The Ivory Dame Caper

Full-size photos at my Flickr stream

It had been a long day, a day in a string of days filled with lots of nothing. Business lately was flatter than a Martian flat cat; and brother, that’s flat. Even the weather was depressed; it had been spitting rain all day, the kind of rain that ate holes in ceramacrete here on Chania 3, nice and acid.  Anyway, I was sitting in my office, fighting the latest battle in the age-old war between income and expenses. As usual, the expenses were winning; I hadn’t seen a clipped credit in weeks.  I was already a month behind on the rent; the landlord was beginning to give me the fish eye and tap on the commlink on his belt every time he saw me, which was turning into every morning as I walked in the lobby.  I knew what that meant; he kept the name of his favorite bouncer on speed dial there, some critter big and blue and with six arms.  When that guy bounced you, you stayed bounced.

I was getting ready to give it up for the day, when there was a knock on the door.  A knock on the door meant one of two things:  the landlord’s bouncer, or a paying client.  Right at the moment, I couldn’t be fussy.  If it was the bouncer, he’d just rip the door off if I didn’t open it, and the landlord was in the right, anyway.  If it was a client, I might just make enough out of this to stave off Blue Boy’s advent.  I keyed the door….

…and knew that this case was probably gonna be worth big credits, and that I was in a whole lot of trouble from the get-go.

She was humanoid, and looked tall as the Dorfman Tower, the tallest building on the planet, though some of that was explained by the sky-high white heels she was clipping around in.  Even without the shoes, though, her legs looked like they’d go on forever.  They played peekaboo with me through the filmy panels of a silver skirt that was designed to look like it barely hung on to her hips, while staying as tight in place as the heat tiles on a planetary lander barge.  And the top that went with the skirt didn’t leave much more to the imagination; it was a pair of cups, one semi-sheer white silk and the other glittering with more diamonds than stars in a good-sized nebula.  It was held on by a couple of straps and a whole lot of positive thinking.  And she was covered in more jewelry on the more usual places, including a pair of silver epaulettes that rode over a royal-blue cape.  A matching hat and gloves made her look like something out of a movie from a thousand years ago or so.  And she was so pale of skin, she could have made a glass of cow’s milk like it was colored beige instead of white.  The pallor was emphasized by her makeup, heavy and colorful while still as in taste as a Silurian beefalo steak.

All of that said that she was worth money.  But so did the hulking security droid, complete with a blazer on its hip; if he was there, he was there for a reason, and the reason wouldn’t be good.

“I’m looking for Mr. Luke Rodenberg?” she said in a breathy voice, through a puff on her black cigarette.

“Uh…uh, yeah; that’s me,” I said, showing off the sparkling intelligence I’m so renowned for.

=====

Jem shook her head and screwed up her face as she read the draft story to this point, with my photos inserted.  I could hear a figurative needle scratching across an imaginary LP on a non-existant turntable.  At last, she said, “Woman…what have you been smoking?”

“Nothing stranger than usual,” I replied with a laugh.  “I just saw another way I could use these storyboard photos we shot.”

“It reads like something out of Raymond Chandler crossed with…Ray Bradbury, maybe?”

“No place near that level, I’m sure.  I’ve just been listening to a lot of Richard Diamond and Candy Matson recordings lately, and I figured I could use some of the photos in a sort of hard-boiled context in space.”

Jem gave me a Look.  “Hard-boiled space opera?”

“Well, good grief, haven’t you ever looked at Cowboy Bebop?”

“Okay, okay….  So, am I gonna be the Nice Lady, the Big Bad, or the Big Bad’s Moll?  Or am I gonna double-cross everyone and stick ’em all in the back?”

I laughed.  “You’ll just have to wait and see.”

=====

The details:

Jem (as “The Ivory Dame”) —

  • Head: Akeruka Monika 2.5
  • Body: Maitreya Mesh Lara V3.5
  • Skin: Fallen Gods Pure Ivory
  • Eyes: IKON Sunrise Eyes (Pale Steel Blue)
  • Hands and feet: SLink Avatar Enhancement hands (2.5) and feet (1.2.4)
  • Hair: booN Lab.037
  • Gown: Utopia Valerie (applier tattoo level, silver), combined with mesh elements from Valerie and Utopia Astrid
  • Shoes: Renegade Athena (White)
  • Accessories: Sascha’s Designs Waterfall cape and hat (Royal Blue) ; Chop Zuey Splendor Falls cuff and earrings, Miss Virtual World Majesty ring (diamonds and sapphires), Romance in F ring (blue), Hospitable Snowflakes ring, Angel’s Sky silver ring, and Feu Follet clutch purse (blue); GizzA Epaulets V2 [Blue-Silver); aisling Simple Bindi; cigarette in holder, by kunst
  • Makeup:
    • Eyeshadow: Zibska Mired eyeshadow
    • Zibska Innes lipstick
    • Akeruka HUD blush (blue)
    • FATElashes v2.0

Conan (as “The Private Eye”) —

  • Skin: Swallow Daniel Peach (brown) (Yeah, he hasn’t caught up with Jem and I yet, but he’s promising to find a mesh head soon)
  • Eyes: IKON Odyssey eyes (Midnight)
  • Hair: Argrace Peyton (Ash Black)
  • Attachments: SLink Avatar Enhancement
  • Suit: Guarded Cross tailored suit (MODERNS)
  • Shoes: hoorenbeek Chelsea (Suede)
  • Jewelry: Chop Zuey Men’s Bracelet (past free gift)
  • Beard: T A I L O R E D ::: Facial Hair – Stubble V1

Jem (as herself) —

  • Skin: Akeruka Tone 5
  • Eyes: IKON Sovereign Eyes (Passion)
  • Hair: EMO-tions Myrthe
  • Outfit: Rapture Colina (Iris)
  • Shoes: Renegade Isobel – Dark Green
  • Jewelry: Maxi Gossamer Alysia suite (earrings and ring)
  • Makeup:
    • Eyeshadow: SlackGirl Dalya (slot 3)
    • Lipstick: Zibska Innes (slot 5)

Harper —

  • Head: Akeruka Elen Vers. 2.5
  • Body: Maitreya Mesh Body – Lara V3.5
  • Skin: YS & YS Tone 02
  • Eyes: IKON Hope eyes (Sapphire)
  • Hands: SLink Dynamic 1.3
  • Feet: SLink Avatar Enhancement 1.2.4
  • Hair: Virtual Diva Elite
  • Outfit: Sweet KaJIra Blanca (stripes blue); Mute. High Rise leggings (red)
  • Sandals: KC Couture Gonki
  • Makeup:
    • Eyeshadow: SlackGirl StyleLiner (blue)
    • Lipstick: Glamorize Pixie Glitter (red)

Location photos shot in INSILICO EAST region; all other photos at home

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