An assassin sneaks aboard a space station. Warning: for mature readers only.
Suijin System, 2339
She reclined upon one of the seats by the small window, gazing out into the darkness that was dotted by a scattering of white stars. Most of the other passengers on the transport vessel had taken Caluixx, a trendy new tranquilizer that helped with space travel-induced anxiety, but she had refused. She needed her mind to be clear for what she had planned. In a few days it would all be over and she would go back to the normal drudgery of her life. Through the window she could see her destination, her own face partially reflected back at her. Her full lips curved upward in a smile as she leaned back…and waited.
One more year, that’s what Ava Sterling told herself. Only one more year and she would finally be transferred off of this station. Not that she disliked her work; she actually loved the research that she had been doing. But the feeling of isolation was beginning to get to her. That, and she wanted to feel real soil beneath her feet and real rain on her skin.
She know where’d she go, too. To the colony world of Kleio, where her parents lived. Her brother had long since been drafted into the Alliance army, so he unfortunately wouldn’t be there. Of the many regrets in her life, that was the worst. The Alliance required at least one child from every household for its military and since she was the child with the advanced education, Oliver had been the one to volunteer. So for the past few years, she had been striving to make that sacrifice count, to use her skills to come up with new technology that could help humanity.
She sipped her tepid coffee, alone in the dimly-lit cafeteria, and thought about her future.
Lani Station was a relatively small space station located in the Suijin System, orbiting an unimportant moon. Most of the time there were only about fifty people on the station, the majority of them research scientists. Today, however, there was an additional person aboard: a member of the Alliance Council from Earth. Ava watched her as she strode through the airlock, moving with a grace and confidence that the physicist could never hope to match. Naomi Han was a tall woman, easily the height of most of the men aboard, and her silvery-white dress was tailored to show off her long legs and hour-glass figure. There were two scarlet tattoos on her high cheekbones, one under each eye, which were currently fashionable amongst the upper class on Earth. At least, Ava thought they were. She hadn’t been to the homeworld since she was twelve years old. Most of her life had been spent on various colony worlds and now she lived here, on Lani Station.
The commanding officer of the station stepped forward to greet Naomi.
“I’m Captain Ethan Dyson and this is Dr. Liam Cayer and Dr. Ava Sterling. It’s a pleasure to have you aboard Lani,” he said, shaking her slender hand. Ava noticed how Liam was eying the Alliance official, a smirk appearing on his handsome face. What a sleaze her boss could be. God knew that there were enough times that he had shamelessly flirted with her. He was attractive, with his sandy-blonde hair and dark eyes, but he also made her skin crawl. Not exactly the sort of person that she would ever trust.
“Well, it’s good to be here, especially after four Gate jumps and a month on a decrepit starship. I thought that ship would fall to pieces coming here,” Naomi replied, gazing around her. Ava could imagine what she saw. Lani could also be described as “decrepit,” especially since it was one of the oldest research stations in the Suijin System. But the fact that it was old and rundown belied the importance of the work going on there. Ava got the impression that the Alliance liked it that way.
“Shall I show you to your quarters, Ms. Han?” Ethan asked. He was even taller than Naomi, his face boyish and dotted with freckles across the bridge of his nose. The captain usually stayed in his quarters or the control rooms, away from the scientists, so this was the longest time that Ava had seen him around.
“I’d like to see the research facilities first, if that’s alright,” Naomi said.
“Of course. Right this way.”
Ava found that she was more nervous than she would have thought possible as they headed down the dimly-lit corridor toward Lab 1. Her heart fluttered in her chest as she snuck glances at the Alliance official, who seemed coolly aloof as she walked. Oh, she hoped that Naomi wouldn’t find anything wrong. All they needed was their funding cut, especially after their latest project had been going so well.
The glass doors to Lab 1 slid open and they stepped through. Liam immediately began his spiel about the lab and all of its latest technology, gesturing toward the various stations. Naomi didn’t pay much attention to him, though. She strode toward the back of the lab, the six-inch chrome heels of her shoes clicking on the floor. Ava wondered how the hell she could walk in those things.
“And this?” Naomi asked, pausing in front of the glowing energy shield that guarded the SR838 unit. Most of the device was contained in the gleaming black sphere that rested upon a short tripod.
“That is the SR838. It’s still a prototype, but it can increase or decrease the size of objects. It’s based on a set of algorithms that I developed,” Liam explained, and Ava silently fumed. She had come up with those algorithms but she didn’t dare contradict her boss in front of the Alliance official.
“Care for a demonstration?” Liam gave Naomi an ingratiating smile.
Liam held his palm up to the shield; after the AI had scanned his biometrics and lowered the protective barrier, he picked up the controller. He winked at Naomi as he strapped it onto his wrist. His fingers tapped in a few quick commands on the interface and he aimed his arm toward a wastebasket. There should have been a spectacular burst of light or something similarly flashy, but the SR838 just beeped once. And then the wastebasket was gone. Liam strode over to where the wastebasket had been, bent down and then smiled again. He held out his palm, where a wastebasket smaller than a pencil eraser rested.
“Amazing,” Naomi whispered.
“The prototype is top secret, of course,” Liam added. She nodded solemnly and replied, “I promise you that this secret won’t get out.” Her eyes were still on the miniature trashcan.
“Would you like to see the rest of the station, Ms. Han?” The captain asked and she told him that she would. As soon as they left Lab 1, Ava turned to Liam. He was still smiling smugly.
“ ‘Your algorithms’? What the hell, Liam?! Those were my goddamn algorithms and you know it,” she growled, her face burning. He glanced over at her and there was something in his dark eyes that she didn’t like at all. Liam had been unstrapping the controller from his wrist but he paused, his fingers lingering on the interface.
“Just remember who’s in charge here, Ava,” he said.
Encrypted Transmission, 23:03
“Yes, it definitely works.”
If asked to recount the events of the next morning, Ava would have said that everything started out like any other day. She got up at her regular time, showered for exactly five minutes because of the water restrictions, and then went to Lab 1. There were about ten others already there, busy at work. Ava sat down at a workstation and began editing her technical report, lost in her thoughts. She was only half-aware as Naomi entered the lab.
One of the techs, Brad Michaels, rushed to greet her. Ava didn’t pay much attention to them, scrolling down through her report. Then, for some reason, the hair on the back of her neck stood up. She turned her head and saw that Naomi had held her hand up to the blue energy shield that protected the SR838 unit. The AI should have read her biometrics and refused her access; but strangely, the shields lowered. That wasn’t supposed to happen…
“Hey, I don’t think you’re authorized to do that,” Brad protested.
But Naomi was already wearing the controller, admiring it as though it was an expensive piece of jewelry. There was something about her expression that unnerved Ava.
With the slowness of a feverish nightmare, Naomi raised her arm and pointed it toward a group of researchers near the doors. One moment they were looking at tablets or talking with one another; the next, they were gone. No, not gone, they had been shrank. Ava rose from her chair, refusing to believe what she was seeing even as Naomi swept her arm across the room, reducing everyone in her path. Her eyes darted toward the glass doors and then she was running for them, moving as fast as her legs could carry her. Ava was about ten feet away from the doors when she felt a dizzying sickness seize her entire body and suddenly she was dropping down toward the floor.
Ava found herself on her hands and knees, trying to fight off the vertigo. She knew what had happened yet she still felt astonishment as she glanced around. Everything was so ridiculously big, the ordinary tables and workbenches looming high above her like multistory buildings. She stood up, her legs wobbling, and glanced upwards, where the ceiling and the lights seemed to be miles and miles away. Tiny. I’m tiny, she thought and a hysterical laugh escaped her lips. Perhaps it was all an accident, perhaps Naomi hadn’t meant to shrink them…
The floor shook as something huge moved across it and Ava saw that it was Naomi, sauntering across the lab as though she owned it. She craned her head so that she could look up at the gigantic woman. Was that what people looked like to bugs? If so, they were damn terrifying. Naomi’s shapely legs seemed to stretch up forever, disappearing into the confines of her black pencil skirt, and if Ava tilted her head all the way back, she could see the beautiful yet frightening face. Frightening because of its enormity and because of the malicious gleam in the massive eyes.
The giantess’ attention was on several researchers who looked justifiably confused. She moved with that same catlike grace despite her size, strolling toward them with a horrible grin on her face. The miniaturized scientists gaped up at her as she paused before them, her hands behind her back.
“What a marvelous invention this is. I must say that I’m impressed,” she told them. Ava remained where she was, some gut instinct instructing her not to move. The smile widened on the giantess’ face as she continued. “It’s a shame that I have to kill the inventors.”
Languidly, Naomi moved her right foot, nudging the petrified scientists so that they fell to the floor. One of them tried to crawl away and she raised her mammoth high-heeled shoe over him, bringing it down on his body with a terrifying deliberateness. Look away, Ava’s internal voice urged her. Close your eyes, don’t watch…but she looked on with appalled fascination as the giantess began to step down. The man’s crazed screams rose higher and higher, the cries of a small animal caught in a trap. Then, as she applied more pressure, he ceased shrieking and the only noise was a sharp, wet crack. A horrid stream of blood and pulped flesh squirted out from the front of Naomi’s foot as she squashed him like a cherry tomato. The giantess laughed and smeared his smashed body across the floor in a wide arc of red. It was when she brought her foot down again, grinding the others into paste with a twist of her ankle, that Ava fled for her life.
She started to run for the glass doors, which seemed like they were now several blocks away. When one of Naomi’s feet crashed down in front of her, blocking her path, she scurried to the left. The giantess’ attention was on someone else so Ava was able to dive behind a table leg. She leaned up against the enormous leg, as large to her as a sequoia tree trunk, and tried to catch her breath. Her mind quickly assessed the situation: the Alliance official had stolen the SR838 controller, gone insane, killed people. She needed to warn the other people aboard the station.
The doors were blocked by the giantess but a quick glance around her revealed that there was an air duct a few feet away. She didn’t have much choice so she darted toward it, Naomi’s footsteps shaking the floor each time that she flattened someone underfoot. It took some wiggling to get through the slit in the cover and the entire time Ava wished that she had lost that extra ten pounds that she had been carrying around. Luckily, she was able to squeeze her way through and she landed on the floor of the ventilation shaft, disturbing the dirt gathered there. The only sounds were her panting respiration and the screams of agony from the lab.
What to do now? She was an inch tall or so by her calculations, helpless to stop the crazy bitch outside. But if she could find someone still normal-sized…yes, that’s what she would do. She glanced around, unsure which way to go. She chose left and then started heading down the shaft, feeling her way along. The metal wall was cool under her probing fingertips and Ava followed it as it twisted and turned. She had no idea where she was, although she thought that she may have been near Lab 2. No matter, she would just crawl through the next grate and find someone normal-sized. Assuming that anyone was left…she remembered what had happened to the people in Lab 1 and her gorge rose. It took some effort not to be sick.
Ava froze when she heard a light scrabbling sound behind her. Her first thought was that it Naomi, come to get her. But the sound was too faint to be made by a full-sized human. Rats? But there weren’t any rats on the station, at least she hoped not. Whatever it was, she wished that she had better weapons than her fists. She watched as the two figures came into view…and then breathed a sigh of relief. It was two of the lab techs, Joanna Singh and Isaac Hopkins. They both looked the way that she felt, terrified. There was a disturbing crimson splatter across the front of Joanna’s lab coat although it didn’t look like it was her own blood. She was crying, great sobs that shook her entire body as she leaned against Isaac.
“Did anyone else make it?” Ava asked.
“A few, I think. I wasn’t really looking…we just ran for it,” he said, his face ashen. Again, she felt her stomach churn with nausea. She gritted her teeth, willing herself to stay calm.
“We need to find help,” she told them. Joanna swiped at her puffy eyes with the back of her hand, smearing her mascara across her eyes.
“Do you think we’ll be okay?” She asked in a small voice.
God, she hoped so.
The tiny man let out an agonized cry, which, at his size, sounded like the shrill chirping of an insect.
Naomi pursued him at a leisurely pace. All of the other researchers in Lab 1 had been reduced to flattened smears on the floor and this man was the last one still alive. She found that she liked playing with him. Every other assignment that she had been on had been so…mundane. This was strangely thrilling, especially since her quarry was so utterly helpless to stop her.
She finally trapped the man against the glass doors. He was a fat little fucker, his lab coat straining against his body. When she moved her gore-stained foot forward, he screamed again, raising his minute hands to try to ward her off. It was pathetic, really. There was no way that he could hope to stop her and Naomi smirked as she pushed him forward with one foot until he was pressed against one door. With expert agility, she raised her foot and the struggling man up, higher and higher against the glass…and then she applied more pressure. The chittering, screaming sound that the man was making crescendoed and then abruptly stopped as his body smashed, his blood running down the glass. Naomi laughed, removing her foot. The mashed body remained on the door, the face still horribly recognizable.
Yes, this was definitely the best assignment that she had been on.
They crawled out of the first vent grate that they saw, helping one another through the slits. It took a second to realize that they were in Lab 3, which was currently deserted. There was only one security light on, so most of the lab was shrouded in darkness. It was surreal walking through the canyons formed by the office furniture.
“There’s no one here,” Isaac said. “We should go back into the shaft.”
“No, wait. I see someone!” Joanna could see a figure through the glass doors and thankfully, it wasn’t Naomi. Despite his sheer size, she immediately recognized the gray and gold uniform that the giant man was wearing. The main lights flicked on as the doors hissed open and he stepped through.
“Captain Dyson!” Joanna shouted as she waved her arms above her head. “Down here!”
His massive right foot slammed down in front of her, only a few feet away, and she realized that there was a distinct possibility that he could stomp on her by accident. She ran across the floor, still screaming at the top of her lungs, praying that he would look down.
The captain’s gigantic leg shifted and his foot raised up again, soaring directly overhead. Joanna gazed up in horror as the treads of his boot became her sky, vast and awful. Cowering, she shrieked his name one more time…and then he finally looked down. The boot stopped its deadly descent and instead settled back down to the ground away from her, close enough that she could feel the vibrations through the floor. Like a skyscraper collapsing in on itself, the huge man knelt down. It was still a great distance to his face but she could see that his eyes were round with wonder.
“Thank God,” she said as he squinted down at her.
“Joanna?” His voice was deafening, like a rolling clap of thunder, and it made her eardrums ache.
“Captain, Naomi has the SR838 controller! She’s around here somewhere and we need to—,”
Ethan cocked his head, his brow furrowing. “I can’t hear you.”
He reached for her, fingers outstretched, and then saw the way that she instinctively cringed away. So he placed his hand palm side up on the ground and indicated that she should get on. Joanna climbed onto the expanse of his open hand, noticing how she could feel the thrum of his pulse beneath her feet. When he lifted her up before his face, she nearly lost her balance but she caught herself at the last second. She glanced up into the two immense hazel eyes.
Again, she tried to relay what had happened.
“Naomi stole the SR838 controller and she’s lost her mind. She’s already killed several people in Lab 1,” she told him and he frowned, still not hearing her properly. He moved her closer to an ear that was nearly three times her height. Joanna cupped her hands around her mouth and repeated her statement. The titanic head nodded in understanding.
“Jesus. Did anyone else make it out besides you, Joanna?”
“A-a few,” she answered, noticing how the gigantic eyes narrowed. When something brushed her back, she nearly jumped. It was his index finger, tracing the lines of her curves.
“How awful,” Ethan replied. His finger was unwelcome, especially when he stopped to caress her buttocks. She resisted the urge to push it away and instead took a step back. The giant’s eyes narrowed further.
“You need to help us before Naomi gets back,” she said.
She wasn’t sure if she heard him correctly; then, as the vicious smile stretched his mouth wide, she realized that she had. To her horror, she saw that Ethan’s enormous fingers were curling inward toward her.
“Don’t, Captain! Oh, God, Ethan, stop!” Joanna pleaded, her voice dissolving into frenzied screams as his fingers blocked-off the light. She fought against the fingers as they began to press up against her body, squeezing tighter and tighter. There was a searing blast of pain, more excruciating than anything that her mind could comprehend, followed by several sharp cracks. Somewhere in the back of her brain she understood that the noises were her bones splintering and then she knew no more.
On the floor, Ava and Isaac watched as a thin line of scarlet trickled down from the giant’s palm onto his wrist. He opened up his fingers and peered at the ruined remains of the little woman, looking inordinately pleased with himself. Ava didn’t have time to question why he had just murdered their colleague in cold blood; all that she could think about was the grim certainty that they would be next.
“Run,” she choked out. Isaac didn’t need to be told twice. He was in far better shape than she was and he was already wiggling through the slits in the ventilation cover by the time that she got there. Behind them, Ethan was standing back up to his awe-inspiring height. Ava slipped into the ventilation shaft as the ground began to tremble with his footfalls.
The inside of the shaft was dark and it became even darker when the giant crouched in front of the grate, his bulk cutting off the light. He began to fiddle with the cover, trying to pull it off. Through the slits Ava could see his bloodstained palm, all that was left of poor Joanna. She stared, paralyzed with revulsion and fear, and then Isaac took her hand. He pulled her along with him, down through the blackness of the shaft.
The narrow hallways were empty and the only sounds were Naomi’s footsteps. Of course they were empty; she had shrank every single person that she had encountered so far. Well, except for one. She saw the captain as he strode out of one of the labs, the glass doors closing behind him. There was a handkerchief in one hand and he was using it to clean his palm. Naomi noted the red splotches that contrasted starkly against the white fabric of the handkerchief.
“Two of them escaped into the ventilation shaft,” he said, slipping the bloody handkerchief into a recycling unit mounted to the wall. Naomi made a tsk of annoyance but she didn’t say anything. There were probably still two dozen or so of the tiny people running around the station. The good thing was that she had the controller and there was nowhere for them to go except for the frigid vacuum of outer space. She would hunt them down, one by one, until they were all dead.
And what fun that would be.
“Everyone’s gone fucking nuts on this station,” Isaac said as they huddled in the shaft, trying to decide what to do. The air was hot and heavy with dust and Ava found herself coughing from time to time. She was getting over a particularly bad coughing fit when she realized something.
“The comms room,” she said slowly.
“We need to get to the comms room and contact Ostara Station,” Ava explained. Ostara Station was the closest station to Lani and they had Alliance troops aboard. If they could contact them, perhaps they would be able to send help. It was as good of a plan as at this point. She tried to calculate the distance to the comms room, which was near the front starboard side of the station, and the thought was depressing. At their size, it would take them a day or two to get there…assuming that they weren’t found first.
In his quarters, Ethan watched Naomi as she settled down on his couch and pulled one of the side tables closer to her. He had to admit that she was a breathtaking woman, her confidence and cruelty adding to her physical beauty. His eyes trailed up her slender legs and then settled on her chest, her scarlet blouse clinging in all the right places. Naomi saw him looking at her and he quickly diverted his gaze. She smiled coquettishly at him as she stretched out on the couch, her regal bearing giving her the air of a queen upon her throne. It made his heart beat faster. And that wasn’t the only physical symptom of his attraction to her. He could already feel a raging erection pushing up against his pants. Ethan turned toward the bar before she could see his arousal, grabbing for two tumblers as he did so.
“Care for some?” He asked, holding up a bottle of single malt scotch imported from Earth. It was hideously expensive and he had been saving it for a special occasion. This counted, he figured. If everything worked out, he would be an admiral in a few months. Too bad about the crew and the scientists, but the whole proverb about needing to break a few eggs to make an omelette was proving to be true in this situation.
“I’ll have to decline. I never drink on the job,” Naomi replied. He poured himself a finger of scotch, regarding her with fascination as she deposited a small bag on the end table. Her dark eyes twinkled with wicked glee as she untied the bag and took out a shrunken man. She held him between two fingers, the bright red nail of her thumb pressing into his vulnerable torso.
“Where are the others?” She asked, bringing her tiny victim up to her face.
He said something, although Ethan couldn’t hear it from where he stood. It evidently wasn’t what Naomi wanted to hear because she sneered and drilled her thumb down into the man’s abdomen, eliciting a shrill screech of pain.
“I’d consider myself adept at the fine art of torture,” she said matter-of-factly. “And I’ll get you one of you to speak, I guarantee that.” With that, she delicately pinched his arm with her fingertips and yanked, separating it from the rest of his body with dreadful ease. She did the same with the other arm, as though she was pulling the wings off a fly. The man turned grayish-white, shock setting in almost instantly. She placed him on the table, allowing him to bleed to death.
There was a vicious yet gleeful quality to her actions, a sadistic brutality that even surprised him, a lifelong soldier who was used to seeing the Alliance raze entire worlds simply because they were in the way of some goal. Like all of the other members of the military, he had been whisked off by the Alliance when he was six years old and any sense of compassion had been long erased, replaced by a cold efficiency. But this assassin had him beat when it came to sheer depravity, there was no doubt.
Ethan’s erection grew harder, almost painfully so. Naomi was monstrous and awful and so damn sexy. He realized that he hadn’t wanted to fuck someone so badly in ages and he took another sip of scotch, allowing the burning sensation in his mouth to distract him from the insistent throbbing between his legs.
This time when Naomi reached into the bag, she pulled out two people, a young brunette and an older man with a wrinkled lab coat. She put them down on the table and leaned forward, her lips spreading wide to reveal gleaming teeth.
“So, who’d like to answer my question?”
Again, the tiny people couldn’t answer. Naomi moved her hand down toward her victims but she didn’t touch them, instead clicking her long nails against the table. A thoughtful expression crossed her lovely face and then her grin broadened. She tapped a few commands into the SR838 controller and then aimed it at the little man. He raised his hands up instinctively, as if to shield himself, and then he disappeared. Ethan frowned and set down the tumbler of scotch.
“What did you do to him?” He asked, heading over to the table. The inch-tall woman was still there, staring at him with horror. For some reason, her fear was triggering a sort of predatory response in him. God, he was so aroused right now.
“Oh, he’s still there. He’s about the size of a flea, but he’s there. And you’re going to step on him,” Naomi said to the shrunken brunette. The woman stared at her as if she couldn’t comprehend English, her face rapidly losing color.
“Step on him or I’ll swat you like the insect you are,” Naomi commanded, her hand hovering ominously. Ethan leaned forward, fascinated. When the woman didn’t obey, she brought her open palm down closer. Something the size of a grain of pepper moved slightly and a chill ran down his back as he realized that it was the other scientist, microscopic in size. He couldn’t even make out any details of the man at all and he only saw him because he was leaning down toward the table, squinting.
The tiny woman shrieked something, her high-pitched voice too garbled for either of the normal-sized people to comprehend. Naomi lifted her hand and smiled cruelly as the woman raised her minute foot and then brought it back down with a sob of despair.
“Excellent work,” Naomi told the weeping woman before she brought her hand down on top of the scientist, crushing her with a wet splat. Her dark eyes glittered with sadistic delight as she drew an abstract design in the splatter of blood. Ethan had to admit, he had never been so terrified of anyone in his life. And yet the erection was still there.
Naomi’s eyes shifted over to where he stood and she smiled slyly when she saw the bulge in his pants. She stood up gracefully and he caught a quick peek at her cleavage, the silky blouse open just enough.
“I see that you appreciate my interrogation techniques, Captain,” she purred. He startled and backed away from her even as she moved uncomfortably close to him. Her perfume was something light and flowery, possibly lavender. When she touched his chest with one hand, he realized her intentions.
“This is not befitting of a captain,” he said stiffly.
“Neither is betraying everyone on the station.”
“Touché,” he replied, then gasped when she reached out and grabbed his cock and balls, giving them a firm squeeze.
“You need to relax, Captain,” Naomi purred. “Here, let me help you.”
Once more she reached into the bag and she withdrew yet another tiny person, one of his own crew. He had known Janet for well over two years and he didn’t look away from the redhead’s pleading gaze, not even when Naomi yanked open his pants and deposited her inside. Ethan clenched his teeth as he felt the tiny woman squirming desperately against his cock, and she only thrashed harder when Naomi cupped him again. This time when she squeezed Janet simply smashed into paste, emitting a muffled squeak of anguish as she did so. A small dark stain began to spread across the front of his pants but he didn’t care because he came at the exact same time, his orgasm more intense than anything that he had ever experienced.
“That’s better,” Naomi said, grinning.
Ava peered through one of the grates, slowly scanning the hallway from left to right. She couldn’t see anyone but the hall was so dimly lit that she couldn’t be sure. The eerie silence was what got to her. There’d usually be human voices echoing throughout the station but it was so quiet that she could hear her own breathing.
“Is there anyone out there?” Isaac asked.
“I don’t see anyone.”
“I still don’t think it’s a good idea,” he said, nervously chewing on his lower lip.
“We need to get across the hall if we want to get to the comms room. If we stay in here, they’ll eventually find us,” Ava argued.
Her companion sighed. “I suppose you’re right.”
Crawling back out through the ventilation cover took almost all of her courage and once she was outside in the hallway, she felt utterly exposed and helpless. She silently motioned to Isaac and they began to creep down the hallway, staying close to the walls. To her horror, she saw the remains of other shrunken people on the floor, their bodies reduced to little more than bone fragments and jellied flesh. Both she and Isaac were too focused on the carnage before them to notice as the doors to a storage room slid open. By the time that Ava saw the movement out of the corner of her eye, it was too late. A gargantuan hand swooped down and grabbed them both up. It took her a while to recognize the face; at her current size, everything and everyone looked so damn different.
“Put us down, Liam!” She shouted at her boss.
“Shhhh, be quiet,” he hissed. His expression mirrored her own fear, and she hoped that he was one of the sane ones aboard this station. If not, then there wasn’t much that she could do. Even now, his clammy fingers were wrapped tightly around her body, pressing her up against Isaac. When Liam slipped back into the storage room, Ava found herself jostled around violently. She was relieved when the giant stopped walking, although he now raised them even closer to his face.
“Don’t hurt us,” Isaac begged.
“Calm down, Isaac. Do I look like a psychopath to you?”
The captain didn’t look like a psychopath, Ava almost said. She held back, though. Instead, she recounted what had happened, hoping that her boss didn’t decide to go crazy like the rest of them. Being at someone else’s mercy was terrible, and it was even worse when it wasn’t clear what side they were on.
“That Alliance woman is killing everyone on the station,” she told him.
“I know,” he said and she felt her blood turn to ice-water. Joanna’s gruesome death flashed in front of her eyes and her head spun with the knowledge that she may face a similar fate. But Liam merely raised his free other hand, rubbing at his forehead. He looked…ashamed? Frightened? Perhaps both.
“She promised me all kinds of things if I gave her the security codes.” He must have seen Ava’s face because he stopped rubbing at his forehead. “I didn’t know that she was going to kill people.”
“Who is she?” Ava asked, disgusted that Liam could have sold them out.
“I don’t know. I mean, she seemed like a member of the Council, but…”
“Obviously not,” she snapped. She didn’t mean to, she had just been under too much stress. Being in Liam’s enormous, sweaty hand wasn’t helping that. His face darkened for a second and she instantly regretted her words.
“Sorry. Look, is there anyone else involved in this?”
“Just the Captain, I think. They’ve been killing off everyone else, military and civilians.” In the harsh light of the storage room, Liam looked like he was about to be sick.
“Can you get us to the comms room?” Ava asked.
“I can try,” he said quietly. He was still wearing his lab coat and he placed them in one of the pockets, which was a strange experience. Ava found herself surrounded by fabric warmed by Liam’s body heat, each thread as thick as her finger. Worse, she couldn’t see much. There was just enough light filtering in through the top of the pocket to see Isaac.
“Can we trust him?” He whispered but she honestly couldn’t answer that question.
The hot water beat down on Ethan’s shoulders and back, pouring down his body and washing off the blood from his earlier crimes. Any other time, he would have been worried about conserving the station’s water, but that was no longer even a concern. So he stood in the little shower longer than he needed to, enjoying the way that the warm water relaxed his muscles.
He sensed Naomi before he saw her through the shimmering energy barrier that separated the shower from the rest of the room. To his surprise, she had taken off her clothes and was approaching him, moving with a bold swagger. This was a confident woman, more confident than any other woman that he ever met. As she stepped into the shower, the barrier pulling apart to allow her through, he couldn’t help but admire her body. She was a collection of feminine curves, her hips and shoulders wide, tapering off into a narrow waist. Ethan allowed his eyes to drift over her flat stomach and small yet perfectly round breasts, stopping when they reached her face. The red tattoos on her cheeks stood out against her fair skin, her eyes locking with his and holding his gaze captive.
Ethan felt his cheeks flush and she laughed, reaching out for him. He immediately noticed that her shapely arm was bare, the controller gone. A part of him wondered if he could dash from the shower and locate the device before she stopped him. And what then? Would he shrink her as well? He imagined the beautiful assassin shrinking down to the size of a bug and screeching as he brought his heel down onto her.
The thought brought goosebumps to his flesh, but he didn’t dare pursue the fantasy any further. No, she would surely outrun him and she knew where the controller was, not him. She would strap it on and then he’d be the one screaming underfoot. Even if by some lucky stroke of fate he managed to locate the controller first and kill her, then her employer would come for his head. So it was best to just act as her partner and do what she wanted. Besides, she was gorgeous and standing there naked before him, her eyes glittering with lust.
Naomi touched his muscular chest, her hand trailing over his pecs and then down, toward his abdomen. The water ran down over her as well, her black hair sticking to her head like a helmet as she ran her palm and fingers over his skin. Her other hand was clenched and as he watched, a minuscule arm worked its way out from between her fingers. With a wink, she opened her hand, revealing more shrunken captives. They gawked up at him, quivering with barely-suppressed terror.
One of them, a middle-aged woman with her salt and pepper hair pulled back into a bun, lost her balance when Naomi swept her hand around. Ethan watched her plummet through the air, her screams shrill and panic-stricken until she hit the plastic floor of the shower. Then she simply lay there, the water pooling around her tiny body. He would have thought that she was dead, especially the way that her legs were bent at unnatural angles. But then she moved slightly, feebly. Naomi nudged her with one toe, the woman making weak noises of pain.
She was too broken to do anything but mumble soft pleas as Naomi positioned her foot over her.
“I’ve been doing this for years,” she said to Ethan, and it took him a second to realize that she meant assassinating people. “And most of the time, it was just a job. But this…this is pleasure.”
The ball of Naomi’s foot completely engulfed the injured woman, hiding her from Ethan’s view. She stepped down and there was a sharp crack and a sort of sudden pop; then a small mass of pinkish viscera shot out, the blood mixing with the water.
She continued to talk as if she didn’t even realize that she had flattened a human being underfoot. “The closest was when I was assigned to take out the governor of some backwater colony world. Oh, that man begged me on his hands and knees to spare his life. The fear and desperation in his eyes turned me on a bit, I’ll admit. I had never felt so powerful in my life. But this a million times better. I’m a goddess to these pathetic insects.”
Naomi pinched another man between her fingers, lifting him by the head. As he flailed, she said, “And I like being a cruel goddess.”
Ethan expected her to squeeze, to make the shrunken man’s head implode, but instead, she lowered him down to the just below her navel. Her sex was shaven except for a strip of dark hair along the mound, and he couldn’t help but look at it as her slim fingers peeled open her outer labia. To her obvious amusement, the diminutive man made a harsh wail as she deftly slid him in feet first. She let out a little moan as she forced him upwards into her vaginal canal with her index and middle fingers, her feminine hips undulating almost involuntarily as she felt his movements.
The remaining people she placed on her breasts, one on each. The soaked woman on her right breast desperately straddled the gigantic nipple, her teeth bared in a rictus of terror; the man on her left breast held on with both arms, trying to pull himself up onto the curved hill of flesh. Ethan’s hand moved on its own accord and he poked at the little man’s vulnerable back, grinning lopsidedly as the civilian babbled in fright. On the other breast, the shrunken woman just clutched onto Naomi’s breast, her small feet digging into the pillowy flesh.
No one can live, Ethan thought as Naomi wrapped one arm around the back of his neck, pulling him closer to her. The people on her breasts struggled as their chests came together; the man yelped at the sudden pressure, his body slowly mashing like soft clay between them. The woman let go at the right moment and rolled downwards, her progress marked by a slight ticklish sensation against Ethan’s skin. He caught the tiny scientist just before she dropped to the shower floor, but instead of putting her down, he cupped her against Naomi’s beautiful body. As the scientist screeched in protest, he moved her slowly against the other woman’s flesh.
“Put her in me,” Naomi commanded in a husky voice and so Ethan did, slipping the shrunken woman between her swollen netherlips. Now they were two people inside, imprisoned in a tomb of hot flesh, forced to squirm as Naomi clenched her inner muscles.
They continued to kiss one another, their hands exploring one another’s bodies, as the crimson water swirled down the drain.
In the Security room, the AI dutifully showed Naomi the real-time footage from all of the station. She was sprawled out on a chair, her right leg propped up on the console before her. The mashed remnants of one of the security personnel decorated her sole in a dripping red pattern; the other security officer cowered near her foot, not daring to look at the grisly remains of his comrade. The soft glow from the screens illuminated her thoughtful face as she watched Liam talking to those two bug-people.
“Oh, Dr. Cayer. You’re quite the Benedict Arnold, aren’t you?” Naomi commented out loud. Her right foot moved slightly, eliciting a terrified whimper from the surviving security officer. When her dark eyes focused on him, the whimper transformed into incoherent babbling. She reached forward, grabbing the tiny man and turning her attention back to the screens. Without even looking at the thrashing officer, she shoved him between her lips. It was more of an impulse than anything else, but as soon as she felt him bucking wildly in her mouth, she couldn’t help but smile.
As she studied Liam on the lefthand screen, she savored the wailing man in her mouth, feeling his minuscule feet and hands clawing and kicking at her upper palate. She allowed him to simply shriek for awhile, his cries echoing up through the roof of her mouth; then, she tilted her head back slightly and swallowed him. A second later, the fluttering in her mouth was replaced by fluttering in her stomach. But she was too busy staring intently at Liam to even notice her victim’s death throes within her.
Ava found that she hated riding in a giant person’s pocket, especially when Liam shifted without warning and she went rolling into Isaac. One or twice, they banged into the giant’s hip, hard enough to leave bruises. When Liam finally stopped and reached down into his pocket, she was actually relieved to be grasped by the mammoth fingers. He pulled her out first, then Isaac, holding them close enough to his face that she could see the way that his huge pupils dilated or constricted within the brown irises of his eyes, depending on the intensity of the light.
“Bad news. They’ve sealed off the end of this hallway, so I can’t get to the comms room from here,” Liam told them.
“We can try the ventilation shaft again,” Isaac said and the giant nodded, lowering them to the floor. Ava climbed down from his upturned palm, not looking forward to going back into the shaft but seeing no other choice. Besides, at least she wouldn’t have to be carried around in Liam’s pocket or his clammy hands any longer.
And then she appeared in the corridor, preceded by the staccato clicking of her stiletto heels.
“Dr. Cayer,” Naomi greeted him enthusiastically, as if they were the best of friends. “I’ve been looking all over for you!”
Ava watched Liam as he hesitantly stood up and raised both hands, his face becoming pallid. “N-Naomi. How have you been?”
“I’ve been quite busy. Killing all of the people on this station, that sort of thing.”
Liam nervously licked his lips. “Speaking of which, I’ve found more of them.”
Of course that coward would betray them like that. Ava would have been furious if she wasn’t so terrified. Neither she nor Isaac dared to attract Naomi’s murderous attention by moving toward the ventilation grate. They remained completely still, petrified statues awaiting that bastard Liam to rat them out. But as he started to say more, Naomi pointed her arm and the SR838 controller at him, her expression fiendish.
“Wait! Naomi, don’t do this!” Liam was caught in mid-plea when she fired the shrink ray, his body dwindling down. “I can help you find the others!”
“I believe I can do that well enough on my own,” Naomi said, striding toward him. He darted desperately, his white lab coat flapping behind him. The giantess was clearly expecting him to bolt for the ventilation grate, so she planted her high-heeled foot down in front of it, blocking his escape route. But he sprinted the opposite way, barreling through a doorway. Liam was probably too panicked to notice the warning signs and the bright yellow markers surrounding the door’s frame, the ones that signified that this doorway was in fact one of the airlocks. Naomi noticed, however, and she strolled right up to the doorway and pressed her palm against the control pad.
The emergency door slid shut and Ava knew that the outer door, the one that led to the deadly vacuum of space, was opening wide. With a horrible eagerness, Naomi peered through the glass on the emergency door, her smile predatory. Ava was thankful that she couldn’t see what was happening, although she could picture it in her mind’s eye, Liam shrieking as he was sucked out into the frigidness of deep space. She tried to will the image away as she and Isaac snuck toward the grate. A sudden tapping made her stop and she glanced up, toward one of the round windows that looked out into the starry blackness.
Liam’s tiny body was bumping against the round porthole, the flesh on his face already purpling from asphyxiation and severe frostbite. He may have been partially to blame for this hellish situation, but for a moment, Ava felt a stab of pity as she watched his corpse float by the window. She didn’t have much time to feel sorry for him, though, because the giantess was already turning away from the emergency door. By the time that Naomi’s bloodthirsty eyes settled on them, they had already crawled back into the ventilation shaft.
“How many are left?” Ethan asked. Both he and Naomi were on the bridge, which was eerily silent. Normally, it’d be bustling with activity, his crew carrying out their day-to-day tasks. But the crew were all dead and the AI was carrying out their normal functions for now.
“Two or three at most.” Naomi was draped over his captain’s chair but he didn’t dare to tell her to move. Her slim fingers ran over the SR838 controller absently, her left eye hidden by a lock of her lustrous black hair.
“Think of what this can do, Captain. If we could outfit an entire army with these, why, wars would be won in a day! Our enemies crushed underfoot like roaches,” she said, her voice oddly husky. Unbidden, the image popped into Ethan’s head of soldiers approaching enemy forces, shrinking them and then simply squashing them underfoot. Then his mind took it a step further, those forces shrinking and subjugating entire worlds. People shrunk to the size of an ant or smaller, forced to serve their new gigantic overlords…he found that he liked that idea a lot.
“Anyway, back to the task at hand,” Naomi said, pulling up the holo version of the station’s blueprint. “Our shrunken friends have been hiding in the ventilation shafts. When I was spying on Dr. Cayer, they said something about the comms room. I’m willing to bet that they’re headed there now.”
Ethan offered her a hand but Naomi didn’t take it, instead standing up on her own. She led him through the bridge’s door and Ethan followed, not really used to being the second in charge on this station. But it was far better than the alternative, being shrunken and flattened under Naomi’s foot. Or worse. He remembered what she had done to several of the captives from before and he felt the slightest tingle of dread.
Naomi paused before one of the service consoles, her fingers flying over the interface.
“I’m closing the shafts between the comms room and where I spotted the little bastards last,” she explained, glancing over her shoulder at Ethan. He nodded as the console confirmed the closure of several ventilation ducts. Then he went to work, kneeling before one of the grates. It took some doing but he was eventually able to pry off the grate. Leaning down, he peeked inside and saw nothing but impenetrable darkness. He squinted, noticing the faintest hint of movement and the gleam of golden hair. There was no doubt that it was Ava and the other scientist, whatever his name was.
Ethan shoved his hand inside of the shaft, groping around blindly. At first, he only felt metal and dust and then his fingers brushed up against something else, something small and warm and alive. He seized the little soft thing, almost laughing when he felt the ticklish punches against his palm. Uncurling his fingers, he inspected the panicked man, noting his horror with undisguised glee, and then he shoved him into the pocket of his pants.
The other civilian was still in there and although he reached inside again, he couldn’t feel her. Probably running for her life through the shaft. Boy, would she be surprised when she got to the end of the vent and noticed that it was sealed off! Ethan smirked at this thought and then slowly began to follow the shaft, stopping when he arrived at the next grate. Naomi strolled beside him, her dark eyes expectant and lustful. She was probably relishing the hunt as much as he was. Inside his pants, his cock awoke again, driven by sadistic need. The shrunken man in his pocket twisted and squirmed madly, probably noticing the monstrous organ that pulsated through the fabric beside him.
“Avaaaa…we know you’re in there, you little bitch. Why don’t you just come out now?” Naomi called out to the tiny woman in the vent. The scientist didn’t answer, of course. Nor did she come out, so Ethan ripped off that grate as well. Once more, he plunged his hand into the vent and he grinned as he snatched up his second prize, the little blonde woman.
“Gotcha!” Ethan couldn’t hide his excitement as he held the last of the scientists in his hand.
Ava expected to be killed right then and there, her life extinguished without a passing care from the two giants. What she didn’t anticipate was the captain carrying both her and Isaac back to the bridge. She had never been to that area of the station before and the first that she saw was the enormous curving window that took up an entire wall. Iapetus II, the reddish-orange moon that Lani orbited, filled half of the window; beyond that was just the grim nothingness of space.
Naomi stood before the curved window, glancing out at the section of moon that was visible. Ethan, on the other hand, turned his attention to Ava. At first, he just stared unnervingly at her, his boyish freckled face at an impossible distance; then, he reached out with an index finger, carefully placing the tip beneath her chin.
Ava gasped as the giant’s finger forced her head back, the pain not nearly as terrifying as the fact that he could snap her spinal column with minimal effort. Through the tears misting her eyes, she could see Ethan’s toothy smile.
“Ethan, you don’t need to do this. You’re not a monster,” she tried to reason with him.
“Oh, but I want to do this. Very much, actually.”
The colossal fingertip moved downward, allowing her to move her sore head and neck, but it stopped on her chest, feeling her breasts through her blouse. She tried to push the unwelcome finger away, but it was like trying to move a fallen oak tree. All she could do was howl protests and flail as her captor probed at her body.
The giantess strolled over to the leather captain’s chair and slid down into it with lithe grace. “Bring them over here, Ethan. We need to finish this.”
Ethan carried them over to where Naomi waited, her dark eyes sparkling with malice. Leaning back in the chair, she pushed her skirt upwards. When she removed her panties, Ava understood what the two monsters were planning to do. She let out a long, low howl of rage and terror as Naomi’s slender fingers parted her labia. What awaited them was a reddish-pink cavern, slick with clear fluid.
Chuckling cruelly, the giant jammed Isaac between Naomi’s netherlips, ignoring the small man’s desperate kicking. Ava fought Ethan as he lowered her down, past the strip of pubic hair toward the slimy opening. But she couldn’t stop the inevitable, and she arched her back, shrieking as she felt the wet flesh touch her own. As the giant’s fingers pressed down, Ava collided with Isaac, driving him down deeper into the giantess’ vaginal canal.
Her upper body was still poking out, and Ethan didn’t seem to notice as he fumbled with his uniform trousers, trying to free his penis. Gritting her teeth, Ava collected every last ounce of strength in her body and hoisted herself out, rolling and tumbling. She was vaguely aware that the giant’s erection soared by overhead and then plunged into Naomi with a loud squelch. With a plop, Ava landed on the chair, Ethan’s gargantuan legs stretching out before her.
The giant and giantess were lost in their passion, kissing and moaning and caressing one another. Somewhere between them was Isaac, and Ava shuddered to think what was happening to him, especially with the giant’s cock pumping in and out like a massive, deadly piston. But she couldn’t think about that. She had to get to the comms room. Ava was so close, and if she could just get help, she would see these murderers brought to justice.
The floor seemed far away, but she had a way down. She approached the captain’s right leg, grabbed fistfuls of trouser cloth, and then begin to slowly climb downwards. It wasn’t easy; Ethan moved without warning, too absorbed in his own pleasure to notice her, and she almost fell several times.
When her feet finally touched the floor, she didn’t waste a precious second. She dashed toward the comms room.
Naomi’s neck was exquisitely soft and smelled like her subtle perfume, and he planted light kisses along its length. He felt the little scientists thrashing against his cock, and then he felt a series of minute crunches. The idea that he was smashing people with his erection made him shiver in pleasure, and he growled as the orgasm rushed over him. He continued to thrust a few more times, just to make sure that they were dead.
“That was wonderful,” Ethan murmured, and Naomi smiled, stroking his cheek with one hand. He dismounted her, and his seed spilled out, tinted scarlet with blood. Gently, Ethan brushed her clitoris with his fingers, and then he fished out the first body from her depths. The corpse was mangled, the head and chest crushed beyond recognition, but he thought that it was Isaac. He searched around for Ava, but couldn’t find her.
“What’s going on?” Naomi demanded, and he swallowed hard.
Ava hated how slow she moved, and she knew that her pursuers could catch up with her at any time. The first thing that she did when she entered the empty comms room was crawl into the control panel near the door. She understood the layout well enough that she was able to move some wires and lock the door; then she began to disconnect the AI. The captain now had access to all doors on the station except for this one.
Exhausted, Ava left the control panel and headed for one of the desks. It would be like climbing up the side of a skyscraper but she could do it. Taking a deep breath, she started to work her way upwards, using cables and cords to hoist herself up. Ava was halfway up the desk when she heard a resounding crash. Peeking over her shoulder, she saw Ethan and Naomi through the glass door.
“Ava, open this door!” Ethan snarled, banging the door with his fist. She glanced at him, loathing him with her entire being. Then she continued to climb, pulling herself up onto the desk. A large window was at her left, and she could see Naomi’s surprisingly detached expression reflected in it.
She had to use her entire body to punch in Ostara Station’s contact information, and she stood there, panting, as a female voice answered. “Ostara Station here.”
“Ostara, there is an emergency on Lani Station. Repeat, there is an emerg—,”
The female voice interrupted her. “Have you finished cleansing Lani?”
Ava blinked rapidly, confused. “Wh-what are you talking about?”
The voice was silent. Then: “Who is this? Agent Han, is that you?”
The words “cleansing Lani” slammed around in Ava’s head like cannonballs, leaving her feeling dizzy and sick.
“They already know. The Alliance sent me here to make sure that the device stays secret, at any cost,” Naomi said, and with a terrible certainty, Ava knew that she wasn’t lying. The panic that she had been experiencing for so long faded away, replaced by a horrible despair. She found herself looking out through the window, the utter blackness seeming to expand, larger and larger.
“Ava, open the damn door! You heard her! There’s no way out!” Ethan shouted from behind the glass. When she didn’t react, he pounded at the door again. Naomi took a more reasonable approach, her voice cool.
“If you open the door, we won’t kill you. Not right away, at any rate. After all, it could be weeks before the Alliance transport ship arrives. Think of all the fun that we could have.”
But Ava didn’t even turn her head. Instead, she just continued to gaze out the window at the darkness that lay beyond.