Willion sighed, his job was always boring, but today was particularly so. Just sitting in the control center of PTED Waystation 4320, watching and waiting for ships to arrive. They very rarely did this far out in the middle of nowhere. He was lucky to get one or two in a day. Today, there had been none. Not a single ship. Willion wished he could just plug into the VRnet and zone out until the end of his shift, but management would know. Fuckin’ pricks. He thought to himself as he stared out into the abyss. Should just quit this dead end job and move to Laria IV. Least they’re not capitalist fucks.
<CONTACT DETECTED> <OPERATOR RESPONSE REQUIRED>
Willion nearly jumped out of his skin at the sudden alarm and loud automated voice. “Fuck! I’m doing it, I’m doing it! Why the hell does this shit need to be so aggressive?” He pressed a button on the control panel, sending a communication ping to the incoming contact. It wasn’t visible, it'd be too far away for that, but the Waystation could detect ships at up to half a light-year away. Willion waited a moment for the ping to be received and returned. It was, but it took longer than usual. He sighed and opened a communication channel to the ship, speaking disinterestedly. “Unidentified contact, you are in the vicinity of an official Primitive Territory Enforcement Department Waystation. Do you have official business?” Several seconds passed, no response. This was unusual, ships nearly always responded promptly, it was protocol. Willion spoke again “Unidentified contact, this is an official PTED Waystation, number 4320. Do you have official business?”
No response again. <WARNING> <UNAUTHORIZED CONTACT APPROACHING WAYSTATION> <OPERATOR RESPONSE REQUIRED>
“The hell is this guy doin’?” Willion said to himself, leaning closer to the display. “Unidentified contact, cease your approach until you have been identified. Further unauthorized movement will result in fines of up to 200,000cr and/or incarceration.” The ship slowly drifted to a stop. Several long seconds passed with no movement, and Willion said nothing. The communicator crackled to life, and a feminine voice said
“Primitive Territory Enforcement Department Waystation Number 4320, this is PTED craft Epsilon VI, requesting docking permission.” The voice over the communicator sounded odd. Somehow mechanical.
“PTED craft Epsilon VI, what the hell was that all about? I know we don’t get much traffic out here, but don’t fuck around on my shift, I’ll be the one getting screwed over. Identify yourself, pilot.” Willion replied, unable to hide his disdain.
“This is Officer Niarith Velnazranak. Departure location: System XJ-18, Planet XJ-18 III. Case number 88944581”
Willion sighed “Looking you up. Give me a minute.” He began muttering to himself “Should alert security, bitch might get tased, or at least gravitically restrained.” He found the case number fairly quickly, and verified it. He pressed another button on his console “Security, we have a suspicious craft approaching to dock, be advised, Bay A07.” He switched over to the communicator “Alright, Epsilon VI, you are cleared to dock! Head on over to Bay A07, have a nice day!” Willion spoke with mock enthusiasm. He leaned back, satisfied with his work for once, and slowly faded back into a bored haze.
PTED Security Officer Darlinna Mechanicane approached docking bay A07 with intense trepidation. The Waystation’s security force consisted of Darlinna and two other officers. It was a small, out of the way station that wasn’t considered important. Thus it had only a skeleton crew. As Darlinna marched through the halls with her fellow officers in tow, she thought about what she might be about to encounter. You never knew what was gonna happen on a suspicious craft call. “You think it’ll be another false alarm, Rindath?” a tall thin man with red hair spoke from her left side.
“We can only hope. Took weeks to get the smell out of Bay B27 after last time!” Replied a large, dark skinned muscular man to her right, he laughed a deep booming laugh which echoed heavily in the metallic corridor.
“Rindath, take this more seriously! What have I told you about being so damned casual about serious matters? We never know when it will be a serious, potentially deadly problem!”
Rindath placed a hand on Darlinna’s shoulder “Now don’t worry, Dar. Ain’t nothing happening to you while I’m around. And Perskinnens over there wouldn’t have it either.” Darlinna turned her dark eyes to the other man, who was now looking straight ahead, purposefully ignoring the conversation.
Darlinna shoved Rindath’s arm off her shoulder. “I don’t need your protection Rindath, I need you to do your job. Don’t forget who’s in command here.” Rindath looked incredibly embarrassed, looking down and away from the other two officers.
“Understood, ma’am.” The trio walked the rest of the way in silence. Upon arriving at the cavernous cubic expanse of Bay A07, the group found themselves staring at an ancient, boxy antique of a ship.
Perskinnens spoke in near reverence “I didn’t know any of these were still in service…”
“Is that a Baltrax X-10? Those were in use before I was born.” Rindath said, staring in astonishment.
“Doesn’t matter, let’s get this over with.” Darlinna said, her voice authoritative. She stepped over to a console to the side of the Bay entrance, leaned over a microphone and spoke, her voice amplified and echoing through the hangar bay. “Attention pilot and crew. Your craft has been flagged as suspicious and potentially dangerous. Please open your cargo hatch and exit the craft slowly with your hands behind your head. Do not make any sudden moves.” The hatch on the ship began to swing down, a strange teal light emanating from within.
What Darlinna saw after the hatch opened was like nothing else she had ever seen. A blonde haired, blue eyed woman was standing there, completely nude, an utterly blank look on her face. The teal light filled the space behind her, leaving nothing else visible. The woman had a large scar crossing her face diagonally, and several others across her well muscled torso. The teal light pulsed brighter, and the woman’s eyes began to glow with the same light. She spoke, and it was as loud as Darlinna's had been using the PA system. “Attention security forces. You have been flagged as worthless lessers in the eyes of The Glorious Goddess Mirideth Asazlaiyn. Drop your weapons and you will not be killed. If you do not comply, you will not survive.”
Silence filled the hangar bay for several long seconds. Darlinna glanced at Rindath and Perskinnens, they were holding their ground, aiming at the woman who had spoken. They looked… not afraid exactly, but rather concerned. “What do we do, boss?” Perskinnens asked quietly. Darlinna looked from her officers to the teal glowing ship, unsure of what to do or say.
The nude woman spoke again. “If you do not lower your weapons and surrender yourselves to the power of The Glorious Goddess Mirideth, you will die. There will be no firefight, there will be no pain, but you will die. If you do not wish to die, you will drop your weapons. Now.”
Another long second’s pause, and Darlinna shouted “OPEN FIRE!” As she did, a bright green field of energy covered the entrance to the ship’s hatch. All beams simply stopped upon hitting it. Darlinna slammed her palm on a large red button on the console, and an alarm began blaring throughout the station. “Hold fire, hold fire!” She shouted, having noticed the shots were doing no good. She spoke again over the PA system. “Attention pilot and crew. Cease all hostile activity at once, or we will be forced to take further action against you.” The green field of energy dissipated, swirling into a single point, fixed on the edge of a small blade held by the blonde woman.
A large metal sheet suddenly slid down over Bay A07’s opening. Darlinna was about to call for a retreat when she saw another figure emerge from the teal light. A short, dark skinned woman, wearing a black cloak, as well as the standard issue tan bodysuit of a Primitive Territory Enforcement Officer. The glow had been coming from her body. Hundreds of individual lines of teal light pulsed across her entire body, her eyes seeming to almost burn with it. The woman slowly walked down the ramp the ship’s hatch had become, a sensual sort of grace to her movement. “You were warned.” She spoke, her voice a combination of two voices, one high pitched and slightly raspy, the other smooth, sensual, mechanical. “Now you will die.”
She calmly waved a hand over the two male officers, and they dropped instantly. Darlinna could only stare in shocked horror as they then stood up again, and aimed their weapons at her. Their faces showed no emotion, no life at all. They were dead. Yet there they were standing and aiming at her. The woman spoke again as she stood behind the two corpses. “You’re a woman. How interesting…” She pushed Rindath’s corpse aside as she approached Darlinna.
<ATTENTION PTED WAYSTATION 4320> <THIS IS THE FEDERAL INTERSTELLAR COMMISSION WARSHIP “ELEGANT MODERNITY”> <WE HAVE RECIEVED YOUR DISTRESS SIGNAL AND ARE MOVING TO ASSIST> <MARINE SQUADS HAVE ALREADY BOARDED THE STATION AND ARE EN ROUTE TO BAY A07> <ATTENTION HOSTILES> <SURRENDER NOW AND YOU WILL NOT BE HARMED>
The lights went out, and the door to the hangar bay was blasted open. “Flash and clear, flash and clear!” a male voice shouted, and Darlinna’s world became nothing more than a blinding whiteness and dull ringing.