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“Well?” Dirik growled.

Harmony had seemingly frozen there, her gun pointed directly at Guy. Guy stared at her. He wanted to say he was certain she wouldn’t, but he didn’t have that confidence anymore. Would this be his last moment? He had no clue. He supposed if he had any regrets with his life, it’d be that he didn’t do more to help the ladies on the prison ship. It may sound weird because he had only known them for a short while, but he sort of felt a responsibility toward them, and his death felt a bit like a failure.

Her hand began to shake, and then she lowered it down, her eyes turning away in shame. “I can’t.”

Guy couldn’t help but let out a long and low breath. Of course, nothing had changed. If she didn’t pull the trigger, there were plenty of other soldiers that could. Guy just had a feeling like it would have been unfortunate if she was the one to do it.

“Useless!” Dirik snarled, causing her to wince even more. “Kill her as well!”

The rifle was ripped out of Harmony’s hand by a nearby guard, and then she was kicked in the leg. She let out a cry as she was forced down to her knees right next to Xara and Guy. This caught Guy completely off guard. Harmony didn’t resist. Instead, she lowered her head, her ears wilting in a defeated state.

“What are you doing? She’s one of you guys.” Guy shouted.

“She’s a traitor and a criminal. She’s impure.” Dirik snorted.

“Impure? Aren’t you the Galactic Alliance?” Guy demanded with a dark expression on his face. “I thought you were the good guys.”

“History decides what is good and bad, and history is written by the victors.” He seemed amused by Guy’s words, walking up to the three prisoners and lifting his hand to delay the men behind them from shooting. “You should understand your place in the world, trash.”

“Trash? Who’s trash?” Guy growled. “She’s one of your people. If you can’t even treat your own properly, then what good is your so-called alliance? Aren’t you the trash who can’t even protect your own?”

“On our homeworld, I was part of the best pedigree… and leader by birth. She was just some stray cathari. Just because we’re the same species doesn’t mean we have the same class.” He gave a confident smirk. “Before the Galactic Alliance, she would have lived on the street, and she would have jumped over herself just for the pleasure of cleaning by boot. The Galactic Alliance gave her a chance to rise above her station, but she failed to do so. I even gave her a chance now to prove herself, and she couldn’t do it. I’m only enforcing the natural order of things.”

Before Guy could retort, his boot raised, but instead of kicking Guy, he kicked Harmony across the face, causing her to fall to the side. Guy started to rise, but hands grabbed his back, and a gun was pressed against the back of his head. That wouldn’t have been enough to stop him, but the collar suddenly sparked as well, sending electricity shooting through his body. Along with the pressure they were exuding, he could only collapse to his knees, his body shuddering.


Commander Dirik didn’t seem to be satisfied with just that. Perhaps, he was angry that the person he was seeking escaped. He wanted to humiliate the prisoners to sidestep his feeling of failure, and the easiest target was the cathari who wouldn’t fight back. Before she could set back up, he put his foot down on her face, stopping her head into the ground.

“You understand your place, don’t you? I never understood the Galactic Alliance’s talks of equality. Some beings were created better than others. It’s the natural order that some things are prey, and some things are predators.”

“Let… her… go…” Guy growled.

“Cathari… lick my boot. If you do a good job, maybe I won’t kill you.” He chuckled.

Harmony’s eyes looked dead, the coldness and spirit in them seemed to have been leaked out of her. Yet, when he said those words, she wasn’t hopeful. Instead, she glanced in Guy and Xara’s direction, as if worried more about them than herself. She made no attempt to lick his boot either, which seemed to cause Dirik to rage. He lifted his foot, and then kicked her, and kicked her again. Blood spurted from her face. He raised his foot one more time, ready to smash her.

“Fuck you!” Guy erupted like an explosion, ramming Commander Dirik from the side.

He went flying into the wall, smacking it hard. A moment later there was a buzzing sound as electricity flowed through Guy. However, after watching what was happening beside him, something in Guy had snapped. All he could see was red. Shrieking, his hands went up to his collar, grabbing it in each end, he pulled. His arms flexed violently, and a resounding crack exploded across the room as the collar ripped in half.

The cathari had assumed the collar would do its job, so even as Guy moved, they hadn’t considered using their guns. As the collar shattered into pieces, they were too stunned to even move. It was Guy who moved first, grabbing the closest guard and ripping his gun from him.

“What are you doing? Kill him!” Dirik shouted.

The guards all raised their guns and started firing, and with nothing to dodge behind, Guy put the bodyguard in front of him. The man let out screams as his own companions shot him to death. Guy started shooting back, striking one in the neck and killing him. The room broke into pandemonium, people diving for cover or even running.

“Kill them! Kill them all!” Dirik screamed, reaching into his pocket to pull out a smaller gun.

He pointed it at Guy’s back. Guy noticed a tad too late, as Dirik pulled the trigger. Yet, at that exact moment, Harmony had lashed out. She grabbed Dirik’s boot and pulled. His shot went wide as he fell back. As he went down, a stunned expression on his face, his head hit the side of a desk with a thump, knocking him out cold. Some of the men who still could keep their wits about them turned their weapons on Xara, but before anyone would fire a shot there was a roar.

“Don’t even dare!” Dresdon had stood up and slammed into the men, sending them both sprawling.

Just as the electric charge started again, there was a click, and his collar fell harmlessly to the ground. Xara’s collar also fell off. The person who did this was none other than Harmony, who had crawled onto Dirik’s unconscious form, took the collar remote, and then clicked the button that freed them from their restraints.

Dresdon reached up and touched his neck, a grin forming on his lips. “Not bad.”

He exploded in motion, immediately attacking the nearest guards. Guy tossed the body of the former soldier he had been holding who had been turned into fried paste away and then reached out to help Xara up. She managed to snag a rifle off a dead body and then took his hand. The two immediately aimed and started firing at anyone moving. The private dock was cleared out in rather short order. Harmony didn’t take part in shooting her comrades. Instead, she seemed determined to tie up Dirik.  

When the dock was finally cleared of enemies, Dresdon approached Xara and Guy. He pointed to a loading platform that seemed to be attached to a ship.

“Commander Dirik’s personal transport is the only ship currently launch-ready.” He declared. “I want you to take his ship and my daughter and get aboard the prison ship before they jump away.”

As he said this, his eyes drifted to the window where a scene was occurring outside. Commander Dirik’s cruiser, the Pandemonium, was chasing after the prison ship. It was firing, but it appeared that the prison ship was just out of reach. They were making a desperate run for the area outside the range of the station. From what Guy had been told, there were defensive arrays that made jumping through or near certain places impossible. Most planets, space stations, and the like had this. Earth didn’t have such a defense, which was how the prison ship was able to escape in the first place.

“Father…” Xara looked toward her dad with teary eyes.

“Don’t argue with me.” He declared. “Weren’t you the one who was always trying to escape this place? Now, it’s your chance.”

“You’re not coming?” Guy asked.

“I have things to do. You don’t need to worry about me. I have my path to walk.” He snorted. “And Xara has hers…”

“And what about my sister?” Xara demanded.

He coughed, looking awkward. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you she was here. It was going to be a surprise after the wedding. Well, I was planning on gifting her a less conspicuous and more maneuverable ship, but I guess things didn’t work out that way.”

“I see…” She sounded unconvinced.

“Well, you’ve had all the best training, and I would trust your safety in your sister’s hands.” He declared before turning to Guy. “Guy…”

“Yes!” Guy straightened.

“I don’t like you.”

“The feeling is mutual!” Guy shot back.

He chuckled darkly. “If you hurt a single hair on either of my daughter’s heads, I will come after you and destroy you and everyone you ever knew. You better keep them safe.”

“When did I agree to that?”

“It’s nonnegotiable!” He declared, causing Guy to sigh. “Well, there is only one more thing to take care of.”

He picked up a rifle almost like he had a disdain for guns. Now that Guy thought about it, he tended to use his hands and feet and would throw away his guns as soon as it was convenient. He walked over to the groggy Commander Dirik who was just starting to wake up. He seemed to wake quickly when he noticed the muzzle of a rifle pointed at his face. However, his arms were bound behind him and he couldn’t do anything but jerk desperately.

“No!” Harmony cried out, putting herself in front of Dirik and blocking Dresdon’s weapon.

“Girl, the only reason you’re alive is that you helped us out of those collars. You would be better off moving.”

“I tied him up. He’s not a danger anymore!”

“He’ll be a danger to me and my family until he’s dead,” Dresdon responded.

“Please! Don’t…”

“Hehehe…” A grating laughter came from behind her. “You shouldn’t blame her too much. The cathari have a hierarchy. Loyalty and reverence are innate traits of our species. I was very surprised she turned on me as much as she did, but if you wish to get to me, you’ll have to shoot through her.”

Harmony wore a defeated, resolved look. It seemed like Dirik was speaking the truth. He was some kind of upper class, and she seemed somehow compelled to protect him, even after everything he did to her.

“Let him live,” Guy spoke up, causing everyone to turn to him. “If he’s so important to the cathari and the galactic alliance, then he’s worth more alive than dead. If you play your cards right, trading him might save your life in the future.”

Guy came up with that excuse on the spot, but he was pretty satisfied with it. His words caused Dresdon to frown thoughtfully, but after a second, he gave a nod.

“Very well, but the girl goes with you two. Tell my daughter that she must be paired to avoid any problems in the future.”

“Paired?” Guy frowned.

“P-paired…” Harmony gasped.

Dirik only gave a mocking laugh, like he found all of this to be a game.

“That is my condition! Take them or leave them!” Dresdon snapped.

“I-I’ll go… if you keep him alive.” Harmony closed her eyes like she expected him to shoot.

Dresdon looked down at her, and after a moment gave a nod to himself. He reached down and grabbed her, pulling her off on Dirik. Then, he threw her toward Guy. She ended up stumbling into Guy’s arms. Guy looked down to see if she was okay, but she didn’t meet his eyes. Her face was completely red.

“Get going, you’re running out of time.” Dresdon snapped.

“Y-yes!” Guy turned and pulled Harmony with him up into the small shuttle.

“You won’t escape.” Dirik laughed. “I’ll find you. I’ll find you!”

His shouts echoed as the back of the shuttle closed. Guy sat down in the pilot seat, only to learn that this was absolutely nothing like a plane.

“Let me drive!” Harmony declared.

Guy reluctantly gave his seat up, and Harmony began entering some commands. It was probably a good idea that they took Harmony, as it didn’t look like Xara knew what to do either. She just gave a little shrug. A few moments later, the ship began its launch. It had already been prepped to go, planning to return Dirik to the cruiser. A lot could happen in a few minutes though, and it ended up being the escape route for Guy and the rest.

Once they were disconnected from the station, Harmony pulled back a lever, causing the ship to lurch forward. The engines turned to full blast as she headed straight for the prison ship. They were fleeing the station during the time the group had been in the dock and had made it quite a distance away. They were particularly slow, however, and the cruiser had caught up with them. As soon as the cruiser got within range they had started firing on the prison ship.

“Come on! Come one!” Guy cried out.

“I can’t make the ship go faster, the engines are at full output.” Harmony declared.

It didn’t look like they were going to make it. The engines on the prison ship started to light up. They were about to jump. Guy could only watch helplessly as his ride was about to jump away. However, just as he was expecting a jump, the engines flickered and turned off. The cruiser had managed to hit a vital spot at the last second, and with the engines off, the cruiser closed the distance.

Guy could only stare with a horrified look as beams and rockets shot out from the cruiser, relentlessly hammering the prison ship. Small explosions erupted all over the ship, one at a time. The bombardment only lasted a minute when the ship started to erupt. The Galactic Alliance had already deactivated the engines. They could have boarded the ship at any moment and taken prisoners, but they had instead attacked without concern.

A bright light forced Guy to raise his hand, and when he looked again, the prison ship had exploded in half. Just like that, all of the girls were dead. The ship continued to explode and erupt, the bigger pieces breaking into smaller pieces as the entire thing exploded.

“No!” Guy shouted, punching the side of the ship with a thud.

Harmony kept her eyes focused forward, but Xara reached out and touched Guy’s arm. “I-I’m sorry…”

“Xara…” Guy glanced over at her.

Xara was shaking slightly, but she seemed to be keeping it together.

“We’ll find another way to escape.” Xara offered.

“Your sister…”

“I… didn’t know her…” She looked away, but she couldn’t hide the tears forming in her eyes.

Guy didn’t know the woman known as Boss much either, but he did know many others on that ship. Cerisa, Vienna, and Diatome were all women he had slept with. They were all crazy bitches in one way or another, but they were his crazy bitches. Yet, he didn’t see them being able to survive that. Then there was Trinity, Ten, Faratite, and Rex… he had made a lot of friends since he had been on the ship, and their friendship was still only just beginning, only to be snuffed out cruelly.

Although he hadn’t been on the side of the Galactic Alliance, he had at least some respect for them. He had seen them as the good guys. He didn’t consider himself a bad guy, but he recognized that the prison ship didn’t necessarily have the best people the universe could provide. Yet, he had still found himself caring for them.

All of that was destroyed in an instant. They didn’t have to destroy the ship. They could have boarded it. That thought kept endlessly repeating in his head, and he grew angrier and angrier. He was starting to hate the Galactic Alliance, and he wanted them to pay.

“Harmony, can you board that cruiser?” Guy asked in a dark voice.

“Board it? It’s a Galactic Alliance Cruiser. We’re trying to get away from them now. I’m a traitor, and you’re both on the most wanted list.”

“They would have sent the majority of their crew to board the station. Since the docks are trashed, they won’t be able to bring them back any time soon. That means they are probably working with a skeleton crew.”

“You want to take the ship?”  Harmony cried out. “Take a Galactic Alliance Cruiser? That’s crazy! There would be at least fifty personnel still on that ship, minimum!”

“Do you have a better idea?” Guy declared. “Do you want to head back to the station and hand yourself in?”

Harmony opened her mouth and then closed it again. “Setting a course for the Pandemonium.”

“Guy…” Xara squeezed his shoulder.

“If you’re going to tell me this is a bad idea…”

“No.” Her hand tightened. “I’m going to join you. They’re going to pay for what they did to big sis.”

Xara’s usually pleasant and chipper expression turned to one of anger. It was decided then. The pair of them looked in the back to find several guard uniforms. They started to get ready. Guy didn’t know whether they lived or died, but he did know one thing. Whatever captain ordered the death of his friends, he was going to make them pay!

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