We have been down here, on the lower deck for multiple circles, working tirelessly. Well apart from a few individuals, but they are also working hard. Making food, cleaning the ship and being on guard duty every half circle, to name a few. Our loading hatch is still open for the whole universe to see and the lower deck is almost completely filled with these weird oval things with an even weirder looking, probably female, unknown species.
This all started several circles ago when we spotted one of those ovals. We sucked it into the body of the ship. A couple of moments later a dozen other ovals appeared, even before any of my scientist could identify how to open these containers, what species is contained on the insides and if they are even alive. After a quarter circle there were already over 50 ovals loaded and stationed, each of them got their own number, to not confuse our specialists, who are still working to open the doors of the first three we loaded. A couple of circles later we still don’t know what the mechanism is but we are sure to find out eventually.
“This one looks damaged,” the call of one of the receivers breaks my train of thoughts. My focus sways to one frail looking, dented oval. Immediately five of the rested specialists move to the ship.
“Look it’s leaking,” one says. And really, from underneath the door a clear liquid drips to the ground. “Keep your distance, we don’t know what it does or if it is poisonous to us,” I call over to them. One of them looks up into the small window and gasps. “What is it,” I ask, but am ignored. Even after multiple moments he doesn’t say anything, then he abruptly turns around and shouts: “This one is conscious!” Immediately all eyes shoot to the oval, even I’m stunned for a moment. Then I strut over to the dented object.
Almost there I catch its eyes. My pulse jumps. My hearts quicken their rhythm and I can suddenly feel a third frantic thumping. My third heart awakened. I feel a new strength course through my body. Quickly without loosening eye contact I lay my hands on the metal, push the tips of my fingers between door and door frame and begin to pull.
At first there is nothing moving and I am surprised at how robust the metal still is. Then it starts moaning and groaning.
I have the door opened just enough to hear her ragged breaths when suddenly a high pitched siren howling in the oval making me jump in surprise, a second later her scream joins. I look in the window. Her head backwards, her chest arched forward and her skin ghostly pale.
My hand jerks before I realise I moved, hitting the window twice before breaking it into thousand tiny pieces. My target is a tiny red button which is stationed just out of her reach on the armrest. I instinctively know that it opens the door for me. Upon pressing it her screaming immediately stops instead there is now red liquid leaking out of her body. The ghostly pale coloured skin pales even further, if that is even possible. Her mouth also looks very ashy and her half closed eyes are unfocused.
Then there is a swoosh of air, the door mechanism rattles before opening with a click and the straps holding her body against the seat release her. The second she is released she falls forward right into my arms smearing red all over me. Her beautiful dark eyes are closed now and her ragged breathing has become very shallow and I can also only hear a singular slow thumbing of her heart.
What about her other hearts? Why is she so light and looks like she’s on the edge of dying? I know she has passed out from the pain but the red liquid is still leaking.
One of my scientist move closer. With one look at my face he reaches out and grips her wrist. He holds a chip to her skin and waits a couple of seconds for all the foreign information to gather.
“She’s very malnourished and dehydrated. Her body shut down due to these factors and also because of the loss of her blood - the red stuff - and exhaustion. We definitely need a medical blanket to close her wounds and then I will inject her with a translation device. I don’t think she would understand us without one.” He takes out a bigger tool that looks similar to a small gun with a larger needle at the end. After disinfecting the spot he places the gun right behind her ear and pulls the trigger. Her body doesn’t even flinch. He puts a small patch of artificial skin over it to close the wound from any bacteria to reach. By the time he is done another has taken a small sample of her blood and the liquid her ship has stored and rushes these to the laboratory to get these analysed.
“She will survive,” I ask – well more like demand – him with a hushed voice. “Yes but her recovery will take a bit.” He whispers back while working. “I don’t know how exactly her body works, but I hope it is similar to ours. You know, she could be healed by tomorrow or in 10 circles. I first need to study her.”
“Okay,” I take a deep breath. “How long do you think she is going to stay in this state?” My eyebrows furrow, not liking the thought of her being neglected.
“Probably more than 20 circles. From the damage in her transport ship, she most likely had a collision with a small meteor. It is a wonder she survived.” His answer let’s my blood freeze with fear. A sharp pain stabs my chest. My crew is as stunned as I am. Soft murmurs and the beginning of multiple discussions fill the lower deck.
“Men get the other ovals on board! It looks like the numbers are thinning out. After that, go get some rest. You have one full circle before you are to be back on duty.” My second in command takes over just as the scientist with the much needed medical blanket arrives. I take the soft fabric from him and quickly wrap my female into it.
“Can you handle the rest?” I ask him impatiently. To which he nods and with a playful wink answers with a: “I could hear your third heart beginning to pound the moment you laid your eyes on her. Get her settled and wait for her, she will need someone to tell her what happened when she fainted.”
I nodded, thankful for my friend and second in command and leave the deck, where my men continue working to fish the ovals with the sleeping females out of space.
Once I got to my room my legs carry me to my bed where I settle down with her on my lap. Then I stare at her sunken in face. It really doesn’t suit her but still, she is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. I can’t wait to see her fill out and gain some weight. I’m also really happy that I found her so soon in my life. Some never find their other half or find them when they reach elder hood.
I bury my nose in her hair. Under the very vibrant smell of sweat and metal I can faintly sense a summery light scent. She needs to be cleaned before she sleeps. And I need to clean too.
I stand up and go into the cleaning facility. A misty air fills the circular room. The cleaning facility are tiny robots who we use to be cleaned regularly. But they don’t work with water. Instead it is a mixture of natural fluids of some common plants that is highly hygienic and helps us with not getting sick. I just hope she can tolerate them. I unwrap her from the medical blanket and lay her down. In just a few moments her whole body is clean und the stench of sweat and metal is gone. I quickly rewrap her and also unclothe myself and let the robots do their job. If someone were to ask me what the biggest satisfaction in my whole live is, I would answer without batting an eye, her getting cleaned from all the grime and dirt and liquids. Once we both are cleaned I put on some soft bottoms and lift her up again.
Back in the room I lay her down under the blanket and sit myself beside her. She moves closer to me with minimal movements, curls up in a small ball and presses her forehead against my hip. Breathing through the rising arousal I try to distract myself by going through all reports about the oval incident as well as the answers we got back from home and the Commandment Council of the Federal Alliance of Galaxies.
From home I got a message from my family, my mother to be more specific, and from the overall leader, whose family is closely tied to mine.
My mother writes back the usual stuff as well as well wishes and hopes of our soon return. The last sentence makes my heart stumble.
Dear son I love. I feel change coming. Please be careful and always follow your hearts.
I furrow my eyebrows and rub my head before letting my hand fall down to the females head. I weave my fingers through her hair.
Yes change certainly came. Even if it’s different than anticipated.