Naven and Gia waited anxiously in the control room of spaceship Xenesis. They were the last remaining rebels in the fleet. They were the splinter in the fabric of peace and order.
Gia turned to the floor, watching the secret hatch beneath the operating center.
“I’ll be alone Naven”, she said, “Maybe we should just let them convert us both. I don’t want to be without you”.
“Nonsense”, he said, “You’re going in there, and stay put until you’re sure they’ve left the ship… until we’ve left the ship”.
Gia’s eyes sparkled with tears.
They both sat silent and listened. Somewhere in the ship lasers and cutters were working their way to them. The awful screeching sound of the inevitable.
She thought of her life, of the hundreds of years of her existance. She could not grasp how all of that could go away in a second. She felt it impossible for her mind to suddenly become someone else’s, to become foreign in her own body. To be a slave of the advanced dreadful races.
“I’m sorry”, she said.
“Don’t be. Remember the steps. What are they?”.
She sobbed slightly, “Wait for everyone to go. Escape to planet Corron. Find Jude Baffer. Extract his mind. Face the nanites… I’ll come for you Naven, I’ll come rescue you”.
A sudden scream of burning lasers outside their doors.
“Quick! Hide!”, he whispered into her ear.
They opened the hatch and she slipped inside, just barely able to move.
“Are you good?”, asked Naven.
“Yes. Goodbye my love”.
“Goodbye”, he shut the hatch stood on top of it.
The door to the control room blew open with a violent burst and three men in tight uniforms walked in.
The three of them spoke at once, “We are N78, N901, and N367 under the Viera command. We are here for the rebel”.
Naven saw that two of the men were people from his own ship. He recognized their faces, but they were no longer human.
“Yes, I’ve been waiting”, he said.
The three men walked to him. Two of them grabbed him hard and the third shoved a soft blob into his mouth. His mind raced with his memories, his life flashed quickly before him. He was unsure if this was an effect of the nanites. He could see everything he had done in his life. His parents, his brothers, his wife. The people he had killed, the people he had saved. His travels through the galaxy, through the universe. A small tear rolled down his cheek. And then, the void.
“Welcome N67221”, the three men spoke.
Gia heard this and knew what had happened. Helplessness overwhelmed her but she remembered the plan and waited quiet to accomplish the first step.
After a long while Gia could no longer hear any movement outside her hiding place. She crept out quietly and stood up.
She looked around the room and in an instant the hair on her neck stood up in fear. Her eyes wide open. Naven was standing in the corner.
“I am N67221, and I am here for you, rebel”.
Gia froze in place, she knew any attempt to escape would be futile. It was her end, and the end of humanity.
Naven walked to her and violently grabbed her by her neck.
“Naven!”, she yelled in a moment of pure desperation.
N67221 stopped. Its eyes looked into hers. Its artificial mind doubted. A tingle in its numb mind alerted it to something, something it was not prepared for. It lifted its left hand holding the blob of nanites. But it felt strange. Deep inside the void, a voice. Gia, the voice said.
N67221 let go of her neck and stared empty into her eyes. It dropped the nanites and then froze.
Gia began to shake, somehow she had reached the core of Naven’s mind, through the bots, through the abyss. She looked one last time at her love’s frozen body and ran.
I’ll be back for you.