Lockdown - 01 by Alexander Shaw

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SUMMARY: Re-named from 'The Neutral 3 Incident'.

Chapter 1 The Chocallis.

--/Day 1 16:04 Hours/--
--/Chocallis Aft Section Mid-Decks/--

Tenzanin sauntered down the observation corridor, his disinterested gaze occasionally flickering to the reinforced plexiglass windows on his right. Outside was space. Black, cold, endless space. The vast majesty of it failed to capture Tenzanin's attention for long. The Chocallis was an uninteresting ship, he had decided. There were nearly six and a half hundred people crammed into the lower decks, maybe fifty on the upper decks that took up more space than the lower decks. Then there were the middle decks. That's where he was right now. Aft section, Mid-Decks.

"Fancy a drink buddy?" A voice cut through his thoughts. Tenzanin looked up to meet the grin of a one-eyed Tayan, swaying slightly and holding up an empty bottle of cheap, probably recycled, ration water. Tenzanin smiled slightly.

"Got anything stronger?" he asked, eyeing the Tayan warily. Like all of his kind, he had a pelt of coarse fur where most other species had hair, an elongated jaw and sharp, predatory teeth. This one had an eye patch over his left eye, and it was clear from his face and hands that this was no inexperienced drinker here. This was a veteran, and probably not just at drinking.

"Well not just yet, but I reckon we cold find a party round here somewhere, don't you think?" The Tayan chuckled, casting his one eyed glance towards the direction of the upper decks. Tenzanin blinked. The upper decks of the Chocallis were reserved for those who had paid a great deal of money for their tickets. Merchants, nobles, rich kids. Probably however, Tenzanin realised, the best place for a man like him to find the work that he was looking for.

"Why not?" Tenzanin said. "Shall we?"

--/+3 minutes/--
--/Aft Section Central Spiral/--

Davan eyed his new acquaintance with his only eye. This man was a Carene, one of the diseased race. They were yellow-skinned, sickly, thin and bitter. While the Carene government was one of the central members of the Alliance, Davan noted that this individual didn't seem to have any obvious ties to the Alliance. Davan couldn't blame him. Who wanted to be owned by a Super-Council that saw you as a number to be crunched?

Slowly, the door in front of them cycled open. Behind them, the staircase seemed to vibrate with another engine fluctuation. It was the central spiral from the Mid-Decks to the Upper-Decks. As the door opened, light poured through, making Davan and his new friend squint slightly. Beyond the heavy door was a sight of bright lights and well-dressed upper classes. Davan turned to the Carene, who looked back at him. They both grinned.

"Hold it." A massive hand reached across from the side of the door. Behind it came one of the largest Colari that Davan had ever seen. Being an ogre-like race, it was completely normal for them to reach seven foot in height. This one was six inches taller than that, and as broad to make him resemble some form of armoured assault vehicle.

"Ah ha, a humble enforcer of the dress code." Davan said smiling his best fang-filled smile.

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