Everything Under the Stars Ch2

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Literature Text

Chapter Two: Arrival to the space station

© Lady Owl

Several months later...

Hundreds of light years away, an alien, by the name of Neelix, was occupied with welding the joint of a large pipe replacement. It was late in the afternoon and his co-workers were finishing up around him.

Goggles over his eyes and sparks spraying about, a hand touched his shoulder. He flinched and looked to his side. Veeno smiled at him. "Man, come on. Here you are, still working on shit and everyone else is..." Veeno watched as the last person walked out. "... Gone." He sighed. "It's only you here now, as usual. For once, lets go have some fun... Pleeeease?" Neelix sighed and smirked at his friend. "Fine." He cleaned himself and his work station up and a few moments later, they left the shop together.

They walked down a long hall towards an elevator and took it down to the lower districts of the station. Down here, people relaxed; had fun. Drinking, gambling, dancing, and sexual services were the usual entertainment. The place was a dump. A real shit hole, Neelix thought to himself. Not just the clubs but the entire station. The scum of the galaxy always came here. They go pawn off their stolen goods in the market district and then come over to the clubs to have a good time. Celebrating their riches of a hard days work as a criminal.

Neelix himself was stuck on this station. He hated it. He couldn't leave, either. No where else to go that he could even hope to afford. However, there was something. A ship; his prize and joy. It wasn't finished, though. He had been working on it for years. And there was Veeno, too of course. His only real friend. He had known him for most of the time he had lived here. While Neelix was one of the stations leading mechanics, Veeno worked in the slave cell blocks. Slaves were brought in and held until they could be sold in a large auction. Veeno hated his job just as much as Neelix hated his but.. a job was a job out here and at least he treated the slaves decent.

As soon as the elevator's doors scraped open, they could instantly hear the pounding bass and muffled singing coming from the nearest club. As they stepped out from the elevator and came closer to the club, the sounds cleared up and they could make out the music of one of the famous bands that played here often. Neelix couldn't be bothered to remember the name, all he knew was he saw this guy everywhere. A strange purple alien with a rounded body and long thin neck that held a head that was nothing but teeth. If this creature had eyes, Neelix had no idea where they were.. or if he'd even want to know.

Veeno led the way to an empty table and took a seat, Neelix followed and sat down beside him. A small holographic menu appeared across the table and as soon as Veeno selected what he wanted, the hologram dispersed.
"I got a call from those scummy little space rats. They'll be bringing in a shipment tonight." Veeno said as he looked out across the club. "You know I don't care about that stuff, Veeno.. why do you always bring it up?"
"Well, I thought maybe you would be interested for once. I mean they said this shipment was good. Something never seen before. I'm kinda interested to see what they've been up to." Veeno reached out for his drink and nodded to the server as he took a sip. She smiled back at him and left them to their conversation.
"Just another poor creature stolen from some far off world we'll never hear about, to be sold as another slave."
"You're right... but that doesn't stop me from being curious. I mean I've seen some really strange shit down there. Makes my life interesting at least... but, if it is as interesting as they're saying it is, I'll call you down for a peek. How about that?"
Neelix just shrugged. He was tired and the pounding bass was giving him a headache. His only reason for being down here was Veeno. He would much prefer being back at work or working on his ship and though a lot of weird and interesting things did come through the slave cell blocks, the whole concept of slavery bothered him.

Later that evening, the alien ship flew over a huge but gorgeous red gas giant named Tesiod. As they came around, they could see the station, in the distance orbiting the planet. The station was huge and shaped like a mushroom; a typical design. Most of the living quarters were located in the bulbous top of the station with the working districts towards the bottom. The "stem" of the mushroom was where most of the criminal actives took place, including the location of the slave cell blocks. Though the slave business wasn't illegal, most civilized people frowned on it. Of course, civilized people didn't live on this station.

Approaching the station, the aliens prepared their ship for docking. Their ship came in slowly, attaching itself to one of the thousands of small circular airlocks. The aliens gathered all their goods that they would be selling, including the young female in the cryo pod.

They checked her vitals; all appeared to be good. She would stay frozen until she arrived at her cell. One of them pressed a small holographic button on the side of the pod that caused the glass window to tint until too opaque to see through. This way, no one would be able see what the pod contained. They weren't afraid of being caught. Once their goods were across the border, the Concord didn't care where they came from. They were mostly afraid of anyone seeing and stealing her from them. They placed all the strange alien objects that had been abducted along with her, into a sack. They would sell these off in the markets as well, for a little extra profit.

Pushing the pod down the corridor to the slave cell blocks, Veeno greeted them as they reached the entrance. He went to push the button to remove the tint from the glass, curious of what was inside, but the little alien slapped his hand away. "Aw come on, I just wanted to see what you vermin brought in this time..."
"Stop it Veeno." A loud deep voice came from behind him. "That's no way to treat two of our best suppliers. If it wasn't for them, we'd be out of a job." A huge, grotesque alien about six feet tall, walked out from an office in the back to greet the two aliens. Veeno stepped aside for his boss. Flattery, of course, Veeno thought and rolled his eyes, but quickly apologized all the same... more so to his boss than to the two little aliens. He had no respect for them.. but if he pissed off his boss, well, that was another story.

One of the small aliens pressed the button itself, showing Veeno's boss what they would be selling him today. His eyes lit up with excitement. "Oh my... now what do we have here?" His boss said with delight. Veeno poked his head from behind his boss to get a look. His eyes widened.

It wasn't entirely uncommon for unknown aliens to be brought in. Seeing a new creature didn't surprise Veeno much anymore like it use to. however, it was even less common to get a young female like this. She was an unfamiliar, rare species that would appeal to a large audience. Her body type, for example, was compatible with most of the alien species within the Concord. A typical biped. She also didn't have anything overly flashy about her design that would make it difficult to keep and care for her. He could see why his boss was excited. Hell, he could feel his own excitement swelling inside himself. She would sell for a lot in the bid tomorrow. Every one of those slime balls would want this creature.

The two aliens handed over a data pad to Veeno's boss. He took it and looked it over. "Just as I thought, a female. Young, too by the looks of her. You two know the drill. You'll get half of what she sells for in the auction tomorrow. Veeno, bring her out of cryo and get her cleaned up for tomorrow." Veeno nodded slowly, a little shaken up. He took the handle and began to push the pod to the cell he had cleaned up earlier. He walked in and placed some padding and a blanket down inside, now knowing what it was he was dealing with, he wanted her to be comfortable. He pressed a few buttons on the stasis pod and it began to hiss. It would take several minutes to bring her out of cryo. Bring her pulse back up and wake her.

He stared at her inside the pod, watching the color of her face turn to a warm pink. He felt nervous and sad at the same time and thought of what Neelix had said earlier. Just another poor alien ending up as a slave. He closed his eyes feeling guilty but was jarred from his thoughts as he heard her gasp for air; a normal process of the thaw.

He checked her status and removed the lid from the pod, cold air pouring out. She would still be unconscious for a couple hours. Her body not yet completely thawed, but enough so that he could touch her, he gently moved his arms under her body. He scooped her up slowly and carefully, placing her down on the padding.

He watched as she breathed slowly and gently caressed the side of her face. He felt sorry for her... he hadn't felt sorry for a slave in a long time. Most that came through here were crazy, animalistic, or were already slaves for years. He knew what those two aliens had done and he hated them for it but there was nothing he could do...

‹‹ Chapter One | Chapter Two | Chapter Three »

Ok, I lied. Here is the next chapter. I hope you enjoy. c:

r e l a x a t i o n by Lady-Owl

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Everything Under the Stars by Lady-Owl

Story © Lady Owl & H-Falcon, 2010 | Tumblr |
This shouldn't need to be said but, please do not redistribute, claim, copy, reproduce, edit, or use in any way without my permission. Thank you.
© 2010 - 2021 Lady-Owl
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The-Second-Brother's avatar
"Veeno" sounds like one of my Italian cousins :D "Ey Vino, bring-a the spaghetti!"
I like the dynamics of the slave trade, the sort of look-the-other-way mentality where it comes to incoming goods and services.  It's very, tragically human :P
aximilifaolan's avatar
omg i think i've fallen in love with this story. :love:
XxLyraLunaSilviaxX's avatar
I love your writing!! Plus I love the whole aliens X humans thing XD And for once it is a FEMALE human, with a male alien. You do not know how many sci-fi romance movies there are with only male heroes who fall for alien females--that I have seen and been rather angry for its lack of feminine characters. Like, they star only brawny jerks with no mind but awesome reflexes.
Ticimama's avatar
Wow, I'm normally not into Sci-Fi, but you have created quite an interesting story.
I like it!
Lady-Owl's avatar
Thank you so much, I'm really glad you do. c:
TheSammae's avatar
I'm pretty sure that aliens don't consider themselves to be aliens. It's more likely that they have a race that they belong to and are considered to be of that race. Like we are 'Earthlings' or 'Terrans' or hell, North Americans or Europeans, or whathaveyou.
Lady-Owl's avatar
Well obviously we wouldn't think of ourselves as aliens, but why would one species not consider another species from a different planet, to be an alien? If aliens came to Earth, we'd consider them alien just as much as they would consider us to be aliens.

No different than how we call other people from other countries "aliens" or "illegal aliens". It's all foreign.

But I used the term alien in particular in this chapter because I have yet to name any of my particular species and since obviously the aliens who abducted Heather would be aliens to Veeno, the term seemed appropriate.
Litwolf689's avatar
At least Veeno feels a bit bad about selling Heather...

Can't wait to see Neelix and Heather meet!
Lady-Owl's avatar
Veeno is a nice guy with a crummy job. D:

And the next Chapter is available if you've not yet read it. c:
MahoganyRed's avatar
Once again, you out-awesomised yourself. :clap:
I love the flow of the story, very straight forward.
Personally, I'm not a big fan of stories that beat around the bush for the first 10 chapters, and THEN get to the important stuff.
So, I dare say that this is, by no means a "rough draft" as you call it. This is a well written, to-the-point story. I hope you upload the next chapter soon.
I get all giddy just thinking about reading it. :boogie:
Lady-Owl's avatar
Thank you so much.

I think it's rough in the sense that, anyone who is a writer or went to school for it or even just took more complex classes than the average, will see many mistakes in it.

But I'm not a writer and I never took more complex classes and it's been quite awhile since I was in a writing class and had to write a paper or anything to be graded, but that's ok for me. It doesn't have to be all professionally perfect. I just wrote how I felt and how I best knew how and I'm overall happy with it. Could fix a few things here and there, especially since in some areas, they're a bit rushed and could use some more time but, hey, that is always something I can do later on if I feel up to it. :)

But your words are very encouraging and heart warming. I hope people who want to read it can enjoy it as much as you have. :heart:

I also agree about getting to the point. A lot of my favorite stories are so slow at the start. XD
upside-round's avatar
Once again, totally awesome!
Lady-Owl's avatar
singular-quartet's avatar
Oh, how silly of me, I seem to have forgotten to add "And I find it very interesting, and I would like to read more of it."
singular-quartet's avatar
"Every one of those slim balls..."

I suspect that wants to be "slime balls".

As to your writing, I know I saw the occasional past/present tense issue in the first chapter. I didn't really spot anything in this chapter, though. One thing I'd recommend is (and I have no idea if this has been pounded into your head as a writer or not) showing vs. telling. Especially if you'll be using this as an outline for a visual work, you'll want to "show" both the reader and yourself what you'll be doing.

Instead of telling the reader the aliens have a ship with illegal stealth technology, show the reader they have illegal stealth technology by having a worry-wort as one of the team-members. "I tell you once, I tell you thousand times, the cloak will hold. They are to primitive to see it!" It doesn't matter if humanity does see it, he's calming down his friend/co-worker/other, and he's an unreliable narrator.

As a more technical aside, a good scavenger would be able to spot humanity within a few dozen light-years because of all the radio noise we pump out. An even more technical aside would be if their stealth equipment shows them (or at least makes them think it shows them) as a falling rock, they'd get noticed awful fast if that falling rock started trying to achieve orbit. As a yet even more technical aside, I wouldn't recommend going with the "illegal stealth equipment install" route, as ships meant for stealthiness are built for stealthiness from the ground up - a stolen covert military transport might be a better suggestion, especially if its been customized to be unidentifiable.
Lady-Owl's avatar
Lol, thank you but that's the entire point. This is so rough and quick which is why I wanted to stress it being a rough draft and/or script and of course, that I'm no writer. I'm just shamelessly throwing what little I have to my audience until I get back to work on the art.

It's a collection of thoughts and I never intended to go that deep which is why the first chapter in particular suffers the most, in my opinion.

But believe me, I certainly appreciate the critique. It's helpful in knowing what I did wrong and what I can improve upon in the future (or even go back and fix some things if I have the chance and the know how), I just think some people who are reading this may be looking at this from a writer's point of view and rolling their eyes at all the serious flaws. For me, the writing was no more complex than if I had been writing one of my journals here on the site. I fully admit having a lack of knowledge in the writing department. It's something I certainly would like to improve upon which is why I'm a bit shy in posting this in the first place. I feel like a fish out of water and everyone is judging my horrible writing skills! D:

As for the technical issues, again, I didn't put much thought into those things because of how quickly this was done and, for the comic, I wouldn't be drawing or writing about it so it didn't cross my mind to go so deeply into everything (though I like the ideas you pointed out and they're very logical to the story which is something I'm happy about: for the readers to fill in the gaps I've missed or simply left out). I'm trying to picture all of this in my mind as if I were watching the opening of a movie with no narrator.

Thank you also for finding the typo. I'll fix it asap. c:
singular-quartet's avatar
Rule number 1 of writing: If you don't write, you don't get better at writing.

I'll be honest, I do read a lot of stuff from a writer's POV than a reader's POV, but that's because I want to be a writer. I try to look at how writing works, so that I can see what does work and what does not work.

Technical issues can trip up anyone. I only know about this stuff because I read the occasional military fiction, specifically the good stuff by people who have Done Their Homework (tm). Also, I spend to much time world-building, rather than character building.

Anyways, the most important thing is always to strive to be better than before. I know this is an extremely rough work, and you'll likely be using it as an outline in the future, so I'll try to keep my writer's hat off and my reader's hat on.
Lady-Owl's avatar
The homework thing is very important, especially in sci-fi from what I understand.

A lot of people who write sci-fi don't educate themselves on just how vast space is. I took that into consideration when trying to determine how far away Earth would be from these aliens and how advanced they are. I was trying to think of a realistic amount of light years they would be from Earth, but I ended up going the simple route and just saying "many" instead of attempting a number I wasn't sure about.

However, the problem I've come across is that the average person on deviantART probably isn't going to know or even care to know things like that so that is another thing to consider. How much effort do I put into something that was just a collection of thoughts?

Of course I appreciate and respect people who take the time to do that. The tiny details have always been important to me in my fandoms and even my own art, so why not what I attempt to write? c:

But I thank you for your help and understanding. I could easily see myself in the future asking for heavy critique on this to improve it, but than again, perhaps not. Depends on how far I want to take it.
singular-quartet's avatar
It depends on the audience. If you're aiming for super-hard SF, then you'd basically do the work to get a doctorate or masters, or at the very least have the brain of one in a jar on your desk. One of the most important things in sci-fi (and this applies to fantasy as well) is to be consistent. If it takes three months to cover a thousand light years, then you can't go from Earth to the Galactic Core in under a year (try closer to five or ten).

Then rules I've seen so far, is that ships either can scavenge for fuel easily or have huge fuel tanks, and the the Concord is freakishly paranoid about people going beyond their borders to the point of building trillions upon trillions of sensor buoys to keep track of people leaving their borders. In all likelihood, they've built a lot more than a few trillion, since space is freakishly big.

If you're going to be drawing up all of this at a later date, you might as well at least due some of the research now so problems doesn't don't crop up when you realize something you thought of doing just doesn't physically work. It's annoying, trust me, when I realize I can't do something because I decided how a technology works, and it can't be used a different way later on.

I should note that I'm not even putting much thought into this. It just comes to me, whether or not I want it to. Either way, keep up the interesting work.
Lady-Owl's avatar
Meh, that's just it. Tossing in a random number like trillions was only done to signify there were a lot. I haven't gone into much thought about how advanced the Concord is, how many species are apart of it, how large their territory is, why they even care if people leave or not, or even just how far apart these buoys are.

I'm winging a lot of things right now because at this time, some of these ideas just aren't important overall and only there to quickly set up a simple little plot. I expect to make plenty of small edits here and there eventually so it makes more sense, but even if I didn't, it wouldn't matter. I care, but at the same time, I don't.

I guess I am just trying to figure out why all this matters so much since this is just a personal little thing I'm only sharing to those who care to read it. There are some who don't seem to understand and are taking this so "serious business" which is causing me confusion. :dead:

It's like trying to analyze an old Transformers G1 episode. Why? Just watch it and enjoy it for what it is. *shrug*
singular-quartet's avatar

My brain is now turned off! My inner child has come to the fore, and will be playing with said G1 Transformers, as Godzillas storm Lego Cities, knocking over towers onto the poor minifig populace!

And now, I will enjoy the story with interest, and try my hardest not to comment on every little technical detail that pops into my damn fool head.
Lady-Owl's avatar
Lol, you're no fool for sharing your ideas with me. If anything, I'm glad to know you or anyone else even cares enough to read it and tell me what you think.

I'm not trying to be all like "Oh psh, please I don't care!" cause I do, I just think there were a couple people who took this a lot more serious than it was ever meant to be and I just wanted to point out that it wasn't. It's just for fun.

I'm glad if you can still enjoy the story all the same, but it's far from perfect. I guess no different than if you just looked at one of my drawings and filled in the blanks for yourself. :)

If it means that much to you to share your ideas (Which I did enjoy, honestly), then by all means, go ahead. I like knowing what people are thinking and I usually don't get a lot of comments so I really enjoy them.
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