Karac: Kaldar Warriors #1

BOOK: Karac: Kaldar Warriors #1
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Acknowledgments

I would like to thank my family for encouraging me to follow my heart, even as crazy as my dreams may be.  Without your loving support and push to finish what I started, this work would not have been possible.  Thank you!  -T.J. Yelden

 

 

Science Fiction Romance KARAC: KALDAR WARRIORS Copyright © 2014 by Tracy  J. Yelden First E-Book Publication November 2014 Cover Design by Tracy Yelden. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission from the author. All characters, places and events in this book are fictitious or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is strictly coincidental.

 

Synopsis

 

One phone call was all it took to turn Ashley’s world upside down.  Aliens from outer space?  Check.  Government deal to mandate women sign up for alien courtship?  Check.  A woman willing to allow someone else to dictate her life?  No way in hell.  Screw the government.  Screw the aliens.  She makes her own decisions on how her future plays out. 

One small, obscure planet in the farthest reaches of the universe.  How Karac and his fellow warriors stumbled across it, he’ll never know.  But thank the gods they did.  The planet was teeming with possible truemates.  One mate for each warrior - a lifelong commitment of respect, loyalty, and protection.  What more could a female ask for?  Too bad his mate doesn’t see it that way.

Two different cultures, two different worlds.  Will they come to understand each other, let alone make a lifelong bond?  Trouble brews back on Karac’s home planet and Karac needs Ashley to see things his way, quickly.  With time running out, Ashley will have to make a decision that could change the fate of the universe, forever. 

 

Chapter 1:  The Announcement

Ashley

 

I was sitting in my apartment reading a book when my phone buzzed and I looked down to see my mom was calling.  The apartment I lived in was a small, one bedroom in the town where I worked.  It wasn’t much, but living by myself I didn’t need that much space.  Give me a little patio space, a kitchen to play in, and I was happy.  I picked up my cell and felt a sense of foreboding roll over me.   
What could that be? 
Shaking off the bad feeling and chalking it up to the air conditioner, I answered her call.  I was about to find out how one phone call could change your life forever. 

“Ashley, are you watching the news?”  My mom asked me through my cell, without so much as a ‘hello’ or “how are you doing?”, which was weird for her.  My entire family and I exchanged pleasantries before ever getting to the reason of the call.  Thinking about her question, I was already shaking my head.  Nowadays, I didn’t watch much of the 6 o’ clock news because it was depressing.  So many people being shot, killed in car accidents, or something else tragic.  Don’t get me wrong, I had sympathy for those people, but it would be nice if the news included something happy once in a while.  It would help  to temporarily lift morale, at least. 

“Uh, no…why?”  I asked cautiously.  You know that tone that parents get that says “I’m freaked out but trying not to show it”?  Mom’s tone was like that, and it was making me just a little bit nervous.  I sat up straighter on the couch. 
Did something happen to my family?
  I ran down the list of anyone I knew was traveling or flying somewhere. 
That would be the only reason it was on the news, right?
  I drew a blank just as Mom answered my question. 

“Turn it to the news, honey,” she replied softly.  I reached for the remote but still asked why again.  “You’ll see.”  Not seeing the remote in the immediate vicinity, I stood up, found the remote on the opposite side table, and turned to the TV to switch it on. 

As the channel changed, I saw the President was on the screen. 
That’s weird, I didn’t know he was supposed to give a speech. 
Of course, I might have known if I was more religious about watching the news.  I shrugged internally and finally what the President was saying sank in.

“… will share their knowledge on technology and medicine in return for our full cooperation.  This is in no way an infringement on personal rights, as all will be allowed to choose to remain here or go with them.  I am enacting an executive order that all unmarried women between the ages of 18 and 35 comply with this action.” 
Huh?

“What the hell is going on?”  I asked, confused. 
What action?  Who is sharing their knowledge?

“Ashley, shhh…keep listening,” Mom whispered over the phone.  Belatedly I forgot that I still had my cell to my ear.  I sat down on the couch as the President continued. 

“We all realize this will come as a shock.  There will be many questions and right now our governments are drawing up documents that will be available online and broadcasted that lay out the agreement in a few short hours.  Right now, I would like to introduce their representative, Karac of Kaldar, to give his statement.”  The President stepped back to allow another man to step forward. 

“Where the hell is Kaldar?”  I’ve never heard of that country before.  Was it some 3
rd
world country that popped out of nowhere?  But Mom didn’t answer me, and really, I couldn’t blame her as a new man came on camera.  My eyes widened as I took him in.  He was absolutely stunning.  The man was tall, had to be well over 6 foot, short curly black hair, broad shouldered, muscled, and filled out his clothes nicely, I had to admit.  Although, taking a closer look at his clothes, they did seem a bit odd.  I squinted at the screen to try to make sense of it.  Everything was flowing and had graceful lines to it.  Like something you would see at the beach but the colors were all wrong.  They sort of shimmered in the light.  I had never seen clothes that could do that.  The pants were a loose fit, black material.  The light blue shirt was long-sleeved and stretched across his shoulders.  There was a small insignia on the left side of his chest but it was small enough that I couldn’t make it out. 

It took me a minute to look beyond him and notice that there were two other men of similar build stationed behind him.  However, there was nothing graceful about those men.  Both wore fitted black from head to toe and wore expressions that screamed ‘don’t mess with me’. Their combat attire and stance gave off some serious ‘alpha male’ waves that I’m sure had everyone in the room on edge.  I’ll admit they were handsome, but with the scowls and…my eyes narrowed as I looked closer at the screen, were those sword handles poking above their shoulders?

“What the hell is on their backs?”  I said into the phone.

“Ashley, stop saying hell and just listen.”  Mom admonished me.  Blinking, I focused on Karac as he looked directly into the camera.

“I am Karac of Kaldar and as you have probably come to understand by now, we are not from this world.  We come from a galaxy similar to this one, but very far removed.” 
Uh…what?  Did he just say he came from outer space?
  “We are seeking compatible females to replenish our gene pool.  I will only say this once, so listen carefully.  Our males mate for life.  Your daughters will be protected, respected, and well cared for.  No harm will ever befall them in our care.  In exchange for our knowledge in technology and medicine, we require that all unmarried females, age 18 to 35, report to their local law enforcement to be registered in our database beginning in three days.  At which time, a picture and blood sample will be taken and recorded.  Females will have exactly 30 days to comply voluntarily before decisive action will be taken.  As your leader has said, all of the details will be written in the agreement between us.  Also, my…shipmates…and I are traveling to each country with the same message.  No female is beyond our reach.”  With a steady look at the camera, Karac stepped back.  The room was silent for all of three seconds before the conference room erupted in reporters firing questions. 

“What do you want with our women?”

“Where will you take them?”

“Will they be allowed back?”

“How do we know you aren’t selling them as slaves to some other planet?” 

At the last question, Karac curled his lip in disgust before nodding to the two men behind him and leaving the screen.  The President followed the three men –
were they even considered men if they were from another planet?
– escaping the questions being fired at their backs.  The regular news anchor came on the screen and you could tell she was surprised and confused by the look on her face.  For a few seconds she was speechless, then pulled it together and announced they would return after the break. 

“Ashley, you still there?”  Mom asked shakily. 

“Yeah, Mom. I’m here.”  I answered quietly as I sat there staring at the screen still trying to wrap my head around the announcement. 

“Come home, please.  Right now.”  I could hear Mom trying to hold back her tears.  There was only one solution. 

“I’ll be there in 20.”  I hung up and fell back against the couch. 
Could this really be real?
  I’ve read science fiction novels about this kind of stuff but that was fiction. 
FICTION.
  That stuff wasn’t supposed to happen in real life.  I shook my head to try and clear it, then grabbed my keys and purse.  I didn’t think I’d need anything else so I quickly walked down the stairs and out to my car and was on my way to my parents’ house outside of town in no time. 

I knew why my mom was worried.  Hell, I was worried but I was trying to keep the panic at bay.  A person can’t think clearly when they are freaking out.  I was 23 and unmarried…firmly within the range they just stated.
What about the women who had boyfriends?  Were they still required to register? 
Not that I had one to speak of.  Or ever had for that matter.  Men and I didn’t really see eye to eye on relationships.  One thing I did know, there was no way in hell I was just going to ‘voluntarily’ register and become some alien’s pet. 
No way, no how.
  I’d figure something out…I had to. 

I left the town behind and traveled a few miles into the countryside to my parents’ farm.  They had lived on the farm since before I was born.  It was where I grew up and would forever be my home.  After high school, I left for college six hours away, loved the time away from home, but eventually, needed to be near my family.  I came back to the area right after graduation and started working at the local economic development office.  It kept me busy and I was able to meet a lot of different people.  I enjoyed being near to most of my family too. 

My family and I were close.  I have two older sisters, which made me the baby of the family.   Both of them are married so I guess they got off scots free in this new development.  Thinking of my sisters, I was only the baby in age.  I surpassed my sisters in height when I was in 12
th
grade.  I’m not a giant by any means, but I am 5’ 8”, which makes me taller than most women.  Thinking back to the alien on TV, I suppose I would be short next to him. 
Not that I would ever get or want the chance to see for myself first hand
.  I shuddered at the thought. 

Trying to shake my head of that mental image, I found that I was almost to my parents’ house.  Their home was beautiful.  Nestled back into a valley, on a small gravel road which wasn’t traveled often, it allowed a sense of peace and isolation away from everything.  I pulled up the driveway and saw that both Mom and Dad were standing outside waiting for me. 

This was going to be the hard part.  Mom was emotional. 
Most
of the time.  This new development was going to be hard on her.  She would immediately jump to the worst case scenario so I had to come up with a plan, stat.  Looking at Dad, now, he was the polar opposite of Mom.  I took after him in temperament.  Dad and I can keep emotions under wrap fairly well.  The only time we lose our cool is under stress or extreme frustration.  It’s only happened a few times in my life, but when it does, well, let’s just say it’s not pretty.  As long as we didn’t get in an argument about this whole alien thing, we should be able to figure something out. 

I stepped out of my car and was immediately pulled into a hug by Mom.  She was crying softly which just raised my uncomfortable meter a little more.  I loved her to death, but I just don’t do emotions well.  Mine or anyone else’s.  She let me go, but still held my hand as Dad stepped up and gave me a quick hug. 

“How come I don’t get this reception every time?”  I joked, trying to lighten the mood.  I looked between them, trying to gain a smile from them.  No success. 

“Ha, very funny,” Mom sniffled trying to reign in her tears. 

“Come on, let’s get inside.”  Dad ushered us in front of him and we all went in the kitchen and sat around the island.  Both Mom and Dad were looking at me.  Mom was ringing her hands and Dad had one arm draped around her shoulder in support.  We sat there, staring at each other for a few seconds.  I could tell they didn’t know where to begin, so I decided to start.

“Since I am not ‘voluntarily’ registering, we are going-“

“Oh thank God!”  Mom exclaimed.  I looked to her in shock.

“Did you really think I was going to register?”  I asked almost indignantly. 

“Oh sweetie, I didn’t know what to think.”  Mom let out a shaky breath before continuing.  “You are always reading those books with werewolves and magic or something like that.  I didn’t know how you would feel about this.”

“Mom, really?”  I shook my head and smiled to soften my disbelief.  “Those books are fiction.  Not exactly something I’d want to deal with in everyday life.”  Did she really think that I would leave my family?  And I hardly thought that my ending would be as happy as the books I read.  My luck wasn’t that good. 

“Well, now that
that
is cleared up, what are we going to do?”  Dad asked.  “If you aren’t going to register then we have to come up with a reason why you wouldn’t.” 

In the car, I had thought about a way, but it seemed too drastic.  I was coming to realize that it was probably my only option.  I took a deep breath and stared at my parents.

“I’m going to have to disappear.”  I stated with a roll of my shoulder. 

“What?”  Mom looked at me in shock, breath whooshing out on that one statement.  “Sweetie, what do you mean, disappear?” 

“I’ll have to erase every current way to track me.  Credit cards, bank account, health insurance, phone, car loan, my apartment….” I close my eyes and stated, “It will all have to go.”  I looked back at them and noticed their worry.  “I can’t let them find me.”  I said with heat. 

“But they will still have any records on you.”  Dad stated.  “Medical, voting history, place of residence…all that.”  He said with a wave of his hand. 

“Yeah, but that is a history.  I’m not saying erase my existence, we don’t have the resources for that.” 
As much as that would probably make my life easier.
  I sighed. 

“So you just want to make it harder to locate you if they come looking.”  Dad stated thoughtfully.  He seemed to be seriously considering my proposal. 

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