it coming.
But who thought about eternal life? Not someone who was so routinely struck by lightning or shocked while walking by outlets. Electricity loved her. And LISA loved her, too. And maybe the magic would have worked differently with anyone else, with the soldiers it was created for, but Gwen would never know; she hadn’t let LISA out of her sight since bringing her home all those long years ago.
LISA regulated body temperature, and electrical impulse, and who knew how many other things. And—this was the killer part—it kept those systems running smooth and eternal. It was like time stopped when she put LISA on; she hadn’t aged a day.
And a lot of days had gone by.
Even the best of the best sometimes have off days. It’s not a statement on skill; it’s simply the law of averages.
Saffron was spending her off day in police custody. The worst part wasn’t getting caught; the worst part was here she was without her bounty. Getting caught was one thing; failure was simply unacceptable.
The guard had proved uncharmable, but she’d managed to get a key off him, anyway. The problem was making it out of the space station after she made it out of her cuffs.
“I think we can do business.”
Saffron looked up. One of the other prisoners, a woman with long, brown hair and ruby red lips, was watching her.
Saffron snorted. “I work alone.”
“Okay,” the woman said in a singsong voice, “but if you can get me out of these cuffs, I can get you off this ship.”
Saffron worked alone, but rules are made to be broken. It was the law of averages.
Saffron didn’t ask how her new friend caused a blackout on the ship, though the question was killing her. Asking questions created a balance of power, one not in her favor. It didn’t matter, though; they hopped a shuttle and were gone before the police could get the lights back on.
“Some trick,” Saffron said, hoping for a clue.
Her friend shrugged. “An oldie but a goodie. I’m Gwen.”
There was an honor among thieves; if they were men, they might have shook hands. Instead, their eyes lingered over one another for a long moment, and then they turned away, Saffron to the shuttle’s controls, Gwen to the window, staring out into the star-dotted sky.
“How far are we from anything?” Gwen asked.
Saffron sighed. Her prize was disappearing by miles, but it would be stupid to go back for it. Yet. “At least a day. Two to somewhere decent.”
Gwen let her fingers rest on the window. Her breath fogged up the glass.
“Two days,” she said. She looked around the shuttle. “What are we going to do for two days?”
Saffron arched an eyebrow, licked her lips. “I can think of a few things.”
“Chess?” Gwen said dully. “Tai chi.”
Saffron pouted. She wasn’t used to having her wiles ignored not once, but twice in one day. It was downright insulting.
A slow grin spread across Gwen’s face. “I’m just teasin’, cutie.” She smoothed Saffron’s hair away from her face. “I never did thank you for getting me out of those cuffs.”
Saffron pulled Gwen down for a kiss, the girl’s hair raining down around them both, tickling Saffron’s exposed skin. As their lips met, a frisson of static—an electric spark.