Her partner Jason was late, but Kiera ignored that for the more immediate need, something to drink. It had been a long, hot day. Their surveillance subject had not moved from her home, and Kiera had perforce spent the entire shift in the blind, eye glued to the scanners, while Jason tailed Slipsky's secretary. She viewed the selection of bottles, wanting something different—anything, as long as it didn't come native to this repulsive dirtball of a planet and it was wet.
On impulse, Kiera asked for something not in sight. "Kaloor, if you've got it," she told the bartender.
"Yah, we carry dat." The woman grinned, a very toothy smile. She was big and blonde, humnorm but for the lengthy canines—a mutation or a well done after-market job. "I got it in trade a few years ago, fresh, but cheap. Aged nicely now."
Kiera grinned back. Fresh kaloor peeled paint. Some liked it that way, but shelved a few years, it mellowed to a subtle but arrogant drink cherished by many—in particular the smoky exudant it developed, almost as potent as the liquid itself.
"I'll open it myself, then," Kiera said.
The bartender snaked an arm under the counter, produced a rotund stoneware jug. Kiera waved away the proferred knife, pulled her own to break the seal.
She looked expectantly at the bartender, who slid over a shot glass. Kiera tipped the jar. The drink must have been well aged; it was the darkest Kaloor she had ever seen, a far cry from the rusty liquid of her student days.
"Here's to ya!" Kiera grinned and emptied the shot. Immediately her mouth puckered at the foul, oily taste; she sprayed the liquid across the bar and over the bartender. "What the fu--! Lady, no way is this Kaloor!"
"Kaloor?" The bartender grabbed a cloth. "I thought you said Kahlua!"
Kiera shook her head. What kind of sick, twisted barbarians would drink liquor that tastes like cold coffee grounds?
Opening: writtenwyrdd.....Continuation: anon.