And this was supposed to be Captain Reed's vacation.
Reed was trying to enjoy the beaches of Scarra, a "Pleasure Planet" designated safe by the Galactic Confederation, and a popular shore leave spot for Space Fleet vessels. He was sipping a fermented drink made from a local alien fruit, and enjoying the company of a beautiful purple-skinned companion when the mood changed dramatically. A dark figure appeared, holding a beam pistol.
"Reed. Don't try anything. I'm not alone." The human nodded over his shoulder, and Reed sat up from his reclining position to see several other similarly clad figures. Brown and black leather outfits, with the red insignia of the Vega Pirates. They were a motley crew of misfits from various planets, but highly organized and dangerous.
"What do you want from me?" Reed asked, perplexed and annoyed at the intrusion.
"You'll come with us." his grin became a snarl. "You'll make a good hostage. Space Fleet is holding three of my men and I'm betting a ship's Captain will be a fair trade."
But a beam of red energy smashed into the pirate, knocking him backward into a smoking heap. Reed looked over to his almost forgotten companion, his face changing from surprise to amusement as he realized she had been concealing a beam weapon. He didn't have time to ask where she could have hidden it while wearing the Scarra version of a bikini. Reed grabbed her hand and breathed, "I think we better run!"
Reed and the purple skinned woman ran down the beach, the remaining pirates in pursuit. The woman led the Captain into the jungle foliage above the beach, saying, "Captain, I've been assigned to look out for you on your shore leave."
"You're a Space Fleet plant? My babysitter?" Reed said with an accusatory tone.
"You're a man in need of watching, Reed. You have a reputation for getting into trouble. Enough talk, there are caves nearby."
"You're full of surprises." Reed stated with resignation, following her into a cave set in a hill.
The cave was pitch black, and they could hear pursuers searching nearby. Reed was led deeper into the cave.
"I hope you don't think less of me Captain," his companion said huskily, "but I have one more surprise for you."
"Are you sure this is the right time..." Reed's voice trailed off as a bright glow appeared in the dark of the cave. He could make out a thin crack of light appear, illuminating the alien woman's forehead. It expanded, opening up to reveal a brightly glowing third eye on her forehead. It illuminated the entire width of the cave.
As explanation she whispered, "My people come from a low-light planet. It's one of our evolutionary secrets, Captain. Come, we can retreat deeper into the cave."
"Like I said, you're full of surprises." Reed whispered. It only occurred to him later that she had said "one" of her evolutionary secrets. He wondered just how much more interesting this adventure might become.