Having narrowly escaped death, the Amazon and her crew drift to the dangerous mining planet of Izmir Tertia. In their possession is an especially valuable cargo...
Nearing Izmir Tertia
Captain Kára Hazana
Engineers Rhode Tasmir; Wolven Kellar; Viggo Adad;
Long regarded as vacuous space; perpetually haunted by our darkest nightmares and inhabited by the likes of evil brutal men and ugly blood-thirsty creatures was the Cantabria System. In truth, the small system had beautiful, civilised cultures similar to many others across the galaxy.
It was my personal opinion, that the heart of the Cantabria System, that blue giant they called Autumn, was the most beautiful star ever born. More massive than most, it looked as though it were being devoured by the nearby Zyanya Nebula. Despite it being a small system, it was still so vast there were hundreds, if not thousands of planets bearing primordial life. Planets which still lacked a proper name.
Surely now, we made our approach to Izmir Tertia. A tiny planet, albeit a major centre for minerals and fuel. It was not civilised. It served as an outpost for the depraved and unenviable of the galaxy.
Even from our distance, I stared into space at the dusty old rock— claimed almost entirely by desert— which had let many a great storm sweep over its face to feel alive. Sandstorms that often lasted decades. And we were headed for one as I'd gathered from our coordinates. Our ship.
Our ship had for many years been touted as one of the fastest in the galaxy. And while it truly deserved the honour, it was now a relic. A shadow of its former self; no matter how often our captain would disagree, or say she was in her prime. All it would take was one wrong re-entry and then even the thinnest of planetary atmospheres could tear the ship apart, and eviscerate the crew. Her vulnerable crew.
That early morning I thought I was the only one awake. But I was wrong. Our veteran captain had her arms crossed and leant her shoulder against the doorframe of the observation deck. Staring at me as I lay on the floor of the old bird.
“Good morning, Kellar,” said she.
I looked over my shoulder to see the captain had come onto the deck.
“Captain,” I responded softly.
From Panthera II, a planet in a constellation of the same name, was Captain Kára Hazana. Long sepia strands of braided mane dangled at her shoulder blades. Just like her earrings; hooked baubles carved into little idols oft worshipped by her people. And too, her plush fur and pale skin were streaked or branded, leaving behind black and titian bands and stripes from toe to tête. Scars. Scars which, nevertheless, accentuated her confident blue eyes. Such blue. Such vibrant blue. For she was confident and loyal to a fault. As well as honourable and fierce. She was a tigress, if ever there was one, brimming with this ancient captain material and more.
“I’m surprised to see you awake so early. After your labours.”
“My labours?” she asked smiling at the understatement. “How could anyone not fall asleep after that?”
I was of course referring to the battle from the night previous. A squadron of Saravian raiders out of Melchor had followed and then engaged us for two straight days in open space before we could get to the Cantabria System for repairs. Though it took some time, Kára managed to out-manoeuvre and eventually defeat the Saravians by hiding in the Zyanya Nebula. Eliminating the raider ships one by one in the thick cloud cover.
“It’s hard for me to admit,” I explained, but you are an excellent pilot. If you weren’t here… I can only imagine what may have happened.”
She laughed, and sauntered over to join me, as she cinched closed her robe.
“Oh, you wound me Wolven. I was actually referring to my labours in the bedroom.”
“Ah yes,” I said with understanding, “your celebratory dance. Believe me darling, it was exhaustive.”
“And yet I find you up here on the observation deck.”
“I couldn’t wait to see it again,” quickly pointing to the blue giant with my reply. I added, “But it does not compare to you my love. No one is more divine or brilliant. No one glows as brightly as you.”
Kára purred at my remarks, and sighed, “Oh I wish I could lie here forever. Stare at the stars. Hear you pour sweet nothings into my ear. Feel you cosy up to me… but alas, duty calls.”
“Mm, and adventures to be had.” I said, reluctantly turning to business. “An hour until we can land?”
She spun around to view the internal display on the opposite wall which detailed our status. “Yes, just under. We can finally make the repairs to the MPD.”
“Wouldn’t that be nice.”
I gave Kára a passionate kiss before we returned to our respective cabins to dress, and before the other crew members had woken.
Our war-torn vessel had for over a week, been drifting through open space. Now emerged from the depths a little worse for wear, but otherwise in one piece was the legendary Amazon.