Holly Nyx

Interlude I
By Derek Hawkins

Holly Nyx was bored out of her skull.

She sat in her room, a small stateroom with a bed, desk, and computer terminal, trying to find something to occupy herself with. Oh My God, she thought, itís never been this slow before. The team had not been called out on a mission in two weeks, and was in somewhat of a quandary as to what to do with itself. The team was the X-Corps, and she was at their base in the Rahadi system. The X-Corps were a highly skilled, ultra highly top secret unit. Covert and Special operations were the teamís stock in trade.

Nyx was the Galactic Intelligence Council liaison to the X-Corps, making sure that the team got whatever intelligence necessary to complete their missions. What had started as a temporary, one time assignment to prevent a mad man from launching the galaxy into chaos, had become a permanent position with the team. Nyx liked the members of the team, and they worked well together. They treated her like one of their own, and though you would not find her name on any team roster (not that such a file actually existed in any computer for obvious security reasons) she was a full fledged member of the team.

But right now, though, she was feeling out of sorts. She wasnít a workout fanatic like some of the team members, but then she didnít have to carry around a heavy laser cannon so she saw no need to be a walking mass of muscles. She also didnít posses the zeal for some of the extreme sports that others in the team had for sports such as null-grav rock climbing. This left her at a loss as to how to entertain herself.

She had always been a history buff, especially military history, and she turned to her computer now to see if perhaps there was an interesting new novel out there that she hadnít read yet. Nyx ďawokeĒ her computer, taking it out of the automatic idle-sleep mode, and set her search parameters. Then the computer, she had not given it a name yet, as some of the others had to their terminals, took over and conducted the search while she wandered off to get a bite to eat.

Nyx took a leisurely thirty minutes to eat, an unheard of luxury when the team was busy, which it usually always was. The galaxy was a big place and there was always somebody doing something wrong. But, it seemed, not today. Today, the big bad galaxy seemed to have taken the day off.

She lingered in the galley, watching the Entertainment Holovids for a bit, hoping to distract herself and not having any luck. The Vid currently playing seemed to revolve around space plane chases and scantily clad barmaids, with the usual reoccurring gun battle between the good guys and the bad guys. In all honesty, she admitted to herself, it could just as easily have been a documentary on any of the missions that the team had performed just in the short time that she had been assigned by GIC as liaison. Those missions, as she well knew, tended to be on the wild side.

Nyx returned to her room. Since the computer was still performing its search, she decided to take a shower. Ten minutes under the steaming hot water had replaced some of her boredom with a clean, refreshed, relaxed kind of boredom. The good news, though, was that her search was over.

She scanned the list of matching entries to her search parameters, noting the percentage of how close each entry was to what she had asked for. The first one that she came across that she had not already read was a 62.384% match. It was a history-fiction novel, set in the very early years of the new democratic government, the same government that still ruled the galaxy today, thanks in no small part to her and the X-Corps. But that was a story unto itself.

Holly downloaded the novel into her portable data pad, and laid out on her bed to begin reading....