When a space pirate crew stumble upon a map to an ancient computer that can control the universe called the Infinity Matrix, they must face off against the all-pervasive government, rebels, and other pirate crews in a race to find the ultimate treasure.
Arevik Vox could barely open her eyes. The cell was dark, with grey walls and floors, cold slab bunk beds hanging by plasma chains from the ceiling, and a hole in the floor connected to a vacuum tube for organic creatures to make empty their bowels into. The cells were surrounded by a deadly plasma field. After days of excruciating pain at the hands of the Supremacy’s top interrogator, Ari was about ready to run right into that plasma, but she refused to give them the satisfaction. Killing herself would be playing right into their hands. She was once loyal, but for what they did to her, she couldn’t bring herself to let them destroy her. They already thought they had, but they had no idea how strong her will was.
She was pale, emaciated, and covered in bruises, scars, and burns. Her chestnut brown hair was wild and tangled. She was on the floor, and she didn’t want to move. Every muscle ached. In the cell with her was her best pilot, Roka, who was a Shinoga alien, and two mercenaries one male and the other female, ripped with piercing eyes.
Shinoga were known for their rationality and critical thinking skills. They were much more intellectually advanced than humans, and were not afraid to say so outright. They were bipedal but looked reptilian. Roka held Ari’s head up. “Captain, you’re alive. I hadn’t heard anything. I feared the worst.”
“They wouldn’t kill me, Roka. That would be too kind. They’re saying I betrayed them. They need to make an example out of me. They’ll keep me alive so they can dishonor me and strip away my privileges, my rights, and my dignity. When we get out of here, there’s going to be hell to pay.” Arevik’s throat was dry from a lack of water so her voice was creaky and barely audible. She coughed.
The female mercenary spoke up. Her hair was black and her skin was dark. “I wouldn’t want to be you, lady. It’s bad enough here without tasting the Supremacy’s fist every day. I’m Selenite, by the way. This is my brother Onyx. What’s your name, Captain?”
Roka helped Ari up. Ari cleared her throat. It hurt like razor blades scraping everything fleshy in her throat. “I’m Captain Arevik Vox. Well, former Captain. They’re going to take away my ship, of course.”
Onyx punched the wall. “Oh, yeah, I’ve heard of you. You’re the Supremacy’s favorite pet. Not anymore, I guess.” He chuckled. “Welcome to Integrity, situation verschisson.”
Ari laid on a bottom slab while Roka sat next to her. “I’d shake your hand, but that would be moving, which is about as much fun as walking on a bed of knives, pointy side up.”
“Don’t worry about it,” said Selenite. “We’re not touchy-feely people, are we, brother?”
“We sleep on this side of the room. You and Roka can sleep over there.” Onyx confirmed.
“Sleep sounds pretty good right now,” Arevik mumbled.
Roka stood up. “I’ll let you sleep, Captain.”