Moirai. The Fates of ancient Greek Mythology. None left alive remember how they measured, spun, and slashed the threads of fate, dictating how mere mortals lived and died. For any normal being, naming your starship - your interplanetary home - after these beings would be the height of arrogance.
It was no ordinary being, then, whose ship had touched down moments earlier on Ord Melul. The rhomboid hull rests on four extended landing struts as its engines' whine dwindles to silence. Seconds later, the doors of the ship open and the loading ramp lowers, revealing the interior of the ship to be filled with numerous, enormous crates. The spaceport workers jog up, knowing from experience that it would take an overnight shift to move everything out. Rather than start unloading, however, they stand at the bottom of the ramp, waiting expectantly.
A formless mass, colored a dark, soothing blue, slithers out from between the cracks in the crates. It starts off slow, but then moves faster and faster until there is a small pile of ooze on the ramp. It quivers, and from the ground up forms into a humanoid figure, slightly too tall and too thin. It shifts again, giving the vague outline of clothes. Its color slowly changes, taking on an appearance instantly recognizable to the workers before him.
The spindly figure, now sporting ash-grey skin covered by a loose blue shirt and faded red pants, looks up and scans the workers. His eyes, drops of blood in the otherwise black scalera, meet those of each and every worker arrayed in front of him, as if searching for an imposter.
Satisfied, he snatches the wide-brimmed grey hat resting on the peg next to him and starts descending to the rough, stone floor. The workers scatter in a frenzy of motion, bringing forth the cranes and forklifts to start unloading the precious cargo. The figure, shifting from androgynous to recognizably male as he puts the hat over the recently-shifted shoulder-length black hair, walks into the building without looking behind him.
Entering through the double doors, he walks down the hallway, carved out of the same rough stone the land was made out of. The stone gave way to paneled wood, and eventually he enters a doorway. A Niso secretary was scribbling down paperwork, with two empty bottles of Earth-imported Vodka and a third half-drained. She looks up as he enters, locking the door behind him.
"Hey, Lloyd. How was the trip?"
"Uneventful and uncomfortable," he says, shapeshifting the clothes back into his body, "Same as usual, in other words."
He walks over to the paneling on the left side, and presses it in, revealing a wardrobe. It reveals several identical long sleeved blue shirts with no collar, and faded red cargo pants. Selecting one of each, he starts putting them on. "How fares the search?"
"Work already? Don't you want to relax a bit?"
"What the fuck is there to do on this planet? Stare at the barren, empty rock? Stare at the mines Royale Terre is using to compound the emptiness?"
"You could drink," she says, taking another long draught from the bottle, "or you could fuck."
"Those are both more of your department than mine."
"We've narrowed it down to two candidates, both of whom are on planet at this time," the secretary says, rolling her eyes.
"Excellent," he says, "Call them in."
"Now. There's a fourth bottle in the cabinet behind you, if you finish the three that were in your desk drawer."
Lloyd unlocks the door to the hallway, and enters his office. He takes his hat off, sits down on his chair, dims the lights, and shifts his head into four pairs of eyestalks. He reads data from five different monitors, trying to piece together galactic events and what exactly was going on behind the scenes.
Moirai was an apt name for his ship. Seven lives, seven threads of fate, were about to be gathered, forming a foundation that would keep the galaxy intact through a crisis. All seven were in place on Ord Melul. It is now up to him to tie them together and spin them into rope.
2 Hours Later:
An unusually tall human male entered the BCA spaceport on Ord Melul, looking around. His grey eyes scanned the signs in front of him, scratching at the five o'clock shadow no razor seemed to touch. His tanned skin marked him as someone who had been on Ord Melul for some time, while his lean muscles bespoke of a man accustomed to physical labour. He could easily pass for a miner. When he saw the hallway indicated, he turned and moved in with a little more confidence than he felt. His bearing, ready to move and strike at the first sign of trouble, as well as the scar barely poking out of his short-sleeved shirt, marked him as a military man. Why does the BCA want me? he wondered, I know what they do, and I'm not exactly their type... But this job might finally take me of this pisshole. he smirked at the thought. He'd spend far too long on solid ground.
He entered the reception area, nodding at the Niso secretary who motions him to wait. Noting the four drained vodka bottles - an a fifth nearly finished - with surprise, he leans against one wall. Expensive stuff. Either he pays her well or they're fucking.
The door opens, admitting a new arrival. The human male entering has a very, very different look to him. The man is short and squat, clean-shaven with close-cropped hair. His dark brown eyes scan the reception area the way Yorke's had only moments ago. The Niso secretary motioned him to sit and wait as well. Where Yorke's bearing suggested a military background, this other man's spoke of numerous bar fights and brawls.
The Niso takes another swig from her bottle and looks down at her computer. "Jack Yorke, Wayne Harre, Lloyd'll see you now."
The two men walked through the double doors and stopped dead, seeing the being that called them in. Four pairs of eyes on stalks stared at four different monitors, while four more pairs of hands sprouted from the sleeves on its shirt to record, analyze, and file away the tremendous amounts of data flowing in at once. One of the eyes twitches slightly, noticing the new arrivals. In a blink, the various parts rejoin to form the far more familiar body he wore for everyday dealings. Putting his wide-brimmed hat back on, Lloyd looks both his new arrivals over, eyes inscrutable.
"So, gentlemen," he says, "How would you like to get off this shiny rock, and with a starship to boot?"