The captain sat on the table of his mess hall and flipped through a couple G-net holo-feeds, looking for something to watch and occupy that part of his brain he wasn't strategizing with right now. His starship was all but empty, not concerning the dog and cat, who were either playing, looking at each other in a very strange way (or was it him who had just been imagining things) or running around the whole length of Cav's dockyards with throngs of noisy local kids. Suddenly Anit'za stopped flipping and swiped the specific feed he located onto the table's holo-projector. It was some holo-blog, very old and recorded with a primitive camera.
Hot, rainy day on an old, bumpy and hole-ridden country road, somewhere in rural Japan. An antiquated gasoline powered bike drove up the slope of some steep mountain, while its shaking handlebar supported the recording holo-camera. The asphalt was ill-maintained and most of the holes in it were now full of verdant growth, as nature quickly restored her domain after the humans had retreated. Despite the steep incline, there were trees and shrubs growing beside the road and the driver had to carefully navigate both the difficult road and keep his head away from the low hanging branches. On one turn Anit'za even noticed a deer who was just lying on the road, completely oblivious that this human creation was once full of metallic beasts who transported men and cargo up the mountain. The animal hurriedly dashed into the forest, startled perhaps more of the engine sounds and tire screeching than the machine itself. After a couple more minutes of climbing, the vlogger reached the mountain's summit and slowed down as if looking for something.
Suddenly the biker veered to the left, where he stopped at a very old, abandoned road station's now almost overgrown with grass and shrubs parking lot. The long, red brick building had wide, broken by the elements windows and a crooked, ancient tree who'd grown over the years of neglect and broken through the station's sloped roof. At the station's porch there stood the remains of once a comfy bench, its wood and iron frame now all but devoured by the elements. The quaint Japanese style garden in front of it which was now overgrown with weeds and all sorts of other undesirable plants, had also a small, swampy fish pond. There were perhaps things which swam in it, though Anit'za harbored doubts that those were of the many, legendary varieties of Japanese Koi fish.
Were the people who worked here decades ago, selling produce, souvenirs, and locally produced merchandise able to evacuate successfully? Probably. The captain wasn't that versed in Earth history, though he knew that the Japanese Empire managed to protect 80% of its population, despite the merciless onslaught from outer space. If that vlogger would enter the building, what would he see; long, rotten wooden stalls, where the produce had withered away, broken chairs and tables, or them orderly stacked and covered with now gray, dusty sheets? Unfortunately Anit'za would never know that, because evidently that biker (or whatever his vocation was) never even got close to the road station's entrance.
The sound quality was respectably good and Anit'za heard some cat meowing close by. Whoever was the biker, he seemed like a cat person and slowly turned around, looking for the source. He started speaking in Japanese and produced a bag full of store bought cat treats from his upper coat pocket. The captain winced disapprovingly. Were these perhaps the very best cat treats in existence, they still were factory made. Nevertheless, a cat wearing strange, and obscurely looking uniform hat, slowly crawled out of the insides of this crumbling road station. It was a sorry old critter, probably sick and dying. Blind with one eye, the poor bugger slowly moved closer and closer, using mostly its sense of scent to lead it towards the food. The man was obviously saddened and distressed by what he saw – he said one Japanese word a couple of times, before offering the cat a hand full of treats. Somehow the ancient cat raised her shaking head and meowed again, this time louder, making Anit'za's ears rang, while his eyes unmistakably recognized something truly unnatural. There was something distinct and very familiar about that felines appearances. Certain something wasn't right yet he couldn't put his finger on it, not immediately that is. Its one good eye was full of sad tears, and as the captain slowed the holo-feed to an almost complete stop with a shaky, sweaty hand, someone silently crept behind him. Moving ever closer, eyes transfixed on his back, tongue licking its sharp teeth, nose sniffing the air. The cat on the screen and Snark meowed in complete, perfect unison. Anit'za almost fell from his chair, turned around and gazed deep inside the eyes of his spaceship cat, confused, startled and even a little bit scared.
The two cats looked exactly the same...
This is a small excerpt from my third Starshatter book "Treads Of Vengeance", that I hope will pique your interest, tickle your fancy... or just intrigue you enough, dear reader. Yes, you want to read those books, look deep into those slowly blinking, mysterious cat's eyes, nod in compliance and click on the links below provided for your convenience :3
Of meow... erm, I meant, of course, not everyone might wish to obey their new Catorlord's wishes. In this case, you could satisfy your desire to support the author by ensuring a constant flow of delicious meat treats and coffee by clicking here: Bacon must fry! or The Coffee must flow!