In the farthest reaches of known space, a single starship lay juxtaposed against the stars. The ship was named Destiny. The cold metallic shell hummed with energy as it sat motionless. There were large chunks of wreckage and shrapnel surrounding the Destiny, the last bits of oxygen burning away.
The Destiny was a silver and blue X-Class, a state-of-the-art high speed ship, currently the fastest in the Nine Galaxies. It's pilot was a female Extro-sapien named Jade. Her species was descendant from ****-sapiens, a long forgotten species from the Third galaxy. Extro-sapiens were humanoid, though taller than their descendants. They prided themselves on their indestructible immune system and immunity to all known poisons.That, coupled with the fact that their skin was strong enough to repel most blades with ease, made them extremely hard to ****. Extro-sapiens were nimble hunters, naturally armed with razor sharp fangs and claws. Jade was a bounty hunter, taking contracts to hunt down criminals or to escort VIPs in hostile areas for generous sums of currency. Her target's ship now lay in ruins, it's now-dead pilot floating in the void of space.
Jade walked from the cargo bay of her ship to the cockpit, stripping away her suit and clothes, tossing them in their respective rooms before sitting at her throne, not a stitch of clothing to be seen. It was relieving to be free once more.
She glanced over the various screens before her, some with pictures of her target either on a wanted poster or in the sealed container aboard her ship. She swiped the images to her left, compiling them into a message for her client before sending them. Almost immediately there was a soft chime as her client started a video uplink. Jade quickly grabbed the large headset from the floor and placed it over her pointed ears. She swiped her finger over the right earpiece and it clicked to life.
Jade growled and crossed a hand over her chest just before the screen shifted. An image of her client appeared before her, a reptilian humamoid adorned with gold rings on his short horns. Jade heard him hiss in surprise.
"Bounty hunter, if I had known you'd be so stunning, I'd have met you in person."
Jade's dual vocal cords echoed faintly in the cockpit. The sound of two angelic voices rolled off her forked tongue. "Flattery will get you nowhere. Besides, a night with me would cost you a fortune."
The man laughed, "Worth it, in my opinion."
Jade growled, "You have your proof of death, Silva, I expect you've wired the credits to my account?"
"Of course, of course! Though I could add a little extra if you simply move your hand."
Jade narrowed her eyes. "A show like that would cost you at least a million. Because I'm worth it."
She heard him chuckle, "Indeed you are." There was a pause and then he smiled, "Feel free to move your hand now."
Jade flashed her fangs, "Of course, you don't mind if I check first, right?"
Silva shrugged and Jade used her free hand to pull up her bank account. Sure enough, her initial payment had been received, along with the extra. She grinned and lifted her hand away from her chest. "Feast your eyes, perv."
She grinned as the reptilian choked. "Now that is worth a million!" He grinned from horn to horn, "I'll let you know when the next contract opens."
Jade returned her hand to her chest and growled, "This stays between us. Remember, I know where you live."
Silva's expression didn't change but she could tell that he flinched. "Of course. Until next time, gorgeous."
The video screen faded away and Jade quickly began to transfer her payment to other accounts. She sighed and turned to her right, seeing a map of the nearby systems. She spotted a contract pinned on a planet a few hundred lightyears away, and she gawked at the price tag.
"Ten billion units?" She whispered, "I could retire early with a payday like that."
She furiously began to type in calculators and coordinates. Her computer's voice echoed I'm the cockpit, "ERROR, PLEASE RECALCULATE TRAGECTORY."
Jade bared her teeth in anger as the holographic screen projected a diagnostic of her ship. One single line of text blinked slowly, enveloping her attention.
"FUEL LEVEL LOW, MAXIMUM SAFE TRAVEL: 40 LIGHTYEARS."
She swore under her breath, growling deep in her throat. She adjusted the microphone on her headset and cleared her throat. Her dual vocal cords echoed faintly in the cockpit. "Destiny, lock in coordinates to the nearest space station. Lock down cargo and prepare to engage hyperdrive."
The hologram buzzed to life as the various systems reacted to the sound of her voice. As Jade waited she shut her eyes, gently running her fingers over her bare chest. Jade's was proud of her body, hating to cover such beauty with clothes. Her arms, legs, and back were covered in ornate tribal tattoos. Jade had spent three continuous days enduring the hand poked tattoo, and she felt very proud in displaying the art whenever she could. She let her hands wander about her curves for a moment before stopping. Jade blinked a few times and shook her head. The bells at he tips of her long silver braids jingled. Jade whispered to herself, "There's time for that during lightspeed." Since she worked alone, she took every opportunity she could to relieve her tensions, as it allowed her to focus on her work without distraction. Companionship meant liability in her line of work.
She waited patiently for the computer, leaning back in her fur lined throne. Once all systems had finished their tasks, a soft voice echoed, "Hyperdrive on standby."
Jade took a soft breath. "Engage."
The starship lurched forward, the engines roaring ferociously behind her for a moment before the sound dampening system kicked in. She heard a familiar beeping and glanced up at the hologram, seeing the countdown from ten seconds. She felt the comforting shiver of excitement she always felt before launch, smiling softly to herself.
She braced herself in the chair and said, "Open view port, engage shield."
The large metal screen in front of her pulled away, revealing the grand masses of stars and planets before her. Jade took a deep breath and counted down, "Five. Four. Three. Two. One."
The ship screamed forward, and the starlight formed a beautiful tunnel around the Destiny as it traveled through hyperspace. Jade slumped back into her chair and closed her eyes. "Destiny, Disengage interior gravity field."
Jade felt herself lifting off of her chair, becoming weightless. Her braids jingled softly as they spread around her like a lionfish.
Jade pulled off her headset, letting it float in front of her as she stretched, running her hands along her body again and she shivered again. She twisted in midair, turning to the sealed door behind her. She touched the panel next to the door, feeling the familiar cold screen. The door opened and Jade floated into the corridor. She turned left towards her quarters and entered through another door. The walls were decorated with digital posters of various terrains she had visited during her travels. She drifted toward her bed, covered with a fur blanket and pillow. Jade wandered to the storage locker next to the bed, opening it delicately. Inside were a few personal mementos and data logs, and a small decorative box on the top shelf. She shivered as she thought about its contents. "Later. I think I need to sleep for now." She gripped the stability handle above her bed and lay down on the warm gel bed, covering herself with the fur. Jade breathed a sigh of relief as she relaxed, closing her eyes. It was at that moment that she felt how tired she really was, her muscles ached and groaned as she pressed a button on the side of the bed, changing the density of the gel to allow her to sink. The warm gel creeped over her legs and belly, then her chest and shoulders.
Jade groaned as the gel encapsulated her, covering every possible inch of her. Her mind wandered as her hand hovered over the other controls. "Massage or no?"
She bit her lip and pressed the button once, feeling the gel start to pulsate around her body.
Jade shivered and said to no one, "Who needs a man when you have tech like this?"
She spent the next few hours in the massage bed, finding her way into the decorative box partway through. Once Jade had thoroughly massaged her desires away, she climbed out of the gel, thankful for the weightlessness. She was no longer confident in the use of her legs. She pressed the first button twice and the gel began its cleaning process.
Jade retrieved her toys and placed them back in the box, pressing a button similar to the one on the bed, closing it and placing it back into the storage locker to clean.
Jade stretched again, invigorated. She floated back to the cockpit, checking the projected time of arrival. "Ten more hours. Plenty of time to get my gear ready."
Jade floated back into the corridor, this time twisting to the right towards her workbenches. The room was dark, save for a few blue work lights. As Jade hovered in the doorway, the overhead lights snapped on, casting a soft white glow around the room. She floated towards the first bench, where her gun hovered in a stasis field. It was almost four feet long, with three rotating barrels. Most bounty hunters favored energy weapons and plasma rifles, but not Jade. She preferred metal bullets that could shred flesh and punch through doors with ease. Her weapons would not fail her in case of electro-magnetic pulses either.
Jade floated to the next table, where her boots and mask hovered in another stasis field. Her boots were strong, heat and frost proof, and had a strong magnetic field to allow her to walk in zero gravity or even upside down. She had recently installed a pair of thrusters to them, which would allow her to fly for a short period of time, enough to get her out of harm's way or to a better vantage point.
Jade's mask was armor plated, angled to deflect any incoming rounds with ease. Two tubes connected the mask to an air reservoir that sat at the base of Jade's neck, underneath her braids. The eyepieces doubled as eye protection and target analysis. One of the lenses was cracked beyond repair and Jade swore. She hovered over the table and delicately disassembled the mask, letting the broken lens float freely away while she installed its replacement. She reassembled the mask and slid it onto her face. There was nothing at first, then the internal computers activated and she saw clearly through the mask. She glanced over the diagnostic data and nodded once she was satisfied. She took off the mask and set it back in its stasis field.
She turned to the final bench. Where her bodysuit lay in a crumpled heap of woven uranium and steel fiber. The bodysuit fit her like a second skin, adhering to every curve she possessed. The uranium fibers acted as an energy source, powering all of her necessities. The black suit shimmered as she touched it, reacting to her skin, begging to be worn. She smiled softly and patted the heavy fabric. "Soon, darling."
Jade glided to the door, leaving her gear behind as she returned to her living quarters. She hovered in front of the full length mirror, looking over her body. She smirked and purred, "Gorgeous as always."
Jade went to the storage locker and retrieved a large metal crate from the base. She took it to the mirror and opened the crate, revealing thirty blue feathers, each roughly a foot long. She had collected one for each of her braids, and she began to tightly weave the feathers into the tips of the braids. In the middle of each of her braids was a strong electro-magnetic core that, once activated, spread her braids like a lionfish. They would act as a distraction, allowing her the element of surprise. The magnetic field they created also acted as a strong shield.
Once the last feather had been woven into her hair, she then wrapped each braid in strips of the same uranium-steel fibers as her suit.
As the last of the fibers had been tucked into place, Jade grinned. The powerful fibers would amplify the effects of the electro-magnetic cores. Jade smiled at their resemblance to whips. She wanted to test them, see if they would crack like an actual whip.
Jade returned to her workshop, donning the bodysuit and her control gloves. She floated into the main corridor, which was wide enough that she wouldnt hit the walls once her braids were fully extended.
She took a deep breath and touched the her thumb and forefinger together twice, activating the electro-magnetic cores.
The sound was deafening, forcing Jade to scream involuntarily and clutch her ears in pain. She was shaking, her vision blurring. Her ears were ringing as she was finally able to hear again.
Jade reached up and felt her fully extended braids, marveling at their rigidity.
Once her hearing had completely recovered, she tapped her fingers together, deactivating the cores. Her braids floated limply in the air and Jade curiously went to the cockpit, sitting in her throne.
"Destiny, analyze decibel range of sound from main corridor."
After a moment, the ship's voice echoed, "Decibel range of one hundred ninety."
Jade shuddered, she was surprised she hadn't been deafened by the sound. She shook her head softly and looked at the projected time of arrival. "Seven hours."
She yawned, "Time to sleep then. Destiny, wake me up thirty minutes before we reach the station."
Jade lifted herself over the chair and ventured into her room. The gel bed had finished cleansing and she pushed herself onto it, feeling the familiar warmth. She focused on slowing her breathing and she closed her eyes, passing quickly into deep sleep.
In her dream, Jade stood on a slightly raised metal platform in the middle of a desert. The platform was massive, with sand covering the edges. Jade looked around, seeing nothing around her. She looked up into the sky and saw a single massive sun orbited by twelve planets and a ring of stars. Jade looked around her again and saw a massive wall of water closing in on her from all sides. She shut her eyes tight as she heard the water rushing around her.
Jade felt herself being carried away by the current. When she opened her eyes, she was back in her bed.
Jade blinked and sat up, unsure of herself.
She thought she could still hear the water rushing past her ears.
Jade shook her head and the bells brought her back to her senses. She could hear Destiny's alarm ringing within the bed and she pushed the third button, silencing the alarm. "Destiny, restore gravity.
Jade felt heavy for a moment, then the gravity stabilized and she rolled her shoulders. The countdown was now at thirty minutes.
Jade retrieved the headset from the floor and slid them over her ears. The screen in front of her had brought up a diagnostic of the space station. A light flashed on the instrument panel and Jade pushed it gingerly. An alien voice came over her headset, "X-Class starship, please respond."
Jade positioned the microphone in front of her mouth, "This is X-Class, go ahead."
There was a pause, then, "This is the Space Station Ender, please state your business and expected stay."
Jade hesitated, then said calmly, "Refuel and resupply. Expected stay no longer than forty-eight hours."
A minute passed, then another. Finally a response came, "X-Class you are cleared to engage docking procedures upon arrival."
Jade smirked, "Affirmative. ETA twenty-five minutes."
There was an audible click as the call ended. Jade sighed and pondered the contents of her cargo hold. She stood and turned to the back of her ship, going to the very end of the corridor to a locked panel.
Jade typed in an eight digit combination and the door swiftly slid open. The walls were lined with large storage compartments, though Jade wasn't worried about those. She counted her paces and stopped four paces from the door and she sidestepped right twice, touching her gloved fingers to the floor. The sound of gears and hydraulic pistons echoed throughout the room as a six foot by ten foot container lifted from the floor. Jade ran her fingers along the side of the container, opening the multitude of doors. As each door swung open, stacks of weapons and explosive devices became visible. This was the cargo that her target had been carrying. Since it no longer had an owner, it was worth a lot of money. Jade couldn't resist the possible fortune, bu