“Does silence mean, ‘Yes, we’ll let you out,’ in any of your languages?” the Destroyer asked.
“No,” Jeska said, gritting her teeth. “No. No. No. NO. NO. NO!”
“Ah,’ the Destroyer said. “How about now, dude?”
"Dude?!" Jeska said. "I'm not a—" She stopped herself, let out a sigh, and fought to keep her composure.
The Destroyer still pretended he couldn’t remember that Jeska was a woman.
Although Jeska repeatedly corrected him, the Destroyer had called her every possible word for male—everything from ancient terms like “dude,” “fella,” and “mister” to the more modern “de”, “masc,” and “@”—since she arrived on Stuck Station five years earlier.
And for the past four years, three weeks, six days, and twenty-three hours, Jeska had dreamed of smacking him in the face.
Not that he has any kind of face to smack, Jeska thought. I’d still like to try.
Thinking about it a moment longer, Jeska vetoed the “smacking the Destroyer’s face” daydream and thanked the Singularity gods that the Destroyer was trapped outside the station.
Then she told the Singularity gods to drop dead because she didn’t believe in them.
Then, after a glance at what she thought were opaque diamondglass windows dotting the rec room walls, Jeska shivered, apologized to the gods, and thanked them that she couldn’t see the Destroyer.
Jeska was misinformed: Stuck Station windows were not diamondglass, or opaque, or even windows. They were viewscreens. Each viewscreen showed real time images of Stuck Station's surroundings.
For safety reasons, the viewscreens were off. Always.
“We’re not letting you out,” Jeska said. “We’re going to sit here and play poker.”
“You guys suck,” the Destroyer said.
Despite his petulant tone, the Destroyer liked poker. If he played his cards right, literally, at the end of the game one of the crew would be dead.
“I am not a guy!” Jeska screamed.
The Destroyer laughed.
Stuck on: Diamondglass
From A Human’s Dictionary of The 28th Century (Now Updated Every Femtosecond)
Diamondglass: N. A colloquial human term for any transparent, near-indestructible material. A diamondglass substance is not necessarily made of diamond or glass.
In the 28th century, the most popular brands of diamondglass were Aldarium, the Sigma Hive Substance, and DotCom Eternalast Diamondglass.