Monarch of the Stars

J. L. Lambert II
21 min readJan 30, 2023
Art By J. L. Lambert II

FADE IN:

INT. THE DRAGON MOTSU — SPACE

Electricity snaps from a dangling wire of a control panel that was beaten into. The warm lights of the 70-style interior flicker on and off with cool beams that were tucked in the floorboards excavated from their resting place.

The broken wall panels that used to fit so seamlessly in their places now lay scattered on the hall of the forty million dollar mall section of the Dragon Mostu space Carrier King Edition from Universe X. A company with too much money on their hands than time. Big dreams were their motto, and nothing outrageous was out of their scope. The only weakness they had were deadlines. Something even their top engineers would complain about. They were tired of being given deadlines with unrealistic due dates. You need a spaceship built that would usually take a couple of years? No problem, we’ll get it done in seven months.

The crunch times at Universe X were notorious, and the world knew it, but the finished projects always seemed to come on time, and the products were…

…stunning.

Stunningly beautiful on the outside. The inside was a different story, but no one saw that except for the new engineers that were hired to take the place of those that quit or died.

The Dragon Motsu was supposed to be the most expensive and glamorous project to date. The Sherrington Corporation had even signed a contract providing robotics and AI support for merchants and staff for the vast space cruiser. Now billions of miles away from any space station and even further away from any planet. The Dragon Motsu drifts alone.

The sound of broken glass echoes throughout the mall. A woman steps out strapped in survival gear from one of the stores. Rope and a hatchet are strapped to her hiker’s backpack, a set of four knives strapped to her legs, a hydrothermal flask neatly placed in the pack holder, and finally, a makeshift buzz saw gravity launcher. She is a SURVIVOR(43).

The mall is hazy with smoke from burning synthetic materials from electrical fires. She adjusts the red goggles on her face. The day and night cycle of the overhead lights danced between modes at ten-second intervals. This doesn’t bother the Survivor.

She’s prepared for this.

She enters the once glorious section with a bronze statue of a dragon soaring in the middle of the mall. It is a massive traditional piece with a bronze pedestal underneath it, keeping the dragon in place. Cables from the ceiling hold the dragon from tipping and nose-diving into the floor. This was old traditional work because they ran out of money to install anti-gravity panels underneath the dragon to make it float. This was one thing the Survivor was thankful for. She didn’t need some gaudy dragon blocking her way.

There were other things she needed to look out for.

She marches onward, crunching glass and stepping on metal plates. She eyes the shadowy corners of the mall. She needs to be vigilant. ANYTHING could show up.

The staircase to the second floor was a typical escalator. Universe X didn’t want some boring old stairs but also didn’t have the money to put into grav elevators. Should have spent their money wisely, the Survivor thinks.

She glances over to the bronze dragon, and it is staring at her. She freezes. Her hands squeeze her weapon as the buzz saw revs, whining as it picks up speed.

Breathe.

She takes a deep breath, releases the trigger, and the saw goes quiet.

She closes her eyes and takes another breath. She snaps them open, and the dragon is back like it was. Frozen still.

SURVIVOR: Damn it.

She says.

The second floor was just as empty as the first but even more of a mess. Now there were robots.

The Survivor pushes her way through toward a clothing store. A weak signal was calling out to her from inside. It’s what pulled her from the storage unit of the ship. From the station, the ship docked a couple of systems back.

She reaches a pile of robots blocking her access to the store. They are all reaching inside, after something. Something the Survivor wants.

She steps forward…

…then pulls back. She knows what this is. How many times has she been in this situation? Hundreds, thousands. This time she would be different.

She squeezes the trigger, and the buzz saw revs again. She aims at the pile and pulls the trigger back. The saw shoots out from its home about five meters cutting into the robotic alloy. A teal beam of light pours out from where the saw sat, keeping the circular blade from shooting off on impact.

Like a weed-whacker, the Survivor flails the saw back and forth, cutting her way through the pile. A robot leaps from the pile at her twisting its back. The Survivor nonchalantly swipes at the mechanical creature letting the saw bore into it, sending sparks everywhere.

Just another day.

INT. THE DRAGON MOTSU — MOMENTS LATER

The pile of robots was turned into poorly cut scraps with a path leading into the store.

INT. CLOTHING STORE — CONTINUOUS

The store was even more packed than it was outside. Both sides of the store were piled high with robotic scraps, with a clear path leading to the back of the store. Whatever was at the back had summoned the whole mechanical staff of the mall to this cramped rectangular store.

The Survivor cuts away at a door in the back. She makes easy work of the lock with her buzz saw.

She opens the door.

INT. BACK ROOM — CONTINUOUS

The stench of something foul wafts out. The Survivor knows the smell. She’s used to it. The smell of death. She flicks the switch next to the door, and the light flickers on with a constant buzz. Four bodies. Two are fully intact with their stomachs bloated, and from the looks of it, the Survivor can tell how they died. Starvation. Their arms and legs were thin, and she knew what lay in the stomach, gas and putrid liquid. The other two have been devoured with their limbs missing. From the state of the bodies, she can only assume they’ve been here a couple of months and, at worst, several years.

The bodies don’t concern her. She’s seen death too many times to count. They had many dinner dates, and the Survivor always ended up with the bill.

Now, it was all stale to her. She just wanted to go home.

She glances at her watch and notices on the built-in radar a pink dot. It’s here, but the Survivor isn’t happy. She wanted more.

She goes to the back of the room and finds a small safe. It’s already unlocked.

She pulls the safe door open, and there it is. A glitch in the fabric of space. She doesn’t know exactly what it is, but she doesn’t need to. This isn’t her first. She reaches out and grabs it.

It ripples up and through her body, surging through her veins. She feels something inside click, like a piece of a puzzle sitting in its perfect spot. The first glitch she grabbed nearly gave her a heart attack. Now it was just a mildly unpleasant feeling.

VOICE: Funny meeting you here.

The Survivor snaps around, pulls out a laser pistol, and flicks off the safety and the gun whizzes on. There it was.

The Shadow Dragon. It curls around the room. The body is ethereal with a long torso like the Chinese dragons of old. Tendrils form from its body as it devours the deceased.

SURVIVOR: Xing.

The Survivor says.

SURVIVOR: I was wondering when you would show up.

XINGTENG: It’s Xingteng, you barbaric lost monkey.

Xing says, proud of his name.

SURVIVOR: Too long.

She says and pushes out of the room.

INT. CLOTHING STORE — CONTINUOUS

XINGTENG: Come now, my dear monkey.

Xing slips out of the back room. He moves through the air without any resistance.

SURVIVOR: You know my name is Sienna?

XINGTENG: Human names hold no meaning. Easy to forget. You must make meaning.

Xing says, following behind.

SIENNA: And yet you still end up finding me.

XINGTENG: Because you are so close.

SIENNA: Close to what?

Sienna asks but then shakes her head. He would never tell her. He likes watching people squirm around blind. Just like that time, she found herself on a cave planet. She could have used his help in saving Kenzie, her partner, but instead watched as Sienna sprawled around as her friend was melted by acid.

She glances over to Xing, and she can see him smiling.

SIENNA: Fuck you.

XINGTENG: Harsh words don’t help you make friends.

SIENNA: Watching doesn’t make you a friend.

XINGTENG: Then how about advice?

SIENNA: Hit me.

INT. THE DRAGON MOTSU — CONTINUOUS

Sienna flies out of the clothing store and into the second-floor railing. She grips her buzz-saw gun to her chest. She didn’t want it to malfunction from the impact. It would have been a disaster if the tracker beam installed in the weapon had been damaged.

Quickly she regains her composure and pats her chest searching for something. She finds it and lets out a sigh of relief.

SIENNA: I didn’t mean it literally.

She spits out.

Xing hovers out of the store and out into the open area of the mall.

XINGTENG: You humans and your way with words. Truly marvellous and ultimately detrimental.

He spots the bronze dragon and starts to imitate it.

XINGTENG: And arrogant, thinking that you can touch the realm of the heavens. Pretty words and art do not make stairs.

SIENNA: It gets us closer in our minds.

She says and dusts herself off. She gets up and heads deeper into the ship.

SIENNA: Do you like it?

XINGTENG: Pretentious it is.

Xing says, floating over to Sienna. He watches his curious little monkey. Sienna knows what he’s thinking and tries her best not to let it get to her. She doesn’t need it.

SIENNA: Aren’t you curious about what happened here?

XINGTENG: You see one dead ship adrift in the vast expanse of the starry black ocean. You’ve seen them all. It only reassures me that you beings are only resources for those I serve.

SIENNA: The ones on the higher planes.

Sienna says, peering down an empty hall. She scans it, making sure nothing is out of order. She decides not to take it and walks over to a working kiosk.

XINGTENG: Yes, yes. My master is always in need of souls.

SIENNA: Like the people from Ozanic.

XINGTENG: Was that the desert planet?

SIENNA: No, the jungle planet with the flying ape wyverns. I remember you getting quite upset when we compared them to you.

Sienna taps the kiosk screen, and it takes a second before the screen shifts to a menu. She glances at Xing, who is frowning at her.

XINGTENG: You didn’t have to bring that last part up.

SIENNA(smug): Did I hit a nerve?

Sienna says.

XINGTENG: Are you mocking me?

Xing asks.

SIENNA: Oh! So among the beings of higher planes, mocking is recognized, but sarcasm is clearly a mystery.

XINGTENG: No! Just a mystery to me. My master is excellent, and well-versed in all types of language intricacies.

SIENNA: Of course, they are.

Sienna says. She swipes open the map of the Dragon Motsu on the kiosk. She locates the flight deck and memorizes the map.

XINGTENG: And unlike other beings of the higher planes. My master dislikes the actions that took place on Ozanic. Religion is an easy way to capture souls. Easy to set up, and it practically pays for itself forever. Most religions never disappear, not really.

Xing says, curling into a spring before resting on his incorporeal body. Sienna glances at the dragon. She had seen him in this state before, contemplating. He’s thinking deeper about what he was talking about, but she knows he’ll never share. Not until he gets the go-ahead from his master. Can’t have the ants learning too much about how the system works.

Sienna chuckles. She’s the same. She too is keeping things from the old space snake.

SIENNA: Sounds like a disease.

She says and makes her way down the hall she had checked before.

XINGTENG: The worst kind…well, my dear, enough of that. What do you think happened here?

Xing asks, following behind. The hall was clean, with only dust clumping in the corners.

SIENNA: I don’t know. From how the robots acted, it sounds like a virus that turned them all violent.

XINGTENG: So simple.

SIENNA: Do you have a better solution?

XINGTENG: I do.

SIENNA: I thought if you saw one dead cruiser, you saw them all?

Xing flinches.

XINGTENG: Fine, fine. I think the famous Sherrington Corporation had set a protocol in the robots to go off after the ship’s population reached a specific number. Once accomplished, a dark ritual must have been enacted in the cockpit, which summoned a demon from its realm. Then that was sacrificed by Harrison Sherrington —

SIENNA: Wait.

Sienna interrupts.

XINGTENG: What? I was getting to the best part.

SIENNA: Best part?

XINGTENG: The big battle between Harrison and the Angel Demon Charunir, the guardian of the eigth gate to the Demon Realm.

Sienna glances at Xing and gives him a disapproving glare. They had just turned down another hall filled with black garbage bags with a blue strip. A couple of active robots are surveilling the area. They check the bags, and turn away only to return and recheck the same bag, like a bad case of amnesia.

SIENNA: I thought human names held no meaning. Easy to forget.

XINGTENG: Not Harrison Sherrington. He has meaning, a man in love with a witch he has never met. An obsession. An unhealthy one.

Sienna rolls her eyes and walks down the dirty hall. A robot stops in front of her and scans her body.

ROBOT: Intruder. Will. Not. Harvest.

It tells her.

SIENNA: Thanks, buddy.

She says and moves on past it.

XINGTENG: Interesting.

SIENNA: You know I meet him once.

XINGTENG: Harrison?

Xing asks, spreading his tendrils out toward the bags absorbing their content.

SIENNA: Mhm. At a gala…many years ago. I was introduced to him, and even then…I never liked him. It always felt like he was hiding something. Every project he ever made always ended in someone’s death. Since you remember his name, does that mean…he’s on a higher plane?

She asks, stopping in front of an elevator. She debates taking it. Even though the power in the ship is alive and pumping, the ship’s age is quite apparent. The robots have aged, and the bright colours of the Golden Motsu have only dulled. An elevator is a sure way to get killed. Sienna learned that years ago, or was it a decade ago? She can’t remember. It’s been too long since she started this journey.

She turns off to the emergency stairs at the end of the hall, hidden away with a small logo for the stairs in the corner of a panel.

XINGTENG: No. Just a pitiful man with astronomical influence. Isn’t it amazing that you can find Sherrington tech everywhere, no matter where you go, my dear monkey? You’re so very far away from your home, yet things keep drifting.

Xing tells her.

SIENNA: I do find it strange, but it has been maybe centuries or more since I left Earth. I doubt it would be the same. Time always works differently in the great expanse, or that’s what sci-fi novels have taught me.

Sienna pulled the emergency escape door open with ease. She guessed it had never been used and was only installed to meet safety regulations. She grinned. I guess some things don’t change, she thought.

INT. EMERGENCY STAIRCASE — CONTINUOUS

The staircase was tight, and Sienna had to strap her buzzsaw to her back just to make it up the stairs. It pushes against her from both sides, leaving no elbow room. She glances up the narrow corridor. She could feel herself getting riled up.

XINGTENG: Still hate tight spots?

Xing asks, phasing in and out of the walls with his long body.

SIENNA: Brings up bad memories.

Sienna says.

XINGTENG: It’s not that bad.

SIENNA: You can say that because you float through the damn walls.

XINGTENG: That’s true.

Sienna grabs the edge of a wall. She pulls herself up and glances around the corner. Halfway up the staircase, the stairs took a right and then left. From the look of things, Sienna could tell it would be even tighter. She should have taken the elevator.

SIENNA: Tell me a bit more about old Harry.

Sienna says, squeezing through the tight twists.

XINGTENG: Well, there’s so much to say. He’s a man who’s lived his life many times over, though not my choice.

Xing says, wrapping around Sienna.

SIENNA: What does that mean?

XINGTENG: I don’t know, but all the beings of time don’t like him. It’s as if someone had restarted his stream more than once.

SIENNA: Even though it’s not his fault.

She asks, pulling herself around the next corner. Her buzzsaw scrapes against the grey alloy wall. The damn thing was pitch black. Even the emergency escape in ruins was wider than this. And more lit, she thinks.

XINGTENG: They are very particular about the recording of time. They are not big fans of change.

Xing continues.

SIENNA: So is Harry a god?

XINGTENG: Being. Being! There is only one God, and he’s been missing for a very long time.

SIENNA: Right. I think you’ve told me this before. He’s like on a higher plane — shit.

XINGTENG: You okay?

SIENNA: I’m fine. I’m fine. Missed a step. So what the hell is Harry?

XINGTENG: I don’t know. My master calls him an agent of Chaos.

SIENNA: Which is bad?

Sienna asks, reaching the exit. She needs out. With a grunt and push, she is out of the emergency escape and into a regular hall.

XINGTENG: Going to take the elevator?

SIENNA: Yes.

XINGTENG: It could collapse.

SIENNA: I’ll bear through it.

She says, punching the elevator switch. The door snaps open, and she enters. She presses a button for the top floor, the door snaps shut, and away she goes.

XINGTENG: Chaos isn’t bad, but it isn’t good. It’s the universe…

Xingteng stops and ponders if he should tell her. It should be alright since it’s her.

XINGTENG: It’s the universe’s raw will to be wild and untamed. It is the reason why you’re so far away from home.

SIENNA: Chaos huh?

The elevator dings, and the doors snap open, revealing the black and gold halls of the…

INT. VIP SUITE — CONTINUOUS

SIENNA: Sounds right to me.

She says, stepping out of the elevator. The door snaps shut behind her.

SIENNA: The amount of planets I’ve been on is already amazing to me. The fact that I even survived is a miracle. I got no ship, no crew, and yet I keep finding myself in new places.

XINGTENG: Where are we?

Xing asks.

SIENNA: VIP suite.

She points to the black words on the dull gold walls. The suite was clean, with no black bags or robots in sight. As if it was free from the destruction of downstairs.

Sienna checks her watch, and another pink dot is on the screen, but it’s bigger than the last one.

XINGTENG: What does that mean? V.I.P.

SIENNA: Very important person or people.

XINGTENG: Important?

SIENNA: Yeah. Like your master.

XINGTENG: Oohhh.

Sienna steps up to the first room and slams on the emergency button, and the suite door slams open, revealing a pigsty of filth and the sweet aroma of wine.

XINGTENG: Oh no.

Sienna rolls her eyes.

SIENNA: All yours.

She heads to the next room and opens that one. The second room was cleaner, but a couple lays on the bed with a pistol next to their heads.

She enters the room and pulls out a drawer at the side of the bed. She grabs a pair of remotes and starts tearing them apart for the circuits and wire underneath. From there, she starts jerry-rigging the parts to her armband. It looks old, but it connects with the wires and circuits, perfectly absorbing them as a purple line fills up.

Tendrils slowly fly into the room and start absorbing the bodies. Sienna watches as the corpses decompose at incredible speeds, leaving nothing behind.

XINGTENG: You still have that old thing.

SIENNA: It might come in handy.

XINGTENG: It’s just old.

SIENNA: Looks good to me.

Xing watches as Sienna stares at his tendrils.

XINGTENG: I don’t hurt them.

SIENNA: They’re dead. I know you don’t.

XINGTENG: I just absorb their essence. What’s left after their soul has departed.

SIENNA: The scraps. I know, still doesn’t get any better to look at. Makes me see how fragile I am.

Sienna says and leaves the room. On to the next one.

XINGTENG: What are you looking for?

Xing asks.

Sienna opens another room.

SIENNA: An android. Or what’s left of one? The rich usually bring along a personal bodyguard.

XINGTENG: Aren’t you afraid it might be infected like the ones downstairs?

Xing says, floating into the third room.

SIENNA: No, because it wouldn’t be on the network. Only Sherrington bots are infected. Most luxury robots would have been built by their competitors. I hope.

XINGTENG: Old data is bad data.

SIENNA: All I got is bad data.

She says and opens the fourth room. Bingo. A couple of more dead rich bodies on the bed and an android in the corner of the room. Sienna makes her way towards it and moves the things to the bed.

The android is a female unit which is exactly what she needs. From the way the droid is built, Sienna can tell it was a battle unit of some kind from the synthetic muscles. Most likely a bodyguard, which was decommissioned sometime after the rich folks deemed she wasn’t necessary.

Sienna glances at the bodies and then back to the droid. I guess she couldn’t punch hunger away, she thinks.

She searches the droid for an emergency maintenance switch. Usually, it was a seamless switch in the centre of the back, but that was how it was in 2022, now…now — she found it, but it wasn’t on the back. It was on the inside of the droid’s left thigh.

At least it wouldn’t be accidentally pressed, Sienna thought. But then again, it would.

The chest pops open with a whoosh, and immediately Sienna frowns.

SIENNA: Damn it.

XINGTENG: What is wrong?

SIENNA: I don’t know what I was hoping for. Of course, they would change the model input drive.

Sienna says and pulls a small rectangle hard drive out of her front pocket with the logo SC inscribed on the top.

XINGTENG: That’s what you’re here for?

SIENNA: I’ll need to find some way to transfer the data to this model, but I need to do a full inspection of the model to ensure everything is up to date.

Her watch starts to beep. She glances down. No, no, no, no. This is not what she needed. She scans the room, looking for a window. There is none.

Sienna quickly rushes out of the room and heads down the VIP hallway. She was close to where she needed to be. She was hoping to put it off until later, but something unexpected happened.

XINGTENG: What’s wrong, my dear monkey?

Xing asks.

SIENNA: Someone’s tripped my motion detector in the storage unit.

Sienna says.

XINGTENG: We have guests?

SIENNA: Treasure Hunters, I suppose.

Sienna rushes up the staircase at the end of the hall. At the top would be the…

INT. FLIGHT DECK — CONTINUOUS

Sienna dashed into the room immediately as the doors slid open. She slams the emergency switch only to find that it has already been smashed before.

SIENNA: Shit.

A purple light from the centre of the deck drew her gaze. It was the dimension glitch, but it was bigger than the one she found in the clothing store. Much bigger.

XINGTENG: Oh my!

Xing exclaims, swirling around the glitch.

XINGTENG: Why would one of these be here?

SIENNA: What are you talking about? It’s just a glitch.

XINGTENG: My dear, this is more than a glitch. This contains a substantial amount of untamed divine energy.

SIENNA: Untamed?

Sienna asks, checking her watch. She zooms out the radar to see that the intruders are heading her way. She places her weapon on one of the flight consoles and begins unloading makeshift grenades from her pack. Lucky me, these didn’t go off, she thinks.

XINGTENG: Divine energy with no personalized imprint. Very raw, leftovers from the Battle of Ascendancy.

SIENNA: I don’t think I know it.

XINGTENG: When God became God. Point being is, this energy can significantly boost my master’s strength.

Sienna grins.

SIENNA: Too bad your master isn’t here.

XINGTENG: Don’t even think of touching it, you damn monkey. This energy will obliterate someone like you.

SIENNA: Won’t know until we try.

TREASURE HUNTER: The glitch is close by.

Sienna glances at the flight deck entrance. The hunters had found their way up to the VIP floor real quick.

SIENNA: Must have known where it was from the start. Better radar?

Sienna waits impatiently, listening…

…until — Sienna pulled the pin to a grenade and tossed it out of the entrance and down the stairs. She could hear the hunters scrambling. Quickly she leaps over the console and rushes to the entrance. She crouches down, aims her weapon and lets the buzz saw fly the moment one of the hunters ran up the stairs.

The saw rips its way through them sprawling blood up and over the stairs. Without skipping a beat, Sienna rushed back to the console, where she placed her other grenades. She had three left. She pulled the pin out of all three and tossed them out of the room.

The stairs would be wet with blood, making them dangerous to traverse along with the grenades. It was a slippery trap of death.

The grenades explode, shaking the flight deck.

Sienna pressed a button on her suit on the side of her neck, and a helmet soon formed over her head. She was certain that her grenades had cracked a hole in the ship, even if it didn’t. It never hurt to be careful.

She eyes the glitch.

She could take it now and possibly die like Xing had stated, or kill the rest of the hunters and then take the glitch. Either way, she would get what she wanted. She knew she wasn’t going to die. She had been living this new life too long to get killed, and deep down, she felt she would survive absorbing the glitch.

TREASURE HUNTER 2: I’ll fucking kill you.

One of the hunters yells, making it to the entrance. His clothes were covered in soot and blood.

The buzzsaw shoots out towards the hunter, and he quickly blasts the saw out of the tracker beam sending the spinning disk up into the air before ricocheting from the ceiling and digging its way into Sienna’s back. It rips through her suit but doesn’t cut all the way through, getting lodged in her spine.

She screams out as she inches from the glitch. The Hunter rushes to her and picks her up, so he can see her face-to-face. The one that killed his friends. He was hoping it was someone he had known. Someone who had a vendetta against him, but he looked at the woman in wonder.

TREASURE HUNTER 2: Who the hell are you?

SIENNA(whisper): Boom…

Sienna says, her voice soft.

TREASURE HUNTER 2: What?

SIENNA: Boom.

She says louder opening her palm and revealing a grenade. Quickly the intruder tosses her towards the glitch as he rushes to one of the consoles for safety, but it’s too late. The grenade explodes, sending debris and shards of metal everywhere. He lies in a pool of metal and blood.

The glitch snaps and shivers as it conforms around Sienna. It rips and tears the buzzsaw from her body as it clatters to the floor. The untamed divine energy surges through her, but she doesn’t feel pain.

It feels like she is wading through the shallow depths of the shore. As the waves wash over her. Sienna surrenders herself to it, and the dimension glitch screams. It’s trying to kill her, trying to reject her, but its efforts are useless, and it succumbs to its fate.

Xing watches as Sienna regains her ground. She’s different now. She knows this — no…she feels it.

With new eyes, Sienna glances out to the expanse of space. It’s beautiful, as if it was her first time seeing the endless stars.

The black ocean.

SIENNA: Do you see it like this all the time?

Xing cautiously hovers around her. He doesn’t know what he’s looking at.

XINGTENG: The black ocean is…

SIENNA: So full of life. It’s brimming with potential.

She says. She reaches for her back. But finds the saw missing. She can vaguely feel the pain where the saw was lodged. Now it was just uncomfortable, a scratch she couldn’t reach.

Sienna glances down at the buzzsaw and waves her hand. The relic on her arm glows, and the saw begins to float. She moves it around with ease, even beginning to spin the blade at whirring speeds. She smirks. She could have used this.

SIENNA: I guess it’s all charged up.

She says.

She reaches into her breast pocket and pulls out the hard drive. It’s a bit damaged but, more important than that, it has undergone the same type of reconfiguration. A sense of worry went through her.

INT. VIP SUITE — SPACE

Sienna stands over the battle droid. She reaches into its chest, removes the old hard drive, and tosses it away. With the second hard drive in hand, she lets it reforge, and now in its perfect shape, she inserts it into the droid.

It takes a second for the droid to reactivate. A surge of purple lightning runs through it.

The droid snaps alive.

DROID: Si-Si-Sienna-Sienna-Sienna RUN!

It screams reanimating to life. She glances around the room, regaining her bearings.

DROID: Sienna?…where am I?

Sienna smiles and, with tears in her eyes, grabs the droid and squeezes it tight.

SIENNA: I’ve missed you Kenzie.

KENZIE: As have I…I think. I feel different. Where am I?

KENZIE asks. She admires her new limbs. They feel stronger.

SIENNA: On a ghost ship. The Dragon Motsu. I was looking for glitches and —

KENZIE: A new body for me. The last thing I remember was being melted after getting you into the escape pod.

Sienna nods.

SIENNA: I grabbed your hard drive just before leaving. The planet imploded after that.

KENZIE: Oh, that’s terrible. Sienna…you seem different.

Kenzie says, reaching toward her master’s face. She gently strokes her master’s cheek.

XINGTENG: She is different.

Xing says, floating around them.

XINGTENG: You both are. Very different. A monarch and her companion.

KENZIE: Ah! The worm is back.

Xing shoots Kenzie a glare, and he can feel the droid smirking.

SIENNA: You’re just saying things.

Sienna shot back, annoyed he hadn’t left yet.

XINGTENG: You were supposed to disintegrate upon touching the glitch. You had that crude saw in your back. There shouldn’t have been any way for you to survive.

Xing says.

SIENNA: You sound upset.

XINGTENG: I am in awe, Sienna. Just in awe.

SIENNA: Then stay in awe. Cause I feel we’re going to have more adventures, right Kenzie?

Sienna asks. Everything seems alive to her now. She had been feeling lost for so long. Never knowing how far away from home she was and now…now she knows how far and where to go.

KENZIE: Do I have a choice?

Kenize asks. Sienna smiles, and her eyes flash purple. No.

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J. L. Lambert II

Are you looking for stories? Something unique and different. Then drop by this library and take a gander. You might find something you like.