“No!” Xara cried out as various missiles and lasers were released upon the station.
A space station like the Dresdon station was extremely costly to build. No government or nation would have the determination to destroy such a place and lose the trillions put into building it. Even if their worst enemy lived there, they’d depend on extraditions, agreements, and espionage to deal with such a location. Taking such a place over would strengthen a nation’s presence in that part of the galaxy, while its destruction would be a loss for all.
It wasn’t well-known how Dresdon came to be in control of such a station, but he had maintained that control for some time and had kept Dresdon station’s control out of the hands of the Galactic Alliance for decades. In a single day, that power dynamic was overthrown, and General Dirik as well as the Galactic Alliance would obtain untold power because of this victory. No one would be crazy enough to stand in their way, except for one.
Boss should have been someone who was most hesitant to attack the station. After all, her father was on the station and there was no saying whether he had escaped or not. However, she gave the order anyway, and despite Xara’s crying out, the attack continued until the entire station erupted in a massive fireball. As she watched the station explode, Harmony could only look away, a feeling of pain shooting through her heart.
There was no going back now. This was a station filled with Galactic Alliance soldiers, and she was on the ship that destroyed it. She could even be accused of betrayal and facilitating the destruction of the station, a crime punishable by death. Many good soldiers just lost their lives. It wasn’t just the Galactic Alliance, but the station still held countless people. Many were criminals and members of crime syndicates, but just as many might have been merchants or family. They had all been imprisoned, and would have been trapped there while the place exploded around them.
“Faratite?” Boss suddenly broke the lingering silence.
“Y-yes!” Faratite jumped, having been staring in shock just as much as the others before hastily pressing a few buttons. “There are no shuttles that have managed to launch.”
“You… you killed them!” Xara cried out, turning to Boss. “You killed them all.”
The other women in the room all stiffened. None of them would dare to question Boss in such a tone. Her time at the Taigen’s All-women Prison were notorious. She was someone who had a death toll there. The people who had dared to defy her were all dead now. This included some extremely famous names, one of which include Trinity’s mother.
“If those Galactic Alliance officers got to their shuttles, they might have been able to board the ship as easily as you just did. They could have caused a great deal of trouble for us and might have even threatened our lives.”
“A-and what the others? Most of the people on the station were against the Galactic Alliance!” Xara cried out accusingly.
“Most of them would have fled. Those that didn’t had become prisoners of the Galactic Alliance. I did them a favor. They won’t have to be prisoners to the Galactic Alliance for the remainder of their lives.”
“Father was still there!” Xara snapped, reaching out and grabbing Boss’s robe.
This time, there was an audible gasp among the other women watching. They weren’t shocked that Boss ruthlessly fired on her own father. That was expected of her. However, touching Boss was something that no one was allowed to do. Some of them even took a step back, preparing to duck before the blood started to splatter. It was rather unfortunate when someone was in the splash zone of Boss when she started killing. Rather than kill Xara immediately, Boss calmly reached up and grabbed Xara’s hands, peeling them off her cloak patiently.
This scene also seemed to burn its way into the minds of the girls watching. Xara clearly had some special place in her heart. Trinity couldn’t help but feel just a bit jealous, because even she wouldn’t have been given so much restraint from Boss’s wrath had she acted like this young girl.
“If Dresdon is still the man I knew him to be, then he is likely still alive, as are the rest of the crime lords. They are much more resourceful than you’ve given them credit for. Most of them have lived in defiance of the Galactic Alliance for longer than you’ve been alive. I’d like to believe I killed General Dirik, but I’m not even hopeful I achieved that much. Some people are like cockroaches unwilling to die.”
“You don’t know that… not for certain.” Xara was no longer yelling and she had lost a lot of her energy, her voice taking on a slightly pouty feel.
“Nothing is certain in this world,” Boss responded. “However, if we didn’t destroy the station, the Galactic Alliance would have certainly would have used it to claim more power for themselves. That man’s legacy would have been polluted in the name of an authoritarian. More than that, it’d have been more difficult for us to escape. I’ve made my decision, and I will live with the consequences. Do you understand?”
“I understand…” Xara dropped her head, her hands falling uselessly to her sides.
In Harmony’s mind, Xara was the lucky one. Although she was pouting, didn’t she end up getting everything that she wanted? She might not have anywhere else to go, but she had been trying to flee in the first place, right? She wanted to escape the station and have an adventure. Her father had even told her to go. When you got what you wanted, you weren’t in a position to complain about the outcome. Harmony disliked people like her. Then again, if Harmony was being honest, she disliked all of these rule breakers. All of them… except for perhaps one.
She didn’t know why her heart started beating faster when she imagined Guy’s face. He was just some dumb alien who liked to get into trouble. It’s true, he had saved her a few times, but that didn’t mean that she owed him anything. She seemed to remember the feel of him holding her. That’s when she remembered the cost of escaping. She was supposed to pair with him! She was so young… she never thought that she would pair until after being in the service for a few decades.
Her face had turned completely red, but thankfully, no one had noticed. They were instead pretending they weren’t listening to the conversation between Boss and Xara while clearly doing that. Most of them had their heads away and their ears tilted as they idly tapped on whatever control panel happened to be in front of them.
“Ylena, take us out of here,” Boss spoke into a communicator, effectively ending the conversation.
“Yes, Boss!” An answer came back.
A defeated Xara took several steps back before leaning against a console. She was shaking slightly. Even she couldn’t face Boss for long without being affected by her. Harmony suddenly wondered how Guy would interact with this dangerous woman. She had a feeling it wouldn’t got how she expected.
“Ylena was a pain in the butt to get over here.” Rex grimaced.
“I’d imagine.” Ten agreed. “She is agoraphobic, after all. She remained in her cell the entire time onboard the Obsidian.”
“Well, you should be thankful she’s so tech-savvy or we’d have been on that ship right until it blew up.” Aza snorted.
“Speaking of which… what about… the other prisoner…” Rex asked, looking uncertain.
“Still asleep.” Nixle answered, “After helping us take over the prison ship, she’s been asleep ever since.”
Harmony listened somewhat curiously. She hadn’t been assigned to the prison ship. She didn’t know the names of all of the prisoners who had been on it. There appeared to be a few members of the crew who had yet to make an appearance. One was afraid of the outdoors and remained locked in her cell by choice, while another, who had to be powerful if she had contributed to their escape, must have used too much energy and fallen into some kind of deep sleep. Harmony knew a few species like that.
As the ship jumped away, Boss lifted her hand. “Everyone, join me in the meeting room.”
A few groaned, but a couple of minutes later they were all hustled into a side room with a large meeting table in it. Harmony had remained in her place, looking around hesitantly. She wasn’t a member of the crew. In fact, her only interaction with them had been as their prisoner. When she was the last one in the bridge, she thought they had forgotten her. That was when Boss stopped at the door without looking back.
Harmony jumped. “Am I invited?”
“You’re in it with us now… whether you like it or not. Both of you are.”
That’s when Harmony realized she wasn’t the only one that hadn’t moved. Xara was still leaning against the console silently. She gave a weak nod, and then followed Boss into the room. Harmony went with her. She was very familiar with this environment, far more familiar than she was with the prison ship. After all, she had served on a cruiser from time to time.
This was the briefing room of the cruiser, a place where the captain would hold meetings with the heads of staff to take care of things on board. It was also where people debriefed after a mission away. Harmony didn’t know how she felt as she sat down. Suddenly, she was at a table with a group of some of the most dangerous women in the galaxy.
“Guy?” Boss asked abruptly, causing everyone to quiet down.
“He’s definitely alive!” Trinity spoke hastily.
“She only shot him a little!” Vienna added.
“You shot Guy?” Diatome shot them a dangerous look.
Vienna gulped. “It was her! She had an itchy trigger finger.”
“Eh?” Trinity made a noise as she was immediately abandoned.
“It doesn’t matter.” Rex cut in. “He’ll make it.”
“You sound almost proud saying that.” Dixi gave a mischievous grin. “Of an alien species…”
Rex jerked. “He is just another alien… he’s just… not as disagreeable… as I thought he might.”
“What has he been up to since we’ve been at the station?” Boss asked.
Although she asked this question, no one there doubted that she didn’t already know the answer. Boss seemed to always know everything. She likely knew her father’s fate too. However, she didn’t feel like she needed to explain to anyone else what she knew. This was likely a test to see if anyone was lying.
“I suppose it started when he helped this one escape!” Vienna shot Harmony a look, causing all of the women to look at her.
Having everyone’s eyes on Harmony, caused her to immediately panic. “What? Ah… I didn’t speak to him that long. We ran into Xara in the dock, and I left him with her!”
Harmony didn’t like how quickly she was willing to sell out Xara in much the same way Vienna had sold out Trinity, but it was scary to have them all look at her.
“Eh? Me!” Xara straightened. “Ah… well… you see, we ended up going to a sex club owned by a nasty blob known as Bobo…”
Little by little, the entire story of Guy’s actions came out. Boss only spoke up to fill in gaps when none of the other girls were present, although it was anyone’s guess whether Boss was present or not. Either way, they knew that she knew all of it. His adventure aboard the station, from being captured by Dresdon and forced to seduce Ferrin, to his sudden arrival at the wedding, all the way to a daring escape. For a single man to get into so much trouble in such a short time of two days, it was remarkable.
The girls all let out sighs when the story was finally completed with Guy getting shot by Trinity, who still felt bad about it. Every girl had a somewhat different expression on their face, but they could all be described with the same word. Fondness. It had only been a short time since he joined, but he had somehow managed to interact with all of them.
“Now, I suppose we should get the matter of this traitor out of the way.” Boss suddenly shot Harmony a look, causing her to feel like her soul was once again being laid bare.
“Ah! I didn’t betray you! I helped bring Xara and Guy here.” Harmony desperately defended herself.
“Father didn’t seem that worried about her,” Xara spoke up. “He said as long as she was paired, then she wouldn’t cause any problems.”
“Th-that!” Harmony closed her eyes as Xara repeated the thing she least wanted to hear.
“Pairing? What’s that?” Trinity asked.
“How could she? Guy is the only…” Diatome’s eyes went wide. “No! Absolutely not!”
“Ultimately, the choice is out of your hands,” Boss replied. “If she’s to be allowed on the ship, she must be paired.”
“I’m sorry, what is Pairing?” Vienna repeated the question on a lot of the girl’s minds.
Rather than responding, Boss simply looked at Harmony. All the other girls turned to her too, and she wilted under their looks.
With her ears laid down, she spoke weakly. “The cathari are a monogamous species. Females only mate with one male. Once we’re mated, we go through a hormonal process called pairing. We become uniquely compatible with that male. Sex with anyone else would be painful and I could only achieve… satisfaction… with that male. Basically, I’d be ruined!”
“What are you saying!” Vienna pointed accusingly. “Don’t act all noble. I saw you with Guy… you were doing… th-that…”
“There was no penetration! It only initiates when he exposes his hormones to me during the climax. He didn’t cum in me, he came on you!”
“Ah! He didn’t… I didn’t…” Vienna’s face turned yellow.
“What did you do with Guy?” Rex sat up.
“Nothing! He’s a Pervert! I would never do anything with him! He’d make me pregnant!”
“Are you sure you’re not already?” Aza asked.
“Sh-shut up! I’m not pregnant. I-I’m not even sure if he can get me pregnant.” Vienna looked away.
Aza nodded thoughtfully. “He is a rather interesting specimen though, I agree…”
Boss looked at her. “Even you, Aza?”
“She ran into him when she was drunk. She had her hands all over him.” Vienna declared accusingly.
“I don’t act that way when I’m drunk!” Aza snapped, but when she received dubious looks, she continued. “Rather, I mostly drink to deal with the voices. On the ship, there is enough space I don’t have to listen to all of you give me a headache. However, once we landed on the station, it was so noisy I was getting a splitting headache.”
“Th-that’s right,” Trinity spoke up. “Aren’t you psychic? That means you’d know exactly what Guy is thinking!”
She shook her head. “That’s the interesting thing about Guy. I was around him for some of the night, and I even grew sober enough to read minds… but I never heard his mind. There is only one other person whose mind I can’t read.”
Her eyes instinctively flickered to Boss. Everyone knew that one of the ways Boss kept on top of things was by making use of Aza. Although Aza couldn’t read Boss’s mind because she was Boss, Aza could scout out anyone else. She likely knew exactly where Harmony’s mind was at right now. This both made Harmony feel a bit worried and a bit relieved. On the one hand, they would know she didn’t intend to sell them out and her feelings were genuine. On the other hand, it was never great to have all of her secrets known, especially those that touched upon Guy.
“Alright, this is the last time I will ask this question. As for Guy, will he be a part of this crew from now on?” Boss asked. “Raise your hand if you still want him gone.”
No one raised their hand.
“Very well, then raise your hand if you want him to stay.”
Harmony didn’t know if she got a vote, but she lifted her hand anyway. Some of the girls raised their hands excitedly, while some of the others did so nervously. By the end of it, every girl had raised her hand though. The end result was clear. Guy was now part of the crew, as was she. Harmony just hoped they could both make it out alive. Maybe, they could make it out together. Something about that thought, caused her heart to speed up a little. Did that psychic loli just give her a smirk?
At that moment, there was a buzzing noise. Boss brought up her communicator.
“What is it, Cerisa?” She demanded.
“Um… Boss, there is an issue down here.”
Boss frowned. “What issue?”
“Guy… has gone missing.” Cerisa replied.
“What?” For the first time, Boss sounded a bit surprised.
“I stepped out to find some supplies, and when I returned, Guy was gone,” Cerisa explained in her typical cool voice, although maybe it sounded a bit more strained than usual.
“What’s going on?” Vienna asked.
“Where could Guy go?” Trinity followed.
Boss lifted her communicator. “Ylena, did you see where Guy went?”
“Uh… um… yes…” A slightly nervous voice responded.
“Where did he go, Ylena?” Boss’s voice didn’t seem to hold any patience at that moment.
“He… um… was taken… dragged, really.”
“What are you saying wh-“ Boss froze. “You’re not saying… she took him?”
“I’m afraid so.” Ylena agreed. “She’s taken Guy.”
“Why would she grab him?” Diatome demanded. “She couldn’t… she wouldn’t!”
“Wait, who took Guy? Where is he?” Xara asked, seemingly looking worried.
Boss looked up. “She ate Guy.”
Harmony had apparently hoped for their survival too soon.