On March 20th, it’s Extraterrestrial Abductions Day, and to celebrate I wrote a story. Mars needs women, it’s a known fact, right? In my story, it’s not Mars that needs women but Negudade.
On Negudade the people are huge, they have sharp fangs, bluish-black skin, and a tail. And they need women because the Negudade females have lost interest in reproducing. The entire population have lost most of their emotional responses, and to secure the future of the planet they’re taking women from Earth.
Carlo Russo, one of the main characters, is out late one night with his best friend, Grace, when they find themselves surrounded by aliens. He has never considered the existence of aliens, but he won’t let them take Grace. His fight is short-lived, and soon both of them is on a spaceship leaving Earth and life as they know it behind.
Zenon Scoreceds Qhainqons, captain of the spaceship, knows his mission is to bring back females, but he finds the male so much more alluring. Never before has he seen a creature as animated, and he suspects he could spend the rest of his life watching the male and not grow bored.
The female they’d apprehended together with the male sat on the cot, touching his arm while staring at Ghurva. Not only staring. Zenon had never seen someone look as angry as she did. He studied her to see if she’d grown fangs. No. Claws? No. And there were no spikes coming out of her skin or any visible poison.
“What’s going on?” He directed the question to Ghurva, but it was the female who responded.
“Carlo has a concussion because some fucking brute hit him in the head.” Those hostile eyes turned to him. “He needs to be looked after.”
Zenon tried to make sense of what she said. What was Carlo, fucking, brute, and concussion? He understood she believed he — the male, he assumed — needed to be looked after. “Is it contagious?”
“Are you deliberately stupid?” He would have called what she did snarl, but there were still no teeth to make it look threatening, so he didn’t know if it qualified as a snarl.
Zenon turned to Ghurva. “What does he need?”
“Peace and quiet, and someone who looks after him. It’s not safe for him to sleep with his brain swelling. He can’t see well, and he might be sick again.”
Ghurva looked at the female and then Zenon. “I don’t know.”
“Well, I know!” She was snarling, Zenon couldn’t find any other word fitting for the way she made her face appear. Mated individuals were willing to do whatever they could to defend their mates. The tales told them there was nothing more dangerous than a mated male, but the females could be dangerous too.
Zenon waited a heartbeat to see if she’d attack, but while those strange pale eyes were locked with his, she did nothing to leave the male’s side. “He needs a shower and new clothes.”
Zenon looked at Ghurva again. He wanted to ask if it was safe to touch them, but he couldn’t with them listening.
“Are you deaf?” Now the female stood, and while Zenon didn’t move, he prepared to fight. Deaf, his brain told him she was asking if he was hearing impaired, but the words weren’t there — language chip. It was a neat invention.
“So take him!” She gestured at the male. “Shower him. Dress him. And put him somewhere where it’s dark and quiet.”
Zenon didn’t react outwardly. His face remained blank, his muscles relaxed, but everything inside him went on alert. She wanted him to take care of the male? Mates didn’t leave each other’s side, and they did not ask others to look after them when they needed help.
Ghurva cleared his throat. “You want Zenon to care for your mate?”
“I would prefer a doctor, but if this Zenon guy … gal? If Zenon is all you have, then yeah sure, send him to Zenon.”
“I’m Zenon.” Zenon took a step closer.
“Then no. The fucker who hit him looked like you. How many are you here? There was another who looked exactly like you too.”
Zenon swished his tail before he got control over it. Ghurva noticed and widened his eyes. Right then, Zenon wanted to snarl at the stupid eye-widening, but he reminded himself Ghurva was how he was supposed to be, and it was the rest of them who’d developed into something that wasn’t Negudade.
Carlo Russo is having the worst day. Not only has he lost his job, caught his boyfriend cheating, and had one too many shots with his best friend Grace, now he’s seeing aliens too. Big, black, tail-equipped aliens. After a futile struggle, he and Grace find themselves on a spaceship leaving Earth.
Zenon Scoreceds Qhainqons doesn’t know what it is about the earthling male. Their mission is to bring back ten females in hopes of them being able to provide their planet with children, but he wants the male. What he’s going to do with the male, he doesn’t know, but he’s claiming him as his payment for going on the mission.
Carlo doesn’t approve of kidnapping, but the aliens aren’t too bad, and once the language chip is installed, he finds it entertaining to talk to them. Zen in particular. They’re standoffish and never show any emotion, but Carlo has no problem cuddling up next to Zen at night.
All Zenon wants is to spend time with Carlo, but it’s his job to get them all home in one piece. Will he be able to keep Carlo safe from all the dangers lurking along the trip? He has to because Carlo is his, and he’s not letting him go.
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