Marauder Ramses, page 16part #4 of Mating Wars Series
“Talk like what?” Kain asks. “Human men’s dicks are not self lubricating, so it’s a logical expression, as the vaginal fluids will--”
“Jesus,” I say, cutting him off, “Please stop.”
Felicia laughs again. “It’s awesome, he talks either like the biggest asshole, or like a biological textbook. There’s no in between.”
Kain taps on the window, and we look outside.
We see a blue glow of engine thrust in the distance.
“I need to go meet them outside,” Kain says. “You’ll need to both pretend that I was not kind to you when we next meet.”
“You weren’t,” I say.
Kain kicks the crate. “Then I will take this food away.”
“Come on, Kara,” Felicia says. “He saved our asses and brought us chocolate.”
“Okay, fine,” I say. “You were kind to us.”
Kain nods. “You are both welcome.”
Then he grabs my hand, squeezes it, and locks eyes with me. “And you are especially welcome, Kara.”
I feel my chest tighten, and my throat goes dry. My heart pounds hard against my chest, and a warm surge of adrenaline floods through me, sending all the butterflies in my stomach flying high.
“Uhh,” I croak out. “Okay.”
He twitches his ears at me, locks his helmet on, and goes out the airlock.
When he’s gone, Felicia says in a mocking voice, “And you are especially welcome!”
I try to punch her, but she jumps back and laughs.
I stand outside my ship, fully suited up and ready to rejoin Darkstar.
But my body is still alight. It’s aflame.
All of those long nights acting as wingman, seeing others engage in meaningless ‘hook-ups,’ and all that time I abstained. I waited for the right one.
So many Seraphim--human Marauder hybrids--are suffering. They’re turning toward Darkstar, because they want only to leave this place. They are restless and in pain. When a human and Marauder who are not true mates produce a Seraph, this is what happens. Marauders must take care to only commit to their true mate, and I doubted I’d ever find mine.
I will claim her, and I will save her.
She may not want to mate with me now, but she’ll not long be able to resist me.
The Darkstar ship begins its final descent. The dust kicks up and plinks against my faceplate, but I stand tall and wait.
I push the thoughts of my mate out of my mind, and remember my peacekeeper training. I need to convince them I am still loyal and still ideologically pure. I need to convince myself, if I’m to act the part.
The ramp on their ship lowers, and two bio-suited figures walk down the ramp.
I recognize them immediately. It’s Senka and Raius.
It’s been over a year since I was stationed on Darkstar, but before I’d left, neither of these two had earned the right to wear biosuits. I am the youngest remaining pure-blooded Marauder, but Senka and Raius are among the youngest--barely over 30.
I salute them, and they salute back.
Senka’s teal biosuit turns liquid at the shoulder, and a tendril snaps out toward me.
I don’t flinch. If he somehow knows I’ve betrayed them and wants to kill me--he’ll kill me. There’s no hope of fighting these two with biosuits.
But the tendril doesn’t impale me, it slides into my suit’s computer, and suddenly I hear Senka’s voice.
“Kain! Son of Grius!”
“Senka,” I say, “Son of Senka.”
Senka’s family is not very creative with names, his brother’s name is Benka.
“We thought you were dead,” Raius says. “But now we find you...with two fresh prisoners.”
“Yes,” I say. “They are young, too.”
Senka licks his lips.
The tendril pulls back into Senka’s suit, but it’s permanently altered my suit’s computer, so I can still communicate with them.
Raius clears his throat and scowls. I remember he was never one to partake in the human slaves.
They’ve both been promoted, but I don’t know which one is more powerful. I can gain favor with Senka by seeming sympathetic to his appetites, but that will distance me from Raius. Until I know who holds more sway, I will avoid committing.
“I was on my way back,” I say, “and their beacon was within range. I knew it was a mining ship, so my main goal was to take their haul.”
“Good call,” Raius says, “We scanned and saw a lot of platinum. We’ll take it all.”
“Why the hard landing?” Senka asks, voice skeptical. “Must have wasted a lot of fuel. I’d be surprised if there was enough left in that thing to get back to Darkstar.”
Shit. I didn’t think they’d seen me land.
“Everything on Atlantis went wrong,” I say. “All of our forces, Marauder and Seraphim alike, were wiped out. My father included.”
Both Senka and Raius bow their heads, which buys me some time to think up a reason why I burned so much fuel to land.
“That ship,” I say, pointing to my ship. “It’s from Earth. When I was going in to land, the computer realized the two women were facing imminent threat of death--”
“So what?” Raius asks. “All we reallly care about is the platinum. And what good is a bunch of heavy platinum if you don’t have the fuel to get it back to Darkstar?”
“Yes,” I say, “Exactly what I told the computer--”
“I dunno,” Senka says, “Two young human females will do wonders for morale.”
Raius side-eyes him, and I continue my story.
“I told the computer to strike a balance--conserve enough fuel to make it back to Darkstar, but get me down fast. It overrode my decision.”
“Harmony,” Raius says. “We’ll have to blow that ship to hell on our way out. I don’t think she could fit on such a small ship, but who knows what she’s capable of. That fucking thing has always preferred humanity to us.”
“It was designed by humans,” Senka says.
I feel my stomach knot up. The ship’s computer is designed to help me with my undercover operation. I have an implant that links directly to the ship’s computer, and even if I were on Darkstar and it were docked on one of the Marauder ships, I could still communicate with it.
Now it’s going to be blown to pieces. I could try to argue a case to keep it for examination, but then they might find my implant. I’ll have to let it go.
“The humans were malnourished,” I say, “So I gave them a crate of rations.
“We have plenty of space and fuel,” Senka says, “We can carry both their mining haul and the humans themselves.”
“I know which you’re more happy about,” Raius says.
Senka scoffs, and gives me a look.
“I should congratulate you both on your promotions,” I say, pointing at their biosuits.
Senka swells up, sticking out his chest.
Raius pokes him with his finger, “Don’t puff up like that, Senka! We have nothing to be proud of.”
“Why’s that?” I ask.
“Darkstar is on its last legs. We need new blood, and now that you’ve told us all of the Seraphim we spent years recruiting were killed on Atlantis…”
Senka cuts in, “Raius thinks we were promoted because we’re among the few Marauders that aren’t old and grey. They need Marauders in peak physical condition to fight, and I know I fit that description.”
Raius shakes his head. “Would you rather have a permanent post on the Darkstar ships, in a nice, spacious command room? And the power to order around Marauders and Seraphim in peak physical condition. Or would you rather have these biosuits, at the cost of those commanders in their spacious rooms ordering you around?”
The gears in my head start to turn. I am in peak physical condition. That means I’ll likely be given a biosuit, but it also means I’ll be a grunt they order around. I need the biosuit to have any hope of e
What if they order me back to Atlantis?
I grunt, then say, “Either way, let’s get this cargo loaded up. I’m sick of this rock.”
Senka laughs. “Let’s get you off this dark rock and onto another one.”
The airlock opens, and only Kain enters.
He widens his eyes at me, and shakes his head imperceptibly. They must be able to hear us.
“Just let us go!” I say, in my whiniest, weakest voice. “We can just wait here, hope someone else finds us--”
“Quiet, woman!” He growls. “We’re going to load you in first, then we’re taking your mining haul.”
Felicia looks like she’s about to cry when I mention her mining haul.
“We only have one suit,” I say.
“Well, put it on then!”
“You first,” Felicia says.
I roll my eyes and start to get back into the suit.
No one moves to help me. “I can’t get it on alone.”
Kain crosses his arms.
Fucking asshole. “Felicia, come on!”
She sighs and gets back up, then holds the legs out.
When the helmet is finally locked in, Kain shoves me into the airlock.
“Asshole,” I mutter as he seals the door behind me.
As soon as the pressure equalizes and the seal is tight, the outer door starts to open.
Two more Marauders greet me, and by “greet,” I mean that one grabs me by the arm and starts to drag me.
Suddenly I hear his voice from the comms in my suit. The comms were broken, but apparently his biosuit can repair them.
He tugs my arm again, and I fall back down.
“Stop fucking knocking me over, and maybe I will get up!”
“She’s feisty,” the Marauder says, “You didn’t tell me she was feisty, Kain.”
I grit my teeth and stand up. “I’ll walk with you if you promise not to--”
He shoves me, and I fall flat on my back.
“God,” the Marauder says, “I love when they get mad.”
The second Marauder pushes the first away from me, and I hear his voice in my helmet, “We don’t have time for this shit, Senka. Let her walk.”
I hear Senka laughing, and already I fucking hate him. Maybe I do want Kain to flay his skin.
“Thanks,” I say to the one that rescued me.
“Don’t thank me,” he says, “I don’t think you’re worth the oxygen and food we’ll waste keeping you alive. If it were up to me, I’d execute you on the spot.”
“Well,” I say, “At least you’re not shoving me.”
“Raius!” Senka shouts, “You can’t protect both of them at once!”
I shudder thinking of him getting his hands on Felicia.
“Don’t touch my sister,” I say, seething.
“Sisters!” Senka shouts. “Oh, this is too good to be true! You must be the big sister, huh? Want to protect little sister--”
The voice cuts out.
“I broke his uplink with you,” Raius says.
“I thought you didn’t care about me.”
“I don’t,” he says, “Now keep moving.”
He leads me up the ramp, through an airlock, and once I’m inside he helps me out of the suit.
The moment the suit is off and in his hands, he turns his back to me as if I don’t exist.
“I really am grateful to you for not being a total piece of shit,” I say to his back, but he doesn’t show any hint of having heard me. He shuts the door to the airlock and is gone.
The door swings open again, and Felicia falls headfirst onto the floor. Senka is behind her.
He shuts the door again and leaves us alone.
Felicia pulls her helmet off and screams. “I want to fucking flay that dickbag’s skin off!”
I help her out of the suit, then hug her. “We’ll make it out of this, I promise.”
“This is so miserable, Kara,” Felicia says. “I just want to curl up into a ball and die. You should have let me freeze to death.”
I hug her tighter. “We’ve had a shitty life. Really shitty. All kinds of awful things have happened to us, but that’s made us strong. The night is darkest just before dawn--”
“No it’s not,” Felicia says.
“It’s just a saying…”
“It’s factually incorrect though.”
“But the point stands. This is our last ordeal. If we make it through this, everything will be okay.”
“Our mining haul,” Felicia says. “They’re crating it all up and hauling it onto their own ship. After Kain claims you--” Felicia coughs and smiles at me, “Maybe you can convince him to rescue our mining haul while he’s at it.”
“Felicia,” I say. “Do you really want to make our rescue include hauling a ton of heavy rocks? As if breaking two human women out of Darkstar isn’t difficult enough on its own?”
“Fine, fine,” Felicia says. “But it sucks. Even if we get rescued, we won’t even have a mining ship anymore. I guess we could go to Mars as refugees.”
“Kain is a peacekeeper,” I say. “He could probably get us to Venus. I’ve heard Sankt Petersburg is nice.”
“I think after Darkstar,” Felicia says, “That anywhere will seem nice.”
“There you go!” I squeeze her arm, “Now you’re thinking like an optimist.”
“You could see that as pessimism about how bad Darkstar will be,” Felicia says.
“I could.” I smile at her. “But I’m an optimist.”
This ends the preview of MARAUDER KAIN. Look for it on Amazon sometime next month.
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About the Author
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