Incompatibility Description: A starship on a routine exploration mission is suddenly stopped and seized by alien forces. A teenage girl faces the frightening possibility that these aliens are of the one most feared race in the galaxy, and that she is their next victim.NOTE: The ending of this story is DARK. Don't read if you don't like that. There is not a whole lot of sex in this story, but there is some. Codes: Ff ScFi non-con mc mastrb ------- I knew something was wrong the moment I woke up to complete silence in my parents' quarters. The ship was old. There was always this heavy thrumming noise when we were still in hyperspace. I overheard my Dad say that the hypermotors needed to be repolarized. Anyway, the point was, I should be hearing them, but I wasn't. We weren't supposed to get to the Polaris 4 stargate for another two days. I slipped out of bed. My nightgown caught and tried to pull up over my hips. I yanked it down with a flare of heat to my cheeks even though I was alone and I had at least panties on under it. Who was I afraid was going to see me? I sighed as I ran my fingers through my ginger-colored hair. I was getting tired of this. I was sixteen and skittish about being nude in private. I hadn't even yet dated a boy. All because of my damn mother's precious work. I felt a chill against my body, as my legs were bare and the nightgown was not very thick. The floor was cold against my bare feet, which was unusual. "Turn up the heat, please," I said, expecting compliance from the ship's AI. "My apologies, Sarah, but I cannot comply." I was so surprised at that reply, delivered with the usual and unfailing perfect politeness, that I was confused. "Huh? I don't understand. I just want it warmer in here, that's all." "My apologies, Sarah, but I cannot comply. Ship power systems are in conservation mode during alert." "During... ?" An alert! So something had gone wrong. I almost hoped the hypermotors had finally burned out. Even if it meant the expense of getting someone to come out to fix them, maybe then I wouldn't have to deal with the awful racket they made. Anyway, it would be their own damn fault. They insisted on leaving port without my Dad. He's the only one that managed to keep this hunk of junk together. And just maybe if it cost too much, my Mom would give up her stupid idea of a career. Shit. You want your life screwed up? Have a parent who's a xenoarchaeologist and a workaholic! I think even my Dad's tired of it. I think he made up that excuse so he didn't have to make this run with my Mom. I sighed and turned towards the head to see about a shower. I was just about to cross the threshold when the deck abruptly lurched under my feet and sent me to the floor. My heart started pounding. I don't care how old this ship is, that was not supposed to happen! I bolted back to my feet in a panic. "What the hell was that?! Tell me!" "My apologies, Sarah, but I cannot comply. The..." "You stupid AI! Why can't you just..." "... while battle stations are in effect." I stopped. Suddenly I felt a lot colder. Battle stations. Oh my God. There was a hiss that made me gasp and my heart leap into my throat. I jerked my head around to see that it was just the door to the quarters that had slid open. And I was never more glad to see that particular person in my life. I ran over to her. "Mom! Mom, what's going on?! Why have we stopped?! Why did the AI say..." "Sarah, please, hush!" my mother cried. I stared at her, wide-eyed. My mother had a look in her eyes that was bordering on panic. She never panicked. Now I was really scared. My mother paused, as if trying to compose herself. She gripped my arms tightly. When she spoke, there was a horrible nervous quaver in it. "Sarah, I need you to listen to me very carefully. Please. Will you listen to your mother? You will do what I tell you to do?" I nodded quickly. I didn't even know what was wrong and I was already terrified. "I want you to go down belowdecks and find someplace to hide." I gaped at her. "You... y-you want me to what?!" "Listen to me!" she cried, shaking me. She caught herself and took a deep breath. She was on the verge of tears. "P-please, Sarah. There isn't time for me to explain! Over on the port side, there are some crates marked 'Tau Ceti 6'. The artifacts in there disrupt sensors. Hide behind them. You'll be safe there." Now I was in tears myself. "Mom, safe from what? What am I hiding from? What..." The ship lurched again, and we both tumbled to the floor. There was a horrible metallic rending sound in the distance that reverberated through the ship. Suddenly everything around us turned crimson and the klaxon began blaring. "ALERT ALERT ALERT... HULL BREACH... FOREIGN BIOHAZARD SUBSTANCE OR NANOTECH DETECTED IN ENVIRONMENT... " I scrambled to my feet. "Mom! We have to get to a life pod! Mom? MOM!" My mother groaned. She tried to rise to her feet, slipped, and fell back to the floor. Her eyes were taking on a glazed look. I reached down and tried to haul her to her feet. "N-no, S-sarah," she said in a slurred voice, her eyes staring. "R-run... go belowdecks..." "Mom, what's wrong with you? Stand up! Come with me!" "I c-can't, it's affecting me... I... y-you're... incom... incompatible..." I didn't understand a word she was saying! What was wrong with her? What... I heard a soft thud in the hallway. I leapt back to my feet and dashed outside. It was one of the techs. He had just slumped to the floor, with the same glazed look in his eyes as my mother. Down the hall, half a dozen other crew members were in a similar state. Some managed to stay on their feet, but wandered about like zombies. "Sarah!" My heart lurched at my mother's voice. "R-run! Now!" More frightened than I ever was in my life, I fled. In my panic, I went the wrong way and had to backtrack. But when I was about to turn down the right corridor, I saw movement up ahead, though a cloud of steam from a ruptured coolant line. Quickly I ducked back and peeked around the corner. It took me a moment to see anything. There were two of them, at the far end of the corridor. I could see only their legs. They were long and lanky, peeking out from flowing robes of silver-gray. At first I thought they were wearing some sort of blue-colored stockings, until I realized that it was the tint of their skin. My blood ran cold. Oh God oh God oh God. Don't let it be them. Anyone but them. Please. Pirates. Black marketeers. Privateers. Rebels. Escaped criminals. Anyone. Just NOT THEM. Yet the next moment, the steam cleared briefly just long enough for me to see one of them perfectly. I saw her tall, voluptuous form wrapped in her tight, thin robe. I saw the blue cast to her skin, and the fall of coppery hair. I caught the intensely violet eyes even from this distance. It was all I could do not to whimper in terror.