Saturday, July 15, 2017

Star Talker: Part 6: Home

"Captain Rha'han, what lovely treasure you've captured!" came a male voice from somewhere in front of Rha'han.

I stiffened, staring hard at his boots, fighting the urge to look up. A hand caught me under the chin, attempting to tilt my face up for examination. I jerked away with a hiss, crouching to Rha'han's side, holding my bound wrists defensively in front of my face.

"What is she?" the stranger said, a hint of disgust coloring his tone.

"Terran, according to her medical bracelet," Rha'han said, sounding amused.

"Are you sure?"

I opened my mouth to speak, which earned me a hard yank on the chain from Rha'han. I chuffed through my nose, but said nothing.

"I might have a genetic workup done later, but for now I'll accept her listed biometrics and just assume she's feral."

I glared at him and growled. He wanted feral? I'd give him fucking feral. He lifted an eyebrow and wrapped the chain around his fist, forcing me closer.

"If you'll excuse me, it's been a long day. If you're in the market for a slave or mate, the other captives will be at the market later in the week, after debriefings, of course." Rha'han said.

The other man bowed. "Of course."

Rha'han tugged on the chain, and I trudged along after him, staring at the colorful tiles under my feet. The sun had set sometime during the flight, so the sky was dark, but bright lamps lit up the plaza we were crossing. The brightness reminded me of LEDs, but they were likely some native gas. No one else approached us during the trek, as we entered an elevator. The trip up was much longer than I expected. Citadel was the best translation for the word I had, but it wasn't quite like the Terran idea of a citadel. It was a city inside a single building. It was a massive structure, mindboggling in its vastness. It made my head hurt to think about the construction. It shouldn't have. Space stations were a similar concept, except in a space station, you didn't really have a choice. I kind of didn't get why you would want to live in an enclosed city.

I didn't see much besides leather boots and flowing hemlines of vivid fabrics that grazed the floor and hid the feet of the wearers. I wanted to look. I wanted to see this place. I wanted to study the faces of those around me, listen to their words, their accents, their dialects. I wanted to record their voices in my Arkiv. But, I had been bold enough for the day. I was still pissed at the whole situation, but it had settled into a slow burn, the fire weakened by my exhaustion. Continuously aggravating my captor probably wasn't the best of strategies, but it was better than thinking about the coppery scent of blood and the lifeless eyes of the men I'd worked and lived with for the last two years or more. I shuddered.

"You can look up now. We're home."

Home. What a joke.

I lifted my head, but didn't look at him. I stood in the foyer of a large apartment. Large photographs of nebulae and colorful planets hung in elegant frames on the wall. I wondered if he had purchased them, or if they were images he'd captured during his travels with the Lo'Rahni military.

A female alien swept into the room, hands meekly clasped in front of her, silvery bracelets adorning her wrists. She wore an ephemeral white garment, reminiscent of art I'd seen of Grecian nymphs. It was gathered at each shoulder with a pin. The sides were open, but pinned near the waist to preserve modesty. I imagined they were designed for Lo'Rahni women, with their extra arms. The fabric hit her at the knee, much shorter than the skirts I'd seen on the way here. She had iridescent ruby skin, made up of smooth tiny scales. Patches of gold scales broke up the pattern in unusual places. A long fin descended from the top of her head like veil or a cascade of hair. It reminded me of the billowy tail fins of betta fish we used to keep as pets when I was a child. Smaller fins draped from her forearms, looking almost like silk or chiffon. She had small eyes and a small mouth and no nose to speak of. I could see the lines of gills on the sides of her long neck. The fingers clasped in front of her had membranes running up half their length, and her bare feet were similarly webbed. I'd never seen a member of her species before. She was beautiful.

"Welcome home, Master," she said cheerfully, smiling with her tiny mouth.

"Thank you, Daesha. I trust all has been well in my absence?"

Daesha bowed at the waist, her head fin folding around her body. "Yes, Master. Mehdawi is preparing the evening meal." She cast a glance to me. "Shall I take the new girl to the servants' quarters to be properly attired?"

"What? Oh." Rha'han looked down at my wrists and reached out to unlock them. "No, thank you, Daesha, but this one is not a slave. This is Selena, my new mate."

Surprise erupted on her face. Well, I assumed it was surprise. I wasn't quite sure how to read her expressions yet.

"My apologies, Mistress. I assumed..." she bowed again.

I flinched at the word "Mistress." Slavery had been abolished on Terra centuries ago and, while I was aware it existed on other planets, it had not been an institution on my birth station or within the Centauri Federation. The idea of it made me uncomfortable.

"Daesha, we will bathe and then have dinner in my room. Oh, and I will need someone to fetch some gowns for Selena."

I felt my stomach sink at the prospect of bathing with him, because, of course, I would be.

Daesha examined me and looked back to Rha'han. "Right away, Master. I will send Daila to the market sector before morning." She bowed again and rushed off to do his bidding.

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked


  1. I look forward to the bathing scene... and to learn more about her new home.

    Rebel xox