Authors: Luna Hunter
Copyright 2016 Luna Hunter.
Published by Luna Hunter at Amazon.
This work of fiction is intended for mature audiences only. All characters represented within are eighteen years of age or older and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. This work is property of Luna Hunter, please do not reproduce illegally.
Sign up for my newsletter and you’ll be the first to know when I publish a new book!
I’ve heard only rumors about the ruthless Zoran. Some say they are seven feet tall and all bulging muscle, with sharp fangs and devilish horns, and eyes as red as fire. All I know for sure is that they are the most powerful force in the galaxy, and we humans have stayed clear of them.
I have no idea how to act around such infamous intergalactic killers. I am a geneticist, not a psychologist or a sociologist. I prefer to spend my time in the lab rather than mingling with people, and the intricacies of interspecies etiquette are absolutely lost on me.
At the moment, however, I’m concerned with more pressing matters.
What the hell am I going to wear?!
glides its plotted course around Earth, the silence of space a stark contrast to the pandemonium inside my quarters as I desperately search my closet for appropriate attire. I had thought picking an outfit for my brother’s wedding was hard. What are you supposed to wear to an interspecies first contact?
“Try the black dress,” my assistant Kelly shouts. “I got the perfect heels to match it.”
I roll my eyes. I’m a woman of science, more at ease in a lab coat than a little black dress, and I am not about to go down in history as the klutz who tripped on her heels and spilled hot coffee on a Zoran General and accidentally incited an intergalactic war, thank you very much.
“What about my lab coat?” I ask Kelly. “I could just wear that. It’s distinguished and lends me an air of credibility… right?”
“Pff,” Kelly blows me off. “Who cares about any of that? You should look
,” she says gleefully. “It’s your special night! Your first gala as head of the Bioscience program! Don’t you want to impress those Zoran warriors? I’ve heard they’re huge, with hands twice as big as our own… and you know what they say about aliens with big hands…”
“Is alien junk all you can think about?” I ask.
Kelly grins mischievously. “Don’t tell me it hasn’t crossed your mind.”
“Never,” I lie.
Kelly is my best friend, and has been with me throughout my entire career. Wherever I go, she goes. We couldn’t be more different, but it works for us: I’m curvy with an unruly bush of brown curls, while Kelly has a slim figure and straight, golden-blonde hair. Furthermore, I’m perpetually single, while Kelly somehow manages to combine our grueling hours in the lab with an active dating life. How she juggles all her responsibilities is absolutely beyond me, but she pulls it off.
Together we lead a team with an intimidating but extremely important goal: to cure the black cough. Our planet is buckling under its own weight, and the uncontrolled polluting of the environment throughout the 21
century is now causing massive illnesses all around the globe. Those unfortunate souls who can’t afford to live in the luxury high-rises with their own filtered air systems are exposed to contaminated air on a daily basis.
I’m fortunate enough to live up here on the
now, but my brother Michael still lives on the outskirts of New Atlanta, working in a plant to support his family. I raised him, and my desire to provide a better life for him is what gave me the drive to get where I am today.
Of course, I’ve had to make quite a few sacrifices to get where I am. I’ve missed more birthdays than I’m willing to count, and worst of all, the birth of my niece, Claire. She’s four years old now, but I haven’t been back to Earth since she was a baby. I tell myself I’m helping them with my research… but at times, that feels hollow.
The Zoran might be the answer. They’re superior to us in every way — physically and technologically — but they’re not known for their helpfulness. I have no idea why they’re even coming here or what they want from us. We are just a blip on the intergalactic radar, after all, but I fear the worst.
But before I can cure all of Earth’s problems, I still need to settle on a dress.
“What about this one?” I hold out something a little conservative: a drab, gray dress that would attract zero attention. Kelly instantly wrinkles her nose at me.
“What are you, eighty?” Kelly says. “The invitation clearly says black-tie, honey. The black dress it is!”
I sigh deeply. “Do I have to? I don’t think I’ve ever worn heels.”
“Then start practicing,” Kelly says. “I don’t see why you’re complaining. You get to witness history! I’d love to meet a Zoran General. I’ve heard they’re absolutely dreamy…”
“I’ve heard they drink the blood of their enemies,” I throw back at her, “so excuse me for not being too happy about it!”
“Ooh, primal,” Kelly laughs. “Me likey.”
“You know it. Now get in that dress!”
I yield to her demands and shimmy my way into the black garment. I smooth it with my hands as I look at myself in the mirror, and I have to admit it looks good on me. And that is not something I admit lightly. The midnight black fabric accentuates my chestnut brown eyes and autumn leaf colored hair, and it hugs my curves in all the right places. In fact I don’t think a dress has ever fit me better.
“See,” Kelly says as she stands next to me, completing my look with a golden necklace. “You look stunning. Ready to snatch yourself a Senator… or perhaps a Zoran general?” She teases.
I shiver at the thought. From a scientific point of view, we can learn so much from the Zoran, but that is not what Kelly is hinting at.
She wants me to acquaint myself with their physiology.
I laugh it off, but thoughts fill my head. She’s planted a seed of curiosity in my mind with all this talk, and now it’s going to be tough to shake the thought.
effortlessly glide my warship
, class-A cruiser T
, through human space and start up the docking procedure. My ship, one of the smallest and most agile in our fleet, is still several times the size of their paltry space station, the pinnacle of human development.
This is what we are here to do: Waste our time with this lesser species.
I command all troops in the Western Quadrant, and I could delegate this task to any of the hundreds of elite forces under my command, but I enjoy being at the helm, right in the thick of the action.
Unfortunately, there will be no action on this dreadful diplomatic mission. I run my hand over my smooth scalp, mentally preparing myself for the bullshit politics to come.
“Take the helm, Koryn,” I tell the soldier at my side. “Prepare for immediate evacuation if I give you the signal. I don’t know enough about these humans to trust them yet.”
“Yes sir,” he answers, taking my place behind the multitude of screens.
The large black doors of the elevator whiz open as I approach, automatically reacting to my DNA. Waiting for me inside is the man I loathe the most in the entire known universe: Senator Dimtri.
“General,” he says, his voice dripping with disdain. “Not opting for the proper garment, I see?”
His yellow garment clashes with his lizard-like light-green skin, painting an especially unpalatable picture. I refuse to endorse such trivialities as ceremonial garb, opting for my all-black military uniform, the obsidian armor a tight fit, providing me with maximum flexibility.
It’s all the High Command seems to care about nowadays. They’re preoccupied with ceremonial garbs and having gluttonous feasts, while our sworn enemies raid our borders unpunished.
This mission only proves my point. My fleet should be in the Eastern Quadrant, supporting General Tyr in his fight against the insectoid, infernal Ygg. We went through training together, and there’s no place I’d rather be than at his side, riding into battle together. Instead, I am forced to escort Senator Dimtri because the High Command has developed a taste for one of their sickly sweet treats called
. It’s a hot commodity on the intergalactic black market, and now the High Command wants it straight from the source.
In the last few cycles, the High Command has grown feeble and weak. They have plucked the fruits of the labor of countless Zoran warriors, and have forsaken our origins.
“Remind me again why we’re here,” I growl as the elevator glides down. “There’s been another Ygg attack on Haven-5. We should be in the East.”
“Watch your tone, Vinz,” Dimtri says. “Remember your station. The Emperor wants to open relations with the humans, and that is what we shall do.”
I bite down on my bottom lip, tasting blood. Control is the most important thing in the life of a warrior: Physical as well as emotional. Day by day it becomes harder and harder to control my urges. I can only sit by and watch the High Command run our species into the ground for so long… but this was not the time to strike.
“My my, what’s gotten you so worked up, Vinz? Afraid of a few humans now, are we? Or has it been too long without a mate?” Dimtri goaded me.
He senses my rage — us Zoran have very perceptible senses, and the slightest change in mood gives off a particular scent, which makes complete emotional control all the more important in our culture. Even a weakling such as Dimtri has a rudimentary control of these powers, though of course his grasp pales in comparison to a tried and true warrior. I silently admonish myself for letting this pompous aristocrat successfully rile me up.
“Feel free to take one of the humans, if that’s what you prefer,” Dimtri hisses.
I ignore his blithe statement. He wants nothing more than for me to strike him down in anger so he can get me court-martialed and relieved of duty. My animosity for the High Command is well-known, but my prowess is so renowned that they couldn’t get rid of me without inciting a rebellion.
A human for a mate? I can’t even imagine it. Interspecies mingling is not exactly unheard of. After the inexplicable decline in birth rates, which has of course remained a closely guarded secret, Zoran women have remained exceedingly rare. Unfortunately, no interspecies coupling has ever produced offspring. I don’t see humans — so soft and fragile — being the missing link.
* * *
, General... Uhm..”
A small, frail human male quivers in front of me, his head barely reaching up to my chest. The human is half the width of me and his gut is round where mine is taut. His pupils are dilated, fear escaping from every pore in his feeble body. He offers me a limp hand that I crush. I’ve done my homework and recognize the gesture as a human greeting.
“Vinz,” I answer briskly in Universal. “General Vinz.”
The weak human introduces himself as Tobias, their leader. I don’t understand why the humans have made such a small and pudgy man their leader.
The reception takes place on an observation deck on the top floor of their space station. The spherical glass provides us with a perfect view of Earth, their home planet a blue marble floating in the vast emptiness of space.
I imagine humans consider this a breathtaking sight. I see a glaring security flaw.
I am disappointed to see that the humans share the High Command’s preference for fashion over function. The men are all dressed in strange, dark-colored suits that provide no visible protection. I could easily rip out their throats if I wanted to.
A human female catches my attention. I smell her before I see her — an alluring, warm, pleasant scent that reminds me of the Kyhiss flower that grew in my father’s garden, where I spent my childhood looking up at the stars. On those warm summer nights I’d imagine myself riding into battle headfirst, dropping into the atmosphere from thousands of miles up, cutting through steel and flesh to singlehandedly destroy a Ygg enforcer.
I’ve since then made that dream a reality. What is my reward for my service to the glorious Zoran Empire? I get to be Dimtri’s bodyguard.
I turn on my heels — and the mysterious woman bumps right into my chest, spilling her drink all over me.
“Sorry,” she fusses, her pale cheeks turning pink as she tries to wipe the fluid off my broad chest. My obsidian nano-suit is made to withstand a Ygg’s corrosive acid, so a small beverage is of no concern to me.
To my own surprise I find myself captivated by her beauty. A midnight-black garment hugs her curvy, soft body in all the right places. A thick bush of brown curls frame her gorgeous face.
I wonder what her full lips taste like.
My cock throbs at the invasive thought of sweeping her off her feet and carrying her back to my quarters.
Get it together, Vinz! A human?!
I shake the strange thought. It must be the bright lights and plethora of peculiar scents overloading my senses.
Yes, that’s it
She wanders off, and my eyes are unable to look away from her captivating form. “Who is she?” I demand to know from Tobias.
“H-her?” the frail man stammers. “Th-that’s Jillian, one of our ch-chief scientists.”
Her name rolls of my tongue with ease.
I silently watch Dimtri exchange pleasantries with the human dignitaries. This is where he is at home: slithering up to these naïve humans, with one hand offering the world, and the other ripping them off right before their eyes.
I try to focus my mind on the situation at hand, but inexplicably, my mind keeps drifting back to that shapely scientist.
No matter. In a few hours Dimtri will have concluded his meeting, and we’ll be back on our way to Exon Prime, and I’ll never set foot in human space again.