Chapter Three – Booting from disk…
Jinlan looked at herself in the mirror again, wondering for the billionth time if the outfit she picked was nice enough to wear on a first date. She hadn’t dressed up like this in ages… well… since her mother was in charge of what she wore really. Well no, that wasn’t accurate, her mother would have been pleased with the red and black silk kimono top, how she had done her hair and make up so it made her look something like a geisha… but she would have been mortified by the miniskirt and the lack of anything on her legs besides some really strappy high heels.
She turned to Protheus 1.29 and asked its opinion.
“You look gorgeous.” It said in its monotone robotic voice.
“You’re programmed to say that.” Jinlan snapped at it.
“Confirmative.” It beeped back.
Jinny sighed and decided she needed to stop asking her robots questions she already knew the answers to and told the robot to retrieve her travel tool kit and parts. Daniella had said something about fixing her television. Jinny was pretty sure she wasn’t serious about that part, but it wouldn’t hurt to take it along and do some fix up things while Dani was cooking.
That made Jin smile. As far as she could tell, Dani didn’t really need to eat… she got her energy straight from the sun… but she was going to cook just for her. The butterflies welled up in her stomach but her thoughts were interrupted by the drone coming back with the briefcase sized kit. She thanked the bot and told it to go to standby mode. She decided that she should walk to Dani’s apartment in Port Oakes even if the portal would be faster… it was a pretty evening, and she needed to shake some of the jitters.
To Jinlan, it seemed amazing how things had changed so quickly in her life. Once she had acknowledged the fact that she wasn’t in love with Nesrin, but instead just attracted to women, things seemed to come together for her. She had crashed at Aysel’s for the night after getting pretty piss drunk at Pocket D as an end to her self pity party and had been running it off around Sharkhead the next morning, mostly ready to move on. Apparently the universe was ready for her, because on her fourth or fifth lap she noticed the girl trying to fight off four or five Marcone Family hitters. The thoughts in her head were broken… Girl… Family…. Shit.
She’d hit the key pads on her robot glove as fast as she could, but not quick enough apparently, the girl was down before the bots could act… she sent the robots after the hitters and bent down over the woman. Her heart started pounding as soon as she saw her up close… Jin didn’t think she’d seen anyone more beautiful and the feeling quadrupled as she helped her up. The world seemed to freeze for Jin and then came crashing in like a wave when Daniella Rigby introduced herself. It seemed natural for Jin to want to follow her, so she helped Dani finish the errand she was running, and then of all things… they went shopping. The funny thing to Jin was Dani didn’t seem to think she was pretty at all… it made Jinlan mad, made her want to send Xiu Jing after all the guys that ever called Dani a freak because she was a rose that hadn’t quite come into bloom. Jin didn’t think she’d ever felt that strongly about something before. Death threats on Dominus aside.
Once Dani had picked something she could move in (though a little more liberal then she apparently would have otherwise due to Jin’s influence) they ended up going out and running some of Jin’s jobs, until they found themselves on a little secluded field off of Potter’s Field at sunset. They sat and talked… it seemed the world was empty around them to Jinlan when they did this. They had kissed… oh gods… the kiss, Jin had known right then this was what she wanted, but Dani wanted to move slow. Jin didn’t care, she knew she wanted to see Dani the next day and the next. The feeling hadn’t changed the next day either, she’d been up most the night in the lab working on various things to try to make herself tired enough to sleep, the day had been a big one after all. Maya had gathered up a few members of the organization as a Strike Force for Silver Mantis; Dani and Jin had trained for several hours beforehand, and Dani had asked Jin if she wanted to come over for dinner that evening before they had even started the bulk of the work. Jin had been looking forward to it all day.
Jin smiled remembering and noticed she was almost to Dani’s. She looked around and spotted a small flower shop on the corner and bought a rose, thinking to herself that she’d have to make something special for Dani… a robotic flowering bush? Would that be corny? It’d be hard… but… She shook the thought from her head. Nah, she’d love it… she’d draw the plans up later; they’d both done enough work for the day… She knocked on Dani’s door.