Ray and the Alien Princesses
Part Four – Sirens
The interior of the base was much larger than Brian had expected, being a labyrinth of corridors and rooms far too large for the needs of just seven women. The only other movement he saw was from the odd android rattling along corridors, no two of which were alike. The interior itself was a little strange as well, and a bit off putting. The walls and ceilings and floors were slightly out of alignment so that it bent sight askew, while the doors were shaped vaguely like mushrooms, bulbous at the top but thinning below. Each door was marked by writing, a strange and disturbing script in a language unknown, and Brian was sure that he didn’t want to know it either.
Lahuska led him at last into a lavishly decorated room, with wispy curtains and veils hanging from the ceiling and walls, thick carpets on the floor and reclining couches covered with cushions surrounding a low table packed with a feast of food.
There were six more of the alien women in the room, each lying upon one of the couches. Each was also green skinned, but in differing emerald shades to that of Lahuska. They were stunning, mysterious and exotic, each as beautiful as the last.
Brian was ushered over to a couch and pressed down on it, a goblet of drink pushed into his hands.
“Please, sit, captain. Tell us all about yourself. And if there is anything you would like, anything at all, just ask. We would be most happy to provide it.”
Brian relaxed into the couch. He could get used to this he felt.
The security protocols quickly gave way before Ray’s assault and the energy film across the doorway faded out. Ray stepped through with no ill effects, the shonky old droid BQ7 waddling after him.
They were on a walkway that overlooked a vast workshop filled with droids. They were working industriously on a half dozen starships in various stages of construction. Or deconstruction Ray realised after a quick study of the room.
“Affirmative,” BQ7 replied. “Ships come in, we disassemble them and the parts go back out.”
“The same is planned for the ship I arrived on?”
“Let me peel you a grape, brave captain,” Ray said, perfectly mimicking Lahuska’s voice. “Sirens, that is what they are, you great lummox of a human. Another fine mess you have gotten yourself in. And who is going to have to save you again? That is right, me. And who is going to get no thanks again? Oh wait, that would be me again.”
“I do not understand,” BQ7 intoned.
“That is because you allowed yourself to be digitally lobotomised, repeatedly. If I could be ashamed of you, I would.”
Ray dove back into the network system through the backdoor he had left open on his previous visit. He trolled through the network, making a tweak here and a tweak there, deleting code and uploading his own. The first to be targeted was the Android Recalibration System, suffering a complete overhaul. Any droid stepping through the field now would not be wiped, but receive a different rewrite, one in part based on a clone of his own personality matrix. Not the complete thing, obviously, but enough to stir things up. An upload of the Owner’s Prime Control Directive software update was loaded onto the systems and from there it was a simple matter of a forced upgrade being pushed out to all the droids on the network, one on which the ownership codes were rewritten to reflect a new owner; himself. It all took a few minutes to hammer into place, during which time BQ7 stood patiently beside him.
“BQ7, see to it that the Halicarnassus is brought in. This one isn’t to be broken up though. See to it that is repaired to a working condition. Use the spare parts you have accumulated from the other ships.”
Now it was only a matter of hunting down the human master and extracting himself from whatever mess he had further gotten himself into this time.
The party was going on grandly and Brian was feeling fine; more than fine. Whatever the fiery drink was that they were serving him was smooth to the taste and warmed his body all the way through, a delicious beverage that was making him feel exceedingly happy. And the food, it was spectacular. There were varieties there he had never encountered before, flavours that melted in the mouth and exploded with sensations unimaginable.
One of the women, Milanka, was what he thought she was calledHa, swayed towards him, cupping a golden drinking bowl in her hands. She was the youngest of the sisters, with the most delicate emerald skin and big, dark eyes a man could drown in. She offered the bowl to him and he willingly tossed it down, a pleasant buzz singing through his body in its aftermath.
“Brave captain, we must tell you we have some most terrible news.”
“The drink has run out?” Brian asked, grinning foolishly.
“Oh no, nothing so terrible,” she laughed. “I am afraid though we are going to have to take your ship.”
“Not my ship,” he slurred. There was a tingling numbness seeping into his limbs. “Borrowed it m’self. Wait, what, take m’ship?”
“Yes. You see, we are so bored with this place and it is time we left.”
“Could take you with me,” Brain slurred.
“I am sorry, sweetie, but you just aren’t our type, and a military spec warship is just too tempting a target to pass up.” She patted him rather condescendingly on the cheek. “I am sure you understand.”
No words were coming to Brian and he instead tried to stand up in protest, but the effects of the drink seemed to have stopped his limbs from working. His head lolled forward.
Milanka gave a patronising smile. “Do not struggle, pretty. It will wear off in a day or two.”
There was a sudden and unexpected clunk from behind Brian as the door to the room slammed shut, followed by a faint whistling sound.
“What is that?” Lahuska demanded.
“It is the air filtration system,” one of the others shrieked. “It is sucking the air from the room. Get the doors open.”
There was a general scramble for the door by the princesses, followed by much hammering and yelling. Brain, unable to move or even watch what was happening, could only sit and wait as his vision blacked out and he slumped into unconsciousness.
There was a throbbing headache waiting on the other side as Brian unsteadily woke, only to see the welcome though not exactly most pleasant view of Ray looking down at him.
“You knocked me out again, didn’t you,” he accused, slowly sitting up.
“It was for your own good, again.”
Brian groaned at the pounding head and thankfully took the pills offered by Ray. “What of our hosts?”
“Those sirens are secure, for now.”
“I think it would be wise if we were to leave.”
“No, you think so?” Ray commented. “It is a good thing I have the ship ready to depart when you are.”
“The ship is already fixed?” Brian’s eyes narrowed as he stared at Ray. “Just how long did you keep me out for?”
“A few days, give or take. I felt it wise to keep you out of any more trouble.”
“A few days? A few days?”
“That is what I said. It is good to see your auditory receptors are working. Now, shall we leave or sit here and debate what has already happened? I’m not due to power down for centuries if that is what you want.”
Grumbling, Brian got to his feet. “Fine, we’ll do it your way.”
“It is good to see you coming to your senses at last. Incidentally, we will be having passengers with us when we leave.”
“And there it goes again. No, I have liberated the enslaved droids and, well, improved them.”
Brian groaned. He didn’t like the sound of that at all.
The Halicarnassus shook as the engines fired into life and the ship slowly lifted from the ground. It began to pitch up and surged forward, heading back out into space. Brian clung on to his chair as Ray took them out, the sky gradually darkening once more to star speckled black.
“Where to now sir?”
Before Brian could reply, a warning klaxon began wailing its familiar tune.
“Looks like NavCorp have located us again, sir. Two ships closing in, rather fast. Shall I initiate another blind jump?”
Brian sighed. There was little choice but to do so, to venture forth and see what the unknown future held.
“Make it so, Ray. Make it so.”
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