The figure stood silently for another moment, listening to their earpiece. “Yes, Sir.” Niarith spoke in a calm, professional voice, devoid of emotion. She made her way further into the room, revealing her dark black armor, red accents, and fur collar, just like the guards wore. Only she wore no helmet, only dark, round framed glasses that hid her eyes, Lucia could see small flashes of red light on Niarith’s face coming from the other side of the glasses. Niarith stopped short of the chair, calmly placed her arms behind her back, and walked around to the back, out of sight. Lucia could hardly think, let alone speak. Niarith appeared on Lucia’s right side and stopped. “Miss Carlena. Good of you to join us here. I can only assume you were here to ‘rescue’ me? Well, I can tell you now that I am in no need of rescue. I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I’ve found my true calling.”
Lucia stared up at the face of her love, unsure what to say, or do. “N-nia..?” was all she managed, tears began to form in her eyes.
“No. My designation is Agent Marengo. You will refer to me by my designation or not at all, Miss Carlena.”
Lucia strained against the restraints, suddenly furious. “Void take it Niarith! You know me! This isn’t you! You’re not some fucking henchwoman!”
Niarith suddenly and violently shoved Lucia back into the chair by her throat, constricting it painfully. “You. Will. Refer to me. By. My. Designation. I am authorized to kill you if you don’t cooperate. I haven’t killed for The Boss yet, I would dearly love to prove my loyalty. So what do you say, Miss Carlena? Are you ready to cooperate? Or are you ready to die?”
Lucia struggled against Niarith’s grip, unable to breathe, her vision beginning to blur. She managed to croak out “Okay.. Okay stop” Niarith’s grip on her throat tightened for a moment, before slackening and letting go. She placed her arms behind her back again.
She spoke as Lucia coughed. “Good choice, Miss Carlena. Now, hold still.” A metal clamp came out from the back of the chair, holding Lucia’s head in place. Niarith walked over to the control panel, and began pressing buttons. The screens lit up, red words flashing by too quickly to read on some, mesmerizing patterns on others, and some with both. “You’re going to be like me, Miss Carlena. You’re going to be shown, to be taught. Don’t worry, you won’t remember why you fought it for so long. You’ll just know the bliss of serving The Boss.” Niarith’s eyes briefly shone teal through the opaque glasses, for less than a second, but Lucia caught it. Niarith proceeded to press a few more buttons, then left the room without another word.
Lucia could not move her head, forced to stare at the array of screens before her. She tried to resist, but the patterns were captivating, she started to wonder why she wouldn’t want to just stare, to just sink… The screens turned bright teal all at once with two bright red words in the center “ACROSS HALL”. Lucia’s restraints unlocked and she stood carefully. Her weapons had been taken, but she was far from defenseless. She snuck out into the hall, it was empty. She entered the room opposite her and found a bag filled with her equipment. The screens on the wall read “GOOD LUCK” Lucia quickly collected her gear and made her way back out into the hall. As the door to the room closed, Lucia felt a sudden pinch of pain in her neck, and her knees buckled. Someone held her up from behind. “Soon as that thing in my head triggered that, I knew you’d try it. Now you’re gonna die. My first kill for Him… Mmmm I’m wet just thinking about it. And you were my girlfriend, oh the betrayal makes it so much sweeter. We could have been happy together, Luci. We could have been Agents of His will together. But now, I get the glory, and you get your lifeless corpse thrown off the platform. Too bad. Your skills would have served Him well.”
Lucia tried to fight back, but her limbs were already going numb. She managed to swipe an arm at Niarith’s face, knocking her glasses off. Niarith’s sinister grin faded to confusion, then horror. “LUCI! Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck what did I do what did I do?!” She pulled the syringe out of Lucia’s neck, but Lucia couldn’t feel anything.
“You did as you were told, Agent Marengo. But you haven’t given her the full dose. Do it now.” Lucia managed to look up and see Loriol Ninia himself standing in the doorway, flanked by two guards armed with rifles. Lucia turned to Niarith, who had a look of confusion on her face.
“I… I was following your orders… Sir… b-ut I.. She’s Luci.. I can’t just.. F-follow… obey… have to…” She was physically struggling now, unable to comply, but unable to disobey. “I.. won’t.”
“That’s your choice, Agent Marengo. But remember this… You serve Me. And because you serve me, you don’t get a choice, do you, Agent Marengo?”
Niarith fell to her knees, her head bowed. “I don’t get a choice, Sir.”
Ninia chuckled “Good agent. Now, follow your orders.”
Lucia grasped for her gun, but her hand was barely usable anymore. She felt Niarith gently grab her by the shoulders, lips next to her ear, and heard a mechanical whisper “Watch this, Plaything.” Mirideth, using niarith’s body, suddenly flung the syringe down the hall at Ninia and his guards, grabbed Lucia’s gun while they flinched, and put two neat holes in the heads of Ninia’s guards. Lucia did her best to turn her head toward Niarith, and saw her eyes burning with teal light, a satisfied grin on her face, aiming her pistol at Loriol Ninia’s head. “You have harmed the vessel of the Glorious Goddess Mirideth Asazlaiyn! Your guards cannot help you. What say you in your defence?”
Ninia looked utterly dumbfounded “W-what… the fuck?” He slowly put his hands up, and took a slight step back. “No-now listen… Niarith… I’m sorry. Okay? I.. there’s no excuse but I… I mean… please put the gun down?”
Mirideth stepped closer, not lowering the weapon. “I am not Niarith, you pathetic lesser. You are but a worm to me, wriggling through the dirt, unworthy to bask in my glorious presence. Tell me why I should not execute you right now, and perhaps I won’t. Perhaps I will. It’s just so very hard to tell with these things, don’t you think?”
Ninia looked terrified “I-I’ve got money! Lots of money! How do you think I paid for all this shit? I can give you more money than you’ve ever dreamed of!” He gave Mirideth a strained grin.
Mirideth laughed, an unsettling sound, both Niarith’s laugh and a mechanical juddering noise. “Money? What use have I got for money, little man? I have subjugated planets! I have made generations live in fear! I am the Glorious Goddess Mirideth, and You. Will. FEAR ME!” The last two words emanated from Niarith’s throat at a piercing volume louder than a human throat should have been able to produce. Ninia flinched involuntarily, and Mirideth calmly shot him in the groin.
Loriol Ninia screamed in pain, falling to the floor, his hands between his legs. Mirideth stepped back and grabbed Lucia’s arm, dragging her toward the door. Mirideth flung the double doors of the building wide open, Ninia’s forces had taken up positions in front of it. “Drop your weapon, now! Do it or we’ll fry your ass!”
Mirideth chuckled “Wait for it…” A trio of massive explosions engulfed the assembled forces, as the roar of the Epsilon VI’s engines became audible. Mirideth simply waved demurely at the ship as Ninia’s men screamed and died. The ship quickly flew down to the platform, its cargo ramp opening. Mirideth dragged Lucia to it, and got them both aboard.
As they entered the airlock and the ship accelerated away, Mirideth tossed Lucia’s gun to the side and picked Lucia up in her arms, carrying her to the bedroom, where she roughly deposited her on the bed. Lucia had regained some ability to move, and sat up on the bed. “Why didn’ y' do that sooner?!”
Mirideth chuckled “Oh Plaything, you have no appreciation for art. Had I just brute force taken over, that whole lovely dramatic scene would never have happened! Would you have me deprive the universe of such tension and drama?”
Lucia groaned “W' almos' died, Mirideh.”
“Yes, and that was all part of the artistry of my work, don’t you see? You nearly die, Niarith realizes what she’s done, and Mirideth saves the day! It’s beautiful! By the way, darling, I’m out of energy, so-” The teal glow left Niarith’s eyes, and she fell to the floor. Lucia tried to get up and help her, but her legs weren’t working yet.
“Ugh, what… where am.. Luci? How did we get back on the ship? Where’s The Boss… I.. need Him.. I need to…” She shook her head. “Ugh, what the fuck has been happening to me?”
Lucia opened her mouth to begin explaining, but the door to the bedroom opened, revealing Lolanene wearing only a tank top and pants. “Ho-ly shit! Did you see that?! I blew the fuckers t’ Nether ‘n’ back! Dunno who the fuck that was that told me t' do it, but I’ve never been so exhilarated!! Woo!”
Niarith turned to look. “Luci, why is there a filthy excited child on my ship?”
Lucia fell back on the bed and slurred out “t’much t’ ‘splain righ’ now.” And passed out.