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IntroductionEdit

Author - Elliot Frost

Rating - M (Language, violence and disturbing content)


//I'm currently working on completely re-writing this story, so until I have completely re-written what I have posted already there will be an abrupt transition from 1st person to 3rd person writing style as well as temporary formatting issues.//

(1) AwakeningEdit

The first thing to enter my blurry consciousness is the familiar grating hum of Purgatory's sextacore engines burning through space. The next thing is pain. Coming out of cryo is an excruciating process. My skin burns and stings as it defrosts and I gradually become painfully aware of every single part of my body as the cold numbness fades away. The chemical preservatives rise in my throat. I choke, trying to breath. Finally I fall to my hands and knees, coughing out mouthfuls of the fluid. I pry my gummy eyes open but the light is blinding so I shut them again. My whole body starts shaking violently from the cold and I slump to the floor, bringing my knees up to my chest and wrapping my arms around them, waiting for it to stop. Once my body and mind calm down a little I am able to uncurl and open my eyes. A small, steel plated room with a single opaque black door form around me, blurred and still painfully bright. My vision begins to clear and I locate the source of the light, a panel in the center of the ceiling which flickers occasionally. I push myself shakily to my feet and turn to look at the cryo pod I’ve just fallen out of. Steam leaks periodically from the simple bullet-shaped metal case and limp, flexible straps hang open along the slightly cushioned vertical backboard. I reach out and touch the wall of the pod that has been my resting place for who knows how long. Just then something released and the pod falls away from the wall, swinging back into huge dark space filled with even more pods. I have just a second to look before a section of wall slides into the space where the pod was a second before. There is a knock on the black door at the other end of the room and suddenly I am aware that I am naked. Without waiting for a reply the door slides open and two men in gray body armor and black visored helmets walk in, making the space much smaller. The one on the left, slightly taller, drops a black bag at the floor and nods his head towards it, gesturing for me to take it. The one on the right fiddles with the shock stick on his belt. "Prisoner G-4349, please dress and accompany us to processing. Any hostile actions will result in forceful detainment." says the guard on the right in a deep voice, distorted by a voice changer. "How-" I choke and swallow, "How much more forcibly detained could I possibly be?" I ask, my voice gritty and unfamiliar, "What's going on?" "Put the clothes on." the guard on the left unclips the two-foot long shock stick from his belt and motions sharply to the bag. "Fine," I reaching a pale hand out and grab the bag, clutching it close to my chest. Unzipping it I find a simple dark red jumpsuit along with a pair of black boots, simple undergarments, socks, and a security collar. I turn my back to the guards and slip into the clothing, zipping up the front of the jumpsuit and buttoning the collar. The socks are rough and lumpy but I lace up the boots tightly, tucking the excess lace into the top of the boot. The last thing in the bad is the collar. I hold it in my hands, the black mesh material is light, but could crush my neck in a heartbeat. A red light blinks on the back next to a data chip slot. "Put it on." says the taller guard forcefully. "Yeah, yeah." I reply softly, slipping it around my neck and holding it there for the shorter guard to insert his chip and lock it in place. A small tear of frustration runs down my cheek but I rub it away furiously. Any hope of freedom is extinguished by this collar. The shorter guard stows his chip on his belt and grabs my arm firmly, steering me toward the door. The taller one picks up the empty bag and follows, closing the door behind us. Outside is a long steel-plated hallway lit with dim artificial light from the ceiling panels. There are many more doors leading to rooms like the one we just exited, and I can see into them through the doors. Some have other prisoners in them who were still recovering from cryo, most are empty. Several more pairs of guards patrol the hall, most accompanying other prisoners in red jumpsuits. I don't recognize any of them, but there are hundreds aboard the Purgatory and people can't exactly get close. Walking is shaky and difficult at first, the muscles in my legs were stiff and unresponsive. Several times I stumble, but the guards just pull me along until I can regain my feet. At the end of the hallway there was a security checkpoint. "Encrypted Verification Passcard required." Grates a harsh, artificial voice from a slot in the reinforced, tinted plexiglass viewport next to the door. The shorter guard produces his chip from his belt again and slides it into the slot, it is returned a moment later. "Encrypted Verification Passcard verified. Proceed." The door in front of us makes three quick thumping noises, then slides open to reveal more nondescript hallway running perpendicular to the one we just passed through. We turn left and join a long stream of other trios similar to our own. Looking around I realize this can't possibly be a full transfer, there aren’t nearly enough guards on the ship for two to escort every prisoner. Besides, if it were a ship to ship transfer, why would they have even bothered defrosting them? Something else is going on. I suspect it’s probably a prisoner auction; prisoners are often discretely sold to various clientele to do with as they please. It helps fund the disproportionately large pocket of the ship's captain and upper staff. This theory starts to make more and more sense as we head in the direction of the main hangar, near the top of the ship on the port side. All at once I also notice that every single prisoner I can see is young and female. What kind of sick scum buys whores from a prison ship? Soon enough I find out. We’re all funneled into a large room situated next to the hangar. All the prisoners are lined up in rows, like a military battalion, with guards all around the outside. I estimate about seventy of us in total. Once we’re all situated the door at the end of the room slides open with a sharp hiss and eight people enter. Captain Formire himself and two security guards along with a very fat human man with a sharp white goatee, dressed in opulent purple and gold robes and accompanied by four two-legged security mechs with glowing green eyes.

"-many fine young girls, as I was saying. And here they are, take your pick and we can talk prices," the Captain says, speaking like a salesman.

"Yes very good," replies the fat client with a sickly boyish grin, "Ahk, don't they have anything better to wear than these... unflattering jumpsuits?"

"Not enough for each of them, no."

"Well then they will have to be naked. Strip them."

"As you wish. Guards, please remove these prisoner’s clothes," orders the captain, "Oh, and never complain about your job again." He adds behind his hand to the client. They share a smirk. The guards start moving through the formation of prisoners, removing clothing with military efficiency. Those who resist are ruthlessly shocked with the electric stun sticks at each guard's belt. When the guard nearest her reached for her collar zipper she grabbed his wrist, twisted it, and forced his elbow the wrong way with her other hand, breaking his arm with an audible crunch. She had time to kick his kneecap out of place too before another guard slapped her across the face with a considerable amount of electricity. Pain burst across her cheek, she barely had time to recover before a boot caught her in the gut, sending her to the ground. This was exactly what she wanted, if she was injured and covered in burns she would hardly be appealing. Cryo was better than being at the mercy of this man, any day. "Stop, bring her forward." Strong arms lifted her up and dragged her to the front. "Yes, I like this one, feisty and pretty. Those burns will heal nicely with medical attention. How much for her?" Well, that plan went well. "Four hundred credits." said the captain with practiced confidence. "Ridiculous, she's not that pretty. And she's damaged. Two hundred would be a bargain." "That's barely worth the cost of bringing them all out of cryo and putting most of them back in. Three hundred and-" There was a short, high-pitched screech and thick smoke blossomed into the room. The client gave a shriek almost as piercing as the smoke grenade's and fell over, large amounts of blood running down his front. His mechs immediately started firing on the security guards, who were more or less defenseless without blasters or heat sensitive tracking computers. The captain frantically pulled out his own blaster and started firing on the mechs. He was promptly shot down and his custom, black and gold plated Alaike IV blaster pistol clattered to the floor. If she had ever had a chance of escaping, this was it. She grabbed the blaster and sprinted past the mechs into the hangar. There were four ships in the medium sized hangar; the captain's sleek private shuttle, two transport ships, and something else that was completely unexpected. Facing outwards, ready for a quick escape, was a small matte black fighter. Across the side it read VLADEN 7 in grey, military text. The ship looked like a mercenary fighter, modified with extra firepower and stealth systems. It was perfect. She darted to the side of the fighter and pulled open the cockpit, she slid easily into the firm leather seat and started bypassing the startup system. The door she had come from slid open and despite herself she looked around to see who had come through. A humanoid of mid-height was walking calmly and confidently towards her. He wore a deep, low, black hood and a high-collared black trenchcoat with many straps and buckles. Underneath his hood she could make out a steel face mask, the knuckles of his gloves and the toes of his boots were also steel. In each hand he held a short, viciously cruel looking blade. These he flicked blood off of before sheathing in slots on his upper arms, she also noticed a blaster pistol slung on his left hip. As he drew closer he noticed her frantically trying to hack his ship's controls, and succeeding at some level, the ship was already powered on, emitting a faint blue glow from the rear exhaust. Without breaking pace he hopped into the only other seat, the rear gunner position, and handed her the control chip with a gloved hand. "Get us out of here, quickly. Pre-programmed coordinates are already in place." he said, his voice distorted by a voice changer in his mask. Surprised but relieved, she inserted the chip and got the ship moving just as guards with blaster rifles started pouring into the hangar. The assassin opened fire with the rear gun, which was, shockingly, a metal projectile weapon. Copper-plate tungsten rounds started tearing through the energy shields and plasteel armor of the security guards with ease. She lifted the ship up and out of the hangar bay, through the energy shield right before the solid steel-plate doors slid shut. Immediately after the doors shut they started opening again to let out pursuit craft, but they were ill-equipped to deal with what appeared to be a heavily armed military stealth fighter. The Assassin switched smoothly from the rear gun, which wouldn't work in space, to a keypad and joystick. Military grade tracking missiles destroyed the first transport ship before it had even fully cleared the hangar’s energy shield. The other transport hung back and eventually set back down again, thinking better of pursuing them. She ignited the fighter's surprisingly powerful main engines, and a few of the secondary ones as well for good measure, powering ahead until the prison ship was barely visible in the distance. Only then did she stop and set the ship to auto-pilot, sailing to the pre-programmed coordinates.

The Assassin remained silent, or maybe he was talking on a comlink inside his mask, as they approached a small asteroid field. The ship guided itself around the floating chunks of rock, moving faster and reacting quicker than any human (and/or most other forms of sentient life) could manage. Eventually they slowed and stopped, landing gently on a large, slowly rotating asteroid. Just as she was starting to wonder what they were waiting for, a cruiser materialized above them, just outside the asteroid field. “That’s our ride, land in the hangar,” Said the Assassin. “Got it.” She replied, and powered up the ship, taking manual control. She quickly assessed her options. Even if she somehow, in the confines of their small fighter, she managed to overpower the Assassin she wouldn’t get far in a ship with no hyperdrive. So far the Assassin had given her no reason not to trust him, and had even displayed an inexplicable trust in her. Her only choice was to do as he said. The cruiser almost blended into the sky, black except for a white symbol painted on the side. It appeared to be about half the size of the Purgatory, but significantly more streamlined and armed to the teeth. On approach of the hangar she noted at least three MAC cannons on the underside of the ship, four missile docs on the side of the ship she could see, and multiple smaller, rotating cannons across the bow. The hangar door opened as she approached, through the shimmering blue energy shield she could make out a row of small attack ships similar to the one she was piloting, all unique. The shield rippled slightly as they passed through it, and she alighted gently in the mid-sized hangar.

“Alright, now what?” she asked, but the Assassin remained silent. A dark, hooded figure alike to the Assassin entered through one of the two doors at the back of the room. He moved with confidence, walking casually toward them, and gestured for them to get out with a black gloved hand. Realizing that the door control was on her side of the cockpit, she, popped the hatch and hoisted herself stiffly out. Her brief sprint was catching up with her still cryo-shocked muscles. “I don’t remember rescuing a pretty young woman being part of the plan, Rafique, but you have been known to improvise wildly in the past,” stated the hooded man. His voice made him sound old, but sharp and in control. The Assassin slipped out of the gunner position and removed his mask, revealing a handsome, hard face with dark eyes and pale skin. “She made herself part of it without my consent or foresight, but it turned out well in the end. I’ll tell you the story later,” replied Rafique in a deep, strong voice, “I need to report in and then clean my blades, will you find someone to look after her?” “Certainly, but do not neglect to mention her in your report, this is unusual, even for you.” As he drew closer he noticed her frantically trying to hack his ship's controls, and succeeding at some level, the ship was already powered on, emitting a faint blue glow from the rear exhaust. Without breaking pace he hopped into the only other seat, the rear gunner position, and handed her the control chip with a gloved hand. "Get us out of here, quickly. Pre-programmed coordinates are already in place." he said, his voice distorted by a voice changer in his mask. Surprised but relieved, she inserted the chip and got the ship moving just as guards with blaster rifles started pouring into the hangar. The assassin opened fire with the rear gun, which was, shockingly, a metal projectile weapon. Copper-plate tungsten rounds started tearing through the energy shields and plasteel armor of the security guards with ease. She lifted the ship up and out of the hangar bay, through the energy shield right before the solid steel-plate doors slid shut. Immediately after the doors shut they started opening again to let out pursuit craft, but they were ill-equipped to deal with what appeared to be a heavily armed military stealth fighter. The Assassin switched smoothly from the rear gun, which wouldn't work in space, to a keypad and joystick. Military grade tracking missiles destroyed the first transport ship before it had even fully cleared the hangar’s energy shield. The other transport hung back and eventually set back down again, thinking better of pursuing them. She ignited the fighter's surprisingly powerful main engines, and a few of the secondary ones as well for good measure, powering ahead until the prison ship was barely visible in the distance. Only then did she stop and set the ship to auto-pilot, sailing to the pre-programmed coordinates.

The Assassin remained silent, or maybe he was talking on a comlink inside his mask, as they approached a small asteroid field. The ship guided itself around the floating chunks of rock, moving faster and reacting quicker than any human (and/or most other forms of sentient life) could manage. Eventually they slowed and stopped, landing gently on a large, slowly rotating asteroid. Just as she was starting to wonder what they were waiting for, a cruiser materialized above them, just outside the asteroid field. “That’s our ride, land in the hangar,” Said the Assassin. “Got it.” She replied, and powered up the ship, taking manual control. She quickly assessed her options. Even if she somehow, in the confines of their small fighter, she managed to overpower the Assassin she wouldn’t get far in a ship with no hyperdrive. So far the Assassin had given her no reason not to trust him, and had even displayed an inexplicable trust in her. Her only choice was to do as he said. The cruiser almost blended into the sky, black except for a white symbol painted on the side. It appeared to be about half the size of the Purgatory, but significantly more streamlined and armed to the teeth. On approach of the hangar she noted at least three MAC cannons on the underside of the ship, four missile docs on the side of the ship she could see, and multiple smaller, rotating cannons across the bow. The hangar door opened as she approached, through the shimmering blue energy shield she could make out a row of small attack ships similar to the one she was piloting, all unique. The shield rippled slightly as they passed through it, and she alighted gently in the mid-sized hangar.

“Alright, now what?” she asked, but the Assassin remained silent. A dark, hooded figure alike to the Assassin entered through one of the two doors at the back of the room. He moved with confidence, walking casually toward them, and gestured for them to get out with a black gloved hand. Realizing that the door control was on her side of the cockpit, she, popped the hatch and hoisted herself stiffly out. Her brief sprint was catching up with her still cryo-shocked muscles. “I don’t remember rescuing a pretty young woman being part of the plan, Rafique, but you have been known to improvise wildly in the past,” stated the hooded man. His voice made him sound old, but sharp and in control. The Assassin slipped out of the gunner position and removed his mask, revealing a handsome, hard face with dark eyes and pale skin. “She made herself part of it without my consent or foresight, but it turned out well in the end. I’ll tell you the story later,” replied Rafique in a deep, strong voice, “I need to report in and then clean my blades, will you find someone to look after her?” “Certainly, but do not neglect to mention her in your report, this is unusual, even for you.”

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