Emperor Wray Vasteri was the ruler of the Tornian Empire. His House has ruled the Empire ever since the great infection, which struck over five hundred years ago and he feared he would be the last. The number of compatible females was dwindling faster than anyone knew. If they could not find compatible females soon, their entire civilization would cease to exist. It was the reason he agreed to meet with Liron, the Emperor of the Kaliszian Empire in Kaliszian space. It was the only reason they had crossed paths with a Ganglian ship leaving Tornian space, and it was the only reason that the small female was discovered. Could she be what they had been searching for?
Wray found himself drawn to the small female he’d found beaten and abused on the Ganglian ship. She resembled a Tornian female, but was much smaller. Could she be what he had been searching for?
Kim Teel has had a hard life, at least she thought she had, until her parents were suddenly killed and then her sister and brother in law disappeared. At nineteen, she realized she’d been protected from all of life’s hardships. She had been cared for and loved her entire life had come to expect it. She was terribly spoiled. Determined to change her ways, Kim went looking for her sister, only to be captured by the Ganglians and it was then she learned what happened to the ‘unprotected’ females of the universe.
Wray and Kim are both doing the same thing, trying to survive. But what they find is that there are more important things than just survival. And once they learn that, the universe changes forever.
Here is an excerpt for you..... hope you enjoy.
Wray tossed the map across his desk, then leaned back in his chair running tired hands over his face. What a wasted trip. He had hoped that meeting with Liron, the Emperor of the Kaliszian Empire, would produce better results. The Kaliszians had been at war with the Ratak for over three years now. The Ratak had been trying to claim several Kaliszian planets close to their border. The planets were rich in mineral resources the Kaliszians desperately needed to support their civilization.
Since the great infection, many species have been on the brink of extinction, including the Tornian and Kaliszian civilizations but for different reasons. For the Kaliszians the infection had targeted their ability to produce enough food to support their people. The majority of their food bearing plants had perished and no transplanted vegetation would survive, because of this, the Kaliszians were dependent on the Tornian Empire to feed their people, trading their vast supply of minerals for food.
For the Tornians it had affected their females, causing them to produce more and more males. It had been celebrated at first, for they were a warrior race, but it quickly became obvious that there was a problem. Now males outnumber females two hundred to one and if breeding compatible females weren’t found soon, they would all die.
It was why he’d had such high hopes for this meeting. The Ratak Empire was on the far side of the Kaliszian Empire and there were rumors that they had found a new species, one that might successfully breed with a Tornian warrior. Wray had hoped that because of the war Liron would know if these rumors were true. Liron had insinuated as much when he insisted that he and Wray meet personally. It was the only reason Wray had traveled this far outside his own Empire.
After a great deal of hedging Liron had finally admitted he didn’t know if the rumors were true, that he had wanted to meet with Wray to discuss the difficulties he was having with Lord Reece in maintaining a steady flow of food supplies for his people. Wray had barely controlled his rage at Liron’s deception, even though he understood it. He had wanted to gain Wray’s attention without alerting Reece.
Well, he now had it and soon Lord Reece would too. Wray would personally let Reece know his displeasure at his handling of the Kaliszians. A steady supply of food was vital for both Empires for without it the Kaliszians would suffer and in return, they would stop the shipments of the power crystals the Tornians needed along with the jewels their females demanded.
The ringing of his comm pulled Wray from his dark thoughts. “Yes?” He demanded.
“Sire, we’ve detected a Ganglian freighter leaving Tornian space.”
“Are we still in Kaliszian space?”
“Intercept Captain.” Wray ordered and headed for the command center.
Wray hated the Ganglians. They had become a vicious species with no loyalty or honor. They lived off the pain of others, enjoying it. They would capture smaller, weaker species, enslaving them, torturing them. Males that survived were sold to work in the mines and the females… Well the few survived were sold to pleasure houses or private collectors. They hadn’t always been this way, once they had been a proud and honorable race, they had been allies of the Tornians but the great infection had changed that. It was why their ships were now banned from Tornian space.
It enraged Wray the way they mistreated females. Females were the most valuable resource in the all the known universes. Even if they couldn’t save his race, they might be able to save another, for more than just the Tornians were looking for compatible females.
“Sire, they are refusing to stop, stating we have no authority.”
“Show them our ‘authority’ Captain.” Wray ordered striding into the command room.
“With pleasure majesty.” Captain Veron grinned at his Emperor. He was always ready for a good fight, not that the Ganglians would give them one. They were cowards.
Targeting the Ganglians engines, Veron sends off a shot and watched the freighter shuddered before coming to a stop. “Authority shown sire. Life support intact. We are preparing a shuttle for boarding.”
“Nicely done Veron.” Wray smiled at his longtime friend and Captain.
“Thank you, sire.”
Wray followed his men as they exit the shuttle. The stench hit him first. He’d forgotten how bad Ganglians smelled. In the open air, they were barely tolerable; in an enclosed ship, they were overwhelming.
The blast from a stunner had everyone ducking in shock. The Ganglians were resisting? Ganglians never resist, especially Tornians, for Tornians were the most feared warriors in all the known universes and for good reason. Not only did their size intimidate, as most were seven foot of solid muscle but so did their reputation. They were known for being deadly and brutal when it came to battle.
"Something isn’t right Veron.” Wray said.
“I agree. You need to return to the Searcher, Majesty.” Veron nodded to two of the warriors with them.
“No.” Wray told him angrily, he knew Veron was just doing his job, protecting his Emperor, but he wouldn’t scurry away at the first sign of trouble. He was Emperor Wray Vasteri and he scurried for no one.
“Enough, Captain! Let’s find out what they are hiding.”
Sighing heavily Veron nodded. “Yes, majesty, just stay close, Grim will have my head if anything happens to you.”
Wray smiled at Veron’s reference to his brother. For he was correct, Grim would have Veron’s head if Wray were to die. Grim had absolutely no desire to become Emperor. All he wanted was to be left alone on Luda so he could train his warriors.
The battle wasn’t long or brutal, disappointing all. The Ganglians shot and ran, shot and ran until those that remained were cornered in the command center of the ship. Inside they find five remaining Ganglians including one wearing the Captain’s collar.
“What did you find?” Wray demanded of Veron.
"There are slaves in the cargo hold sire, all male.” Veron informed him.
“Slavery is illegal Ganglian.” Wray’s eyes were hard as he looked at the smaller male.
“You have no authority here Tornian.” The Captain hissed. “This is Kaliszian space. You will die for this insult.”
“I will not die, Ganglian scum. I am Emperor Wray Vasteri and you have passed through my space with slaves. If you had carried females it would be punishable by death. Instead your cargo will be freed, your ship taken and you will pay for your crimes by mining for the Kaliszian.” Wray leaned down, grasping the Captain by the throat, lifting him off his feet. “Tell me Ganglian, why did you resist? Why did so many choose to die?”
“None chose to die.” The Captain hissed at him. “You murdered them, Tornian scum. It will be known that you attack for no reason.” A muffled thud had the Captain releasing a high-pitched squeal, the hairy creature's equivalent of paling.
Wray’s eyes narrowed at the reaction and dropped the male, his eyes scanning the area. This was the command center of the Ganglian ship. It contained only control, communications and navigation consuls. Where could that sound have come from?
“You will leave my ship!” The Ganglian started to demand. Without turning Wray’s fist struck him in the throat, silencing him. Advancing closer to the communications console, he heard it again, a fainter thud this time. Leaning down, he tore off the unsecured cover of an access hatch and roared.
Every male in the room jumped at the Emperor’s roar, for he was the controlled one of House Vasteri, to hear his rage unleashed was something rarely heard.
“Sire.” Veron quickly moved to his side.
“Get a Healer! Get him now!” Wray ordered as he carefully eased out what he had found.