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...

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Part 6 of SCUM by J. A. Johnson

Captain Eversyn held a rag over his mouth and nose, to filter out the stench of the sewage plant. He had been there less than five minutes and already he had reached a conclusion concerning the explosion investigation. A big fat So what? It was a sewage plant and the smell was so overpowering that Eversyn could not care less what went on down there, past, present or future.

All he wanted now was to get out of the place.

The plant overseer was short, fat, bald and shirtless… well…shirtless only in a literal sense, since every inch of the man's pallid flesh was coated in…Eversyn did not care to know. The husky Human stood nearly waste-deep in the sludge, apparently without wading boots. He looked up at Eversyn.

"So, what'ch figgered out, Cap'n?" He hocked a loogie, and spat it out.

Eversyn pressed the cloth more tightly to his face and suppressed a gag. Why had he come down here? He could have sent someone else to check into this; Benn, for instance.

"You said…you said that one of your people is missing?"

"Two. I said two."         

"You're sure?"

The man snorted and held up three knobby fingers. "I kin count."

All right, be quick, give the pretense of an investigation and get out of here.

"Let me get their names."

"They was Neeks. I'm 'posed to know their names?" The overseer guffawed at the very thought, waving it away dismissively. "Look, alls I wanna knows is what cause the 'splosion. I don't needs to be around here if they's gonna be another one, if you knows what I mean."

"Believe me, I can understand not wanting to be around here." Eversyn glanced around the tank. "You say they use electric prods to herd the fungus?

"Tha's right. Like this un." The overseer drew a grimy prod from a hip pocket and handed it over.

Eversyn braced himself before taking the cloth from his face and using it to hold the prod.

The overseer rolled his blubber-squinched eyes. "Low voltage. Nothin' special."

Eversyn considered the wisdom of using an electrical prod, however low the voltage, while standing in liquid.

It was a wonder something like this hadn't happened before now.

He handed the prod back. "Well, if I had to guess, I'd say one of these prods malfunctioned, exploded. That reacted to the gasses in the air, resulting in the fire."

That sound like enough of an answer. It was enough for him anyway.

"I would recommend you have someone perform a safety check on all of the prods. No doubt they could all stand a little maintenance."

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