Prologue: The Halfling
Nikita was the only human she knew that was alive still. Humans were an extinct species where the galaxy was concerned. All of them killed when the Sway attacked the Earthlings two home planets, Terra and Red Vale were destroyed 19 years ago.
No one was really that concerned with it though, humans had only gotten involved with other species about 50 years before their demise, and were seen as archaic and naïve. However they were seen as exotic with how many different skin color and language variations existed among their people. That didn’t appear in most other cultures due to interbreeding and homogenization of their home planets.
However what most don’t know about humans is that they weren’t as stupid as they seemed to think. The destruction of humanity was viewed as the general stupidity of the human race but that wasn’t true. Terra and Red Vale’s communications were cut so the two planets didn’t realize that they were being destroyed by the Sway.
The Sway was a mysterious and dangerous force for Nikita. Her mother, who had escaped the slaughter, had told her that they were the main governmental force in their galaxy. Nikita’s mother had also told her that they had felt threatened by humans, and that was why they were destroyed.
Her mother had been a spaceship mechanic when this began. She was usually brought along on trips made by humans, but right before the slaughter happened she had accepted a six month contract with some Elliate merchants.
Elliates are one of the richest races, and had large heads and tall stretched looking bodies. Their eyes were usually a piercing gold, and their skin smooth and light gray that never seemed to wrinkle. They had feathers that were usually white or silver that looked like hair, and only extended to the middle of their necks.
She was on the ship and leaving when the Sway ships converged on the planet. She looked back to see the port city she had left from being destroyed. Nikita’s mother had just become pregnant with Nikita, and left the ship after 4 months. She had given birth to Nikita on the planet Vivica, and had been on the move constantly. Nikita had never had a home besides the ship her mother had bought when Nikita was an infant. However, when Nikita was only 13 years old the Sway caught up with them. Nikita’s mother had lured them away from her and gotten herself arrested and killed.
Nikita had been prepared for this situation, the few rules were: Stay put for a few weeks, do not try to get her out, and do not go watch the execution in person.
Nikita hadn’t been able to say goodbye or mourn. She had to survive.
6 years later and that was all Nikita knew how to do.
She had grown little from when she was left alone. She was very much like her mother, petite she had called it, with large eyes, but cappuccino skin, unlike her mother, that would purple at the slightest bump, like her mother. Whenever she saw her face she thought it was strange how she looked. Her face was round, and she looked much younger than she actually was, her face was relatively unchanged from when she was 15, well she thinks it was when she was 15. There isn’t really time for birthdays when you have to avoid the largest governmental force in the galaxy, and establish yourself as mercenary for hire.
At 19 Nikita was well established for someone so young. She had proved herself to be an adept thief that can break into anything. That was more because of her technical background from her mother and less because of just straight skill. She knew some thieves that were just that good, and had gotten well acquainted with the underworld of the galaxy.
She lives her life like any mercenary does, dangerously. She goes across the galaxy steals something, and gets it back to get payment. She has a very good track record except with “stolen” concubines. People stopped asking her about doing those jobs after a while.
She had a lot of contacts in the underbelly of the galaxy, and had built up a loyal clientele. They knew that she was secretive and they allowed her to keep her secrets as long as she got the job done well. She had just finished a mission that required her to steal something back from a wronged employee. She didn’t kill him like the man had truly wanted but Nikita knew that he wasn’t really a threat because he didn’t know where the others that had been wronged were, but the Sway wouldn’t help them. The Sway is well paid by the major multi-planetary corporations.
She was walking into a pub that just so happened to have a slave auction going on. She kept her ears out looking for someone really young. She would usually do this save the really young ones and get them somewhere safe. She bought a drink to make herself fit in among this crowd and sat at the bar.
The man on the stage was a sickeningly neon-bright Polychromian that was all smiles despite the reservations of morally guided head about what they were doing. He looked like someone who was lying. Nothing of note happened, there didn’t seem to be any really young ones this time. However the second to last person immediately peeked Nikita’s interest.
“Well, ladies and gentleman, and everyone in between, we have ourselves a very rare find. A Halfling, half-canilid, half-human hybrid.” All of the excitement stopped, very few of these people could afford being caught with a human Halfling. “Bidding starts at 700 terens.” The Polychromian said obviously knowing the risk of this.
A few people bid with little enthusiasm. The highest anyone will go seems to be a 950 terens, so Nikita jumps in on a thousand.
“One thousand terens? One thousand? Alright sold to the little figure at the bar come up and get your product.”
Everyone turns to see who in their right mind would buy a human Halfling. All they saw is a figure cloaked in darkness making their way through the crowd. They do not seem to have a health problem or anything else. So everyone just assumes it’s a young rich alien that feels indestructible and feels bad for the wrath that will be visited on their family.
Nikita is handed a leash with the collar around his neck. He is wearing a dark colored skirt with no shoes. While slavery wasn’t banned on Generon it was frowned upon and Nikita was glad she didn’t park too far out this time.
She hurried him to her ship. He was completely complaint, and Nikita knew that was more likely because of his enhanced senses picking up her scent rather than his actual personality. Nikita opened her ship up and got him inside.
She took off her hood and slowly showed him her face.
“Yes, and you’re half human.”
“I thought all of the humans died when they got destroyed by their sun.”
“We weren’t destroyed by our sun, we were destroyed by the Sway, and my mother was the only known one. I was already conceived when she got off the planet and she had to watch what happened. And what about you?”
“My mother was a Lost girl.”
Nikita felt pity bubbling up in her, but she squashed it; she didn’t want to be pitied and she doubted he would either. She studied him. He did have a lot of human features. His kind are usually very hairy, but he was almost hairless compared to the rest of his father’s race. They all had supernaturally bright amber eyes. His eyes were blue, glowing and had slight slits. His skin was paler than Nikita’s but she knew that skin tone variations were not strange among her people.
If his mother was a Lost girl then that meant that she had been taken off of the planets long before the massacre. No one would come after her because she would have been classified dead, and the Sway wouldn’t even try to go after a Lost girl because they knew that going into the underbelly would be bad for them.
“Why are you a slave though? I would think that you would be among your people.”
“The children of the lost girls don’t fight, and they certainly don’t win, even if there father is in charge of the pack.”
“I see, so he sent you away because you were a threat.”
“Yes, but I want to know about my mother’s kind. Women did not have much influence with their sons.”
“You mean humans, I can try to help, but I only knew one human. She was my mother and died many years ago.”
“What was the human pack structure?”
“We didn’t really have packs. We had families that extended many generations, and we had people that thought similarly that we called friends. However, we haven’t had packs. Only some animals on Terra would have packs, wolves and dogs I believe.”
“You had clans and allies.”
“It is a little bit more complicated than that but yes.”
“Yes because humans were often separated by physical boundaries like mountains, rivers, oceans, and so they developed larger groups than clans. They would speak different languages and they created lines between themselves and called themselves countries.”
“Oh, that sounds strange.”
“Maybe, but that was just how it worked on our planet.”
“I see, are there any others that you know of?”
“Not that I know of, but it wouldn’t be out of character for my father to beget another child on my mother.”
“So a brother or sister?”
“What are those?”
“Brothers are boys that come from one or both parents, and sisters-”
“Are girls that have come from one or both parents.”
“Do you have any of these?”
“No, my mother only gave birth to me, and my father died in the destruction of Red Vale.”
“Well we have a lot of work to do.”
“What do you mean?”
“You are half canilid which means you know a lot of the martial realm. However humans didn’t always rely on brawn, even the best warriors would know how to do things like read or write. I also am going to teach you about everything technical that I know.”
“When do we start?”