She loved to watch the alien ships come in, bearing their loads of spice and AI processors. There was a perfect view of the star yards from her tiny apartment in the projects.
One day, she was going to pilot one of those ships - leave behind these dingy hallways where kids peddled black pharma and her sister peddled something else to the extros looking for "sensual entertainment." She imagined how her ship would look, its sleek edges ruddy with the light of nebulae as she brought fresh fruit to the moons and ore back home.
But her mission wouldn't be all peaceful sunset colors. She'd be evading the heavy pirate ships designed to take out merchant vessels - not by shooting them down, but by swallowing them whole.
She'd seen a mecha chase down a pirate spy plane once. It had been nosing around the docks, looking for likely prey. Intercepting its radio signals, the normally quiet bot had roused itself to its full, 50-meter height, and smashed the little flier right out of the sky, bringing down a crazy rain of debris with it. She'd spent hours scrubbing smoke grime off her windows so she could watch the ships again.
Russian concept artist Dmitry (AKA Jim Hatama) creates sun-saturated images of alien worlds and the ships that travel between them. His pictures of space ships remind me of the covers on 1960s and 70s scifi novels. You can see more of his work on his Deviant Art page. (via Concept Ships)