CAP schmap! By the time I'd watched the clusterfuck of a couple of years of pickups I'd decided that someone who had set the priorities for takin' people to the stars to fight the Sa'arm or swarm or dickheads or whatever ya wanna call the critters that them alien folk told us about four years ago had no idea what it really takes to support a technical weenie or even a jar-head or a squid for that matter. I mean my hitch in the army left me a dog face and only a short step above a Civilian in Military Uniform as some of us had a tendency to call Air Force pukes, but any body who had been in the military knows that even if most of us figure that the DOD is top heavy and full of PC pukes who are nothin' better 'n REMFs (Rear Echelon Mother Fuckers) it still takes at least 7 people to support one troop on the line. And even if you thought that all that alien technology would shorten that by half ya gotta know if ya can do very much math that if they (the friendly aliens) had set the cutoff at 6.5 outta a possible 10 that means the at least 65% of the human race was considered too damn dangerous or to damn dumb to go to the stars. By the time it got to be mandatory that ya took a CAP test in the erstwhile USA I'd decided from my research that the friendly aliens was plain scared gormless that we was worse that the swarm. Sorta like chemotherapy was before the aliens started givin' us some of their medical technology ya know the cure was almost as bad as the disease basically poisin' th' body hopin' that ya killed th' cancer 'fore ya killed th' patient. So anyway I'd taken my self in to one of them testin' stations half figurin' that I'd flunk out or be dumped right out into the hands o' th' pigs. Ya see I'd been moonlightin' without tellin' the Infernal Revenue Service about anythin' I was paid in cash for at least five years. I do small handyman stuff in the evenin' and I get paid cash or trade if I'm feelin' generous. What that means is that on occasion I let some poor gal whose ex has split without tellin' her where he's gone pay me to fix whatever by givin' me a bit o' leg. Or to be a bit more blunt a piece o' ass.
I guess I ought to tell you a bit more than that about me or maybe not ... ah heck I'm a bachelor 'cause I got bad habits. That ought to be enough. So here I was standin' back on the street starin' at a CAP card that had a big 6.5 on it. Huh? I decided that the only thing they was doin' right was keepin' these places open all hours of the day or night. I mean 24-7 365. The reason that they could get away with that was that the tests was run by an AI (that's an Artificial Intelligence for those of ya who ain't smart enough t' keep breathin') so suddenly I'd won Darwin's lottery if I could get to a place where I could get a ride offa this ball o' mud. Not that I ain't awful sentimental about mother earth and all that, but heck I'm smart enough to get out of the way of a nest of army ants. And that was about what the swarm amounted to if ya' thought about it.
So this meant that I got to take two people off o' this ball of mud as breedin' stock. If I could get somewhere where they were doin' a pickup. That might be a stretch 'cause I don't usually hang out where pencil-neck geeks tend to do lunch. So I needed to do some research to see where after hours pickups had happened and maybe where some tech firm was that hadn't already been cherry picked was. I might have to move I thought, but heck survival means you got to change. So I got on my cel phone and canceled the appointments I'd set up for tonight and headed home to do some research instead of spendin' my time readin' internet porn.
I did a search on pickups as soon as I got on line after gettin' home. I was right in some ways, but hey what was this? They'd hit a little coffee shop by the college three times? Stupid again. Then again it must be popular with students, maybe the ones in a tech track liked the place ... still it would be a magnet for terrorists. And maybe that was what some bright boy upstairs was doin' not that I thought they had got that bright yet. Some people are too stupid to live ... It really is true ya' know even when they got big brains. See it took most of two years for the idjits in th gumumup to figure out that if we was gonna survive th' landin' o' the dickheads we'd all better be armed. No more five day waitin' period! Funny thing too, a whole lot less armed robbery. And muggin'? It just don't pay no more. Terrorists? They are too stupid to live whether they are Jihadists, Earth First, or Greenies. But they ain't as smart as your average mugger. Or they done got their head screwed on backward. I mean they decided that if they can't go no one ought to. Commies is th' same way if they can't have it (or everyone can't have it) no one ought to have it. Stupid! Even with replicators it seems that there is always some amount of scarcity. To be blunt there ain't enough stuff for everyone to have everythin' he wants. What he needs? Maybe? But who's gonna enforce it? And seriously if ya only got enough for today what ya gonna do if ya can't get t' the store tomorrow? An' what if the trucks can't get to the store for a month? Maybe those AI things could enforce it but if they did that for long enough we wouldn't even be English sheepdogs.
At best we needed to be Ferangi an' a lot more aggressive than that. That is if we're gonna actually win against the dickheads. And to be honest we needed to win against the dickheads 'cause they was definitely like cancer and eventually we were gonna get driven out of the galaxy and to be honest the universe if somethin' or somebody didn't do somethin' about them. And it seemed we was up 'cause we was in their gun sights as it was. Luck was with us that the friendly (way too friendly) aliens had decided that we might be effective chemo therapy.
I did a web search on other places near the college tryin' to find someplace that that might be a gatherin' place for pencil-neck geeks (or geekettes, a guy could hope... ) night-clubs? Diner? Laundromats? Where else might college kids hang out? I had no idea. I hadn't had enough money to go to college which was why I was a bit surprised that I'd got a 6.5on the CAP. And even if I had gotten some college in I'd have not been able to hang out 'cause I'd have had to work and do homework. So I'd laughed off the average Joe shows I mean really? A pencil-neck geek is an average Joe? Gimme a break! It ain't so. Average Joe is some poor fuck who goes out an' busts his hump in some hard-labor job for 8 or more hours a day. He ain't no wetback but a wetback can be an average Joe too ... don't take that wrong, I don't care what color your skin is as long as you do your job. I work for a black man and he does his job. I've worked for Mexicans and Japanese and other folks too. None of them was bad. Most of them was just so focused that they can't see nothin' but their corner of the world. I expect that is what got us into this mess in the first place. No body is coordinatin' the whole thing and the AI's really don't understand what it takes to run a war. They been sheepdogs so long they can't even do more than think about how to maybe cure cancer.
Then again I got some imagination. Would you want an intelligence that never slept, that had the entire knowledge base of your race, and that operates at a couple billion (or more) cycles per second bein' too independent minded? They might just decide that all meat critters was too stupid to live!
So how was I gonna cash in my ticket to the stars? That was the real question that I faced. Grocery stores? That was an idea I'd have to check out by cruising the area I'd bet. So that meant I'd have to drop my after hours work so that I could check some of them out. Too damn bad they couldn't just pick up a city block. (Hmmm to many people who would be too stupid to live!) Not really but not smart enough to mask their fangs enough to get past the AIs. Still that brought me back to some of the pieces I'd knocked off recently. Did I want to take any of them with me? The short answer was probably not even if I could edit the original to my specifications. Most of them was single for a reason! And it wasn't cause they was widows!
Now wait a minute! Wasn't Rosie's man in the joint for some chickenshit thing? Yeah, and she was definitely a sweet thing. I popped up my address book and checked her number.
I dialed it ... Ring ... Ring... "Hello?"
"No this is Stella."
I pictured the girl as I'd seen her a few months past just after her tenth birthday. She was a little spitfire of a Hispanic chiquita who was probably some pedophile's wet dream ... what I mean is that she had grown up young. She had a nice set of B cup tits on a slender little body that was plain tiny, I doubt she weighs 70 pounds in all her clothes soakin' wet. She couldn't be more than 4' 9" tall. I still measure shit (and people) in feet and inches... 'cause SI is just some french man's idea of how to rule the world ... I mean maybe we ought to use the li? What is the Chinese measure of distance that would be equivalent to an inch or so? If the number of people using it is any measure of being right then that would be the one ... Ya see what I mean?
"Stella is your momma home?"
"Yes ... Who is this?"
"Stella, this is Señor Bill," I told her using my first name as I had with her mother when I had done work for her.
Stella giggled and yelled, "Momma! Mr. Bill is on the phone!"
There was a scuffle and then the slightly more mature voice said, "Señor Bill what do you want?"
There was more than a bit of Spanish accent in the voice which really was the only way you could tell her from her oldest daughter. "Hola Señora Monteverde, may I ask you what Francisco is in the pokey for?"
.... There is more of this story ...