Ascension: Retrieval

“Target destroyed Sir,” said the lieutenant unnecessarily as they watched the feed from the pursuit craft: a ball of light, expanding and evaporating as the shuttle burst into fragments.

“It is over,” said the Commander. “We pray for deliverance of those beyond our help.”


They stood in silence, watching the screen.

“Wait,” said the commander, “closer.” The image leapt into higher magnification. “There.”

The lieutenant saw something spin away from the wreckage: two figures, entwined.

“Can we grapple from here?”

“It’s on the edge of our range, Sir.”

“Do it.”


“Pilot Oris,” noted the medician, “and unknown female. in coitu.”

The Commander looked at the bodies laid out before him.

“You are sure?”

The medician snorted. “I am a doctor, Commander.”

“And this…woman?”

“Physiologically human.”

The Commander nodded. “Very well…”

“Sir,” the medician interrupted. “You should see this.”

He lifted the hair and the Commander’s eyes widened as he saw it: a barcode, tattooed across the scalp.

View this story's 1 comments.