Twenty four years ago, Lord Orimy Boruxon of the planet Indara crash landed on a distant planet... That planet was Earth.

Today, he and his half human, half Indari daughter are going home. But Ozira was born on Earth, raised as a human, by human norms, and she might not be strong enough to survive the planet her father hails from...

The Indari people are, after all, the most vicious of the humanoid species in this galaxy.


1. Chapter One - Ozira

My day started off great. I woke up to a perfectly artful dick pic from my lover. Found out I still had one of the amazing banana nut muffins he tried to bribe me with last week. And best of all, I could finally wear the cute top I ordered online about a month ago and only just received yesterday. When I left my house, I was on cloud nine.


From there, the day quickly went downhill.


As I walked out of Starbuck’s with a frappuccino in hand, some dickhead in a suit on his phone walked right into me, spilling the ice cold beverage all over my new shirt and forcing me to run home and change before going to work. Then, as I sped to get there in time, I was pulled over by the bitchiest lady cop I’d ever seen and given a ticket for not only speeding, but also for running a red light that turned right as I was crossing out of the intersection.


And then, when I finally made it to work more than an hour late, my boss had the audacity to punish my first tardiness by making me clean the restrooms, only to fire me when I was done. Furious over her behavior and every other thing that had fucked me over, I’d attacked the bitch in a fit of rage, screaming that it wasn’t fair. She was right to call the cops on me, and I don’t blame her for the fact that I’m currently sitting in a tiny jail cell. I only blame her for setting me off.


It’s while I’m wondering how I’m going to survive jail that I hear a commotion through the door to my cell. Curious, I glance up at the tiny square window allowing me a view into the depressingly plain hallway outside. Right as I do, a see a flash of blue light zip past the window. I guess somebody nuts got loose and decided to throw a glow stick at one of the officers. Another flash of light, and I realize that it’s coming from the wrong end of the hall. I remember from my march in here that there’s only one door that leads anywhere, while the rest lead to cells that I think the officer said were empty.


So how could someone be throwing glow sticks from the wrong end of the hall? I brush it off. Maybe the guy’s short and I didn’t seem him run past the little window. Yeah, and maybe he’s a dumbo for running towards a dead end. A derisive snort escapes me then, but that’s all the amusement I plan on taking from the new inmate. I lay down, throw my arm over my eyes and start humming to block out the sound of crazy coming from the hall.


Then I hear the sound of someone jiggling the doorknob to my cell. My body freezes for a whole second before I finally snatch my arm back to look again at the tiny window. It’s no longer showing the depressing brick wall across from my cell. Instead, there’s a face in the window that’s half covered by a black strip of stretchy fabric tied tight around his face, while the other half is covered by paint. It’s not the paint or the mask that creeps me out, though. It’s the eyes. The guy behind them must be struggling to see through two layers of contact lenses, a set of sclera lenses to turn the whites of his eyes black while a second alters the color of his irises to a creepy, deep gold that can’t possibly be found in nature.


And the freak wearing the admittedly effective disguise is standing in front of my cell, face paint and all, jiggling the doorknob. Why?


“Go away, you freak!” I shout at the door despite knowing full well that they’re soundproofed to a fair degree. I’d spent nearly five minutes cursing at my arresting officer while he simply stared at me with raised eyebrows and condemnation on his face, only to realize why none of my profanity affected him. Cause lets face it, no guy is ever going to not react when someone says they’re a limp-dicked slave to a corrupt system every person in the country hates.


To my astonishment, the guy behind the glass pulls down his mask and bares a pair of pearl white fangs at me in a hiss any makeup artist would be proud to have created. He sure went to a great deal of effort to conceal his identity, I can’t help but think. Then I notice something completely weird. I mean, weirder than a dude in color contacts, faux fangs, and face paint throwing glow sticks at police officers.


The jiggling at the door stopped when the guy hissed at me, and when I follow his gaze down towards the knob, I see that the metal is changing colors. First, it turns red, and then it slowly begins to lighten to gold. The guy bangs on the door, but I can’t look up from the knob. Why is it doing that? It’s not heating up, is it? How could he be heating metal that quickly? What the hell is going on? More banging from the freak outside pulls my eyes up and away from the oddity before me, and what I see almost confuses me more than the knob heating up. He’s waving at me to move over to the left side of my cell, and his gesturing looks desperate enough that I quickly obey.


I get there just in time to turn and watch as the metal of the doorknob begins dripping down to the cement floor and a beam of bright blue light blasts a hole into the flimsy mattress where I was laying only a few seconds ago.


“Holy shit,” I gasp, staring at the smoking hole left by that beam. I can’t understand what that was, how it happened, and I’m so focused on confusion that I completely forget about the freak behind the door. That is, until said door bangs open and allows him inside the cell. It’s then that I see what caused the metal to melt and the mattress to burn. There’s a device in his hands that looks slightly similar to a gun, only it’s all curves instead of the blockiness of police issue weapons and there’s a bar of lights along the barrel. Aside from the lights, the thing is plain as metal can be. “What is that?”


As scary as a thing like that is, I can’t help being fascinated. I’m as into sci-fi as any millennial, and that thing is definitely straight out of science fiction.


The man ignores me and reaches into a black duster that looks a bit like leather, but not quite, and pulls out something else. It faintly reminds me of the wands security guards wave over you upon entering a courthouse, only it’s as plain and metallic as the gun-thing and there’s an illuminated screen embedded into the side facing him. Holding it like a security guard, the man waves the device in front of me once, then pulls the screen up to read whatever pops up for him. Then he glances at me with his crazy eyes and scowls, his lips pulling back just enough to show his fangs.


“Come.” The order comes in a heavily accented voice that doesn’t seem to suffer at all from the fangs shoved up into his mouth. His accent is weird, though. I can’t place it anywhere, but it sounds eerily familiar. He nods his head back towards the hall then steps back and waits for me to follow. When I don’t, his scowl deepens. “Come.” This time, he waves emphatically towards the door I know is at the end of the hall.


“Are you insane? Your toys are cool, but I’m not going anywhere with you. I’d rather not get charged with escaping custody, thank you very much. I’ve got it bad enough with assault and battery.” I plop down on the uncharred portion of the mattress and cross my arms over my chest, hoping this freak will listen and leave me alone. The shaking of my limbs gives away how unlikely I think that is, since he seems to have come specifically for me. Why would someone with weird technology like that want me? I’m nobody special, and I’m not an expert in anything.


Yeah, because this scenario would make sense even if you were some kind of techspert? It’s ridiculous either way.


Then he bursts out in a string of unintelligible syllables and takes two long strides over to drag me up and over his shoulder. I’m too shocked to react until he grips the back of my thigh in a very inappropriate way. That’s when I start kicking and punching at him, but to no effect. It’s like he can’t feel pain. Not that I let that weird tidbit stop me from flailing. He may not feel pain, but I’m sure if I wiggle enough he’ll eventually have to drop me. Right?


As he hauls my flailing ass out of the cell, I make the mistake of looking towards the end of the hall and seeing what those two beams of light I thought were flying glow sticks actually did.


At the end of the hall, crumpled into heaps, are two dead police officers, one with a burn wound in his back and the other with one to his chest. That one has his thumb caught around the grip of his gun, as if he was trying to draw it and defend himself when he was shot. Shot by the guy carrying me out into the main office of the station where more bodies are waiting to be seen.


He killed everyone. All the officers, old and young. The criminals and witnesses sitting around beside desks. Even the little old lady trapped in a barred vestibule by the front door handling paperwork who looked at me with disdain as I was walked past her. A lady who may have been a little haughty, but certainly couldn’t have defended herself against this guy. I doubt she even would have tried if she had the chance. She would’ve surrendered. And he shot her anyway, right through the chest and the pretty blouse she was wearing.


I should be panicking, but the sight of all that gore doesn’t terrify me. It sickens me, yes, but it doesn’t scare me. I no longer believe that this is real, and if it isn’t real, it can’t hurt me. Closing my eyes against the hallucination, I pinch my arm. My hope is that I’ll wake up in some institution after having had a psychotic break thanks to the shitty day I had and probably some mental disease I inherited from my dad but never knew I had to worry about since he died before he could tell me about it.


When I open my eyes, I’m still draped over a lunatic’s shoulder being carted out of the police station to God knows where.


And then, just as I’m resigning myself to my insanity, something even crazier than the rest of today’s events happens. The man barks out what I’m guessing is a word in his language, and our surroundings change. In the blink of an eye, we go from the parking lot of the station to crazy central.


And we aren’t alone anymore. I’m immediately made aware of that fact when a sharp voice, much deeper than my original kidnapper’s, starts shouting in that same incomprehensible language, right before I’m hastily dropped to my feet and pushed forward into somebody else. Someone who takes my arms and pushes me back a step before leaning down to look me in the eye.


No. I suck in a breath at the sight of the face before me. It’s a face I’d almost forgotten entirely and never hoped to see again, and simply can’t believe I’m seeing now. No, no, no!


I’m going insane if I think my father is here, amidst this insanity. My father is dead, and the only way I could possibly be seeing him standing in front of me now is if I really am having a break from reality. For some reason, the thought that I went insane today pisses me off more than Casey firing me did. I lash out again, this time at the mirage of my father, my fist closed and aimed for his nose. His eyes widen, and in the millisecond before my fist collides with his face, his hand flashes up to stop mine dead.


“Ozira, it’s me. It’s me. You don’t have to be afraid.” That’s when I realize why my kidnappers accent was familiar. It’s just my dad’s, only thicker and a lot less graceful. I remember now. I remember listening in amazement while that voice sang to me in my cradle, while my mom laughed because he messed up the words while I laughed because he had such a nice voice for a daddy. I was only four when he died, but damn it, I remember him singing to me. I remember him looking at me like he is now, like I’m the most precious thing in his world. Only back then, he had normal green eyes, just like mine.


Now, those eyes are identical to my kidnapper’s.


I don’t know what to do. I’ve obviously lost my marbles, but what can I do about it while I’m in the middle of a hallucination? What do I do about the hallucination? How can I stop it, how can I get back to reality? Now, panic sets in. I have no way to get back to the safety of reality, no way to escape this awful nightmare where my dad is in league with a nutjob carrying a laser gun.


I pull my hand back, the effort negligible, but enough to have him letting me go so my limb can fall uselessly to my side. I keep staring at him, not knowing what to do. After what feels like forever, the image of my father rises to his full height and gestures at the man behind me. He speaks, too. Not in English, though. Then, the world turns and I can no longer see him, and I don’t realize I was the one who moved until I regain feeling in my body and feel my feet moving, carrying me away from him.


I hear his voice one last time, and then feel a large hand push against my lower back to urge me to move faster. I obey because there’s nothing else I can do.


The place we’re supposedly walking through is built like nothing I’ve ever seen before. The walls are curved and metallic, the hall barely wide enough for me to walk side by side with my kidnapper, and there are panels similar to the one he looked at earlier embedded into the walls every few feet. There aren’t any doors and there aren’t any adornments on the walls. It’s cold and metal, and the cool air drifting through vents I can’t spot has goosebumps rising along the backs of my arms, despite the sweater I was forced to wear to work today.


Of course, right when I think this hallucinating thing can’t get any scarier, I catch sight of a window. It’s curved like the wall and faces the illuminated panels in the walls, and I can see no seam where the glass and metal meet. The metal appears to have been melted into the glass and fades into it smoothly, leaving a strange sort of filter effect on the vision outside. My heart practically stops right there. My feet do, much to the irritation of my kidnapper. He growls and barks at me to “come” again, but I’m glued to the spot.


Because just outside, I can see the planet Earth. It looks just like the pictures NASA takes from orbit, so there’s no doubt in my mind that what I’m looking at is a planet. My planet. Which I’m no longer standing on. It’s just sitting there past the glass like a gorgeous marble one a blanket of velvet and sparkles, looking too beautiful to be real. It can’t be real, even if it is pretty. Even if it were ugly. I simply cannot be standing on a spaceship staring at my planet from orbit. Not when I was just there five minutes ago. Not when I’m not a fucking astronaut.


This is all wrong. Wrong. Why would I hallucinate this? Sure, I like science fiction, but not enough to have a full on hallucination about it. I should be thinking I’m standing in front of a crowd of millions of adoring fans as I wow them with my artistic take on krav maga, or something equally nonsensical. This is too left field, and it’s too... consistent. The metal walls look like the same metal in my kidnapper’s laser gun thing, and my dad’s eyes were the same as his, too. The same. How could a hallucination be that consistent?


It couldn’t be. That doesn’t mean any of this can be real, but it can’t be a hallucination, either.


“I’m dreaming,” I conclude. Speaking outloud is an accident that I don’t think much of, until the man beside me speaks up. And it isn’t with the one word of English I was sure made up his entire English vocabulary.


“You aren’t dreaming,” he growls at me. “You are, however, infuriating me. We need to be secured for the jump, unless you want to discover what it feels like to slam into impsheka at light speed.” I turn around to ask what the hell impsheka is, then stutter into silence. He’s taken his mask off completely and is starting to wipe the paint from his face, revealing a face that steals my breath away. Aside from the eyes and the fangs, it’s a surprisingly human face. I half-expected him to be hiding some freakish alien feature under the paint, and finding that the only thing he’s hiding is pale-faced gorgeousness sets me a little off-balance.


“Steel. No, impsheka isn’t the same as your steel. It’s like that, though. Metal. Hard metal. Metal that hurts when slammed into.” Completely taken aback by his apparent psychic ability, I feel my face contort into a look of confusion that’s probably not very flattering. “It would do more than hurt you, actually,” he adds, looking thoughtful even with colorful paint smeared across his pale skin.


“How did you know I didn’t know that imp thing was?”


“You asked the question, as if now is the best time for your useless human curiosity. Come. We jump in five minutes’ time, and I need to get you jacked. No.” He spits out a word that sounds suspiciously like it might be a curse, then puts his hand back to my lower back to resume pushing me back down the hall. “I need to have you chipped. Chipped. Why is your language so complicated, human?”


I’m torn between telling him to get his imagined hands off me and asking what he means by calling me a human. Is he not human?


The better question is, are his strange contacts and “faux” fangs really part of his anatomy if he isn’t human?


The man fists his hand in the back of my sweater when he stops and I, not knowing where he’s taking me, don’t. After pulling me aside, he presses his palm into the screen he’s positioned in front of, then watches with me as a doorway magically appears in the wall beside that panel. He takes my elbow and pulls me through it into a room that reminds me of a doctor’s office, only it’s filled with equipment I don’t recognize and won’t even begin to guess the purposes of. There’s another man waiting inside with a short little silver table beside him holding what looks disturbingly like a tattoo machine, sans the power cord.


“This is her? Ozira Santana?” The man, also sporting the same black and gold eyes as my kidnapper, asks. He’s also got fangs in his mouth, though his aren’t nearly as pronounced as either my father’s or the kidnapper’s are.


“Yes.” My kidnapper drags me over to a row of four bucket seats stationed just behind the fanged doctor-man and pushes me into one. I barely have time to react before he starts buckling me in. He stays out of the doctor’s way as he sits beside me, pulling his tray over with him, and begins to strap himself in. When I’m secure, my kidnapper takes the seat at the far end, putting an empty seat between myself and him.


“Look down,” the doctor commands from beside me. A quick glance over reveals that he’s secured as well, and now has the tattoo machine thing at the ready.


“Why?” Almost as soon as the word is out my mouth, the jerk on my other side has reached out and grabbed the back of my head to push it down and forward. The doctor pushes my lavender hair aside, then presses the machine to the center of my exposed neck. Searing pain flares through me for a moment before fading, and then returning to burn up through my neck and into my brain. “The fuck did you inject me with, you dickwaffle!” I scream at the doctor beside me. The pain is intensifying, as if to say “I’m real and I want to make damn sure you know the rest of this is, too.”


Then, as if the migraine wasn’t proof enough, my whole body is slammed back into the thickly cushioned seat and everything in the room blurs for a moment. It worsens the ache in my skull, but the lights fade for a moment, and when things return to normal, that ache begins to fade once more.


“Can you understand me, Lady Ozira?”  This comes from the doctor, who is unstrapping himself from his seat. The other, ruder guy is doing the same thing.


“I’m not a lady, but yeah. Think you could tell me what’s going on?” I’ve fully accepted that I’m either dreaming and getting poked at, or this is real. For the moment, my best course of action is to play along in the off chance that I’m really on a spaceship with fanged people who may or may not be human.


“Lord Orimy will do that,” my kidnapper growls. He’s already done unstrapping himself and is kneeling in front of me to get me free


“And who’s that supposed to be?” I ask, slapping his enormous hands away from the straps. I’m not useless, and I did watch him put this mess together. I’m reasonably sure I can get myself out. The guy at my feet glares at me for a moment before rising and going to the doorway.


“Lord Orimy Boruxon is your father, which unfortunately makes you his heir. You are Lady Ozira Boruxon, now. Never again claim to be Ozira Santana, or your tongue will be removed for insulting your high father. Now hurry up. I have better things than you to attend.”


With no clever retorts to throw back at him, I’m left to silently obey the order. I don’t know which part of his rant offends me more; being threatened to be respectful of a dead man’s name, or the fact that this jerk just referred to me as an object. I look to the doctor for my defense, but his back is to me and he appears to be busy cleaning the machine he used to inject me with. I’m left to my devices with a fanged alien, and I just don’t know how to handle that yet.


Once free, I follow after the jerk back down the corridor to a room that’s much bigger than the doctor’s office was. It’s also filled with people who turn when they hear us enter. My father, still such an impossible sight, is sitting in what I believe is the captain’s chair. It’s elevated above the consoles the ten or so other men are stationed at, and it looks far more comfortable than the others. Since everyone is calling him Lord, maybe he is the captain. You don’t know, Ozzy. Seeing me, my father quickly leaps down from his raised seat to lope over to me. He looks cautious, but I can see the twitch at his lips that says he badly wants to smile.


“Ozira?” he asks, reaching out to me. He drops his hand back to his side before touching me, though.


“It’s Ozzy,” I tell him mechanically. “I go by Ozzy now.”


“Why? Your name is Ozira. Did your mother change it when I left? I thought she liked it.” Anger and despair flit through his eyes. Or, I think they do. Reading these eyes, these black and gold orbs of absolute weirdness, is unusual. His face moves the same way a human’s would, but those eyes throw me off. They confuse me. They make it hard for me to know without a doubt what the man before me feels.


“My name is still Ozira, I just prefer to be Ozzy. Don’t you people know what a nickname is?” My father’s face relaxes, and now he does smile. It’s a small, uncomfortable expression, but a recognizable one.


“Nicknames. Yes. I forgot humans do that. I wish it hadn’t rubbed off on you. Nicknames have no place in our world, Ozira.”


“Apparently we just left my world behind.” Orimy’s face falls.


“I told you we should have left your mutt behind,” my kidnapper says, much to my father’s ire. Instead of doing violent like, say, ripping his tongue out, Orimy raises his finger at the man to give him a verbal reprimand.


“Mind your tongue, Zurrin. She may be of mixed blood, but she is still my daughter and—” But my kidnapper, Zurrin apparently, interrupts my father.


“Don’t you dare say it, old man. Don’t dare, not when I can still shove your disgusting child out the airlock, with you beside her.” Zurrin steps towards the captain’s chair, then turns back to Orimy and I. “The moment we reach Indara, I want you both out of my life. My family’s debt to your’s is paid, Boruxon. I won’t give up any more to you.”

“I’d hoped your father wouldn’t raise you to be the same old-fashioned pig he is, Zurrin. I’m so disappointed he did. But at least he’s proud of you.” With that, Orimy turns and heads towards the hall, grabbing my arm and pulling me along after him.

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