Under Contract is part of the Alien Alpha’s Anthology of short stories. Here’s the opening scene:
On my world, there are few laws. Chaos is held in check by military might and respect for honor. We have a reputation for being both tough and fair in business deals. So, if anybody on any other planet wants something done that can be bought, my people will do it. We’re a planet of contractors, good ones and bad. We are the galaxy’s least favorite species, but the most popular when needed.
My specialty is extracting those in trouble, in particular females who have gone rogue. Whether they marry without permission, hang out with the bad guys, spend all of Daddy’s money, or just forget to brush their teeth and wash behind their ears, I’m the man who finds them, sorts them out, and returns them home, preferably contrite and back in line.
That’s what I do—I extract bad girls, whether they like it or not. They might want independence more than anything; I’m the one who persuades them otherwise. Unfortunately, problems arise when they don’t agree with the terms of the contract and if that happens, those particular females need a firm hand, one like mine.
Kleo Nikara is my next target. I have spent some time reviewing her record and I keep coming back to her picture, which is posed naked and probably used for the purpose of finding her a mate. She’s small for a Nachev, which makes me wonder why she’s up for an extraction as she isn’t typical for their kind. Her species usually have broad foreheads, curly hair, thin lips, and narrow butts that I can span with one hand. This female has a different kind of beauty: an oval face, translucent eyes, wavy hair down to her shoulders, and full lips that are perfect for kissing. The shots of her curvaceous body show real breasts and a genuine butt. It’s amazing how many females on my world have these things enhanced or reduced to ridiculous sizes. Her eyes sparkle with a vitality that invites me in and it’s as if she knows I’m gazing at her. In contrast, her lips are frowning and her hands clenched into fists.
I guess she hadn’t been happy when they took the image. It doesn’t matter; I get hard every time I look at her. It’s not how I usually react—natural cravings don’t come easy to a man like me. When it comes to dealing with disobedient females, I rely on devices designed for a specific purpose—my pleasure, their pain. However, it helps the process run more smoothly if I find them attractive. Perhaps what I see in this Kleo is something different, something that might make this contract special.
Kleo’s guardian, Tyan Nikara, is a trade diplomat and lives on the Golden Planet in the Chorion Nebula. In what seems to be a lax attitude, he let Kleo loose for a spell and she absconded with another wealthy Nachev to the Opar Cluster. Two young females, both in their early twenties, aliens to the Oparians, enjoying the sights and mingling with the natives. The Oparians are notorious party animals who spend more time on their backs lazing in the sun than they do working hard. According to Kleo’s enraged guardian, she’s gone native and is still on Opar Prime and refuses to budge her ass.
So, the extraction contract comes up for grabs. My pitch goes well. It seems my plan is exactly what is needed, according to the agent representing Tyan Nikara. I guess he should know. My clients are usually some of the most powerful of the galaxy’s alpha species, and just like on my world, they have a reputation to uphold.
But, I’m surprised, because I don’t come cheap and I’ve no redeeming qualities. I have my own rules and I expect no interference from the client. The female, once she’s under my protection, is mine until I deliver her home. Mine to rehabilitate. Mine to punish. It’s not just about extracting her and slapping her wrist. It’s so much more.
Kleo Nikara is in trouble. Big trouble and I’m on my way to find her.