Alien General's Bride (Brion Brides)(6)

By: Vi Voxley

“We are so fucked,” Isolde sighed. Agent Perkins did not disagree.

And then the lights went out.

Slowly, the globes illuminating Luna Secunda’s pristine interior began to dim until it resembled a cloudy evening. It wasn’t dark, but Isolde still found it difficult to look at the Brions whose valor squares suddenly shined very brightly. She could see agent Perkins’ eyes twinkle as well and wondered if he was making peace with the great Go’Ran, the god-entity of the Palians. Isolde had never found any god much to her liking, preferring Buddhist teachings of karma instead, but not taking even those too seriously. So it was peculiar that she found herself praying in that moment, praying to have one more day to her life, even if it wasn’t all that special or great. It was still hers.

Her eyelids shut on instinct, and she heard agent Perkins flinch beside her. She knew before she saw. After all, she had studied all the species she had access to and the ones that belonged to the GU with the most attention.

She forced her eyes to deal with the brightness of the valor squares. If this was to be her last moment, she would at least face it.

The part of her that wanted to give the big bad a last piece of her mind before being killed thought, Only Brions would be this dramatic. Accessing the station’s systems to turn off the lights to shine brighter...

The smarter parts of her mind quickly buried the thought before a telepath showed up, however unlikely. Every member of the staff and all the guests quickly discovered they had left the oven on or something and made themselves scarce. The reason was clear enough.

There were fish, and bigger fish, and then there was the man walking towards them in a way that made it seem like air itself moved to let him pass.

Isolde forgot her fear of dying in an instant. Suddenly, it seemed oddly trivial. Instead, her knees wanted to buckle very badly and her eyes wanted to stare, even if it meant going blind. And she knew instantly for a fact the higher-ups had been right when they censored the images of Brion men, because this was uncanny. She doubted, though, if any still image could capture the sheer presence of one of the most dangerous men in the galaxy.

Her mind clashed with opposing forces trying to give her a headache.

This was General Diego Grothan – the Terran version of his name, at least – and he was the commander of the Triumphant. Also a Terran codename – while the Brion language wasn’t difficult to learn and pronounce, they had an annoying habit of renaming everything as it changed – chosen for the way it operated. There had been a previous name, but after so many reports of “…returns triumphant”, it had become easier to rename the ship that had become synonymous with victory.

He was also the most gorgeous man Isolde had ever seen. Gorgeous in a way that made the other Brions standing at admiring attention by his side seem like nobodies. His form was perfection itself without being comically overdone, his posture warrior-like and his eyes… they were the clearest ocean blue, and Isolde was fast on her way to the bottom of them. The glow around him added to the mystery, reflecting off the glass surfaces of the station and the razor sharp edges of the Brions’ battle spears.

He was feared for a reason. He and his fellow generals had pushed the Brions from their own system to travel to further stars and made them a force in the galaxy. There were diplomats in their race too, but mostly they found it easier to deal with corpses. After some had tried to resist the Triumphant and were left to ruins, others learned the lesson. Isolde had heard Commander Grothan’s flagship had once conquered a planet by sending out their identification code prior to arrival. The gates, so to speak, were flung open by the time the ship actually arrived.

Diego Grothan was the reason the GU still made the Brions jump through political hoops. The Brions were led by their Elders and represented by their ambassadors, but their military was their image and most of the problem. The generals considered themselves a version of judge-jury-and-executioner, Grothan more so than others. The Brions depended on the vast resources of their allies, but Grothan seemed to jeopardize those shaky truces every other week. Where he went, bad things followed. More likely, nothing followed. Some generals let their victims give testimony of their bloodshed, Grothan thought silence enough to speak its own tale.

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