Pariahs and Peacemakers

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An unexplainable pain tormented her as she struggled against immovable forces to roll onto her side. The agony was too intense to care where in the universe she was and how she had gotten there. Her vision failed her as she attempted to prise her eyes open. It was either the after effects of the pod or weakness thanks to the battering and amount of blood she had lost. The operational activity of Luminary’s was unknown to the Senate so the likelihood of a rescue team was virtually impossible. She took solace in the fact whoever had scooped her up were allies or at the very least a neutral party. She still breathed and her wounds had been tendered to; this was confirmed by the clinical stench which clung to her chest like its own kind of sickness. She once more attempted to take in her surroundings and forced her eyelids to open. The fuzzy image she took in was that of an alien designed medical bay; slightly irregular and cluttered but nondescript nonetheless.

From the design and a number of variables, her tactical brain deduced a few snippets of information. The ship was small, not as small as a fighter or fast attack craft but certainly not as big as a frigate. She determined this from the hum of a not too distant engine and the room’s size. A sudden barrage of strange voices caught Cesh’s attention beyond the closed door. They were unfamiliar, strange noises. The Luminary was not learned in dealing with any high races other than her own. She wasn’t uneducated of course; she was aware of hundreds of species yet had never had the opportunity to interact with any in her relatively short life. She focused on the two figures, as they entered through the newly ajar door, so hard that it hurt. A wave of warmth blurred the edges of her vision as the discomfort dissipated thanks to the intravenous drip that was auto-medicating in the back of her hand; she was relieved but cautious when she recognised the race approaching her. She recalled that they were Human, a race she had studied on her home planet of Rethera.

They were very similar to Sarcurians she observed and shared many of the same mannerisms and expressions. She also recognised the emotion she was met with was either that of suspicion or uncertainty, much akin to her own. Humans were relatively new on the galactic stage and the Sarcurians had been the ones sent to ascend them.

A misunderstanding had occurred as no one had suspected humanity’s insecurities and how they’d react to knowing they weren’t alone in the universe. One of the dignitary ships had been shot down, which had contained Cesh’s grandfather, before the Senate stepped in to prevent prolonged hostilities. The race showed promise but they were naturally hostile if confronted by the unknown which had kept them from ascending for a long time and many, especially the Caliterrian, still believed them unready. Everything was new to them and they did not yet know their limitations.

One was male, mature enough to be approachable, slightly dirty and stained in Sarcurian blood. The Luminary guessed it was hers. The other was female and had an air of authority which could have only been mastered by a warrior. On a larger vessel the Luminary would have assumed the female was the leader of a warrior clan yet she settled on Captain rather quickly which made them both of similar rank.

The Human female approached and placed a thin white band upon her wrist which the Sarcurian was too weak and sluggish to pull away from but she grunted all the same, unsure of the alien’s intentions. She soon realised what it was as the strange noises they had been making with their mouths soon sounded as familiar and as smooth as if spoken in her native tongue. She gathered her strength, or at least as much of it as she could summon in her beaten state, and managed to prop her body up against the back board. “Your primary heart took most of the damage but your secondary should cope fine while it regenerates. Just take it easy for a few weeks,” informed the male awkwardly without a hint of a formal introduction. The Humans were evidently as uncomfortable as she was.

“Thank you, Doctor?”

“Crow, James Crow. Do you have a name?”

“Cesh,” she struggled.

“Got a last name?” interjected the female.

“I’m err, not sure,” she mumbled, startled by her own blank answer, her mind was different. She couldn’t explain it even if she tried. Things were cloudy, confused. Crow nodded and riffled through a list on his pad before handing it off to the female Human, Cesh guessed that it was to get her opinion on his findings. The Luminary prayed he knew what was wrong with her.

“Convenient,” the woman puffed seemingly unconvinced. She handed back the data pad to the doctor who handed it over to Cesh to view. It flicked from what she guessed was unfamiliar human text to Sarcurian script as she grabbed hold. “Freezer burn?” she questioned as the Captain pulled up a chair for herself.

“Yes, substantial memory loss brought about by the rapid thawing process we were rushed into taking thanks to the failing condition of the Senate transporter.” Cesh’s eyes sparked.

“I remember the transporter. Damaged. Drifting. Then, nothing. Gasping for air maybe. Will this fuzziness be temporary?” she pleaded.

“As far as I can tell. You should get moments of clarity coming in patches before it all returns. As for when, that’s more difficult to say. Certain things can trigger memories so we’ll try our best with this.” He smiled warmly. Cesh no longer felt threatened; from the doctor anyway.

Darkness. He was unsure what he was experiencing. He felt nothing for so long but was acutely aware of taste and smell. Over the eternity of perpetual nothingness he had smelt blood, jet vapour, stagnant air and then cigar smoke. The audio clues matched his belief that he’d been transported off world yet he was still undecided whether he was alive or dead as events of note came in spots of hazy nonsense. Mobility wasn't an option yet but he felt alive; he’d never felt rougher but alive was alive all the same. He eventually regained the ability to pick out rough shapes that all began in various shades of grey but which eventually dragged themselves into the colour spectrum. He was in fact alive but whether that fact was soon to change in the near future he didn’t dare venture.

He recognised the infamous Human Senate Security interrogator staring at him through reputation and from previous arrests. The stasis field was a new touch to the whole experience. His deep set wrinkles and greying hair he’d tried to hide with a buzz cut were all evidence of his age yet Vad guessed the man was still very much in his prime. “I shot you,” instigated Larik Kass with a hoarse bluntness as he surveyed the young alien scoundrel. Vad didn’t bite, aware he was fishing for information. This particular officer didn’t need the good cop bad cop routine; scary cop was good enough. “I’m Colonel Larik Kass of Senate Security Internal Affairs as you are likely aware. You, my friend, are currently under arrest on charges of terrorism, theft of military property, espionage, treason, murder and last but by no means least damage to government property.” He grinned darkly as the colour drained from Vad’s face, leaving him with an almost pinkish hue. His stomach churned as if it were the epicentre of a violent storm, the severity of his little earner punched him hard in the stomach. “Bullshit,” he whimpered before an agonising shock bolted across his body and reached his extremities. The unnecessary interrogation probe made another appearance, giving a painful zap to Vad’s rigid body in an attempt to lower his resolve, not that it needed much more coaxing.

“I don’t believe for one moment you’re a criminal mastermind or a spy for enemies of the state. To be honest, kid, you’re low life smuggler scum who has probably come undone by greed. Why don’t we start at the beginning?” the Captain probed sternly. Vad realised this was far worse than just a bad cop routine.

“If this is about my cargo, I came into it on the black market. I was told it was excess stock and tech lifted from a raid on a slaver compound. I’m broke. I needed the money,” he pleaded


“On the black market?” dismissed Vad.

“I’ll need every last detail on your transactions with these individuals and you’ll need a damn good lawyer,” ordered Larik Kass.

“What exactly is this load tied to?” questioned Vad pushing his luck and fearful at what he’d gotten himself mixed up in.

“Highly classified.”

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