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The Human Pet: A Sci-Fi Romance

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[Complete] Aliens storm our ship, threatening the lives of the crew. I bow my head and approach the alien commander, Tarak. Alien predator eyes lock on me. In desperation, I invoke an ancient word. Tarak hurls a metal collar that clatters at my feet. With trembling hands, I lift the collar to my neck. When the collar locks, Tarak's tail thrashes in excitement, and he clips a leash to me. I make a vow. I wear this collar to save my crew, but Tarak will never own my spirit. Why then do I want to fall to my knees? Why do I crave his touch?

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Chapter 1


My name is Kayla Seren. All my life, I yearned to go to space, witness the birth of stars in nebulas, and maybe be the one to discover life on far-off moons and planets.

Never did I imagine that soon after my 23rd birthday and scraping by with my master’s degree, I would be one of the chosen few for a coveted seat on a star vessel from Earth—the Phoenix Borealis—as a xenobiologist. How naïve and full of hope I’d been with visions I would be the first to document the existence of life beyond our tiny planet.

How wrong we had been, underestimating the hazards of the universe.

First, a fungus we’d accidentally brought aboard infested most of the plants meant to be our food supply. Next, we tumbled into a wormhole making “we’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto” the understatement of the century. We are light-years from Earth. Lost among the stars.

Then we encountered an alien race: the scourge.

Know this; we were mistaken to go to the stars.

A blaring sound disturbs my sleep. Someone jabs me.

I open my eyes, shocked to find myself sleeping at my workbench in the lab. A child’s wide eyes stare at me.

Dylan—my sluggish mind reminds me—one of the settlers we rescued.

The little boy points to the lab door window. Bursts of red light flash in the hallway.

Oh no. Have the scourges found us?

Through the door and into the hallway I run.

Sirens wail. A voice through a crackling speaker announces, “All crew of the Phoenix Borealis report to the navigation bridge.”

“Stay here,” I tell Dylan before closing the lab door.

The emergency lights illuminate my path to the helm.

It is as if hell has erupted. So much shouting. Crimson-colored lights flash. The air in the room is so hot it feels like an overheated furnace.

The captain hollers at me. “Take your position as primary navigator.”

My mind reels. It’s been months since I have had any training for the navigator’s role. I’m a biologist. I know nothing about maneuvering spaceships. My captain gave me his word; summoning me as a navigator would only happen if the primary navigator cannot complete their duties.

Suddenly it’s difficult to breathe.

No, no, no. Now is not the time to think about what might have happened to anyone else on the ship. Survival depends on each of us doing our job.

I take a few deep breaths and go to the navigator’s seat. Draped over the controls is (or was) the navigator, his expression locked into a terrible grimace, teeth clenched and eyes wide.

I have my answer; the navigator is dead, and rigor mortis has already started. I push his curled-up body onto the floor and take my seat.

I struggle to regain control over my emotions.

Focus on your job. Mourn later.

I swallow. If we survive, that is.

“Navigation, get us out of here,” says the captain.

The scourge ship fires at us, hitting our ship with such force that I’m thrown from my seat. My hip slams into the navigation panel, and I fall onto the floor. Inches away from my face are the navigator’s dead eyes.

Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God. Even though it stings like hell, I crawl back into the navigator’s seat.

I pull up the ship map, and now my injury seems mild compared to the dozens of red dots the map shows me. “Captain, fires have broken out. The integrity of the starport passenger cabins A through D is compromised.”

“Seal off and jettison,” replies the captain.

I must have misheard the captain. “Sir, people live in those cabins.”

“We can’t allocate the resources. It’s the best chance we have before the fire spreads.”

Surely, there are other options.

“Kayla, do it, now!”

I feel like a rat caught in a trap.

Many life forms do some version of this in the face of danger. Rats chew off their tails. Even cells initiate programmed cell death if they gain too many deleterious mutations.

Not giving the people in that part of the ship any type of warning feels wrong. My finger hovers over the button.

My back is to the crew, and I silently wipe away a few stray tears. I’m crying for all of us, and I press the button.

For the millionth time since I’ve been on the Phoenix Borealis, I think about how we don’t belong here, in a little ship among the stars. We should never have left our homes.

“Initiate escape maneuver!”

I slam my fist against the control panel. The ship shakes.

“Why aren’t we moving?!”

I check the viewport. Any hope I had sinks. Even if we attempt all the escape maneuvers in the world, none will get us out of this situation. Like a hawk holding a sparrow in its clutches, metal talons from the scourge ship wrap around our hull.

One last desperate idea occurs to me. I punch a few buttons, sending every bit of power to the thrusters.

The engines scream, the ship trembles, and—

“Stop! We’re going to be torn apart,” shouts the engineer.

I cut the power. Our ship is still in the talons of the menacing ship.

Settlers crowd into the bridge.

“Seal the entrance to the helm,” yells the captain.

I hold my finger over the button, but I hesitate. First, I scan the settlers crowded along the helm’s perimeter. Only when I spot the small body and dark hair of the boy, Dylan, do I press the button,

The metal gate slams down. For better or for worse, we are locked into the helm together.

I see flickering orange on the panel. “We’re being boarded!”

From the metal door come scratching and scraping sounds. Banging. Pounding.

The metal door crumples.

A snarling scourge steps into our navigation bridge. The scourge has the same general shape and form as humans, but it towers over us—by their height and girth alone—they are easily twice as large as the biggest men. The scourge growls and stomps toward the captain. His tail whips out, sending the captain sprawling onto the floor.

“I… I can’t get up,” rasps the captain, still laying on the floor, his leg at an unnatural angle.

The settlers are fast, dragging the captain away.

Our warning signals continue, with red lights flashing and the siren wailing, not that it helps us as scourges storm the helm and spread out amongst us.

A settler rushes straight at a scourge. “In the name of my murdered compatriots of Romulus and Remus!”

Only at the last second do I see it; the man clasps a dagger, which he plunges at the scourge’s chest.

Although the scourges are wearing some sort of metal armor over their legs and feet, they do not have any sort of protection on their upper body (not even a shirt). Perhaps it’s showing off some of the strange patterns and swirls a few of them have on their chests, so I’m certain the knife will take down the scourge.

Except the knife might as well be a butter knife, because it just slides along the scourge’s chest, not even making a tiny cut. Then the scourge is on the settler, and it only takes minutes for him to lift him by the neck and throw his body at the wall. The settler drops onto the floor.

More settlers rush forward, engaging in hand-to-hand combat. Minutes are how long it takes the scourges to stop them.

A tall robot with bug-like eyes rolls forward and, to my astonishment, it speaks. “Give us your food, weapons, and fuel, and the benevolent scourges might let you live.”

If we give them what little food or fuel we have left, we will die. Maybe that’s why no one, neither my crew nor the settlers, moves.

A scourge near Dylan snatches him, lifts him high in the air, and roars.

“Unless you give the scourges what they demand, this child will be the first thrown from the airlock,” says the robot.

My eyes go to Dylan, who only recently found his voice.

Suddenly, I’m infused with anger. I study the scourges’ positions. Most of the scourges are among the humans, towering over them. Although I do notice a scourge standing all alone. Is this their leader?

I watch. This scourge grunts at the robot, and in turn, the robot gives yet more instructions.

This is the scourge leader, and I keep my focus on him.

Compared to the other scourges, this scourge wears strange regalia, a belt made of chains. Dangling from the belt are collars, anklets, and handcuffs. One collar catches my attention.

There is a pictograph outlined in gold of a biped with a bird-like head, which stirs up my memories of a scourge myth I found in the settlers’ records; invoking the name of that half-bird, half-man is rumored to halt a scourge attack.

I’m not sure if I believed that entire account (it was based on a myth after all), but if even part of it is true, it means I might be able to stop this. I can save the lives of my crew.

First, I need to get closer to the scourge with the symbol affixed to the collar. I do my best to look non-threatening, moving with a slow shuffling gait and keeping my gaze on the floor. If the scourges perceive me as a threat…

Half an arm’s length away, that is how close I am. I can hear him breathing. I take a deep breath, keep my head hunched, and slowly raise my eyes.

This scourge is the largest of them all. Rippling muscles are on his arms and chest. He scares me, but there is beauty in someone with so much strength and power. Oddly, although his chest has lots of scars, his chest does not have colored patterns like some of the other scourges.

I swallow and force myself to meet his eyes. They are gray, like deep pools of water, or a boulder, mirroring his strength and power. I almost want to say they’re beautiful.

“Mercy,” I say.

The bug-eyed metal robot makes raspy grunting sounds and although the scourge’s eyes briefly flicker between the robot and me, his eyes go to the scourge holding Dylan. He grunts at that scourge holding Dylan in his clutches, but instead of lowering him to the floor, he lifts the boy higher. Dylan screams.

Only one option is available to me now, the ancient custom. “Thoth!”

Scourges around the room growl and thwack their tails.

My eyes stay fixed on the scourge in front of me. His pupils enlarge, becoming black pools. A shiver races up and down my spine. Among humans, pupils often grow big when the person spots something they desire. Is it the same amongst scourges?

I take a few steps back.

Those dark eyes follow me, and I bump into a scourge who hisses at me from behind. Dear God, these scourges have come closer. It’s like I’ve summoned them to me.

I stumble back toward the scourge standing in the center of the room, the one with the all-encompassing pupils. He reaches for his belt, gripping the collar. It looks like a solid black ring, shiny like obsidian, with the Thoth symbol. The scourge flings the collar onto the floor in front of me.

That collar represents everything I am against. Does he want me to whimper? Rollover? If it means I might save my people...

I grab the collar, clenching it between my trembling fingers.

I lift the collar to my neck. It makes a whirring sound and opens.

Breathe, Kayla, breathe.

I don’t want to do this. My eyes go to Dylan. Yes, if it will save Dylan and my people, I’ll do it.

I position the collar so that it encloses my neck. There is an audible click, and the collar tightens. My finger flutters over the cold band.

Those ghastly fangs of his jut out more. From his belt, he unwinds a chain.

From my readings, I know what wearing this collar symbolizes. I’m to be his pet.

I make a silent vow to myself. I’ll wear this device to save my people, but he will never own my spirit.

He latches the chain onto my collar, grunts, and tugs on the chain.

I feel the pressure on my neck, but I’m not an animal, so I resist and lean away from the scourge.

The scourge grunts louder and yanks the chain so hard I tumble forward, falling across his chest. I feel puffs of air on the back of my neck and my hair. I shudder. Is he sniffing me?

I push away, standing, but he keeps the leash short. A deep rumbling sound comes from him. Is he laughing at me?

It’s just too much.

My legs give out, and everything around me goes dark.

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Weitere Empfehlungen

Esma Avril: I really enjoyed reading these Short and to the point I would love reading more about these characters . Thank you for sharing them with your readers . Will certainly look forward for more of your books. Thank you again

Max & Alex: Beaucoup de fautes comme rien c'est rein et j'en passe ...

oromicristina: I Just love it!!! Very sexy, I liked the descriptions of scenery done

PandaMonium: I really liked the whole plot and storyline of the book. Great mix of drama, suspense and love. Very well written. Would recommend to any romantic like me. Thank you!

Natalie Gardiner: Recommended. I really enjoyed them all

Doane Clouston: Hey just wondering it's been little over a week when is the next update?

Phersefone: Es una historia corta, me hubiera gustado para más capítulos, pero aún así me encanta el estilo de escritura que tienes, siempre me atrapan tus historias, muchas felicidades!!

Nadine: J'ai adorée ce livre, il est très captivant et pour une fois il est complet 👍. Merci a l'auteur. Un autre livre du même genre serait bien !!!

Gioconda del Carmen: Primera vez q leo y me rsta gustando la trama

Weitere Empfehlungen

q4ybh45b7t: I really like how the tension between Jett and Aria is teased and stronger and teased again. It makes me want to step into the story!

Nashla_343: Me encanta ❤️🤣 y me dio mucha risa

Bfrance38: Loved the characters and never a boring part. Loved the fated mates couples

Angie: Loving this series can’t wait for more! Please please go on!

Relator10: It's a believable world with funny anecdotes about the characters. The format with one MC take the spotlight at a time works well. People who into werewolfs should give this a try.

Heidi Witherspoon: This story keeps getting better. I’ve read the first 5 in one day. Couldn’t put them down.

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