An alien race of fierce, giant warriors enslaved by a far more advanced race and forced to carry out their aspirations of ruling the universe. An Earth ship with a cargo of Earth women bound for a new colony world. A collision of worlds and cultures just waiting for nature to strike a spark to explode.
When ship’s commander, Nicole, and her all female crew are awakened from stasis by an intruder alert, they find their ship has been invaded by seven foot barbarian warriors armed to the teeth. Unarmed, outnumbered, and completely overwhelmed it seems they have no choice but to comply meekly—however difficult it is for them to play submissive. But there’s no cavalry coming. They must find a way to rescue themselves or accept their fate—whatever that may be.
Leader duo, Taurin and Jurik, had been summoned to the bridge as soon as the alien craft was detected. By the time they arrived, the delizo Commander, Muck, had decreased the magnification of the viewer, leaving no more than a tiny dot visible on a twinkling backdrop of black velvet.
Taurin stared at the screen, hard, until he noticed the faint movement the ship appeared to make at such a vast distance. As that came into focus, fortunately, he realized he had not simply tuned out the voices on the bridge, he had neglected to turn his translator/communicator back on.
Surreptitiously, he lifted his arm and touched the button, pretending to adjust his helmet.
Jurik flicked a glance at him out of the corner of his eye just as the Commander turned to look at them.
He caught it.
There was little that the bastard missed—and nothing that did not instantly make him suspicious.
As well he should be for, if not for the constraints, Taurin would have taken his head off his shoulders with his blade long since. He was fairly certain the delizo in general and Muck in particular were universally hated, but theirs did not hold a candle to Taurin’s feelings.
He had long since learned to submerge his hatred, however, and presented no more than the typical stone cold mask of a warrior as Muck transferred his attention to him, since he was alpha.
“What do you make of that?”
“Prey,” Taurin responded promptly.
Muck grinned, displaying a double row of needle sharp teeth.
It was a stomach churning ugly thing to behold and not just corrupted by the reptilian face into a predatory distortion of amusement. The delizo were as cold blooded a species and his own warrior race, the madrone, were hot blooded.
Taurin felt his belly tighten reflexively, as if instinctively bracing for a blow.
“That quickly? At this magnification?”
“You summoned us. You would not have if it was a delizo vessel. Everyone else is prey for the Delizo Empire.”
Muck’s eyes narrowed—as if he was debating whether to take exception to the comment or not, but apparently he shrugged off his pique and decided to take it as a compliment.
It was neither. It was merely a statement of fact.
This time the grin was not quite as offensive. “True! We’ve detected heat signatures of two hundred bodies. Ready as many men as you think you will need to gain control of the ship and meet at the transporter for boarding.”
Taurin instantly felt his fighting blood surge against the constraints—despite the fact that the delizo were careful not to remove them from their slave army until the last moment before they faced whatever poor victims had become their latest target.
Dismissed, Taurin and Jurik saluted, turned and left the bridge, marching in sync purely by instinct or perhaps habit.
They had been paired at birth as was the madrone custom for warriors—so that they could be reared and trained together to work as one nearly invincible fighting machine.
Almost in sync, they both reached to flick off the translator/communicators they wore at all times with the exception of the sleep period since they suspected the delizo also used it to secretly monitor their conversations.
Which meant they did not dare leave them off for any significant length of time.
“Thoughts?” Taurin asked.
“I heard nothing that suggested the vessel to be a war machine,” Jurik responded.
Taurin frowned. “The comments I overheard did not describe it as a very large vessel—to be carrying so many. And two hundred would be a very small army.”
Jurik shrugged. “Whatever the purpose, they will undoubtedly be armed.”
Published: TBR August
Word Count: TBA
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