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...

Monday, March 31, 2014

Part 8 of UNDERWORLD by K.G. McAbee

Rudof Dyll had stripped off his clothes and jewels as he walked across his bedroom, and now stood under a stinging needle-spray of hot water in a shower pod big enough for four. He squeezed a handful of scented soap from a wall-mounted dispenser and scrubbed his face with both hands, then let the water wash away all traces of makeup. He stepped away from the spray, bent over a basin set in the opposite wall, squirted out a handful of soap from a different dispenser, and began washing his hair. The coppery red color slithered off and into the basin, which caught the organic dye for future use.

Rudof stepped out of the shower pod into a small anteroom that shot out jets of warm air to dry him. Then he stalked into his bedroom.

Naked, Rudof Dyll barely resembled his public image. Tall and lanky, lean but well-muscled, he carried himself straight, head high, and strode confidently around the room—instead of the strolling, slouching, lazy figure that had just left an impromptu dinner party at the Starview Lounge.

There was a long laser burn stretching across his back, from the top of his right shoulder to his left hip, and thick white lesions encircled his wrists and ankles—manacle scars, and the kind that were not acquired in a day, but took years to develop. His hair, with the dye washed out, was a dark nondescript brown liberally streaked with white. Brown too were the clothes he selected from a concealed closet set behind a high armoire. It looked too heavy to move—and was, unless you knew the secret catch that shifted it forward. He slid into a baggy brown jumpsuit with zippered pouches, much like the ones worn by freighter crewmembers, and slid his feet into battered boots.

Pausing before a mirror, he reached up and popped out his green contacts and peeled off the jewel-tipped lashes; brown eyes stared out of a narrow face.

Rudof Dyll regarded himself in the mirror, a smile on lips no longer a garish red.

"Goodbye, Master Dyll; hello, Malik Blayne." The smile twisted into a snarl.

The former Rudof, now Malik, scrambled in the secret closet and retrieved a battered backpack. He hefted the pack as the armoire returned to its former position, then glanced around the room to make sure everything was secure.

The backpack was almost empty. He'd have to fill up on his way down.

Malik hit the palm-lock on his way out the door, strode down a hallway, took a right turn, a left, and stopped in the middle of a shorter hall. Silence permeated the dome, but Malik hadn't got to his somewhat precarious position by taking chances. He tiptoed to the end of the hall, just to make sure that no one was waiting around the corner.


It was always clear.

But he always checked.

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