"Message transmission from Inter-Planetary Law Enforcement Galactic Police Headquarters acquired at nine-hundred hours today. Galactic Police Detective Initial Grade Two Calthir Halsteade, shall I put them through?"
"Affirmative." Her voice was firm. She sat straight-backed in her chair, her uniform seam-perfect and her expression grave. The console that circled her bleeped quietly and contentedly, humming with ready awareness.
The main monitor flipped on to show their superior, GPD O-Grade One Deismman Hvkalc's strangely androgynous face appeared on the screen. It was one of the hermaphrodites created sixty years ago, a race of nonhumans that were entirely like humanity in intelligence and physical capabilities. "GPD Halsteade, GPD Barcelloni, and GPD Kolinsky," it said by way of greeting.
"Hello sir," Calthir replied.
"Sir!" Kolinsky said with a sharp nod.
"Hey!" Barcelloni greeted.
Deismman went on. "There've been reports of a disturbance in Sector 28-O9."
Halsteade flipped up another monitor of Sector 28-O9. "Near the c- cluster?"
"Correct. There's been a few ships using the cluster as a playground for their vendettas, and there's been minor damage to the stations."
"How many is a 'few'?"
"Three, from what we know."
"Syndies?" Barcelloni piped up, propping her feet on her console.
"No crime syndicates have claimed the feud, nor have we received any information pointing to any clues that these criminals are being backed up by larger powers."
"A simple 'no' works too," Barcelloni muttered.
It ignored her. "Halsteade, you and your GPDs will arrest these culprits and bring them to Headquarters."
"Sir, how should we go about catching three ships with only one?" Kolinsky asked respectfully.
"That is up to Halsteade. Ending transmission." The monitor went into static. Calthir flipped it off with a sigh.
"Oh that was helpful," Barcelloni said. "'That's your problem, not mine'. Great." She reached over to her console and picked up a can of beer, emptying it. She tossed it into the already overflowing trash can next to her seat and stretched her legs out over the console. Papers, unfinished reports, food, beer, and strange things she had picked up from planets along the way all littered her console as it bleeped miserably. Her uniform jacket was unbuttoned, the cuffs of her sleeves rolled up, and she wore non- uniform red, fingerless gloves. She swung her legs off the console, looking over her shoulder at Calthir. "So! What'll we do?"
Calthir's hands twitched with irritation. "First of all, you'll clean off your console, Vsner," she snapped.
Vsner Barcelloni raised an eyebrow, then shrugged and swept everything off her console with her arm. "Happy?"
Halsteade sighed, giving up, and looked to Kolinsky. "Kolinsky, you com the c-cluster stations and tell them we're coming. Vsner, you get ready to board."
Vsner jumped over the mess around her console. "Right-o, IG-2. Gimme five-hundred seconds."
"I'm loading it to sixteen-x in twelve seconds, so don't get caught under a whole lot of equipment," Calthir warned.
"Thanks for the warning." She palmed open the door and stepped out of the control room, moving down the corridor to the storage room. Pausing outside, she felt the ship lurch, then the anti-G generators began to work, and it returned to normal. She opened the door and stepped inside.
The lights flicked on and 'Vsner' went to the wall, where an armor suit hung ready. Unlike the bulky, time-consuming suits of the Federation's era, these suits were light, cheap, and easy to get on and off.
She stripped off her Galactic Police Detective uniform, and pulled on the nanomachine-loaded catsuit. With ease, she slid on the body armor, and it clicked itself into place, conforming around her body. She slid arc uvvies into the built-in holsters after checking their charges, and began to braid her long hair with swift fingers. Twisting it into a bun, she eased the helmet over her head and sealed the collar. The inside of the visor lit up with small screens monitoring her health, the outside conditions, and the state of the suit's small pharmacopoeia full of chemicals ready to pump into her system through administrative tools- meaning loads of small needles. A small com unit hummed to life in her ear.
"Hey Calthir, I'm loaded and ready to shoot," she said into the unit, picking up an arc uvvie and flipping off the safety. She adjusted her grip, shifting the gun until it fit just right in her palm.
"Idiot, you'd better hope you don't have to shoot!" Halsteade snapped back, her voice crackling in Vsner's ears.
Vsner sighed, switching the com off. "Yeah, yeah. . ." She exited the room and went back to the control room.
"You're not supposed to have more than two uvvies," Kolinsky said, pointing to the two guns at her hips, then the one she held in her hands.
"Hey, I'm the one loading ass onto those ships, so I'm gonna be the one to decide how many guns I have while doin it."
The former-military officer scowled. "Going against regulation?"
"Yeah. What of it, arc fodder?"
"That's former-arc fodder to you."
"Some things never change." Vsner shrugged.
"Would you two shut up?" Calthirs said. "We're ETA one minute!"
"Oh, don't get your white panties in a wad, IG-2," Barcelloni said with a grin. "We were just having a little fun."
"Well have fun when you're off the job. Now get to the boarding hatch and wait for further orders."
Vsner turned and left again, frowning. Calthirs Halsteade was nothing less than a major pain in the ass. A young, rising star of the Galactic Police, she was only beginning her steady climb. She was from a wealthy family that was deep in the planetary aristocracy, and could trace her lineage back to dozens of royal families from across the galaxy. Though luckily Galactic Police Detective (GPD) training had beaten most of the arrogance out of her, she was still stiff, something of a prude, and one of those people who took their jobs way too seriously.
Of course, Vsner, being what she was -an IG-1 for six years now with no promotions in sight- and from where she was from -she had joined the GP after scrapping a living as a cook for ten years, lying low- was considered to be nothing more than a temporary nuisance to someone like Halsteade. Nor would she ever see Vsner as anything different.
Ah well. Vsner was in one of her 'obscure' centuries. Time for heroics and fame came later. Right now, she had a hunch that she was doing the right thing in lying deep in obscurity, and her hunches had never led her astray.
She waited at the boarding hatch, watching through the small window as they came abreast one of the ships in question. It was a large Feigida- class whale, one of the products of mating the technology of the Gaidrophins and the vision of the humans. The Gaidrophin race seemed to like everything in bulk size though, and so nothing on the ship didn't seem bloated into immensity. Stupid, if anyone asked her. She preferred small, fast ships. But, alas, no one had asked.
Her com unit buzzed on. "Vsner, from what we've heard from them, one of the three ships has been taken out of action. I've already called in backup to take care of the broken ship, and this ship is surrendering under the terms that they be given less time in jail, but the second ship is refusing, and is starting to square off."
"So what're you doin? Asking my opinion or something?" Vsner said with a smirk.
She sounded uncomfortable. "Well, you've been an GP for longer than I have and I figured it wouldn't be good to allow that experience to go to waste," she said defensively.
"That's one of the first intelligent things I've ever heard you say." She frowned, thinking for a moment. "All right, let me board this Feigida. All Feigidas have, you should know, a one-person Coog. Gimme a warrant for boarding the other ship, the Coog, and leave it my hands, sweets." Her blood began to race in anticipation.
"What are you talking about? They'll attack you on sight, and a Coog is tiny!"
"Exactly. It's the most maneuverable damn thing you'll ever see, if you know how to use it. Trust the expert, Calthirs."
"And what if they do shoot you into pieces?"
"Then hail them and say 'you killed a GPD, now suffer the wrath' and call in a Beta-class to take 'em out. When they start facing lifetime in jail for killing a GPD, they'll come out with their hands up and pants down, begging to be let off."
She groaned. "I know I'm going to regret this." There was a pause. "All right, they said they won't shoot you when you board the Feigida- class."
"Excellent! It isn't sunny enough to die today." Tapping the small console next to the hatch, the boarding tube shot forward to mate with the other tube from the Feigida-class. Once all was green, she palmed it open and pushed herself forward, drifting through the zero-G environment. Disgruntled men waited on the other side, eyeing her warily in her suit of body armor.
"Greetings, criminals!" she said cheerfully. "Which one of you is the captain of this Feigida?"
"I am," a graveled voice said. A tall, older man stepped forward. "We already surrendered, so why are you boarding?"
"I need to borrow your Coog," she said.
He scowled. "Why? Running?"
"I don't run," she snapped. Her temper cooled immediately. "No, I'm taking it to board the other bastards."
He gave a bark of laughter. "And what makes you think you can get a Coog through their defenses?"
"Only nearly a millennia of experience," she said with a touch of humor. "Now why don't you shut up and start walking?"

"IG-2 Halsteade?"
Calthirs gave Kolinsky a questioning look. The woman usually didn't speak up much. "What is it?"
"Was it wise to leave this in Barcelloni's hands?"
Calthirs frowned, since she had just been thinking the same thing. "I think so, Kolinsky. After all, she does have quite a bit of experience, and she's confident that she can pull it off."
The woman's face was unreadable. "No, I meant the 'Barcelloni' part."
"What do you mean?"
"Barcelloni is, if I may say so, the rashest, hot-headed, most foolhardy woman I've ever known. I'm not sure if she can do anything without screwing it up."
Calthirs smiled. "Well, there is that. But for once, perhaps her rashness will work in our favor."
Kolinsky sighed. "I hope so."

Vsner eased the Coog out of the hanger, her fingers flicking over the controls before settling on the two control sticks. Her feet rested lightly on the four pedals- one pedal beneath the heel and the other beneath the toes on each foot. The pedals controlled the power of the engines, while the control sticks controlled the direction.
She took off her helmet to see better and licked her lips. "All right, let's get this started," she muttered.
The Coog blasted off to the other ship, and she grunted as the G's pressed down on her. The one-man spherical ship was too small to mount an anti-G generator, and so the speed capabilities all lay on what the pilot's body could take, which usually only meant about four G's at the most.
Usually. Then again, Vsner wasn't usual.
The other ship -a sleek Beissner-class- didn't bother to hail her. Its cannons pivoted, their barrels swinging towards her.
"You won't get a lock on me," she snarled, her feet flicking on the pedals and her hands moving the control sticks delicately. The Coog began an intricate evasive dance, twirling to and fro even as it came closer.
The Beissner gave up on getting a lock and began firing. Arc sizzled through the nothingness of space around her, but her wide, slightly unfocused eyes caught every movement and direction of each cannon, anticipating every shot and taking steps to avoid it before the arc even left the barrels.
The dance of the Coog became more furious and sporadic, lurching with incredible speed as her feet stomped on different pedals, pressing forward. Her ribs creaked in protest as the G's climbed, but she hadn't reached her limit yet.
The density of the arc became more panicked as she drew inexorably closer, the captain baffled and afraid of how the tiny ship melted away from every shot. She could almost hear his bellows as he snarled at his subordinates to get a lock.
She saw an opening and shot forward, a mere blur in the darkness of space. The Coog slammed against the side of the Beissner, and she palmed on the force-entry system. From the belly of the Coog, arc laced out in a circle and seals held onto the alloy sides. Vsner grabbed her helmet, pushed open the hatch, and dove through, her gun in one hand and her helmet in the other.
The corridor was empty and dark, red lights blaring a breach. She slammed on her helmet, sealing it, and started running. When she spoke into her com, it was in a calm, collected tone.
"Calthirs, I've breached. Standby for status report in... oh hell, gimme fifteen minutes."
Her feet pattered on the alloy floor as she made her way to the engine room. Glancing inside, she saw a few engineers standing around, waiting for the alarms to go off. She heard the sound of running feet and took it into account.
She blew open the door of the engine room and sent the two engineers unconscious with swift blows. With little time, she looked around for the anti-G and G generators.
"Ah, there you are," she murmured, bending down to the mess of wires and pipes. At random, she yanked apart wires and tubing, severing the power and mutilating it. The all-green lights monitoring it buzzed and went red. After doing the same to the G generator, she felt a moment of satisfaction as she began to drift upwards. Well now, this would make things easier. Everyone else would be flailing while she, along with the boosters of her body armor, would be at a distinct advantage.
"Hey- you! Get away from there!"
She pushed herself off from the ground and the arc burned into the alloy where she had been a moment before. Launching herself off of the ceiling, she barreled into the man, her fist sinking into his diaphragm. With a swift strike, his eyes glazed into unconsciousness, and she flicked on her zero-G boosters with an absent thought.
Now to the command deck.
Flying down the corridor while fending herself off from the walls and ceiling, she ignored the flailing people that called after her or shot at her. The arc was absorbed by the suit.
As she came to the command deck, she found the blast doors closing to keep her out. She pushed the boosters faster, her gun raising. Five shots made the doors stop.
She thundered into the room with the noisy sound of the boosters, and twisted in midair, landing on the front monitor screen with her gun already raised and aimed. The Captain, as he floated helplessly, glared at her, though his gaze was touched with fear. "Who the hell are you?" he snarled.
"We of the Inter-Planetary Law Enforcement Galactic Police don't like your conduct, sir," she said smoothly. "Therefore, I'm placing you under arrest for violating interplanetary law."
"Oh yeah? And what if we just shoot you and haul out of here?" he sneered even as his subordinates snapped barrels towards her.
She didn't bat an eye. "That would be impossible. When I sabotaged your G generator, I also destroyed your anti-G generator beyond repair. The moment you tried to 'haul out of here', you and everyone aboard would be crushed."
"Ha! You're bluffing," he snarled.
Vsner smiled. "Do you really want to take that chance?" she purred.
Doubt flashed across his features.
"Bitch!" one of the men growled, and his gun went off. It was an old pulse revolver, and her suit wasn't made to withstand it at point-blank range. The arm holding her gun blew off in a flurry of blood, tissue, and bone.
She snatched another gun from her holster and it snapped up back to the Captain. The pharmacopoeia pumped adrenalin into her system almost as fast as the pain came on, and so there was only a flash of agony before battle awareness settled back over her. "If you don't put down that pulse gun, I'm gonna blow off your Captain's head," she said calmly, even as she felt the stub of her upper arm begin to tingle madly.
"And how will you do that with no arms?" he snapped.
Vsner smirked. "Like this."
Before their eyes, the stub of her arm began to grow. Her nerves tingled to life slowly, as if the arm had merely fallen asleep, and she flexed her new hand as the regeneration process ended.
The man stared, eyes bulging, then fainted.
"I am a Galactic Police Detective Initial Grade One, and you are all under arrest," Vsner said calmly. "I'll advise you to drop your weapons." She smiled. "Besides, my favorite show comes on in an hour and the sooner you all surrender, the sooner I can get back there. So how would you all like to start surrendering your asses to a little IG-2 aristocrat I know so I can get paid?"

~~~A/N: All right. You're all probably wondering "wtf, mate?" if you aren't readers that were transferred over from Dogs Of a Revolution. That's a story showing you what happened to this character BEFORE Something Between Wolves and Angels. Read that- it'll explain what you don't understand. Well, most of it. A little mystery is always good. But Dogs Of a Revolution is about as action-packed, plot-packed and character-packed as this story will be. Enjoy that one as well.