Celesta and the Insilai

It had cornered her in a back alley in one of the rougher areas of Antares City. The backwater center of Antares Prime, a mining colony along the outer rim of the asteroid belt beyond the settlement worlds of Caleb and Karon. The mineral rich rocky band provides the resources that power the tech hungry settlements and keeps the portal to Mother Earth open. The new frontier and the promise of wealth brings all kinds of fortune seekers through the wormhole, the galactic 49ers of the asteroid belt.

Celesta, a bounty hunter by trade knew the creature would bring her a small fortune. The aliens normally avoided the colony, preferring to remain on the more remote rocks of the belt. Only showing themselves when seeking shots of Synth, the highly addictive narcotic preferred by miners hoping to find respite from the hell of this place. The drug had been introduced to the locals in the early years when relations between our species were less strained.

Hunting for bounty was a hard life. To make ends meet Celesta moonlighted as a skinseller at any of the pleasure houses that lined the main drag. Pay for a room where one was available and turn over half your earnings to the house Maven at day’s first light. That is how the game worked. Of course, once in you couldn’t leave before morning and you could never refuse an offer no matter how twisted. To deny service meant certain violent eviction and the confiscation of everything you’d earned or brought in with you. There was always another boy or girl waiting for a room to open up. Before morning many weaker sellers would be cast into the street naked and broken, left to the depravity of the street crawlers, out trawling for discarded goods.

Horny and deprived of social and intimate contact the miners would flood into Antares City at the end of each work cycle looking to blow off steam. Some liked to drink and gamble their earnings away, others would head for the Synth dens hoping to escape their miserable existence. The skinseekers sought out comfort in the pleasure houses. Celesta counted on them to make ends meet when bounties were hard to come by.

This had been a particularly good night. Hardly enough time to clean up before the next seeker knocked and Davos, a local dealer who enjoyed her company had provided her with several vials of Synth as payment. She didn’t use but it was worth a fortune on the street. Far more than her pussy could provide.

She lay on her knees, face buried in the remnant of a pillow, filthy from months, maybe years of use. She faked a moan or two as her current lover took her from behind. He lacked imagination and his skills were uninspiring, but he did come around regularly and paid well enough.

Without warning the door to the tiny room crashed open, moments later the seeker fell limp, slumping over her. His manhood still throbbing inside her as warm blood spilled across her back. The beast had slain him with a single blow at the moment of release.

“Where is Davos?” the beast screeched over her horrified screams, “Don’t lie to me! They provided the facts downstairs, I know he was here.”

The creature lunged at Celesta but missed. She jumped up nailing the beast on the side of the head with her fist. As it stumbled back she grab the bodysuit containing her weapon and bolted from the room. What the fuck had Davos done? she thought.

The beast recovered, pursuing her down the corridors of the house and out into the back alley, not stopping until the passage ended. She’d run the wrong way and now, with the beast at her back, three walls closed around her.

Naked up against the wall, trapped like a caged animal with no options left. It was her or the alien that stood hunched on all fours before her.

“Where is Davos?” It bellowed again, exposing razor sharp teeth. The smells it expelled, strong enough to gag a maggot on a rotting wildebeest carcass. Without hesitation, she unsheathed her energy weapon and in one motion cut the alien down. It fell where it stood gasping for a moment before expiring at her feet.

The creature and its kind occupied the belt for as long as time itself. An intelligent and peaceful collective completely unprepared for the warfare humans could wage. No match for the weapons of destruction we wielded nor the cruelty we were capable of exhibiting when we decided we wanted something.

The Insilai, as we had named them were telepathic beings. They could sense the end of a member. There was no doubt the death was already vibrating through the collective like ripples on the surface of a still lake. Sensing the loss across the heavens countless Insilai would be compelled to descend on this location.

Although our weapons were superior, in packs the asteroid belt’s indigenous population would wreak havoc on Antares, especially with so many miners in town celebrating the end of the work cycle. She would have to conceal the body and hope the rain would wash away the green ooze that leaked from the wounds she’d inflicted.

Slowly they began to arrive, confused to find there was nothing waiting. No dead to mourn or avenge. Celesta would use this to her advantage.

Celesta sat on the bed brushing her long black hair. The modest home on Karon light-years from the pleasure houses of her past. Months had passed since her encounter with the Insilai on Antares Prime. By the time her ordeal had ended, she had slain 13 of the beasts. As they arrived at the kill site in confusion she would lure one away from the pack and slay it. Setting off another ripple through the collective conscience. Celesta would repeat the process over and over again until she collapsed from exhaustion.

It was cruel but the rewards for the bounties meant she’d never have to sell her skin again.

Written for Wordle #539 at The Sunday Whirl
Words utilized: smells / rain / leak / shots / miss / body / hesitation / vibrating / cut / facts / brushed / nailing

Photo credit: Unknown via Pixabay
Copyright 2022 Greg Glazebrook, All Rights Reserved.


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