Warrior Priestess Meisa held her breath as she passed a stall where two weary Bulrathi grilled hunks of meat in front of an alien crowd. The stench was too strong, and nothing about the cloying smoke seemed appetizing. A scattering of various patrons waited in line to buy the scorched meat, the cacophony of their clashing languages bouncing off the stainless steel walls of Sun Reacher Station.
Meisa kept her tight patrol of the southeastern block of vendors, weaving through the stalls and unkempt crowds to remind them all that they were here at the goodwill of the Elerians. Her silvery armor and at-the-ready rifle stood out on the floor where no other weapons were allowed.
Sun Reacher Station was the one concession the uncompromising Elerians were forced to make in an increasingly intergalactic society. The aliens relentlessly wanted access to Draconis, insisting on trade deals and negotiations with local artisans. The Elerian Fiefdoms, headed by the seething Grand Marshal Fireblade, built Sun Reacher Station a short decade ago so that the filthy aliens could negotiate with Elerian traders. The Fiefdoms had to build a massive station to house the trading hub, as compromising the integrity of Draconis by allowing outsiders to foul its soil was completely unacceptable. The resentful Elerians built a shining space port and kept careful logs of all those who entered, meticulous trade manifests, and maintained rigorous security.
Meisa would rather kill everyone onboard this cesspool of a glorified cargo ship rather than let them touch the holy surface of Draconis. It was likely her staunch resentment of aliens that led to her post on Sun Reacher Station, considered a dangerous and vital role similar to those who manage toxic waste. She took the job with absolute seriousness as a defender against the bloodless yet life-threatening war against alien culture. Her will would not bend for weeping savages seeking asylum and she held no secret adoration for their sub-par cultures.
On Sun Reacher Station, the other races watched her carefully. The Elerians rarely travelled outside of their own star systems and avoided interacting with aliens at all costs. Even in this space so close to Draconis, Elerians rarely interacted with other races. They couldn’t help but track her from the corners of their eyes, quick to turn away before she noticed them. Their intense curiosity was blurred with an instinctual, uncontrollable attraction of what they could never have.
Attraction. “Ethereal” was the word the soft skinned and strange aliens associated with Elerians, yet the same bulky word sounded ugly on a dozen alien tongues. The aliens’ appreciation of beauty was wasted. How could these crawling flotsam appreciate what they could not compare to? Those who stare at the sun for too long will only be burned.
It was not a matter for debate – Elerians were the superior race of the galaxy and to commune with aliens was beneath their nature. Sun Reacher Station was the only place in the Elerian home system where aliens were allowed to leave their ship and refuel, restock, and trade. The Grand Marshal despised the compromise, but there were too many things the Elerian Fiefdom needed that were beyond their reach.
The crowd of the vendor’s hall was restless today. A nearby skirmish between the mud-caked Sakkra and insect Klackon had the masses on edge. Meisa’s in-ear communications unit was constantly buzzing with low murmurs from the Watchers, male telepaths who stayed carefully attuned to the crowd’s fluctuating sub-conscious. The Watchers gave the ultimate sacrifice for their work – after they had read the minds of so many aliens, they are forbidden from ever returning to Draconis. To protect the purity and sanctity of the home world, they must never return. Some accepted solidary lives on distant colonies or went off to become spies and lonely agents of the Fiefdoms out in the wide and vile universe.
Meisa and the other members of the Sun Reacher Station security contingent were thoroughly monitored and tested to assure that they harbored no alien goodwill. They spent two weeks on duty and rotated into a week of spiritual purification and isolation in order to maintain balance. Impure thoughts preyed on familiarity and compassion.
A commotion caught her attention and she moved quickly towards it. A few Psilon and Human traders scurried away from the outbreak, keeping their heads down and their gazes away from Meisa. A Sakkra trader stood in the center of the commotion, loudly berating a Psilon trader who shied away uncomfortably from the conflict. The Sakkra waved his massive fists over a small crate of squirming creatures, some unintelligent lifeform that thrashed against the rails of their cage.
Meisa watched for a moment as the two were completely oblivious to her presence. The Psilon, a weak and soft race of beings, seemed to be fluttering more quickly as every moment passed. He seemed so frail that she could break his skin between two fingers. The Sakkra on the other hand was all riled muscles, hard shell, and jagged teeth. The Sakkra were a savage and filthy race, little better than the wildlife on Draconis. Meisa thought a quiet prayer for herself, and that these aliens would one day meet an end which would wipe them cleanly from any trace of the universe.
The voice of a Watcher whispered, a calm baritone in her ear, “His name is Rami. A low level trader from the Sssla system.”
Just as the Watcher spoke, Rami pulled a short blade then lunged at the Psilon. A contraband weapon in an already illicit confrontation meant that she was forced to intervene.
Meisa lifted her hand effortlessly and flexed her telekinetic ability, a conscious effort no more challenging than singing a high note of a familiar song. Rami’s body became rigid, his arms pinned down to the sides of his body. She lifted him off the ground and his knife clattered to floor, ringing loudly in the sudden silence of the hall. His back arched as she mentally bent him into an uncomfortable position. Levitating off the ground, he nearly rose completely above the short-statured Psilon.
She turned the Sakkra trader to face her, his face locked into an expression of rage and horror. Her single hand was extended, her long fingers symbolically reaching the divide between them. “You have violated the terms of trade aboard Sun Reacher Station.” Meisa spoke quietly to regulate her tone, not wanting to betray the effort it took to lift such a massive a living creature. It was not a considerable effort, but the Elerians maintained perfection while not displaying weakness in any form. Fear and mystery were powerful tools in the Elerian arsenal.
Hundreds of eyes turned toward the rare sight of an Elerian using their telekinetic powers in front of alien bystanders. Hushed whispers died down.
The Mrrshan twisted his face as if he was trying to speak, but her hold over his body was too tight. The Psilon beside him turned pale, his wide eyes turned to Meisa with fascination. A few other Warrior Priestesses approached now, walking at a calm and steady pace. They were not alarmed and did not give the impression that Meisa needed backup.
Meisa dropped Rami to the ground with a slight slam, the pressure of which most likely fractured his ribs. He looked up, barely containing the urge to charge. If he charged, Meisa’s telekinetic abilities were strained and she would have to take him down in hand to hand combat. She smirked at him daringly, welcoming the opportunity to remind the aliens who was physically superior.
The two locked eyes forcefully as the other Warrior Priestesses flanked Meisa. The Sakkra sighed, holding his torso gingerly. His legs shook, as if he could not trust them to carry the weight of his body. The aliens often responded this way to telekinetic exposure. While the Elerian mental powers were considerable, they were not overpoweringly capable. Most of the time, using the powers simply gave Elerians a psychological edge over unprepared opponents.
“You will be escorted off the station and out of the system, if you return you will be shot down with no warning. If you are found within Elerian borders again, you will be executed on sight. You are banished from trade with the Elerian Fiefdoms due to your poor breeding, lack of self-control, and weak temperament.” Meisa’s voice dripped with authoritative coolness, but the rage beneath it was poorly masked. Dealing with cattle on Draconis was more fulfilling then managing these pathetic creatures.
The other Warrior Priestesses escorted Rami away, back towards the detention wing of Sun Reacher Station. Rami eyes were full of rage, but his body was slack and compliant. The other aliens were still standing and watching in various states of horror, some staring directly at Meisa. Their eyes enraged her, but there was little that she could do other than suppress her anger and continue her patrol.
The controlled reputation of the Elerian people depended on her composure, but the seething hatred she felt towards these unworthy creatures threatened to expose her wrath. She took a deep breath, imagining the pure air and fresh grasses of Draconis, but was met with the sickening bodily odors of a dozen different creatures. With an exhale, she stepped forward her eyes to the outside world.