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Titans: Adrik

Chapter 1

Adrik’s lips thinned into a grim line as he glared at the “cargo” being loaded onto his ship.  He and his crew had intercepted a distress signal and upon boarding the damaged vessel, they’d initially assumed the ship was abandoned.  They’d been wrong. 

 

Eyes narrowing on the cage filled with humans, Adrik watched as his crew carefully maneuvered the cage into the hold of his ship, the Cressida.  The human hostages whimpered, and it wasn’t lost on him—or any of his crew—that the survivors were not only human but females.  All females.

 

It'd been a long time since any of his Titans had seen a female.  Worse, from studies done on their home planet of Cesca Sol, Adrik and his Second in Command, Kaze, knew that Titans were sexually compatible with human females.  A few Titans had even coupled with human females, resulting in hardy offspring that held all the power and intellect of Titans with the diplomacy of their human mothers.   

 

The thought of creating offspring had Adrik reaching down to adjust himself.  He too hadn’t had the pleasure of a supple female body for…  Gods, how long had it been?

 

One of the females started shouting, and it pulled Adrik from his thoughts.  His gaze slid from the female to Pitch. 

Pitch was a hardened Titan warrior.  They all were, but unlike the rest of them, Pitch had an aversion to humans.   Pitch had been captured and experimented on by human scientists.  Adrik and his team had defied orders and had flown to Earth to rescue their brother—who’d crash-landed on the occupied planet—and while Adrik and the crew of The Cressida had reclaimed Pitch with little resistance, it had taken a full lunar cycle and, in that time, Pitch had suffered.  His sense of smell had been permanently damaged, and he’d suffered several lesser injuries, but the ship medicus, Obadiah, had been able to repair those lesser wounds.  Obadiah was still working on restoring Pitch’s sense of smell, which was a highly valued trait in Titan warriors. 

 

Now, watching Pitch, Adrik could only guess at his emotions.  The black armor that covered each Titan warrior from head-to-toe left no sign of the Titan beneath.  The armor was form-fitting and clung to each Titan’s muscular physique.  Heavily armored plates covered the most vital parts of each warrior over top of flexible black mesh bodysuit that housed its own nanotechnology making the armor heat and cold resistant.  The Titans also each wore a balaclava that covered their entire face except for their eyes, which were hidden beneath tek visors that held the intelligence to connect each Titan to each other as well as to Tyrate, the brain of their ship.

 

Pitch made no sound as he placed a shoulder into the back end of the cage and pushed while Kaze pulled from the front, maneuvering the cage of females into The Cressida’s hold. 

 

“Obaida,” Adrik bit out.  “Replace Pitch.”

 

Pitch’s head swiveled to Adrik.  “It’s fine, Chief Commander.”  Pitch kept right on with his pushing, speaking through their teams’ comms which only each member of the team could hear through their visors.

 

With a sharp jerk of his chin, Adrik permitted Pitch to remain on task. 

The same female that had been shouting earlier started in again, and Adrik’s gaze sliced to her.  The words she was shouting while foreign, were clearly words of anger or displeasure.  The fury on her face was universally understood.  It made Adrik grin as he gave his full attention to his new…prisoners?  Guests?  He still wasn’t sure how to deal with the headache of their newly acquired “cargo”.  The female’s shouting continued, and Adrik decided she had to be the leader of the group of females.  The rest were on their hands and knees, cowering behind the one who was standing protectively in front of them shouting up a storm.  Her vociferousness and the quietness of the other females wasn’t the only difference.  The females, huddled behind the yelling one, had light-colored hair and pale skin.  Their lightly colored eyes darted fearfully from Titan to Titan, but the dark-haired, dark-eyed leader openly glared at Adrik’s crew.

 

He huffed a humorless sound.  If the brave female knew how deadly Titans were, she’d be cowering with her sisters.

 

“Kaze,” Adrik growled.  “Get the humans secured and then have Obaida check them one by one.  I don’t need disease brought onto this ship.”  He shot the dark-haired female one last look and then turned to exit the holding bay.  Stalking toward the command center, Adrik linked to Tyrate.  Tyrate was the name they’d given the virtual brain of the ship.

 

“Tyrate, release holds on the unnamed vessel and set a charge.  Once we’re clear, destroy the vessel.”

 

Tyrate responded in a robotic tone, “Yes, Chief Commander.”

 

Adrik also didn’t need anyone tracking the mystery ship they’d just disembarked and finding any evidence that The Cressida had been the one to remove the usable cargo.  There’d been food stores, medical supplies, a small cache of weapons, and, of course, the females.  It was the females that had him worried.  This far out from any habitable planet, human females were worth more creds than Adrik or any of his Titans would likely ever see in their life cycles.  The females were both a blessing and a curse.  If anyone found out The Cressida housed so many females, it’d make them a target for sure, even with their much-deserved reputation.  No one fucked with Titans.  Ever!  Not only could their bodies produce the armor covering them now, but they also had other abilities that set them apart from other species.  Rumors abounded about Titans and their abilities.  Adrik and his men let beings believe as they wished.  It only served to bolster their reputation and made them one of the most feared creatures in the solar system. That had him wondering what the human females thought of them.  Had they heard of Titans?  Did they know who held them?  So many questions needed answering, but they’d have to wait until after Obaida implanted translators into the human females.  Until then, Adrik would get his ship and his crew as far from the disabled vessel as they could.

       

Chapter 2

 

“For Christ’s sake!” Siee hissed.  “Stop crying.”  She shot Nova a dark look and instantly regretted it when Nova tucked her trembling chin and lowered her eyes.  Nova, the youngest of their group, was terrified.  They all were, but Siee hid it best.

 

“Who are they?” Kyan asked quietly, pulling Nova into a tight hug.

 

“Dunno,” Siee clipped out, eyes on the behemoths hauling their cage deeper into their ship. 

 

“More like what are they?” Vashti added unhelpfully.

 

Siee shot Vashti a look and Vashti shrugged her shoulders in response.  Vashti was a fighter like Siee, but unlike Siee, Vashti didn’t have the patience to make good decisions.  Impulsive as all hell, Vashti had forced Siee to save their little rag-tag group of prisoners on numerous occasions with her reckless behavior.

 

Huffing, Siee gave her attention back to the guards and tried appealing to one of the men clad in head-to-toe black.  “Please,” she pleaded.  “We were prisoners.  Can you help us?”

 

All women watched to see if Siee’s plea had done any good, but when the formidable figures kept right on working, Siee shook her head.  “Maybe they don’t understand our language.”

 

“Nobody understands our goddamn language,” Vashti growled. 

“It doesn’t matter,” Siee crouched a little.  “We’re gonna do what we always do.  We’re gonna stick together.  We’re gonna have each other’s backs.  And if they try taking one of us, then they deal with all of us.  Got it?”

 

Vashti nodded while Nova kept crying and Kyan stayed quiet.  While Nova was the youngest, it was Kyan that Siee worried about the most.  She’d stopped eating the hideous rations their last captors had given them.  No amount of prodding by any of them had convinced Kyan to eat and in a quiet meeting, Siee and Vashti had determined that Kyan had given up.  Kyan’s slight frame had gone from very thin to anorexic.  Kyan had deep shadows beneath her eyes and her collar bones were protruding.  She didn’t move or talk much, simply offering comfort to Nova when she could. 

 

It had Siee sucking in a deep breath and turning to the guy pulling the cage.  “Food?  Water?”  She made hand gestures hoping the guy understood, but he made no response, just continued pulling.

 

Shooting a glance out of the corner of her eye, Siee forced a smile at where Kyan and Nova were hugging each other.  “They could be friendlies.”

 

With a quiet snort, Vashti mumbled, “They could be sicko rapists who like the taste of pretty pink human flesh.”

 

“Vashti!” Siee admonished.

 

“What?” Vashti shrugged and had the decency to look repentant as she whispered, “I’m just saying.”

 

“Well don’t say it,” Siee snapped.  “And don’t go getting any wild ideas either.  We work together this time!”

 

Vashti ducked her head and hid her face behind a fall of long blonde rope braids.  “How?” Vashti whispered.

 

Glancing over her shoulder, Siee whispered back, “We wait and see if they’re friendly or not.”

 

“If they are?”

“Then we get Kyan some help.  She’s wasting away.”

 

“Mmmm,” Vashti agreed, glancing at Kyan.  “And what if they’re not friendly?”

 

With a deep breath in, Siee exhaled slowly.  “Then we do what we always do.  Fight to stay together.  Protect each other.  Hope for the best and pray for rescue.”

 

Two seconds later, the cage they were housed in slammed to a halt, nearly sending Siee and Vashti to their knees.

 

“Watch it!” Vashti shouted, shooting a glare at their nearest captor.

 

Siee couldn’t differentiate one man from the next because they all wore identical armor with full headgear.  It looked like they had tight black masks covering their heads with shiny black visors over their eyes.  All Siee knew for sure was that whomever these guys were, they at least had two arms and two legs, which hopefully meant they had brains as well.  The last…things that had captured them were giant slug like creatures that Siee was unable to even communicate with.  The differentiation between this group and the last was both a relief and a fear.  Siee knew how rare human females were this far out in space.  It’s why she and the other women had wound up on the last ship.  They’d been cargo.  Rounded up on Earth against their will and sold to a slave ship, Siee had fought tooth and nail for release until the slave ship had been attacked.  Siee and the other women had been traded twice since then, and each time Siee learned just a little more.  It’s how she knew how far out in space they were.  On their last ship, they were kept in a cage in the command center.  From what she’d gathered, it was so that the Captain, or whatever in the hell they called him, could keep an eye on them.  The deeper in space, the more valuable the women became.  It was the only thing that had kept Kyan from taking her own life.  Kyan had been terrified of dying a horrible death, but Siee had been able to convince her, and the others, that they were now too valuable to just kill.

 

Eyes sliding to their nearest captor, Siee swallowed hard.  These…guys appeared humanoid, and that had her worried.  If Siee and her women were sexually compatible with their captors, she didn’t know how she’d be able to keep Vashti, Kyan, and Nova from being assaulted.  She didn’t care what happened to herself and if shit hit the fan, Siee would offer herself up to the crew to protect her friends.  But would she be enough?