What Is Omega Station?

Omega Station, aka the Rock. A barren, airless asteroid on the outermost edge of the galaxy, home of the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor. Dotted with commercial, military and residential domes, the outer surface is the place to live for those who can afford it or are lucky enough to work there.
But the vast majority of the Rock's residents don't live in the surface domes; instead, they have tunneled downwards, moving ever further towards its fiery heart. The upper levels are safe, comfortable, secure—or as secure as anyone can be on
Omega Station. The lower levels, now; they are home to the detritus of a double dozen races and species, all living in uneasy juxtaposition, fighting, loving, eating—and being eaten.
The Rock's location in space, the last real port before exiting the galaxy, has made it a valuable commodity to many governments and private corporations, as has the addictive drug straz, which grows only in its recycling vats. Control has been taken and given in a hundred bloody battles over the years, but those who live in the lower levels—and further down, in the Depths—are often barely aware of whoever claims to be in charge.
No one, really, rules the Rock, whatever they may claim, however many weapons and warriors they throw against it.
For the Rock is eternal…and it has many secrets...and many stories...

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Part 4 of UNDERWORLD by K.G. McAbee

Eversyn eyed the two-and-a-half meter tall Vamir. He—She? Eversyn didn't know much about the species, and decided to let the first gender choice stand until he had more information—he was covered in short dense fur, dark brown with pale streaks that ran up all four of his burly arms, circled his broad chest, and disappeared over his shoulders to run in streaks down his back. No clothing, but a wide belt around his thick middle, just below his second set of arms.

Eversyn wasn't sure, but he suspected that the small whitish things that hung from silver hooks on the belt might be bones…or teeth.

"Ah." He nodded at the Vamir. "Uh, thank you…both."

"Not at all, Captain, not at all. I always enjoy seeing new faces, making fresh acquaintances, and dear old Algensio here is simply a social flutterby. Not to mention the excitement your little action just created for us! A search, for a dangerous criminal I have no doubt. How positively thrilling."

Dyll raised one eyebrow and leaned forward. A waft of scent—expensive, Eversyn knew—enveloped the table and its environs. "And let us be totally honest, as among friends: our scene is just the least bit limited here on the Rock, as I'm sure has not escaped your attention."

"And you don't get off-station much, I believe?"

There, thought Eversyn; see what he makes of that little remark. Eversyn knew for a fact that Rudof hadn't left the Rock in more than ten cycles. That equated to six turnovers in control of the shipping lanes here on the very edge of the galaxy, six counting the coup that had placed the captain in charge less than four standard months earlier.

Six turnovers in government on the Rock.

But the Dylls were still the richest family in the galaxy.

"Sadly, no, Captain. I do not. I spend most of my time tending my flowers in my domicile dome. I have quite the collection in my hydroponics sphere; you must come see them. Of course, being so lonely, it makes it all the luckier for me that Omega Station has had such a wide and varied selection of…overseers in the past cycles, yes? It at least gives me the opportunity to share the occasional meal with so discerning a gentle as yourself. Here, let me help you to some of this ka'frindi. It's one of the things our little home is famous for, as I'm sure you know."

Rudof leaned over the table, picked up a spoon, scooped a greenish blue glob from a small crystal bowl, and plopped it atop the slice of bovsteak on Eversyn's plate.

Eversyn watched in ill-concealed horror as the blue-green goop began to move, spreading over the steak and sinking clearly visible feelers into it.

"You must wait until it gets settled, you know." Rudof smiled. "It releases flavor enhancers and endorphins, but of course you have to eat it before it ends its life cycle—while it's still green, in other words. If you wait until it turns brown, it could make you quite ill."

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