|01 Liberty Jones: Primitive Agents
Author: Kit Williams PM
Six coworkers at a retail store are in for a big shock when they wake up on a spaceship in another galaxy. The pilot tells them that one will be selected to become the final member of the ship's crew. The ship is the self-aware and very illegal bio-ship, K1 5VN3, whose ongoing mission is to explore the galaxy for strange new discoveries and avoid the authorities at all cost.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure/Humor - Chapters: 10 - Words: 27,254 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 09-04-12 - Published: 07-23-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3044295
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Liberty Jones: Primitive Agents
"Oww," Kat groaned. "…My head."
"Serves you right," Lib replied without sympathy. "That'll teach you to take candy from strange spaceships."
Rather than being seated properly in the pilot's chair next to the ship's whining first mate, Lib was lying under the control panel with the wiring components completely exposed. The muician resourcefully fidgeted with the complex systems a moment before calling out, "How's that, Kay-one-plus?"
The ship rumbled for a bit before replying, "Negative, still nonfunctional."
Lib grumbled, "That's the problem with the latest technology. Nobody's figured out all the bugs yet." The muician hit and connected another set of wires with the toe of its boot. "Galio! Give her another shove!"
This order was followed by a loud, obnoxious metallic sound and then silence yet again.
"Well that didn't work," Lib sat up. "Take a break, everybody. At least we're drifting in the right direction."
Lib around looked for something to get the dirt off his/her/its(?) hands. The first mate was still looking a little green, but she still wanted to at least converse if she couldn't do anything else useful.
"I forgot there was another crewman," She muttered.
"Galio's pretty self-conscious about his appearance," Lib explained. "Other than that, he's the best mechanic we could hope for."
Katherine wrinkled her eyebrows again. "Why," she asked since that was her favorite question. "What does he look like?"
"You see the gorgeous proportions?" The muician pilot waved to its own face. "There are people who'd kill to have this beautiful mug. Galio looks nothing like it, so don't worry about it."
There was another moment of silence.
"Did I…?" Katherine asked hesitantly. "Did I do anything? Before, I mean." An evil and mischievous aura suddenly surrounded her captain making the girl suddenly felt even more nervous. "It's just I've never been drunk or high before, so I don't know."
"Yeah," Katherine snapped. Just because some of her species (and her former coworkers) engaged in such activities didn't mean she ever sought to enjoy them. "Didn't your scans tell you that?"
"Well, now we have one less thing in common. Don't worry about," Lib said again and glanced meaningfully at the ship. "It's not going to happen again."
Kay-one-plus beeped, "Affirmative."
Lib sighed, "The sooner we dump your friends on Goulosh, the sooner we can be on our merry way."
"They're not my friends," Katherine said quickly. "Friends are different. I would never betray a friend."
"Uh, huh. Lady, you sure know how to hold a grudge." Lib went back to working on the ship. "Makes we wonder how you treat your enemies."
"And your friends?" Katherine asked.
Lib visibly paused. After a long moment the muician began moving again and replied, "Let's just say we now have one thing less in common."
The inspector's people had no trouble locating and capturing "the woman".
Amaya shot her talent agent a death glare.
"You're lucky I'm wearing high heels," she told him. "And magnetic restraints."
Devin tugged on a security guard's sleeve and pointed at his former client. "Did you see that? That was clearly a threat. I want her charged for that."
"Relax Mr. Spaz," Inspector Komoru said as he walked in. "I'm sure the lovely lady will be very cooperative. You can collect your reward at the front desk."
Devin waved at his former client, "Bye-bye! Was a pleasure doing business, missy."
The singer hissed and tried to stand, but the restraints held her fast. Inspector Komoru gave the guards a look, "Is that any way to treat a lady?"
"I'm sure she's not stupid enough to assault a police officer." Inspector Komoru gave the singer a meaningful look.
"No, I'm not." Amaya replied and cooled her composure. "But I did consider it."
Inspector Komoru motioned that the lady should be uncuffed so they could have a proper conversation. The inspector folded his hands and looked the woman over carefully. She was a beauty. Lib had taste for sure, but then again, the inspector had never doubted that.
"It seems we have mutual friend," Inspector Komoru opened the interrogation by finding some common ground. "Now, you can help him and help yourself by telling me- Where is Lib?"
The woman wasn't concerned in the least. She met the inspector's gaze evenly. "That womanizer flirted with every girl at the bar," She said. "I'm nothing special."
"That's not what Mr. Spaz says," the inspector pointed out. "You're his number one cash cow and he's turning you in."
"Just being a good citizen?" Amaya asked mockingly. "I don't think so. He knows I could talk my way out of this if I wanted to."
"Then you don't want to?" the inspector asked with mild surprise.
The woman laughed. "You know the peoples of Tuatha are very spiritual, yes?" She tilted her head. "Your leaders shunned our spirituality. If it's against the laws of physics, then it's against the law."
"You're free to practice whatever religion you choose under the rights act," replied the inspector. "Nobody's stopping you."
Amaya shook her head. "No, there's no respect for believers," she told him. "I can't even get job without some government dog pulling the strings." She looked the inspector right in the eyes and said in a low voice, "I don't know what you'd call it, inspector, but it is not 'tolerance'."
"Madam," the inspector calmly redirected. "We're not here about any grudges you may have towards the government. They actually like being unpopular, if you know what I mean." He stood up. "Since you won't reveal the whereabouts of Liberty Jones, I'm having you arrested as an accomplice."
Amaya stood up as well and declared, "I will be arrested for my own crimes, not the crimes of somebody else!"
"Oh? And what crimes would those-?" The inspector's question was rudely cut off. The lady in question socked him with a brilliantly executed right-cross.
"You seem to be quite the charmer," Major Sarashi commented and pointed to the discolored patch on the side of Inspector Komoru's face.
"I'm following up another lead," the inspector replied undaunted. He was completely focused on the screen in front of him in an attempt to ignore the major. "You and the military can go on your 'wild goose hunt'."
"Nope," the major replied gleefully. "This is much more fun. What's that?"
On screen was the video from last exchange between the inspector and the fugitive Lib. In it was the odd looking creature mewing softly. The major hadn't seen anything quite like it before. "It looks like a maoushin," she said and tilted the image for a better look. "But the fur pattern is wrong and the colors are way off."
"That's what I'm trying to figure out," the inspector's gut was telling him the tiny female was a clue to the muician's next move. He played the recording back again and again, but his translator couldn't compensate for the alien dialect.
"Hmmm," Major Sarashi leaned forward with absolutely no regard for the inspector's personal space. The inspector froze and waited to see was she was going to do. With deft skill the major forwarded the clip to the military central drive and began running some decoding software. If it was a code, she would break it.
"We need to isolate the morphological components," Major Sarashi told her companion.
"Damn, even the military system couldn't find a match." The major frowned. The creature's dialect was even more alien than they thought. "We'll have to break the language down from scratch."
"Lib interrupts… here and here." Inspector Komoru noted and pointed to some rough patches on the sound analysis.
"Meaning she can understand it," Major Sarashi nodded understandingly. For some reason, the major preferred to call Lib a "she" rather than use a masculine pronoun like the inspector did. However, since Lib was a "0-type" muician it didn't really matter.
The odd species that Lib belonged to was from a planet called Mu. At least, that's how the muicians liked to tell it. As Lib had explained to Inspector Komoru at their first meeting (and Katherine much, much later on), the Muician species had four "genders", so to speak. Strong model females, aka "F-type", were like the queens of a hive species. They were the undisputed leaders of the muician clans. One reason for this was because they didn't always need a male to produce an offspring. Each female could produce one or two children on their own, but these were always female like the mother. The second gender was the male or "m-type". If a male bred with a strong female the result would either be a male or female.
This is where other species often became confused; there existed a third type of muician, the "h-type". They could, to an extent, be either "male" or "female" depending on their own preference. If an "h-type" crossed with an "m-type" then the resulting child would be either "h-type" or "m-type". If an "h-type" crossed with another "h-type" the resulting child would be an "h-type", but the chance of producing a healthy child from that pairing was about 50/50.
Lib belonged to the last and rarest type. It was rare because the act was considered taboo. The "0-type" occurred when crossing "F-type" with "h-type". These children were often weak, could not breed, and lived very short lives. However, Lib was a great exception. Lib's "father" had done everything in her power to ensure that Lib lived a long and healthy life. As proof of this devotion Lib had not only lived longer than any other "0-type", Lib had outlived its own species.
Mu was destroyed by an unknown agent. Mu's two exiles, Lib and Lib's "father" were the only survivors of the calamity. Now only Lib held the honor.
Keeping in mind that Lib's accomplishments were not to be underappreciated, inspector Komoru and Major Sarashi put all their efforts into finding the reengage pilot's next move.
"Lib must have used K1+5VN3." Major Sarashi deduced. "The ship was built for exactly this kind of thing. A new, undiscovered species…"
"Lib can hold his own when it comes to programing too," the inspector agreed. "He must have made his own personal adjustments to the translator." In soft tone of admiration Inspector Komoru added, "He always was a fast talker, that one."
Major Sarashi pointed to the screen. "Here, here, and here," she said. "Let's assume those are complete sentences. Find the subject and verb first."
"This one sounds like an introduction," the inspector pointed to the first sentence. "And this must be a name. The phonetic line up is different from the rest of the message."
"Good eye, inspector." Major Sarashi praised. "Or should I say 'ear'? Ah, the computer's narrowed down the noun phrases…that can't be right. Run it again!"
Inspector Komoru was also in shock, but he didn't doubt his instincts. This was the basic message the tiny creature had relayed:
"We're an alien species not native to this galaxy…kidnapped…We're being held against our will…help us…please…"
"More than one," Major Sarashi said with quiet rage. "Poor things."
The inspector remained silent in deep thoughts of his own.