Challenge #01015-B283: One Smoky Afternoon in a Dive Bar

Person #1: What the hell is going on, [Person #2]?

Person #2 (calmly, going to sit down): Well, it appears that we're going to start a revolution. -- RecklessPrudence

Ax'and'l looked askance at his human business partner. "Is this one of your definitely profitable insane ventures, or one of the ones that is more... pro bono publico?"

"Uh," said Hwell. Never a good sign. "Not really sure. But we need to do something. Take a look around this room. What's missing?"

Ax'and'l tried to identify consciously what Hwell had managed to fathom on an instinctual level. It seemed like an ordinary bar. Soldiers bragging about their conquests. Ladies of bargainable companionship schmoozing with the crowd. Lots of spacers.


Lots of pallid humans.

"Not a very colourful crowd?" Ax'and'l guessed.

"That's only part of it. You get a lot of human colonies where the gene pool is -ah- restricted. No. Look at the girls."

The women in the room were all ladies of bargainable companionship. And they were all under the age of twenty-eight. He spotted, with some alarm, at least one that couldn't be a day over sixteen. All of them underfed. All of them with that subtle, desperate look of a person who needed to keep their job or face unpleasant consequences.

"Free will," Ax'and'l murmured. "None of these women have much in the way of other opportunities. Or means of escape."

"It gets worse," said Hwell. "You don't want to see what happens to the ones who aren't pretty enough."

Ax'and'l shuddered. He knew about the Cogniscent Rights violations that regularly occurred in the worst examples of Greater Deregulations, but if it was worse than that, then this colonial adjunct needed help. "Do you have any legal ways to begin this social justice of yours?"

Hwell snorted. "Since when is any revolution legal?"

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