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Topics - Francis Church

Odette Asides / Hot Gos' - Pele and Francis
June 12, 2020, 11:15:56 am
Francis sat in his bunk. The Number Four was printed elegantly on the door. He hadn't really wanted that one. It was right next to the engine access, but Coop had told him it would keep him warm when it was cold. As sweat lingered in the places it usually did on a person, Francis had no doubt that that was the case. Usually not one to care much about where he slept, the one proviso that he always had, but very rarely demanded, was that it was cool. Despite his lithe frame, he ran hot like a man twice his weight. So Francis sat in his bunk, annoyed, and browsed the cortex for his one true vice.

Hot. Juicy. Celebrity. Gossip.

There was just something about seeing into the lives of the 'Verse's elite. Their palatial estates and endless vacations. Partying all night and brunching all day. And oh, the drama. Francis appreciated that they were just like regular people despite all the opulence around them. He had no such aspirations for himself - he could never be like them...the mere thought of it - but he just loved all of it. This current story he was reading was about Osiris Fashion Week, one of Francis' favorite annual events, and all notable faux pas, fashion or otherwise. Midnight Aurelle wore what dress? Not with those shoulders. George St. George said what to whom? Unbelievable! And Pele didn't even show up? In five years she had never missed a Fashion Week! What was the 'Verse coming to?

Francis stopped. He went back to the part about Pele, with a picture of her dress from last year. Still stunning. But that wasn't what caught Francis' eye. It was her face. A face that he knew.

Knockknock Knock on Miss Reyes' door. When she answered, Francis held up the picture from last year's Fashion Week. "Soooo..?"
Francis Church let his mind drift - just for a second. It drifted to another time. Not a happier time. He didn't have any of those. Not that he'd lived a life of abject misery. But there just weren't many happy memories. One time in particular came to mind as Francis's thoughts meandered. It was during his time with the Marines, while he was still in training. His Drill Sargent had commended him on his shooting during that day's drills. Francis almost smiled at the thought of it.

"Frank, c'mon, man."

"Francis." Francis tried not to sound too annoyed, but it was one of his biggest pet peeves. His parents hadn't given him much. But they had given him his name and he'd be damned if anyone took it away. "It's Francis. Not Frank. Not Frankie. Not Sissy." He said too much.

"Sissy? People call you Sissy?"

"No. They don't call me that. No."

"Then why did you say it?"

"I didn't say it. I mean, I said it, so you wouldn't say it. No one likes to be called a Sissy."

"Just seemed kind of specific."

"It wasn't, okay? My name is Francis. Just call me Francis."

"Alright. Jeez. Francis. Please don't kill me." The man, tied to a chair with duct tape with several wounds on his face and body that implied he'd gone through a round or two of torture, seemed matter-of-fact about begging for his life. It clearly was not his first time.

"It's not up to me, Kim." Francis, sitting in a chair across from Kim, wearing all black (gloves, pants, boots, tactical long sleeve shirt), and looking annoyed. His leg jiggled nervously, the gun resting on his knee bouncing with it. The exasperation in his voice was finally let loose and Kim saw his opportunity.

"Listen, I know you're just following orders. Take me to LS. I'll explain everything."

Francis looked at Kim. He didn't want to kill the man. They'd known each other a long time. They weren't friends, per se, more like colleagues. Kim ran a racing book for Lil Sebastian (as well as a modestly successful noodle shop). "Sebastian won't like it."

"You let me deal with Sebastian."

It was funny. Normally, such tactics wouldn't have worked on Francis. In fact, he was known and beloved by Lil Sebastian for precisely that. No nonsense. Just following orders. But, today Francis, for some reason he couldn't put his finger on, didn't want to kill Kim. It nagged at him. He sighed and stood, "Fine." He said, tucking his pistol into the back of his pants. A folding knife appeared from his pocket, which was then unfolded and carried across the distance between them, and cut the bonds that tied Kim to the chair. Before Francis could say something like "Don't make me regret this." Kim made him immediately regret this.

The man no sooner stood up from the chair than he grabbed the thing and swung mightily for Francis' face. He connected, the chair splintered, and Francis fell to the ground. "Sorry, Frank. Nothing personal." It was this moment's hesitation that was his ultimate failing. Not the withholding of money from LS's collections. Not the bad bets he'd made on Leon Lefevre. No, it was waiting long enough for Francis to grab his gun and shoot him twice in the head from his place on the ground.

Kim fell without another word, and Francis let himself relax for a moment while his head swam. "Francis." He muttered.

Thirty minutes later...

Holding a bloodied rag up to his face, Francis walked through the corridors of the Iscariot station with a purpose. That purpose was stopping his face from bleeding and, according to Lil Sebastian, he was supposed to go to Prime Cuts, the Barber Shop, which was under new ownership. LS did not explain to Francis why this was the new place to go, as opposed to the med wing, but after the debacle with Kim, Francis was feeling a bit more like just following orders for a bit.

Blood trickled down his cheek from the wound above his eye. Francis hurried.

Five minutes later...

The door dinged as Francis entered the shop and he was somewhat dismayed to see that the barber was currently with a customer, and another waited their turn, casually browsing a cortex reader. After a moment of standing awkwardly, Francis found a seat and waited his turn. Luckily nothing vital was bleeding. He could wait.
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