Johnny Rockett and the Beautiful Six

Johnny Rockett and the Beautiful Six

Here it is, Chapter One. Warning! Adult situations, adult language, sexual situations.

Chapter 1

Willy the Defecator sat alone in the corner of the old colonial bar.  So alone, in fact, that he had the entire north end of the saloon to himself.  The lone waitress, a tall, slender, and rather curvy blonde in her mid-twenties, wore her usual barmaids uniform: a tan and pink short dress that did nothing to flatter her figure.  Though she worked diligently about the bar to fill drinks and deliver food, she made no special trips to Willy’s end of the establishment to ask if he needed another drink, or worse yet, some food.

Several patrons sat at tables, drinking and eating.  The bar’s specialty was pizza, and it had come to be known as one of the best “old school” pizza joints in the Midwest despite Al’s antiquated ways of preparing the food.  While newer methods were faster and more consistent, Al’s pizza had a personal touch that could not be found elsewhere.

The Ye Olde Inn was built centuries ago by the earliest inhabitants of the quaint, blue planet.  Constructed from ancient timbers and aged and yellowed with the smoke from the millions of visitors over the years fouling the air with their burning weeds hanging from their mouths, the Ye Olde Inn had resisted the modernization that had long since taken over Old Detroit.  The young trucker who sat at the bar noticed the saloon still had a bit of old-smoke reek to it, intermingled with the smell of vomit, and what was that other smell…?

“Oh, my gawd!” yelled Aria Bennett, the waitress.  “Willy did it again!”

Johnny Rockett looked over from his bar stool, still holding his whiskey, neat, in his left hand.  There was Willy, crouched with pants down, shitting on the floor next to the table in the back.

Two burly travelers stood up and marched over to Willy, his ass still hovering just above the floor over his pile of putrid feces.

“Come on, shithead,” one of the men said as the two lifted him into a standing position, pants still down around his ankles.

“You’ve pooped your last breath around here,” said the other as they muscled him out the front door.

“A free pizza when you guys come back in!” Big Al, the owner and head cook, called as they left the building.

“Damn, the smell,” Aria complained, holding her nose.  “I’m not cleaning that up!”

“You will if you want to keep your job!” the owner, in his dirty white t-shirt and hat, yelled from the kitchen.

“Fuck you, I quit!”

“You can’t quit! You’re my daughter!” protested Al Bennett.

“Not my fault. See ya!” Aria walked out the door.

“Gawddammit!” Al ran from the kitchen and out the door after Aria, fighting his way around the two travelers as they returned from disposing of Willy.

“Another shitty day in paradise,” Johnny Rockett said to himself.

Johnny was a fairly young man, about twenty-seven years old in Earth years.  Standing taller than average height and being quite fit and trim made him rather attractive to most women, and to some men.  Unfortunately, once they got to know him, they found beauty was only skin deep with this one.

He wore a dark brown leather jacket that looked as though it might have been black at some point.  It was worn thin on the elbows, and the leather was becoming cracked with age.  He also wore brown work pants and black boots, and he had on a white t-shirt with Rockett Freight silk screened onto it.  What could not be seen was his side-arm, which he kept tucked into his pants.

Until recently he had been quite successful in the space trucking business.  With the market on a downward spiral, the need for space truckers had dried up, leaving many out of work or looking for work on the black market.  Though the penalties for hauling some illegal cargoes could cost as much as — but not limited to — one’s life, the need to put food on the table and support a family outweighed the risk.

Johnny Rockett was not burdened by a family, but he did have a love for money and all that he could do with it, so working was a need that he could not escape.  Any cargo, any time, was his motto.  It was even painted on the side of his truck right under the Rockett Freight logo.

Johnny looked up at the large painting behind the bar.  Some plus-sized naked model had sat on a rotting old Victorian couch long enough for some sap to paint her in larger-than-life-size on canvas for the world to see her forevermore.  For some reason, Al felt that above the bar would be a great place to show her off.  And all Johnny really cared about was who would get him anther drink.

Shortly afterward, Aria walked back in the front door, followed by Al.  Aria made her way behind the bar while Al went to get some cleaning supplies.

“I see you won another one,” Johnny said.

“I always do,” said Aria, taking Johnny’s empty glass and refilling it with the cheapest whiskey in the house, poured from the most expensive bottle in the house.  Johnny never noticed that he was getting the cheap stuff, and Aria never let on that she had a thing for Johnny.  For years, Johnny had come to Ye Olde Inn, hoping that at some point Aria would follow him to his truck, and every time, Aria hoped for an invite, but neither would be the first to make a move.  That would show vulnerability.

“Thanks, babe.” Johnny said, picking up the glass and taking a solid drink.

“Who are you calling babe, trucker?”

“It sure ain’t Willy.” Johnny winked.

“I ain’t your babe.”

“Sorry, didn’t mean anything by it,” he said, backpedaling.  “What are you doing after work?”

“Don’t you have a truck to fly?” asked Aria, already knowing the answer.

“You know things have been kind of slow, but I’ll get a load soon enough.”

“I don’t hang with the unemployed riff-raff. Sorry.”

“Riff-raff?  Me?  Pshaah.  Seriously?”

“Everyone knows you’re a two-bit smuggler. I’m surprised that the Feds haven’t caught up to you yet.”

“I could sue you for libel for those remarks,” Johnny protested.

“It’s slander, and no, you can’t.  Not if it’s true,” Aria said with a wink of her own.

“Either way, it’s defecation of character…”

“Defecation!” she blurted out. “It’s defamation, you uneducated twit!”  She broke out laughing.  “Defecation of character is what we could sue Willy for!”

“I don’t have to sit in this dive and get berated,” Johnny said, standing up.

“Don’t go away mad,” Aria said with a smile.

“Just go away, right? Got it.”

“Love you!” Aria called as Johnny opened the door.

“Love you, too, babe,” he said, closing the door behind him.

Outside the Ye Olde Inn, the night sky glowed with the lights of Old Detroit, and of the hundreds of air and space craft shooting through the air above.  The atmosphere had become so cluttered decades ago that it was mandatory to have computer-controlled atmospheric travel assist.  Johnny wished he could have been alive when atmospheric travel was a seat-of-the-pants operation.

As he walked over to the public transportation kiosk, he looked back at the Inn.  He was amazed that it had survived the modernization of the city for so long, considering that there were high-rises to either side.  It was probably the oldest building left in Old Detroit.

In less than a minute, a driverless cab pulled up silently on electric power.  The door opened, and Johnny took a seat inside.

“Where to, Johnny Rockett?” the automated facial-recognition system asked.

“Take me to the Sterling Heights Truck Port.”

“I must warn you that the Sterling Heights Truck Port is a high-risk area, and the Amazon Prime Cab Service will not be held responsible, should something tragic happen to us,” the cab voice stated officiously.

“I understand,” Johnny said. “Let’s go.”

“I see you are not a Prime member, so your delivery fee will be two hundred eighty dollars.  Plus a tip if you see fit.”

“Plus a tip? Who tips a driverless cab?”

“Is the fee agreed upon?” the cab asked.

“Do you take SpacePal?”

“We accept all sorts of legal tender.  Is the fee agreed upon?”

“Yes. Let’s go.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t understand your question,” the cab said, sounding confused.  “Is the fee agreed upon?”

“Yes, I agree.  Let’s go, please,” Johnny insisted.

“I understand.  Enjoy your ride.”

“Oh, my God.”

 

As the cab pulled up to the truck port, Johnny could see his freighter, often called a truck, sitting on pad nine, awaiting a cargo and a destination.  The Widow Maker, an early-model Kenworth freighter, could haul medium-to-large loads without trouble, but with the current trucking depression, the Widow Maker was only costing Johnny money.  Pad rental was expensive, and then there were the payments that needed to be made.  If it hadn’t been for the many off-the-books runs he’d made lately, the truck would have been repossessed months ago.  Unfortunately, funds were once more running low, and Johnny was becoming desperate to get another cargo before payments became due again.

“That will be two hundred eighty dollars, plus a tip if you see fit,” the driverless cab proclaimed.

Johnny pulled his SpacePal debit card out of his wallet and slid it on the little track on the side of the payment box.

“Please insert your card,” the cab demanded. “Your card has a chip.  Please insert your card.”

“Damn, I hate these things,” Johnny said to himself, inserting the card into the slot at the bottom.  “When are they going to do away with this outdated system and just let us slide the card?”

“Please punch in the tip amount.  Thank you.”

“I got your tip,” said Johnny, typing a string of zeros on the keypad.

“Have a Prime day!” the cab said cheerfully as the passenger door opened automatically.

Johnny got out and walked towards the Widow Maker.  The freighter, sporting a stylish paint scheme of metallic purple, primer gray, and rust brown, emitted several beeps when Johnny pushed the unlock button on his key fob.  The lights flashed twice, the main hatch opened, and an entry ladder extended from the cab.

Johnny climbed inside, closed the door, and made his way back to the tiny but comfy sleeper compartment.  He sat on his rack and opened the refrigerator.  Looking over the vast selection of fine cuisine, he chose a day-old half of a submarine sandwich and a small bottle of beer.  After shutting the cooler, he sat back against the wall of his cab and began to consume his late-night snack.

The young trucker turned on his video box and scrolled though the streaming channels, only to find the same movies and archived television shows that had been in the menu for years.  To say he was disappointed by the blare of a proximity warning would be a lie.  Anything was better than the entertainment available to him.  He switched on the monitor to the security camera while simultaneously pulling his antique Colt 1911 side-arm from out of his holster.

Panning the camera first to the left and then to the right, Johnny saw nothing.  It was only when he tilted the camera downward that he saw who the visitor was.

“Aria, what are you doing here?” he asked over the PA system.

She looked upward toward the camera and smiled.

“I thought you could use some company,” she said, hands on her hips.

“Stand away from the entry. I’ll drop the ladder.”

Aria did as instructed, and the entry ladder came down as promised.  The door opened, and she made the steep climb up into the cab, where Johnny invited her to sit in the co-pilot’s seat.

“You have nothing better to do in the early morning hours of Old Detroit than to spend time with a broke trucker?” said Johnny in his cocky way.

“If you want, I can leave,” Aria said, unbuttoning the top button of her blouse.

“I think I can tolerate you being here for a night.” He moved over to her and pushed her back into the seat.  “Just don’t get too comfortable. I don’t take in strays.”

“Strays? Why, you…” Aria’s protest was cut off by Johnny’s passionate kiss.  They melted together in heated passion. Soon clothes started to come off.  First a shirt and top, then pants and skirt, then…

Then the proximity alarm went off again.

Johnny Rockett and the Beautiful 6 is soon to be available on Amazon.com!