I awoke with a flinch and spun around in my sheets. I wasn’t in my cell, nor was I lying on my cot, and my heart beat frantically while I glanced around the bedroom.
It was a good size, maybe nine by twelve meters. On the far side of the room, a pole connected the ceiling and the floor. It was surrounded by couches, and I guessed its use immediately. The walls were painted pink with darker red stripes, and the ceiling was made mostly of mirrors. The bed I lay upon was covered with red sheets made of nice satin, and it was shaped like a giant heart.
There was a woman lying on the bed with me.
She was beautiful. With hair that looked like obsidian, skin flawless white like whipped cream, and full lips the same color as a red rose. She lay on her back beside me, and the satin sheets had fallen free of her chest. Her right breast was exposed, and her nipple was erect. For a second I wondered if I was dreaming, but then I realized my imagination would never be able to create a woman this beautiful, so I guessed she was real.
I moved the sheet up to cover her chest, and then I slid out of the slippery bed. I was naked and didn’t see my clothes anywhere. My mother and sister were probably worried about me. How had I even afforded this room? Or this woman? I’d just started working for the Yakuza to pay off our debts, and they didn’t reward new blood with such extravagances.
There was a door on the wall near me, and I figured it was a bathroom. I realized I needed to piss, and I stumbled across the floor on aching legs. Damn, that woman had really done a number on me. I wondered who she was, and if I’d ever be able to spend the night with her again.
Then I opened the door to the bathroom, saw the bathtub filled with armor and weapons, and then my memories slammed into me like a bus. I remembered my sister’s operation. I remembered my mother’s debt. I recalled deserting the Marines so I could try to make money. I recalled my first ten jobs with the Yakuza. I remembered getting caught during the bank robbery and getting sent to prison.
It was a private prison, and I’d been sold off for medical experiments.
I remembered the torture, and the missions, and then I remembered saving the woman who lay in the bed in the other room. She had cleaned me up in the shower, taken off my armor, and then dragged me to bed. She’d told me to stay awake so that I could eat, but I hadn’t been able to. The change back into my human form took too much out of me, and I’d passed out against her wishes.
“It’s been three days,” her voice was a whisper in my ear, and I almost tripped as I spun around. The beautiful woman was naked, and she stood in the entrance of the large bathroom.
“Oh,” was all I could manage to say as my eyes roamed her skin. There was no hair on her body other than her head, eyebrows, and eyelashes, so I could see the slit of her entrance between her legs. Then I remembered that the woman was able to read my mind, or something, and I forced my eyes to meet her strange red orbs.
“You are amusing to me, Adam.” She smiled, and I tried not to stare at her fangs.
“And you are naked,” I said with a slight laugh.
“So are you.” Her eyes roamed my body, and I felt heat come to my cheeks. “The man brought us some clothes. You should put them on and then eat.” She nodded out into the room, and I noticed a shopping bag on the floor.
“Got it.” I picked it up and then returned to the bathroom so that I could use the toilet.
The bag contained a three pack of underwear, socks, tennis shoes, jeans, and a black tee shirt. The pants were too wide and long for me, but I found a belt at the bottom of the bag and I was able to roll up the legs unto cuffs. The man downstairs must have guessed at my size when I was in my half-tiger form.
“There is food in the small refrigerator on my side of the bed,” the woman said to me when I exited the bathroom. She was still naked and sat perched on the side of the bed with her long legs crossed.
“Thank you.” I grabbed the plastic containers out of the small fridge and then set them on a coffee table in the corner of the room by the pole. The food was noodles mixed with vegetables and meat, but it was all soaked in so much soy sauce that it was a bit hard to tell what kind of meat and veggies it was through the salt. I didn’t care though. Changing between my forms always left me famished, and gourmet food would have been a waste on me.
I finished the first container in half a minute, and then I moved onto the next one. The woman rose from the bed and bent over to pick up another bag from the floor by the bathroom. She moved like a dancer, and it was hard for me to remember how frail she had seemed in my arms when I first pulled her from the tube.
“I wish to take another shower. Then I will put on my clothes and we will speak.” She turned to face me, and I tried to keep my eyes off of her body. It was actually pretty easy since I was starving.
“Confirmed,” I said as I pushed another bite of cold noodles into my mouth.
The woman walked into the bathroom, and I heard the shower turn on. For a second I worried about the pile of armor and weapons in the bathtub, but there was a separate shower in the room, and I guessed the vampire was using that to clean herself.
I finished the next container of food and then killed a third one. There was a fourth box I really wanted to devour, but I didn’t know if the woman had eaten yet, and my chivalry ended up winning against my appetite.
You may eat it. I am fine.
Her words were stronger in my mind than when she first communicated with me, and I wondered how much of my thoughts she was picking up. Did she know how beautiful I found her? Did she know about my anger? She had spoken about my honor, despite my past. Did she know about my mother’s debt, me fleeing the military, and the Yakuza? Did she know about my time in prison?
Adam, eat your food. Then we will speak. You are my savior, and I do not want you to feel any shame around me.
“Confirmed,” I said aloud with a sigh. The words in my head made me feel better, even though they probably should have terrified me.
I heard the shower turn off a few minutes later, and the woman exited the bathroom shortly after. She wore a loose pair of jeans, thick silver belt, and a long sleeve sweatshirt with Asian characters on the front. She was towel drying her long mane of black hair, and she gave me a fanged smile as she sat down on the couch beside me.
“The powers that held me prisoner will be searching for me. They will not stop until I am returned to them or dead,” she began. “You are in a similar situation, although I believe your captors do not have a strong presence on this planet. Therefore, they will have a harder time trying to find you. Especially if you stay in this form.” She gestured to my body, and I nodded.
“You said we need to get a ship. Can we book passage off of this planet? That seems like the least expensive way to go. Although, we might still need more money,” I said as I thought about the cash I had taken from the pimp. I didn’t know how much inter solar system tickets cost, but a trip from my home moon of Ganymede to Earth would have cost three months’ worth of the average citizen’s salary.
“The organization that captured me has their tentacles across this planet and has major operations across the others in the Trappist system. They will recognize me as soon as I step foot into a space port.”
“What is the plan then? Uh. I don’t know your name.” I looked into the woman’s eyes after I spoke and she didn’t say anything for a few moments.
“A name? Yes. It has been a long time.” She bit her lip and seemed to consider my question for a few moments. “Eve will work.”
“Eve?” I asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Yes. They called you Adam because you were the first to live through their experiments. Correct?”
“Yes,” I sighed.
“And I would not exist now in this form without you, Adam. It is fitting.” She smiled at me.
“Doesn’t Eve betray Adam?” I asked with a smirk.
“No, she brings him knowledge against the wishes of God. Ha,” she laughed deeply, and the sound cascaded through my ears with a pleasurable sensation. “Yes. I like this name even more as I consider it. Eve is better than any name I’ve ever been called before. Please use it, Adam.”
“Confirmed, but wasn’t Eve also Adam’s wife?” I snickered.
“Do you want me to be your wife?” she asked with a coy smile.
“Uhhh. That is… I uhhh.” I hadn’t quite expected her response, and my tongue tripped over itself.
She laughed again and her red eyes glittered with mirth.
“Perhaps we will talk of that another time. Work first, agreed?” she asked, and I nodded.
“What is the plan?” I asked.
“There are many like us,” she said. The woman had been drying off her hair, but she seemed to be done, and she set the wet towel down on the couch next to her.
“Some exactly like us. Some like us in the sense that they are being used as weapons. They are prisoners, and forced to fight in an endless battle between the mega corporations, governments, and militaries of our galaxy. It has been a long time since we escaped Earth’s gravity to colonize the Milky Way, but while we should have reached enlightenment, we’ve only duplicated the environment of our ancestors.” She let out a deep breath and closed her red eyes. “There is no more honor. No more justice. There are only the powerful minority who choose to exploit and take from those around them. I spent endless years of tortured solitude in that tube. I won’t tell you of all the things they did to me, but there wasn’t a day that passed where I didn’t pray for freedom. I swore that if I ever did escape, I would spend the remainder of my life trying to free others, and protect the innocent.” The woman opened her eyes and stared into mine with a burning intensity. “I’ve looked into your soul, Adam. I’ve seen what you have done. I’ve seen the remorse and the grief there. I know all of your darkness, and your light. We are the same, you and I. I can’t do this alone, and the thought of you by my side during this war makes me believe I can win. That we can win and help the galaxy. You won’t quit. You’ll fight until the last breath leaves your body.”
“I’ve quit before,” I sighed and rubbed the bridge of my nose.
“You asked them to let you go. You told them about your sister and your mother. They said no. You asked them to raise your pay, or to pay you in advance so that you could cover her debt. They said no. What else were you supposed to do? You didn’t quit the marines. You took the only path left open to you. Even though you knew you’d probably end up dead or in jail.”
I didn’t know what to say to Eve’s words. I could only replay the scene of me begging the colonel to discharge me. The man hadn’t cared about my problems, he’d only cared that I’d gotten ten confirmed kills on the last ship raid. I was one of his best special ops soldiers, and he told me my life belonged to the Jupiter United government.
“Will you join me?” she asked after a few moments of silence.
“I think you already know the answer to that,” I said as I took my fingers from my eyes. “You’ve ‘seen into my soul’ or something.”
“Yes, but I still want to hear your answer.”
“I have nowhere else to go, Eve. You say I saved you, but you saved me. If we are in the Trappist system, we are a good forty light years from Jupiter. I’m a long way from home, but maybe that isn’t where my home is anymore. I’ll help you.”
“We are bound to each other.” She smiled at me, and I was able to keep my eyes from staring at her strange fangs.
“Confirmed,” I said as I returned her smile.
“They showcased me. I was their little prize. They brought many of their top men into gawk at me. They did not know I could pierce their souls until much later, and then they locked me away. I know all they have planned. They have a military grade shipyard on the outskirts of the city. My information might be a bit old, but we should be able to find a vessel there. If we are lucky, it will have a warpdrive and space folding capabilities along with long range weapons.”
“If we are unlucky?” I asked with a snort.
“Then we will both end up in the ground before we have the chance to help anyone.” Eve laughed and then leaned back into the couch. “We have both been rather unlucky in our lives, but I feel as if that streak has changed. I am free now, as are you. Let us ride until we die.”“Now that is an expression I can get behind.” I joined her laugh, and then we began to plan a way to break into a megacorp's shipyard.