Author’s Note: This book originally sucked! It has had so many revisions and was used in a college class I once took and was picked up by a publisher but I never finished writing it in time. Hopefully, this NaNoWriMo exercise will force me to finish this and the readers that do read it enjoy it. Comment please. Constructive criticism and lavish praise is always appreciated. Bonus and lots of hugs and wine and maybe kisses ( if you want them) if you bring me chocolate and flowers. LOL)
Arms straining and held by shackles, Aeryin moved her arms forward slightly testing to see if they still worked. Flexing her fingers as well, she was annoyed, discovering her left arm and hand slowly but surely atrophying. Thankful, she still had some motion left in her other arm, she didn’t fare too well when it came to moving her legs, also shackled. She shook her long red and knotted hair out of her face and then let her head drop. Nearly flinching from her own vile smell, she lifted her head back up. As Aeryin had done for a while now, she once again started wishing death on herself and began hoping the darkness would eventually swallow her.
The small comfort from the darkness was cut short. Squeezing her eyes shut in pain as beams of light shined forth, she wondered if she was now hallucinating. ‘Am I in Suka?’ she thought and dismissed it as ironic considering she was far from religious. After her eyes adjusted barely to the new light, she was face to face with a reptilian. Most reptilians are human haters and who was to say this one was any different?
“Hello, human,” the reptilian woman snarled.
Aeryin didn’t respond, knowing better than to let it be known she could speak. Letting her head drop once more, she hoped she was hallucinating after all. The reptilian placed her cold scaly fingers under Aeryin’s chin and lifted her face up to meet hers. So much for hallucinations.
“I said, ‘Hello, human!’ I expect you to answer back. You can speak, can’t you?”
“Who wants to know?” Aeryin responded.
The reptilian laughed and took her hand away. She stepped back and Aeryin wished for the darkness to come back. After being in the light, and seeing what looked like a crocodile with a white t-shirt, she had to wonder what drugs had been administered to her. On the reptilian’s shirt, there was a human fist with a gash of blood across the knuckles. ‘Why am I not dead?’ At least in death, she could be reunited with Lanya.
“Where the Suka am I?” Aeryin snapped.
“I’ll ask the questions!” the reptilian demanded. “My name is Captain Bravra and you will soon become my slave.”
“You have me in shackles, close to death, and now you want me to be a slave? What the Suka kind of monster are you?”
Thoughts raced through Aeryin’s head. Being a reptilian’s slave was worse than death for humans. Perhaps it was a bluff and the reptilian would be merciful and snap her neck. She would be useless as a slave at this point and how can someone suddenly decide for someone to be a prisoner and then a slave? That made absolutely no sense to her at all. Was there anyway she could escape? Aeryin started pondering over the various methods of suicide and realized she was too weak to even hold a cup let alone a death instrument. Bravra turned around, her long crocodile tail behind her and she walked out of Aeryin’s cell. Aeryin, forced to do nothing but wait, let out a sigh, followed by a coughing fit. The darkness surrounded her once more.
Some time had passed but she couldn’t keep track of how long. There was nothing to count days and she hadn’t bothered, being too obsessed with her own guilt over Lanya. One moment she had been with her wife Lanya and their crew, the next they crash landed on a backwater planet. Her memories were hazy at best but she knew Lanya was dead. She had found Lanya’s body cold to the touch, and held her dead wife in her arms. ‘Lanya,’ she thought. Each time she thought about her she could feel a knife tear through her heart.
It was dark and the fire was blazing everywhere, flames licking the sky. After their ship crashed, Aeryin wondered how she was still alive. The crew was burned to blackened crisps and parts of the ship were scattered around the forest clearing they had landed in. Crawling on her arms and knees, she desperately began looking for Lanya.
Each body she found, once discovering it wasn’t Lanya, she whispered a small eulogy and moved on. Guilt washed over her for each body she examined. A crew she would never lead again. It was a miracle to be broken out of the Rikers prison colony but right now, Aeryin figured she would have been better off. At least these people would still have their lives.
Covering her mouth with her arm, she coughed. Attempting to breathe shallow breaths as she crawled, Aeryin looked through the rest of the blackened corpses. Despair ran through her heart as she counted the bodies and there was still no sign of Lanya. Her hand landed on a hard body, burns scattered all over.
Checking for a pulse she found none, and then she tried to administer CPR to her.
“Please Lanya, don’t leave me,” Aeryin cried.
Aeryin did all she could, but Lanya wouldn’t come to. She scooped Lanya into her arms, while still on the ground, running her fingers through Lanya’s scorched violet hair.
“I’m so sorry Lanya. I’m so sorry,” Aeryin said rocking back and forth, eyes watering, and still holding Lanya.
Eventually, she laid Lanya’s body on the ground. Wiping her tear stained eyes, she looked at Lanya’s face, peaceful in death. Aeryin touched her lips to Lanya’s and sat back up.
“I will come back for you my love, and give you a proper burial. You and our lost crew,” Aeryin promised.
After she said her speech she could have sworn she saw Lanya’s hand twitch. Checking Lanya’s pulse again, there was nothing. Standing up, she walked away from the fire, Lanya, and her lost crew. Her mission was to find tools to come back for them and bury them. The ship was too far gone or she would have got her tools from there. Aeryin didn’t know how long she walked for, but eventually she collapsed and the final thought on her mind was ‘Forgive me, Lanya.’
The one person she sacrificed everything for and now what? Perhaps she shouldn’t have proposed. Aeryin knew it would be illegal, considering at the time she was military and the law was not to marry an alien.
Feeling like a monster, for all those lives lost in the crash, she had no inclination of looking at herself. All because she had failed to fall in love with a human, although Lanya could have passed for human if she wore contacts in her eyes and didn’t reveal that she had the ability to breath underwater and develop fins on her arms and legs at will, among various other traits. It was torture to be in solitary confinement, left to her own past actions, regrets, and memories. She didn’t think she had anymore tears but her eyes began to water and she wept.