Read Command Online

Authors: Viola Grace

Tags: #Fantasy, #Sci Fi, #erotic romance, #Dark Elves

Command (2 page)

BOOK: Command
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Bael Alvar Lerock was dead, and it was time to get the aliens off his world.

The advisor poked his head into the room. “The warriors are ready.”

Orriko left the room and grabbed his weapons. He nodded to the warriors and gave them the plan. “Take the base and leave no one free.”

He steeled his body and took a step forward, bringing him to the foothills. The next step took him to the edge of the base. Orriko had been inside the compound before, so he stepped into the courtyard, turned and opened the gate to let his warriors in.

The silence and lack of activity were peculiar. “Where are the guards?”

The warriors looked at each other and spread out. They entered the silent base and crept through every room. When one of the men called out, Orriko ran to his side and found the body of his father laid out with respect.

“It seems that someone was fond of him.” Orriko put his hand on his father’s and waited for the rush of the soul.

A flicker came to him. It wasn’t his father. It was an image of a woman with pale skin and dark hair. She braided her father’s hair, folded his arms and covered him.

He frowned. She had been the only one in the image.

“Get what records you can from the base computer.”

The warrior on his left nodded and went to the terminal. “The base records are scrambled.”

“That is a puzzle. How could they launch a ship with their computers scrambled?” He looked into the corner and the camera that was watching over his father. “Base Command, are you there?”

 

* * * *

 

Lilli blinked at the image in the monitor. She put on her blank tone and asked, “Base Command is active.”

He looked into the monitoring camera. “How many personnel were on base?”

She bit her lip. “Thirty-one.”

“How many personnel are there now?”

She winced and told the truth in her computerized monotone. “One.”

“Where is this person?”

“Personal quarters.”

“Who is the person left on base?”

“Unable to retrieve data.” She held her breath and waited.

He straightened. “Fine. If you won’t tell me, the Alliance will. I am sure they are eager to reclaim their personnel.”

Lilli swallowed and kept her mouth shut. She wanted to curse in every language she had learned, but she didn’t want to make extra noise.

“Communications have been deactivated.” The words came out of her throat without her control.

Orriko smiled into the camera, his white teeth bright against his midnight skin. “Excellent. Then, we have unlimited time to tear this place down, stone by stone, until we find the final Alliance member.”

He went to a table in medical and grabbed a piece of cloth. With a final smile at the camera, he flipped the fabric over the monitor and her world went white.

She hissed quietly, her voice off the com. “Stupid, stupid, stupid.”

Lilli started pacing, her mind watched the monitors in the base, and one by one, they went white. If the coms were out, how was the base talking to them? She was an idiot, and she had given herself away.

It was only a matter of time before they found her, and with the Ikanni penchant for dealing harshly with those who trespassed on sacred ground, she wasn’t looking forward to it.

 

* * * *

 

Orriko spoke to his men in low tones. “What do you mean there is no one here?”

Tablin blinked. “I am sorry, Bael, but we cannot find one living soul in this building, nor can we hear one. Rasok has been listening keenly and has heard nothing.”

“Smoke her out.”

Tablin leaned back, “What?”

“Wet some fabric and light it on fire. It will smoke, and we will be able to follow the air currents into the room that isn’t there.” Orriko looked back at the picture of his father with tearstains on the paper.

“Begging your pardon, Bael, but how do you know someone is here?”

Orriko crossed his arms over his chest. “The Base Command said that communication had been disconnected, yes?”

The men gathered nodded.

“Then, who was speaking to us? Computers are either on or off, nothing in between. Base Command is a living thing and that thing is somewhere in the building. We need to find it.”

The men looked at each other and followed his instructions.

Orriko watched the smoke snake down the hall, and it churned against a wall before disappearing.

Tablin looked at him in amazement. “You were correct, Bael. This wall is false.”

Orriko looked up and noticed a high vent across the hall. There was more than one way into the room that wasn’t.

 

* * * *

 

Lilli listened to the sounds of bodies getting closer via the air vent. There were no valves to shut her airflow down on this side of the base. She loaded the stunners and watched the vent from behind the door to the lav.

She crouched low and waited as the first dark arm punched his way through the grating and the male pulled his body into her private quarters.

Lilli waited until the man straightened before she pulled the trigger on the stunner.

He groaned and collapsed.

She quickly switched stunners and used the full charge to immobilize the male in the vent.

He grunted and rocked. There was obviously another male behind him.

Lilli opened the crawlspace hatch and quickly moved to hide under her bed.

She could barely see the male on the floor, but he bore a striking resemblance to the male who had stared into the monitor. Lilli winced and waited for him to wake and notice the open door.

He got up with a groan and staggered to his feet. He rubbed at his chest and cursed low in Ikanni.

He pulled the second male from the vent and the third exited on his own.

Her first target said, “She seems to have been waiting.”

The second groaned. “She has excellent aim, Bael.”

The third male simply looked relieved that he hadn’t been a target.

The second male pointed. “She must have crawled out through that open hatch.”

The first man nodded. “You can go after her. I will attend to my father.”

Orriko then. He looked startlingly similar to the stronger image of Alvar. He disappeared, and the two other men slipped into the hatch.

Lilli’s stomach growled, and she kicked herself for not bringing supplies into her hidey-hole.

She sealed the hatch and crept from beneath her bed. She was halfway to her supply packs when Orriko appeared in her room and wrapped his arms around her from behind, lifting her off the floor.

“Hello, Base Command.” His pleasure at her capture was as unmistakable as the body she was held against.

“Bael Orriko, nice to meet you.” She panicked and sealed the base to everything, pumping the breathable air out.

He squeezed her, “Stop that, Command. Open the vents or it will not go well for you.”

She didn’t see how it could go well for her, but she opened the vents and ceased the purge.

In the next instant, they were out of her room and in medical. His father was still lying in the pose she had placed him in.

“Why did you do this?” Orriko walked closer to his father and kept her in front of him.

“He was my friend. He needed to rest with dignity.” She let tears fall, and they splashed on Orriko’s arm.

He turned her in his grip and looked into her face for the first time. “You.”

She blinked. “Me?”

“You were the last to touch my father. You are retaining his soul.” His hawk-like features smoothed out, and he caressed her cheek with his fingers. “So very soft.”

Things were rapidly spiralling out of control when he leaned in and kissed her, the soft exploration rapidly turned into passion on his part, and Lilli was left trying to fight him off. She didn’t get very far, but he did cease his lip-based assault, and he leaned back with a smile.

“It seems that my father chose you for me.”

Remember, I am giving you a gift, it just may not appear to be one at first.

Lilli stare up into those red eyes and said the first thing that came into her thoughts. “Son-of-a-bitch.”

 

 

 

 

Chapter Three

 

 

He leaned back and laughed. “Well said. Well, Command, what were my father’s last words?”

She sighed and tried to get out of his grip. “Danara.”

Orriko stilled. “What?”

“His last word was
Danara
.”

Her captor was having difficulty dealing with that revelation.

She waited until he had himself under control. “If you want to keep me prisoner, you can put me back in my room. If you block the crawlspace, I can’t get out.”

“I don’t think so. My father placed his trust in you to guard him, so you will guard him.” He stiffened his spine and turned her back to face the body of her friend.

She reached out and smoothed his braid once again.

“You braided his hair?”

“It was getting caught underneath him. He wasn’t comfortable, so I braided it. Is that a problem?” She frowned, not sure if she had broken some kind of Ikanni taboo.

“No. It shows that he was cared for, though I do not know why he chose to depart the living world here.”

It was bothering him. Lilli could see it in every line of his body. She just didn’t have the nerve to tell him that his father was matchmaking.

 

Her stomach growled, and she wrinkled her nose when the three Ikanni males in the medical bay turned to stare at her. “What? It has been a few hours since I ate.”

One of the men frowned. “There is no food left on the base.”

“Well, I had some in my room, enough for a few weeks. If you would let me return there, I can get it and stop making inappropriate noises.”

The men spoke low and fast, straightening and shaking their heads. The first speaker straightened. “Bael Lerock has ordered that you remain here.”

“Then, can someone go and get the supply bag that was next to my door? I swear it isn’t booby-trapped or anything. It just holds compressed ration bars.”

The men spoke and shook their heads. “No. We cannot leave nor let you leave until Bael Lerock returns.”

She pulled her knees up and wrapped her arms around them, resting her head, trying to stop the dizziness that hunger was bringing on.

Two hours later, she was curled against the wall and seeing spots. Light flickered behind her eyes, and she thought it was just her until she heard the shouts of confusion.

Hands lifted her and the world folded in on her for a moment before she was being laid on her bed. She felt hands at her temples, and with a soft click, the control array was removed.

Lighting stabilized in the room around her, and Lilli opened her eyes.

Orriko was leaning over her. “Are you awake?”

She nodded. “Hungry, thirsty. The array takes a lot of energy.”

He grimaced. “Of course it does. How long have you been running it without a break?”

“When did your father come here?”

He propped her up and held her with one arm while he placed a container of water to her lips. “Drink.”

She spluttered. “That isn’t water.”

“It will relax you and hydrate you. Drink.”

She drank again. It was that or spit the liquid in his face. She tasted herbs, sweet and alcohol.

He withdrew the container but continued to hold her. The distance from his face to hers gave her a charming view of a scar that ran along his jawline.

Orriko pulled pillows behind her and sat her up. “Now, Base Command. I have a few questions.”

She grimaced. “Fine. There is no one left to betray, so shoot.”

He blinked and leaned back. “It is working on you that quickly?”

She scratched her nose and frowned. “Is what working on me? I don’t have any Alliance information. I just run the base, and now, the base is empty.”

He looked at her, watching her face intently. “Why were you left here?”

“Each ship holds ten, we had three ships. I am the odd one out.”

“How were you planning to leave?”

“In forty-five days, there is a window to the nearest relay station. I can fire the pod and hope for the best.” She licked her lips. Her head spun and felt fluffy, but it wasn’t unpleasant.

She picked at the bits of debris and fluff that had settled on her padded white jumpsuit.

“You were going to hide in your room until the forty-five days were up and try to sneak past us?”

She shrugged, and to her horror, she told him. “I can get through the entire base via a set of tunnels in the walls. All Base Commands can.”

His eyes widened and a smile flickered over his features.

BOOK: Command
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