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It was late in the afternoon, wind softly blowing across a field of grass dotted with wildflowers. A lone figure rested under a single tree just outside his house. He heard the old screen door squeal as the wind played with it; he reminded himself to fix it when he got the chance. She walked down off the porch and came to rest next to him. Her smile felt as warm as the sun peeking through the leaves. Yet that was the only thing he really could see. As hard as he tried, he could not distinguish her face. The sunshine remained, but its warmth slowly faded. He could hear a faint beeping in the background steadily growing louder. He reached towards her; she was still smiling, unaware of the deafening sound of the alarm. Daniel's eyes snapped open, and he shot up from his bed. His breathing was irregular, the adrenaline electrocuting his body. He glanced over to his left and nearly jumped out of his skin. Blue eyes stared wide at him from the side of his bed. He scrambled for his glasses, sliding them on without cleaning them. Through the half smudged lenses, his sister came into view. He could have sworn he saw blue eyes, but his sister's were a dark green in color.
"Morning, Daniel." She yawned as she sat up, still not quite awake.
"Good morning, Claire," Daniel replied stiffly. An odd noise, like suction cups pulled from a surface, grew in volume, then stopped. He looked up in curiosity and instantly regretted it. Carla, an alien creature his father brought home, stuck her tongue out and let go of the ceiling with a sickening sluurrrp. Daniel struggled for a moment before finally detaching the pet from his face.
"One of these days, she is going to kill me," he muttered angrily to Claire.
"She does it to you and you only, so it must mean she likes you!" She giggled as she left the room, Carla panting happily over her shoulder.
For a ship, Daniel's room looked like any other that can be found in an Earthian colony. Except everything is locked, closed, and bolted into the floor. The floor was carpeted in a dark red fabric, which is reserved for higher command only. The rest of the crew had to suffer from unforgiving metal.
Claire's voice drifted into the bedroom, too soft for Daniel to discern. His hearing hadn't been quite the same since the accident his sophomore year at the Academy.
"So what's the news?" Daniel asked as he stood and stretched, his left knee aching in protest. Claire stepped out from around the corner, dressed in uniform.
"Captain wants you up on the bridge ASAP, so you'd better get dressed quick." She tossed him his suit and exited their shared space via the elevator.
Claire was probably the most liked person on the ship with her bubbly yet helpful personality, stunning looks, and confident stride. Clare was purely beautiful. Her black hair fell slightly past her shoulders; in the right light, it shone almost purple. Her physical build was nothing short of average strength. She was incredibly smart: she passed every class with perfect scores. It, unfortunately, made her a target for perverted men hungry for youthful skin. Daniel, despite being the younger sibling, came in at a towering 6 foot 4 inches, complete with a moderate muscle build; however, Daniel isn't all strength; he was the youngest officer ever to be appointed as second in command, graduating from the Stringer Starship Command Academy with the highest scores in the ship to ship combat simulation and hand to hand combat. They are every couples' dream children.
There was someone else he swore he knew: the mystery girl, the girl in his dream. Who is she? Daniel's brain felt sluggish as he wracked it for information. He fiddled with the top button and remembered to put on his officer's hat. He dug into his closet and found it hiding behind a pile of old books. With his head freshly capped, Daniel walked swiftly out of his room and grabbed a cup of coffee. The Arcadia was supposed to dock at a resupply and shipbuilding station located off an Earthian colony, H.O.W.A.R.D. The UNL's newest and best ship was being built here, and the Arcadia's job was to take patrol duty as final preparations are being finished.
Daniel's mind raced as he approached the deck. The captain sat at the helm; everything appeared to be normal.
"Morning, Captain, I was informed you needed me urgently. What's the situation, sir?" Daniel expertly saluted and remained at ready stance.
"You are to immediately depart from the Arcadia when completely docked and continue to a shuttle that will get you to a new ship, the Legacy. The director of the Logistics and Officer Appointment team will be there to give you more details. Oh... and take your sister with you."
Daniel stood confused; this was the first time he had seen the captain upset, worried almost. He waited for a laugh and a joking punch to the arm and the list of daily assignments, but the captain turned away silently. Daniel returned to the elevator, pressing the intercom button on his receiver.
"Claire, meet me in our room in five."
Daniel ran through all the possible reasons why they could be pulling him off the ship, each scenario even worse than the last. Disheartened, he entered his room right as the docking rings connect, shaking the Arcadia as it came to a stop. He had been second in command for years; why would he be kicked off the ship? The LOA team removed and reappointed officers when they misbehave or cause problems that endanger others. Daniel's brain began to hurt as he wondered what he could have possibly done to incur the wrath of the LOA team.
The Arcadia stabilized and decompressed to match the pressure of the station, shaking it once again. Daniel struggled to keep his belongings in his suitcase. When the tremors subsided, Daniel had two small suitcases: his in his left hand, Claire's in his right. Claire rushed into the room, Carla perching on her shoulder, all six pairs of eyes wide.
"What's wrong? What happened? Where are we going?" Claire frantically tried to stop Daniel as he moved toward the airlock.
"The LOA team is relocating us. I think they will take us to a colony somewhere." Daniel stopped, facing the airlock. A slight tremble caused the Arcadia to groan; the ship violently lurched, Daniel and Claire forcibly thrown to the ground. The sound of sirens and the flash of emergency lights induced a swell of panic in Daniel.
"They've found us..."