|Ylana sighed in contentment as she propped her feet on the hood of the control board. A green light flickered nearby that read 'Auto Pilot: Engaged'. She had recently wrapped up a mission, well worth the pay of course, and was currently relaxing with a cup of coffee at the helm of a battered spaceship. Soon she would need to dock for repairs, but there was no rush.
Privately she fiddled with the handle of her sonic blaster. The more time spent alone, the more she couldn't help but focus on the thoughts of her last job as they threatened to overtake her brain. She could still hear the screams, feel the blaster gun in her hands - it was like she never left. Quickly she pulled herself away from such memories, it wouldn't do for her start growing a heart. The Acara brought up a hand to rub her eyes gently.
That's when she felt something hit the back of her ship, causing it to shake violently. The screen above her went red, as an alarm sounded. Rapidly followed by a monotone robot voice.
"Warning! An unknown boarding party has arrived..."
Date: Jun 26th
...Ylana's original wide-eyed fear was replaced with a resolute frown as her wits returned to her. She initiated a scan of the loading dock to see what had come on-board.
"Boarding party unknown," read her computer.
The system-wide computer clearly hadn't lied.
Observing the auto-pilot was still on and thus that part of the ship was still functional, the Acara, blaster armed, walked down the bridge and toward the loading dock's external ship mount.
She was surprised to see it was nothing but a small emergency vessel, as though it had come from an evacuation.
"Who are you?" she yelled to whomever was inside the opposing craft as she pointed her gun towards it. She quickly scanned the small ship with a device on her wrist -- signs of life were detected. "Come out, I know you're in there."
Still nothing. "I'm going to open fire." She raised her weapon.
With a grumble, Ylana lowered the setting of her blaster from obliterate to cut, and she simply cut a large hole in the small craft's door. She neared it and pushed the metal back, where it fell with a loud twang. She gazed inside -- but she saw nothing. "Anyone in there?" the Acara inquired hesitantly as she turned her gun's mode back to deadly.
And that's when she saw it... An egg. A small, white egg.
Ylana frowned pensively as she scanned it -- yep, there was something alive in that egg.
Before she could do anything about it, or even think to, the ship voice rang out, "Repair checkpoint A-157 reached. Atmosphere: 96% that of Neopia -- safe. Prepare for landing..."
Date: Jun 27th
Ylana grabbed the egg and placed it gently in her coat pocket. She ran back to the control board and took auto pilot off as the ship finished landing in the repair dock.
Ylana exited the ship and went over to find Terrance, the green Grundo who she trusted with all of her repairs.
"Hey Terrance," she said as she saw the Grundo walking towards here.
"Hi Ylana," replied Terrance. "The repairs should only take a few hours."
Before Ylana could reply, her pocket became very warm. The egg inside her pocket began to violently shake. She took it out to have a look, and that is when she noticed it was beginning to crack.
Terrance and Ylana stared at the egg wide-eyed as a piece broke off to reveal...
Date: Jun 27th
A Blue Draik. The egg had appeared White in the bright light of the ship, but as she landed in Neopia, the bright sunlight reflected off of the eggshell, turned sky blue in Neopian light.
"How did it hatch?", Terrance said.
Ylana was silent, her eyes showing the shock she had felt. The Draik looked up at her.
"Are you my sister?", he asked expectantly.
"Uhm..." Ylana shook her head. "Now what?"
Terrance shrugged. "We should name him! How 'bout...
Date: Jun 28th
..."No," Ylana interrupted firmly.
She pressed the egg containing the Draik into the arms of Terrance. "If you want to name it, that's up to you. I will have no part in this. As you well know, Terrance, I fly solo."
The Draik looked between Ylana and Terrance. "Is she not my sister?" he asked Terrance. "I don't know much, but I do know my duty is to find my sister, because I have something very important to tell her..."
Date: Jun 28th
Ylana stormed off into the bay, leaving Terrance and the Draik alone. Terrance looked at the newborn. His eyes were clear and bright. Terrance asked the boy, "What do you need to tell her?"
The Draik stirred in Terrance's stubby arms. "My sister is in danger. I've been sent here by our mother to warn her that her actions as a bounty hunter have finally angered Sloth, and he is on his way for revenge.
Terrance shook. As a Grundo, he was most useful to Sloth's plans. His species was all but enslaved on Kreludor and Virtupets, and he did not want to join them. His parents had worked hard to escape Sloth's clutches and join the resistance. Terrance felt a rush of adrenaline coarsing through him.
"All right, little buddy, you stay here and watch the ship. I'll go tell her the bad news."
Terrance exited the dock, leaving the little Draik alone. Finally, he could set his plan in motion...
Date: Jun 29th
The Draik went onto the ship and began looking around, to make sure he was fully alone.
Once he was certain no one was around, he went over to the ships control panel and began pushing buttons.
After several minutes, a voice came over the control panel.
"Styli is that you?" Asked the voice.
"Yes mother," replied the Draik. "I have landed and I am ready to begin the first phases of operation takeover."
"Perfect," replied the voice. "Once you have captured Ylana, let me know and I will come there."
Terrance, about to start working on the ship, heard voices.
"That is weird," he thought to himself. "Who is the Draik talking to?"
Terrance quietly followed the voices until he was close enough to hear the conversation.
"Okay mother," said the Draik. "I should have Ylana captured very soon. Goodbye."
Terrance gasped, he had to find Ylana before the Draik did...
Date: Jun 30th
Ylana rubbed her chin, deep in thought as she paced from side to side. Occasionally taking a break to stare at the view of space from the window next to her. Crowds of people meandered throughout the bay.
Was I too harsh before? Should I go back and help them? The Acara thought to herself, folding her arms. She frowned as she struggled with her inner turmoil. Finally, she decided enough was enough. Leaving the two behind wasn't worth this much misery. Guess I'll head back after all.
She began heading back towards their ship. However right as she reached it, Ylana noticed Terrence seemed to have disappeared and in his place was a note that read...
Date: Jun 30th
You were too hard on that Draik. I think you should take your business elsewhere. --Terrance
Ylana fiddled with a horn, then stopped abruptly. There were more repairmen this side of Kreludor who feared Sloth. She could easily find someone else.
But what bothered her was how easily he quit...after years of service, Terrance would NOT do this.
Not to mention his handwriting was atrocious, but not THIS bad.
The Acara pricked up her ears, straining them for anomalies around her. And there it was, behind a pile of crates...
Ylana wasted no time, barrel rolling into them, and freezing the Draik from his torso up, utterly destroying the laser gun in his hand.
That settled, Ylana picked up the Draik, and placed him into one of the crates full of Space Food, hesitating before sealing it inside. "You know, I know things about my own ship, especially transmissions." She held up a little radio for the Draik to see through the veneer of ice. "Think twice before you try things with the best mercenary in the galaxy." With that, Ylana shut the lid. He wouldn't go hungry once he thawed, that was for sure.
Ylana made her way back to her ship, something tugging at what remained of her conscience. Terrance was not like other Grundos...she'd just known him better. Whether it was back in the Claymore days, I can't say for sure.
But the fact remained that Ylana needed to find him.
With that, she boarded the ship and left the repair hub, setting off on her first job that wouldn't pay her a thing...but that would be worthwhile nonetheless.
Date: Jul 9th