He found the thought disturbed him. That wasn’t the only things that disturbed him. He let his hand drift up to Varo’s muddy locks. First thing he planned to do was get Varo cleaned. All his people had black hair, and he couldn’t wait to see the brilliance of Varo’s, once it was free of the mud.
Soon, he promised himself silently. He allowed himself one last touch then strode down the aisle, boots clicking on the floor, to the cockpit. Time to get his mind out of his pants and back on his responsibilities. Funny, but until now, that had never been a problem.
He sat and activated the command console.
Moments later they were airborne, but his mind was only half on the return trip. He knew better than to do this—distraction could get you killed, after all—but he couldn’t help himself. Luckily, unless the Yesri decided to test the collars all at once, not much demanded his attention as he flew. He’d made this trip millions of times.
No, what occupied his thoughts were those kisses they’d shared earlier. The explosion of passion had startled him. In all his other encounters, that had never happened. Just thinking about that tanned skin and blond hair had his cock reacting.
Even as desire flamed to life in him, so did revulsion. This was his enemy. If given the opportunity, the Yesri would rape his planet for its abundance of Black Phospolrock. He discreetly readjusted himself, a small mocking smile crossing his face.
At least he could take comfort in knowing the Yesri prince wasn’t any happier. As they flew through the darkened skies, he reached in his vest and removed the red sash. He could still smell the intriguing scent of Varo, even though his own scent was now included in the mix.
Their combined smell was pleasant—a blend of light airiness with undertones of darkness. Adlar silently laughed at his thoughts. The sexy creature wearing his control collar was turning him into a romantic.
His mood plunged as he examined the thought. That could be dangerous.
There was no doubt Varo would gut him if given the chance. Fracking Yesri would probably enjoy it too. He’d have to be careful and not let his guard down, at least until he broke Varo. He shoved the unsettling thoughts back as they approached the capital city of El-Deiray.
Signaling Command, he informed them of his destination and status. The enormous palace entrance, carved directly into the sandstone, loomed before him. It was beautifully intimidating and an engineering marvel.
The hand carved detail and towering columns proclaimed an understanding of the surrounding habitat. While there were indeed jungles on Helkan, there were mountainous deserts and canyons too.
Bypassing the palace, he flew the shuttle to Holding Area One. Adlar landed the shuttle, and their prisoners were walked one-by-one to Intake. The plain white room was large, and contained a seating area and three separate chambers used for the scans.
This was where they checked prisoners for hidden weapons and existing health issues. Their stats and fingerprints were then logged into the database.
A flurry of whispers greeted them as they walked the cold gray hallways.
“—fracking Yesri’s should be—”
“That many got through?”
“—such tanned skin, I didn’t know they were so—”
“One has brown eyes!”
“—only their royalty have that color eyes, right? How interesting.”
“He’s not royalty now.”
“—what an odd hair color. It’s so light and—”
“Should have just killed them and been done with it.”
The Yesri prisoners were certainly making an impression, and not all of it good from what he heard. The last remark earned the speaker a glare. The other Helkan blanched, quickly lowering his eyes. Satisfied he’d made his point, Adlar turned his attention to the scanning process.
One unit hour later, it was finally their turn. The other warriors had left with their prisoners. The room had quieted now that it was just them and the technician.
Adlar pointed to the chamber that would scan for weapons or explosives. “In you go.”
Varo frowned at the chamber. “All of our weapons were disabled when we went through the SSN, as you well know.”
“True, but you could have imbedded explosives.” Adlar shrugged. “Not likely since your mission wasn’t to invade, just monitor. I also can’t see your king rigging you, or any one near you, with explosives.”
Varo rubbed the bridge of his nose, a strangled laugh escaping. “Don’t be so sure of that.”
Interesting. That’s something that definitely needs to be explored. “Then he’s a fool. Now, step inside the chamber. The scan is painless, and once cleared, another scan will commence. That one checks for health issues.”
“I’m healthy too. I’ve had regular scans since I was born.”
“Lucky you. From what I’ve heard, the health care provided to the poor on your planet is worthless.”
“And of course yours is better.” Varo stepped into the chamber.
“We all receive the same benefits, and everyone has access to all services. So yes, ours is better.”
Varo snorted. “Right. Your lowest class—which is probably your slaves—receives the same care as you and your brother, the king?”
“Indeed, they do.” The chamber door closed, shutting Varo inside. Adlar flipped a switch on the control panel so they could continue speaking. “And for your information, there aren’t that many slaves here. Most races respect our desire to be left alone—unlike your people who declared war on us for a resource you wanted even after being told no.”
Black Phospolrock crystals regulated reactions between matter and antimatter. When matter and antimatter came into contact, they annihilated—or converted directly into enormous quantities of energy needed to drive the warp core used by starships and other massive generators.
Before the discovery of Black Phospolrock, diamonds were used to regulate matter/antimatter annihilation, and the cost was prohibitive for many societies.
Varo stood still as the scan started. “Because your king’s reaction was ridiculous. You’re sitting on practically an endless supply of the cursed crystals. They’re cheaper to buy and much more of a stable regulator. It’s the perfect alternative. Or it would be if you Helkans would just agree to share the massive deposit located on your planet. Instead, you refuse access to the crystals.”
The crystals were indeed a cheap source of energy. The crystals could also be used with the electric generator grids that powered many cities on various planets.
“We have that right, Varo. It is our planet.”