Unfeeling eyes stare at Lend as he’s forced up against a metal contraption. A smile curls on the face of a blue skinned, bat-winged creature that towers above him. Blue electricity is pressed crudely to his face, and a voice slithers from the throat of the other worldly being. “There’s nowhere to run, human.”
Lend, wrenched away from his home in the wild loses everything in one eternal moment. Not only have these creatures, who call themselves Citizens, steal his world, now his freedom. Forced into the back of a speedcar the aliens take him to a warehouse. Ill fed, terrified humans huddle in the darkness waiting to be purchased by a Citizen. Losing all identity except the name human Lend fights to regain the freedom he, and his race have lost.
Purchased by the daughter of the most powerful Citizen on the planet Lend finds his world churning. The female Citizen shows him a new side of the alien race who he believed was incapable of love or trust. Jealousy rages in her relationship with her future mate, and Lend runs from the killer inamorato. With the threat of being burned alive, Lend collides straight into a force beyond his control. Does he have what it takes to become a savior? Or will he be enslaved at the hands of the powerful beings who corrupted our world.
A sample chapter from my Sci-fi dystopia romance novel
"Scream, human." A cold voice slid across the room. Blue electricity danced in front of a young girl's eyes; her pulse racing in her throat. Her golden locks hung in waves down her back as she placed a hand against her heart. She backed up a step as an icy, cold, blue hand snaked across her throat and lifted her two feet off the ground.
"Scream." The voice hissed. A face appeared in the moon light, blue skin, pointy ears, and a shot of grayish hair; thin membrane wings were spread across a taunt back, and webbed fingers and toes curled. The girl let out a whimper as he squeezed harder. The large creature grinned silently as the girl fell limp in his hands.
* * *
The City loomed large and beautiful; buildings scraped the bright, blue sky. Silver streets were streaked with flames of color as speedcars blurred by. Signs blinked simultaneously, retching their product or business with ferocious flare. The noise was deafening. Children shouted in the streets, Guardians barked orders and the City radio squawked from ancient speakers. It was pandemonium at its best.
Morthane stood in his large office staring down over the City. The streets were filled with glistening speedcars, dots of blue skinned Citizens and humans lapping at their master’s heels. He watched as neon signs blinked, advertising the latest gadgetry and fashion. He glanced down at his tight black pala, a strong material toga, stretched across his blue skin, toning his perfectly formed muscles. The fashion really hadn’t changed since they’d invaded earth some thousand years ago. He got a glimpse of his own reflection in the large window and narrowed his eyes. He was 6’7, his chest muscular and broad; his blue skin was a shade darker than most Citizens. He ran his fingers through his short, black, hair that was styled neatly, his jaw was strong, his face handsome.
His office was large, too large his wife always had told him. It fit his personality. The windows filled the wall behind him so that he could look out over the City anytime he wanted. He loved space, and the fifty some odd feet ceilings gave him plenty. The opposite wall was filled with black files; every human who’d ever crossed Human Co’s doors was recorded. He had an exact count even. His eyes zeroed to the other side of the wall where a large portrait hung of him and his family. His two children Jania and Boron looked down on him with wide smiles. His family. He sighed softly to himself. He was loosing them; Rasa had been clear about that. He’d ignored the warnings, instead focusing on building an empire. Human Co went through how many thousands of humans a year?
It wasn’t that he didn’t care for his family, he was just, focused. Morthane blew out a slow breath feeling tension build in his muscles. What was wrong with him? He walked over to his desk, which was black marble; cold air blowing through the air ducts. I like it cold. He thought, as he sat down pulling up a file that had been on his mind. He touched the screen with the tip of his webbed finger and saw several human faces; he needed to get them sold. Citizens just didn’t buy humans like they used to. They were so particular now about the breed, the bone structure, and health of the animal they purchased. He sent hunters out every three to six months to track down more of the creatures and bring them into his warehouse. They were becoming more and more difficult to find, humans were getting smarter, if that was possible. He smirked. His wife’s face came into his mind, her long brown hair, lean figure, and pale gray eyes pleading. She’d hated Human Co; she told him it was cruel. He pushed the thoughts away, turning toward his luring office space. He felt bored.
He couldn’t help but replay what he’d said to Rasa just before she’d packed up their two kids and walked out the door. She’d given him a choice, Human Co or her. He’d chosen his business. He couldn’t let it die. His Father had run this business, and his father before that, and generations past. It was a part of whom he was, a part of his legacy. He cast a side glance at the large portrait; it was almost as if he could feel the disappointment in those eyes staring down at him. He'd threatened to have her banned. A muscle jerked in his face. That was stupid, but did he really feel like he could be with a mate who hated his business?
His office manager suddenly appeared before him. He raised his hand in greeting and she bowed slightly.
“Sir, your shipment has just arrived. There's an unruly one that needs to be tranqued.” She said this so matter-of- factly that Morthane raised his hand again in dismissal. Humans were still humans.
“Fine, do whatever is necessary. I have a lot to do today. Ship him off to the first Citizen once he’s been detained.” The woman nodded and left him. He felt a strange pang at her departure. Maybe he’d go detain the animal himself.
* * *
Morthane stood near the window of his warehouse his eyes taking in the new humans. He looked at a file in his hand scanning the page, five hundred; a small shipment. It was always messy business when they brought in the new ones from the wild. He watched from the window for a moment as his guards corralled the women to one side and the men to the other side. They’d be taken to the disinfected chambers where they’d be washed thoroughly and given fresh palas to wear. He pressed his hand against the glass getting a good look at them. They always clung to each other. It was something he didn’t understand, their need for each other. He observed one woman who was wailing, her arms outstretched toward a man on the opposite side. He found it easier to handle them when he pulled the women and men apart. You’d think he was the devil himself the way these humans carried on.
His attention was grabbed toward the back corner where he noted the man that needed to be tranqued. He was tanned, around 6’3”, with long black hair that fell almost to his waist. He was jumping, running around, and shouting at his guards, shaking them off like children. His guards were always hesitant to damage his goods, which was the way he’d trained them, but this display was downright stupid. The other humans were staying out of the crazy man’s path as he pounded on the walls trying to find a way to escape his prison. Humans. They were wonderful animals once they were trained. Stupid things. Their lot in life was to serve and to die. He thrust his hand on the scanner and the door swished open.
“Morgel, I’ll handle him myself.” The small Citizen scampered away like a rat as Morthane entered the warehouse. He pulled out his tranq gun and aimed it at the animal’s chest. A flash exploded and in a moment the human fell convulsing to the ground. He let his mouth twitch into half a smile. No problem. He slid the tranq into its holder and strolled over to the man. The other humans scattered from him like cockroaches in the light. He leaned down to take a closer look. This one looked strong, muscles bulged from his arms and legs. His skin was bare except a home made pair of human pants. He let out a satisfied grunt then turned and left the warehouse.
* * *
Lend opened up a lazy eye. He felt pain ripple through his head and wondered if he should just sleep a little longer. Then, like a tornado, everything came back. Hundreds of humans caught. His eyes fluttered. His body tried to fight the tranq’s power but within a moment he was lost in its cruel grip, blackness slamming into the back of his skull.
Lend sat near the fire listening to his Mother hum a gentle tune. He sharpened his knife on a stone as he sat. His sister, Bree, was stirring the stew, her small frame swaying to and fro to the music. Lend sighed in contentment. His Father and brother were preparing the meat.
"Mom, is there anything else you need for the stew?" His Mother glanced up, her eyes squinting at the sun’s brilliancy.
"Could you gather a few herbs from the garden?" Lend nodded and rose, sliding his knife into its holder against his thigh. He followed the small trail his eyes glancing at the familiar markings. His gut began to get uneasy. He looked around as if something was lurking in the shadows. They were well hidden from the Citizens, but something felt wrong. He shrugged it off. He’d been edgy for awhile now.
He stopped to gather the herbs his Mother desired when the hair on the back of his neck prickled. He heard movement nearby and pulled out his knife. His keen eyes darted to the trees on either side of him. Something wasn't right. All of the humans in his camp knew not to sneak up on each other. Suddenly, a blue streak struck the ground beside him. Lend tumbled forward and into a hard run his arms pumping furiously. He heard the Citizen howl in anger as the ground crackled behind him. A blue flame dashed the ground inches from his feet. He dove into the forest dodging trees and swiping branches from his face. He heard the Citizen barking orders. Oh, no. There are more of them, he thought. The forest sizzled behind him as the ballistic Citizens went into a rage. Run, run, his frantic thoughts screamed. His family's faces raced through his mind as the cool air whipped around him. What if they were already captured?
He plummeted into a deep ditch hitting the earth hard. His breath escaped him as he tried to stand back up again. A heavy foot pressed up against the side of his face. He struggled to get up and managed to push the Citizen off of him, but when he turned around he faced a group of power crazed creatures. They looked at him with deep set scowls. Two walked toward him holding heavy chains in their webbed hands.
"There's nowhere to run," a deep voice rumbled. Lend pulled out his knife and gripped the handle tightly. He heard one of the Citizens laugh.
“What is that?” Lend knew it wouldn’t do any good. One lunged for him and he swung his knife slicing a thin trail of blood down the creature’s arm.
“This human thinks he can fight.” More laughter. They lunged at him, he swung, dodging and pushing the creatures into each other.
“Just grab him!” He heard their leader craw. He felt heat hit the back of his leg. He jumped to the left letting one of the Citizen’s weight fall over his shoulder and onto the ground. He heard the Citizen swear as it made a grab for his legs. He jumped back turning in a circle his eyes dark with fury. Pain exploded in the back of his skull. He staggered. He felt a blow knock him off his feet and onto his face; his body hit the dirt with a thud. He heard someone hissing as another jumped onto him pinning him to the ground. He growled trying to shake the heavy body off of him. Blue flames slammed the ground near Lend's face crackling and exploding, scorching his cheek. The Citizen pulled him up by his hair and shoved him against the side of a metal vehicle. He’d heard about these vehicles—they were called speedcars— unlike anything humans had produced. Pure alien. He could smell burnt flesh as the webbed hands pulled his arms tight behind him. The other Citizens hissed and laughed as they began shoving others from his tribe into the back of the speedcars. He tried to see if his family was among the group, but he was forced into the horde of humans and prodded into the back of the vehicle.
* * *
Lila dodged her boyfriend’s intense stare as she walked into the door of his apartment. It was large and open, the walls stark white, the furniture a rich black. She’d always thought this place was too masculine for her taste. She knew what conversation was coming and dreaded it. She looked up to see her 6’9” boyfriend hovering near another figure. One word described Jodge. Huge. He had blonde hair that was typically fused into a point; his black wings covered his back like a cape. He was distracted for a moment so she set her purse down on the table glancing in the hallway mirror. She prodded her pins loose, fiery red hair came spilling down her shoulders. It was long, down to her waist, curling at the end. She sensed someone behind her and turned.
“Hi, beautiful,” He said warmly pulling her into his embrace. He was solid against her back, his breath warming her cheek.
“Hi,” She whispered looking up into his face. He had a strong jaw, a rounded nose, pointy ears, and blue eyes. Her heart quickened as he bent close to her ear and whispered.
“I got a new human.” Lila turned her head breaking the large Citizen’s embrace. She caught movement where Jodge had just been standing a moment before. A beautiful human girl stood with a blank expression on her face. She was lean; her blonde hair curling around her shoulders, her face was perfect. Lila’s heart squeezed. He meant to hurt her. She’d damaged his pride and now he was aiming for her heart.
“She’s been assisting me all day.” His voice was husky as he spoke stroking the back of Lila's black, leathery wings. A shudder ran through her as her eyes darted up to his face, fury rising in her chest.
“This won’t change anything, Jodge.” She spoke coolly taking a step back from him. Jodge gave a brilliant smile, trying to charm his way back into her heart.
“I’ve been training her, trying to find out what she’s capable of.” Lila’s mouth twitched into a hard line as she watched Jodge pull the human close to him, his dark blue skin touching the pale girl's arm. The girl was clearly frightened, shaking like a leaf.
“She has to give me what I want, Lila. You, on the other hand...” He flung the girl away as if a rag doll. She uttered a sharp cry as she hit the wall and slumped to the floor. Lila felt a stab of pity. Poor thing, she did nothing wrong. She pushed Jodge's large hands away. He wasn’t getting anything from her. Not tonight.
Jodge lifted his hands to her face and held her chin softly.
“I’m just trying to understand. Why won't you just say ‘yes’ and be my mate?” Lila couldn’t help but melt just slightly at his touch.
“I'm not ready for that yet.” She whispered, her wings fluttering out around her like black silk. Jodge gave a nervous laugh. “When will you be ready?” The girl Citizen shifted her weight pulling her face out of his hands.
"It’s complicated," She said.
"That's because we've never— ." She grabbed his webbed hands and looked into his blue eyes.
"I don't agree with what you're doing." Jodge studied her face for a moment.
"Yes." He laughed, his dark bat—like wings unfolding slightly, they settled back against his body once more. He ran his webbed fingers over his face in exasperation. Jodge walked over to the girl laying on the floor, staring down at her.
"She's nothing. Just a game I like to play." He reached out for Lila and kissed her lips fiercely. Lila was not convinced.
"It's wrong, Jodge. It's breaking the laws."
"Since when have you followed the laws, Lila?" The girl closed her eyes.
"That's beside the point."
“I'll take the human back. She wasn’t worth it anyways. Besides, halfsies are disastrous creatures.” The comment helped a little. Halfsies were immediately destroyed before birth or just shortly after. Citizens and humans should never mix. She looked at the human and put her hand on the girl's light hair. She was young. Maybe fifteen eons? She gently shook the girl.
“Wake up, human.” The girl’s lip trembled as she stood to her feet. She was dressed in a pale blue pala; her blonde hair was ruffled but otherwise still perfect. "Get me some coffee.” The girl let out a small whimper and glanced at Jodge, then walked toward the kitchen. Jodge looked pleased with himself. He reached for Lila and she came into his arms again.
* * *
Morning brought the realization that his wife was really gone. The house was silent, empty, deserted. Morthane groaned, shoving his webbed feet out of bed. He glanced at his face in the mirror. Dark blue skin, short black hair, and coal black eyes blinked back at him. He was well admired in the City, even feared; he was born into a powerful family and they’d been selling humans for hundreds of years. His mind drifted back to the man whom he’d tranqed the other day. He had gotten unruly again and they'd iced him. Just for an hour.
He could hear his wife’s voice nagging him. You're heartless. Those poor humans! It had been a mistake to take her to Human Co; they’d iced humans and she had watched. Rasa had been raised different than he was. Her Father had been one of the few Citizens to stand up against his father. It was ironic that her father had put her with him. He would never call it love. Love was a human fairy tale. Citizens didn’t fall in love, they just accepted each other. And now—she was gone. Maybe it was time to get out of this business. He shook his head at the thought. He needed to be distracted. He strained his body into action. The smell that came from the kitchen caught his attention. Coffee. It was a delectable thing that they’d discovered from some of the first humans. His slaves must have brewed him some; he took one more glance at the mirror and pulled on his pala. Black. Always black. Like my soul. He thought darkly. I miss you Rasa. He pushed her face from his mind. He should have listened to her. He scowled at his thoughts and came into the kitchen his eyes still feeling heavy.
Three human women bowed down to him, nearly kissing his feet. Pesky humans. He felt frustrated. He shoved them out of the way. The smallest girl came and sat a plate of food before him. She caught his eye and smiled. His pulse quickened. She was pretty.
He found the temptation disturbing. One day without Rasa and he was already tempted into making a halfsie; half human half Citizen? He ran a hand over his face and pushed the plate away.
“I’m leaving.” He stood to his feet and grabbed the young girl’s wrist. He stared into her frightened eyes.
“Get out of my house.” The small girl looked hurt, her hands starting to shake as he released her. She turned and started to walk away. Humans who were banned into the wild died quickly; they were too weak once they'd been trained. He questioned his cruelty. He thought twice and remembered Rasa. She wouldn’t want him to ban the human.
“Wait.” The girl stopped and turned, her eyes filled with those awful tears humans produced.
“Just get to work.” He grunted. She nodded respectively. Stupid human. He hated himself for thinking those thoughts. He slammed the door and headed to Human Co.
* * *
Lila went down to Human Co. She had no idea why, maybe just to get away from Jodge. She felt like she couldn't think straight when he was near her. She glanced at the new humans, bored. They were all the same. Same scared expression, same faces, all the same. She sighed, annoyed that she’d come down here. Suddenly, one of them moved. Struggled. He had been on his knees while most humans were free to move around. His hands were tied behind him, his body iced, lying on the ground. But this one was putting up a fight. She noticed the handlers holding tranq guns in their webbed hands. Her eyes drew back to his form. He had large muscles and thick black hair.
Unruly. That was the first word that came to her mind. She liked him. He glanced up at her, his eyes full of pain. His body shivered.
“That one.” A Citizen with yellow, wiry, hair glanced at her surprised.
“He is untrained, ma’am. We've had to ice him three times now.” Lila frowned noting the marks on the male human’s body. He'd been punished severely by the looks of it.
“Get him for me, now.” Her voice held authority that none dared disobey. Within a moment Lila had bought herself a new human. It was about time a human had a backbone.
* * *
Lend was tied up and thrown into the back of a speedcar. He shook, his body still reacting to being iced. He could hear the Citizen start up the engine, heat kicked out the back vent. In a few moments his muscles started to spasm as they began to unthaw.
“That should get you moving again.” He heard her say cheerily from the front. It was painful. The cold and hot combined made his body burn. He moaned softly not wanting the Citizen to hear it. She turned slightly in her seat.
“What a moron my brother is. Doesn’t he know you’re not supposed to ice a human body more than once?” She made a little disgusted noise as she reached a long arm back behind her and turned all of the vents onto him. Warm air blasted him. He let out an audible groan and she winced.
“Just try to relax. Icing takes awhile to recover from.” She turned back around leaning back against her seat as the automatic car carried them through the streets of downtown. It was silent but for the sound of the vents letting out whooshes of air. Lend let his mind drift. Who was she? Fear made his body break out into cold sweats. His arms finally felt unthawed. He moved slightly. Still painful. His legs were still held together like someone had wrapped them in tight, cold, ropes. Anger boiled inside his chest like a hot cauldron. What am I going to do? He thought.
Lend sat up slightly as the car turned sharply through the streets. He looked over at the Citizen woman. She looked wealthy, her body was adorned with expensive jewelry, her fiery red hair held glittering diamonds. Why had she bought him? The car suddenly came to a quick stop. His shoulder hit the seat and he groaned slightly. He slumped back down. He heard the doors swoosh open. The girl Citizen grabbed him from the back and hulled him out. He winced.
“Walk, human.” Lend’s legs felt wobbly as she placed him on his feet. Citizens never called them by their name. It was always human. Lend found it terse. Maybe he was just new to this whole slave thing, but he hated it already. He walked cautiously; every step caused burning pain to race up and down his calves. It was like walking on coals. Not that he’d ever walked on coals. He looked up at the alien and found her staring at him. His expression darkened.
Lila found this human fascinating. She could almost read his thoughts that were playing through his dark eyes. He wanted her throat. She felt a thrill. She knew he could never hurt her, she was stronger; she was, after all, the superior race. The human took tentative steps forward. She could tell that he was in pain from being iced. She’d never bought a human who’d been iced before, they usually were trouble. She watched thoughts going through his mind. He wanted to fight. She gripped his arm and looked up at his face.
“Don’t be foolish.” She let a small surge of power go through her hand. He looked at it and pulled his arm away quickly. So, he’d felt the power before had he? She felt a stab of pity go through her chest. She led the way, keeping her eye on him as they made their way into her apartment. He looked lost. She didn’t blame him. She approached him as they came to the second floor.
“My name is Lila.” She looked him over as if assessing what he would understand. The human listened, his eyes intent on her face. His gaze was like ice.
“Your purpose is to obey me. If you don’t, I want you to understand that I can have you destroyed.” The human nodded.
Lend observed his new master with an acid-like stare. She had chiseled features, high cheek bones, petite nose, and a slim body. Her skin was pale blue and red hair adorned her head. She had flashing green eyes and black leathery wings that were curled against her back. Lend walked down a long hall, the lights dim. He hoped his fear didn't show on his face as the creature took him to a doorway.
"This is your room, human." Lend looked down the other side of the hall, a woman peaked her head out one of the doors. She stared at him for a moment then shut the door quickly when she spotted Lila. Lend turned toward the Citizen woman feeling empty, defeated. She turned and walked away as he opened his door and stepped inside his tomb. The room was as empty as his feelings. It was dimly lit with a single bed, a small lamp, and a dresser shoved against one corner. He walked over to the dresser and opened it up feeling his muscles scream at him with pain. Inside were bland gray clothes.
He pulled one out. Was that a dress? He looked on it with disgust. He didn't know who these aliens thought they were, but he was not going to wear a stupid dress. He'd rather wear his human pants that the warehouse keeper had tried to strip off of him. He'd bitten him. He closed the drawer roughly and stared at the wall. A few moments later there was a soft knock on the door. He opened it and saw a young woman standing there. She smiled at him.
"Hi, I'm Gali."
"Welcome to our home."
"Thanks." She nodded and then turned and walked away. Lend closed the door with a thud and leaned up against the back of it. He had to get out of here and find his family. Their faces flashed before him bringing a stinging pain to his chest. His fingers curled into a fist.