Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer

The bodies plummeting from the starry sky are screaming.
Esteban chuckles.
“Shock fields up!”
Ambusan stares at him.
“Shock fields? Surely you mean catch fields? Shock fields save, but it’ll hurt.”
“If a Mistress saw fit to drop them from that high, she didn’t mean for them to have a gentle landing.”
A tentacle softly alights on each of their shoulders.
“Perceptive of you.”
Seven bodies slam into shock fields, lighting the scene with flashes of dissipating energy.
Esteban turns his head and smiles and the blue-haired woman who’s now standing next to them.
“Mistress Othkn. If it’s not a secret, why are we graced by a Daughter of Trbtha?”
He notices she’s clothed in a figure-hugging purple bodysuit that covers her from neck to ankles, leaving her tentacle arms free.
Smiling at his regard, she answers his unasked question first.
“Our Matriarch and your Uncle Ghost came to an agreement over our nudity. This is it. As for my being here, the Matriarch sent me. Apparently those who prey upon your younglings are overly cautious. The chance of acquiring a young Mistress for their entertainment made them careless. To bring down such depraved prey, we were happy to help.”
Ambusan looks puzzled.
“I didn’t think younglings ventured off your homeworlds?”
Othkn nods.
“Correct. But Mistresses come in many sizes.”
She closes her eyes, then opens them and looks to their right as a diminutive pink-haired figure in a purple bodysuit appears.
“Heyahey, Othkn.”
Esteban turns quickly and bows to the new arrival.
“WarpMistress Nghra.”
“Hush you now! Using my title makes everybody become stiff and polite. I hate that.”
Othkn nods.
“She does, and it does.”
Ambusan looks down at the smallest Mistress he’s ever seen.
“Thank you for volunteering to help.”
Nghra nods her head.
“How could I not? I’d heard of those who prey upon younglings, but never did I think they would make a business of it. It’s been a disgusting and enlightening week.”
Esteban watches seven figures being led away in restraints.
“Mistresses, we were expecting eleven suspects. Were your initial tallies incorrect?”
“Have you heard of Zundeclyn?”
Ambusan frowns, then nods.
“Predatory horror native to the Talun Highlands. I heard their numbers are dropping as the Highlands have been hunted clear of fauna they use to incubate their young. I’ve seen pictures, too. Look like gigantic locust crabs. Why do you ask?”
“The worst four volunteered to help with Zundeclyn preservation.”
“They what?”
Both of the Mistresses smile nastily.
Nghra shrugs.
“Last I saw they were running away from a truly magnificent Zundeclyn who was driving them towards a pair of brood Zundeclyn lying in wait to catch and inject larvae into them.”
Othkn nods.
“It seemed fitting.”
Ambusan pales, then looks to Esteban.
“Is that legal?”
Esteban shrugs.
“The First Governor calls it ‘Borsen Rules’. As he explained: ‘I have yet to find an occasion where our partners in the Confederacy intervening in a law enforcement situation has been wrong. I agree their judgements can be harsh, but I remain convinced they only intervene when it is entirely justified.”
Othkn smiles.
“Uncle Ghost understands.”
Nghra laughs.
“Matriarch Trbtha also. We are told to deal with the spawn of Galad who hide behind your justice system whenever we encounter them.”
Ambusan asks.
“Who’s Galad?”
Esteban leans across to him.
“Their god-analogue of death and evil.”
Ambusan nods, then smiles.
“Sounds like we’re done, officer Esteban.”
He turns to the Borsen.
“I agree. Thank you, Mistresses.”
They vanish. Ambusan shudders. Esteban shakes his head.
“Warp-capable beings. Doesn’t matter if you know, it’s still eerie.”