Part 9- Completion
“Commander Fawx- you sound so surprised to see me. Surely you didn’t think I was dead, did you?”
“I had hoped it.”
“Come, come now. You were the best first officer I ever had. You of all people should know not to underestimate my abilities.”
“Or your treachery! You’re behind this?” Fawx’s entire body trembled. His eyes would not leave the monitor.
“Yes Bennis. I am. Not a bad bit of revenge I’d say.”
Fawx snarled. “Revenge? Revenge for what? You were the one who defected to the Minalonians! You made that decision; not me and especially not my crew!”
Irium rose up from his chair. “You were the one that made the decision to snitch like a little girl!”
“I did my duty as an officer in the Terren Space Force and as a citizen of the human race! You betrayed your own people, you bastard! Because of you the Minalonian’s were able to find out our fleet deployment and drag the war out another full year when we could have broken their back and ended it! You’re a traitor!”
“Your duty, eh? It’s all my fault, huh? Tell me this then, if you were so concerned about your duty then why didn’t you shoot down my escape ship when you had the chance? You could have killed me and prevented me from ever dragging that war out, Duty Boy. You could have prevented all this, as you called it, treachery.”
Fawx’s fists shook. He couldn’t speak. His mind wandered back to the moment where all he needed to do was give the order to fire. But he didn’t. He couldn’t bring himself to kill off his former friend and Captain. Because of that moment of hesitation though, the war continued. Thousands more died. The guilt that he tried to push away for seven years now stared him in the face. “Why are doing this to my crew?”
Irium sat back down in his chair. “I dragged the war out longer, yes, but you forced me to leave before I could gather all the intel needed for the Minalonians to turn the war around and win. About a month before the peace treaty was signed I realized they had no chance and that any surrender terms would have the Minalonians turning me over to a TSF judiciary council. So I gathered up a crew and separated myself from the Minalonian military.”
“I was forced to live the life of an outlaw- a pirate, smuggler, mercenary- whatever it took to earn some cash, feed my crew, and keep my ship in working order. About three months ago I was approached by a kingpin on Artes II about an- unusual job.”
Fawx didn’t like that Artes II was being brought up. It was under control of the TSF in name only. It took a full two weeks to get there from the nearest star system and communication to the main planets was very limited. It was controlled by various crime lords and mafias. Gambling and prostitution thrived as legitimate businesses. It had become a cesspool of immorality and vice- and naturally a very popular vacation spot for anyone looking for a vacation where no rules applied and you didn’t want the main worlds to know of any indiscretions you did.
“All the casinos, clubs, hotels, brothels, and bars need beautiful young women to serve the patrons of the fine institutions. But business is growing too fast and there aren’t enough beautiful, young women who are willing to work on Artes II to keep up with the demand. To that end, I was introduced to Yecter, the Yrch mystic.”
Fawx’s mind dwelt on that last word. “Mystic?”
Irium smirked. “Oh yes. I didn’t believe it myself when I was first told about Yecter’s abilities. But then I saw it for myself. It took me a while to cope with the fact magic was real but the job paid too well to let that bother me.”
“Yes, my employer already owns a few casinos and strip clubs and is about to open another casino with a ‘specialty’ hotel next to it. Since there weren’t enough young women who would accept employment on Artes II, he wanted us, with the help of Yecter’s skills to create and shanghai a new set of employees he can pay nothing for. We tried it first on a small smuggling ship that had only twelve people for a crew. Last month we went for a bit larger prey, a space ferry with twenty-some-odd people on it.”
“Then I got wind through some Minalonian contacts that a certain ship captained by a certain man would be transporting a Stasian prisoner through the Muffler Sector- somewhere that they wouldn’t be able to call for any help. Plus there was the added benefit of getting my revenge if I did the job. So while cloaked, right before you entered the Sector, we got close enough to your ship for Yecter to teleport himself onto your ship, rig up the subspace transmitter to one of your escape pods and begin his work.”
Fawx shook his head. “You son of a-“
“Captain! Look out!”
Before Fawx could turn around to heed Novak’s warning, he felt a light wrap around his body. Things began to shift within and around him making him feel dizzy. He slowly stumbled to the ground, suddenly very aware of every sensation his body despite his sudden wooziness. As he fell, he felt his light blue hair wash down his shoulders to the middle of his back. His hands reached out to brace his fall, only to see them shrink before his eyes. His legs pulled close together as his pants sewed themselves together into a long skirt. He winced as he crashed to the ground and his waist pinched inward. His hips flared outward and his cheeks puffed so large that the seams of his rapidly shrinking outfit almost burst.
His chest popped outward as two very large orbs further testing the limits of his uniform. The long skirt snaked up, exposing his luscious legs until stopping on the upper part of his thighs. The collar of his shirt opened wide like a snake does before devouring prey bigger than its own jaw. It slithered down Fawx’s soft shoulders and arm. He felt the cold air of the Sabine against the now exposed cleavage of his sizable breasts and shivered at the sensitivity of his now baby-soft skin.
Despite not standing, he could feel his toes being forced downward as his boots morphed into a pair of four-inch stilettos. The magic sharpened his jaunt face into a fine point. His face burned with an oddly-painless heat as his cheekbones raised and his nose pulled upwards. His picturesque face grimaced as he felt his organs shift and contort. He gasped as he felt her last traces of manhood disappear, leaving her feeling bare.
Fawx flashed a hateful glare to the Yrch who towered over her. She tried to pull herself up to attack the Yrch but found it impossible to stand so quickly on her razor thin heels. The Yrch chuckled at the Captain before Irium spoke again. “My, my Bennis! You look absolutely captivating in that outfit. Displays just how amazingly booberific you are. I think I will call you Foxy from here on out. I have to say that you do indeed look every bit the part of a good little card bunny or maybe even a brothel employee.”
Novak, Petton, and Garrick stared as the Captain slowly pulled herself up and balanced in his new shoes. It disturbed Fawx how strangely comfortable his heels felt perched up a few inches. With a breathy contralto, she declared, “You’re crazy if you think I or any of my crew will cooperate with you or your employer, Irium!” She recoiled at the sound of her dark, sultry voice that made her angriest reply sound like a beckoning purr.
Irium chuckled once more. “Wow, you are the complete package. Nice work Yecter. Get back on the Silencer and we’ll discuss our entrance strategy.” The Yrch nodded and disappeared from the bridge only to reappear behind Irium. “Well, Foxy, I don’t expect you to comply with me at all. That’s why I disabled your ability to shoot at me and why I had Yecter disable any ability you had to escape and destroy most of your weapon caches. As for you cooperating with my employer, that’s a different story.”
Fawx tried to growl but it only came out as a purr again. “What do you mean by that?”
A wicked grin appeared on Irium’s face. “When we brought that first batch of ‘new recruits’ to our employer I wondered how he was going to force them to work with him. I figured some sort of blackmail mixed with intimidation tactics, brute force, etc. I couldn’t have been more wrong. He hired some firm of psychotherapists, behaviorists, psychologists, neurologists, and all kinds of people that deal with the brain and behavior and specialize in the ‘domestication’ of people. That group of twelve smugglers was every bit as defiant as you were and ten times more vicious. Career smugglers tend to not be the softest around the edges. I thought this idea wouldn’t work but what did I care. I got my paycheck anyway. But I’ll be damned if a month later when I went back that same group of smugglers that was swearing, spitting, screaming for three weeks on the trip to Artes II wasn’t serving my crew drinks at the casino and giving us quite the show at the strip club. It blew my mind frankly. In one month’s time they had been broken and were as obedient as dogs are to their masters.”
The entire bride shuddered at this claim. “How is that even possible?”
Irium just shrugged. “Beats me. I assume they probably combine medication, hypnosis, and a bunch of those other psycho-babble things used together. But that group keeps their techniques to themselves and that’s just fine by me. And as long as I get my paycheck, I don’t really care to know how they do it.”
“I can’t believe you’ve actually-“
“Well frankly I don’t give a damn what you think and this is why: in twenty minutes my ship is going to link up to one of your airlocks. Any security team you scrounge up is going to first be met by Yecter. Even if Yecter somehow fails, your crew is untrained in how to shoot with your melons getting in the way. But even if you somehow become amazing shots and can out-duel us, you have fewer weapons than crewmembers right now. Eventually you’ll fall to our numbers. Face it Foxy- you’re beaten.”
Fawx stared at the ground and bit her lip. She had to think of something, something that would prevent Irium from accomplishing his goal. Even death was a better option than their fate if Irium succeeded. Then an idea came to her mind. “I may have one trick up my sleeve, Irium.”
Irium shook his head. “Oh my dear, sweet Foxy. You’re thinking about activating your scuttle bomb, aren’t you?” Fawx didn’t like his confident tone. He glared at Irium. “Yes. You are planning on using it. Well it would seem you forgot one small detail. Activation of a scuttle bomb takes voice authorization from the Captain and three senior officers. Unfortunately for you Foxy, that seductive tone your voice now carries is a far cry from the voice of Captain Bennis Fawx. Your scuttle bomb is not an option, sweetheart.”
Fawx’s teeth ground together. He was right. She couldn’t activate the scuttle bomb. That was her last resort weapon. What could they do now? Her brained scraped the inside of her skull for an idea. Anything.
“So let me tell you how this is going to work. We are going to link up to one of your airlocks. Then Yecter is going to inoculate any security team you have prepared to greet us. Then I will walk onto your ship, with your entire crew bowing down to me as I enter. My medical team will then sedate you all with enough sedative to keep you in a beauty sleep for almost a week. While you’re out cold, we’ll inspect your ship for any parts we may want. Before we leave we’ll collect your Stasian guest and then eliminate any traces of what’s left of the pathetic Sabine. After that we’ll turn Xaen over to that Minalonian ship you so brilliantly disabled- for a large fee of course. When you wake up you’ll be in restraints that make it impossible for you to move so there is no hope of escape. In a little over two weeks we’ll arrive on Artes II where you’ll be transferred to those guys who will tame and housetrain you and your entire crew. If I’m lucky, a month later I’ll be back on Artes II and I’ll get to enjoy your no doubt pleasurable company. See you in twenty, Foxy.”
The screen went black. Fawx stood. She had to think of something. She had to act. But what options did she have?
The doors to the bridge opened. Dr. Teffri stumbled into the bridge panting, wearing large metallic backpack. “What did I miss?” The Captain’s eye met hers. Maybe it was the blue hair or the yellow uniform, but Fawx could tell that Teffri knew who the new woman was. “Sorry I wasn’t here sooner, Captain.”
Fawx looked at Petton. Her eyes were filled with anticipation and alarm- but they remained on her Captain.
He glanced at Garrick. Her eyes were moist and filled with fear. But they didn’t deviate from her Captain.
Finally her eyes met Novak’s. Her eyes were steady as always. “All right Captain. What’s the plan?”
Fawx shook her head, her blue hair swaying side to side as she did. Sure they had the gun that could kill the Yrch now, but even if they killed him, what chance did they stand against the rest of Irium’s crew? As much as she hated to admit it, her old Captain seemed several steps ahead of her. Her crew wasn’t going to be able to take on the members of the Silencer head on. She needed something he wouldn’t have thought of. Something Irium wouldn’t think Fawx was capable of- that’s when it hit her. “I’ve got it! Everybody listen up.”
I loved this chapter. It turned out exactly how I wanted it to. Is the reason for attacking them with the Yrch a little contrived? Yeah. But I loved the idea nonetheless. I love the concept of a space Las Vegas- it’s like Vegas but bigger and with more lawlessness! Woooo! Viva Artes II! Dang they need a better slogan.
I like how whenever Irium talks about the Yrch he calls him by his name Yecter while Fawx and the crew just think of him as “the Yrch.” To one he is a crew member- to the other the destroyer of all things manly. It’s amazing how you can convey a different sentiment just by changing what you call someone.I love being able to do that as a writer.
I thought Fawx turned out great in that picture. Looked exactly what I imagined her to look like. I felt the Captain should be the most top heavy and wear an outfit that blatantly shows it off. I imagine a Captain having to give off a proffessional appearance and practically falling out of your uniform isn’t very proffessional at all. Nope.
Well thanks for you patience in getting this chapter to you. I hope you all loved it. Please send your comments and everything. I love hearing your comments and theories from you lovable readers.