Rodney ignored his itching acne as he worked patiently with the hacksaw. Even Mr. Wolf, the shop teacher, excuse me, the ‘applied fabrication instructor,’ would have been amazed to see Rodney applying so much care and patience to anything. Not that he was supposed to have a hacksaw outside of class in the first place. Certainly he was not supposed to be using it on the fabric of space station Alpha-Psi Six. Maybe it was something about being more then a light year from the nearest inhabited planet that made grown ups so distrustful of teenagers. But there wasn’t any chance that cutting this security support would create the slightest disturbance in any critical system. That might set off an alarm. While alarms were fun in the course of a prank to pass the time, right now Rodney had a Goal.
Nothing must come between Rodney and his Goal. Everything about this dinky corridor was redundant. Even the awkwardly practical bare pipes running along the walls were for redundant backup systems. But safety of a space station was serious and the pipes were monitored. Rodney was very conscious of safety. No matter how Mrs. Constancia, the humanities teacher, hissed, Rodney was pleased that his record on never getting anyone seriously hurt in all his pranks proved his caution. But a steel security strut put in to block a duct barely eight inches wide to start with was so very redundant that the safety engineers had overlooked. Not that there was any sensible reason anyone should keep Rodney from his Goal. It was all just stupid prejudice. Sirens never killed anybody.
Of course it was claimed that they ‘interfered with the development of normal desires’ but Rodney was confident his desires were fully developed. And he knew he didn’t stand a chance at ‘peer bonding’ with any of the girls on this space station. It was totally unjust that he was known as ‘the immature jerk’. The girls definitely did not have sterling track record for observation. His hair was not at all the same color as carrots. It would take more than a hacksaw to reach the Goal. They had put maximum security precautions around the Goal. This duct was unguarded because it was impossible for any human to crawl through it. But Rodney had a secret weapon. And they had had to allow some weaknesses in the security precautions. It would be unforgivably rude to not allow the alien ambassador a way to exit her quarters in case of an emergency, so something living already inside could open the door.
Rodney whistled softly to Scamp as the black spotted Jack Russell Terrier wandered down the corridor. Scamp trotted back happily at this sign of his master’s attention. Rodney’s mom thought Scamp was stupid and totally untrainable. Manager Hallsworth had forbidden Rodney to take the dog anywhere but his family quarter because of the dog’s uncontrollability. That was because nobody but Rodney had really spent much time trying to train Scamp. And Rodney hadn’t been interested in teaching Scamp not to chew on bags of hydroponics filters or not to piddle on the outside of the waste collection stations.
What Rodney had been interested in was training Scamp to crawl down an air duct, cross a room and push one very specific sensor pad. He gave Scamp a quick ear rub to keep him interested and went back to hacksawing. “Almost there, Scamp, you’ll get to earn your treat soon.”
“Woofel” Scamp wagged his stubby tail furiously. He butted his head against Rodney in a hurry up gesture. Scamp was obviously eager to earn his treat. Rodney smiled at the dog’s willing enthusiasm for mischief and went back to sawing furiously.
“Ah, there it goes.” Rodney wiggled the loose strut got it out of the way and set inside his bag along with the hacksaw. Rodney wrapped the rough stump with the a bit of Kevlar he had brought; after all he did not want Scamp to get hurt just as he was about to become the key to all desire. Rodney lifted Scamp in and patted the dog’s butt, “Open, open open, go open for a treat.” The dog wiggled down the duct in a rapid crawl.
Rodney popped the grill back on the duct, swung up his bag and strode down the corridor to the backside of the emergency exit door. He had a moment of anxiety, and he tucked in his shirt. All the emergency exits in the station should have the same design, but what if the ambassador’s requirements meant that there had been alterations? Would Scamp get confused? He strained his ears and there was the sound of the grill on the far side popping out. Just a few steps across the floor. Now he would be putting his paw on the button attached to the life sensors.
The door hissed open and Rodney leaped inside to hit the close door/cancel emergency button before he gave a treat to the bouncing Scamp. As the door re-sealed the lights went back to green just as they did in his quarters. As long as no one actually ‘Exited’ the ‘emergency exit use’ would not light up on the board in central control. The safety planners hadn't considered entering would indicate an emergency, and the security people had had to be content with the fact that it took someone living already inside to open the door in the first place.
He was here! In the Siren ambassador’s quarters. The Goal was accomplished. He stepped forward to the soft pastels of the luxury living quarters stripped bare for the Siren’s use. Scamp wandered at his heels as he crossed the threshold to catch his first glimpse of Her.
Technically the ‘Entathian Heloi’ were genderless. Energy and force surrounding super-dense plasma was the natural form of these psychic sentientces. They needed to be in the presence of another sentient whose fantasies they could latch onto and embody before they could take on a stable form. But since the explorers who usually encountered them where usually male the Sirens had made a very female as well as a very indelible impression.
Rodney savored the coming fulfillment of fantasy. Sirens not only looked like your dream girl they acted like her too. No more being ignored because he didn’t have a row of good citizen, read “boring suck up,” awards. No more girls more interested in earning scholarships than having a good time. And there She was, a beautiful web contenting light. Rodney pictured a soft shaped body and long flowing blond hair. The sparkling mass of shifting colors seemed to settle towards the floor, and it began to coalesce. She would be sitting at his feetready to serve him. ... On all fours?
Scamp bounded forward in ecstasy to greet the silky haired bitch with russet marking on soft white fur. She nipped at him playfully and sidled away with her tail high.
A doggy courtship soon had them racing around the room. Rodney sighed; well getting into a high security section was a coup, even if he wasn’t getting any alien sex.