Evil Horizon

How do we know Aiko?

Original art work by Remidy James

Among the saddest things that could happen in a life time, many hurtful things had followed a young woman from earth. It was as if misfortune had an score to settle with this earthling. A score she would soon realize was nearly too much for her to pay.

A massive battle cruiser toted 12 plasma rail guns and 14 PD (point defence) turrets. Eight forward torpedo launchers and eight aft. Its hull was made of a self repairing alloy that was still in the prototype stages. This aforementioned vessel however slowly rolled and floated lifelessly in space.

The reasons behind its current condition would only be known to the former crew. A trail of burning debris trailed in its wake. Its five massive drive engines sputtered and flickered in the darkness. The vessel was a very long way from home, and even farther from a nearby star. No allegiance or flags painted to its hull. Only its name still back illuminated by bright Bioluminescent reaction: MEIDO

Aboard its carcass strewn decks the klaxon alarm could still be heard echoing perhaps into oblivion. The ribbon lighting still flashed yellow and red as the alarms continued. The poor souls who died aboard the vessel met death well. They felt that meeting death in battle was often a better death than a death at peace.

This warrior race were not ones who took defeat or loss very well. After all they were human and humans by nature were very irrational when angry. Many races knew this, even made profits off of this fact.

The massive vessel seemed to go on forever. Its endless decks, its mighty halls. It was a possibility this ship, if left undiscovered, may serve as a time capsule or mausoleum. The rhythm of the alarm however suddenly halted. Silence fell finally to the dead. 

Scanning the decks one by one a person might even have found what was previously thought unlikely. The red strobeing lights ceased. It was clear now: somewhere on board someone was giving voice commands to the ships computer.

In a cargo bay next to what was left of a single passenger scout ship was a survivor. She was crawling on her hands and knees. All the while the computer repeatedly asked her name. It needed the name to confirm her identity and to establish her as the new captain of the ship. 

She however wasn’t honoured by any of this as she was severely injured. The computer knew her status and likely took her injuries into consideration as it tried to establish her identity. If the onboard computer got her name, it could use the ship's resources to help.

The woman crawled slowly and deliberately as shrapnel had passed through her body and ripped her apart on the inside. She coughed as blood had filled part of one of her lungs. Rolling to her side she writhed in pain. All the while the computer repeatedly asked for her name.

Her armour had protected her from 90 percent of the blast. It needed to be rebooted so as it could begin to help her. The armour began to fold up and leave her somewhat undressed. A type of body suit held her together literally at the seams. As the pain killing properties of the suit turned off. She shook as her pain receptors began to rack her body in pain. She tried to keep herself from passing out.

Ten seconds passed like a hot summers day, all the while the computer pleaded for her name. Her armour began to reboot and cover her from head to toe. As this happened she strained hard and in a raspy voice she forced out “Aiko Polaris.”

She collapsed to the flooring and did not move for some time. The sealed battle suit consisted of self-repairing units and occupant mending subroutine for wearer. 

The armour took its energy from the host. By doing so it released a fluid that both fed and hydrated the hose in return. The armour had a neural link as well. When the host would suffer from isolation or depression or anything that would harm its host, a program would engage that would provide counseling or therapy.

This type of armour was used by an exclusive group of people know as Nevicks. A guardian race installed in every solar system to protect those who needed protection. 

It was generally a welcomed sight in most bars or sketchy cantinas to see these guardians. It meant nothing would get out of hand. There was a soft promise of peace. However like anything good, some races had a price on their heads. That’s where the other races came into play.

“The Black” were a group of bounty hunters that worked as a collective. They hunted anything and everything that could fetch them a good price. The Nevicks and The Black were typecast to be opposites. The Black outnumbered their cousins by staggering numbers. But the Nevicks were not without allies.

The Atoma race were close allies. Followed by their former masters and creators The Laquins. Laquins were terraformers, but preferred watery planets than to ones that anyone else could land on.

They often were considered enigmatic. They always had something they wanted, but never spoke their minds and just asked for it. Atomas were regarded as slaves to the Laquins; THAT they were clear about. Right up until the Atomas revolted and fought for their freedom. 

That battle in itself nearly cost the entire race of Atomas. Laquins are telekinetic and were able to send fear into their attacking enemies. The Atomas could manipulate atomic matter and wreak great havoc. But how could they do that if they could not stand and fight their enemy.

These many races were often seen peppered into large crowds together. This is what gave the supercluster that they called home a unique spice. Humans by far, however, were the most plentiful race. 

She twitched her fingers as she strained to remove herself from the ground. Her onboard computer reminded her she had been sleeping for over 73 hours. She sighed and stood up. Reaching behind her head she grasped at air.

Startled, she panicked and looked around on the floor. She apparently had misplaced something. Something that could fit into the sheath on her back.

Giving into impatience she spoke: “Where is my sword?” The onboard computer happily showed her. She grumbled and winced in pain as she walked towards the location.

Suit had healed her wounds and flushed out the infection. She was in next to perfect health. However the wounds were still very sensitive and freshly healed. Consciously she increased the pain killer dose.

As she walked she formed a weapon into her hands. It was more for defence than to finishing anything off that might attack her.  But she reasoned: if SHE was alive, someone else could be too. She was in fact all too right, she just didn’t expect to be right so quickly.

Rounding a hallway she approached the location of her sword. It was impaled into the leg of what appeared to be a bounty hunter. Pausing for a moment they looked at eachother. She spoke up.

“I’ll need my sword back.” She said rather monotone. He frowned and in a dry and raspy voice:

“I was kinda hopeing you were dead. But then again I’ve been reading the symbols on your sword, I should have known better.” She frowned

“You can read the symbols?” He scratched his head as he knew she wouldn’t like his response.

“Well, yeah, I researched the symbols and compared them to others I have seen.” She seemed annoyed as he tried to keep her entertained.

“It’s an ancient language used by thieves and criminals.” He sort of cringed.

She seemed to think about what he just said and slowly she agreed. “So what you read my sword and now you know me? What are you? Some bounty hunter hi breed? Freelance? I’ll tell you right now though, if you are from The Black? You’re dead right here right now. ” 

She didn’t seem to be jokeing. The weapon she held was designed to make a mess of whatever it hit. It was hard to explain to her that he wasn’t there for her because in a way he was. He found himself in a rather sticky predicament.

“I can see the wheels turning in your head, I just want my sword. Once I have it I don’t care if you leave here or not. Just don’t pick the bones of these fallen; this is my ship now, that’s the way it will be.” 

He did probably have something to say to that but it was cut short by Aiko removing the blade from his leg. He screamed briefly and then passed out. She watched as his armour sealed and repaired.

Her helmet ran his face through a facial recognition program. She was suprised to see he was a freelance bounty hunter. He was only SLIGHTLY less dangerous to her now. The thought crossed her mind to kill him. 

As this thought went through her mind she looked around. She frowned. “There has been enough death today.” She thought.

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Evil Horizon