Articles: Alpha Xero by Elonia Hanoshima (an eBook)
Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 06:22 AM, (420 Reads)
Love is not a foreign concept to the warrior. He fights for life, for honor, for worlds on the brink of war and imminent disaster...he fights for love. But when the war ends, the battle that remains is the one that lies within his heart.
The setting was perfect. It was springtime on Rigel and the air was sweet and the temperature mild. But the weather was always perfect on Rigel, so today was no exception. Its placement in orbit around the sun created a global temperature that was neither too hot nor too cold year round. To Omega, its equatorial coastline was the perfect designation for a wedding.
The events of this day brought an inexplicable calm, even as pulsar rays decimated ships and the scorching heat of battle seared through the exosphere, leaving scrap metal, wires, and a shower of debris raining into the atmosphere like a fiery meteor shower in the sky. Orbiting the planet was an incandescent halo of space junk, evidence of the hundred year war between man and machine. The gleaming metal shining amongst the stars was a constant reminder of Omega’s fallen comrades. Combat and fighting for peace (as ironic as that sounded), was all Omega had ever known. For once in his life, he wanted to leave the war behind to have something, or someone of his own. And there was no one more perfect than a woman who had been his friend for more than ten years, Myla, his bride to be.
Omega watched the navigation viewer intently as he meticulously lowered the customized AX-38 StarTraveler above a grassy field, the maglev landing gears locking into place below the ship. A heavy metal side door slid opened and the mechanical gang plank cascaded down. Calculations splayed across the navigation viewer deemed the personal space facility too heavy to rest on land without creating a sinkhole, so the ship hovered just above the sandy shore. Omega deactivated the control panel with the ease of a man who had flown the massive ship more times than he could remember.
He counted under his breath until the lights on the ship powered down, holstered his electro baton and pulsar blaster to his waist then checked the hull, the corridor, and chow room for stowaways. After a short search, a light from a band on his arm picked up movements. Something squeaked and scurried across the floor over his foot. Omega locked the movements into a homing device and followed the activity to the sleeping room. He scanned the floor with the light to lure it out, its beam finally catching the creature’s beady red eyes. The little monster screamed, and flew out from under the bed towards Omega but not before a blinding kick sent the squealing creature catapulting across the room into one of the panoramic windows. Omega pulled the creature up by its furry back.
“Gotcha, you little bastard…”
The little blue Gobran screeched and cried out in frustration.
“I told you not to board my ship. Not without a permit, Kasin. There are regulations to follow.”
Kasin groaned and screeched a response.
“I didn’t have to kick you? If it was anyone else I’d have him splattered across the wall…off you go.”
Omega carried Kasin to the corridor and tossed him into a cage. The little creature whimpered and limped to a corner to eat from a basket filled with foods.
“Enjoy your stay,” Omega groaned, rolling his eyes at the furry beast.
Kasin shrugged and turned his back as Omega slipped out the side door and descended the gang plank into the warm spring air.
Atop the craggy Cliffside not far fro where the ship landed, Omega’s wedding was already underway. Ribbons were afloat, flags were flown full staff, and crowds eagerly awaiting the bride and groom’s appearance congregated near a gazebo that overlooked the ocean.
Omega adjusted his tunic and dusted blue fur from his pants. But even his slightly disheveled appearance did little to hurt his swaggering good looks. Omega was of average height, with stark black hair, and kind warm eyes that made women melt in their boots. However, it didn’t matter to Omega who wanted him, it was who he wanted that mattered. Omega’s heart was full as he gazed into Myla’s radiant brown eyes. The image he’d held of her in his mind’s eye was the reason he was still alive. Even though the war that kept them apart still raged, after years of waiting, they were finally together.
The couple held hands as they stood under a gazebo decorated in soft pink marsh flowers, the petals blowing in the soft breeze toward the shimmering lake behind them as if to fly away, dusting years of loneliness and agony away from them.
Omega spent years of his life denying himself what was innate to him not only as a man, but as a human being. There were different types of love, of course. There was the love he felt for his brothers, the love he felt for his people, whom he was sworn to protect, and the love he felt for his best friend, Broyle. But the love he felt for Myla was different. It was the kind of love that gave him a reason to live.
The love Omega felt for his comrades, the quadrants, and the monastery, offered him only one purpose in life, and that was to die. In the monastery, peace warriors were taught that losing your life in battle to save others was not only an honorable death, but the only death a peace warrior was destined to have. But what could be more honorable than saving the lives of your people, then coming home a hero to your wife?
He met his beautiful new wife on Rigel, the most beautiful planet in all of the four quadrants...it was only fitting that they should marry there, with his friends Broyle and Sora at his side. Like Omega, Broyle was a peace warrior and a pilot for the Alpha-Xero monastery and Sora was an important official for the Planetary Alliance, representing in a crucial role providing telepathic assistance to military tacticians. As a telepathic, Sora possessed abilities that allowed her to foresee attacks from the sixth, seventh, and eighth quadrants, a second system of planets on a lower orbital plane, where the machines lived. Each quadrant was ranked by its closeness to the sun. The eighth quadrant being the furthest and the coldest, was the place the machines, called “home”.
As peace warrior from the Alpha Xero Monastery, Broyle had the honor of marrying his former Master and best friend, to his wife's former aide.
The groom held tight to his bride's hand and whispered the words "I will," words he had longed to say for longer than he could remember. Myla, couldn't ask for a more loving husband than he.
And upon hearing the vows to which she must apply herself, "til death do them part", Myla whispered the words "I will," but scarcely met the groom's eyes. For hers were placed upon the man who recited their vows. Looking at him made chills crawl up her spine and tremors shoot to her nether region. Her eyes were drawn to Broyle’s lips as he commanded the "happy" bride and groom to seal their new marriage with a kiss, an ancient tradition for these ancient times.
She awoke from it then... her trance, to kiss her new husband for only the second time in ten years. Myla felt a knot form in her stomach… and thought she had seen him hesitate to kiss her. 'Nerves,' she told herself. Yes, she was seeing things. She closed her eyes as their faces drew near and their mouths softly meshed. She heard Omega’s warm sigh against her lips, and a deep rumble in his chest. And for the moment had forgotten that he was not that man she loved.
Chapter 2: Suspicions
"This is beautiful! Broyle, isn't this beautiful?" Sora asked.
"You say that at every wedding," Broyle replied.
"We should renew our vows and have a real wedding…one that all of our friends can come to."
Sora clasped her hands together, a look of hope in her eyes.
“Are we not husband and wife? Our wedding is as good as any.”
Omega stood beneath the gazebo, arms encircling Myla, whose gaunt face appeared, to everyone but him, not only nervous but withdrawn. Omega seemed to be in a world of his own, however, thinking of no one but his bride and their future. He looked fine in his brown tunic, neatly pressed fitted pants, and dark brown boots, which had been shined to perfection. The streak of silver coloring in his beard gave his face a bit of distinction and the twinkle in his eyes a devious spark. Omega unclasped his particle blaster and stun baton and gave it to Broyle. The particle blaster was not the type of weapon to be carried about idly. One shot from the weapon could blast a hole straight through a target’s chest.
"I won't be needing this for a while. At least we hope… She is beautiful, isn't she?" Omega said, nodding his thick dark head at Myla.
He pulled her close. She wore a long white strapless lace embroidered wedding dress, soft pink lipstick and a dab of blush on her hollow cheeks. Her veil had been fixed to the bun she wore in her hair by small crystal encrusted hair pins.
Myla waited for Broyle to answer. And when he didn't, even a blind man could see her disappointment.
Broyle knew better than to respond.
"Have you decided on a honeymoon?" Sora asked her former aide, Myla.
Myla had been suspiciously quiet and not the gushing bride Sora expected her to be. Omega was quite a catch, and certainly deserved better than his choice, Sora thought.
Myla had been her aide, one of the Lovelies for many years. Their job was to maintain order, tradition and project a positive Aura throughout the palace and the Alpha zone. Sora didn’t find her Aura to be particularly positive but they were good friends for a while…until, Myla became obsessed with Broyle and tried luring him to her bed. Sora had forgiven her in the decade since, but their relationship would never be the same again.
"Oh, I—don't know," Myla flushed, the coloring of her cheeks giving away her surprise. She hadn't thought that far ahead. Omega was more friend than lover. What would their wedding night be like? He didn't expect her to –
Broyle surely knew how to make love to a woman. It was obvious by the stupid glow on Sora’s face. Omega wasted the best years of his life on that silly peace warrior oath. Would he even know what to do with a woman?
Myla's slumping shoulders caught Omega's eye.
"Is something wrong?" he asked.
"Everything is fine. I'm just a little tired..."
"And overwhelmed," Omega continued, seeming to read her mind.
She stroked his cheek with her open hand. His face was warm, the flesh of his hands like fire.
"You know me too well. Can we stay here for the honeymoon? It's my old home, and dearer to me now than ever."
'…after all, Broyle lives here,' she thought.
The smile Omega gave Myla could melt gold. And when he looked at her, she believed he was truly in love. How else had he not detected her real feelings and the fact that she was in love with Broyle?
"Anything you wish," Omega answered, with a softness Broyle had never heard in his voice before.
"Sora and I have an old cottage on the eastern end of the city-" Broyle said.
"I'd love to!" Myla interrupted.
"Excellent. I can think of few places in our solar system that can rival the beauty of Rigel. I look forward to a tour of all the lakes. If you would give us the entry code to the cottage, and set the coordinates of our ship, then I suppose we'll be on our way. It's time to start our new life," Omega said, gently kissing Myla’s forehead.
"We already had a life together," she objected.
"And now it’s official," Omega staunchly replied.
"What about the reception?" Sora asked.
“We've been invited to use the Queen's hall. But it won't be ready until week's end. And if you must know," Omega said, leaning in to Broyle, "I'm anxious to be alone with my wife.”
"Master, please! Spare me the sordid details," Broyle grimaced.
Omega, having fun at Broyle's expense, watched as his former pupil’s face turned bright red. He then addressed the other guests thanking them all, including the queen, for allowing him to use her Hall for the reception.
Omega followed the heavy train behind Myla’s dress, gathering it into his arms as they walked to his ship and climbed the platform. Broyle followed, and met Omega in the pilot's cabin. The navigation panel was dim, save for a blinking red light. He pressed the engine button, powering the ion thrusters, then set the coordinates for the cottage.
"Entry code 98716," Broyle said into the pager.
“Security deactivated,” a feminine
computerized voice replied.
"Thank you, Broyle. Perhaps, we'll pay you a visit sometime tomorrow."
"If things go well, I should hope you wouldn't!"
"I’m a patient man. Myla and I waited ten years to be together."
"But, in a completely platonic relationship," Broyle countered. "Unless… there's something you're not telling me."
"Our wedding is a celebration of our years, but we mustn't be selfish and covet each other too greatly. We look forward to spending time with our friends as well as each other."
"Very well," Broyle replied. "Then I will see you tomorrow."
"Provided…things don't go well," Omega joked.
"Why would you say that? Is something wrong?"
Omega looked over his shoulder at Myla and Sora, who were engaged in a conversation with wedding guests. "I don't know… she seems a little… shy."
"Most brides are nervous on their wedding night. Some even get cold feet."
"Look whose giving me advice," Omega smiled.
“Sorry, sir.” Broyle lowered his eyes.
“Don’t worry. As embarrassing as it is to admit, it’s the one area you’re more experienced in than I am.”
"Sora changed her mind at least a dozen times before we got to the chapel. And even then I had to beg her to go through with it.
She didn’t want me to sacrifice my career for love. We were scared, but knew we belonged together."
"I see but… Myla and I don't share the challenges you and Sora faced. I can't put my finger on it, but something is wrong."
"Perhaps fear of not living up to your expectations."
"She knows I place none upon her."
"You're a good man and a good Monk. But Myla wasn't always good."
"Well, I’m hardly a peace warrior now. And Myla’s changed, that's all that matters to me.
"I agree. But she is still in a very fragile state."
"I'll be gentle with her."
Omega had given up everything he’d known to be with Myla. Specifically, his appointment as head of the Alpha-Xero Monastery. Broyle wasn’t sure he agreed with Omega’s decision to sacrifice his rank. Omega devoted his entire life to the monastery only to throw it away for love. He was now relegated to the rank of commander over the Alpha-Xero flight squadron.
Broyle left Omega to Myla and hurried off of the ship without so much as a glance back. He tried not to think of them together, or the fact that secretly, he disagreed with their union. Myla didn't deserve Omega. Broyle could never bring himself to trust her again. Not after what she'd done to him. Not when he felt so naked in front of her… the way she seemed to undress him with her eyes.
She had to know that he only had eyes for Sora.
Broyle met Sora next to the lake and linked their arms together as they walked through a meadow away from the parting wedding guests, in route to the villa.
"Something is not right with those two," she was saying.
"What do you mean?"
“Myla barely looked at him. And when she did, she certainly didn't look at him the way I looked at you on our wedding night."
You're looking at me like that right now… and it's scaring me."
"Stop it," Sora laughed. "I'm serious, Broyle. I'm worried."
"Omega can take care of himself. The only person you need to worry about is yourself and our new baby."
"What if Myla—"
"I know what you're going to say Sora—please don't. Once it's out there, it can't be taken back. I don't want to think about Myla. The only woman I want to think about, is you."
"About renewing our vows?"
Her eyes were hopeful.
"We're not renewing our vows."
"People will think we're competing with Myla and Omega."
"Watching them get married makes me want to share our love with the entire galaxy! We didn't do that the first time around. We couldn’t…"
Like Rigel’s unrivaled beauty, sparkling crystal clear seas, and vast green lands, something mystical and potent was in the air the day they met. After Broyle had been injured by a pulsar ray in a space battle with Mechs, elders at the Alpha-Xero monastery ordered him to heal on a med-ship in the fourth quadrant, on Rigel. That ray, damn near tore his entire hand off. But Broyle refused the metal graft that would have repaired the severed tendons in minutes. How could he serve the monastery if he allowed medics to turn him into a Bio-Mech? He’d rather lose his entire arm than become part-machine.
Despite the planet’s endless beauty, Broyle was too depressed to enjoy it. He belonged on a fighter ship, aiding his comrades and defending the planet from machines. The only solace he found was on the ship’s deck, where he mentored and played cards with injured soldiers. Endless delegations from the fourth quadrant visited the ship, mostly politicians who only wanted to show their faces on StarNet. Even better when the med-nurses were out distributing pills.
With his cauterized wound bandaged all the way up to his elbow, Broyle limped out of his lawn chair, cradling his arm. As a peace warrior, he preferred meditation to taking heavy doses of pain medication.
“So you’re the hero on StarNet everyone’s talking about.”
He turned slowly, to find a beautiful young woman behind him.
As protector of the fourth quadrant, Sora was forbidden to marry.
Sora pouted. "I'm starting to think you don't want to marry me again."
"If I didn't want to be married to you I'd ask for a divorce."
"I'd hunt you down and make you stay married to me."
"Now you’re really scaring me,” Broyle smiled.
On the other side of Rigel, the sun began to set as Omega barreled into the cottage with Myla Rose in his arms. He missed a step leading into the house on his way in, and nearly dropped her on the floor. Myla and Omega laughed.
"This is silly!" Myla exclaimed, blushing. "You didn't have to carry me inside."
"But it's tradition," Omega replied.
"Ancient, tradition. People don't do that anymore."
"We do…" He kissed her on the lips.
Myla's arms instinctively drew to his neck as she kissed him back, relaxing in his arms.
Omega looked around.
"Do you even know where you're going? You can put me down now."
"I'm looking for the bedroom."
"Don't call me that anymore," he said.
Myla covered her mouth with an open hand. "I'm sorry, but as my former boss... It's going to be a hard habit to break."
"Your boss! I thought we were friends? You were a tremendous help to me, Myla. I'll never forget that."
Myla looked down as Omega cut left to the bedroom.
"How did you—"
"I sensed it," he answered. "Broyle and Sora used the bedroom on the other side of the living room. There are traces of their Force scents there. So we'll use the smaller bedroom."
Myla thought of wrapping herself in Broyle's bed sheets.
Omega settled her on the bed.
"You have what appears to be, three petticoats, a bustier, very skimpy panties, a pair of stocking… and a white garter. May I take it off?"
"How can you know that?" Myla exclaimed.
"I sensed it. You were worried about getting the wedding dress and undergarments off. Your handmaidens helped you into this contraption, didn't they?"
"Yes, but I didn't know you could read my thoughts so… precisely…" she replied.
"Oh—and I wouldn't, normally…" he said, "But you were in pain, so I couldn't resist."
Omega stooped to one knee and slid a hand under her dress. "It's so boring, after a while. It becomes rather difficult to hold a decent conversation knowing what your companion is going to say before he says it. I've learned to silence what I sense most of the time. I hear only traces of thoughts. But you—seemed to leap from one problem to the next. Your bustier, crushing your ribs, and so on. I couldn't help myself."
"I wouldn't know what to think, if you were sensing my thoughts all the time."
"Why? Do you have something to hide?"
Myla's cheeks burned red at hearing his question. "Of course not," she gasped. "It's just strange, that's all."
Omega took her hands into his and pulled her from the bed. "May I?" he asked, gesturing toward the back of her dress.
"Uh—of course," Myla replied.
He reached behind her, his breath a whisper from her lips as he unclasped the back of her lace embroidered dress.
"May I undo your veil?"
"Of course," Myla replied.
Omega pulled the pins from her hair and tossed the veil onto the bed. Myla's hair fell to her shoulder in dark cascades.
"I could use some help with my skirt and petticoats," she offered.
He unclasped the back of her gown and watched as it fell to the floor at her feet. She stood before him, in her petticoat and the bustier.
She could breathe now, with the confining part of her dress off. And now, she would finally escape that painful bustier.
Omega untied her bustier, unraveling the satin stash until it fell to the side like a broken shell.
"I have only my petticoats now," Myla whispered.
"Shall I take them off?"
Myla sat on the bed and watched as Omega undressed himself. He then sat beside her, and together they fell back to their pillow.
He kissed her the way a man should kiss a woman, and not the way a lover should kiss a friend.
She'd forgotten all about her Broyle, then, with Omega 's hot hands all over her flesh.
It was not what she imagined, their lovemaking. But more powerful, those Monks being in such good shape. And it seemed the years had not robbed Omega of his stamina. When it was over, Myla nestled close and buried her face into his chest. She was too blown away to think of Broyle. Omega had erased him from her thoughts like chalk from a blackboard...for now.
To be continued... stay tuned for part two.
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