The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same

(this was originally written for a fiction contest at a local coffeehouse. It is a sci-fi story)

A page from the field diary of Agent Miranda Black, Bureau of Intergalactic Criminal Apprehension PSI division:

October 13, 2260

I arrived at a coffee bar called “ the Daily Grind”. My source had told me David Sinclair could be found there, but it didn’t look like the type of place a snow dealer would frequent.
I went inside. The entryway held a Universe Today dispenser unit and a video screen showing a list of upcoming music and events. A plaque near the door stated that the Daily Grind had been in existence since the late 20th century. I glanced at the screen. There were notices about a Free Mars rally, an Intergalactic Brotherhood meeting and an Earth First! Meeting. I was surprised that those racists were allowed to advertise. That group is worse than the old KKK ever was. I bought a copy of the Universe Today and went inside.


In the main room I ordered a double latte and took a seat facing the door. David Sinclair hadn’t shown yet. A young Vindali sat several tables away drinking red tea and reading the Universe Today. She was one of only a handful of aliens in the restaurant. Two young humans wearing jeans and Earth First! T-shirts approached her table. One of them grabbed the paper from her hands and uttered a nasty racial slur. The Vindali looked up at the humans with red, reptilian eyes and reached for her dagger. That was not a good sign. That was a Vindali ceremonial dagger. A ceremonial dagger may not be re-sheathed until it has blood upon it. One of the humans said, “ You don’t scare me slag girl” the other said, “Go back to rocks where you came from” This did not look good. I gasped. I had inadvertently read the Earth First! Jerks’ thoughts.
What I found there was very disturbing. The Vindali came at one of the humans with the dagger, slashing him across the shoulder. The other human pulled a plasma gun from his belt and aimed it at the alien. I concentrated my mental abilities on the two humans.
The one holding the gun dropped it and began pulling at his clothes, screaming “spiders! Get them off me!” the other grabbed his friend and hauled him out, looking confused. I know what I did is technically against regs, but I didn’t want it to escalate and have some innocent bystander get caught in the crossfire. The Vindali looked over at me and nodded, re-sheathed her dagger. I smiled. Still no sign of David Sinclair. I opened my own Universe Today. I hoped my source was right about this place. I certainly pay enough for the information. Sipping my latte I began to read. It was going to be a long day.