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The pilot of the Red Mutineer studied her quarry on the hull view screen

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The pilot of the Red Mutineer studied her quarry on the hull view screen. Her initial disappointment of the Nisseri vessel's identity was quickly replaced by curiosity. The ship before her was not the one she'd been tracking, but it was special. There was only one live Nisseri on board but it was not the only life sign. The mystery provided a welcome distraction for the frustrated pilot. Daphne Glouschester had met one dead end after another for the past few months. On a whim she opened communications, sending an oratory message to test the waters.

"This is scout ship 5X91, what is your destination?" She gave the Pathosian designation Titus provided her before leaving port. Her ship could pass as a scouting vessel for a few races, but any Pathosians operating out here would be considered neutral agents. There was only one planet in this branch of the system belonging to the empire, a mining planet that consisted of penal colonies and a few scattered solitary citizens. The Nisseri ship was on a trajectory leading away from this world, straight into Barlok space.

"Heading to Keyos?" she murmured aloud as she waited for an answer. She tapped her chin, a theory forming. She considered the few facts she knew. A smile tugged at her lips. No, this crew wouldn't answer a message from a Pathosian scout ship, but they might respond to a different tactic. Daphne activated her bracelet, concealing her guns and donning her goggles as the nanites crawled along her scalp. She felt the itch and faint vibration; the color of her hair shifted. Once presentable, she opened communications again, this time hacking into their view screen to show her image.

"This is the Red Mutineer. Do you require assistance?" Moments passed before an unpleasant face filled her screen, a sneering parbreed male oozing superiority. Was that blood dotting his face?

"Greetings, pilot. We are stable and on course. Your assistance is unnecessary." She studied the man, watching the subtle shift of his eyes. She spoke to a brusque mouthpiece, the parbreed clearly taking cues from who knew how many others off screen. She clicked her teeth at the dismissal, sighing as she lifted her goggles from her face.

The man's eyes widened. Between the goggles, cropped hair, and concealing vest she wore, it was difficult to discern her gender through the filter of the view screen until she showed her face. "Let's try this again. I humbly request to board your ship and peruse the data logs."

The parbreed leered at her, she had his full attention now. "Now why should we allow that?"

"Two reasons." Daphne held up two fingers, leaning forward. The movement was strategic, her shirt tightened over her chest, giving him a hint of her curves. His eyes shot straight to her chest and back to her face, before hovering somewhere between. "I believe this ship had extensive interaction with the Nisseri clan I seek," she paused, waiting for her words to sink in. The parbreed shook his head, looking her full in the face once again.

"And the other reason?" he asked.

She smiled, noticing a few faces now looming behind the parbreed. "You'll allow me on your ship because I'm gorgeous." She cut the communication and sat back, counting in her head.

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