And so it comes down to five…
Or something like that. I don’t seem to be very verbose today.
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He was tall, dark, and handsome, and incredibly ugly. He was human after all, and the novelty factor only gets you so far in the Courts these days. A lady might understand how his features were perfectly symmetrical, how his eyes were just the right shade of blue, how even his body fit into the Golden Mean that defined even our own standards of beauty.
Still, what seethed beneath the surface of his thoughts was just that primal sort of rage that meant in the thousand years since our kind walked the Earth, they hadn’t changed. The trappings of technology meant his teeth were straight, his skin unblemished, and he could walk like a giant where when I was a child, they’d barely been taller than I, on average.
I shuddered every time my gift allowed my mind to touch his. We’d left to protect us from this, not just their iron and crosses. He might rail at me, call me devious and whore and devil and worse, but I am not the one who doesn’t understand my true nature.
Title: Space Flight Can Be Dangerous for Your Health
He was tall, dark, and handsome, and incredibly ugly … such an attractive man with such a horrible personality. Sure, he was pleasant to look at but as soon as he opened his mouth, it was downhill from there. It would’ve been perfect if he was the strong, silent type. However, he was of the loud, boorish variety.
If I didn’t have to put up with him for my job, I would’ve shoved him out of the airlock one cycle ago. Seriously. Even now I was starting to wonder if the credits I earned for my time were worth this kind of torture. Maybe I could inquire for hazard pay. Dealing with him was truly a life-threatening experience.
“Where’s my cargo?” he blared through the intercom, not even bothering to ask if I was busy.
I rolled my eyes and pressed the comlink. “All cargo is kept in the suspensor bay by the main airlock, Mr. Schrock.”
“I need it now.”
“Access to the suspensor bay is not permitted during the flight.”
I wanted to bang my head against my control board. “I cannot stop the ship mid-jump, Mr. Schrock. Our ETA at your destination is less than four hours. You will be able to retrieve whatever you need at that time.”
I gritted my teeth and tried to remember why I was doing this. It was hard to remember when faced with this kind of passenger. Would it really be noticed if Mr. Schrock never made it to his destination? Would anyone really miss him?
A plan began to develop in my mind …
He was tall, dark, and handsome, and incredibly ugly. His jaw was chiseled, his eyes shone with an impossible blue, his entire face was constructed to be perfect in every imaginable way.
And that was the problem.
“No,” said Anne. “No, he won’t do at all. Look at him.” She circled the man before her, as he stood naked and silent. His pecs were tight, his buttocks firm, his abs stood out as a perfect row of ridges. His…well, that was pretty decent too. But it was all wrong.
“What’s wrong, Miss Henders?”
“He’s…he’s just all wrong, can’t you see that?”
“We’ve focus grouped every part of his appearance. Everything from the color of his skin to the length of his calves,” they were just the right length, Anne realized, “designed to match the widest possible demographic definition of physical perfection.”
“Can we bring it back about five percent?”
“Five percent, ma’am?”
“Just. Not quite perfect. Something that actually goes together a little better. Something that could actually pass for human. Something that didn’t look like it crawled out of the Uncanny Valley.”
Scribbling on clipboards, whispering. “So what should we do with this model?”
“Scrap it for parts. Reuse anything you can.”
“Understood.” They took the man by the elbows, and led him out the room. All the way she watched the tight butt walking. Really, she thought, collapsing into her chair, a good man should be this hard to make.
He was tall, dark, and handsome, and incredibly ugly. Don’t believe me? Take a look at him yourself!
No woman could resist his perfectly tanned skin, model like looks, and thick dark hair. His hunter green eyes only added to his beauty. And don’t even get me started about his smile. His many hours spent in the gym was well worth it, if his sculpted body were any indication. His voice was the perfect bass that flowed well through any conversation. So much gorgeousness to look at for one woman to handle. She could get lost fast!
And then, he opens his mouth.
Oh, if only there were a way to keep him silent!
I shook my head in wonder watching him sit down with a gorgeous blonde at the pool. She smiled brightly when he started showing her attention at this party. Poor, unsuspecting woman. She was so blinded by his pearly whites that she failed to see how quickly the others had run away.
As a server, I happen to see all the excitement. If only she knew the reason why his shirt was off.
Walking past with a tray of champagne, the gorgeous blonde grabbed one without thanking me, still in her conversation…
“I’m so glad Jenna invited me today. Otherwise, we never would have met.”
He smiled and nodded, sipping from his own champagne flute.
“So, what brought you here today? Besides Jenna, of course.”
“It was just Jenna.”
The gorgeous blonde smiled. “She’s great, isn’t she?”
“Yeah, one of the best. But, you wouldn’t know that. You weren’t here last night.”
She frowned. “Last night?”
“Or, this morning,” he continued, smiling. “But there’s always room for one more, if you’re game.”
Shaking her head, the gorgeous blonde replied, “I’m not sure I’m following…”
By this time, I wasn’t in ear shot anymore. There was a great shady spot I could stand until I was needed again. It was the perfect place to watch…
Yeah, he’s doing it again. He’s still talking, and the blonde is finally getting it. It’s like she’s trying to hang in there, but now that his hand is reaching for…oh, no…not again…
Yep. He grabbed her boobs.
And there goes the rest of her champagne in his face.
Oh, and she’s yelling.
Aww. Tall, dark and handsome is now the cheese that stands alone.
He shrugs it off and settles in for a nice tanning day. About five minutes later, here comes a beautiful brunette. I smile to myself, ready to walk past with a flute of champagne.
I could watch this all day. How sad is that?
He was tall, dark, and handsome, and incredibly ugly. This was by design. He was also short. Blonde and raven-haired, winsome and depraved, loving and hateful. When he’d finished interacting with someone, the person was never sure whether he or she had just been flirted with or threatened with physical violence. He left a ripple of furrowed brows behind him when he strode and shambled down a crowded street, and if he got you alone in a room…well, anything could happen.
It was a physical and psychological modification package that most people wouldn’t use even if their work required it, and his work most definitely required it. No others in his chosen profession, however, went quite so far as he. He was the walking embodiment of the uncanny valley, wrapped in a full body suit of wet nanoware that mimicked flesh and pumped out waves of psy that reached right through your skull, leaving little bursts of random neuronal arcing where any clear memory of him might have formed.
And, if he wanted to, he could blow your brains out through your ears with a well-directed pulse.
All of these morphings of form and spurtings of waves and pules took a tremendous amount of energy: while on the job, upwards of 10,000 calories a day. The morning that he vaulted over the counter of the Magnolia Bakery on Bleeker Street and began cramming fistfuls of cupcakes into his molten, distorted face, he hadn’t eaten for three days.