• The bar, if that’s what they’re called now, is dark and musty. Musty, that’s the word, conjures up an image of the old and dull. There are tables spread throughout the place, but barely anyone’s sitting at them. They’re in the middle of the floor, moving, writhing, suppose you could call it dancing but whether it’s really dancing is up to debate, and there’s no evidence to either side. Whatever it is that twists and turn at the center of the room, it’s a mass of black, dark, with flashes of peach or brown or tan that mean skin, and yet everything seems desaturated, gray. She can barely tell the skin apart from the clothing which is like the night sky, when it’s cloudy and no stars can shine through.

    But, she muses, it can’t hide the moon, and she catches a flash of white. Her eye follows it until it’s lost in the black again, hidden behind the clouds, but it will come out again. It always does.

    “May I get you another drink, madam?” the droid asks. She calls them droids, even if they aren’t called that officially. Officially means politically correct, and there’s always a lie in that, no matter how big, how small. But droids are droids, naked, made for your viewing pleasure, dolled up for the joy of the men who visit here; they have beautiful bright hair, pink or blue or green, mainly cool colors though some of them have bright reds and yellows, and their skin is whatever color you choose, alien or natural, whatever you want. This one’s got white skin and hot pink hair. They come out naked, with waists too thin and busts and hips too wide, and their eyes are always wide with long lashes, and all in all they’re disgusting, too sickening, so she pulls out her gun and shoots it, dead. It falls on the floor and it bleeds red blood just like a human, but she reminds herself that it’s a droid. No one cares, anyway. They can just make more.

    She regrets it almost immediately, because she could use another drink, another shot of vodka, she thinks, straight, not diluted. But she’s got to have a clear mind, she supposes, to spot a speck of white in a sea of dark. A pure white fish in a vast sea.

    She pulls up her deep gray coat tighter around her, and nudges the table; her glass topples over, but there’s nothing in it, so there’s no spill. The only spill is the red liquid on the floor, coming from the two girls who lay, large eyes wide and glassy, frozen in place. She’d shot the first one earlier. No one minded then, either, and it doesn’t make her smile or frown, but simply look back into the writhing mass of black that crowds the center of the room, moving. There are gunshots and someone falls down on the ground. Two of the droids move him away. He doesn’t matter either.

    Someone sits down at her table. They are the only two. Sitting down, that is.

    “Why aren’t you joining in?” the figure asks, and she hasn’t looked up at it because she’s still looking at the middle of the room, the crowd, searching for a color, for a particular point of contrast. The windows are open, but it’s night outside, so the lights are few and in between, the room is dim.

    “I’m not playing that game tonight,” she says, and that’s. That’s the truth. It’s not the same game, not exactly, anyway, and it’s the preciseness that matters, isn’t it? Though the figure across from her seems to think differently, because she hears him, her, it, shift and lean on the table.

    “Why not?” The voice isn’t really expecting an answer, that much is apparent. There’s not the right tone, there. It doesn’t want an answer, it wants a response, which is much different.

    “This game is more interesting, less risky,” she replies, and that’s not exactly why she’s playing. But the voice doesn’t need to know that. She doesn’t need to tell it why, it doesn’t deserve to.

    “Is it still a game, if it’s just like this?” And at this, she turns to the voice’s source and finds a man, with darker, more orange skin than her, and white hair. Blonde white. She doesn’t quite flinch in disgust, but it’s close. His nose is large and round, and his lips protrude from his face, bottom half too big, so that it looks like he’s perpetually pouting.

    “Yes, of course it still is,” she explains. “Just a different one. Not a… it’s still a game.” The finish is lame, she understands this, but the point is made, it’s his turn, now. She holds her gun in hand but doesn’t point it at him, or anywhere near him. No reason for that. Yet. She turns back to the mass, and sees a flash of white. He’s being chased again, she thinks. He always is. Another gunshot.

    “Ma’am, ma’am, may I get you another dri--?” and then another gunshot, and the girl falls, doubling over in pain, blood seeping out her mouth as her eyes roll back into her head. Her hair is blue this time, and her skin is green, lime green, and the girl is bright green and electric blue and she’s bleeding bright red blood, and she, sitting at the table, doesn’t laugh nor does she shriek at the mix of colors, because she’s too busy trying to look at the man in white.

    “Why do you keep calling for them when all you do is shoot them?” the man asks, and there’s something like sadness in his voice, only not quite, so she turns to him to clarify. Got to clarify, after all. Details are important.

    “Why should I not call on them? It passes the time while I wait. Besides, they shouldn’t be alive.” She says this primly, and the man looks at her almost as if he’s disgusted.

    “You –” and he pauses there, because what can he say? “—you can’t comprehend it.” It’s not a question or anything that should warrant a response, it’s a realization, and he’s right, she realizes, because she can’t even comprehend what it is she’s not comprehending.

    “Precisely.” The word comes out as an admission, interpreting her thoughts and twisting them so that they fit into one word. How magnificent. There’s the white again. Rabbit on the moon, wasn’t that a myth from somewhere? She chews on the inside of her cheek thoughtfully.

    “That’s the same for both of us, isn’t it?” And he nods, too, another admission of weakness, or perhaps it’s strength, unwavering belief. How odd that supposed opposites have so many similarities. Like love and hate, extremes of a spectrum, yet the line between them is so thin. The question is who’s love and who’s hate.

    The man in white laughs.

    The man across from her, with dark skin and light hair, is wearing dark gray, she realizes, like her, not black as she originally thought. He doesn’t have a drink, either, and he doesn’t bother calling out a droid. There’s smoke, now, but there’s no fire. She doesn’t wonder where it came from.

    “How incredibly stupid,” he remarks, and she can’t tell if he’s talking about the situation or about her, and she dislikes that because she doesn’t like to be insulted.

    “Yes, some things are,” she replies with the same ambiguity, and it’s a dance between the two. Not physically, of course, but in the dull lights which get dimmer and dimmer and in the twinkling fire, it sets a mood, and they’re both wearing gray, where the line blurs like twilight. Where you can’t see anything.

    The man in white laughs again and his voice echoes throughout the room, there’s smoke and a flash of white – flash of a smile, flash of movement, of a star, and then more gunshots. Maybe that’s where the smoke’s coming from. The woman stares at the center.

    “I’ll kill you,” she says, almost dreamily. “One day. Not today, but one day.”

    “And I, you,” he says in the same way.

    She stands up and her coat is black, black, darker than the twilight of the room, only a slight contrast but still a contrast. She steps over – no, on the droids who lay bloody and dead on the floor and makes her way to the center of the room, diving into the sea, the blackness, and letting it surround her. The man didn’t follow her. He still sits at the table, and finally calls a droid to get him a drink. The woman was lying before, apparently; she’s back to playing the old game again. But after a sip of whiskey he doesn’t care anymore.

    It’s a maze, a flow, a river of charcoal and she moves within it, looking for – the white, the star, the lone bright fish in the black sea, and she raises her gun.

    The man in white is laughing—