“Unidentified vessel…,” the aggressive male voice barked over the communications link. “Drop your shields and prepare to be boarded. Resistance will be met with lethal force.”
Chase Decker was about to get caught. His small clunker of a space shuttle didn’t have defenses, so he was helpless before the approaching warship. This was all part of the plan, but it didn’t stop his palms from getting sweaty as they clutched the controls. He switched off the engine and let his ship drift. The sleek, menacing Silenian vessel approached. It was three times bigger than the rust bucket he was flying, and twice as fast. Its open gun ports stared at him, signaling he’d be blown to dust if he didn’t cooperate. Behind the approaching vessel, Chase saw a slice of the copper-colored planet. Silenia.
Slave planet. Extremely dangerous. And exactly the place I want to reach…
The corner of his mouth curled up. It was an isolated human colony boasting heavy defenses. Smart space voyagers stayed away from it because Silenian humans didn’t take kindly to uninvited visitors. Aliens or hybrids straying too close to the planet tended to disappear without a trace.
Chase was a human-alien hybrid, and he knew he was about to disappear. His instincts warned him of danger, but he ignored the buzz in the back of his mind. He intended to play along and hoped they wouldn’t shoot him on sight.
A loud clank resonated in the hull, and the entire shuttle rattled, indicating the Silenian vessel had docked. Chase took his sidearm off the holster and placed it on the console on his right. He got out of the pilot’s chair.
“Open the airlock!” came the stern command over the communication link.
Chase hit the panel next to the airlock to allow the Silenians entry. He backed up a step as heavily armed space marines in dark blue armor rushed into his shuttle, their weapons pointed at him, their eyes hidden behind black visors. They took over the cramped space within seconds.
“Stay where you are! Hands behind your head!”
Chase did as ordered.
“Look at the size of him,” one of the marines commented.
“Stay alert,” another returned.
The first marine waved an instrument at him. It made a blip, and the man nodded at his companions.
The next one fired at him. The stun charge slammed into his chest and next he knew he was lying on his back, struggling to draw a breath. Chase gasped and snarled with pain.
“He’s not out yet?”
A net was thrown over him and the marines closed in. A final stun charge hit his chest and everything went black.