‘Yes! I get to work with B’Trell!’ her mind practically screamed in excitement as she hugged her info-pad to her flat chest. ‘I get to work with B’Trell! I get to work with B’Trell!’ Practically bouncing around, the young female took off at a run, gathering together her gear. Dressed in her typical pink and white dress, gloves and boots, the young Gilnar female attached her tri-visor to the sides of her head. Tapping out the security code to lock her residence, she rushed down the hallway to the hyper-lift in the center of the building.
Taking the hyper-lift to the top floor, she could barely contain her excitement as she punched in her security code for her personal garage, having to redo it once after forcing herself to calm, and watched as the doors slid open. Inside sat a single oval, an egg-like orb that extended out and transformed into her hover-cycle. Straddling the vehicle, she punched in her code to open the launch bay. Within seconds she was flying across the city, her quad virtual braids rippling in the breeze. Practically wiggling in her seat, the young looking female slid a finger against one of the various orbs on the steering column.
Seconds later, she was zooming above the clouds to see a massive disk with innumerable spires riding along, parting the clouds in prismatic spray, like some otherworldly skier. As she approached the disk, she could feel the radiating waves of the anti-gravity field ripple over her, like dozens of tiny fingers caressing across her skin, leaving little heat trails in their wake. Once through the field, she watched as a screen popped up in front of her face. “Unknown craft, you are about to violate Y’lar’s three dimensional space. Please transmit the reason for this trespass.”
“Y’lar Spacial Patrol, this is LeeLoo Plano.” she responded excitedly. “I am approaching to start my tenure as B’Trell’s new assistant. Transmitting authorization now.” With that, she swiped a finger across the screen.
It took only a second before she received a response. “Lee Loo Plano, you are advised to land at Sector 3, Sub-sector 15, Strata 69. Welcome to Y’lar City.”
A smile spread her blue lips. “Thank you, Spacial Patrol.”
Only a few minutes later, she was flying over Y’lar City, her small vehicle passing by much larger transports as they went about their daily business. The arrow icon showed her exactly where to go on her visor, while the slightest motion of her fingers or hands helped to decrease speed, or change her altitude. Seeing a large part of a building open up in front of her, the young girl moved her thumb back so that it slowed her forward momentum. By the time she passed the open wall, the vehicle was moving only about walking speed before she pressed a button with her finger and caused the entire thing to stop.
Hopping off, she watched as the wall raised back into place, locking behind her. A door on the side opened to reveal a slender male, roughly twice her height, his body was covered by a long deep purple robe that reached down to his feet, but belted in place by a black sash. “Miss Plano, I presume?” he queried.
“Yes, Professor B’Trell. It’s a pleasure to…”
“Skip the pleasantries, please, and come with me.” B’Trell remarked dryly. Turning around, he started moving with purpose through the hallway, his tendrils flipping and wiggling as he clasped his hands behind his back, the smaller female following in his wake. “Tell me, why do you want to work as my assistant?”
LeeLoo blushed a little. “I’ve always admired you, ever since I was a clutchling, and so I worked hard to learn everything I could in order to work with you. You’re the premier scientist in our entire civilization, and I want to learn everything I can.”
B’Trell turned to regard the young female. “Then you have wasted your time.” he announced. "When you became my assistant, you neglected to realize the first truth of assisting a scientist. Ninety-five percent of your time will be out in the field. I need you to collect various samples, analyze those samples, and sending what you discover back here via teleport. I don’t need some sycophant getting underfoot, tripping me and my experiments up.”
That stopped the young girl in her tracks. “But… I worked hard to get here, and only want to assist you.”
“What you want is immaterial, but what I need is an assistant who can get results.” B’Trell said, cutting her off. “Your testing scores are immaculate, and your youth makes you ideal for field work, but you seemed to be under some strange misconception that I would have you here in the lab.” He then turned to her, crossing his arms over his chest. “If you wish to be my assistant, then that’s what your task will be, but if you wish to resign and get another job, I will fully understand.”
“Oh no!” LeeLoo said with a smile on her face. “I like field work! When can I start?”
Seeing the smile on her face, B’Trell nodded only once. “Very well.” He then spun around to continue on his way, expecting Lee Loo to follow. “My other assistants are spread out across the galaxy. Each one took a sector, and has been charged with gathering necessary genetic samples of the local fauna, while obtaining pieces of the flora as well. I also need analysis of the air, water, and soil, not to mention potential harmful radiation of all planets in your sector.” Turning around, he looked right into the eyes of the young looking female. “Do you understand?”
“Yes, sir.” LeeLoo answered, looking back at the male. “But…”
Looking at the small girl, B’Trell cocked his head to the side. “Yes?”
“How am I supposed to get to all these places?” LeeLoo asked.
For the first time she’d seen him, the renowned scientist appeared confused. “Did you think I was going to have you float through the void with a sample case?” he asked, quirking an eyebrow. “I have already allocated a science vessel with an N3 Recovery Facilitator bio-droid, and a collection of maintenance robots who will work on the gravitic engines. Once you have everything you need packed up for a full solar cycle…”
“A… solar… cycle?” LeeLoo asked her eyes wide. “Wow…”
B’Trell nodded. “If you wish, I can have your pod taken care of while you’re gone, but know that once you leave I expect results by the time the three moons are full.”
“I… Thank you.” Lee Loo remarked. “I’ll head to the ship right away, sir.”
“Good.” he said as he handed her a circular belt buckle. “This is a recall device set for the ship. All you have to do is tap the front and say ‘Activate’, and it will teleport you straight to the main deck”
“Yes, sir.” LeeLoo remarked, practically giddy as she took the buckle, and affixed it to her belt.
“Because we don’t know what types of creatures you will find on these planets, I recommend caution. The ship has a small armory, but know that you will have to practice in the holo-range while not performing your duties.”
Nodding to the female, B’Trell turned around again. “Good. You are dismissed.”
On her way back home, her cycle speeding through the clouds, all LeeLoo could think about was the way B’Trell spoke with her. ‘No wonder he’s known as the greatest scientist on the planet. He's so straight forward and determined.’ her eyes wide as her smile beamed. ‘I can’t believe he’s trusting me with an entire sector. Ooh! I bet there’s going to be all sorts of interesting flora and fauna to find and test.’ Practically shivering in excitement, she inwardly giggled at the prospects of helping him with his experiments. Her fingers moved reflexively, a signal being sent out to open her transport bay.
It didn’t take LeeLoo long to pack up what little she was going to be able to take with her on the mission. Gathering a few clothes and necessary items, she held onto the small travel case as she tapped her belt buckle. “Activate.” Seconds later she felt the cool tingle of the teleport beam as it transmitted her to a small open tube. Blinking, she saw a robotic orb with a single eye floating in front of her, its nine blue tentacles dangling from the underside.
“Greetings. You must be LeeLoo Plano, Professor B’Trell has already uploaded my systems with the necessary information about our mission.” the mechanical voice announced, “I am the N3 class Recovery Facilitator, meant to provide my services as both a crew member, and a sub-assistant to you. Are there any questions you have before we head out on the mission?”
“You’re an N3RF? May I call you Nerf for short?”
“That is acceptable.”
“Will you talk like that throughout the entire time, Nerf?” LeeLoo asked.
“Negative. As I interact with others, I will start to assimilate personality traits and quirks that my companion might find agreeable.”
LeeLoo looked at the floating orb, a small smile quirking her lips. “Okay, then. Let’s get started. I’ll put my stuff in my room, and we’ll head out to our sector of space.” she announced.
Nerf turned and headed around the corner. “Your living quarters are right here.” the assistant offered as a tentacle came up and depressed a silvery panel. “Master B’Trell hopes that you find these accommodations to your liking.”
‘OH WOW!!’ LeeLoo thought as she stepped through the open door. ‘This place is bigger than three of my pods combined!’ Turning to regard her new assistant, she smiled and nodded. “I believe these accommodations will be quite acceptable.” Unpacking, she started setting her clothes into the anti-gravity hangers and drawers, the computer scanning each article, storing a holographic image for later use.
After setting everything up in her quarters, the female exited the room to see Nerf still floating outside her door. “Do you have the coordinates for our sector of space?” she asked.
“Yes, Miss Plano. I will activate the navigational console, and we shall head there at your earliest convenience.” Nerf remarked as he started floating toward a set of stairs.
Following in his wake, LeeLoo took the opportunity to check out the smooth metal surrounding her until they reached the lift. The sound of a door opening caused her to look ahead. Stepping into the cockpit was like every dream she’d ever had about flying her own starship. To the left was the navigational console with a massive galactic star map, while next to that was a circular tube that defied her to explain its function. On her right was the sensor suite with internal information about her ship next to that. Ahead of her was a single chair with a console with flashing lights. ‘This is so cool!’ she thought silently as she sat down in the chair, a single strap levitating up to the center of her chest, while four belts attached in the center.
“Adjusting seat and system for new occupant.” she heard Nerf say from behind and to the left. Just turning her head caused the chair to move, and within a matter of seconds she found herself looking at the upper section of the N3 unit, his tentacles inside the tube, while the central eye glowed a welcoming orange. “Input of navigational chart has been accepted. We are ordered to the southern sector of the fifth arm. Calculating.” After a few minutes, the navigational unit showed the sector on the screen. “We are currently tasked with cataloging all planetary bodies, space anomalies, and nebulae within a 100 light year area.”
“Oh wow! That sounds like fun!” she remarked happily. “How many celestial bodies is that, anyway?”
“Roughly 15,000 stars alone, with celestial bodies numbering between zero and at least a dozen each.” Nerf answered. “Most of these are uncharted systems.”
Nodding, she smiled at Nerf. "Okay. Let's get started."