“Take a seat, we’ll be leaving as soon as the pilot arrives. If he is not here in pi minutes then I will pilot the vehicle and require you to buckle up with full body restrainers…”
“Cut the chatter. Engage restrainers.”
“Hey, wait, the pilot’s coming! He’s waving…”
“Lift-off. Do not puke in my vehicle. If you puke in my vehicle I will throw you out the frigging hatch.”
That’s how my service to the Hegemony started. I puked and she didn’t throw me out but she did try. She was buffed but I’m wiry. She was one hell of a pilot, though. I’m pretty good. I’m contracted to do a lot of runs. It’s great money. Better than sitting at home with a husband and a screaming kid, waiting for the ULF’s Grand Battle Cruiser to point its planet eater at us.
My name is Lola Kansas527. I’m from the colony planet, Kansas. It’s a freezer planet and has one of the biggest Hegemony training centers in the System. That’s where I learned to fly just about everything. I’m in good shape but I hate to exercise, run, walk. Give me the control sticks and I am motivated.
We arrived at Mars12, an Hegemony combat and rescue planet for this sector of our galaxy–Andromeda–the galaxy that’s going to collide with the Milky Way in about 5 billion years. Doubt I’ll be around for that, although our lifespan has been increased two-fold since we colonized Andromeda.
Presently, I’m a captive of the ULF’s. Maybe they’re the ULF’s. No one ever laid eyes on one, yet this was our enemy. ULF stands for “ultimate life form”. Our origin was Earth in the Milky Way Galaxy. We were kicked out by the ULF’s who came from somewhere in the LMC (Large Magellanic Cloud). Our ancestors got as many out of harms way as they could. At least that’s what we were told.
It happened returning from a combat drop. There I was facing this ship. Next I know, I’m on the ULF Grand Battle Cruiser. The ULF’s were supposed to be hideous. The one talking to me–it couldn’t speak my language, so it used some fancy-looking translator. It told me our ancestors were still in the Milky Way Galaxy. It alleged the Sol System and Earth still existed.
It claimed they weren’t the ULF’s. They gave us the genetic potential for rapid enhancements needed to survive the unknown, such as the four arms many of us have. The soldier class has the third pivoting leg.
Was it telling the truth? I didn’t believe it and told it so. It removed its helmet and asked me:
“Do you notice anything different about me?”
How could I not? We were both female; we looked alike. I’m younger–better looking. She claimed she was the original Lola. Supposedly we were all clones and we were an experiment. We were being exterminated and the weapon was war…
I think she was lying. There’s only one Lola.
Flash Fiction Challenge #26
Prompt: “Do you notice anything different about me?”
Word Count: 500
Picture credit: Kameron Hurley
Many thanks to Ms Thain for hosting Flash Fiction Challenge at Thain in Vain