A Different Species

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Chapter 5

June's eyes felt heavy as consciousness slowly came to her. Her brain racked all available thoughts, but nothing was clear. She was left dazed and confused. What happened?

As seconds passed, June began to recall the dreamlike state she had been in. A massive explosion had occurred in Area 51. The blast waves had reached June and Destiny while at work, and somehow had her ending up in a foreign planet with never before seen landscapes and habitants. June wondered if Destiny and her had gone out to drink after watching the live feed from Area 51. Did I really drink that much?

Discomfort made itself known mainly along her posterior side. She groaned at the hard surface below her, thinking she had fallen asleep once more on her couch.

Crunch.

Crunch.

What was that sound? Her eyes slowly fluttered open.

Red. That was the first she could see when her eyes focused. There was so much red.

Fangs—large and sharpened—were the next thing she noticed that were also . . . red? As her eyes trailed up, she noticed the two indents similar to those found in a human skull that signified the nose area. The surrounding area had similar skull features. Her gaze landed on a pair of violet eyes. Vertical slits, similar to a cat's pupils but more rounded, colored in black stared back at June.

Without giving it a second thought, she screamed.

The thing hovering over her backed away just as she did from it. They ended at opposite ends of the cave. When June's eyes left the creature's face, she realized that it wasn't anything like the beast she encountered in the jungle. A man wearing a red skull mask stared at her with the same shocked look in his widened eyes.

He was large and muscular everywhere. There was something odd about certain parts of his tan skin, mainly the left side of his body. Were those— June shook her head and pried her eyes away from the deformed skin. He wore a loincloth over what she could only guess were his external sex organs. June had no doubt she was staring at a man.

No, that wasn't all.

The thing was that this male wasn't human at all. If it weren't for his eyes, then the two horns on top of his black haired head would prove that he was not from Earth. He was an alien.

More like he was a native to this planet while she was the alien.

She cursed under her breath. She asked herself what should she do. June eyed the entrance of the cave. Would he chase after her if she ran? June gulped. That wasn't the right question. Would she make it out before he caught her? There was little to none probability that were true, but she did it anyways.

She kicked herself up and sprinted to the opening. For a second, she thought she would make it but hands grabbed her before she made it out.

"No! Let me go!" She yelled and squirmed in the alien's grip. His veins became prominent the tighter he held her. June would've found the physical trait attractive had she not been fearing for her life. "Let me go! Pl—"

Her eyes widened when he placed a hand over her mouth. He spoke in his native language. June was oblivious to what he was saying, unable to understand his language, his warning. "Please stop moving. I will not hurt you, but you have to stay quiet. Whatever is out there will hear you."

The less things they would encounter, the better.

The frightened female did not stop her attempt to escape as he led her back into the cave. As much as Kargon wanted to please the female's wishes and let her go, he couldn't. She would try to leave, probably succeed at some point, and end up facing death again. He didn't know if he'd be able to save her a second time. The thought sent chills down his spine.

"Female," he softly spoke. "I will do whatever it is you'd like me to do, as long as I know you won't escape. Please remain still."

June noticed the tone of his voice. He was trying to get her to calm down, or at least she thought that was what he was doing. She slowly grew still, but remained vigilant for any sign to attack and resume her attempt to flee. Why was he keeping me here? Did he not have a home? Were the caves his home?

Kargon did not immediately release her. He loosened his grip, but did not let her go. He stood in front of her and their gazes met. Even her eyes were beautiful, Kargon thought. Her eyes were different from his, he noticed then. Shamrock green remained at the center while white surrounded it. Even the shape of her pupil was different from his. He could stare at the shade of green all day if he could—if she would let him.

When he thought that she wouldn't run, he removed his hands and took a step back. Kargon's hands had stood up on each side of his head the entirety of it before dropping to his sides.

From the height June was currently at, it seemed as the alien male could reach the sky, or at least the roof of the cave. How tall was he? If she had to guess it'd be six foot five, maybe one or two inches taller. She had never felt so small in her life.

June didn't move—more like couldn't.

The male suddenly spoke, "my name is Kargon. You're on planet Helon. What is your home planet?"

June frowned. Her ears picked up what he said but had her mind had no clue as to what they meant and her mouth didn't know how to pronounce them. Much like his voice, the accent was thick, throaty, and rough.

Her lips finally moved, "what? I don't understand."

It was then that Kargon realized of the language barrier that stood between them. The female was not from Nepune, he concluded. All the women on Nepune knew how to speak his language and many others. Kargon furrowed his black brows. More questions surged into his head about the origin of the female and how she could've possibly ended up on his planet, but his lack of answers brought up more questions.

June flinched when his arm came up, landing on his chest. Kargon's frown deepened as he uttered his name. When June narrowed her eyes, he repeated his name. It didn't take long for her to realize he was introducing himself.

"Car—guhn. Kargon?" June butchered his name but he didn't mind. He gave her a short nod. Kargon slowly withdrew his hand from his chest and pointed at her.

June stated her name and just like she had with his, Kargon had a difficulty saying her name. Great. I'm stuck on a planet who knows where in the universe with an alien. As if things couldn't get anymore bizarre.

Her eyes wandered around the cave. Smoke flew up from what used to be a flamed fire pit. There was a wooden bowl, a sac, and a few other things beside it. She gazed at the spot she had been laying on. Three large leaves laid there. They were almost as thick as a yoga mat. Is that what they slept on? She turned to Kargon who was eyeing the same places she had just looked at.

June was oblivious to his current state, mainly due to the mask that covered the upper part of his face. But Kargon worried of what she thought of the place. It wasn't his home, but she didn't know that. There was no way he could explain to her that this was simply the way every man lived while they hunted.

Her eyes landed on his left side and her heart ached. He had burn marks, some larger than others, running from the base of his mask to his hip. His arm had a few and so did both his legs, but most of the damage was done to his torso. The burns were healed and seemed to have been there for years. She wondered what the story was behind them.

June pried her gaze away from his body and looked down at her own. Her clothes were still on her, but her wounds were covered with a white dried substance. It reminded her of what her clay mask looked and felt when it dried completely. While the thought of someone touching her body while unconscious made her uncomfortable, it didn't seem Kargon had any bad intentions.

Maybe she could trust him.

"Kargon?" She extended her arms to him, showing him the paste. His eyes shifted to her. For a second he had no idea what June wanted, but when she pointed at the white on her arm he knew she wondered what it was.

"Lih—pah," he said slowly. It'll help your wounds heal, he wanted to tell her.

"Lipa," June repeated, earning a nod from him. She brought her arms down to her sides and silence set in the cave.

What now? They both wondered.

Kargon turned and picked up what was on the ground. June watched from where she stood. His back muscles flexed with every movement. You are seriously not checking out an alien.

The burn marks on his front had also traveled to part of his back. She frowned when she saw the white paste over a few scrapes he had. His biceps were also covered with the paste, only it wasn't because of scrapes but three deep jagged cuts on each arm. The white paste on his arms wasn't as white as the one on his back. It was more red.

Blood—June assumed—his blood was mixed with it. She bit the inside of her cheek. Kargon had attended to her while he had wounds of his own. She questioned whether he had gotten them before or after finding her unconscious body.

Kargon felt June's eyes on him. Her stare burned more than when he had gotten his burns. He wanted to know what June thought, but at the same time didn't. He put the things in his bag and faced June.

Pity and sadness were clear on her face. Kargon didn't want her, or anyone, to feel that way about him. But at least she wasn't running away. It wouldn't be the first time a woman feared him all because of how he looked. He shook the thoughts away and focused at the task at hand.

They had to leave the cave. Kargon still had to finish his mission before he could get back home. He hoped June would follow him. He dreaded the idea of having to touch her. Kargon believed that he had done too much already. If June knew what he did, she would probably run away from him again.

He took a step back and turned to the entrance of the cave, his gaze still on her. Kargon gestured with his head to follow him. June took one step forward and then another. Kargon felt his chest fill with warmth, knowing she'd go with him.

They ventured out of the cave and into the wilderness.



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