“Well, that was a shit show.”
I looked over to Cali, who had just grumbled about our latest delivery as we returned to Shadara Station, and shrugged. We were the only two on the shuttle, heading back to the station after completing the spice run. Things had not gone according to plan.
“Yeah, nothing we can do about that. The whole situation is just out of control. Honestly, I think the planet only has a week or two before it gets wiped clean. But hey, we still got paid, and that 20% discount on Spriteshack goods will come in handy down the line. Thankfully, they aren’t located just on Jagloth, but are a chain going all across Confederate space.”
“We DID just shoot our way out of their building.”
“They were Infected, and tried to spread the nanites to us.”
“You got the Navy to do an orbital strike on their headquarters!”
“Meh, they’ve been doing that wherever the Infection is found in the areas that aren’t overrun. They did send marines down to check it, first.”
“And you’re not worried that the Confed Navy now knows we’re here?”
“We used those codes Alok Paxisys gave us to dock at the station, and we weren’t hiding. All they know is that Metrion’s Favor had a delivery to a corporate bigshot, and found nanites. We were cleared of Infection before we got back to the Station, so they’re good, since the situation might not have been noticed until it was too late, otherwise. Even got a ‘finder’s fee’ because of it.”
“Yeah, a gizmo that lets you learn a specific Psy power. This one is reusable, instead of the one-off versions you normally buy. Came loaded with a basic ‘Shield’ power.”
“Useful. How’d you convince them to let that go?”
“It was that or some basic implants. The implants would have been for me only, and I can’t use that, but a Shield power? One that we can give to everyone on the crew? That’s far more valuable, as far as I’m concerned. Wouldn’t want you up and dying on me, now.”
Cali blushed, and looked away for a moment. “Aww, Cap’n!” And then she moaned as I grabbed her on the rear. “Aah, Cap’n!”
Laughing, I said, “Later, pet. We have to see what the others have found while we were out.”
Stepping out of the shuttle, we were greeted by Raven and the rest of the crew, who had smug grins on their faces, except for Sana, who was still looking like she’d rather kill me with her bare hands than anything else, but was on her hands and knees purring as Shearah scratched her behind the ears.
And then, when we walked into the common area, I saw what was on the nearby screen. Evidently, they had been watching us in the shuttle. Cali buried her face in my shoulder as the replay had her moaning at my hand’s ministrations to her backside. I made a picture of sighing, and said, “I assume you’ve been doing more than just peeping on us, you perverts? What’s the heist look like?”
Raven got serious now that we were talking about work, and the rest followed suit. “Shearah and Jaynie did recon on the area around the storage unit where the project data is being stored. I was able to gain access to the station blueprints, as well as the local security network for that storage block. The only sign that there is anything amiss in the area is that there are Confed Army soldiers guarding the storage units. I think they were forced to evacuate the project in a hurry, and haven’t had a chance to get it to a more secure site.”
“So we’re definitely dealing with something black?”
“Yeah, I’m not sure what the project was actually about, but given the name and the way the cameras all had the same ‘malfunction’ when the storage unit was being loaded, I’m going to have to say that it is definitely black.”
“All right. Nyna, you wanted to plan this one out to prove you could handle running things on your own. Lay out your plan, and let’s work out any kinks we see.”
The Knelfi practically bounced in happiness as she moved to the screen and began laying out her attack plan.
(One Hour Later)
Shearah giggled as I led her and Sana (who was being allowed to wear clothes and walk upright for once), to the body-mod shop next door to the storage units, and said, loudly enough for anyone nearby to hear, “Oh Master, I’m so glad you decided to give Sana the full upgrade! She’s going to look adorable with a real tail, instead of just a plug!”
“Well, pet, you were very persuasive in your oral arguments. And since Sana can’t speak against it, I have no reason to deny it. You’re turning into quite the little Switch, you know. I like this side of you.”
Shearah beamed as I patted her ass, and said, “Anything for you, Master!”
I turned my attention to the knelfi woman who was acting as the receptionist for this body-mod shop, and said, “Hello, Miss. I’ve got an appointment to get my slave upgraded. I was looking through your online catalogue, and I would like her to get the full Prowling Panther set, including the optional combat mods, and the heat on demand feature. I’d also like the custom ship suit with the remote plugs fitted for her. Post mods, of course.” I guided Sana forward as I said this, so the receptionist could get a good view of her.
The receptionist looked at me like I was a horrible person, but didn’t say anything about my moral failings (of which she believed there were plenty, no doubt). “Very well. The full package, with the optional features you mentioned, will run 126032 credits. Time for the procedures will be six hours, though because of the extent of the modifications your slave will need several weeks of rest and recovery to get used to her new body and its abilities. It is BodyWorx’s policy to remind you that any ‘use’ of the slave should remain light, and non-strenuous during the recovery time, and we are not liable for any ill effects that happen due to ignoring this warning.”
I nodded. That was about what I expected. After I transferred the necessary funds from my bank account to the store, the receptionist nodded, and almost kept from looking at me like I was something disgusting she found on the bottom of her shoe, and led us into the back, where there was a waiting area for friends/family/other, while Sana was taken into the operating room for the body mods.
While this was going on, Shearah busied herself with surreptitiously dropping four small balls on the ground. These were four really simple home ‘security’ drones that the group had purchased in the marketplace, designed to be either set on autopilot, or controlled by remote, as Shearah was doing now. Without anyone noticing, the four balls each sprouted four legs, and they climbed up the wall and into the ventilation system, heading for the secure storage next door.
Normally, there would be alarms and such stuff to keep people from doing what we were attempting, or other ‘unfortunate’ things, like dispersing toxins in the air system. Raven had already disabled those alarms temporarily, thanks to an ‘accidental’ short in the wiring that disabled the system in this sector of the ship. It would take a while for the maintenance guys to track down the problem, especially since the sensors weren’t due for their routine systems check for another five hours.
So why was I here, dropping bank on getting Sana modded? Well, part of it was because the idea of a sexy catgirl appealed to me in a fetish kind of way. But also it would give me further options when dealing with situations once I properly tamed her. That wasn’t why we were here, though. This was the closest business to the storage units, and we needed an alibi for loitering while Shearah controlled her drones. She’d be distracted by that, so I was here as a bodyguard for my two slaves. Plus, the receptionist would most certainly provide us with an alibi saying we were most certainly NOT in the storage units.
The rest of the heist was up to Shearah, Raven, and Nyna’s team.
Click-click-clickityclick. My ‘spiderbots’ (as Cali named them) easily made their way through the ventilation system. The alarms for this area had been quietly turned off thanks to some ‘faulty wiring’ caused by our resident AI. I’ve never known an AI that was so expressive, but Master says she’s an actual sentient AI, and there’s only a few of those running around, right? The only ones I know of are on the level of major government contractors or something like that.
Anyways, now we were on to the fun part of the heist. The spiderbots moved as quietly as they could, considering they were not really designed for stealth. Still, for a job like this they could almost do the whole job (minus lifting any physical specimens or the like) themselves. Well, if he storage area didn’t have its own, independent alarm. The first spiderbot got to the ventilation grate into the storage area, and stopped. The scans picked up a laser net across the vents. Cut the beam, and the alarms go off. Simple tech, but reliable, and hard to defuse without special gear.
Now I just had to wait for the next phase to begin.
One of the cool things about being an AI is that I can think a lot quicker than I could back when I was human. Oh, and there’s the fact that I’m immune to the Captain’s charms. Or at least I no longer have all those silly biological cues screaming at me like the rest of the crew do. He’s treated me with nothing but respect, and hasn’t pushed about my past when I told him I didn’t want to talk about it. But he hasn’t done more than the casual flirting with me, which is fine.
I’m still not sure about all his secrets. I only know about his ‘Mindbreaker’ because he used the data I had on the Stepford collars to make it happen, and used my help to work out the details. But other than that, I’m not sure what is going on with him. The Captain told the crew that he has an illusion-based Psy power that lets him take other forms, but I watched him change a couple times. That is no illusion, but a physical reshaping. What could let him do something like that?
Still, he hasn’t pushed on my secrets, and has been at least trying to not be a rat bastard to everyone, even though the abilities he will admit to having to the crew would be so easy to abuse. He’s actually shown a good deal of restraint in how he uses his power… mostly.
But then we have the stunt he’s pulling to get Shearah and her spiderbots into position. I feel bad for Sana, who’s already trapped in her own head, but now will have her body completely changed. Shearah really does enjoy messing with her fellow slave too much, and the Captain likes keeping his harem happy.
At any rate, Shearah just sent the signal that the spiderbots are in position. Whoever designed this security system was a big believer in simple solutions. To keep the alarms from being hacked, they are all on a stand-alone system, which only connects to the datanet to sound the alarm. Which means we need a physical connection to start things up. But the station happens to have several cameras covering the entrance to the storage area 36/6, so just walking up and plugging in isn’t going to happen, even if the guards allowed it.
Which is why I wasn’t there ‘in person’, but was using all my processing power to slip through the station’s surveillance system. Cutting the feeds would cause techs to come and check out the situation, so I managed to find a piece of footage that didn’t have anyone moving around in it, just showing the guards, guarding. The segment was only forty-five seconds long, but that was enough, as I started the loop.
Raven to Nyna. Cameras looping. You’re clear.
Be sure to read my published works!
Frozen Soul series (Sci-Fi Supervillain story):
Frozen Soul https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071R125QT
Tales of the Void Traveler https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06ZZ52G37
Rules-Free VRMMO Life (Dark Fantasy LitRPG):
Volume 1 - Tutorial https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071VPRNDB
Volume 2 - Beginning the Journey https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071VR7M41/
Volume 3 - Wyrmwood https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072QKVBYV
Volume 4 - To the Deeps https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073QSD9S4
Volume 5 - Power Base https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074KGVN5T
Into the Black (Sci-Fi LitRPG):
Book I - Game Start https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071LT5WGL
Book II - Choson Ring https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071X3LL9D
Book III - Alpha Centauri https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073X8J9GF
Book IV - Aquarian Desert https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0756V1VX5
The Kalipshae Affair (A First Contact Short Story): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0739V6R6T
LitRPG facebook group: