Chapter 364: A Bunch Of Idiots
“What a bunch of idiots,” Perspherene laughed wildly as she stared at the holographic projection displayed on the walls of the tavern.
The lizard-like warrior’s tail swayed back and forth happily as her forked tongue flickered in and out of her mouth.
Sophie took a casual glance at the images being shown on the screen and subconsciously let out a small hiss of pain.
Fortunately, her companion didn’t notice since she was currently being distracted by the projection.
Several portraits were being cycled across the projection with a warning from the Unovan government.
One could spot severe and fatal injuries on the bodies of the alien warriors shown in the portraits.
It was clear by their expressions of despair and numbness that they had endured hours or even days of torture.
Sophie frowned slightly as she saw a badly injured humanoid figure with four blade-like appendages jutting out of her back.
The mirror image of herself in the holographic projection had a partially burnt face and several deep cuts on her body.
Sophie could still remember every slice that the sharpened blade made as it entered the skin of her clone.
The offer from the mysterious voice had turned out to be a trap.
Sophie had met with the alien whose body was hidden behind a long robe and listened to what he had to say.
He claimed that he was part of a secret organization that regularly shipped goods to rich nobles in the Federation and it would be easy to take passengers along for the ride on his starship.
For the right price…
It had been an expensive offer but Sophie still gave the strange alien the deposit necessary to book a place on the starship.
Naturally, Sophie was not foolish enough to go on the trip herself so she used the Rsychosis technique to send out a mirror copy in her place.
At first everything seemed to be normal and the smuggler had even picked up several other customers who wished to flee the battlefield and enter Federation-controlled territory.
The passengers onboard the smuggler’s vessel came from all walks of life. Sophie’s clone had spotted drug runners, mercenaries and even a few daring traders.
Then when the starship arrived at the coordinates where the jump to hyper space was supposed to be taken…
Military spacecrafts were waiting with weapons drawn.
What happened next was a bit of a blur but Sophie’s clone had clearly seen the mysterious alien nod towards the officers and make a secret hand gesture.
The clone decided not to kill herself in order to gather more information and over the course of several hours before the execution, she had managed to understand what had happened.
The Unovan military had partially blamed their failures on possible information leaks coming from traitors within their forces.
Naturally the random mercenary organisations were prime suspects for these betrayals.
The senior officers in the military could not trust the warriors who sold their allegiance to the highest bidder.
Special ops units were created to infiltrate the mercenary forces and conduct sting operations to lure out suspicious individuals.
Sophie’s clone had only managed to discover a few more key details before she succumbed to her injuries.
The memories of the intense torture sessions flowed into Sophie’s mind that same night and almost caused her to pass out.
Those brutes in the interrogation cells possessed a cream made from an unknown substance that magnified pain to the extreme when applied to the surface of a victim’s skin.
An ordinary cut would feel like a blade slicing your flesh open slowly and painfully.
Sophie closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths in order to settle her emotions. Right now, was her last day to relax before the next military assignment.
Due to the information leaks, the Unovan military had simply sent over encrypted coordinates to the mercenary organizations that were part of the strike team.
A special key would be transmitted on the day of the operation and all assigned units were to head to the coordinates immediately.
“Still, I can’t understand why those idiots would risk crossing the border now,” a quiet voice broke Sophie out of her musings.
Perspherene hummed softly and began to sing a song in a language that Sophie had never heard before.
There was a strange glint in her reptilian eyes as she held the drink in her hand absentmindedly.
“Probably looking to switch sides or move contraband through the underground market,” Sophie suggested softly.
Perspherene scoffed and shook her head in disdain, “Ahh…. money… truly the root of all evil.”
Sophie frowned at the ridicule hidden in Perspherene’s voice and retorted sharply, “The only people who say that kind of nonsense usually have too much wealth.”
Although Sophie had personally never experienced poverty, the memories inside her mind from Sui Meng’s experience during ancient Earth times were not pleasant.
Sui Meng had struggled to survive during her early twenties and was forced to live in a cramped apartment with no idea when her next meal would be.
Money may not bring happiness but it was always better to have more than less.
The atmosphere froze for a moment but Perspherene just laughed madly and clinked her glass against Sophie’s cup.
“Trust me… I know about having too much wealth… or I would if my husbands weren’t bleeding me dry from child support!” Perspherene complained.
Sophie felt a bit confused about the sudden shift in topic but Perspherene captured her attention with a tale of misfortune.
On her planet, society was structured in a matricidal way with the females of her species acting as the breadwinners while the shorter males would be the caretakers of the home.
Perspherene was the daughter of a tribal chief and groomed to be the next leader of their clan if not for some unfortunate accidents.
She accidently impregnated several males while drinking heavily at a party and was then forced to marry them for honour.
Naturally being held responsible for providing for multiple children proved to be too much of a burden for the young Perspherene so she simply escaped and joined a mercenary crew.
Occasionally she would send some credits back home to her families but she had no desire to ever go back.
She was essentially the true definition…. of a deadbeat.
“So that’s enough of my love life… how about you? A good strong female like yourself must have plenty of mates!” Perspherene jeered as she placed an arm on Sophie’s shoulder.
“Mates? No… it’s just the one,” Sophie smiled shyly as the warm and gentle face of Cleo flashed across her mind.
Perspherene leaned in and softly whispered, “One? That’s a bit too low…”
“How about I introduce you to some Flaxarians or Gar’eans? They are the most fertile breeding tools on this planet…
Sophie shook her head and politely refused.
She had no intention of cheating on her girlfriend and who knows what those ‘Flaxarians’ or ‘Gar’eans’ looked like.
A sharp ringing noise rang out from Sophie’s communicator as the notification for an alarm had been activated.
It was time to return to the starship and prepare for the next military mission.
“Any chance you also got a mission tomorrow?” Sophie asked as she passed her empty glass to the bartender.
“Nope… haven’t heard a word from the captain. Although that moron never checks the starship’s chat logs so who knows if he just hasn’t seen it,” Perspherene complained.
“Take care Perspherene. Hopefully we can meet back at this bar sometime next week,” Sophie casually spoke.
“Yeah.. don’t die tomorrow,” Perspherene replied with a smirk on her face.