Silence… That’s all you ever hear after the lights go out. Its enough to drive someone crazy. I opened my eyes, and sighed. The lights are programmed to be shut off at this time, so i can’t turn the on even if i wanted to. I sat up, and yawned. It’s been really difficult to sleep lately. It’s just so different here than at home. I swung my feet over the side of the bed, and stood up. I was completely naked, not like i really mind. My name is Iria, I’m a White furred kaithian with cyan socks, sleeves, eyes, and hair, as well as cobalt blue scales. I stretched with my arms high above my head. The clock read 5, but it’s not exactly right, it’s artificial. It’s programmed to be. I put on a tee and some shorts, and decided to take a walk. The door slid open with a gentle hiss when i touched it. When i walked through, it closed with the same noise. Walking feels strange, I’m still not entirely used to it. I walked down the hall with no more noise than a cat, thanks to the sounds dampener on the floor. The hall was very, very long, and every few meters there was another room in this hall, it they were labelled from 250 to 500. My room in particular, is room 461, so it took me several minutes to reach the end of the hall. The whole hallways was lit only well enough to see, not for convenience. When i reached the end of the hall, i entered the lounge and cafeteria area, which was insanely massive. The room was almost 50 meters high, and large enough to hold about a million people at once. there was an extra balcony to the room every ten meters up, but they’re impossible to be seen with the dim lighting. To my content, the window looking outside was still open. The window stretched across the entire wall of the room, and was only blocked by some of it’s supports. I took a seat near the center of the window, and looked outside. I still can’t believe i’m alive to be doing this sort of thing, it’s amazing. Outside was a black plane, only broken by small white points. Space, all of it, is reachable. Where i am right now is the Alc VI, one of the greatest Arcs ever created. It’s large enough to house 2 million people. There are about 8000 hallways, each with 250 rooms for one person. it’s truly a masterpiece. It costed trillions to create, but it’s the most efficient and practical way to travel across the universe. It travels about 5 MegaParsecs per second when it’s moving, but right now it’s not. But even at that speed, we’ve recently learned that the Universe is eternal, so we’ll still never see all of it, and that’s not even talking about alternate Universes. Ever since the Alcubierre drive has been perfected, Thousands of planets have been terraformed and colonized by thousands of races around the universe, including my own. The Kaithians were one of the first to reach Alc. tech level, and it’s been around for about 50 years now. I’m currently 21, but the concept is still a jumbled mess to me.
“Hey, Iria!” I nearly screamed when i heard that voice.
“F-fucking shit, I was thinking! don’t spook me like that Aielle!” I chastised.
“Sorry about that. The sound dampeners really make it easy though.”
“Mhm….” Aielle is a Kaithian-human, and one of my best friends since coming on this ship. She’s a real sweetheart. Her body is mostly human looking, but her legs, feet, lower arms, and hands are furred. she also has a kaithian tail, ears, and horns. Her fur is blue, and her skin is white, by human concept.
“So, getting used to the new gravity?”
“Not really… It’s easier to walk and all, but it’s too different, i can’t get to sleep properly without feeling like i’m floating.”
“Same here, you’d think that it would feel softer.” My home planet, Reatha, has a gravity force of -10.5 m/s2, but the gravity here is -9.8m/s2, since the ship was created by humans. It’s a subtle difference, but it’s enough to confuse me.
“The silence too… It’s just too quiet.” I said.
“How quiet did they say it was in here?” Aielle asked.
“About 3 decibels under 0.”
“Is that even possible?”
“According to Humans, 0 decibels is a mosquito flying 10 feet away. With a system like that, it’s bound to have negatives.”
“Oh, you don’t know? It’s an old system of measurement used by humans about 300 years ago. It’s called the Imperial system.”
“So how long is a foot then?”
“About a third of a meter. It’s a confusing system, don’t ask me about it, especially when a mile is 5280 feet or something.”
“Both to me.”
“Just stick with the SI system, it’s much easier. Anyways, I’m unable to fall back to sleep, so i think i’ll be hanging around until the lights turn on again.”
“I can hang around with you. Besides, I’m having trouble sleeping as well.
“Okay then.” We continued talking for about half an hour, and then the lights slowly faded on. The lights were colored exactly to look like a real sun, which eased my a little bit. Within minutes, the massive hall was filled with thousands of aliens, mostly humans. A couple minutes later, the ship started moving again, and out the window you could see stars and planets tearing by so quickly you can only assume that you saw them.
“Alright, I’m going to get some food, you in?” Aielle offered.
“Sure.” I agreed. With the size of the cafeteria and the amount of cooks, it barely took five minutes to get some food. We both found our spot again after. I looked at my plate, and on it was Human food. I do enjoy human food when it’s made right, and in this case, it was. There was one piece on the dish that i could tell was printed though. It was chocolate shaped like a hollow 20 face die.
“Damn, humans do enjoy making fancy foods don’t they?” Aielle asked, examining her chocolate as well.
“It’s cool, yeah, but i don’t really see the point. It’s going to be gone in… now.” I then popped the small chocolate into my mouth, giggling a little.
“No mind for art?”
“No, i love art, but food art is a little odd to me.”
“I guess so, but imagine being one of those cooks there. they probably cook the same thing thousands of times a year, so they just want to have a little fun with their food.”
“Yeah, i suppose so.” Aielle then tried to do the same thing i did with the small treat, but the ship then lurched, and a massive crash rang through the hall, despite the dampeners. The chocolate bounced off her cheek, and onto the floor.
“What the heck was that? We stopped?” Aielle asked. I looked out the window, and we were indeed stopped.
“What’s going on? did something happen at the bridge?” the ship lurched again, and suddenly the lights turned red.
“Shit, that can’t be good.” The windows started to cover with a thick metal shield.
The announcing system then went off. “Attention passengers, the ship is being attacked. Make your way to an escape pod immediately.” And it looped from there. The entire hall was then in panic. There was screams, shouts, and other ghastly noises made by some stranger aliens. The ship lurched again, and the crash was much louder than before.
“Come on Iria, we need to go!” Aielle shouted, and she grabbed my hand, leading me towards an exit. Holographic arrows pointed towards the escape pod bay. But before anyone on the ship got close to an exit, the doors all slammed shut. The lights were then all redirected to a person on the first balcony above the ground floor.
“Attention, passengers of the Alc VI. My name, is Varea. No one will be leaving this ship, as it now belongs to the Fallen Void.” Varea claimed. I swallowed.
“The fallen void…?” someone squeaked. The fallen void is one of the most powerful and relentless pirate band out in space. Aielle grabbed my hand.
“Iria, this way.” She whispered. We snuck through the crowd, and soon reached the wall.
“Where are you taking me? I whispered.
“To the escape pods.”
“How? We’re trapped!”
“Just trust me!” We snuck along the wall and Aielle eventually led me to a maintenance shaft. She opened it with ease, but i didn’t see how. “Come on, quickly, before anyone sees!” We scurried into the tunnel, having to crawl through it since it was too small. I heard Varea stop talking for a second, which made my heart skip a beat, but we kept going though the shaft after it closed behind us. I could only see a couple meters in front of me, and even if i could see more, i couldn’t see past Aielle. I could hear Varea’s voice echoing through the tunnel, since there were no dampeners in here. We crawled for about half an hour, and then finally there was an exit, which Aielle opened. We crawled out of the shaft, and into a room filled with unused pods.
“No one made it except us….” I whispered.
“Hurry, otherwise we might not make it still!”
“Exactly what i was thinking!” Someone shouted, and suddenly there was an arc of electricity in front of me, and it slammed right into Aielle. It arced around her body for several seconds, and then finally stopped when her shield emitter was broken, and it grounded through her body. She then passed out, though i managed to catch her, giving myself a nasty shock doing so.
“Aielle!” I screamed.
“Hands up, or you’re next!” I hesitated in thought for a second. Aielle isn’t that heavy, if i sprint for the nearest pod, I can at least autopilot it to Reatha. “You’ve got five seconds.” He said, then started counting down by the second. When he said three, i bolted for the closest pod, carrying Aielle with me. When i was only a few meters from the pod, I felt the electricity from the man’s arc caster hit my shield emitter. It didn’t take long for it to eat all the way through it, but by then, i reached the pod, and had to toss Aielle into it. I felt the electricity ground itself through me, but i knew that if i passed out, i’d be dead or worse. “Scum! get back here!”
I forced my body to move, and i got inside the pod, closing the door a fraction of a second before he fired at me again. I locked the pod, and ran to the front of the thing, and activated the panel. in a split second, we were about 100 meters from the Alc VI. I looked back at the ship, and behind it was a more massive one, which must have just uncloaked. “The Fallen Void….” i whispered. Tears formed in my eyes, and my throat started to hurt. There were still many people on that ship which i got to know. I wiped the tears from my eyes, sniffling, and went to Aielle. She was still breathing, which calmed my nerves a little bit.
“Aielle… Aielle can you talk?”
“Wh… what happened…?” her voice was husky and she sounded exhausted.
“Just stay put, we have to get out of here.” I walked to the cockpit of the pod, and entered the coordinates of Reatha. I looked back through the small window in the door at the back of the pod, and saw the two enormous ships again. a dozen other ships had appeared, and were quickly closing the distance between them and us. Without a second though, i activated the Alcubierre drive, and within a second, we were travelling at one Megaparsec per second. Even the best can’t track a small ship like this through the universe. I left the cockpit, and went back to Aielle, and sat her up.
“How’re you feeling?”
“Me too…. That Valea woman must have spotted us when we left through the maintenance tunnel.”
“There’s a couple beds in here, so i’ll help you up on one. I’ll wake you when we stop, okay?”
“Okay….” I helped her up onto a bed and made sure she was asleep before i went back to the cockpit. I felt like shit too, but i decided it was better for me to watch the ship. At this speed, we should be at Reatha in less than an hour.
- - - - -
Like i thought, we reached Reatha in about 40 minutes. The pod slowly started to lose speed, and as we reached the speed of light, the Reatha, and all it’s beauty, came into sight. The planet came closer and closer, it’s green flora and blue oceans very appealing to my eyes. the cities were visible from space, and i remembered to input the coordinates of a nearby space port on the planet. We landed within the next minute, and when we did, the artificial gravity turned off, and i felt Reatha’s comfortable gravity once again. I walked over to Aielle, and woke her.
“Hey, we’re here.” I said gently.
“Where are we exactly? you never told me….”
“Reatha, my home planet. It was the only place i could think of.”
“Okay… i think i need a hospital.”
“A-alright, we’ll go immediately. i’ll carry you.” I eventually had Aielle on my back, and i opened the door to the pod, stepping out into the fresh air of Reatha. The spaceport was a large area of hexagonal plates with sizes ranging from houses to farm fields. I landed on a particularly small one, and i was greeted by a couple Kaithians, who immediately recognized a problem. Before they could reach us though, i passed out without warning.
- - - - -
I woke up again sometime later in a stark white room. The room smells of cleaning products and metal. I stared at the ceiling for almost a minute before i lifted my hand to look at it. All of the scorch marks from the electricity were gone.
“She’s awake.” someone said.
“Is she? That’s good.” A white furred Kaithian wearing a medical mask entered my vision. “What is your name, dear?” He asked.
“It’s… Iria… Iria Reyes.”
“Yes. Aielle and I… we were attacked when we were on Alc VI. We were the only ones who got out.” I said tiredly.
“Is Aielle your friend? the blue one over there?” I turned my head, and saw Aielle, who was also fully recovered and sleeping.
“Yeah. How long has it been? since we landed?”
“Two days here. Would you like me to contact your family?”
“Yeah… that would be nice.”
“Alright, i’ll be one second.” He then left my vision. I waited a little, and then sat up, and looked around. I Was in a small hospital bed. Around the room was several pieces of equipment i don’t know the name up, but across the room was Aielle. An IV was connected to my arm. It took about five minutes for the doctor to return. “I’ve contacted Imisa and Ayin Reyes. are they your siblings?”
“Okay, they’ll be here within the hour.”
“Is Aielle okay?”
“She took a worse punishment than you, but she’ll make a full recovery.”
“So, Miss Reyes, how exactly did you end up here?”
“The Alc VI was boarded by pirates, and Aielle and i managed to sneak out through a maintenance tunnel. Before we made it to a pod, we were both hit with an arc caster. Our shield emitters were fried, and that’s how we came in all burned.”
“do you know the name of the pirates?”
“I think… They’re the Fallen void.”
“The fallen void?”
“Yeah. When we left, I got a glance of their ship, and it was much larger than the Alc VI.”
“Interesting. I’m going to check up on your friend now.”
“Alright.” I couldn’t remember half of our conversation by the time he left my side. I frequently looked over at Aielle, whom looked sound asleep every time i saw her. Before long, i saw Imisa and Ayin enter the room with a nurse leading them. They saw me, and instantly left the nurse’s guidance to walk up to me. Their fur color was the exact same as mine, though Imisa has spots, and Ayin has stripes.
“How’re you doing Iria?” Imisa asked gently. She had a worried look in her eye. She lifted her knee onto my bed to get closer, and she touched my shoulder.
“Better, now that i’m home.” I responded.
“So the Alc VI was attacked?” Ayin asked.
“Yeah. Only Aielle and i got out, as far as i’m aware.” I claimed.
“That’s terrible, especially for your first space flight.” Imisa said, half sitting on my bed now, and hugging me.
“Iria?!” Someone bursted into the room, startling the three of us. I looked at the intruder, and smiled.
“Niari!” I giggled. Niari’s my girlfriend. She has black fur littered with tiny blue spots. Her hair is dark blue, her eyes are rich blue, her scales are dark blue, and she’s slightly taller than me
“Iria… thank Aenthis you’re okay.” She walked up to the bed, and Imisa backed away from me so Niari could give me a hug. I hugged her back. When she pulled away, she held my shoulders and gave me a quick kiss.
“I came as fast as i could when you called, Ayin.” Niari claimed.
“I figured you’d be the first one she’d like to see, but i guess we got here too early.” Ayin joked.
“It’s alright, I’m glad to see all of you.” I said.
“I knew i should have come with you. If i’d have known this would have happened, i’d get some money one way or another to go.”
“It’s alright, Niari, I’m fine.”
“I know that, but next time i’m going with you. Techies like you are too squishy to go alone.”
“Hey, c’mon, i can handle myself.” My siblings were giggling at us. “What’s so funny?”
“Oh, you two are just perfect.” Ayin claimed.
“Even after a crisis, you two still manage to have a laugh.” Imisa giggled.
“Oh whatever. Iria, can you walk?” Niari asked.
“Maybe.” I said.
“C’mon, if you can’t i’ll help.” Niari helped me out of the hospital bed. When I was standing, I needed Niari’s help, since my legs were still shaky. I held her upper arm tightly, as to not fall. “You good?”
“Just… just give me a couple minutes.” Niari helped me get used to walking again. We really just walked in small circles, but with her, i felt like it was a nice walk through a glade when i closed my eyes.
“Think you can do it yourself now?”
“Yeah, i think so.”
“Alright then.” She slowly let go of me, making sure i wouldn’t fall. I took a few steps, but i ended up falling to my knees. Niari then helped me up again, and sat me on the bed. “Well, at least you’ll get used to it again.” She kissed my forehead, and i smiled. “So anyways, who’s the girl across from you?”
“Oh, her name’s Aielle. She’s one of the people i met on the Alc VI, and the one who led us to the pod bay. When i met her, she was just as closed as i was on that ship.” I ended up explaining the story to her, like i did everyone else.
“So, how’re you feeling about space travel now?” Niari asked.
“I’ll still be going to space. We were just unlucky, i suppose….” I said.
“Heists like that have only happened twice in history, so I’d say you’re a little less than unlucky.” Ayin added.
“So, what are you gonna do now?” Niari asked. “Would you like me to take you home?”
“If it’s alright with the doctor, i’d like that.”
“Hey Doc.” Niari called. The white furred doctor turned his attention from Aielle to Niari. “Do you mind if i take Iria home?”
“Not at all, she’s fully recovered, just make sure she gets a little more rest.” The doctor said.
“Alright then, i guess we should head out too, now that you’re leaving.” Imisa said.
“Yeah, i supposed she’s right.” Ayin said. After the nurse removed my IV, Niari had me piggy back on her, which i didn’t mind, one reason is because i missed the smell of her hair. We were all on our way out when I told Niari to stop for a second.
“What’s wrong?” She asked.
“One second. Excuse me, doctor?” He turned his attention to us again. “Can you contact me when Aielle wakes up?” I asked.
“Sure thing. She should be awake by tomorrow at least.” He said.
“Alright, thank you.”
“That all?” Niari asked.
“Yeah, let’s go.” By now, Imisa and Ayin were long out the door. Niari carried me through the halls of the hospital, which were surprisingly quiet at this time. It took us about five minutes to finally reach the door. When we were out she carried me across the parking lot, and we eventually reached her car. She placed me in the passenger seat, and then went around to the driver’s seat. We both buckled, and then she started the car. The familiar sound of her engine relaxed me a little. The car made very little noise, and we were soon out of the lot and onto the road.
“So, how was the trip up until the incident?” Niari asked.
“It was pretty easy going i suppose. The engine was never running at full power, so the flight was pretty quiet engine-wise. I met about a dozen people on that ship, and made good friends with them over the two weeks i was there.” i said.
“And you and Aielle were the only escapees?”
“Well, what’re gonna do?”
“I’m not sure yet.”
“What do you mean, ‘I’m not sure yet’? do you plan on actually going after the pirates?”
“Well… not exactly.”
“That’s not an answer, Iria.”
“Fine, I do want to go after them.”
“But how though? you don’t have a ship, nor a crew, nor any weapons.”
“There’s the pod i escaped in.”
“Yeah, but that’s a pod, not a ship.”
“Well, it’s probably worth something at least.”
“Yeah, but do you seriously plan on it?”
“I’m not sure yet. i want to, but i have no idea how.”
“Thanks for repeating the conversation.”
“Really though, How much do you gain from going after them?”
“Can we stop talking about this? I’m starting to feel sick just talking about the pirates.”
“Fine…,” Niari sighed. We reached our house after about ten minutes, and it eased me to see. By now it was also about 9pm, and the sun started to go down. Niari parked the car in the driveway. She got out and helped me out, and we walked to the house. Once we were inside, Niari brought me to the bedroom right away. She guided me into the bed, then got in on her own side. We then slowly met in the middle with a hug.
“This feels so much better on Reatha.” i sighed.
“Hmm?” Niari asked.
“Oh, the ship’s artificial gravity was-”
“Oh shut up about your techie stuff, come here.” Niari interrupted. She then pulled my head closer to hers, and kissed me. I was a little surprised, but i accepted her kiss anyways. I closed my eyes, and cuddled up closer to her.
“I missed you so much, Niari.” I said.
“I missed you too, Iria.”
- - - - -
I woke slowly the next morning, but the real sunshine on my face when i did really refreshed me. I sat up, and stretched, yawning.
“Good morning, love.” Niari greeted me. She was already out of bed and redressing.
“Good morning.” I swung my feet over the edge of the bed, and carefully stood up, and found that i could stand on my own now. I walked over to Niari, and hugged her, and she returned it quickly before continuing to dress. I did the same, getting into some of my clean clothes. We both then walked out of the bedroom.
“So, i forgot to mention this yesterday, but how much did you leave behind on the Alc VI?”
“Umm… not much, i didn’t need anything because it was all provided. My shield emitter was completely fried though.”
“Alright, that’s good to know. So what about that pod? want to go back and get it?”
“Yeah, i suppose we can try to sell it to someone.”
“If you’re lucky, yeah. It’s just an escape pod.”
“It’s worth a shot. Do you trust me to drive your car?”
“You’re the only person i trust with my car.”
“Awesome, can i drive then?”
“The keys are on the counter there, you can go start it up, i’ll be there in a minute.” She then went to the bathroom. I shrugged, and picked up Niari’s keys. There were several things on her key loop. The digital key for the car and house for one, but there was also a couple charms on it: one i gave her a few years ago, and another from her mother. I can’t believe she still has that, she’s amazing. I walked outside, and got into the driver’s side of the car, and ignited the hydrogen engine. I looked around in the car for a little, since Niari hasn’t arrived yet. There were several things scattered around the back seat, including a few magazines. i picked one up, but quickly put it back after reading the first page. Well that’s something i didn’t know she was into. A couple seconds later, Niari stepped out of the front door, and quickly made her way into the passenger seat.
“Alright, i’m good to go. To the spaceport!” I put the car in drive, and pulled out of the driveway.
“When did you get those magazines?” i giggled.
“Wha- did… did you see those…?”
“I saw one of them.”
“Probably the one on top of the others right now.” she then looked back at the magazines.
“Oh, that one….”
“When’d you get it?”
“A few days after you left… i hope you don’t think i’m bored with you, i’m really not, you’re the greatest person i’ve ever met.”
“It’s alright, Niari, it’s fine.” i giggled. “I just didn’t think you were into that kind of thing.”
“There’s much more than that, but can we not talk about this in the car?”
“Why? are you feeling hot and bothered?” I teased.
“Alright, Alright.” i giggled again. “We can talk about it later then.” I don’t think i’ve actually seen Niari this embarrassed about something before, it’s actually quite cute. I looked over at her for a second, and saw she was blushing. “You’re blushing y’know?”
“You look adorable.”
“Thanks.” she giggled softly. After a while, we eventually made it to the spaceport which i had landed on a few days ago. The hexagonal platforms were much larger when you looked up at them from below. They were situated at least 100 meters above the ground to prevent them from being in the way, and so other things wouldn’t be in the way of landing ships. Quickly enough, we were parked, and found an elevator which led up to the top of the platforms. The elevator was quick, and the second we stepped out, I experienced vertigo, like normal.
“Hey, don’t get dizzy up here, you’re scaring me.”
“It happens whenever i use an elevator, calm down.” i giggled.
“I’m going to hold your hand anyways.” She then grabbed my hand, and we walked like that from then on.
“Oh no! what will i ever do now that you’re holding my hand?!” i acted.
“Oh quiet you, there’s no need for bad acting.” The pod wasn’t hard to find, since it was the only human made ship on the platforms. Human ships are very uniform and straight edged in design, but Kaithian ships are made with flowing looks, which also helps with atmospheric travel instead of just space travel. There was a Kaithian girl examining the pod as we walked up to it. She has dark red fur with rusty colored spots, scales, and hair.
“Hey, are you the owner of this thing?” She asked instantly as we walked up.
“I guess you could say that.” I said.
“It’s gorgeous! one of the pods from one of the very first human arcs. and it’s the 555th pod too!”
“You’re that interested in it?”
“Yeah, it’s a beautiful machine.”
“Well… i don’t exactly need it.”
“Oh? Can I buy it off of you then?”
“Well that was easy.” Niari muttered.
“How much is it even worth though? Isn’t it just an escape pod?”
“It’s the 555th pod of the Alc VI human arc, not just an escape pod!” She almost threw a tantrum, so i dropped the subject. For how old she looks, she’s certainly childish.
“Well… how much are you offering then?”
“For something like this? 500 Billion credits.”
“What?! that much?!”
“The Alc VI was a top of the line Arc, even it’s pods can travel a couple Mpc/s. yeah, 500 billion.”
“Quick question first… do you even have that much?” Niari asked.
“Yeah, definitely. You see this spaceport around you? It’s my dad’s.”
“Well, alright then. What’s your name by the way? I’m Iria, and this is Niari.” i introduced.
“Rari, nice to meet you.” We shook hands, and then Rari turned around. “C’mon, i’ll take you to the payment thing.” We followed Rari, Niari still insisting on holding my hand. We eventually were led to a building built on top of the space platforms. She went into the building while we waited for her to get behind the window.
“Alright then, one pod for a trade of 500 billion credits.” Rari said. “I suppose the thing doesn’t have keys, so I’ll just take it off of you when we’re done. I might mod some into the system if i can have my way with it.”
“You go ahead, the thing won't be my problem anymore. Hopefully getting rid of it will also help out my mental state.” I said.
“Heh, right. You were the girl who passed out on the port a couple days ago, weren’t you? i was told the Alc VI was attacked by pirates?”
“More like commandeered, the pod you’re buying might be the only one you’ll ever see from it.”
“Well, lucky me then. And there, here you go.” She slid a small credit chit through the hole at the bottom of the window. “500 billion right in your pocket.”
“Alright, thanks a lot.” I pulled out my cellphone, and within a few seconds, my bank account was 500000000000 credits richer.
“So, i doubt you’ll find a use for all that money soon, so let me give you a choice. there’s a few nice ships for sale on the dock here as well, if you’re interested.” Rari offered.
“Are they less than half a trillion?” Niari asked.
“Oh yeah, at least half of them are.” Rari claimed.
“If you’ll show us what’s for sale, then i’d like to look around.” i said.
“Sure thing.” She then left the building, and led us through the spaceport. A few ships had landed and more had taken off in the time we were talking at the window. We were shown at least five ships, all of which were larger than the pod and worth much less. Niari and I both picked one together.
“This one,” Rari started, “Is one of my favorites. It’s an original Kaithian design, runs a top speed of 1Mpc/s, it can travel easily through atmosphere, and it’s very efficient on fuel. The inside has all the basic rooms of a ship, as well as two spare rooms for whatever you want to put in them. It’s all around a good ship, and it’s going for 475 billion right now.”
“That’s most of the money, Iria.” Niari brought up.
“i never thought i would even make one billion credits, so i’m good with buying it.” I said.
“Alright, if you say so.”
“We’ll take this one then.”
“Great choice in my opinion, i think i’ll miss it when it leaves the port.” Rari claimed.
“How much is fuel for the Alc drive?” I asked.
“It’s about 1k per liter, which will get you about one gigaparsec in that thing. It holds up to 25 liters, and if you ever run out, the ship has a distress signal specifically for an empty tank like most ships.” Rari explained.
“Alright then. 475 billion you said?”
“Okay, we’re buying it.”
“Hold on, Iria, what about Aielle?”
“Oh shit, she might want a say in this too.”
“Should i hold onto the ship for you for a bit before you buy it?”
“Yeah, please. Give us about an hour, and we’ll be back with our friend.” I claimed. We then left the spaceport in a hurry. Niari drove us to the Hospital and halfway there, i received a call from the doctor saying Aielle was awake. When we reached the hospital, we quickly found our way to Aielle’s room.
“Iria, how’s it going?” Aielle asked as we walked in.
“Awesome, you?” I said
“Better than i was, i guess. the doctor told me you left the hospital yesterday.”
“Who’s with you?”
“Oh, this is Niari, my girlfriend. I told you about her on Alc VI.”
“Ah, so you’re Niari.”
“The one and only.” Niari said.
“So, what did you do in the day i was out after you woke up?” Aielle asked.
“Well, you know that pod we escaped in?” I started.
“It turns out the damn thing was worth half a trillion credits.”
“Good gods, really?”
“Yeah, Niari and I sold it just an hour ago, actually. We were about to buy another ship with it, but we thought you might want say in it before we do that.”
“How much is this other ship worth?”
“That’s a good price there. If you can take me to the dealer, i’d like to have a look at it.”
“Are you able to walk?”
“Oh, yeah. The doctor told me i was allowed to leave once you got here to pick me up.”
“Who’s sitting in the back then…?” Niari asked. I then remembered her magazines in the back of the car.
“I can.” I offered. She looked a little relieved to know it wasn’t Aielle offering right away. We helped Aielle out of the bed, and then made our way back out of the hospital. for her worse injuries, she certainly recovered from them faster than i did. Niari let Aielle sit in the passenger seat while she drove, and i sat in the back. On the way to the spaceport, i managed to hide the magazines under the seat cleaning off the area alongside that. Eventually, we found ourselves back at the spaceport, and we met Rari hanging around the ship we considered an hour ago.
“Hey you’re back!” Rari called when she saw us. “So who’s the friend you needed to pick up?”
“I’m Aielle, you?” Aielle asked.
“Rari, nice to meet you. Anyways, the ship here is still up for grabs.” Rari refreshed us on the details, and Aielle agreed to buy it with us. We went back to the payment window and the ship was then owned under all our names. “Alright then, the universe is now yours to explore.” She slid a digital key under the window, along with the papers, which i took.
“Thank you very much.” I said.
“But before you go planet hopping, it’s probably a good idea to get some equipment for it too. You may not have seen them, since you’ve only travelled on the Alc VI, but there’s billions of more planets which are very hostile that ships like the Alc VI don’t bother to land on.”
“That’s was already on my mind.” Niari claimed. “And i know just the people to go to for that stuff too.”
“Who?” Aielle asked.
“I can drive us there right now, it’s not too far.”
“Okay, let’s do that then.” I agreed.
“See you soon then. I’ll keep the ship safe for you here whenever you need it.” Rari offered.
“Thanks, we appreciate it.” I said. We started to walk towards the elevator down to the surface.
“So, what exactly do we plan on doing with that ship?” Niari asked, specifically towards me.
“I don’t know about you two, but i want to get some revenge on that Varea bitch.” Aielle claimed.
“I want to save the people on that ship, if they aren’t already dead… if so, i’m with Aielle.” I claimed.
Niari was silent for a second, but then chuckled. “You two are crazy. But you’re my crazies.” She giggled. Aielle looked bashful for a second.
“So, what are you going to do?” I asked.
“Well i’ll help you two out. Like i said, people like you are too squishy to be going on vendetta missions. Also, i’m a mechanic, so i can help out if parts of the ship are malfunctioning and such.”
“Also, you’re gonna need at least some sort of a crew, and since we all signed the papers, i guess we’re all in it together. But we can’t do it right away, you know?”
“I figured that already.” Aielle claimed. “Three people in a tiny ship won’t be more than an insect to the fallen void’s ship and probably hundreds of people.”
“Mmm.” I Responded. We finally reached the elevator, and were sent down to the surface. We quickly enough found and got into the car, and Niari drove us in the direction where she claimed there was someone who could sell us a few things worthy of space exploration. It took us almost half an hour to reach. The front of the building read Star stuff.
“I like the name, it’s cute.” Aielle claimed.
“Yeah, i giggle at it whenever i come here.” Niari claimed. The outside of the building was pretty standard but it looked like a whole different planet on the inside. There were now windows, and the whole building was lit with a lamp which cast stars onto every surface. It was a little cheesy, and looked like a children’s store, but it was filled with high tech looking equipment on many racks and hangers. It was difficult for me to notice at first, but the Kaithian who ran the store has black fur with white spots, which made him look like a walking night sky.
“Ah, Niari! good to see you again.” He said when he noticed us walk in. “Who’d you bring with you this time?”
“Hey Sivan. This is my girlfriend, Iria, and her friend Aielle.” Niari introduced.
“Nice to meet you, Sivan.” I said.
“Same.” Aielle said.
“Well met, you two. Welcome to Star stuff. So, are you here to chat again or are you buying something this time?” He asked Niari.
“We’re buying things this time yeah.” Niari said.
“Oh? Well then, what are you looking for?”
“We just bought our own starship, so we’re looking for anything that can help with using it.”
“Ah, well that’s quite a surprise. Well, you’ve come to the right place then. I’ve got a few things that will come very much in handy out in space.”
“Alright then, give us the tour.” Sivan then waved us to follow him.
“Alright, so, the first thing that you’ll definitely need out in space is a suit, otherwise it’s just silly to think about it. Right here there’s a top of the line set, worth about 50 thousand credits each.”
“I would think something like that would be more expensive.” Niari questioned.
“Oh, not at all. With the new tech coming out every month, stuff like this is easier to make every day. It takes about a week to make a something like this.”
“So what exactly is it then?” I asked.
“It’s called a nanosuit. It’s a staple for space exploration. It can be programmed to do many things, and it’s also got it’s own built in programs like an air filter for example, when the planet’s atmosphere has oxygen, but you can’t breathe it because there’s also chlorine, for example. It also has a shield emitter built into it.”
“Oh man, i’d like to try something like that out.” Aielle claimed.
“Since it’s nanotech, it fits to your body when it recognizes you.”
“No, not try it out, i mean try programming it.” Aielle corrected.
“Computer geek.” i joked.
“Science freak.” Aielle shot back.
“Techies.” Niari said, crossing her arms and raising an eyebrow at us.
“Mechie.” I responded.
“Ladies, please.” Sivan halted us.
“Alright, anyways, I think we’ll be buying one for each of us?” Niari asked us.
“Yeah.” i said.
“Mhm.” Aielle responded.
“Alright.” Sivan picked up three of the suits, and to my surprise they all folded up and compressed into small cubes. “Handy eh?” Sivan asked seeing my expression.
“Yeah, if it’s as simple as that to put away.”
“wait till you try it on, seriously. Anyways, there’s two more things here you should see.” He led us over to another area in the store. “These things here, are a must have. They’re solid-hologram emitters, often called Hardlight tools.” He picked one up, and turned it on. Suddenly, the end lit up, and an orange light appeared in the shape of a rod. He then poked Niari with it.
“Hey.” Niari complained, making Sivan giggle a little.
“Anyways, like the suit, it can be programmed to have multiple uses. This rod is just the standard for of it. If you get into programming it though don’t expect to get a lot of weight with something like a hammer, because the hardlight is weightless. But it’s useful because it’s usable on almost anything, even those ridiculous screws they use on children’s toys.”
“Sounds like my kind of thing.” Niari said.
“They go for about 250 credits. As simple as it may seem, hardlight is difficult to make.” Sivan said.
“No problem, we’ll be taking good care of them.” I said.
“So another three then?” Sivan asked.
“Alright then.” He picked up three of the hardlight tools. By now it looked like he was going to drop everything. “The last thing you might want is right opposite us.” He walked to the other end of the aisle. “Right here, is your standard Mark 3 blaster pistol. It’s capable of firing both sound waves and lasers, the prior being the standard setting. Like its ancestor the Leviath rifle, it’s mainly used to incapacitate things rather than kill, but it can still kill if it’s used in the laser mode. If you want some of these, you’ll need to sign some papers as well.” The pistol was only slightly longer than my hand, it’s a little underwhelming.
“It looks very underwhelming, really.” I said.
“Yeah, it looks that way. you can say that about any gun, and you’ll still be sorry you got shot.” Sivan said.
“I guess you’re right.” I acceded.
“I suppose you’ll want three of these too?”
“You might want to turn the lights on first, so we can sign the papers for them.” Niari said.
“Oh yeah, definitely, but only if you’re taking them.”
“Yeah, we could use them at some point maybe.” I said.
“Better safe than sorry out in space.” Aielle claimed. “I’ve never used a proper gun before though, so I’ll need some practice.”
“Alright then.” Sivan reached for the pistols.
“Hold on there, no need to show off. You won’t be carrying nine different thing to the counter. Let me take then for crying out loud.” Niari shot down. She grabbed three pistols, and then we all went over to the counter, Sivan’s pride a little hurt.
“Alright then, so that will be… 945000 credits.” I pulled out my cellphone, and transferred the credits to the register.
“There we go.” I said when i finished.
“Alright then. Now, here’s the papers… and… there’s the lights.” He turned on the lights, which blinded me for a second. I read through the papers, and it was basically telling us that Sivan, nor his shop is responsible for anything killed with the guns. We had the papers signed by then end. “Okay, now it’s all yours.”
“Okay then, I’ll talk to you later Sivan.” Niari said.
“See ya around.” Aielle said.
“Later.” I said. We left the shop, and entered the sunlight again. It was almost blinding after our eyes had adjusted to the dim lit store. We got into Niari’s car, and put the equipment into the back seat with me.
“Okay then. Shall we head home then? or do you want to check out the ship before then, since we haven’t yet?”
“I say the ship.” Aielle voted.
“Agreed. We might as well get familiar with the thing, and it’s only an hour past noon.
“Alright then, back to the spaceport… I’m gonna need more fuel on the way back home.” With that, we were on our way back to the spaceport. It took us half an hour again, but we finally reached it. We took our equipment with us too, thinking we might as well, since it’s not going to be much use off the ship for now. We rode the elevator up, and quickly enough found the ship in the same spot it was left. I pulled out the digital key to the ship, and when i waved it close to the door, it slid open, a small staircase unfolding outward. I walked inside, and was quite awed when i did. It was a pretty simple spacecraft, but the difference between what i saw in here and what was on the Alc VI was huge. I actually got to see the control panel, and the bridge itself too. At the bridge there was two seats. aside from that, in the other direction led to the two empty rooms Rari told us about. Before that, there was two other ways one lead to the crew quarters and washroom, while the other led to the service and maintenance room. the ship wasn’t really big, but it was perfect for the three of us, maybe even three more since there’s six beds in the crew quarters.
“This thing is awesome.” Aielle said.
“Yeah, it’s great looking too.” Niari said. “Who’s going to be the one driving this thing?”
“I can. I’m not a Arc pilot, but i do know how ships like this work. Like the pod, you input a coordinate into the console, and the ship will do it’s best to reach that spot. If not, we can still drive it manually.”
“Alright then.” Niari said.
“Here’s the biggest question though.” i started, catching both of their attention. “What are we going to call it?”
“The ship?” Aielle asked.
“I’ve had this on my mind ever since we considered buying it.” Niari claimed. “I’ve got a few in mind, but I’ll start with the one i like the most. How about the Quick Tail?
“That’s got a nice ring to it.” Aielle said.
“Yeah, i like it.” I said.
“Can we name it that then?” Niari asked.
“All in favor?” I raised my hand, and they followed. “Quick tail it is then.”
“Yay.” Niari cheered.
“So anyways, i’m going to try out this nanosuit thing.” I said.
“You do that, i’m gonna be tampering with the hardlight tool.” Aielle said.
“I’m gonna check out the engine room to see what’s going on there I’ve always wanted to see an Alc drive up close.” With that we all separated into the ship. I went into the crew quarters so i could use the nanosuit. I had no idea how the thing worked, but i suspected i shouldn’t be wearing clothes when i put it on. So with that assumption in mind, i undressed, and examined the little box which the nanosuit had turned itself into at Star stuff. I looked at all six sides of it, and i found a button on one of them. I pushed it, and yelped a little. When i pushed it, it shocked me. When I flailed my hand away from the box, i saw that it wasn’t a box anymore. The nano material was actually melting in my hand, and creeping up my arm. Soon enough, it encompassed my whole body, except for my head, and very comfortably at that. It glistened for a second when it was done, and then instead of looking like a sheet of black material, it looked like a proper suit. I ran my hands over it, looking myself over. It even extended down my tails. I looked at my hands, and thought they looked cool with the nice design on the gloves. I went to the bathroom, and looked at myself in the mirror. I giggled, thinking i look like a hero from a children’s cartoon. Maybe Aielle can change the look for me if i asked. I left the crew quarters, leaving my clothing behind on one of the beds, along with the hardlight tool and pistol. I quickly found Niari in the engine room.
“Hey, Niari, how do i look?” I asked.
“Huh? Oh, damn that thing looks sexy on you.” She complemented. “Can’t wait to try mine on now.”
“Thanks.” i said, knowing i couldn’t help but blush.
“Yeah, you make that thing look amazing.”
“So, what’re you looking at?”
“The Alc drive. this thing is so complicated, i can’t even understand what any of the parts are. Forgive me, but i’ll need to do my homework for this one, so i won’t be helping out with the guts of this thing yet.”
“No worries about that. I still need to see what buttons even start the thing.”
“We all need some practice i suppose.”
“Yeah. Anyways, i’m going to find Aielle now, maybe she’s done something with her hardlight by now. Having only known her for a few weeks, she’s all about computers.”
“Alright, i’ll be here a little longer, so I’ll join you in maybe five minutes.”
“Alright, see you in a bit then.”
“Yep.” I left the engine room, looking back at her to see her cute fascination with mechanics. I found Aielle in one of the empty rooms, which actually had a counter on one wall.
“Hey there. Damn, you’re rocking that suit.” She complemented.
“Thanks. I wanted to see if you’ve done anything with the hardlight yet.”
“Nothing big, but I got a program which makes the light blue instead of orange. I’m working on something more useful though, but it’ll take a little while longer than ten minutes.”
“I figures out that you can actually connect the hardlight to your cell, and code it from there.”
“Is that how you’re coding it?”
“Yeah. the same might work with the suit, why don’t you try it?”
“Alright…. i left it in the crew quarters, one second.” I went to the crew quarters, and found my phone again. I brought it to Aielle. “Do you know how to connect it?”
“If it’s made by the same company as the hardlight here, then you should be able to connect using NFC. for me, it created an app on the screen somewhere for the hardlight.” I scrolled through the menu, and found a new app there called simply Nanosuit. When i activated it, it brought up a menu with several options which i’ll need to explore later.
“Yeah, here it is.”
“Right. from there you can program things into it. Just make sure that you program it right, or at least show me the code first.”
“I figured that would be a good idea.”
“Hey guys, how’s it going?” Niari walked in and asked. Before i could turn around to see her, she hugged me from behind, and kissed my cheek. I giggled, leaning into her.
“We’re doing fine, thanks.” I said. Aielle looked a little nervous then, but I decided not to pry right now.
“Yeah.” Aielle responded.
“So, are we done here for now then? I wouldn’t mind heading back home about now.” Niari claimed.
“Yeah, i wouldn’t mind either.” I said.
“Can i go with you then? My home is on Earth, so i’m a little stranded right now.” Aielle asked.
“Sure thing.” Niari said.
“Anyways, before we head out, i’m going to find out how to take this suit off, so give me a minute or two while i do that.”
“Alright then.” Niari said. She let me go, and patted my head as i turned to leave. I blushed slightly, but continued on to the crew quarters. I looked looked at the suit for about a minute trying to figure out how to remove the thing, but i eventually found the command written in the app on my phone. The suit then seemed to melt off me, and then collected into a cube by my feet, which i picked up. I put on my old clothes, and grabbed the hardlight and the cube, leaving the pistol, since i won’t need it at home. When i left the crew quarters, Niari and Aielle were waiting for me by the door.
“Ready then?” Niari asked.
“Yeah, let’s go.” We left the Quick tail, and i locked it behind us. “We’re going to need to copy this key at some point.” i said.
“Later. Today’s been a busy day, and i want to be home for a while.” Niari claimed. After about half an hour, we had left the spaceport and drove all the way home. Once we were inside, Niari and i stretched widely, but Aielle seemed a little shy.
“Don’t be so nervous, Aielle.” i giggled. “We’re friends, right? you shouldn’t need to worry about anything.”
“I’m not worried, i’m just… nevermind.” I raised an eyebrow at her, but dropped the subject.
“So, there’s a few hours before sunset, so i think i’m going to tamper with this suit for a little while.” i said.
“Before that, Iria, what about the sleeping arrangement?”
“Hmm? oh yeah. Well, Aielle, we’ve got a few extra blankets and pillows you can use for the couch if you want, unless you’re willing to share our bed for the night?” I asked.
“I’ll… i’ll use the couch tonight. Thanks though, for offering.” Aielle decided.
“Alright, we’ll have that set up by dark.” Niari claimed.
“Alright, i’ll be in the bedroom for a minute while i change back into this.”
“Alright then.” Niari said. I then headed into the bedroom. I took my clothing off again, stretching wide once more. Suddenly someone grabbed me, and I yelped. I quickly calmed down when i saw Niari’s black hands around me.
“Gods, Niari. If you’re going to do that, why grab my breasts of all places?” i complained.
“Because why not?” she giggled, letting go of me. She then ruffled my hair. I rolled my eyes at her. I found the nanocube which i dropped when she scared me, and then pushed the small button on the one face. Thankfully it didn’t shock me this time. Niari watched with interest as the suit farmed around my naked self, and took the form which she saw on the ship.
“That’s so strange. I didn’t know you put those things on like that.” She commented.
“It surprised me too. But at least it still looks great.”
“Damn right it does.” i yelped again as she gently slapped my butt.
“Hey!” i complained, blushing. She only giggled in response.
“I’ll go cook some food for dinner while you do your thing.” She said.
“Alright then.” We walked out of the room together, and i took my cell with me. While I sat on the couch, She went into the kitchen. I took out my cellphone, and started up the app for the suit. I explored what the thing could do, and soon found quite a few useful things, for starters, i changed the look of the suit to be a set of clothing, rather than armor. I could also color the individual parts too.
“Liking the suit then?” Aielle asked randomly.
“Yeah, it’s pretty cool.”
“Do you mind if i try mine on in your bathroom?” Aielle asked.
“Go ahead, it’s right over there.”
“Okay, thanks. Be right back.” She got up, taking her nanocube with her. A little less than a minute after she entered the bathroom, i heard her yelp. I guess she got a shock too. She came out soon after that. She looked really good in the suit.
“Looking good, girl.” I complemented. I saw her blush, which made me giggle.
“Thanks.” She said.
“Are you two dressing up without me?!” Niari called from the kitchen.
“You’re missing everything!” I shouted back.
“Jerks!” She shouted, laughing. Aielle sat down on the opposite side of the couch. We tampered a little more with our suits, but Niari soon enough finished dinner. We all joined around the kitchen table and ate our fill of Niari’s meal. When we finished, Niari practically forced us to do the dishes, claiming that she worked to make it, therefore we work to clean it. I shrugged it off, and Aielle and i quickly finished the dishes. After that, Niari and i set up the couch for Aielle to use tonight.
“There we go, done.” Niari said as she finished the couch-bed.
“Perfect timing too. The sun’s setting.” I said.
“Mhm, and i’m exhausted, it was a busy day today. Buying the Quick tail, equipment, travelling by car half the day, i’m done.” Niari ranted.
“I’m tired as well. I suppose i’ll go to sleep here when you guys are asleep.” Aielle said.
“Yeah, well we’ll be heading to our room right now i think.” i said.
“Mhm.” Niari agreed.
“Okay then.” Aielle acknowledged.
“Okay, goodnight then, Aielle.” I said.
“Night.” Niari agreed.
“Goodnight you two.” Aielle said. Niari and i then made our way to our room, closing the door behind us. I took off my clothing, forgetting it was the nanosuit until it formed back into a cube when all the pieces hit the ground. I then placed it on the end table. Once i did that, Niari pulled me down into the bed and her embrace. I giggled as she turned me around in her arms, and then kissed me.
“Goodnight, love.” She said.
“Goodnight, sweetheart.” I responded. It didn’t take us long to fall asleep once again in each other’s arms.