The following contains adult language and violence.
I slapped the syringe of viscous green fluid on the lunch table. Looking up at me, her black and violet eyes blazing, Ascheya swallowed the meat she was eating.
“What?” she barked at me in her bedroom voice.
Since joining us, she had been disrespectful, antagonistic and insubordinate . The woman was frighteningly enraging. She could push my buttons better than anyone I had ever met. After our second mission together, I had gone to my CO and demanded she be court-martialed. Calmly, he had explained that I needed to learn to work with difficult soldiers.
“You know damn well what!” I yelled.
I quickly looked down at the metal tray in front of her. The meat she was eating hadn’t been cooked!
Lowering her eyes to the syringe, she licked her pouty lips, “Are we playing twenty questions again Sarge?”
I could hear Kelly grumble from down the table, “I wish they would just get a room and get it over with.”
“That’s Lieutenant or Sir to you! Contraband like regen injects are illegal here!” I yelled. I couldn’t even address her properly, I was still waiting on her paperwork to be sent so I knew her rank.
“I’ll call you whatever I want,” the Delta Unit snickered, “And that contraband has kept me alive in the field more than once.”
“They’re addictive and can kill normal ..!
She stood up and glared into my eyes. I could smell the strange scent of desert flowers emanating from her and could see the muscles flexing below her thin, high cheeks.
“Do I look normal!?” she yelled, “None of us is normal! You’re all Betas!”
“The law is the ..!”
Dismissing me, she put her hand up in front of my face and turned away. Her hands were long and thin with vicious talons and barbed bony protrusions jutting out of her joints. My blood-pressure skyrocketed and my hands shook with rage.
How dare she!
Grabbing her thin shoulder, I turned her around to face me, “That’s it,” I growled.
Taking a step back I ripped the stripes of my uniform, “No ranks, no orders. You and me bitch.”
Her eyes watched the stripes fall to the floor and a wicked smile spread across her dark face, “That’s more like it,” she cooed while pushing the table out of the way.
She was tall, but thin; built like a French model she lacked the bulk that the Delta Prototype carried. I knew she was fast, but I was confident I would grossly overpower her.
Fernando groaned, “Can’t you take this to the bedroom?”
I snapped a jab toward one of those annoying fangs. My fist brushed the end of her nose as she turned and watched my fist harmlessly strike air.
“Nice,” she commented, “Good snap.”
I followed with a cross. As she stepped back I felt my fist brush her flirty bangs. She took the opportunity to tap my wrist, keeping me from throwing a backfist.
“Good,” she laughed, “Try harder!”
I kicked out at her, driving a powerful front kick toward her gut, but she tip-toed to the side of my leg. She was toying with me! She was too fast and she knew it.
“Look, are you just fiddling around with me or what?” I asked as she deftly ducked under a roundhouse kick.
“I just want you to feel you’re doing well,” she snickered.
I snapped out a backfist, but she moved in and jammed my shoulder with her hands, “Would you stop that!?” I yelled.
I can’t be entirely certain what happened next. I have to fill in the gaps with what I think happened based on my injuries.
My nose shattered as she kicked me in the face, but before my head could snap backward another kick landed in my stomach, folding me over like a taco. I was lifted into the air by the kick and then grabbed around the throat. Asheya flipped me over and slammed me though the table, my lungs emptying of air as my back hit the tile, the impact cracking the floor.
Gasping for air and bleeding all over the floor, I could barely see the dark woman through the tears in my eyes, “Here, have some contraband,” she smiled.
I felt the sudden rush of the drugs flowing through my system. My eyes cleared and I could breath like normal. My nose was repaired and I felt revitalized and calm.
Walking away from me, Asheya giggled, “Better than a trip to the infirmary aren’t they?”
* * *
Nothing was static on Charon; not directions, not text, not life. We had to use miniature black holes to see monitors back on Earth. Words printed on paper would blur and change, becoming impossible to read almost immediately. Luckily, my information had been posted to the monitor back on Earth.
Classified, the reports explained that the Earth military had infiltrated a secret Biocorp facility on Charon. They had started production on the Delta units just as the Epsilon unit had been born. I read that when the news reporter had broken open the atrocities committed on Charon, Biocorp had quickly moved to terminate the Delta Production Units.
But there had been one snag …
“They had already administered the Divinity Protocol,” I heard Asheya’s soft, gentle voice behind me. “The military had cut power to the facility so they tried to throw me in the incinerator.”
“How did you survive?” I asked without turning, “Divinity?” But then I saw it in the report.
“Fifty two dead,” I heard her laugh, “No survivors.”
“I saw the reports, your sister wouldn’t have killed those people,” I flipped through the report on the monitor. “She tried to protect people.”
It sounded like there was a little growl in her voice, “I’m not my sister,” she replied, draping her long hand over my shoulder.
“The fastest way to die on Charon,” she whispered in my ear, “is to fuck with me.”
I have quoted “The Princess Bride” somewhere in the text. The first person to find the quote and comment will be in one of my upcoming stories.