It's 1am, I;m just a week away from my first exam and I'm writing oban stories! Shit why does inspiration come in the worst moments. I hope I haven't missed any big mistake. I'm just too sleepy to check it again. Hope you'll like it.

Disclaimer:I still don't own a few headaches though

Don Wei entered the spatial port as a tornado. He pushed aside everyone who stood in his way ignoring any occasional swearing. His sergeant could barely keep up with him. He apologized for his boss whenever those pushed aside looked violent or helped up the ones who were pushed too hard. Don didn't see anything else but the large shining ship. He felt the need to crush something: a head, some bones or at least something heavy. As he got closer he saw a group of men in tidy uniforms and some doctors who were obviously expecting him. He saw Collins amongst them and clenched his fists as the need to crush something got more intense. The group spotted him and some started walking towards him very confidently as they were just about to communicate a court sentence to a criminal. But Don's glare was enough to eradicate any trace of confidence in them. They all moved aside and silently decided to wait for him to finish with his captain and crew.

The guard and the doctor at the entrance stepped right out of his way forgetting any routine procedure. The sergeant saluted them and managed to skip the control as well. Don made his way to the main hall of the ship where the majority of the crew rested. Everybody got up in respect as he entered but he didn't respond to their salute as his habit was. He stopped in the middle of the room and glared around until a lad with double colored hair and bushy eyebrows stepped aside and grinned silly as he revealed a short pale figure with messy red and black hair, dressed in a boyish school uniform that was too big for her. A joyful smile covered her tattooed face which, although was probably meant to be cute, only angered him more.

"What in the world are you doing here young man?"

The smile vanished and her cheeks turned red in anger.

"Do I look like a young man to you? Can't you see I'm a girl?"

"Oh, is that so? Than you have even less reason to be here. This is the starship of a trading company not a shopping mall!"
"But I'm…"

"One spoiled brat, for sure, who thought it would be funny to sneak in a star ship. I hope you've realized by now that you broke the law and naturally your parents are going to pay for it. However that's none of my business. As far as I am concerned you are just a surprise, and I hate surprises!"

The girl opened her moth to say something but nothing came out. A hurt expression took the place of her red cheeks and furious eyes. She looked down, clenching her fists, trying hard not to cry.

"You should have known better." Came the last line Don Wei was willing to say to her. He turned around looking for McCoy, his captain.

"This is just a big mistake…my name is Eva. I'm your daughter." Mumbled the girl but nobody around seemed to notice, and especially not Don Wei.

"McCoy, where the hell are you?"

"Here, Mr. Wei."

The captain stepped forward with the expression of a guilty criminal. Don glared at him for a few minutes, waiting for he's need to crush his bones to decrease. McCoy tried to find a way to save his skin, as he knew only too well how ruthless his boss was in such situations.

"Mr. Wei, I can assure you that I or neither of the crew members had any idea of her presence until we passed our border. She got us all fooled."

"So in short you are a fool! You think any of this stupid excuse will make things better. Is your job to know everything that goes on your ship, is your job to have double or triple checks before leaving port, or have you forgotten the laws of space circulation? Or perhaps the rules of my company?"

"Mr. Wei, we did checks and followed all the procedures, she just…"

"So you claim to have been fooled by a school-girl? You are obvious incompetent! And what if you passed the border? Was it that difficult to turn around?"
"There was no time, China Lady was already ahead and the trading season is almost at the end. It would have taken us a day or two more to make the return and make it here."
"The season ends in a week not two days!"
"But the race…"
"I have never stressed the importance of my competition with the Golden House over the laws or my regulations! As I see it even after this childish mistake you still hoped to get the extra pay check I offer. And you risked the integrity and prosperity of Wei Enterprises and these men jobs!"

"Mr. Wei, please understand! I have never thought of such a…"
"I don't want to hear anything more from you! You are fired!"

McCoy turned yellow and couldn't articulate even one word to defend him further.

"What? Wait! You are unfair, this wasn't his fault!"

"Shut that thing!"

Don looked around searching for someone. He found the person and gave him a 'we need to talk' look, then turned around to leave.

"Get off my ship already!" he said to McCoy and made his way to the door where his sergeant was waiting paralyzed.

"That's unfair! You can't fire him jut for that!" tried the girl to protest, but everything was in vain.

"Shut up, you'll only make things worse", said to her the bushy-browed boy.

"But this is unfair!"

"You already caused enough problems! Why don't you calm down?", said another crew member with a hating expression on his face. It was obvious that he was fond of McCoy.

Don reached the door.

"Mr. Wei?", asked the sergeant, waiting for orders.

"You take command of the ship for now."
"But Sir, I have never been in charge of a star ship, I don't know what to do."
"Figure it out!"

Don's last line sounded like a curse. His anger increased as he realized the gates and the door were open all the time and the group of doctors and soldiers saw and heard everything. He spotted a few nourasions in the group which made things even more difficult. He stepped outside prepared to face them.

Meanwhile the new captain looked confused around unsure with what to start. He went to McCoy, who was still in shock.

"You'd better wait till the boss finishes with the group outside."
McCoy nodded and remained frozen where he was. The captain pitied him a great deal.

"I'm sorry for all this"

"It's not your fault", mumbled McCoy.

The captain patted him on the shoulder and turned away looking for the girl who caused everything. He saw her in the same place, looking down with her fists clenched trembling with anger or sorrow. She looked miserable but somehow he couldn't feel sorry for her, though for him she was just an unfortunate child who wanted to play. There was something in the clenching of her fists that reminded him of Don Wei that made him forget she was just a little girl.

"Who are you?" he asked, with a cold tone. The girl just stared at him blankly. It was as if she didn't noticed he was talking to her. Little did anyone in the room know about the storm that was inside her: memories against the present; nor would anyone care about it.

"Didn't you hear me? What's your name?"
"I'm…"started the girl but suddenly stopped like she changed her mind.

"Go on…" he was starting to be impatient. She looked around, not being intimidated by him, which angered him.

"Spit it out already! We haven't got all day."
"I'm Molly…" she answered. Nobody noticed she was looking at a box with the image of a blonde woman on the beach on which was written 'Molly Spring'.

"Well that's not helpful. I want your last name."
The girl looked down again.

"We must find your parents. Come on already, tell me!"
"Swan …"

"Well, miss Swan what should we do with you?"
She finally sensed a bit a fear.

Eva expected something really bad: a punishment of some sort. But she was just brought to what it seemed the workshop of the company. It was really busy as everything had to be prepared for the race and the coming departure. She tried to find a spot where less people would stare at her. She sat on a petrol container near two guys that worked on a star racer she saw on the ship. She got the feeling that they weren't common workers, but she wasn't interested in finding anything about them. She was too deep in her thoughts.

'Why did I choose that name...' she kept thinking. She felt like she said she is not her father's daughter, like she accepted her fate that she'll never have the family she dreamed of for years, and she wasn't the kind that gives up that easily. Yet the events in the star ship shook her world and fantasies so bad.

"Is Don Wei always like that?" she asked sure that nobody will bother to talk to her.

"Like what?" came an answer. She raised her head surprised and stared at the guy with the glasses.

"Was he an ass on the space ship?"

Eva swallowed a not in her throat and nodded. She didn't like what she heard. So many dreams broke this noon and she felt that her last hopes were about to be put to the ground.

"Well no trader is nice, Don acts more like a bastard because he is one of the best. He was pretty cold even long ago when he just had the racing team but this business gave him harsher traits of character."
"I say it only helped bring out his character. He's a genial asshole, yes that's the best way to describe him. The man is smart, cunning, tenacious…well a genius in his own right, but none of these traits make them less of an asshole." said the dark-skinned guy hitting the surface of the ship.

"Take it easy on our baby Stan… Maybe he was more pissed than usually"

"What do you mean 'usually'?"
"He hides it quite well but we have been around him long enough to know he is always bothered by something. As he had a fight he was never able to win"
"Maybe some chick rejected him in high-school" joked Stan, but it didn't make Eva laugh.

She felt hurt and looked down. However she wasn't willing to open her heart so she tried to avoid being asked any questions.

"Why do you work for him, then?"
"He's the best option…For us is either a reasonable asshole or just some assholes. You know in life nothing is just white, it has to have some black around there in a corner."

"You look very disappointed." pointed out Koji, who had been observing her from the first moment she spoke.

Eva didn't answer.

"I get it!" exclaimed Stan"You saw one of the interviews where he talks abut his racing team didn't you? Old fox comes like the most loving team father in those shits. I've always wondered how he manages to pose so well. Isn't that true? Between me and you, you should have better fallen in love with some dumb, handsome pilot of his, than with this old bastard. Well I usually enjoy meeting people with strange tastes, however yours is over the top. His speeches can be inspiring, if one can't see through them, so maybe I can understand you…You just wanted to talk to 'the daddy', didn't you?"
"I wanted to talk….to daddy. And…"

"And what?"

Eva looked away, hating that she wasn't more careful.

"Fine, don't tell me, uncle Stan won't mind."
Eva chuckled smiling at him.

"Nice to meet you, uncle."

"Nice to meet you to Kiddo…or what was your name?"
"OK nice to meet you Molly. And this madam here is Koji."
"Fuck you, monkey!" And Koji punched Stan's arm.

"See? He hits worse than a girl. I'm sure you have a harder punch."
"Maybe, I do. You wouldn't want to try it."
"Ooo, dangerous!" Both Stan and Koji grinned and Eva laughed.

"Now, you are the first people who were nice to me here."
"Don't take the unfriendly attitude personal. Usually only Don would be pissed but now there has been so much shit happening that most men caught his bad temper."
"Bad things happened?"
"Yeah, haven't you heard? Attempt of war, humiliation etc."

"I thought it was a joke."

"Unfortunately we are the joke, and everybody feels it. Nourasia does a lot of abuses but now they have a reason for it."

"Do they?" Eva was amazed that she sounded so interested in a subject of no importance to her.

"Hmm…How to explain the situation? You do know some things about our relationship with Nourasia?"
"I know we sort of depend on them."
"Yes, because we fucked up our planets so hard that cancer and other diseases are extremely common. And our food, water and air are so full of toxins that we can't develop any cure on Earth or other planets. The only cure is the Nourasion tea."
"I drank it a few times, it's really good."

"I know. But still pray you'll never need to drink more of it. Anyway, where was I? This tea doesn't come cheap at all. Topaz…That is the only payment they would accept. Earth is full of it but still…It is exhaustible and we have really bad experience with such materials…We tried many times to offer alternative payment but they don't want to hear of it."
"That tea can't grow on Earth or any other of our planets, or so I hear…"
"That's true. It seems humankind would last as much as the topaz, if by miracle our planet is not suddenly cleansed of all the pollution.

Many races are in the same boat, and nourasians love it. We all depend on them so they are free to put any conditions. Some are very hard to take. Our generals thought they could ease these regulations by a war…Pah, fucking fools. Sorry for my bad words."

"Don't worry about it. So all types of aliens are here?"

"Yes, but they won't openly be hostile. However you should avoid going outside this place." Said Koji as he took his I-pad and prepared to get back to work.

"Why not?" asked Eva quite disappointed.

"Well most aliens here had never seen a human woman, and I can't say how they would react."

"Actually most people here haven't seen any kind of women for the last three months."
"Nourasia banned women from trading?"

"No, they have no rule for that. Is just that this kind of business is not exactly for girls" said Stan with a grin that annoyed her.

"I see…"

'Sexist bastards. Didn't we got rid of them centuries ago?...'

"Anyway we should get back to work; I hope you won't get to bored.'

"Don't worry about me."
And with that Eva turned back to her thoughts, which were even darker.

'It shouldn't have been this way'

"IMPOSSIBLE!" shouted Don as he hit the desk. Next moment the coffee along with the mug flew out Don's window. He clenched in his fist the piece of paper he had just finished reading. He usually started with the electronic information but the whole business on Shining Arrow gave him such a bad headache that he decided to read the letters.

"Ruined…I'm ruined." He muttered leaning against the wall and breathing heavily. For a few moments he stared blankly at the floor unable to tell if he was awake or dreaming.

"This simply cannot be!" and he ripped the letter and sat at his desk again. He opened the data cube brought on Shining Arrow and browsed through the info. However it was no different from the one in the letter. He then started double checking everything. It was all there: how his two banks were made bankrupt, the remaining credits etc.

'How could everything happen so fast? Everything was fine when I left Earth.' The image of Wabble with his sharks at his side and a couple of government officials came to his mind. 'Curse them! It was certainly them! And you Don Wei are the biggest idiot in the whole galaxy! Your archrival has the best lawyers on Earth and you keep all your money in just two banks? Of course there is the account in the Bank of England but that's not even half of the credits I have to pay. You fool! You should have known better!'

In anger he threw the data-cube against the wall. After seeing the little sparks coming out the broken device his mind went numb. All seemed so unreal. That morning he was the most powerful trader on Earth and now he was nobody, soon enough a prisoner in the jail of debtors. He was familiar with this sort of shifting of situation a few years ago, but now he was so long on top that he had become over-confident. 'A while ago I knew the most dangerous thing is to have to much trust in yourself. How could I forget that?'

The sounds of the street faded away. All he heard was the sound of the guardian's heavy steps and a pistol hitting the bars of a cell. 'No Don Wei, wake up! It's not going to end like that! No way in the world! I still have a race to win.'

"Mr. Wei ? A Mr. Rick Thunderbolt is here to see you. And he is…" The voice of his assistant through the interphone never sounded more pleasant. "Right on time…Tell him to..."

Rick was already in the doorway, which caught Don a little off guard.

"You know I don't wait to get permission."

"Ha! Impolite as always, aren't you pal? It's still good to see you."
"Yeah, right…Spoke the decorum king."

"I may have picked up some other habits. You know that's how it gets when you are on an upper stair."

"An upper stair of what? Ego?"

Don laughed feeling a little better as plans started wiring in his head.

"I trust my ship was comfortable enough"

"I won't raise your self esteem higher than it is, Don, so stop trying."

"Please have a sit. We have a lot to cache on."

"Maybe we have." Rick made himself comfortable in one of the armchairs, while Don sat back at his desk, taking another cigarette.

"I hope you don't mind."

"I still don't" And he smirked, waiting for Don to open the subject: that thing that burned in the back of his mind ever since he left Earth.

"How was the news received home?"

"Just as always: a lot of hysterical people at talk-shows asking for the resignation of the head of the army along with the government, some political crisis and talks of an economical one…just the same mess we always see. It's just louder this time. But business still goes on despite the whole mess, sometimes not in a favorable direction."

Don swallowed a knot in his through as he glanced at the data cube. 'Not favorable at all…' he thought looking back at Rick who still had a smirk on. Don started to feel uncomfortable; there was something that annoyed him in Thunderbolt's expression.

"It rarely goes in the desired direction, my friend; unless, of course, you are a master of resilience. Bouncing back is the most important thing in these days. Earth needs to do this big time."

"And you intend to teach them?" asked Rick almost laughing.

"I have little patience with oafs. I only wish to ensure my business bounces back. I'm quite delighted that you'll be around to see it. I assure you that the long, expensive journey from home was worth it."

At that Rick started laughing. Don gathered all his forces to look calm. He examined Rick's expression and could clearly see a mix of delight and pity for him. And then it hit him: 'He knows! Shit! He knows'. He swallowed another knot.

"I trust you aren't here just for relaxing, it's an awful place for a vacation."

"I came for the view, a certain view" and he grinned glancing at the data cube on Don's desk.

"Views are quite boring for a man of action like you. Some speed would give your little vacation some salt and pepper. You are aware of what I am planning, aren't you?"

Rick moved his glance to Don, and his gaze made the trader freeze for the first time in a very long time.

"I have some other options to consider." His grin widened.

'Think Don! Think!' But he was unable to come up with any solution. A wire of the plan just wouldn't plug, he could sense it. 'I'm not giving up, think you bastard!'

"I trust the mail was interesting"

"Not really. Trading mail has become so boring: there are always the same old reports. I kind of miss the old days when I received random love letters and death threats."

"You are good, Don, but not that good. I know what happened to your bank." And his grin widened.

Don felt like punching him. He clenched his fists, repressing his trembling.

"You are ruined Don. Congratulations"

Don glared at Rick for a few seconds and suddenly his face cracked into a grin. Finally his brain was working.

"And you thought you'd be the nice boy who'd bring me the news?"

"No, I knew you had others to bring them. As I said I came here for the view." He stood up and so did Don. They seemed to be having an intimidation battle. Rick was a bit unsettled by the fact that Don suddenly looked so confident. However he still thought he had the upper hand.

"So you came all the way here just to see your old boss ruined. You are just pathetic."

"I'm here to see an asshole go back to his place. How I longed to see the expression of the homeless in the gas station once more. But more than anything I wanted to see your face right before heading back to the desert. For the homeless I'll have to wait some more, or so I hear."He smirked looking at Don.

"We'll be colleagues." said Don calmly still grinning.

And suddenly all of Rick's confidence was wiped away. His face lost any trace of grinning and was petrified in an anxious expression. He felt like he hated Don; he wasn't sure if he truly hated him before, but now he felt pure hate towards him.

"You weasel" he muttered still staring at Don.

"You really underestimate me, dear friend."

Rick felt like vomiting when he heard the word friend. He swallowed a knot and glared at Don, still unable to speak normally.

"I do know what you've been doing ever since you've left."

"You mean ever since you've fired me!" the hate in him gave him the strength to speak, but the last pieces of his reason were telling him that anything he'd say in that state will turn against him.

"Put it your way. What I mean is that the junior league wouldn't ever pay you enough to make such voyages for pleasure. So my thought is that you are in the same boat as I am. The only reason you'd risk such a journey would be desperation. Am I right? Yes, I think I am."

He grinned very pleased of himself. He took a minute to examine him, knowing he won't answer. The sense of triumph filled him and he felt again like Don Wei, the best trader and racing team manager that ever was.

"Admit it Rick, we need each other."

"Fuck off, Don Wei! I told you I have other options."

"Of course you have. Considering that you came here, you are in need of an extraordinary amount of money, and even if you win the only people who'd pay you that much would me and Wabble."

"You got it, your arch rival" and Rick grinned feeling some traces of his initial confidence returning. However Don wasn't moved by his scenario.

"I salute your new dimension of thinking: the classic formula for revenge. I got to admit, even I couldn't think of a better one. However you and I have known each other for a very long time. I know that you have something very rare among clandestine desert racers."

"You bet I have. And my moral principles forbid me to work with a selfish rascal like you."

Rick turned away to leave.

"Moral codes constructed in the privacy of our mind never mold perfectly on a situation. I am a rascal, probably the biggest of them all. Since the race is in less than 24 hours I doubt I have any real chance of changing for the better and since our collaboration will end afterwards I don't have much reason to do so, I'm sure you don't really expect any miracles."

"I don't have time for your babbling" and he opened the door.

"Of course you don't, you have a big choice to make. What would it be: the rascal or the slave-keeper?"

"Have fun fucking yourself."

Rick slammed the door behind him, leaving Don alone.

'Let's see what effect would that have' Don sat at his desk with a sigh.

He was a bit disappointed to find his cigarette burned up almost completely. He finished it staring out the window at the orange clouds that masked Nourasia, and for the first time since he was a trader he found himself preying.

'Lord, please let Wabble be himself.'

Though Stan and Koji told her not to wonder off, Molly was too bored to stay indoors anymore. Everyone was so busy that she wasn't noticed, not even by her new 'uncle' and 'aunt'. Outside the workshop there was a huge courtyard stuffed with more boxes than she cared to count. On the other side a 3 story quite elegant building was closing the view in the street. She could hear the buzzing out there and could see dust raising, but couldn't make out any activity. She glanced at the building, wondering if Don Wei's office was on this side, but quickly erased the thought from her mind. She didn't want to think about Don anymore. She went straight to a portion of the fence where some boxes were lined conveniently enough to climb over. She climbed a few of them and found herself about the busy street.

Nothing she read, saw in movies or at TV, not even her wild imagination could have prepared her for that sight. So many strange looking aliens, so many different languages clashing at once in her ears, so much color; everything was overwhelming. She stood there leaning against the edge of the fence observing the life before her. She immediately figured out the nice and mean people. There were the tall pale skinned fellows that seemed to be about all the nasty stuff around and the unfriendly giants that any human knew too well and the friendly ones that reminded her of Obelix, from her favorite cartoon. Some neat packs of funny-looking one-eyed creatures made their way across, each lead by one who held a little flag. Everyone seemed to find it wise to get out of their way. The street was also full of strange sepia-like aliens, which amused her, especially when one tried to sell a dress to a human boy. She chuckled at the sight and then turned her gaze elsewhere, not wanting to miss a thing of this strange new world. As she kept looking around she spotted a dark, lean figure and a flashback instantly passed her mind. She startled losing balance on the edge of the fence and fell down into the street.

"Ouch…" She groaned in pain. Looking up she realized she was out of her prison.

"Well Eva, if you are out anyway, why not look around?" She stood up clearing the dust on her clothes and grinned as she felt herself free again. 'Which way to go? Inni, miny minny, mo! That way!' And the walked down the street tossing one more glance at the elegant building. 'I'll think about you later.'

She continued her walk, realizing that moving around here was way harder than in Hong-Kong, Tokyo and New York, which any average human would think impossible. When she was almost ran over by a truck she started having second thoughts about her little adventure. However all her worries were washed away by the sound of music. She followed the sound of the drums and flutes (or whatever they were) and soon came across a crowded bar. It looked like the drinking spot in town. She entered and sat on a low bench next to the door, looking curiously at the crowd. She realized she could really use a drink but had no money and was unsure what kind of payment would be required.

As she was busy cooking a plan to obtain a drink she lost notice of what was happening around her. Being careless in a bar full of pissed people was dangerous enough on its own, being careless in a bar full of strange pissed aliens on another planet was insane. She felt some bony fingers on her shoulders and she flinched immediately trying to get away from the figure. The tall alien just tightened his grip and Eva was terrified to see that his nails started growing.

"And what are you supposed to be?" He asked grinning showing two rows of sharp teeth that made Eva regret she watched 'It' over a hundred times.

"Wha..? Isn't it obvious? I'm a human!"

"Really? I never thought the humans would have such lovely halfs"

Eva didn't like where that was going and tried to pull away with no outcome. The alien widened his grin, which made her want to smack him.

"Why won't you spend some time with me…and some friends, someone might even pay."
"Sorry I have other plans"

"Plans?" and he burst into the most annoying laughter she had ever heard. "You don't make plans unless you have the strength to make them happen."

"I might be stronger than I look." She said trying not to look scared.

"Than bring it on" The alien said laughing and tightening his grip.

"Why would you want me anyway? I am a human while you are…something else."

"Oh, dear some parts are quite similar" and he grinned, though he was surprised to see the girl grinning also.

"Lovely then" she said and before the alien could make any move she raised her leg hitting as hard as she could in between. The alien pulled back crying in pain and releasing Eva.

There was some disorder in the tavern, but Eva didn't stay to see what was happening. She ran away as fast as she could, taking a few turns in little alleys until she reached a clear area with some dried grass and some old stone constructions. There she was sure she lost her unwanted suitor but also realized she was lost.

'Great…why I always get into shit?'She walked around the plain looking for a way to climb on a high enough spot to see Wei's building.

Suddenly a strident noise made her look straight forward just to see a huge machinery charging forward, towards her. She screamed in fear and jumped right out of the way landing in the dust. The giant vehicle stopped and a big re-haired guy jumped of it.

"I'm sorry little one I, didn't mean to scare you or hurt you"

"Don't worry about it. I'm OK." She said trying to get back to her feet.

"Here let me give you a hand" and he grabbed her hand and pulled her up. Eva found herself into the air at the same face level with him. He seemed to examine her closely. She gave him a smile and from underneath the bushy beard a large smile answered her.

"By the beards of my ancestors you are tiny!"

"I'm not that small"

"By human standards maybe not."

He put her down and shook her hand. "My name is Rush and I hail from the planet of Byrus"

"I'm…Molly and I'm from Earth. Nice to meet you"

"I'm glad I meet you too." and smiled brightly at her. She returned the smile.

"I'm wondering…What is this thing?" she asked pointing at his vehicle.

"Oh, this beauty here is my Star Ship."

"Star Ship? Really?" She asked her eyes lighting up with excitement.

"Of course! On my planet we have races at every celebration. Sometimes even for no reason."

"And you keep this custom here to?'

"Well they are much smaller, until now. But thanks one of your chairmen we now get a real one. That's about the most exciting thing that has ever happened around here."

"Really? A race soon? I'm new around, who is organizing it?"

"That skinny grey-haired one…Wei I think is his name. Betted quite a fortune."

"I see…" a small shadow passed through her eyes, but it went away as quick as it came and she smiled cheerfully.

"Then I'll be cheering for you at the finish line…unless I decide to beat you."

The giant laughed full hearty.

"The more the merrier! Though you will need a Star Ship."

"Maybe I'll mange to get one. I am quite resourceful"

"Then Molly, here's for a splendid race ahead!" and he pulled a flask from his belt and offered it to Eva.

She drank something that tasted like ale but was stronger than anything she had drank before. He then drank to burst into laughing once again. 'Yeah, he's very much like Obelix'.

"Hey Rush, could you tell me how to get to Wei's place?"
"Want to sign up for the race, don't you?"

"Yeah, and I sort of live there."

"Well, see that wide street over there?"

And he pointed to an alley next which curved around a strange-looking statue and entered the town she just came out. At the other side she could see some white houses that looked very well kept.

"Keep that straight until you'll find a fountain with the statue of the creator god, like that over there but smaller and in a better condition." He said pointing the statue next to the street.

"From there you need to take the second street in that comes out the market, it's by a red, dull-looking building. Crogs, couldn't figure out what architecture is not even it smack them in the face. Anyway just keep going on that street and you should see it. I trust you know how it looks like."

"Yes, I do. Thanks a lot"

"I'd take you myself but I still have some test to make with my baby."

"Don't worry, I'll be fine" 'I hope', she thought remembering the incident with the other alien.

"Just don't linger to long in that market and you'll be fine. That's where the nasty people usually bind their time." And he made a disgusted face that looked very funny.

Eva chuckled and thanked him again, heading towards the big statue. She glanced at the other part of the road. It looked way nicer than that dusty town. 'Maybe that's where the nourasions live.' She felt an urge to explore that part but reason won that battle and she headed back to the dusty town.

She soon came across the market with the fountain and could easily identify the red building. It was indeed very dull-looking with three rows of long windows and a black metal door that reminded her of a prison's gate. She noticed how each trader built their estates in the style of their planets, and it wasn't a happy mix. Actually it was the worst combination of colors, styles and materials ever created. The contrast between this terrible looking town and the neat houses she just saw was striking.

She glanced at the fountain: the only proof she was in the Nourasian solar system. The figure had four arms: two of them were stretched to each side of its body with an orb in each one and the others were united at the chest holding a flower similar to a lotus. Its body ended in a three trunk and all over the statue there were swirling carvings, probably representing jewelry. The figure was adorned with a magnificent crown composed by swirling elements that framed a serene face. She wanted to stay a bit longer to examine it, but remembering Rush's warning she headed quickly towards the red building and the alley full of merchants that started by it.

She was just about to exit the market when some big arm grabbed hers and pulled her up. She yelped as she found herself in the air once again and this time the arm squeezed hers so hard that she couldn't feel her blood flowing through it. Unfortunately to her the arm didn't belong to one of Rush's friendly co-nationals.

"What do we have here?" his yellow eyes narrowed as he seemed to examine her body closely.

"Let go!" she tried to break away but there was no way to escape from this one. He wasn't affected at all by her struggle. His dark face prevented her from guessing his feelings, but she could swear he was delighted by her weakness.

"I'm so glad to meet you. I haven't had a god fun with a human girl for 25 years."

Eva startled. 25 years ago the Crogs tried to invade Earth and everything she has been told about that period was unsettling. She tried to think of something, some way out but nothing seemed to work and she started panicking. Suddenly she spotted a human with double colored hair running her way. He jumped on the crog's back punching his hard as hard as he could.

"Back off you crog!"

The crog released Eva and grabbed the boy from his back throwing him in a wall.

"You pathetic little human actually think you have a chance against me? I'll show you what happens to all who stand against the Crogs."

And he reached for his belt and pulled a gun. Eva screamed as he pointed it at the dizzy kid on the ground. Just when the crog pulled the trigger Eva saw a blue light covering the end of the gun that caught the shot making it evaporate into thin air. And then, before the black giant could make any move a figure descended from the sky kicking him so hard that he fell to the ground. Eva looked at the newcomer shocked but also relived that he saved that kid.

He wasn't very intimidating looking but everyone could tell by now appearances were deceiving. He had big elf-ears, tan skin and red hair that was pulled into three short ponytails. He wore a short beautiful dark blue tunic with golden ornaments and loose Turkish pants. His chest was covered by a golden armor covered with similar decorations as those on the fountain and he had a short rounded dagger at his belt.

The crog groaned as he stood up facing the nourasion, his eyes burning in anger.

"What do you think you are doing?"

"My duty, Toros." He answered calmly staring into the yellow eyes.

"You…You protect this humans?" the crog yelled clenching his fists as for fighting.

"Have you forgotten which…"

"You have certainly forgotten the law of this realm Toros!" another voice was heard behind Toros.

Looking that way Eva saw another nourasion a bit taller than their rescuer who had brown long hair tied into one ponytail at the base of his head and was wearing the same uniform as the other one.

"I've warned you many times what would happen if you kept harassing resident of this town."

"Traitors" the crog muttered, but put his gun back and glared at the brown-haired nourasion. The nurasion ignored his stare and made a sign to his colleague who nodded shortly. Then he turned again to Toros.

"I shall speak with your leader."

"Be my guest."

Toros headed to the red building. Every curious bystander stepped right out of his way as you could see his nerves boiling. He passed through the black doorway in which another crog was glaring outside at the humans. The tall nourasion followed and the door closed.

The red-haired nourasion gazed at the door for a few seconds, looking like he was deep in thought. He was waked up by a shy and sweet voice.

"Thank you very much."

He turned around to see a short red and black-haired human girl with strange signs on her face who smiled at him. He smiled back.

"The pleasure was all mine." He said bowing before her, which made her blush and widen her smile. He stood straight at the hearing of another voice.

"Well sorry about the fuss." The human kid had got up and walked towards Eva clearing the dust on his clothes. He grabbed her arm pulling her away.

"Come on Molly, show's over, we need to get back at Wei's. Besides I don't want to hang out forever with the lap-dog of the crogs."

"Wha…you!" Eva's blood flushed in her cheeks and she pulled her arm out of his she wasn't the most annoyed by his comment.

"The Nourasions are no one's lap-dog!"

The nourasion reached for his dagger in anger as the human took a fighting pose.

"Cut it out!" Eva stood between them glaring at the bushy-browned kid.

The Noutasion didn't pull his dagger. He stood straight with his eyes closed for a moment as he wanted to cool down a bit and then walked away.

"Hey wait!" Eva tried to follow him but she felt her arm gripped again.

"Where do you think you're going?"

She turned to him and quicker than he could blink she slapped him loudly. Everybody passing by stopped to watch them.

"Have you lost your mind?"

"Apparently you are completely out of it!" He yelled at her as he felt his cheek then noticed all the eyes staring at him.

"What are you looking at? That's the common way ladies greet us on Earth!"

He looked at everyone angrily enough to make them mind their business. Just when he thought he had solved all his problems he felt her palm hitting his other cheek even harder.

"What in the world was that for?"

"Just making the greeting clearer."

He grabbed her wrist in anger.

"Look just because you got a pretty face doesn't mean I won't smack it."

Eva pulled her arm from his grip and looked at him whit the expression of an angry tigress.

"And what makes you think I won't smack your?"

"Why you…"

He made a step closer to her but didn't take any action. He just looked into her ferocious eye. They stood like that, playing the intimidation game for several minutes. Then he stepped back with an annoyed groan.

"OK, maybe I was a bit to harsh on the Chihuahua"

"That Chihuahua just saved your skinny neck!"

"Well nobody asked him to" he said crossing his arms and turning away.

"Anyway we should get going"

"Why should I go anywhere with you?"
"Hey I came to help you first!"
"And almost got yourself killed!"

"It's the thought that counts"

"Not unless you are thinking."

"Fine, you are on your own!"

"Like I'd need you" and she walked ahead him as fast as she could, clenching her fists in anger.

The boy stood on the same spot for a few moments and then he yelled at her.

"The name's Jordan, by the way!"

"I don't care!" She shouted without turning.

"Whatever" Jordan sighted and followed her feeling his cheeks burning.

Rick sat on a metal box staring at the busy courtyard. Everybody was busy preparing the cargo for China Lady. Some boring looking fellow was explaining to him the traits of star ship, not realizing he wasn't paying attention. He already knew that type of star ship as he had piloted two during a racing season. All the improvements didn't concern him. He just took in the life in the Golden House. He saw the same busy people going about their business but their attitude was stiffer, like they always watching their backs. And soon saw the reason.

Some skinny kid who was arranging the boxes for transport moved one from the bottom trying to bring it in line with the others but caused the falling of some other packages above it. He rushed to pick them up but froze as a loud voice hit his ears.

"WHAT IN THE WORLD DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING? YOU'RE TRYING TO RUIN THE GOODS?" Wabble's yells were loud enough for Rick to hear them from the other side of the courtyard. He couldn't hear the boy's mumblings but could tell he was scared as hell.


He pushed the boy or punched him, Rick couldn't really tell. The boy fell to the ground and Wabble put his foot on his belly.

"PULL SUCH A STUNT JUST ONE MORE TIME AND YOU'LL REGRET THE DAY YOU WERE BORN!" he looked for a moment at the terrified kid and then kicked him in the stomach.

Rick startled and looked to the ground as dark clouds were gathering in his mind.

"GET BACK TO WORK! ALL OF YOU!" Wabble yelled even louder looking around the courtyard. He then headed towards Rick muttering some curses.

"Good afternoon Mister Thunderbolt. I am glad to see you again."

Rick nodded, not wanting to fake pleasantries.

"I hope you find this ship pleasing enough"

"I've piloted some like that before. They are very good."

Rick answered looking at the kid who managed to get up and rushed to fix his mess.

"I can assure you that you will find this one superior."He threw a short glare at the mechanic and then looked back at Rick, who still wasn't facing him.

"I've wanted to test all the capacities of this ship for quite some time but I wasn't in luck in the pilot department. My fortune seems to be changing as the opportunity has presented itself exactly at this race. I have made quite a bet on tomorrow's events"

"Trust me luck had nothing to do with it" said Rick, finally facing him. He looked blankly at his face as if he couldn't see it. Wabble grinned looking very satisfied. Some muscles on Rick's face twitched but his gaze remained empty.

"Well I can imagine that. I start paying you from one thousand credits and the number of zeros will increase depending on the place that you will be on the podium. I am actually very confident that a pilot as good as you will cross the finish line well ahead of everybody. You will also keep the prize money, of course. If everything goes well you will have over 5 thousand credits just from me."

Rick turned his gaze back to the boy who was trembling on his feet. Wabble started to loose his patience with him.

"What say you?

Rick looked at the ground for a moment clenching his fists. 'Damn you Don Wei! Damn you!'

"Hope is good enough for a champion" Wabbles glared at Rick annoyed by his silence.

Rick stood up and started walking towards the gate. 'I just hate it when you are right' he half turned his head towards Wabble: "Keep your money. You and I have no business to do."

Wabble almost jumped at his neck. He swallowed a knot and walked after him putting a hand on his shoulder.

"Hey, wait! You can't just leave... I can make it double."

"I said keep your money!" Rick answered shoving Wabble's hand off his shoulder.

Wabbled stopped walking and just glared at the tall well-built guy who exited his courtyard. When he couldn't see him he turned to the hangar reaching into his pocket for some papers. Inside a shabby looking fellow stood on a stool with a bottle of beer.

"Well Mr. McCoy your services haven't proved helpful at all." He said to the shabby guy holding the papers in both his hands as he was ready to rip them.

"Wa..Wait!" Wabbles looked at him expectative as the McCoy struggled to stand up straight.

"I…I also saw his medical sheet"

"Is it interesting?"

McCoy nodded leaning against a box. Wabble smiled pleased and handed the papers to him.

"I hope you'll enjoy your journey home with us, Mr. McCoy"

Hope you liked it.^_^