Oil dripped from a large tank that was underslung to the bottom of a large salvaging spacecraft. Two men stood staring at the minor leak as it started to pool on the floor. Lio stood with his arms folded and with his mouth ajar as he stared at the man next to him.
“How?” He asked pointedly as he folded his arms in frustration.
“Well, I clipped the, the.” The man stuttered as he pointed down the way.
Lio turned to the mangled handrail at the entrance of the hanger, then back to the man, his hands gesturing towards the ship.
“So let me guess this straight, you managed to pilot my ship, my ship. Through this massive.” He said, turning to the cavernous opening of the hanger, flailing his arms about to emphasize the size. “This fucking huge hole. That is probably four times the size of my ship and hit, something that you shouldn’t be anywhere near.”
“Lio, look, it was an accident; I just came in a little lower than usual.”
“A little?” Lio yelled. “You bloody took out a handrail, designed for people, you know, those small six-foot things that go squish when you hit them with a two thousand and something tonne spaceship. So please explain to me why you were flying so low as to hit a three-foot-high railing with my oil tank.”
The man stood sheepishly as Lio stared at him expectantly. The man gestured as he mumbled before finally bringing himself to speak.
“It is only a small hole; I can patch it now.”
“Patch it? You can patch it; well, that is good; how long should that take?”
“Well, with the arc welder, probably five minutes. I can get it now.”
“Oh, so you are going to introduce heat to my oil tank while there is oil in it. This is great, that sounds great because when you blow yourself up, I won’t have to deal with you.”
Lio turned back to the dripping oil and pinched the bridge of his nose as he groaned.
“Leave, go. Don’t come back; you are no longer hired.” Lio turned over his shoulder and looked at the man with a grin, and spoke calmly. “Fuck off.”
The man quickly ran off, bumping shoulders with another as he passed them.
“What the hell happened here?” A familiar voice rose up. “And what is up with you yelling and Oscar running off?”
“This Iley, this!” Lio yelled, once again gesturing to the leaking oil tank.
“How the, wait. Where is the outer plating? Did it get torn off?”
“No, the bottom right corner plating was removed after Oscar managed to slam it into a damn mountain of a boulder when touching down last week. This week, he managed to take out a whole handrail, with the same bottom right corner of my ship, puncturing the damn oil tank.”
“We should fire him.” Iley said reactively.
“Fired? I should thump him. But yes, of course, he is fired; the dumb ass wanted to weld the tank shut with the oil still in it. So now I need to drain this, fix the warping, get someone to clean the interior so it doesn’t explode, fix the hole, pressure test it, get new housing, re-certify the mounts, and if they fail, that is another lump of cash gone because of that idiot.” Lio scratched his head, smearing oil from his hands into his hair.
“Don’t pay him; just tear up the contract.”
“Of course not; why would I pay him now?”
“I don’t know, just saying.” Iley said, a little embarrassed.
“His wage won’t even cover this. I am going to, you are going to send him a bill for the difference. Fucking twat.” Lio paused for a moment and looked back to Iley. “Him, not you.”
“Yeah, I got that. Well, you sort this out, I’ll go do the paperwork.” Iley said with a higher pitch to her voice.
Iley headed up into the belly of the ship as Lio started to sift through the scattered tools that lay on the ground; groaning, he got to work.
“I don’t understand how they can charge so much for a dirty patch job. I could have done it better if I wasn’t so damn busy.” Lio exclaimed as he tossed a receipt to the floor of his cockpit.
“Don’t do that; I need to file that.” Iley complained as she pulled the receipt from the oil-coated floor. “I swear if any of this oil has ruined the writing, I am going to thump you.” She added as she flicked at the paper, hoping to remove the muck from the writing.
Lio waved over his head as he played with the controls of his ship, looking up to the stars that surrounded them. He locked in a course and reclined in his chair; throwing his feet up on the dash of his ship, he shuffled in his seat until he found himself slowly nodding off. Iley filed the paperwork and then went to return to Oli; seeing him napping, she decided to make her way to the bedroom, and she, too, fell asleep. The ship hummed slightly as it made its way through space; small debris colliding with the hull caused Lio to stir in his sleep, keeping him from drifting into a deep sleep. Unbeknown to him, a visage of light wandered by his cockpit window; pressing itself against the glass, it stared into Lio, who awoke to see the humanoid made of light as they were passing through the glass. Oli’s eyes widened as he was paralyzed with fear, watching as the humanoid woman passed into his cockpit without damaging the glass she passed through. She floated as if she was still in space, slowly touching down one foot at a time, toes pointed to the grimy floors. Her blinding light slowly faded until she was emanating a dull shimmer. Her face was round and soft, with chubby cheeks, pale skin, white hair, and vibrant pink eyes. She smiled sweetly to Lio as she passed him, making her way down the ladder into the body of the ship. Lio sat in his chair in disbelief as he stared at his window; un-blinking, he groaned to himself as he tried to piece together words. The sound of an opening door shook him out of his stupor; his feet came crashing down on the grates below him as he ran after the woman.
“Wait, what are you doing?”
“Silly question from a silly man.” She smiled, her voice so sweet that Lio found himself calming down with each word.
She touched Oli’s face gently as she continued her aimless wandering. Lio stretched his neck to follow her hand as it withdrew from him.
“Wait, wait.” Lio said, still feeling at his own face. “Who are you?”
The woman giggled as she turned back to Lio.
“You were so close that time, close enough that I will answer you.” She stopped her wandering and turned to the yearning Lio. She stood with her feet together and her arms crossed over her chest. “I am Light, Light Violet crown. You can call me Light or LVC. I don’t mind.”
“I don’t understand; why are you on my ship?”
“You are very stupid. I have been following you since we last met, well, since we last sort of met.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“I was sort of the eye that you didn’t see; you are the one that killed my acolytes.”
Oli’s heart started to race as he thought about his time on the planet’s seed ship. The horrors that he saw flashed over his eyes as he stood staring at the beautiful woman that stood before him, her calming face breaking through the nightmares that stained his retina. His eyes started to tear up his body shook involuntarily; he fell to his knees, and his hands clenched intently into the mess of his hair.
“Come, my sweet child, I won’t do that to you. No, I want new acolytes from you, not to make you a monster. That was the other me; I want to make you feel good.” She sang out as she started to calm Lio down.
She pulled his arms down by his side and laid him down on his back. Her beautiful visage calmed his racing heart as he let her do what she wanted. His muscles went limp as his eyes glazed over. With one hand on his face and the other running down to the pants, he watched, hypnotized by Light’s beauty. A hypnotism that was broken as a fire extinguisher collided with her perfect face.
“Get the fuck off my ship, you bright bitch.” Iley yelled as she swung the fire extinguisher a second time; this time, she punctured the outer casing, causing a white cloud to fill the room.
Once Light was completely covered, Lio snapped out of his stupor.
“What the, who am.” He vomited out as Iley grabbed his hands in hers.
“Get up useless, we have to move.” she shouted as she watched the flailing arms or Light start to disperse the smoke.
As the two of them ran into the hall, the souring voice of Light called out, once a sweet girl, now the booming decadence of a warrior male.
“If I can’t have Lio, I guess I will have to take Iley.”
The stomping of heavy feet filled the halls of the ship as Light stormed out of the room filled with smoke. Her now hulking size stormed down the hall after them, his body rippled with muscles, an angular face, and vibrant green eyes imposed fear over the two as they ran for their life.
“What the hell is chasing us?” Iley screamed as she tried to drag Lio left through the ship, but he reversed her grip and dragged her right.
“That is the thing on the world seed, the shit that I said I would never talk about again.”
“You mean that caused the fucked up shit that you saw?”
Lio slammed into a wall, just to look up to see the perfect body of Light blocking his way; the Green eyes stared daggers towards Iley as he stepped over Lio, outstretching a rigid arm towards her. From his back, the image of the girl appeared once again and leaned down towards Oli; just as before, Lio was locked into a trance, Iley struggled at first, but she too became entranced.
The two of them found themselves entangled in the shifting mass that is Light. By the end of approach, both Iley and Lio were spent. Iley laid back, watching as her stomach grew, while Lio watched the female form of Light’s stomach start to grow. Simultaneously they both gave birth. The children glowed with a dull light for a moment before lying calmly on the ground. Lio and Iley regained control of their bodies and sat dumbstruck; Iley rolled on the ground in agony as Lio blinked blindly at the two newborns on the ground before him. Both calm and staring at him expectantly, their light faded. They now look just like any newborn babe. Lio looked for any signs of Light, but the only thing he noticed was Iley and the two babies. Rushing to his feet, he ran off to the cockpit; grabbing the first aid, he ran back to Iley and started to care for her.
Arriving at their destination, they engaged the automatic docking procedures and then turned to one another before looking down at the two children before them.
“They are growing fast.” Lio croaked
“Looks like we have kids now.” Iley added as they both stared at the children.
The children looked up to Iley and Lio, smiling as they stood silently, waiting.