Draekon Abduction(6)By: Lili Zander & Lee Savino
Then there are the two Zorahn scientists. Raiht’vi and Beirax are still alive, back on the Fehrat 1. They’re not my responsibility, but I can’t let them drown either.
Step 3: Figure out how to stay alive. The Zorahn went through a lot of effort to recruit their lab rats. They’ll definitely rescue us. We just have to survive for the next couple of weeks.
My thoughts seem clearer now. It’s the drink. Blissful numbness is spreading through my leg. “Thank you,” I say gratefully. No matter what Raiht’vi might think of them, so far, the Draekons have acted with nothing other than integrity. I’m not ready to join hands with them and sing Kumbaya, but I’m also not going to treat them like the enemy. “My name is Olivia.”
He nods coolly. “You can call me Liorax.” His tone is impatient, and he avoids looking at me. Not a fan, then.
The other man approaches me as well, his hazel eyes thoughtful and assessing. “I’m Zunix und Kalox ab Mamarce,” he says. His lips twist into a bitter smile. “Welcome to the prison planet.” He lifts his head and addresses the others. “Gather around. We are near our camp, but before we go there, you will need some information.”
The four women crowd around the three of us. Bryce doesn’t look cowed in the slightest, but Paige and Felicity are clinging to each other, and May looks like she’s about five minutes from losing her mind. “What do you know about the Draekons?” Zunix asks.
Everyone looks blank.
He doesn’t look surprised. “Very well. A short history lesson. A thousand years ago, the scientists of Zorahn created a captive race of soldiers called the Draekon, men who possessed the ability to transform into dragons. However, the Draekons were unwilling to stay slaves. They rebelled, and in response, the High Empire decreed that any man found with the ability to transform into dragons would be exiled to the prison planet.” He looks around at everyone. “Liorax and I have been here for sixty-five years.”
What the…? They look thirty. Tops.
The other women look just as shocked by their revelation as I do, but none of us have any time to process it because Zunix keeps talking. “I must warn you,” he says quietly. “There are no women on this planet. To the men in our camp, you will be something of a miracle.”
“A miracle?” Bryce lifts her chin up. “Or a possession?”
Liorax shakes his head. “No one will take you by force,” he says. “It is a capital sin on the homeworld. But you will be the center of attention. You will be wooed. That cannot be helped.”
“And,” Zunix adds, “It might be wise to take a mate. This is a harsh and dangerous world, and life is difficult here. A mate will protect you.”
“I don’t understand,” May says, blinking in confusion. “You’re speaking as if we’re stuck here, but we’re not. We’re under the protection of the High Emperor Lenox. We’re not prisoners. We’re going to get rescued.”
“High Emperor Lenox?” Liorax sounds disbelieving. “How is that possible? Even if High Emperor Dravex is dead, Arax is Firstborn, not Lenox.”
Zunix gives May a genuinely sympathetic look. “I’m sorry. This is going to be difficult to hear, I know, but there’s no rescue possible. An asteroid belt surrounds the planet. No ship gets through unscathed, and even if one did, getting out would be near-impossible.” He pauses. “This is your new home.”
Figure out how to stay alive.
Fuck. Step 3 just got a whole lot harder.
I watch Olivia as I make my announcement.
The human women are shaken, my mate included, when they find out that there is no escape from the prison planet. But their reactions differ.
Two of the women collapse into a weeping heap. The injured one faints to the ground. Even the one who rode Liorax, unafraid, looks distraught.
Olivia, on the other hand? For a heartbeat, her eyes narrow, as if she’s listing her options and running through them, figuring out what to do next, but the reaction is gone so quickly that I wonder if I imagined it. Her eyes well up with tears, and she emits a loud cry. “But what about my luggage?” she wails. “My make-up, my pretty dresses… It’s all back on the ship.”