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Authors: Tracy St. John

Tags: #dominationsubmission, #erotica aliens, #clans of kalquor, #kalquor, #erotica bdsm, #tracy st john, #futuristic erotica, #science fiction erotica, #erotica, #menage

Alien Refuge (10 page)

BOOK: Alien Refuge
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Maf nodded and smiled at each man in turn. “A delight. Please sit for a little while.”

Ospar joined Maf on the sofa, sitting on the side the councilman’s body twisted towards. Jol and Rivek took another couch across from them, and Borl settled in an elegant chair.

A tall man with a broad face stepped from the corner of the room where Ospar had not noticed him. He bowed, his long braid swinging forward. “Drinks, sirs?”

Maf grimaced an embarrassed smile at Ospar. “Of course. I completely forgot to offer refreshments. Forgive my manners, Governor. I am fatigued from the journey.” He chuckled at himself. “I thought zipping from colony to colony would be a bit of a vacation, but it is much more exhausting than I imagined.”

Ospar waved his hand. “No apology needed, Councilman. I require nothing, thank you.”

Rivek and Jol also demurred, and the assistant went back to his corner.

Ospar smiled at his guest. “No doubt many colony governors are quick to demand your attention and help and funds. That is exhausting in itself.”

Maf grinned, as if they were the closest of friends. “That’s right. You once sat on the Royal Council yourself. You would know all too well the endless litany of ‘more, more, more’.”

“My part in Empire governance was long ago. One term was more than enough for me. I prefer smaller constituencies to that of an entire region.”

The councilman raised an eyebrow. “However, this colony grows by the month, doesn’t it? I hear three thousand more Earthers have applied to come here in the last month alone. Though you only approve a few dozen at a time, it could be you will soon have more than a territory’s worth of people to cater to.”

“True. I’ll have to look into next year’s elections for district mayor in my home precinct so I don’t get overwhelmed.”

That set off chuckles. Haven did have many applicants from Earthers who had absolutely nothing to restart their lives with. The need was great to get them settled, and the most needy got first chance to come to the colony. Ospar was determined to keep the colony’s growth gradual, and therefore manageable. Only five hundred new homesteads were allowed per year, but Kalquor had recently approved the request for more security and infrastructure specialists. That would allow Ospar to keep the influx from outstripping his ability to govern.

Maf mused, “An Earther colony within the Empire. Who would have ever expected such a thing?”

Ospar nodded. “It is a complete turnaround from being at war only a little more than two years ago. Perhaps I can tell you of some of our accomplishments over dinner?”

The councilman offered an apologetic smile. “I hope it doesn’t put you out any, but I beg your understanding for tonight. I really am exhausted. Perhaps tomorrow? Or maybe the following night? Whatever is most convenient for you, of course. I am your guest and bow to your requirements.”

Ospar inclined his head. “Tomorrow night is perfectly fine.” He stood, not wanting to overwhelm his gracious and understandably worn guest. “We will leave you to much-needed rest, Councilman. With your permission?”

Rivek, Jol, Borl, and Maf also rose. The councilman bowed his head in weary gratitude. “You are most understanding. I do wish you to address me as Maf, if you please. I am not one for much formality. And I apologize for not being a better guest.”

Ospar shook his head. “Not at all, Maf. And we are not offended if you use our names. I am also not one for using ranks and titles. Is there anything I can have brought to you?”

Maf waved him off. “I have all I require.”

“My assistant Borl will remain with you tonight should any need arise. And please feel free to contact me at any time for any reason. We are very happy to have you visit.”

Maf looked to Borl hopefully. “Perhaps if you do not need him for anything pressing, Borl could take me on a tour tomorrow? I know you probably planned to do that yourself, but governing a colony leaves little time for indulging visiting dignitaries.”

Ospar restrained the sigh of relief that threatened to escape. His schedule was packed, especially since he wanted to have a look at the Matara that had captivated his clanmates. He’d thought he’d have to put off meeting Iris Jenson for several days.

He told Maf, “You are most understanding. Borl is at your service. I will see you at dinner tomorrow night then?”

“I look forward to it. And thank you again for your hospitality.”

After a few more niceties, Ospar and his clan bowed and left. Inside their shuttle, he sighed with pleasure. The visit had been short and painless.

As Jol started the shuttle and turned it toward home, Rivek mused, “Maf is much less of a cutthroat than I remember councilmen to be.”

Ospar looked at his clanmate. “Are you including me in that description?”

Rivek rolled his eyes. “Oh no. You’ve always been a complete darling.”

Jol tilted his head back and laughed hard. Ospar shook his head but couldn’t restrain a smile. “I would have liked to have possessed some of Maf’s poise and grace when I sat in chambers. It would have saved me a lot of grief. One of these days I’ll learn not to bully my way through everything.”

“Why start now?” Rivek grinned to take the sting out of his words.

Jol added, “At least I don’t have to share my pie with anyone besides you two. And a warning: your share will be very small since I’ve had the opportunity to smell it. Matara Iris must be a fine cook.”

Rivek snorted. “Greedy.”

“Absolutely.”

Ospar shook his head at Rivek. “Greedy Nobeks and cutthroat Dramoks. Priests are terrible judges of characters when it comes to clanmates.”

“Apparently so.” Rivek sighed theatrically. “Life doesn’t need to offer me challenges. I create enough on my own.”

* * * *

Maf sat before the fire, sipping a glass of shel from Plasius. The bar was fully stocked and it would be nice to have something stronger, but these days he did not imbibe heavily. He was a busy man with much to accomplish. Haven Colony with its unique mix of Earthers and Kalquorians excited him. It had potential.

His aide Dramok Sitrel stood in the background as always, watching quietly. Sitrel almost never spoke in other people’s company except to carry out his official duties. He simply kept an eye on things, gauging reactions and absorbing emotions to report to Maf when they were alone. As part of the background, not engaging in the conversations going on, Sitrel was able to assess the strengths and weaknesses of those Maf dealt with.

Borl came into the room, having seen Ospar’s clan off. “They have gone.”

Maf motioned to the chair Borl had occupied earlier and considered the reddish-gold liquid in his glass. “Your superior is quiet about the issues this colony faces. Not one mention of the E.I.K.”

Borl sat. “Ospar is very much one to handle such things with discretion, despite that full-speed-ahead attitude of his. His Nobek is no less circumspect.”

“And the priest?”

“Imdiko Rivek is their counselor and always falls on the side of prudence. Ospar usually listens to his more tactful clanmates, but occasionally he insists on having his way despite their cautions.”

Maf nodded. “He’s known for pushing agendas he believes in, even at the detriment of others. Still, he does most of it behind the scenes.”

Borl stared moodily into the fire pit. “I’ve learned that since coming to Haven to be his aide. Ospar decides he wants a situation to change, and all it takes is a private com to Kalquor to make it happen. He’s even got a direct link to the Imperial Clan.”

Maf took a sip of his shel. “So few know of Ospar’s influence in securing the first wave of Earther Mataras. I have heard rumors that he was the one who sent Councilman Rajhir’s clan to Plasius to test the Ryan woman for compatibility. And now he’s in charge of this colony, where reluctant women can be wooed and seduced into going to the home planet.”

Sitrel appeared at Borl’s side with a large glass of kloq. He’d had two already before Ospar’s arrival. Borl blinked at Maf’s aide, then accepted the drink. “Thank you.” He took a hefty swallow and returned to the conversation. “At the time of the Earther women abductions, Ospar was our ambassador to the Galactic Council. He certainly had the clout and connections to make all that happen.”

“His service as ambassador is a matter of public knowledge. What I want is confirmation that he gave the orders for Rajhir’s clan to test Amelia Ryan, and later to seduce or kidnap the others.”

Borl had more kloq. “There is evidence that many records from Ospar’s tenure as ambassador were destroyed. I certainly haven’t been able to find anything that points to his involvement in the abductions. A pity, because if it could be proven Emperor Zarl or Clajak’s clan were somehow involved, that would make more in the Empire take notice. The Imperial Clan could be found directly responsible for the war with Earth beyond that foolishness of falling in love with Empress Jessica.”

Maf shook his head. “Ospar is far too smart to have left any trace of premeditation on the Imperial Clan’s part. Still, his association with them and certain powerful council members would be enough to raise a few eyebrows should it be proven he gave the orders to bring Earther women to Kalquor.”

“You said he is close friends with Councilman Rajhir in particular.”

“They worked hard to stop the passage of certain pieces of questionable legislation written by powerful opponents. This was when Ospar was new on the Council and Rajhir was his aide. That made them many enemies at the time.”

Borl had finished his drink, and Sitrel was right there to refill it. Maf hid a smile. Borl had been a little difficult to win over to the cause at first. Now that he’d been groomed so carefully, he was loyal to a fault. Still, it wasn’t a bad idea to keep his tongue loose with all he’d learned since becoming Ospar’s aide.

The young man took a huge swallow and resumed the conversation. “Then it’s true Ospar gave up his council seat because of pressure?”

Maf shook his head and put his half-full glass of shel on the table next to him. “My sources say it was because Rajhir brought Ospar to the attention of the emperors. Rajhir is distantly related to them, you know.”

“I wasn’t aware.”

“He doesn’t make a big deal about it. He and Ospar made enough enemies that first year, even to the point of death threats. It ended up nearly costing his Imdiko’s life, if I’m not mistaken. A man named Flencik.”

“Ospar should have learned from his aide’s troubles. I guess he doesn’t hold his own Imdiko’s well-being in too much regard,” Borl said breezily. “Then again, I hear Imdiko Rivek is a master of hand-to-hand fighting techniques, so maybe he thinks he’s safe.”

“Rivek’s abilities are a direct consequence of Ospar’s earliest troubles. Make no mistake; the governor knows all too well how dangerous his activities can be for his clanmates.” Maf sighed. “Anyway, when Ospar didn’t run for re-election, it was less than a year later that he became ambassador to the Galactic Council.”

Maf shifted his position on the lounge, trying to find a comfortable position for his twisted body. There was none to be had, demonstrating how tired he was. He’d not been lying when he’d begged exhaustion earlier.

He told Borl, “Ospar is a cunning man when it comes to making unpalatable things happen. The emperors knew it and wanted his influence where it really counted. He supposedly swung a lot of decisions to the throne’s advantage during his tenure at Galactic Council headquarters.”

Borl scowled at his half-empty cup. “Like diluting noble Kalquorian blood with that of the Earthers.”

“I haven’t had the opportunity to read the report you were kind enough to prepare for me. How many Earther Mataras have taken up with clans here?”

The aide’s frown deepened. “Over two hundred in the two years since the colony began. Only half a dozen of those remain on Haven. I’m convinced some clans are brought here to work simply for the sake of seducing the women. Once the clans have claimed their Mataras, they go home.”

“And how many Mataras who didn’t clan here but moved on to Kalquor and joined the lottery?”

“Not quite two hundred. Ospar tells us to go out of our way to make the unmarried younger women feel safe. To build trust. That’s not forced clanning though.”

“Four hundred women sent to Kalquor from here in the last two years,” Maf mused. “Not a huge number, but the colony is in its beginning stages and has been building rather slowly. The planned expansion of Haven would mean many, many more Earther Mataras mixing with our people.”

BOOK: Alien Refuge
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