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...