c2d1d06e5b4bc01a4abcd1927f96dba2.jpgTammy had visited Garago frequently, but the Black Market had never been her destination. Now it was. In the times that she had visited the Garago scene of neon lights and extravagant claims she had always thought it was unknown to command. Apparently it wasn’t. Straight from the Jotunheim Bridge she had received her mission, with specific orders not to tell anyone else. She presumed it was because command knew she was familiar with the area to an extent, but still wondered why she was picked. She was just a private whose entire career consisted of taking apart weapons, cleaning them with a rag, and putting them back together. She was a military maid, at least in the eyes of her superiors. In her friends eyes she crusaded for a just cause. She had completed training and gone through the combat simulations but had never been in real combat. On this mission she knew she had to be prepared for that.

At least it wasn’t Mining Laser duty she thought. But it could easily turn into that if I fuck up.

She clicked her communication-cuff on to review the details of her mission. Even though she knew only her eyes could see the cyan light that emitted from her wrist she kept it slanted, there were no reasons to take any risks. She was supposed to meet the target, Tavu Orem, in an alleyway between a blue lichen stall and a building that an art dealer sold from. No doubt both places were run by aliens. No true UNSF citizen would ever come to this part of the asteroid. Anytime she said “aliens” it clicked in her mind that it was a derogatory term. The UNSF had pounded that into her brain since the treaty was brokered. Both parties wanted the asteroid, but Tammy would rather be damned than share the asteroid with them, unfortunately it wasn’t her call.

She slinked her way through the crowded streets avoiding the stalls manned by the all too familiar aliens that operated them. Neon pungent vapors emitted from each stall like a chimney. She knew it was the Baleshi fumes. Gases excreted by the beings that flew through space and housed these aliens. She was called a radical for believing this, but she thought the gases were drugs that created a hive-mind mentality in the users. She had known a few people who used L-Gas before to amplify their work, and they never seemed the same after. Some of them even went missing and abandoned their posts upon the UNSF vessels. Maybe they lived here now.

As Tammy walked the streets of the asteroid the vendors yelled out to her as if she cared what they sold. She was only here because of her mission, not because of a desire to do anything to help the enemy. She kept an eye out for the art dealer’s building, the stalls moved around too often for her to use the lichen seller as a landmark. Tammy passed a few stalls ignoring what they said, even though she heard it, trinkets, gases, sculptures, Barleen and other junk, all the commodities of a useless culture.

She spotted the art dealer’s place, it was a conglomerate of rusted metal, scavenged metal, and soldered metal. In the eyes of the dealer it must have looked artistic, to Tammy it looked like thrown together shit, a mass of graffiti that should be melted down and repurposed into something usable.

Tammy spotted the space-seahorse sitting there in the alley with his back to the wall. His tentacles wriggled tasting the air; it was likely that he had picked up on her scent. She clicked on her recording so that the Bridge could see a feed of the action.

“Tavu Orem?” She asked through her translator module. All the Arorem looked the same to her.

“Yessss.” The Arorem gurgled back through his. Tammy readied her hand on the modified Gravity Pulsar she was given. It had a shorter range, but would capture the target just the same. If she wasn’t careful she might just have a dead Arorem on her hands, exploded guts and all, as if that mattered to her.

Tavu was more perceptive than she thought. He kicked his worm-like tail and slid away faster than she imagined he could. A few pebbles kicked up like dust, and she chased after him. It made no sound, but then again the area was already loud. Loud enough that if she got within 100 feet nobody would hear Tavu scream when she pulled the trigger.

Tammy had run laps every day in training; no land seahorse was going to outrun her. She barely broke a sweat before she got within distance. She aimed the pulsar and squeezed the trigger. A faint flash of white light streamed from the gun and hit Tavu in the back. Tammy lifted her gun slightly and Tavu followed suit. He was now hovering 2 feet above the ground, confused and nauseous. Tammy thought she could see him coughing, maybe puking, but maybe that was just how Arorem behaved.

“You’ve been supplying those on the Baleshi with arms, no?” she questioned as she turned up the knob on the side of the pulsar.

“Yes, Yes!” the Arorem shrieked on deaf ears.

“We know you’ve been getting them from a UNSF agent, your kind don’t have the technology to manufacture weapons.” Tammy said still cranking the knob.

“I’ve been getting them from the Fount Fortifus! All natural, no technlology! Not against you, for against the Domoring!” the Arorem screeched.

“Tammy! Put Tavu down, this is Admiral Horral of the Jotunheim, Tammy!” Her comm-cuff had told her to do it, the Admiral had told her to do it. “If he is against the Domoring we could use him, bring him back to Jotunheim. If he usurps the Domoring it would mean chaos on the Baleshi, we could have a huge military advantage without direct conflict.”

Tammy had read her history. Human involvement with rebellion in other races never worked, but she dialed down the knob out of instinct. Hell military involvement didn’t even work in the old days on Earth, I read about the Middle East Fuckery she thought. Tammy turned up the dial, farther, farther, until organs started sprouting from the mouth of the Arorem. They tangled around the tentacles on his face as he coughed up his intestines.

“Tammy, you are dead!” The Admiral roared.

“If you can find me.” She retorted before throwing her comm-cuff to the ground and stomping it. She’d have to live on the asteroid, but she’d soon find comrades that shared her distrust of the aliens. Restructuring a civilization never worked, but destroying it always did.