She opened her eyes.

There was nothing but darkness.

Panic immediately began to set in, and she nervously reached up to touch her face. They were still there though.

So, they didn't take my eyes. Which is good. Obviously.

Her shaking hands ran their way from her face, over her neck, and down her body.

Still clothed. Which is also good.

She tried to move her legs. They were stiff and aching, and felt as though the circulation had been slowed right down by the cold. But at least they moved. Wiggling her toes, she gradually began to feel the blood start pumping, accompanied by a tingling sensation. As she dragged her feet closer to her, in order to massage them back to life, she became aware of two things.

Firstly, that the floor felt like cold, rusted metal.

Secondly, that she was barefoot.

So they took my shoes? Left my eyes, and stole my shoes. Fucking Mercenaries. I hate them.

Rubbing at her frozen, shoeless feet, she seethed inwardly. Seething outwardly seemed ridiculously pointless.

I cannot believe that I got kidnapped by Mercs. I don't know who to be more angry at, them, or me?

She thought about the last thing that she remembered. Before the all encompassing darkness of the here and now.

Drinking beer in the Hex Bar on Galgothica. Beautiful, marvellous, completely illegal tax-free beer. Congratulating myself on another job well done. In and out, smooth as silk. No dead bodies, no witnesses, no trace that I had ever been there. Techno-thief extrordinaire! And not one single implant in my entire body. Genuine human stock. Grade fucking A.

A sudden cramp spasmed through her right foot, and her toes curled in on themselves painfully.

Ow!” she yelled, straightening out her leg and nursing her un-cooperative muscles.

Yeah, being 100% human was fucking awesome. Until a bunch of Mercs came along, and realised you had more talent in one finger, than a bunch of cyber-freak soldiers had in their entire bodies.

Really glad that I bragged about that one so much now.

Slowly, but surely, the pain in her foot subsided and her muscles gradually relaxed. She stretched both legs out infront of her, and leaned forward to touch her toes. Her spine protested at first, but then a blissful cracking sound popped along a few vertebrae, and the stiffness she had felt in her back was gone. Twisting her legs around to the side, she slowly raised herself onto her knees, and reached above her head to check the height of the room. Her fingers brushed nothing but air, so she began to cautiously stand. Once fully stood, she turned in a circle with her arms outstretched. She made contact with nothing, so at least the room she had been tossed into wasn't the size of a standard Authority cell.

You gotta give it to those Mercs. At least when they kidnap you, they put you up in four star accommodation.

The situation wasn't exactly looking any better, but at least it wasn't looking any worse. She was trapped on a Merc ship, which was pretty shit really, but the flooring felt so rusty that it was probably going to drop out of the sky anyway. And then she would be dead, and she wouldn't have to bother with all the trauma of trying to escape. There was the issue of her stolen shoes, but that kind of depleted in significance next to the issue of her not stolen eyes.

It was something of a variety these days to find a human being who was actually still human; and not made up of technology from various overpriced corporations. This meant that the trafficking of organs and body parts was a major black-market money maker. Especially eyes.

There had been a pretty apocalyptic plague on Earth about two hundred years ago, that had apparently been spawned by rabbits. This was hard to believe as they were so sweet looking in pictures, but apparently the rats that spread the Bubonic centuries before had nothing on those little fuckers. The Miatonic plague had wiped out millions, and its most noticeable, not to mention death heralding symptom, was when you started to bleed from the eyes and then went blind. Even after the Authority had orchestrated a rabbit genocide, and quarantined every infected victim across the planet, this still did not totally eradicate the problem. Survivors, who had lived long enough to see the cure invented and administered, still carried a part of the plague in their DNA which they then passed on down the family line. Even two centuries later, there were some parts of Earth where the entire population was still born blind. And sure, you could get Cyber, Techno or Bio eyes fitted from one of the three industry giants, but they were nowhere even close to being considerately priced. Plus, they didn't give you perfect sight, just a sort of heat sensored sight really. But if you could get your hands on a pair of genuine human eyes, from an uninfected bloodline, then there were plenty of back-street doctors who would happily fit them for you. For a price, of course.

Well, they didn't take my baby blues, and my family is uninfected over five generations back. Which unfortunately, means only one thing. They know who I am, and they know what I am. And the only thing that Mercs can make more from selling illegally, is people.

There was always some pointless war going on in one solar system or another, and the Authority was obsessed with arming itself with the best forces possible. No matter how they were recruited. There had been rumours circulating of a special ops team, that did all the wet work and the really dodgy stuff, for over fifty years. Allegedly, they were made up of only pure, un-modified humans. But very skilled ones at that. Perhaps people who would have been classed as geniuses in another time, and another place.

So this is it then. I can say goodbye to my life of crime, and say hello to my extremely short life of intergalactic espionage. Oh joy.

She had found the nearest wall, and had been pacing around her cell whilst she thought, feeling her way along and hoping to find a door. As she was running her hands over the section of wall currently infront her, a blinding light suddenly pierced the darkness, and stung her eyes.

“Urgh.” she grunted, blinking rapidly, but determined not to close her much appreciated eyes.

Directly in line with her face a small rectangular hole had appeared in the wall, and a face looked back at her from the other side.

That the face belonged to a Merc was without doubt. The eyes were cruel and calculating, but a tell-tale glaze made them slightly hazy, a sure sign of a member of an infected bloodline. A scar ran down the right hand side of the face, and curved into the mouth at the bottom. That mouth formed a slightly uneven smirk as she stood there.

“So, you woke up then.” said the man whose face was only inches away from her own. “Damn it, my money was on you freezing to death before we got anywhere.”

There were plenty of unpleasant responses that she could think of, but maybe this was the time for a little diplomacy.

“Hi, my name's Cassy. Would you mind opening the fucking door?”

The End

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