In the year 2990; Polaris VI, an arctic planet with a perpetual snowstorm of varying degrees was the site of a recruiting center. In the middle of nowhere was an inn. The place had other aliens lounging around. Samantha, wearing a thick snow uniform with gloves, a hood, and a Venetian plague doctor’s mask to hide her appearance, sat at a small table, waiting.
At the bar, a bad scuffle broke out between two aliens were one ended up getting shot.
Another person stepped in from outside; also wearing the same getup as Samantha. The weather outside was obvious as they were almost completely covered in snow. Everyone looked to see who it was, but no one could tell and went about their business. This mystery person shook off some of the snow and sat next to Samantha, “Beautiful day out.” a male voice said through the mask.
“Earth is nicer.” Samantha replied.
Now that the code words had been said, the mission could begin.
“Pvt.” the male said.
Samantha looked at him and nodded, “LT.”
“Did you get a room?” the LT. asked.
“Sure did.” Samantha responded.
“Good,” the LT. said “Let’s head there so we can talk. You lead the way.”
As they both got up, a red muscular alien stumbled grabbed onto the LT. He’d been drinking and was drunk. The alien pulled at the LT.’s clothing and mask, threatening to reveal him, to right himself up, “Excuse me,” the alien said, “You ever been to Bruha III? Brutal, ain’t it?”
The LT. kept his composure, helping the guy stand and replied, “Sorry, can’t say I’ve been there.”
Another red alien quickly came to help, “Sorry about that,” he said, grabbing hold of the other alien to take him away, “I got him.”
The LT. looked at Samantha, “We’d better go.” he said.
Samantha led the way up a flight of stairs and into the room. She and the LT. removed their masks, “That was close,” the LT. said, revealing himself with short brown hair and eyes, “Call me Matt or Matthew. I got our passes to Polaris Station up in orbit. All intel says the objectives are up there.”
“Do we know the exact location,” Samantha asked, “Or do we have to look?”
Matt shook his head, “Hate to say - we’ll have to do some hunting,” he said, “They’ll likely be close to Tini.”
“So we’ll have to deal with him?” Samantha asked.
“Maybe,” Matt said, “These passes will get us on the transport to the station.”
“I assume you already have a getaway plan,” Samantha said, “Suicide missions don’t agree with me.”
“Shuttle,” Matt said, “Station should have a few. We’ll just board one and off we go.”
Samantha threw her head back, “‘Should’?” she cried out, “I thought this mission was planned? Didn’t intel do their homework?”
“I guess they did their best,” Matt said, “It gets better - once we’re on the station we pretty much make up the rest as we go.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Samantha said, “I was told there would be a team, backup, an extraction method, a plan.”
“Plans changed,” Matt said, “Too many people might get noticed, so it’s just us. We’re almost alone, no backup. Extraction via shuttle is the better than nothing. Just act like a mercenary and you’ll be fine.”
“Ok,” Samantha said, “How does a merc act?”
Matt thought for a second, “I suppose you put money above all else,” he said, “Did you register for the job?”
“I was going to do that just before we left.” Samantha answered.
“Transport will be here soon,” Matt said, “Go register us for escort duty. Put false names and a decent amount to increase our chances of being picked.”
Samantha and Matt put her masks on.
“Come right back.” Matt ordered.
“Yes, sir,” Samantha acknowledged, before leaving the room. “I can’t believe this.” she said to herself. As she went down the stairway, she noticed more people at the inn.
Outside, a ship landed near the inn. Out stepped Dmon, a Geoden. Like any Geoden, he looked like a bioluminescent, crystalized humanoid. Their features were very angular and each Geoden glowed softly depending on their mood. Some could transform at will into a creature the size of an elephant that moved like a bear and looked like a wolf with crystals protruding from its body.
Dmon stepped inside the inn as Samantha was finishing registration, “You,” he said, pointing at Samantha, “Give me that list.”
Samantha didn’t know what to do at first. She hesitated looking around, confused. ‘Me?’ she thought, pointing at herself.
“Yeah you.” Dmon said.
Samantha grabbed the registration list and handed it over to Dmon.
“I’ve never seen your kind before,” Dmon said, “What’s your name?”
“Me,” Samantha responded, “My name is, um, ‘Birdy’.”
“Well, Birdy, what planet you from?” Dmon asked.
Samantha had to think of this one, as she made it up, “Uh, Storky.” she said. She wasn’t expecting to answer questions.
“It says you have experience with escort duty,” Dmon said, as he studied the list, “Any good?”
“I haven’t disappointed anyone yet,” Samantha said, “I’ll put down any opposition.”
Dmon studied Samantha for a bit.
“Don’t pick her,” an alien said, pushing past Samantha, and pointing to himself, “Go with a race you know.” Samantha grabbed him in a chokehold and put him to sleep.
As Samantha turned and dropped her victim, another alien pulled a gun and pointed it at her. The gun was quickly shot out of his hand from the balcony by Matt.
“Next,” Matt said.
Dmon’s demeanor was calm, “Impressive,” he said, “I was interested in just you, but two as you put down, is kinda expensive for me.”
“Wait!” Samantha said, as Matt came down the stairs and stood next to her, “My partner and I work as a team. If it’s too expensive, we’ll cut you a deal.”
Dmon looked at the list and scratched his head, “Let’s see, you and…”
“Birdo,” Samantha said, placing a hand on Matt’s shoulder, “You can hire us for three-quarters the price of one. We’ll work our way up from there.”
“I can hire you both for the price of less than one?” Dmon asked, “Understand that if I hire you, it’ll be for me. You’ll be my personal escorts.”
“We know,” Matt said, “You’re Capt. Dmon, Tini’s personal bodyguard.”
“If you play your cards right,” Dmon said, “You’ll be doing the guarding.”
“Like I said,” Samantha chuckled, “We’re willing to work for it,” She bowed down to Dmon, “I must say - it is quite an honor to meet you.”
“I like your attitude and price,” Dmon said, “Head for the transport, you’re hired. On second thought, since you’re hired. Start escorting me.”
“As you say, Capt.,” Samantha said. Matt, her, and several others boarded the transport when Dmon was done and heading back to the station.
Samantha and Matt sat together alone away from everyone else.
“Birdo?” Matt asked, “How did you even come up with that?”
“I don’t know,” Samantha answered, “I had to make it all up. If anyone asks, my name is Birdy, we’re brother and sister, and we’re from the planet Storky.”
Matt sighed, “I was…ah forget it. I’m surprised you got away with it. Good thing we’re dealing with alien’s,” he chuckled to himself, “I wonder what it sounded like on the translator.”
“Yeah,” Samantha said, “Good thing they’re none the wiser. What’s the plan when we’re on the station?”
“We break away from Dmon first chance we get,” Matt said, “Locate and get the targets. Then, get off the station any way we can.”