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Alpha Trine

by Lexi Ander

Alpha Trine - Lexi Ander - Valespian Pact
Part of the The Valespian Pact series:
Editions:ePub - Third Edition: $ 4.99 USD
ISBN: 9780463955178

The sole survivor on a science vessel adrift in deep space, Zeus was adopted by the Emperor and Empress of the Mar'Sani, though he is both human and blind, and seen by most as unfit to join the royal family. Though they were able to repair his vision, Zeus does not trust his eyes, and the nobles of his parents' court refuse to ever trust a frail and treacherous human.

 

Dargon Kal-Turak, along with his symbiote and lover, Alpha, command one of the most dangerous ships in the stars. After narrowly escaping a trap, they dock in a space port to make repairs but find that the Psionics hunting them are closing in fast. In desperation they kidnap the port's master mechanic, unaware that the man they've brought on board is more than he seems and will bring far more upheaval to their ship, their lives, and the stars than any of them could have imagined.

 

**Alpha Trine is a 52k sci-fi romance. It was re-edited July 2018 and some concepts were expanded upon. Neither the plot nor characters were changed.

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Excerpt:

Canry was lost—no—taken.

Empress Ashari ignored her attendants. She knew they would report back to her mate, Emperor Valdor Vondorian, yet she cared not. She was hollow inside, the pain turning into a numbness that ate at her core until there was nothing left for her to feel. She refused to pretend everything was normal, for it was not. Nothing would ever be normal again because he was gone. Stolen. Her youngest son, Canry, had disappeared in the Waters of Poseidon two short moons ago, yet it seemed like yesterday.

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Ashari slipped a hand under the cream-colored pillow and pulled out Canry's little nightshirt. She had made the weave herself from the finest spyder silk. Ashari handled the material carefully, for her claws were ragged from nervous chewing, and she did not wish for the fine thread to catch on them. Her eyes burned as she tenderly fingered the colorful clothing. Her heart might have been hollow, but her tears were rivers that fed the sea.

She wondered what she could have done differently. All Mar'Sani younglings were introduced to the Waters of Poseidon when they reached six moons of age. She and Valdor had been delighted at how quickly Canry had taken to the waters, more so than the twins or his sister, Shaneva. The youngling had been swimming, diving perfectly at her side and slithering through the water, his black scales glistening in the sunshine. The thick-scaled ridge that ran along his spine and down his tail was beginning to turn red, a sign of his royal blood. Canry splashed Ashari then dived into the water… never to surface again.

Within moments everyone searched for the royal youngling. Those who lived in the waters combed the depths yet found nothing. Canry was simply gone—disappeared—with no trace or body to be found.

He had vanished.

Never in Mar'Sani history had a youngling or adult been lost in the Waters of Poseidon. For days Ashari refused to leave the shoreline of the Great Sea in hopes her son would find his way back home. She spent hours diving and swimming until she was overcome by exhaustion and her attendants pulled her ashore.

Eventually, she accepted the fact Canry would not be coming home. She took to her sick bed and there she stayed. Every day she ate a little less. Her mate, Valdor, tried his best to console her, but there was little he could do. Poseidon had, for some unknown reason, taken her son, and in a few short summers, he would claim their daughter as well.

One in every two thousand younglings returned to the Waters of Poseidon. These young would eventually reside in the waters instead of living on land. The reasons for the Longing were unknown, but neither were the younglings discouraged from the choice. Their now youngest, Shaneva, had been showing signs of the Longing prior to Canry's birth and, as natural as the Longing was to the Mar'Sani people, Ashari could not help but wonder what she had done that Poseidon would lay claim to two of her four younglings.

A large Mar'Sani bull filled the doorway, his black scales gleaming like polished rock against his resplendent red and gold imperial robes. Dark yellow eyes narrowed at the sight of Ashari lying on the platform, his barbed tail swishing side to side. The emperor strode into the room, a look of determination on his handsome face. Ashari was unfazed. She tucked the outfit back under her pillow as Valdor sat on the edge of the low bed.

"Your attendants claim you are not hungry this morning." Valdor's voice was deep, resonating throughout the room.

Ashari refrained from replying for there was nothing to say.

"They also relay you are too tired to rise."

Again, she responded with silence.

Without another word, Valdor unlaced his boots and set them aside before climbing onto the platform. He gently nudged her to rise, and when she did he slid under Ashari before pulling her down to his chest. He released a great sigh and stroked the smooth ridge of her forehead until her curiosity slowly surfaced.

"What are you doing?" Ashari inquired softly.

"He… Canry was my son too. I miss his laugh. I miss watching him sleep. I miss… Being the emperor requires that I put my personal sorrows aside to care for others, but I cannot keep doing so if I lose my mate as well. I, too, hurt and grieve. I am exhausted and food holds no appeal. So I will lie with my beloved for a time and keep her company in her sorrow."

Ashari buried her face in the curve of Valdor's neck, the scales pliant against her cheek. He needed her, Ashari reminded herself. Valdor never gave up.

"I had hoped," he continued, "that I could pique your interest with something out of the ordinary. Interesting things are happening in the skies, and I wish for you to share the discovery with me. I think we both need a break from our lives. Besides, you know how I love listening to council drone on about the quality of city paving stones. It is all very thrilling choosing between red or green."

Ashari abruptly laughed through her tears. "And what is going on in the upper atmosphere that would draw your attention away from your duty with the council?"

"A human science vessel was discovered floating in space within the borders of our patrol."

"Are they certain the ship is human?" Ashari asked. "Terrens are not allowed this deep into Andromedan space."

The Terrens—humans—had been quarantined to their quadrant of the nearby Milky Way by Andromeda's Galactic Imperials for the last fifty cycles. Most of the humans who traveled in space were employed by one of the four major Terren corporations. They operated freely within their area of space under the Earth-Sun Alliance. Their quadrant was made up of a group of colonized planets, terraformed moons, and worlds that were forcibly taken over by the Terrens before the Galactic Imperials received word of the Terrens' horrific colonization policies.

It had been the Terrens' treatment of the GyrFalconi on Aries 7 that caused the Andromedan Emperors to issue a cease order, which the Terrens ignored after they killed Valespia's imperial ambassador. Later, at the conclusion of the Twenty Year War that had almost bankrupted the four corporations, the human representatives claimed a misunderstanding and asked for a truce. They swore they were unaware they had overstepped the Galactic Inter-Planetary Regulations until the Cypress of Neighn Council played back the public executions of the galactic delegates that the humans had broadcast on all their networks.

Per the treaty the Terrens signed, they agreed to strict operating guidelines. They were not allowed to travel Andromedan space without authorization. They were also required to pay restitution to the GyrFalconi for four hundred Galactic Standard years. If the Terrens invaded, made war with, or destroyed a sentient planet then Andromeda's Galactic Imperial Patrol, also know as GIP, would take over the Terren quadrant of the Milky Way and dissolve all offending operating companies.

Valdor pulled a handheld communicator from his robe pocket. "Finding a Terren research vessel so far from their approved travel course is alarming. Warlord Sohm'lan is attempting to discover the purpose of a human vessel this far into Andromedan space before we report it to GIP."

He checked his watch. "The ship should be docked at the orbital station by now. Two away teams, Deimos and Phobos, have been sent to board the vessel and gather information. Warlord Sohm'lan is monitoring their progress from Ares Station. I have been given the operation codes. Do you mind if I listen to the transmissions?"

Ashari found a comfortable spot on Valdor's chest to pillow her head. "No, love, I do not mind."

Valdor switched on the handheld and entered his security sequence. For a few brief seconds there was silence before the first transmission came through.

"Team Deimos, this is Ares Station, report your activity."

"Warlord, this is Deimos reporting. We have boarded the deep space science vessel Asclepius. While waiting for the airlock to engage, I noticed EM net burns on the ship's hull. Upon boarding, there is evidence of short-range phaser discharges within the corridors. All lifepods have been deployed. Team Phobos is checking the data core. We have detected one life-form and request permission to investigate."

"Proceed with caution, Deimos. Team Phobos, report in," came the command from Ares Station.

Ashari's eyes drift closed as she listened to the radio chatter, not paying much attention to the conversation. It was merely background noise to keep her from thinking for the moment, allowing her to relax, something she had been unable to do since Canry was lost.

"Phobos reporting in. I do not know what happened, Ares. The data core was ejected with the life-pods, backup drive was viral. We have been unsuccessful in drawing information from secondary systems. There are some written records, which we are gathering now. Whatever the Terrens were doing here, they did not want anyone to know."

"Ares, this is Deimos. We have tracked the life-form to the medical bay. You are not going to believe this, Sir. They left behind a youngling."

Ashari's eyes popped open. Surely she heard incorrectly.

"Say again, Deimos," commanded Ares Station.

"A Terren infant," Deimos repeated. "He's about two moons old. From what we have translated so far from the paper chart, his name is Zeus. There is no other information besides confirmation of his health."

Ashari sat up and stared at Valdor. Could it be that Poseidon had shown her a small mercy?

"Any contagion or other reason given why the youngling was abandoned, Deimos?" asked Ares Station.

"None that I can see, Ares. The youngling is blind. I did not know humans practiced culling." Deimos responded. For the first time, derision colored the clinical dialog of the military officers.

"They are heathens," Ashari could hear the hiss of disgust in Ares's voice. "Everyone knows the atrocities they perpetrated on Aries 7. Prepare the youngling for transport. I will send in a medical team to double-check for contagion. They will bring a unit to decontaminate your team as a precaution before we transport the youngling to the base. Ares out."

Ashari's heart fluttered and her breath quickened. Had Poseidon sent…? Oh, Gods above, could she even begin to hope? The youngling, Zeus, was two moons old. Canry had been taken two moons ago. Was this coincidence or an omen? No, this was a gift. He was a gift. That was how she would choose to see the situation. Ashari slid over the silk bedding to the edge of the platform.

COLLAPSE

About the Author

Lexi has always been an avid reader, and at a young age started reading (secretly) her mother’s romances (the ones she was told not to touch). She was the only teenager she knew of who would be grounded from reading. Later, with a pencil and a note book, she wrote her own stories and shared them with friends because she loved to see their reactions. A Texas transplant, Lexi now kicks her boots up in the Midwest with her Yankee husband and her eighty-pound puppies named after vacuum cleaners.


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