The Commandant's Wife

By Shadar, with edits by JH

October 14, 2048, Frankfurt, Germany

The first time Jala saw him, she tried to kill him. That was, after all, her mission. He was Arion, she was Velorian. The formula wasn’t complex. Their emotions were simple and intense and their actions prescribed by their genetics.

Their one-on-one battle leveled the Radisson Hotel in Frankfurt. A lot of Terrans died, but then, they were always dying. The Arion Near Earth Command had gone on the offensive in summer of 2048 to bring Earth into the Empire, once and for all.

The Velorian Council had sent reinforcements, but by the time Jala and a half dozen other Protectors had arrived on Earth, the Arion strangle hold was complete. It would be just a short matter of time before a pacified Terra became the newest colony of the Empire.

Still, they fought. They always fought. Four Protectors became smoke and ashes while Jala fought nearby. and she barely escaped death herself. A Tset’lar was operating on Terra, and Jala's friends and comrades were defenseless. She saw the futility of it and went underground to survive. Gathering up as many combat effective Terrans as she could, she tried to teach them guerrilla tactics. Tactics that Terrans were naturally good at. They won some small battles against the Betans, although at huge cost of lives. 

She was traveling through Germany, recruiting the best men that were left of their ravaged army, when she came across Balan. He was also recruiting Terrans. The problem was that he was Arion, and worse, a Prime. She assumed he would encourage the remnants to kill more Terrans. That bitter prospect, along with the promptings of Jala and Balan's genetics, pre-ordained their battle. 

Arions were born with a visceral hatred of Velorians, and Velor had long ago responded in kind. The war between their worlds had gone on far too long. It might have started as nurture, but the hatred had long ago gotten into the genes. Nature's own promptings had been reinforced by selective mating, for Arions, and the Maternity Engine for Velorians, leading to a loathing of "the others" from birth.

Their fight was typical of isolated battles between a male and female Supremis. Lethal combat in the guise of sexual intercourse. It wasn't intimacy, but rather sexual athleticism to the third power. Being invulnerable beings, they couldn’t pound each other to death, and weapons rarely worked against them. Death would only come when their energy reserves failed. Energy that blossomed like a star and was then consumed with every orgasm. Energy that had to come from inside their bodies, for they were burning ergs far faster than they could draw them across the void.

Like most Velorians, Jala had a natural advantage. Her body had been designed for exactly this kind of fight, what with her beauty and her pheromones and her enhanced strength from orgasm, not to mention her orgone reserves. But Balan was a proud soldier of Aria, Primal born, and no stranger to the loving skills. He was a superman by any measure, and he’d won just such a battle in the past. The Protector on Cypress 3 had been too young to realize the game he played, and she'd died for her ignorance. For Balan knew how to take a woman to that place where she'd willingly give up her very soul just to have him love her again.

Jala in turn had conquered her share of Primal men, but even she was surprised at Balan's skill. He made love the way an accomplished musician drew power and beauty from the strings of a violin. Her body was his instrument, and the music he drew from her was straight from heaven itself. She fell under his power, and found herself wishing their lethal contest would never come to an end.

It didn't help that she'd been unsatisfied for a very long time. Galactic 4, her assigned planet, was populated by ape-like creatures with emerging self-awareness. Sentients in the making. Yet no matter how horny she got, those primitive and hairy ape men were hardly her type. The occasional Messenger offered a poor substitute -- sex without intimacy. Balan combined strength and sensuality, and he proved most capable of scratching an itch that had been tickling her for far too long.

Confident in her ultimate superiority, for feminine sexuality of the Velorian persuasion was nearly irresistible, she let him take her in the way of a man, urging him onward, encouraging him the way women had done from time immemorial. He was up to the job, so much so that she barely noticed when the building began to collapse beneath her back. Lost in the heat of primitive passion, she didn't care.

They started their sexy contest on the tenth floor, and wound up in the sub-basement, the twenty story building collapsing around them. Inner muscles that had no human analog ensured he’d never withdraw from the depths he’d braved, but he put up a good fight nonetheless. Primes were arrogant brutes as a rule, but some like Balan were extraordinarily skillful.

She tried to focus on her mission when her mind cleared enough to think. Which meant draining his body of its vital powers. Every time the moment of insanity came over him, each time she screamed as the little death took her to heaven, each time the conflagration of matter/anti-matter hormones filled her body with his release, she got stronger. It was an erotic dance to the death.

For so many years, it had been a man’s game. Arion conquest would leave a Velorian women broken and defeated, their purpose of using her body to bring another Arion warrior into the world accomplished. Then the war had turned even uglier, and the Velorian's death became the new goal. Fighting back with the human genetic technology that Aria scorned, Velor created their fabled Protectors. Genetic enhancement to the third power. Jala was proud that she had within herself the latest of those genetic enhancements. She and her sisters were warriors designed to win this kind of fight.

She matched Balan, surge for surge, thrust for thrust, for half a  day and a night. As she drained his vital energies, as he neared his end, his mental guard fell. He began mumbling in time with their fevered thrusting.

"No... no... no more. Ahhh. Killilng. Ahhhg. Life. Terrans. Should live. Beautiful. You. Planet. Terrans. More, more!"

Jala was hardly able to hear his groans over her own keening, but somehow, she realized that more was going on here than merely a mindless male rut. Channeling her sexual powers into pleasing him further, she controlled him, slowing his surging body by relaxing her own, but still keeping him in an erotic haze by rippling her inner muscles. As he caught his breath, his uninhibited thoughts became more coherent, and he began to tell of his secret memories -- fighting his own people. Memories of him helping the Terrans. Of trying to teach them a way to take down a warrior with a thousand times their own strength.

Memories of him fighting to save Earth.

Shocked by that unexpected revelation, she did something no Protector should have. She let him withdraw. Her body was glowing star-bright from her inner heat when she threw him over her shoulder and rose onto her toes, long muscles straining to fly. The uncounted tons of rubble that had once been the Radisson exploded into the night sky as Jala and a depleted Balan rose into the moonlit night. Those who looked up in amazement saw a new star heading back to the heavens.

She was back in the snug, stone lighthouse, her refuge, a mere ten minutes later. Located high on an ocean cliff where a fleck of the barren Highlands of Scotland sat in the sea, it was a place of mists and filtered light that few men dared to enter. The lighthouse was haunted with the souls of perished sailors, or so the locals believed. The myth ensured her privacy if nothing else.

She lowered Balan into the bubbling hot tub she'd long ago built where the rotating light had once been. His body sizzled and steamed like quenching steel. He wasn't breathing, but he was Primal and could go days without air in his lungs. More importantly, the boiling water would restore his energy by morning. Then she would decide if she’d made the right decision in letting him live.

Or finish him off, once and for all.


Christmas Eve, 2048, Neist Point Lighthouse, Isle of Skye, Scotland

“No, no, no,” the Commandant shouted as he ran onto the field. “A GAR can disable a Prime in only one way. You’ve got to overload their ability to metabolize orgone. To turn their energy inward on themselves.”

The steel statues that cluttered the yard were bent forward, slowly slumping into puddles of molten metal. The recruits had fought their way through the maze to take their first shot with a GAR, only to be shocked and horrified by the power of the alien weapons. A direct hit from the sizzling beams vaporized rock and stone, and turned steel molten with but a grazing touch.

Balan rolled his eyes as most of the men fired on the female targets.

“But Primal woman are more dangerous,” the Polish soldier said stubbornly. “Had to hit first them.”

Balan rolled his eyes as he pointed at the shapeless blob that had once been a woman's statue. “Janek, you got ta listen to what I say. That poor lass over there will just soak up all that wondrous heat of yours and say thank you sir as she twists your lovin’ head off!” His Scottish accent sounded right at home near the castle of the MacLeod’s. He and his sister been taken into the MacLeod family as children, inserted as deep cover agents, and had grown up as Scotts. Their true birthplace, the planet Aria, was a secret he and his sister had held until the invasion.

When the Arion attack began, she proved her origins by slaughtering her foster family and had run off to join a group of Arion soldiers. As far as he knew, she was still fighting for the Empire. Probably on her back, Balan feared. He knew how the Empire used Primal women. As living batteries, their orgone reserves fueling the men’s strength.

“Wondrous heat?” the soldier said in a daze. The unbelievably violent glare of the charged-particle weapon in his hand had turned a half ton of steel into so much molten slag in seconds. He’d never imagined a weapon so fearsome. He wanted to throw it away and flee.

“Only to you, laddy. To a femme of my race, it would be but a  warm ray of sunshine.”

The German soldier beside him, Gunter, scoffed. “These are enhanced GARS. Krupps craftsmanship. They were made to kill Arion scum.”

“And those soldiers you are going to fight, my boy, are much like your weapons. Their armor and equipment get better every year. Genetics even. Technology,  haven’t ya heard?”


Jala sat on the upper balcony of the lighthouse, watching her husband as he struggled with the third group of recruits this year. She was glad to be home again. She'd been traveling from one side of the world to the other, recruiting the finest soldiers from the rag-tag remains of the shattered armies of Earth. It took some persuading to ask dedicated soldiers to abandon their comrades and country and join their irregular army. She had to turn on the charm in the way only a Velorian could. The combination of a beautiful woman and the mission of saving the planet was irresistible. Her husband, now called the Commandant, then took the men under his wing and trained them to kill his own people.

As a defector, Balan had been sentenced to death by the Arion Command. In their eyes, he'd committed a pair of capital sins: falling in love both with both the Frails and with a Velorian femme.

Jala was of course a Protector, sent here with her sisters to stop the mayhem. Instead, she'd fallen in love with the enemy. She was alive because she’d stopped openly fighting the Arions.

She wasn’t a coward. But dying while facing the glowing eyes of a Tset’lar wasn’t going to do anyone any good. Besides, the Tset’s would be the first to leave once Command thought Earth was secure. Then their new army would strike. The soldiers they'd recruited and trained, a few scant hundred of them, would be armed with Terran-enhanced Arion weapons that could cut through the shields that the
Betans used. Beyond that, each of them would be trained in the art of disabling a Pime.

The Arion Command would undoubtedly call them terrorists.

Balan called them, the Last Free Men. The LFM.

Most of them would die. But for every hundred that did, they’d take out at least an equal number of Betans and force the Primes to engage the LFM to save their men. Each time that happened, Jala would find and isolate one of the Primes and deplete him.

It was a desperate plan, placing enormous burdens on the tiny Terran contingent and Jala's power. If she failed, all was lost. But it might be enough to reclaim Earth once the Arion main force had jumped back through the Falyleen wormhole. A handful of Primes would be all they’d leave behind, and no Tset’s.

Balan wasn't pleased by the plan, for he was her husband now and he knew how she would have to deplete and kill the remaining Primes. But they both knew it was the only way to rid Earth of the occupying army. With the LFM and Balan at her side, they had a chance to eradicate the invaders.

It wasn’t a permanent solution. But it would take the Arion Command at least five years to figure out what had gone wrong and return. In those five years, Earth would have time to prepare for a second invasion. It was possible to defeat Arions. Jala's people had been doing it for centuries, at least until the Tset’lar showed up. Surely the Velorian Saray’en would be active by then, and they’d even the score with the Tsets.

Jala sighed as she hugged her long legs to her chest. It was all so depressing. She tried to cheer herself up by wondering who she should bestow her personal gift of enhancement on in this class. She naturally favored the handsome men, but knew they might not make the best use of it. She studied all the men, finally to narrow her choice to the blonde giant from Norway, Lars, and the American Marine, Stephen. They would both graduate at the head of this class, even without her gift. She sighed and opened her eyes slightly, their clothes vanishing before her tachyon vision as they exercised. They were both very endowed men. No reason to favor one or the other from that perspective. She finally decided to make her decision based on the way they kissed. An irrational basis perhaps, but in a world reeling under alien invasion,  it was as good a reason as any.

Tomorrow was mid-course. A field exercise where she would try to banish the ingrained doubt that their tactics and weapons could work against the Arions. They'd seen their comrades slaughtered by the thousands when the Arions attacked. Handguns against ray guns. Her goal was to turn the men into true believers, and then use their new enthusiasm and confidence to get them through the second half of the grueling course.

She smiled at that thought. She was going to be blasted to the very edge of oblivion by weapons that belonged in those old Terran science fiction movies. She was going to ask these men to try to hurt her in the most intimate way. As frighteningly arousing as that was, a combination of emotions only a Velorian could appreciate, it was the effect on the men’s confidence that she most looked forward to.

Mid-course was also a welcome break for the men. After the exercise, they would enjoy their first leave since they'd arrived in Scotland. They'd go to the village and act as soldiers always did after they’d been cooped up in training for weeks. Many of the local girls even looked forward to those nights of debauchery. There weren’t a lot of men left at home, given the war and all.

She and Balan would take their own pleasures in the otherwise empty MacLeod castle. Given all the energy she’d be carrying after the demonstration, their sex would be legendary. The stone fortress, his childhood home, would be a bit worse for the wear, but it would still be standing. It had survived many battles over the centuries, and unlike a flimsy modern hotel, Scottish granite would not be reduced to rubble by Supremis lovemaking.

The actinic glare of GAR-fire lit the practice field below her with liquid fire as another squad exited the maze and attacked a new group of steel statues. One soldier fired his weapon too long at the same target, and the steel not  only melted by vaporized, leaving a smoking hole in the ground. Krupps Industries had indeed enhanced the weapons.

Jala watched with professional interest for a moment before rising to return inside the lighthouse. She floated down the spiral staircase to the living quarters and started to prepare dinner. The simple domestic task of cooking was the best therapy for her melancholy, and one of her few pleasures on this backward, war-torn world. An irony since neither she nor her husband needed food for the usual reasons. Their energy ultimately came from the stars, and food was just a source of trace nutrients.

Tomorrow her energies would come from some synthetic starstuff called a Krupps GAR beam.

And his, in turn, would come from her. 

And if she was really lucky, she'd give Balan a Christmas gift he'd never forget. Hopefully, conception would not be just a word.


Christmas Day, 2048, Neist Point Lighthouse, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Christmas Day dawned overcast and cold. A Scottish winter day, fortunately without snow so far this winter. Balan dressed in layers like his men, the brightly colored clothing things his wife picked out from the back closets of MacLeod castle. His wild hair and scruffy beard making him look like an outlaw. Jala liked the look. It made him look a little dangerous and very sexy. Like a scoundrel.

She dressed as she always did for the mid-course. A sleeveless dress, very short hem, made of thin cotton, brightly printed. Nothing beneath it. An intensely feminine look, and very sexy. Given that she was going to demonstrate the ultimate in physical power, she wanted the paradox of delicate femininity and a goddess' power to drive her lesson home even more strongly.

The men huddled together in the stone courtyard below, bundled up against the wind, shivering despite their many layers. The freezing wind off the Atlantic was bitter cold, carrying small pellets of ice that lashed the men, stinging like buckshot. She descended to walk among them, ignoring the hail,  looking as warm as if she was standing on a sunny summer beach. Her blonde hair glowed as if sunlit, and her bare skin tanned despite the season. She greeted some men with her firm handshake, others with a brush of her soft lips.  When she reached Lars, she lifted her arms to wrap them around his broad neck, and kissed him long and soulful. He stiffened and then relaxed, finally returning her kiss in kind. A nice kiss, but no lightning, Jala decided.

She repeated her intimate embrace when she got to Stephen, and he did not hesitate. His hands lowered to grip her backside tightly, pulling her against his body. A wild tingle filled warmed her as he pressed his growing hardness against her sex, then lifted the hem of her skirt suggestively. He was clearly no stranger to women.  She stepped back to take his hand in hers, and led him smiling back into the now empty barracks.

A smattering of applause and a few whistles floated back through the door as the less fortunate soldiers climbed into the trucks. They began the winding drive up to the top of the moor. Balan sat with the men, staring back at the camp. The men in turn watched him as they realized he was staring through both distance and the rock walls of the canyon. The look on his face made it clear what he was watching. Some wondered how they'd feel if their wife behaved so wantonly. But mostly, they just marveled at what it would be like to be lucky enough to have a wife so perfectly beautiful, and so erotically willing.

The road eventually grew too steep for the trucks, and Balan was forced to blink his eyes back to normal. He got out and pushed the trucks up the final grade to a clearing where they could unload. He resented Jala's improvised addition to his training plan. Her chosen man from each class would need more of the retrovirus at least once a year if not more often. A brief unbidden image of them lined up outside his bedroom made his stomach lurch.

He suppressed that disturbing thought as best he could as the men piled out to begin hiking the rest of the way to the top. There they spread out, looking for defensive positions behind rocks and the hilly terrain.

Jala arrived under her own power, a blonde angel swooping down from heaven. An angel who'd just shared her most intimate self with another man. Unfortunately, her body produced the enhancement retrovirus only during her moment of passion, and only to the man lying between her legs.

She leaned back against Balan as they watched the men prepare, a hint of Velorian arrogance clear in her expression. She always looked this way after loving.

Balan smelled the musk and felt her warmth rising.

"How was Stephen?"

"Skillful. That's why I'm here so quickly."

It wasn't the answer he'd wanted to hear. He once again tried to quell his jealousy as he traced his fingers gently down the inside of her thigh, finding a wetness that wasn't hers alone. She opened her legs wider as if in invitation. There was nothing to hide anymore.

The men tried not to stare at her, but they'd heard all the rumors about Velorians. How they'd been engineered for sexuality and for power. She looked so proud, almost haughty this morning.

Jala usually managed to hide that pride beneath the veneer of humility that she’d donned since coming to Earth. Now she was about to fulfill her birthright in full view of two dozen men. She couldn’t help but feel like a goddess at moments like this. Her sense of ultimate superiority came out as arrogance even as she tried to disguise it.

Balan broke the silence. “They will believe in us after today, love. In you, at least.”

She smiled. “And you will remember who defeated whom in our first fight. You’re going to be my slave the next couple of nights.”

“Ah, I’ll always be your slave, love. Isn’t that how Prime and Protector are meant to be?”

“You are no woman’s slave.”

“No woman save the one who enslaves my heart,” he smiled.

She laughed. A pretty laugh, high and clear, almost girlish. “I’ll try not to hurt you too badly then.”

“No worse off than the men are going to be,” he chuckled. “The town girls have them outnumbered three to one. Those lassies have been primping and preppin’ for the last week. It isn’t often that so many young lads come to town, with money in their pockets no less.”

“It isn’t what’s in their pockets that will amuse the girls.”

“Ah, the secret of the Men of the Lighthouse, as the lassies call them.”

Jala snuggled back further into his arms. “A simple gift of pheromones to make them stronger. Besides, our boys have to live up to their reputation as the saviors of Earth. And they are outnumbered. I'm just evening the odds.”

Balan laughed. “I rather think it’s the last two months a watchin’ you paradin’ around, the only woman in the camp, that has them on edge. Your beauty has as much of an effect on the lads as on me.”

“A cumulative effect, no doubt.”

“I most certainly hope so, love,” Balan smiled as he leaned down to kiss her forehead.

When the men were all in position, Jala rose from Balan's arms. Her feet hovered just above the ground as she floated to the middle of the rocky summit and addressed them.

"Today you have a live target, men. Your objective is simple. You've trained for it, and you know how to do it. You must render me helpless. Do not hold anything back. Your lives will depend on your skill someday, and you will remember this moment as the time and place you truly learned to defend Earth."

She glanced through rock and tree to see the men breathing fast, fingers tightening around the grips of their GARS, safeties off. Many of them looked scared, all of them aroused in anticipation. A mismatched pair of emotions.

She decided to stoke the latter. She reached up and slid the straps of her sundress from her shoulders. It slipped silkily down her body as she rose higher into the air, the icy wind picking the dress up to send it flying across the summit and over the edge

She looked at the men with glowing eyes as they in turn stared at her, the arrogance of her beauty clear on her face now. A smoldering look to challenge the men, demanding that they rise to the demand of the moment. Sill floating on air, she slowly dressed in a black skinsuit. The thin fabric would vaporize in a GAR burst, but it would let the men know for sure where they'd hit her.

She didn't have to wait long. The first shot found the back of her head. A hundred thousand degrees of charged particles made her hair glow like yellow sunlight, and the blast threw her forward to land on her hands and knees. She twisted her head around around and fired back, her eyes flashing lethally blue. The rock in front of the shooter exploded, sending half molten granite flying in all directions.

The other soldiers fired now, as much to protect their fellow soldier as to fulfill the duty of their exercise. Jala leaped up to swirl through the air, dodging most of the bursts, trying to take the ones she couldn't avoid against her upper body. Each miss scoured a deep gouge through the earth, narrowing missing some of the soldiers, blasting the barren landscape apart.

Her chest soon began to glow star-bright as she absorbed the GAR energy. She returned some of it, heating a hundred-foot tall boulder to incandescence with her flashing eyes. The men dove away from it just before it exploded from the moisture trapped inside the rock.

Balan was shouting at his men, telling them where to aim in rather graphic terms. The men hesitated until he grabbed a GAR from one of the men and targeted Jala correctly. The hell-fire splashed against her thighs, vaporizing her blacks and making her skin glow like the sun. She dropped to her knees in a torment of pain and pleasure.


It was mostly over a half hour later. They pinned her down with a cross-fire from a half dozen GARs, reducing her world to the continuous orgasm of that came from orgone intoxication. When the GAR's power cells finally fade, the men advanced on her with their chains of gold. Too soon. The golden restraints melted when they touched her glowing skin. Jala rose to glare impudently at the men as she stood naked, her hands on her hips, her body empowered but hardly overwhelmed. They'd failed this first test.

It was then that the youngest of the soldiers, a recruit from Los Angeles, scraggly beard and adorned with piercings, put an end to the charade. He activated an Arion Moz'en'del. The feared matter/anti-matter grenade was near nuclear in its burst. He tossed it suicidally at Jala.

Alarmed, she caught it, only to see the countdown timer moving through one second to go. Knowing that an uncontained burst of alternate matter would vaporize the summit and any humans within a quarter mile of her, she boldly pressed the golf-ball-sized charge into the one place where it couldn't hurt anyone else. She then crossed her legs and buried her face between her knees and tensed her entire body.

A small star burst deep inside her, the violent shockwave exploding from her skin to send rocks and boulders and men tumbling backward fifty yards. The inferno expanded throughout her body, turning her skin nearly transparent, heating her insides to thousands of degrees, her hair billowing like spun gold.

The men hid behind boulders as the dangerous thermals singed made the rock glow. When it subsided slightly, they stared around the edges of the glowing rocks with eyes wide to see the Commandant walking up to his wife, unfazed by temperatures approaching those of the sun. He reached down to take her in his arms, the white-hot glow surrounding him as well now, his clothes igniting.

Moments later it became apparent how he was comforting her. A few soldiers, less polite than the others, stared at the two lovers until their comrades pulled them away. The men slowly formed up to march down the hillside. They'd barely cleared the summit when the ground began to tremble rhythmically beneath their feet. Looking back, they saw a blaze of sparks rising like a fountain from the summit. A woman's clear cry of ultimate joy filled the air, only to be joined by the hoarseness of a man's cry.

Their hearts raced as one from the wondrous scent of honey and wildflower that blew on the wind now, a scent like that of a flowering meadow in summer. They stormed through the door of their barracks and changed into their civvies before racing into town.

With their minds and bodies impassioned from the sexy demonstration and Jala's compelling scent, they intended to celebrate their success in the way that sailors and soldiers had done since time immemorial.


Two days after Christmas, 2048, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Balan staggered exhaustedly into the barracks the next morning, only to find it deserted. The men's training fatigues were tossed on their beds, and their civilian clothing missing.

He walked to the gatehouse to check with the guards. They reported that the men had gone down to the town while the 'excitement' was going on back on the hilltop. Balan was worried. They should have reported in by now.

He grabbed a Rover and headed down the rutted and rocky road. He found the streets of Dunvegan deserted. A small fire was burning in the distance. Startled by the quiet, for the town had been alive with Christmas cheer on his last visit, he rounded a corner to see an Arion sentry outside the Blue Cheer Hotel. The Blue was where his men hung out when on liberty.

He ducked down an alley and through the back door of the hotel. It was quiet as a tomb inside. He walked cautiously down the hallway to peek through the door and into the lobby.

He was shocked to see a very tall woman standing there, looking back at him. His sister Sarah!

Her hair was different now. It was colored, red strands intermixed with her native black, her eyes darkly shadowed. Her style looked like a cross between early 21st century Gothic and Arion.

He pushed the door open and entered the lobby. His heart leapt as she looked into his eyes, a tiny smile curling her lips. Perhaps she'd had a change of heart as well, he told himself. Perhaps she'd come to join him, to redeem the slaughter of their family, to help the people she'd grown up with.

But the Arion sentry outside the door suggested otherwise.

"Hello, brother dear," she said, her accent more Arion guttural than lilting Scottish now. "Long time, no see."

"Sarah, this is great. When did you get back here?"

"I couldn't wait for graduation this time. So I decided to come and help your boys celebrate their mid-course."

Balan's eyes narrowed, suddenly wary. What did she know of his training camp and his men?

Her smile faded. "You thought you could train these Frails right under our noses, Balan? To train them to kill your own flesh and blood? Your own race?"

"What are you talking..."

She angrily tossed her hair to the side to stop him. "I killed them all, Balan. Each of your graduating classes, right after you released them to their undercover assignments. Now this class, even before you have had time to turn them into killers."

 "What... what do you mean, you killed them all?"

She shrugged. "They assigned me to keep an eye on you. You are my brother. Who else would know your heart? A heart that bleeds for these Frails."

The bile rose in Balan's stomach as he looked through the walls into the adjacent rooms. His heart froze as he saw mayhem. Bodies were  piled everywhere, arms and legs twisted at odd angles, chests bent inward not outward, the mirror image of Sarah's generous curves. Half the men were undressed, eyes glazed, fixed and staring in their death. It wasn't hard to imagine how Sarah had killed them. Arion style. In the act.

"Like a vampire and its prey," he gasped aloud, sickened at the thought of his sister drawing the men to her, then using her body that way. Even more, far more, he was horrified by the loss of his men. Good men.

Sarah laughed as she watched his face. "A nice analogy. But it wasn't their blood I tasted. And if they were the best Terra has to offer, I pity you and your hopeless cause. Not one of them got me off."

Balan's thoughts began to spin as a dizzying wave of nausea dropped him to his knees. He leaned over a trash can and lost it, the tears running down his cheeks as his stomach emptied. He saw the faces of the proud men he'd worked so hard to train. The last year of his and Jala's lives, all wasted? "How... how many?"

"Ninety-eight. But who's counting."

A hundred had graduated.

"And if you're wondering about the other two," she said as if reading his mind, "I recruited them. They had... potential. Thanks to your blonde whore's bit of enhancement. I should thank her for giving me such useful slaves."

Balan leaped back to his feet to grab his sister's arms. He slammed her back against the wall. "No more, Sarah. Leave this place now. Otherwise I will... I will..."

"Will, what? Kill me?" Sarah laughed as she pushed back against his Primal strength. Growing up, they'd often tested their developing muscles against each others. Balan had always been stronger. Yet this time it was his arms that began to shake. Sarah clenched her teeth, strong tendons visible along her neck as she pushed him backward, her body flexing like spring steel. "You are growing soft like your Frails. Seeking tenderness with your whore. You need an Arion femme in you arms to keep you strong."

Balan grunted in pain as his body bent painfully backward beneath his sister's tremendous strength. "She... Jala will stop you even if I can't."

Sarah laughed. "The blonde witch with such wondrous charms between her legs? A Velorian fucking machine? I'm not worried about her."

"She'll track you down," Balan shouted as his new hatred flared. Hatred of anything Arion.  "She'll destroy all of your kind. Extinguish your..."

"Your own race?" Sarah taunted. "You were not born to coddle these frail humans. And then to sleep in the arms of those blonde killers. How did she do it, Balan? How did she seduce you into being a traitor? Is she that good in bed?"

"I've seen the truth, Sarah," he cried out, pleading. "A truth you could see too if you'd only open your eyes."

"You are deluded. And it's too late anyway. The other four of my Arylan are with that bitch now. I don't think she's going to be coming after anyone. Not even to save you, my brother."

She twisted his arms painfully around his back and slammed his face against the wall just as the door burst open. Two burly Arion males walked through it, their eyes sparkling a lethal blue, igniting the far wall. The one with the most silver on his shoulders stopped in front of Balan, jerking him back around to backhand him across the face. The blow sounded like a gunshot. "Blonde-lover. Traitor," he spat at him, his breath foul. He looked over Balan's shoulder at Sarah. "Finish him off here, Lieutenant. You know the way. I have the Velorian to attend to."

Balan heard his sister gasp from behind him as the officer spun around on his heel and marched from the room. The door dangled half off its hinges. He glanced back to see Sarah's startled expression in the mirror. They both knew there was only one way for a female Prime to kill a male.

He pushed that twisted thought away, instead opening his eyes to scan through the wall, trying to see all the way back to the lighthouse. He saw a half dozen Arion Vignays hovering over the training grounds, but no sign of Jala. His heart went out to her, his wishes flying her way, hoping she'd gotten away.

Whatever his fate, his wife still had a world to save.

And his daughter to bear.