The following story is a work of fiction. Any similarities to real people or events is hilarious – and also coincidental. This book including text and cover artwork is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. This work contains texts borrowed and modified from the public domain.
Space-Time Coordinates: 32084.500800.skuld
Isis watched an image of the planet from onboard her spaceship, Duat. The gigantic flying saucer was the largest and most luxurious craft in all of known space. The ship's actual color was a mixed hue of infra-red and ultra-violet, but human eyes saw the undercoating of pink. Duat dwarfed the hundred other pink spaceships which formed the core of the personal fleet of Isis. Thousands of mass-produced crew members called drones waited for her every command. A hundred drones were gathered in the wide astro-cartography room where Isis was observing the rogue planet in real time.
The image of a planet spun before here. The holographic projection tumbled in the dark room. Even as it was watched, the planet cracked and splintered.
Isis was not impressed with the sight she was watching. “We call it Edge. It's the ugliest planet in the universe.” She stoked a long ear with her paw, a habit she performed whenever she was having deep thoughts which she kept to herself.
Her drones stood nearby but watched silently. One of the aliens finally spoke, saying, “Lady Isis, why are you interested in that insignificant rogue planet in the Expanse?”
“I will be visiting it soon.”
The drone named Nefertari asked, “Should I relay a message to Lords Shiva and Odin that you wish to travel with them?”
“Not this time,” Isis answered. She turned her back to the holographic image of the planet with a hop. Her white fur ruffled with the sudden movement. “I have my reasons. Since I am traveling to the most dangerous place in the universe though, I will need a team.”
Nefertari responded, “I will prepare a list of your top champions.”
“No thank you, this is a special mission. All of my champions are well known. I will need some fresh recruits for this job. I'll need a witch and a scientist.”
“Lady Isis, where shall we gather your new champions?”
“There's a medieval planet in this galaxy, right? I'll start there.”
“Lord Shiva named it Dark Age Earth. Correction: according to the file history, Lord Shiva named it Hardcore Blood and Swords Dark Age Earth, and Lord Odin shortened the name. Shall I dispatch a retrieval ship to Dark Age Earth?”
“Nope, I'm going to do this myself. I want to pick out these new recruits in person.”
The drone looked down at her clipboard and then back up to the patroness. “Should I prepare the mothership then?”
“No, I do not want the others to know what I am doing – not yet. Leave Duat here in dock. I will take a stealth vessel instead.”
“Lady Isis, you are known through this galaxy. You tend to make an impression wherever you go.”
“Thank you, I do try.” Isis closed her eyes and focused. She visualized the form she wanted to become. Her ancient body changed to match. “Whadda think? I have haven't been yellow in thousands of cycles.”
“My lady, all you altered was the color of your fur. You can change your body to any form. You could walk among the humans of that earth as one of their own. Why are you still – a rabbit?”
“A girl has to have some standards.” Isis turned away from the drone. “As for not attracting attention, I will incorporate myself into the local lore of the worlds that I visit. You were supposed to compliment me, Nefertari.”
“Many pardons, your ladyship. Your new color is radiant and your silver eye color sets it off. Your – umm – tail looks – puffy.”
“Oooooh thank you for trying. Your social incompetence is just adorkable!”
Lady Isis hopped onto a large circular disk which began hovering. Nefertari the drone spoke again before the lady could leave, “Madam please, that planet is in the Expanse, a dangerous region even for an omni-alien such as yourself. Your technology and even your powers will not be reliable. What prize could possibly be there that justifies such risk?”
Without looking back, Isis answered as she floated out of the room. “The risk is the prize, fussy pants. This girl needs an adventure.”
Space-Time Coordinates: 32090.500800.urd
Odin and Shiva watched their champions set up for a duel. Both champions were humans, strong and confident in their appearance. Odin has the appearance of a small pig, and Shiva looked like a small red dragon.
Shiva asked, “Did your champ forget to bring her weapon?”
Odin told him, “No, I didn't send her out with one. This duel is using custom rules. Why do you not check the rules before sending out your champion?”
“I'm immortal, and even I don't have time to read. What kind of duel is this, O-dung?”
“Don't yell, Shiva. They've already started.”
“I honestly could not tell.” Both aliens watched the battle, feigning interest.
“Shiva, you know, we've both been to dozens of galaxies collecting humans to represent us in battles of honor. Battles which can avert planet-obliterating wars or set policies for millions of cycles. The greatest warriors from ten thousand worlds have performed in front of us. Do you ever get bored with it?”
“Listen O-dung, if you have somewhere better to be, concede. For me, bragging rights are the last treasure in this universe. I've accomplished everything else.”
Odin prodded, “Everything? You haven't earned the respect of your peers.”
“I don't want your respect. I obliterated a proud empire which stretched the breadth of a galaxy, and that was yesterday. Lord Shiva the Destroyer will be satisfied with your fear. Bitter jealousy would be a nice touch also.”
“Let me know how that fear and jealousy works out for you.”
“I will. Wait – what?”
“I wonder if Isis is up to anything interesting.”
“Oh brother, when has she ever done anything interesting?”
The referee declared Odin's champion as the winner. Shiva lifted his claws towards the sky and growled in frustration. Odin stood up. He said, “Come on, Shiva the Dramatic. We're going to call Isis and invite her to – something. We're going to do something new if it kills us.”
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