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Mission of Rescue
I was walking through the swamps of the subcity of Tybalt on the planet Scroller when I happened upon a creature with pink hair and purple eyes. Its gender was not assumable, but it reeked of beauty and smelt like roses. It spoke softly to me, ¨Sir we are looking for recruits to accompany us on our mission, preferably scouts, would you be interested?¨
“ What do I get out of agreeing to help you?¨
¨ Forty galleons, three-hundred rupees and free meals with board.¨
¨Count me in.¨
¨Your name please?¨
¨Sign here,¨ it said, handing me a simple clip board which I signed. Then it shook my hand and said, ¨Welcome aboard Mr. Reyes. My name is Huck June and I will be your navigator and translator.¨
After my encounter with Huck, it lead me onto the ship. The ship was fairly small. I reckon it could not carry more than 15 people. It was painted a fiery red which I found very intimidating. Huck lead me through a tight corridor to the bridge where I met the captain.
The captain was a pale and toned woman with tiger’s head. She had bright yellows eyes that appeared sleepless, as though she had not slept for nights. She was dressed in a small, yellow gown with a bodysuit underneath it. Huck told the captain about who I was and that I had agreed to being a scout on this mission. That? when the captain told me her story.
¨My name is Chesirlina, I come from the planet Weldox in Star System Gamma 6. For the majority of my life I have been a hunter of sorts. I use to hunt any game for any reason. I would hunt bounties for money, hunt treasures in my splendor, and of course I would hunt unintelligent life forms to sample their meat. One time I was praying upon this humped neemix (a large velociraptor-like creature) and it took a finger off my my right paw.¨ She gestured me to look at her right paw and I did notice it possessed only four fingers, but all of the other fingers were adorned with jewels.¨ Along my many hunts I happened upon a lovely tiger like myself. He had the most gorgeous white fur and was unlike any of my kind I had met before. His feelings turned out to be mutual. We courted one another for many a moon, then were declared lifemates. We made quite a living together until one day, my lifemate, Frox, was stolen away by pirates. Frox has been missing for at least 6 of your Scroller months. Recently we have picked up signals of his whereabouts on the planet Chaos. It is a very dangerous mission, so I have come recruiting. Huck here was my first recruit. I found it in being attacked by nixes. After I saved it, it has pledged the rest of its life in service to me. I’ll have Huck escort you to you quarters and I will gather you for supper. Please make yourself comfortable.¨
After my meeting with that awful tiger woman I took a brief nap on my cot. The room was fairly simple consisting of one bed, one window, and normal ebony furniture. Almost as if it had been specifically meant for me.
I will not lie. I am very uncomfortable in this ship. You see I am afraid of the empty void of space. I have agreed to this mission, not for the money, but to prove to myself, once and for all that I will not let fear control my life.
Around 5 rotations Chershirlina came to my room and lead me to the dining hall. The cuisine had consisted of honey orbs, bay leaves, and a large quantity of meat that came from several creatures. Here I meet the two remaining members of the crew. Muscles, the four-armed brute who specialized in mechanics and Oni the artificial intelligence unit. Muscles greeted me with a pat on the back that surely left a bruise on my back. He said heartily “Where ye from bones?”
“I’m from the planet Scroller in the swamp town of Tybalt.”
“What do ye have to eat there?”
“Mostly slugs, and starfruits. I haven’t seen meat like this since my aging ceremony”
“That explains it then.”
Muscles just laughed, scraping up more and more meat, constantly staring at Chesirlina very ungentlemanly. Oni didn’t say anything throughout the entire dinner, I think he only speaks when spoken too. I’ve rarely seen AI that didn’t malfunction easily. Huck consistently poked it’s food until it ate an entire gallons worth of oil and honey orbs. Finally, Chershirlina just looked at her food in a pathetic manner. She didn’t see the point in eating.
“My dear captain, what’s the matter, ye haven’t touched your pickled lamb for almost an hour?” Muscles questioned.
“How do you expect me to eat when my life mate is gone?” she sobbed angrily.
“Don’t cry me dear, I’m sure one such as yourself could fetch an even better life mate in no time.”
“I can’t talk about this right now.” Chersirlina stormed off.
“Come back ‘ere lassie.” Muscles uselessly pleaded.
“I think she wants to be left alone.” I answered.
“Keep yar worthless self outta this.”
After a tense few minutes everyone returned to their cabins. I could her Chesirlina’s sleepless sobs from my room. She had appeared so strong upon meeting her, and now she seemed like a sobbing infant. I barely sleep for 6 rotations.
That morning we tripled our kilo parsecs travel and finally made it to Chaos. We found a landing spot in a thick, dead jungle where we were greeted by a friendly bunch of rock skeletons called GOOGAS. They brought us to their village where we set up base camp. It was a flat area mainly composed of rocks and petrified wood. I reckon that this planet once supported organic life, but at some point, something awful happened and changed its surface forever.
“You and Huck are to scout ahead to the volcano in the North. When you reach it message back to use on your radio. It’s very dangerous out there, so I expect you two to keep each other alive.” Cheshirlina stated to us. She stayed behind with Oni and that stupid brute.
Along the trip to the mountain I spotted lava slugs which looked to be a similar to dinner slugs back on Scroller. Huck gleefully told me legend of it’s homeworld involving fairies and magic. Huck was a charming and delightful soul, and very beautiful as well. Despite my attraction to it, I refrained from pursuing it. I was arranged to marry my father’s partner’s 6th daughter and live out the rest of my live as a leaf gardner. Maybe it didn’t have to be this way.
The volcano was tall and foreboding. It was almost as ugly as the planets pink-gray sky. I let Huck rest for awhile while I messaged back to the rest of our party. “Cheshirlina? Muscles? Me and Huck finally reached the volcano's base and we think it’s safe enough for the rest of you to follow.” I was answered by a mechanical voice, it was Oni. “I’m afraid Captain and Muscles are spectating entertainment prepared for them by the GOOGAS. As soon as they are available I will let them know you have reached the base.”
When they finally reached the base we set up camp in our ship which, in addition to flying through space, could also cover terrain with its tank like wheels. I was dreading the volcano. I hate fire. Tomorrow they’re going to make me go up there on this pointless mission to save Frox, who was probably already dead. My life isn’t worth what they’re paying me. If I left now though it would hurt Cheshirlina who was already damaged, and it would hurt Huck, Cheshirlina’s most loyal friend. I had to stay. On my planet it is extremely disgraceful to leave a female in their time of need.
That night we were made to eat beans and star fruit, which I assumed they bought off my planet shortly before takeoff. It was a quiet meal, no one spoke at all. Even Huck was reduced to whispering to itself. Perhaps they were all afraid of the volcano and the legends that surrounded this place. I didn’t sleep at all.
At the break of dawn I began my ascension with the rest of the crew. I was ahead of them, of course. Taking breaks to breathe for every exhaustion period. At the middle of the volcano I found this cliff which I thought I could rest on. The team was miles beneath me, so I thought I deserved a nap while they caught up. On this cliff, however was a cave. I knew Cheshirlina would want us exploring it on this volcanic mountain just on the off chance her husband was in there. I had lit one of my green infinity torches and held it in my right hand.
I foolishly entered the cave finding nothing but more fire slugs which really hurt, by the way, if you happen to touch them. If you escape within moments of touching them, they will not leave a burn. I heard a light sob after a few minutes and I made my way over to it. I held up my torch to find that it was Frox alive with his magnificent white tiger head looking back at me. He appeared quite gaunt like he had just gone through the most terrible few months of his entire life.
“Mr. Frox, sir? I am here with my crew of 4. Chesirlina sent us to this place to rescue you.”
“CHESHIRLINA!!?? My darling. I must have died. No one's luck is this strong.”
I couldn’t help but smile at his happiness.
“Can you walk Frox?”
“Not well, but maybe if you helped me I can.”
So I helped him out of the cave. By that time the rest of the crew had made it to the cliff. Everyone was astonished to see Frox alive. Except for Oni who couldn’t exhibit any facial expressions, because he didn’t have a face. Muscles appeared disappointed. Cheshirlina ran to Frox and the two embraced for what seemed like an eternity. Then we heard it. That terrible noise...
It was Telute the gigantic dragon that inhabited this place. The monster of legends. Even I had heard tales of this behemoth back on my home planet. “We must leave immediately!” Frox screamed, “She’ll eat us all alive and not only take our bodies but take our souls as well.
“To the ship!” screamed Cheshirlina.
Muscles leapt from cliff to cliff down the mountain carrying Frox and Cheshirlina. Oni flew me and Huck down the cliff, with his mechanical arms and the propeller that had enabled him to fly. Of course, at this point I wasn’t afraid of screaming, so I did so.
Cheshirlina opened up the ship doors as fast as she could, almost stumbling over the combination. All of us rushed in a fast as we could. Telute was gaining as we started to ascend. She viciously beat her black wings, with a devious look of hunger in her ugly, yellow eyes. Huck took Frox by the shoulder and laid him down. “You’re in no condition for this fight.” said Huck. Frox nodded begrudgingly.
Cheshirlina switched the ship from ascension mode to flight mode and we took off speeding around the planet in our escape, but Telute was just as fast. She knocked our ship to the side and grasped our cargo door.
That’s when I knew what needed to be done. I grabbed one of Muscle’s laser rifles and one of his implosion grenades and ran as fast as I could to the cargo bay. Muscle trailed behind, very angry that I stole his things, but he might understand someday why I’m doing this if it ever gets through his meaty head. I closed and locked a ship door behind him. “What ‘are ye doin’? Ye gone mad?” he screamed. I ignored him and tied a bungee cord to my waist and strung it around a support beam.
I opened the cargo ship door to the screams of Telute and the lost souls residing inside of her. I grasped the rifle and shot around her face, which did make her slow down to evade the shots. Then I remembered the weakness of most legendary dragons: their bellies. I stopped firing, letting her come as close as possible with her mouth opened. I threw the grenade in her throat and kicked Telute in the throat to make her swallow it. She panicked and I climbed back onto the ship barely making it and shutting the door.
I then told Oni to take control of the ship's weapons system and fire at Telute’s protrusive gut. After doing so the grenade ignited sucking up Telute into nothingness. The crisis was averted, everyone was going to be ok, so I fell down and took rest.
When I awoke I was back on my home planet as if nothing had ever happened. I could feel a warm hand take mine. It was Huck, but this time it was most definitely female. I remember her saying something about her gender being decided after a certain stage in her life biologically, but I wasn’t paying attention at the time. She was more beautiful than ever, with her pink hair ranging in length to her very ankles.
“What happened?” I said.
“You saved us all. Muscles found you and we managed to patch you up. Then we took you back this planet since it was the closest planet to Chaos. Everyone parted ways, except for Cheshirlina and Frox who are wanting to retire and settle down on Earth Sigma. I decided to stay here with you.”
At that moment I fell in love with Huck. I pressed my lips to prevent her from going on because she didn’t need to. Forget about my arranged marriage. I knew what I wanted: Huck June.