Based on the cover of "Halley Lab Associates - 2YR, 40:28.649" of LAPFOX TRAX.
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"Why would you send Tech off?" one of the lab workers asked another, tail swishing at the ground. For now, the workers appeared to be dark shadows with their lab clothes on. "Don't you think that she's not eligible to have such a task, even at her level of intelligence?"
"She'll live," the other athro replied. "She's smarter than some of the others, y'know. Darn rat crashed the second last spacecraft... Those creatures ate him up after he crashed into that weird wall of heads."
"But are you REALLY sure Tech is up for the challenge...?"
"Yeah," he responded. "She'll do fine. If the other guy before her made it, she can conquer the conditions. Besides, she's had training in the past for something she never knew about. All her training will be put to use now."
"Right then... But if this fails, know that we've lost another ship and pilot. Remember, we're using one of the high-quality ones. Get her geared up- she'll be going soon."
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"Tech!" the voice of a female rung through the hall. "Come on!"
Out of the corner came a canine with dark gray-and-white fur black, curled horns with exactly four white stripes on both and a wave of white hair sweeping over the right side of her face. The dog's white fingers were shaking, white claws barely moving. She wore black gear and a helmet, a red paw print on the shoulder pads, fingerless gloves and boots.
"W-Woa!" A young, gray kitten with dark pink-red hair, a pink and white eye, black earrings and a glowing pink wristband said. "You look really cool!"
"Heh, I gotta agree on that!" Tech laughed. "So why do I need this gear again?"
"It's a secret! Just follow me," the kitten giggled, rushing down the dark hall, Tech following. "The armor is to keep you safe unlike the la-" she cut herself off, careful not to trigger the goofy canine's anxiety. They took a turn, entering a big room with darkness covering something in he distance.
"Ah, Tech!" A dark gray badger-skunk with brown eyes said, long, thick tail dragging against the white, concrete ground with pixel-looking tiles of other colors. The hybrid wore a pair of white pants, shoes and a white shirt. It adjusted is glasses and shook hands with the horned canine.
"So, what's the rocket science you made me suit up for?" Tech barked, placing her paws on her hips, slumping over to the side as her tail swayed with her movement.
"You'll see," he responded.
Tech's heart began to race as lights began to slowly flicker on, a faint, droning noise following. The lights grew brighter, something beginning to shine. The hellhusky's tail began to wag, excitement, anticipation and anxiety rushing through her body all at the same time. Before she knew it, the lights were brightened to the max.
Before Tech was a spacecraft. The mechanical transportation device was painted black, yellow and white. In the front of the machine was a very wide windshield, pale light reflecting off it. The horned canine could see the cushioned pilot's seat, a steering wheel used in most modern planes, and a hatch on the ceiling of the spacecraft inside it. Tech was getting pretty excited, her legs barely shaking.
"I get to use that? Is that what all the training was for?" Tech asked, her tail wagging. The badger-skunk nodded. He walked over to a box on the wall with numbers on it, pressing a few. Each button was white, numbers going up to ten. After pressing them in a specific order, a creaking noise rung into the air.
A panel in the wall in front of the spacecraft began to open, turning. The panel turned to reveal pitch black, tiny white dots speckled in the dark. Tech grew nervous, unsure of what she would have to do. The gray ground under the spacecraft lifted up, a pair of metallic stairs rising.
"This is a task that not many are assigned to do due to lack of capability," the badger-skunk explained. "Others have failed many of the tests, lowering their eligibility for such a job as this. Even though you had no idea you were being sent off for real or even that you were going, you passed each test on the mechanics of the spacecraft and flying classes. You are the first one to go out with the advanced armory."
"Really?" Tech's tail bean to wag quickly. The scientist nodded, beckoning Tech to get inside the spacecraft. Obediently but excitedly, she walked over to the machine quickly, hopping up the stairs. She opened the door on the side, which was quite heavy with no windows. She struggled to close it due to the weight, but with a surge of strength, she slammed it shut, rocking the spacecraft slightly.
Tech looked down. There were a few tablets built into the spacecraft in front of her, just behind the steering wheel. There were two large ones to her left, three small ones above one another beside those, two medium-sized ones, a round panel with numbers on it and a panel with a knob under it. There were a few buttons, but they began glowing as lights began to flicker on.
The machine lightly rumbled, the implanted tablets turning on. The second large one beside the other flickered on, a battery sign and a toxic symbol on it. The largest had a tabby she-cat with glasses and amber eyes looking at Tech, waving. Tech recognized the cat as Dragonheart, one of her friends.
The badger-skunk pushed Dragonheart out of the way for a minute. "This is Dragonheart. She will guide you through the galaxy you will be traveling through." As he said this, the she-cat placed some headphones on with a microphone on them. "There are space suits, food, water, extra gear and oxygen tanks in the hatch above you. Whatever you do, DO NOT press the white button in front of you. Only press it during emergencies. It will cause the spacecraft to lock down until the danger has passed."
Tech nodded. "You will be going through an unnamed galaxy." A small television came down from above, a small dot marking where she was currently, a creamy colored box around it. "The GPS will lead you to your destination. Just follow the white dots, and you'll be fine. Be careful, though, there are large clusters of life forms down there. Watch out for towers of endless blue heads of unknown creatures, similar to felines. If you crash into them, it will cause the life forms to rush out."
Tech nervously nodded, but still, felt excited. She was one of the few who were being sent off! Yet, she was focused on the bad things. She took a deep breath, the words "Good luck" hitting her from the screen. Dragonheart grumbled, fixing the headphones she wore as Tech fastened her seat belt.
"Now, hold on tight," Dragonheart mewed. Tech gulped as the spacecraft lightly vibrated as lights began to dim outside of her, the lab workers stepping back. "You're going to take off quick. Lean back in your seat, or the force will jerk you back. The headphones you will wear will allow me to speak to you directly, and you can respond. Hurry! Hold on!"
A force pulled back the hellhusky, her head hitting against the seat. She had a helmet on though, but it shook her head. She clenched her teeth, the spacecraft plunging into the darkness. Energy pulsed through her veins from the sensation of blasting off into another galaxy. The force pulled her back into the seat, ears pinning against her head. She was tempted to yell, but she didn't want to damage Dragonheart's ears.
Soon, Tech was away from the light she came from. All around her was darkness for now, until something was in the distance. It was a tunnel made of a bush-like substance, looking like plants. They were shades of blue-green, pairs of brown ears poking out of some of the holes in them. Tech steered the machine down, going through the very long tunnel. She noticed brown and dark brown creatures with multiple, rounded yellow eyes and big ears popping out to look at her.
"Just keep going through this area!" Dragonheart said as Tech swerved to the side, nearly crashing into the side. It turned out that the tunnel was made of a semi-hard, unknown substance. The greenish color began to fade to shades of dark and pale gray-blue. The spacecraft chipped a piece of whatever that stuff was off a long stick of it, the shriek of one of those creatures coming up.
"LARGE CLUSTER OF LIFE FORM DETECTED" one of the screens said. "GRAVITY LEVELS UNDER NORMAL READINGS."
"What does that mean!?" Tech barked, turning the machine. She began to feel panicky.
"It's nothing to worry about! Keep driving and don't crash!" Dragonheart responded.
At last, the end of the tunnel was near. A line of blue shot up into the air, small specks of pink in some places, two beside another. Pale pinkish-white spikes appeared to stick out from some places as she drove closer to the exit. In about a minute or two, Tech jerked up, the machine swerving up. She nearly ran into one of the hard towers of heads and long spikes, the background speckled with stars in the dark.
"Now, DO NOT crash into these. The hardness of those towers from the last crashes can crush one of these," Tech heard Dragonheart say. "That'll potentially damage the ship, and it'll possibly disable the emergency call button."
Tech looked up at the GPS device on the small TV above her, going around one of the massive towers to follow the white dotted lines on the screen. As she was controlling the ship, the GPS began to glitch out, the screens flicking off and on. She felt as if she was going to panic as words popped up on another screen.
"PILOT EMOTIONS BEGINNING TO DROP UNDER NATURAL LEVELS."
She almost thought this was true. She felt panicky, her legs shaking. Tech didn't feel right doing this, just anticipating something to go wrong. The hellhusky got clumsy when she was nervous or scared. A voice rung into her ear, snapping her out a panicky trance-like state.
"Pull yourself together! You can do this."
"Right then... Where am I going, exactly?" Tech asked the she-cat. Dragonheart looked down for a minute at a paper, seemingly.
"Apparently, you're heading to an abandoned area somewhere in that galaxy. We can't exactly prove this true, but we believe that is located near a large cluster of the head towers and those little dog-like creatures. The place is said to have a mineral that can power a whole nation, and we need that for the lab to properly function," Dragonheart responded. "It's vital to the lab productivity."
"Who knows, there may be more things there," Tech barked in response, swerving to the side of a long line of the same blue heads she saw tons of times. She took a breath, dodging a falling spike before it hit, jerking her up. Tech pushed down on a pedal, speeding her up. She found herself plunging back into another tunnel with those odd creatures staring at her between those galactic plants.
All of a sudden, something rammed into the ship, causing it to roll midair. Tech barked in surprise, grasping the steering wheel and jerking it up. Lights began to flicker as the screen Dragonheart spoke to her in glitched out. She couldn't tell what she was saying, seeing a pink dog rush over when she turned her head to the screen. A yellow cat with short ears, one large blue eye with a goggle over it and a black nose stood beside the dog, watching.
The ship began to fail. Tech lost control over the ship, frantically jerking the steering wheel around in panic. With the lights dimming, the ship began to plummet down into darkness, the muzzle diving into stygian blue. The dark color began to shift into black, blinding her. Noise increased as she picked up speed, diving into darkness.
"Tech!" She could only hear the glitched words of Dragonheart as a loud, booming noise split the air, pressure tightening around her. Bits of metal flicked at her, the ship crashing into something in the dark. Pain surged through her body as something slammed against her from both sides.
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The walls of the crushed spacecraft creaked as the lights flickered on and off rapidly. Wires were ripped out of the control panel. The joysticks on the steering wheel, or whatever it's called, were twisted. The walls were dented, but had no holes in them. Tech coughed, parts of her armor dented and scraped by the metal wall.
"Owwww..." she moaned, raising her head. It was pitch black on the outside of the spacecraft, nothing more than a black abyss. She seemingly stared into it, and it stared back...
She forced herself to get up. Her whole body ached, especially her back, which was slumped over. Her head viciously throbbed, her ears constantly ringing. Every move, a pang of pain would ripple through her. She weakly grabbed a hatch on the ceiling, a box there.
All the buttons to enter the passcode were broken, and the wires were torn. Tech snarled under her breath in anger. What else could she do?
An idea sparked up in her mind. She would pull open a hatch and grab a helmet out of it, switching it out and putting an oxygen tank on the back of her armor. It locked into place, oddly. She hooked it up to the helmet and fastened the rest of her armor into "airless mode," as it was called. She slowly got up, pain in every step. She grasped the handle of the door and pushed it open.
It was dead quiet except for a strange "swoosh" noise in the distance, along with an extremely faint, eerie clanking noise. With a deep breath of oxygen, she took a step onto the ground, which was dark blue-grey and was rough as rock. She could only see a few white dots in the distance, which would move away in pairs of two and vanish.
A low growling noise caused her to perk up. It was very scratchy and sent chills down her spine as it echoed in the dark. She could hear the clanking noise a bit louder now. Something brushed against her armor, although she couldn't see it well. She only caught a glimpse of a few curved teeth and a lower jaw as it whisked by her quickly.
Hissing noises rose from the dark. Snake-like beasts began to appear in her sight, cutting through the air. They had rough, dark scales and small white eyes. The creatures had long bodies, spines running down their backs and very sharp teeth that poked out from the top jaw. They circled the canine, eyeing her.