A/N: Hello. This is my first story on this account and my first for this movie all together. I have only seen the movie twice, but I was inspired. So if there are any details that are left out or fabricated, please tell me and I will act accordingly.

Oh, and the pairing(s) here (some still being debated) are one-sided Preed/Akima, Korso/Akima, and a bit of Cale/Akima later on.

Please Review (or Flame)

Chapter 1: New Recruits

Preed had been relaxing in his room, imagining all the fun he could have if he could get his hands on one of the bazookas in the weaponry when Captain Korso came on over the intercom, saying "Attention crew, we have new recruits. Come up to the bridge, now."

"And there he goes again," Preed muttered to himself as he got up from his bed, "ruining my break." He quickly made himself up to the bridge, unsurprised to see that Gune was already there. "Annoying git," he thought as he crossed his arms and looked at Captain Korso, ignoring Gune, who was pointing at something out of Preed's line of view and speaking what sounded like gibberish.

Preed held the captain's gaze evenly before saying with a droning tone "So who, or what, have you managed to 'recruit' now? Please don't say that it is a female version of Gune."

Korso laughed dryly and crossed his own arms. "Why don't you look for yourself? They're standing near Gune." Preed grimaced and turned his head towards Gune, who was jumping around hyperactively, which definitely earned an eye roll in Preed's opinion.

Then he looked up at the two newcomers, first taking in the one that was all legs, literally. The Sogowan was looking about suspiciously, and when she saw him her eyes narrowed. Preed smiled half-heartedly at her, earning a grimace from the leggy thing. His gaze then moved over to the smaller one, who was also female. However her appearance somewhat threw him back – he had never seen many human females before, and the ones that he had were ugly even compared to his own mother. And that was saying something.

This human was different. Her slanted eyes and somewhat flat features created the illusion of agelessness on the girl, and her black and purple hair added to the exoticness of the whole woman. Preed smirked inwardly as he let his eyes travel over her body; her outfit accented her feminine curves, if she'd loose the vest. In spite of his better judgment, Preed realized that he was staring at her breasts while thinking rather impure thoughts.

Korso startled him out of his thoughts by clapping a hand over his shoulder. "Ah, is it time for introductions already," Preed asked, cutting the captain off with a half smile as he flickered his eyes between the two new recruits, who regarded him with a mixture of apprehension and reluctance.

The human female stepped up first, walking over to stand in front of the captain and himself. She stopped about a yard or two away, and held out her hand. "Hello," she said with a neutral expression. "I'm Akima."

Preed was about to reach out and take her hand, planning to raise her hand to his lips and see how receptive she would be, but before he was able to even unwind his arms Korso took the girl's hand and shook it, a small smile playing on his lips.

"Hello Akima, I am Captain Joseph Korso." Preed sneered and almost turned away when he heard "And the recluse standing next to me is named Preed."

Preed turned around calmly despite the anger he felt towards being called a 'recluse' and waved once. "Charming to meet you," he droned out before smiling and giving a small laugh. "I'm sure you must feel the same." The girl's nose quivered and she stiffened minutely, but his sharp senses had detected it. Apparently he was the first Akrennian she had met and had not been prepared for the smell. "If you don't mind my asking, what is your name again," he asked, his voice laced with sarcasm.

The girl grimaced, but whether it was from her not being used to his smell or the fact that her name did not stick in his brain. "Akima," she said as evenly and politely as she could.

In all reality, he already had memorized her name. But it was fun, toying with this human. And it wasn't as if he couldn't get away with it; since humans were seen as leeches on established societies, no one would object to him toying with this one. Korso looked over his shoulder at him and glared, reminding Preed that while other non-humans wouldn't object, other humans would. He smirked, and the girl took it as a sign that he had gotten her name and returned to stand next to the other recruit. His smirk grew wider at that; the smirk had actually been for the irony of the situation he was in – the only thing that would keep him from breaking the girl's spirit completely was another human that he had to listen to.

He was just one step away from being captain of the ship, but while he was just first mate he could still be arrested for anything that the captain found unsavoury. The fact that Akima and the Captain were both humans made it impossible for him to fully get away with torturing the girl.

"Ooh, and what's your name?" Gune's voice resounded in his head, and he looked over to see the little toad greeting the Sogowan.

"Stith," the Sogowan replied with a few traces of annoyance in her voice.

Gune clapped and hopped in place, repeating her name before replying "My name is Gune!"

The Sogowan, Stith, crossed her arms and raised her nose slightly. "I know that. I heard you all be introduced to Akima. So you don't need to do it all over again."

Preed cocked an eyebrow. Apparently Korso hadn't chosen them for their personalities. A feisty Sogowan and a (he assumed) rebellious human. He lightly slapped his hand to his forehead when Gune led the two new crew members away, going on and on about some new invention he's been working on or some other useless thing.

"This is going to be a long trip," Preed groaned to himself before starting off towards his bedroom to finish his break.

Preed had just reached his door when Gune and Akima rounded the far corner. Gune's voice was loud, announcing that this was Akima's new room before handing her a ring of keys and pointing out which door it was. Gune went on to say that all of her belongings would soon be up from the cargo hold, and then he began talking to himself as he shuffled off around the corner again.

The middle-aged Akrennian felt a grin curl across his face. Akima was in the same hallway as him, which meant that they would probably have similar duties. Preed put away his room key and began walking silently towards Akima's bedroom. Akima was still standing outside the door, fumbling with the keys and trying to figure out which key fit the lock. Suddenly the keys slipped out of her fingers, and she cursed under her breath as she bent over to retrieve them, unknowingly allowing Preed to ogle her butt.

She had just picked up the keys when he spoke up, saying "Do you have need for aid with locating your bedroom key?" This almost startled her enough to make her drop the keys again, and she turned around rather quickly to find Preed leaning against the opposite wall and staring at her with an amused expression.

"No, I don't," she retorted shortly. "Go away." She tried another key, but this one also caused the card pad to blink red.

"Well for someone who doesn't require assistance, you certainly haven't gotten very far," he replied as he pushed himself off the wall and moved to watch her try to open the door over her shoulder. He placed a hand gently on her shoulder, and noted "Why don't you let me attempt? After all, I've been here longer than you." She made a noncommittal noise and he leant over her free shoulder to solemnly pluck the keys from her grip.

"Hey," she exclaimed as he raised the keys above her head. "Give those back!" She jumped up to get them, but he only jerked them higher. She brushed his hand off her shoulder and turned around to stare at him in the eye. "Please give me back my keys."

Preed scratched his chin as if he was thinking about it before placing both of his hands behind his back and leaning down to her eye level. "What do I get in return?"

Akima snorted and brushed a stray lock out of her face. "What makes you think I have anything to give?" Preed grinned; he had been wanting for her to say that.

He began to move towards her slowly, and she walked backwards until her back hit the bedroom door. Preed placed his hand that wasn't holding the keys next to her head as he leant in further, his grin still in place. "I have a question," he intoned softly as he pressed closer to the struggling younger human. "How old are you?"

Her struggling ceased and her expression changed from anger to guarded suspicion. "Why do you want to know," she asked in return, her voice not as soft as his but not as loudly as it normally would be.

Thinking quickly, Preed answered "Because it is part of the standard procedures for new recruits aboard this vessel." He leant back so that he was standing straight once again, and Akima relaxed slightly. "We need your age, birth place, and a bunch of other stuff."

Akima's face light up in recognition, and she spewed forth "Oh, you mean that survey thing Captain Korso had Stith and I fill out. I think it's already been entered into the database." Akima toyed with the hem of her vest for a moment before looking Preed in the eyes. "Can I have my keys now?"

Preed smirked and held out her keys. "Here are your keys, my darling." Her mouth screwed up at the nickname, which made him laugh. "Make sure to keep them safe. You never know what kind of sludge can turn up, thinking to have fun with a little human girl."

Akima drew back in apprehension and tried one more key on the keypad. Preed heard her release a sigh when the pad light up with a green light this time. He smiled and waved goodbye to her, but she didn't see it, as she was already closing the door by the time he raised his hand.

As soon as he heard the door click shut, Preen let the false smile fall from his face. This girl was difficult to tease, and at the rate things were going now he'd never get anywhere with her. He began to stalk off back to his room when he remembered that the information about her had been loaded into the Valkyrie database. Turning on his heel, he began to walk towards the infirmary, an evil grin blooming on his face.

He had a plan.