An often requested theme that we’ve never done before! This is for works with science fiction elements (Robots! Space!) and those that take place after a catastrophic event in a very different world.
This one turned out rather different than I’d expected. I hope you like it anyway!
It wasn’t until the shadowed figure at her feet stopped moving that she staggered back, spine hitting the metal wall of the engine room with a thud. The wrench wavered, and she forced herself to breath through the adrenaline even as she choked on the smell. The air was thick with blood, and her mouth bone dry as she glanced around, swallowing harshly at the splatter across the walls.
Someone would’ve heard the commotion.
Taking a gulping breath as the shrieking in her head lowered to the familiar rumble, Caroline struggled to figure out a plan. This wasn’t the first time she’d killed someone, deep space was a violent and brutal place, but this was the first time she’d been forced to defend herself so early on a job. She’d taken the gig as a mechanic because it’d been her only shot to get off the accursed outer world she’d been stranded on for months.
It’d been three months since she’d eaten real food, and even the cheap protein bars and porridge that usually made up most of her diet on alien worlds had become scarce. Angry mobs had started to build outside the Human Consulate, and she’d no intention of getting caught up in another purge. Federation troops would be making groundfall to deal with the uprising in a matter of days, not weeks, and she’d have taken a riskier job than a mechanic on a frigate to get away.
A sudden, hoarse groan filled the air and the wrench nearly slipped through her fingers. Caroline watched with horrified eyes as the man she’d have sworn she’d beaten to death twitched. Pressing tightly against the wall, panic threatened to overwhelm her as footsteps thudded above her head.
She’d expected there might be something off about the crew the moment Marcel Gerard had introduced himself. Dark skinned and clean cut, he carried none of the hollowed-cheeked hunger that she’d grown accustomed to seeing over the years. He’d been nothing but professional, his clipped interview surprisingly refreshing after years of leering first mates. The guild she belonged too had confirmed the job offer was valid, and the pay was good.
She’d known it was too good to be true.
But she’d been in no position not to accept.
And now the truth came in the form of the low growls, the clawed hands that dug into the grated floor. Where there was one werewolf, there was a pack. No wonder they’d been willing to offer her food rations, real food and not the fake paste shit, as part of her pay; they could afford them.
She was on a hunting frigate.
The engine behind her began to chatter happily, and dread filled her bones. Most ships only responded to two people with such devotion: the engineer who kept her heart in working order and a captain who loved her. Caroline had been told that the previous engineer had suffered a heart attack and died, but as she watched the werewolf in front of her heal himself, she wondered if that had been a convenient lie.
God, she’d have preferred cannibals to werewolves. At least if she’d have been likely to survive cannibals. A pissed werewolf pack in the middle of space did not usually equal long term survivability to anyone but another werewolf.
Those footsteps came to a stop in front of the bent door, metal grinding as someone forced the door open. Caroline tightened her grip on the wrench and braced herself. She had nowhere to run.
For a moment her shock silenced even the happy purrs of the engine. Messy curls kept short and two-day old scruff, the blue gold eyes that met hers were hotly intent. It was a strain not to focus on bitable lips pulled to a frown, and she brushed off her intense physical reaction to shock. She wasn’t sure she breathed again until he looked at his broken crew member.
“Well,” he murmured, voice low and thoughtful as he glanced at the wrench. “Aren’t you a surprising little thing?”
The clipped edge of his accent buzzed in her head like electricity.
“Tyler, Tyler, Tyler. It appears we’ll need to have another discussion about ship rules,” he murmured, voice a velvet threat. Caroline bit her lip at the way his fingers curved along the nape of the whimpering wolf, the sudden silence as the injured man shuddered at the hold. Captain then. Probably the Alpha.
“My apologies, love. As a rule, we discourage crew from dominance fights. Tyler is still young. A little more training appears to be in order.”
Tyler whined, but the captain made a disapproving noise. Between one moment and the next, his grip on Tyler’s neck tightened and he carelessly tossed the injured wolf back into the hallway. “He won’t bother you again.”
It was a display of dominance and power, meant to intimidate. Lifting her chin, she set her teeth and glared. “As a rule?”
A flickering glance as he took in her bloody clothing and pale face. Her fingers white knuckled, the lethal edge of him tangible. His head head tipped to the side. The hunting smile on his face scraped against her skin like sandpaper.
“Of course. Do you need to see the medic?”
Her stomach jumped, skin too tight as he continued to watch her with eyes that looked as if they could peer through her skin to bones. Something about that stare unbalanced her, and her ears rang with the ships cadence. If she’d any sense she’d play scared and try to steal an escape pod at the first available opportunity.
She didn’t have it in her.
“I’ll have the door fixed in an hour,” he said as his eyes swept the room again, taking in the damage. “Someone will clean the worst of it. Expect Marcel to be by with your room assignment.”
His words jolted her out of the engine’s chattering, and she frowned. Chin jerking to the hammock ties, she crossed her arms, holding the wrench tightly. “Most mechanics sleep in the engine room.
“I’m told it isn’t necessary for your kind,” he murmured, lashes falling to half mast as he watched her a lazy, predatory gaze. “And we wouldn’t want a repeat of the past hour, hmm?”
Her throat felt like a desert. “My kind?”
His smile widened as if she’d walked into a unseen trap. Uneasy, she refused to let the fascinating appearance of dimples soothe her rattled emotions. Something new gleamed behind his eyes and the gold faded, leaving behind a wild blue.
“You’re a Mechanic,” he said easily, utterly satisfied, as if she hadn’t spent a century hiding her identity. As if the alien blood that ran through her veins didn’t mark her for death. Her existence, narrowed down to a single title: Mechanic.
“Mechanics are ghosts, they aren’t real,” Caroline said tautly. His eyes glittered at her lie, as if he could read her face as easily as an open book. It should’ve rattled her, but it’d been years since she’d been nearly driven mad by the voices inside her head. Now she took comfort in the ships she worked on, an engine as warm and alive beneath her palms as human skin.
And this ship, it told her that violence lived here, wild and mercurial, but there were other bonds too.
He chuckled, as if he’d chosen to be amused. “Your scent gives you away, sweetheart. It’s difficult to hide from our noses. You smell like…”
His lungs expanded to breath past the scent of blood. Caroline shifted her weight as he suddenly paused, gold washing through his eyes like a wave. For a moment, she knew she was staring at the wolf that lived beneath his skin, and it was starving. Stark, wild, the blaze of heat in his eyes was blatantly possessive.
The engine was loud in her ears.
Then he blinked. It did nothing to leash the power the radiated from his skin, the sun-bright gaze devouring in a way that left her flushed with awareness. In that moment, between one breath and the next, their balance had shifted and she didn’t understand how. The set of his jaw left her wary, and the room was suddenly too small.
“You smell like sunflowers,” he murmured, head canting. He made no move towards her, but something about the angle of his head, the set of his mouth, set her nerves alight. “I’ve only ever smelled one other who carried a similar scent, and she’s been dead more than a century.”
“Who are you,” Caroline breathed, pressing against the wall though he’d made no move to touch her. He couldn’t have known her mother. Some things were impossible.
“Ah,” he said, satisfaction turning his tone low and potent. “Most people know me as Klaus.”
Her heart pounded loudly in her ears, and Klaus clasped his hands behind his back. He looked pleased, as if his reputation hadn’t been spread among civilizations, the horrors he’d inflicted on enemies and the federation whispered in every back alley on every planet. “You don’t fly a frigate.”
Klaus chuckled. “Come now love, it doesn’t make much sense to recruit in a ship marked for immediate destruction on sight.”
“Recruit?” She managed, voice strained.
“I’ve been hunting you for a long time, Caroline. The golden haired Mechanic who escaped the Federation.” His eyes filled with a dangerous possessiveness, gaze a brand against lips. “No one will bother you while you work. Dinner is served in the mess hall. I’ll come find you, should you be late.”
He left her then, taking Tyler with him. Her palm pressed flatly against the warm metal of the wall, breathing jagged as she absorbed the mild threat in his voice when he said find you. There were a hundred possibilities in those words, all of them terrifying. But no matter how her heart pounded, fingers trembling without her permission, the ship’s rumbling in her back of her mind insisted that this was a good place.
Exhaling, she set the wrench down close to where she’d be working and determinedly set about running a basic diagnostic. She needed the precision of the work to ground her. In a few hours, she’d be expected to choke down a meal, surrounded by werewolves and she couldn’t show an iota of weakness and expect to survive.
Maybe on the way to the mess hall she’d risk getting lost, see what her chances of escape truly looked like. Klaus was correct, she had escaped the Federation and her father’s careful grooming. For a century, she run from planet to planet, never staying still, never settling down. She’d walked away from everything she’d loved, and she wouldn’t let a pack of half-feral wolves change that.
Going green with a bowl of Organic Burst smoothie this morning.
Using the Vitamix
2 frozen bananas
3 Frozen figs
1 whole golden beet
1 tsp of honey flax almond butter
A small handful of spinach
1 tsp of Organic Burst chlorella
1 tsp of Organic Burst wheatgrass
Half a tsp of Organic Burst spirulina
Add organic vanilla almond milk
Blend until smooth
Top off with kiwis, plums, hemp hearts, seeds, almonds, and a pretty little red strawberry.
A cloudy day calls for some deliciously nourishing purelyelizabeth maca porridge. I topped off this fluffy baby with lots of banana coins, fresh blueberries, raw almond butter, and of course, energizing almond squarebars bites. I am absolutely in love with my #squarebartoppings, they really give my morning meals an extra sweet kick of protein!
It’s a very squarebars kind of morning.
Started my day off with this delicious bowl of Organic Burst Spirulina and brown sugar oats, topped off with nanners, strawberries, almonds, a dollop of raw almond butter, and lots of squarebar nibs.
Assalamu alaikum Any advice for new muslim who are going to observe ramadan for first time?
Eat smart during suhoor and drink plenty of water and fruits at iftar.
What I normally do is eat chicken/fish during suhoor and finish off with porridge/oats. The chicken/fish is for protein and the porridge helps release energy slowly.
During iftar, its natural to want to eat anything and everything you see, but after the fist few days, you tend to eat less during iftar. I find it better to eat fruits that are juicy like melons, berries, apples, apricots etc… and the odd kebab here and there (though I will cut down on that inshaAllah lol). Try including fibre during iftar too, anything wholewheat.
Try to avoid caffeine as it tends to dehydrate you when you have water, drink it slowly, don’t gulp it all down or you’ll feel bloated.
Most importantly, don’t neglect your salah, and read as much Qur’an as you can.