I have been doing a little creative writing regarding the Evolve Universe and would like to share it with you guys.
"The Red Star"
“I’ve never understood why they chose this planet; the place is huge block of ice with nothing on it” – Cabot uttered as Laurie-Anne docked the “Zvezda” orbital station. The planet that former Marshall referred to, ironically named Prometheus, was indeed very hostile towards the colonists: surface temperature never rose above - 40 degrees, and the never ending blizzard that dominated the atmosphere forced the small population to rely solely on the proper work of life-support machinery. Whenever something broke down, the affected colonists usually mysteriously disappeared within several days.
“Highly profitable energy sources, along with cheap labor force seemed like a valuable asset to Salveron when they colonized this world. They did not expect what the Martian Labor Unions would turn this place into though.” A walking encyclopedia, Parnell always seemed to have an answer for any question Cabot ever asked.
“Never liked the Martians. Too grim and secretive, you know. This guy better be worth the trouble.” Cabot’s eyes were locked on the docking spot, calm as usual, but Parnell couldn’t help but notice a slight wrinkle on his friend’s forehead. He knew Cabot all too well to know this could mean only one thing – the commander was nervous. Parnell did not blame him; in fact, he couldn’t think of one reason why Cabot would be relaxed at this moment.
“Zvezda” greeted the two hunters with large red banners proclaiming the Worker Unions’ glory and a giant, caterpillar-looking line to the checkpoint (probably the last one in the galaxy). Cabot tried to apply his diplomatic skills, appealing to the urgent nature of their visit and his status as a renowned planet tamer, but a long, speechless stare from a 9-foot tall guard forced him to retreat into the queue. After an hour of useless formalities, Parnell and Cabot were finally granted access to the public areas of the station.
“How do we find this ‘strongest and bravest man’ of yours in this place?” – Cabot was annoyed by the fact that his fame and authority meant nothing for the old-fashioned Martian executives.
“I informed him of our arrival, he should be waiting for us at the most civilized establishment on “Zvezda”, the “Hammer and Sickle” bar.”
“What? A bar is ‘the most civilized establishment’ in this place?”
“You really don’t know Martians, do you?” – Parnell smiled.
“Guess not” – Cabot admitted. “Let’s just hope we don’t run into any kind of trouble this time”.
“Hammer and Sickle” turned out to be a small pourhouse, filled with cigarette smoke, stench of pickled cucumbers and dirty, tired laborers who stopped by to enjoy their well-earned drink after a long shift. Parnell and Cabot arrived early, so they seated themselves at the bar, anticipating the arrival of a potential employee. As time passed, more and more faces turned their way, until one worker stood up and approached the hunters.
“You not from here” – the worker stated, staring straight into Cabot’s eyes.
“We are not indeed. We are waiting for a friend of hours and would like to remain undisturbed” Cabot tried to keep a polite tone, although he knew where this conversation was going.
“This place not for visitors. Only locals here”. The worker kept staring at Cabot aggressively.
“I do not think that…”
“I said” – the worker interrupted – “This place only for locals”.
“Listen brother”, Parnell tried to reason with the angry stud, “We are just…”
“I am not your broth…” – a heavy mechanic arm suddenly pulled the worker back, simultaneously turning him around.
“Out. Now.” The giant’s low voice sounded calm, but the steel-like tone did not leave any room for disobedience.
“Is this our guy?” – Cabot inquired.
“Yup” – Parnell nodded. “Markov, you clumsy Russian Bear, just in time. Meet my friend, Mr. William Cabot. He wants to make you an offer we spoke about”.
“Markov.” – the giant extended his paw-looking mechanical hand to greet Cabot. “Very big pleasure to meet you, Mr. Cabot”.
After the formal introductions have passed and Markov has apologized for not taking his SALGE working suit off, the trio moved to one of the tables, since the flimsy bar chair almost broke after a 400-pound cyborg tried sitting down on it. Parnell and Cabot have already finished their drinks, and to catch up, Markov ordered ten shots of Martian Moonshine. This was mostly an act of politeness, since ten shots would not even make him tipsy. Cabot proceeded with the job explanation, unsuccessfully trying to avoid looking at Markov’s glowing mechanical eye.
“So, you say job is dangerous” – the giant asked, after the explanation was finished.
“Yes. I cannot guarantee your return. But NORDITA pays well, and if we succeed, you won’t have to space-weld for minimum wage anymore”.
“I do not care about pay. I want glorious battle, and if I die defending peoples, so it be. When we leave?”
“Just like that? You won’t even ask about risks, or anything about the people you’ll be working with?” – Cabot seemed to expect more questions from the intimidating Martian.
“No” – Markov replied. Sensing that he needs to say something else to avoid an awkward pause, he added: “If I work with team, I protect team. No one dies before me, you can be sure. Oh, and I keep suit. It protect me many times in space, and it will protect me from beasts on planet. Suit a little itchy sometimes, but I deal with it”.
“Very-well then. The Laurie-Anne is stationed at the dock V-12-05-14-09-14. How much time do you need?” Cabot seemed happy that the interview didn’t take much time.
“Do you have good weapon for me?”
“Our armory will make any custom weapon you would like, free of charge.”
Markov smiled. This emotion rarely appeared on Martian’s face, and perhaps for the best: smiling Markov resembled a shark that has spotted a drowning human.
“Why we waste time then?, he said, finishing the last shot of Moonshine. “Come. Great Adventure awaits”.