I laid on the cushions in my room and wondered what happened to the vampire and the Blue Robin. The Gorgots left me to my own devices so I called Tas using my wrist com.
“This user is not available to speak. Please leave a message after the tone.” Beep.
“Hi Tas, it’s Adriel. Are you doing alright? Is the ship okay? Call me back when you get a chance.”
I flicked off my wrist com and sat up. It was time to find some food. I exited my room and made my way down the hall. I couldn’t read the signs around me so I was totally lost. I looked up how to say food on my wrist com. My arms couldn’t wiggle the way they needed to but I could make an approximation. I found the nearest Gorgot and moved my arms to say food. The Gorgot made a gesture that looked like a follow me gesture and walked away. I followed hoping I communicated the right thing. It was as we walked that Tas called me back.
“Hey Adriel, I’m sorry I missed your call. Is everything okay?”
“Yes but forget about me, how are you and the crew?”
“I apprehended the vampire.”
“You badass! You saved the ship.” I followed the Gorgot down a hallway with glass all the way around, it felt like walking through space.
“We are transporting her to the Outer Rim where they’ll hold a trial.” Tas purred over the word trial. Anticipation evident in her tone.
I ignored the hail from the Blue Robin only to get hailed again. Reluctantly, I answered, “Hello this is Captain Wendel.”
“Hello this is Captain Ando.”
“How can I help you captain?” I cringed hoping he didn’t address my desertion after the vampire fled to his ship.
“We apprehended the vampire and would like you to participate in the legal proceedings.”
“Wow, you captured her…uh well I don’t think I can add anything of value.”
“You can, your ship was attacked like mine. You should seek justice. Unless you just want to run away.”
“If I never see that vampire again it will be too soon.” I crossed my arms and ignored the comment about running away. “Alright Captain Ando I’ll participate.”
“Good,” Captain Ando sent coordinates for the hearing.
The courtroom was on station Delta 39, a huge glass window looked straight into space. The judge sat on a raised chair with a huge desk made out of plexiglass. There was a large audience sitting in the gallery. Many of the people sitting in the gallery were survivors of the attacks. The vampire wore a translation collar around her neck. Her long black hair fell to her waist and her pale skin outlined her skinny form. The vampire spoke over the din of spectators. “Remove my shackles and I’ll kill you all.” A woman cried out, “oh!” Others simply laughed at the vampire who was in chains. After hearing the vampire’s threat all I could think about was the crew of my ship being terrorized. She would do it again, left to her own devices. I wrung my hands together not wanting to be anywhere near the vampire.
The judge banged their gavel, “I will have order in my court. Order, I say!” The room quieted down.
The vampire struggled against the restraints only to be electrocuted by the shackles. She squirmed in her seat. The judge looked at her directly, “Ela vampire from the world Gnos you are on trial for your crimes against the Starburst and Blue Robin. How do you plead?”
Ela scoffed, “Guilty and I’d do it again.”
No one spoke for a minute taking in her utter lack of remorse.
The judge countered, “Just like that you admit to murder and destruction of property? It is my duty to inform you that you are waiving the right to the trial and I can move forward based on your plea to sentence you.”
Ela hissed, “Get on with the sentence old man.”
The judge banged his gavel, “That’s enough out of you Ela. Now I want the testimony of the crew to help with deciding your fate.”
One by one stories were recounted of the death and carnage Ela was responsible for. Ela laughed as the most recent testimony recalled a beheading she managed with her bare hands. The judge asked for order. “It seems you’re incapable of empathy Ela. I’ve heard enough to pass judgment.”
Ela’s punishment was not conventional but reserved for the worst criminals. She was put in a transparent cage and left floating in space. The cube was under constant surveillance by the prison. The field of cubes was connected to the space station. The cube had a toilet that only functioned when she managed to sit on it. Gravity would temporarily turn on so she could go. Once she was done, gravity shut off. She could be seen in her cube by anyone flying by. Food was delivered three times a day in tubes that had little taste. The paste was made to stand up to the floating prison. She would throw out the remains in a trash compactor. Water was her source of hydration only during meal time. The tube was easy to rip too far open so the water sometimes floated in her cage.
Ela was stuck in space. No contact in her isolation with any living being. Blood was denied her so she grew pale and thin. Her mass decreased with time. There was no desire on her part to try to escape. After all, the only thing surrounding her was vast space.
Captain Wendel sat in the mess hall across from me. We were on the space station Delta 39 in the Outer Rim.
“Adriel, I’m happy to pay you for your time aboard the Starburst.”
“Thank you mam,” I scoffed down a spoonful of beef soup.
Captain Wendel wiped her face. “I’m glad to see that vampire in space.”
“Yes it was a fitting punishment.” I was glad she was no longer a threat.
END OF PROLOGUE