Chapter 1: Nikita
The month that I’ve spent with the Halfling has been the best since my mother was still alive. He was quick-witted, but apparently unnamed when I found him. The canilids did not gain a name until the participated in the coming of age ceremony. He had been cast out when he was only a year away from this ceremony. The slavers did not really care for anyone’s name and so he had always had no name besides pup, boy, slave, or Halfling.
Nikita’s mother had an ancient device she called a laptop that showed many databases for human knowledge prior to the destruction of our planets. Once I taught him how to read I set him in front of this device and showed him to the database, and told him to peruse it and find a name. After two days of going through the names he finally chose Fenris.
He explained that he recognized the name from a story his mother had told him when he was very young. It had been from his grandmother, and it was from an old religion. Fenris was the wolf son of the trickster god who when released would cause the apocalypse. I didn’t really understand the fascination until he explained.
“I’m going to bring the end of the Sway and their world, just like Fenris was meant to be an end to Odin and his world.”
I didn’t question that feeling his enthusiasm was a welcome change from my usual train of thought: survive at all costs.
We were doing just a run of the mill job, get in take something valuable or dangerous to the client, and bring it back to them. In and out could be done in less than an hour before we were heading home usually. Fenris didn’t exactly love the jobs but even he knew that without them that they could easily be found out by the Sway, doing these jobs just let us blend in among the hundreds of mercenaries as two relatively good ones among an ocean of bad ones from across the galaxy.
This job was relatively easy we had gotten in with barely any problems despite it being a huge facility, but then again that made it easier to infiltrate sometimes. As we turned the corner into a hallway I crashed into someone hard.
The person fell to the ground and I stumbled but was kept up because of superior strength. The person was obviously part Elliate. The figure’s silver eyes were wide from absolute terror, and they had some of the same feathers but in between there was silver hair poking out in a million different ways. Their limbs while not as elongated as the rest of their race, were longer than mine and Fenris’. The person had a different skin color than the rest of their race. It was darker than even mine. Another indication of their Elliate heritage is the torn and bloodied white outfit that they are wearing.
“Who are you?” The person looked almost disturbed.
“I-I’m A-Ar-Areli.” He stuttered out, obviously terrified
“Are you… are you a human Halfling?” I asked recognizing that his features were more human-like than Elliate.
“Another one, I go six years without even a sign that a human existed and now I’ve found the only two Halflings in the universe!”
“But there’s more.” We heard someone coming towards our group. Fenris grabbed the Elliate Halfling and I opened a door.
Fenris forced the boy in the opened storage room, and I closed it quickly. I put a finger up over my mouth in the normal human sign for silence and he seemed to recognize it. He was completely silent and we heard a group of heavily armored humanoids aliens ran in the hallway. They spoke in a language I recognized called Eternern and required a very different anatomy from a human to even begin to sound out a word. I could read it, and write in it, but these aliens wouldn’t stop for long enough to have a pleasant conversation via writing.
They made sounds which must have sounded strange to Fenris, and then turned down another hallway in search of their young prey. However, I cautiously open the door and see a Ty’eri, and I grab a throwing knife and hit it in the middle of its blue fat exposed forehead. There’s some blood splatter but nothing Fenris and I haven’t dealt with before, but the Elliate Halfling looked like he was about to vomit.
Fenris maneuvered the boy onto his feet and dragged him along with us. We made it to the ship quietly and boarded. After we reach a good enough distance I jab the coordinates to the drop site in my haste to talk with the Elliate Halfling Areli.
Areli is almost vibrating from nervous energy. He is drumming his fingers on his thighs that are bouncing because of restless jumping heels. He is still in his torn and bloodied white robes and I see that the blood does have some of the metallic coloring of the Elliates which is gold but it is mixed with red, and looks like badly mixed paint that one time I tried to make it glimmer.
“So you said that there are more humans?”
“And more Halflings, my older sister she left about eight years ago and sent me a message that stated that she had found more of us, and that they had a safe haven. There’s an entire colony.”
“I… don’t know exactly only my father does, and he died.”
“Great took it to the grave.”
“I think he wrote it down!”
“What idiot writes down the location on an entire colony of one of the most hunted species in the entire galaxy?!”
“Elliates keep records of everything, even the most trivial things.”
“How the hell is your race still alive? I’ve never heard of something so stupid. You keep things in your head so no one else besides maybe Rexens know it.”
“What are Rexens?”
“Let’s get back to the question at hand.” Fenris interjected quietly but with authority.
“Thank you, Fenris. So where would your father keep any of his written records?”
“At his home on Ellion.”
Ellion was an unreachable planet. Only those with Elliate blood would be allowed on to the planet, and not only that but all Elliates would have identifier chips that would determine whether or not this Elliate was a criminal or welcome on the planet.
“Have you ever even been to Ellion? The place is more secure than even Sway facilities.”
“You’ve broken into those before though, why would Ellion be so different?”
“Because Ellion have genetic identifiers-” I start, annoyed by this innocent upstart of a Halfling who has been sheltered his entire life.
“No they don’t we haven’t had those since I’ve been alive.”
“In an effort to promote trade between species the number of genetics identifiers and microchip scanners were removed or reduced in size.” He chirps in a robotic voice. “There are some uses in writing everything down.” His eyes are wide and there is a smirk stretching across his features.
Well, it seemed that we were going to Ellion.