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   Chapter 2 No.2

Humanity By EJBowman Characters: 5638

Updated: 2017-12-27 12:03

Koris didn't look happy to see Lysander strolling over to him. They knew each other outside of politics. Everyone knew everyone uptown. These two knew each other because Koris' daughter, Melody, was dating Lysander's son, Princeton. Koris had never approved of Prince and not just because of his overconfident name. At eighteen, he was over two years older than Melody and seemed to have a one track mind when it came to their relationship; he wanted sex. He was just like his father in that sense. Both men were always frisky. However, Prince was a little more patient when it came to his desires and respected Melody's abstinence. When his father craved intimacy he simply threw one of his downtown servants on the bed. Lysander felt no guilt doing that: due to the Servants Union he was required to give any servant he had sex with a small bonus in their pay check. Like most lords and ladies, he presumed that prostitution came with the job of a servant. Koris, on the other hand, despised the servant-master dynamic in Manticore Metropolis. He knew his viewpoint was different from most other politicians which was why he stayed silent.

"Lord Finn Yuan did a good debate tonight, " Lysander said 'sincerely' as he lit up an orange cigarette. Poor Finn had been quite lost for words when it came to a question about the new Olympus United factory opening up within the month. He had had no idea what Olympus United was and Koris had been forced to stand by and bite his lip while Finn rambled about nothing.

"Quite." Koris sipped his apple juice nonchalantly. Any type of juice on 50th century Manticore was considered fancy because natural fruits and vegetables could not be grown outside under the scorching light of the Jhard. All fruits were either grown in the artificial biospheres, or frozen and then shipped to Manticore from other planets humans had colonised.

Orange smoke seeped from Lysander's mouth as he exhaled. He had no clue what strange concoctions had formed the cigarettes he smoked so willingly but did not care providing they did not kill him.

"What are Melody, Andromeda and, " Lysander looked up in thought as he tried to remember the fourth member of Koris' household's name, "Flick!" He snapped his fingers. "What are those three up to tonight?"

Koris shrugged and took another small sip of his drink. He did not feel like talking. He especially didn't feel like talking to Jordanis about his wife because he knew that Andromeda and Lysander had had been intimate with each other before Koris married her many years later. Lysander knew that Koris felt awkward whenever he brought up Andromeda, and yet he took pleasure in making Koris annoyed. It was a new pastime he greatly enjoyed because Young was so uptight about everything.

Lysander opened his mouth to speak when

he noticed the pair of dark brown eyes staring at him judgingly from the other side of the party. Nikhita: the deputy chief of security for the House of Oxen. Anyone, even a downtowner, could instantly tell she had not been born on Manticore. Her natural skin was very dark compared to the sickly pale people she was around daily. Two-hundred and seventeen years ago she had been born in the Indian biosphere on Old Earth and a hundred years after that she boarded a transit spaceship and ventured to Manticore with a handful of others. Lysander remembered day well when the dark-skinned woman emerged from her deep sleep chamber. He and a few others had been requested to be the hospitality reps when the transit spaceship landed:

"Breath out, " the nurse in white said soothingly as a man hacked-up the deep sleep gel he had been pickled in. The nurse patted him on the back like he was a new-born baby to help get the fluid out of his lungs.

The hospitality representatives from each of the houses stood on the other side of the glass as the deep sleep passenger chambers were opened one at time. They had to be out of the contamination zone in case any of the new citizens had unforeseen diseases. Even if they had a disease that was common on Old Earth, the immune systems of the Manticorian people may have never been prepared for the new sickness and the virus would spread through the city like the Black Death.

There were six passengers aboard the shuttle which was the largest number Manticore had ever received in one transit. The amount of money and effort it required to move planet was not worth paying for a new life on Manticore. Lysander figured that these people had moved to a desolate planet so far away from Old Earth because they desperately needed a new life. That, or they knew wanted their share of the rich mineral deposits below the surface of the orange planet.

Finally, the nurses were opening up the sixth passenger chamber. Two of the passengers were from Britain, another was from Norway and the final three were from various parts of Asia. Compared to the people of Manticore, these Old Earth people were considered incredibly tanned… and then the sixth chamber was opened.

Jordanis heard the House of Rats representative gasp as the dark woman emerged from the blue gel. They had all heard stories about the range in skin colour on Old Earth; they had even seen some photos on the internet, but never had they expected to find themselves in the presence of such a dark, beautiful woman.

Her long black hair was stiff due to gel in it as she sat up and started coughing. The nurses did not seem to know what to do with her and just stared at her. They had seen her profile and photo, and yet they still had not been mentally prepared for how different she looked.

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