I’m so excited to share my upcoming project with you!
Outlaw Planet Mates is a shared world that was once a prison planet but was abandoned when it became unprofitable. Now it’s a haven for outlaws and those on less-than-friendly terms with the law.
Coming November 12th! Pre-order now!
Warning: This is unedited and you will find tons of typos. Things are subject to change, because I’m not quite happy with some of the character names yet.
Today’s outlook: it’s gonna suck.
In all fairness, all the days had sucked since Alice went camping and subsequently got abducted by aliens. Nothing about today was remarkable on the suckage meter. Same old, same old; just sitting on an ornate cushion on the floor, wearing a collar attached to a leash.
Yeah. All in all, she wasn’t a fan of camping, even if that had more to do with the alien abduction than actually struggling to pitch a tent.
There are certain unexpected events that Alice had mentally prepared for. Sinking in quicksand? She had a plan. Need to send a message to her past self to save the future? She already picked out a password. Zombies? Aim for the head and destroy the brains.
Alien abduction while camping? Not so much. Which is ironic, because that’s how it always happens in the movies. Okay, maybe one movie, but it made an impression on her.
The fact that she was even camping was bullshit.
Long story short, bright light, floating off the ground, little green men, and she woke up here.
Well, not here, here. At a warehouse, was her best guess. The building had that cold, industrial look with concrete floors and harsh lighting.
A fog lingered in her head, making her sluggish and slow to respond. She was forgetting something important but it kept slipping from her mind, like trying to hold water in your hands.
People– alien people?– kept talking. Alice tried to ask where she was and all the other typical questions about what the hell was going on, but her words slurred. They injected her with something. She tried to struggle, but moved like she was stuck in mud.
He was there. Tall, red scales, watching her with reptilian eyes. His name was Randevere, as far as she could tell. Someone jabbed her behind the ear and she could understand them. When she tried to speak, they patted her on the head and called her a “cute, little squishy thing.”
They treated her like a child. Worse, a pet. Randevere’s cute, squishy human pet.
Before she could protest that she was a person, not a cat, they shoved her onto a train.
For the last few hours– how many, she couldn’t say but it felt like five or six– the train zipped along through an urban maze into rolling prairie, and now the tracks wound its way through a mountain pass.
Alice watched the landscape, the fog in her head slowly lifting. She marveled at how the alien landscape all felt so similar, despite two suns in the sky. The larger sun looked like the regular, old sun. The second was tucked up alongside it, diminutive in appearance, and cast a bluish light.
So, yeah, this was definitely an alien planet.
Surrounded by aliens.
Who put a collar on her.
All-in-all, sitting on a cushion, being treated as a pet wasn’t the worst outcome. No one tried to eat her or fuck her. Randevere largely ignored her, which was fine by her. She had food and water. Clothing that covered a bit more would be nice.
The current snow covered mountain view outside suggested that Alice was going to freeze when they got to wherever they were going. Fluffy white flakes speed past the window. Hopefully someone would realize she needed shoes, pants, and a coat.
Alice rubbed a hand up her arm to warm her bareskin.
“What is it doing?”
A tug at the leash attached to her collar forced her to turn at Randevere’s question.
“I’m cold. I need clothing.” After chipping her, they gave her a piece of gauzy cloth and a blanket. She wrapped the gauze around herself like a sarong, even though the cloth really didn’t hide anything, and huddled under the blanket.
Randevere watched her, the vertical pupils in his eyes narrowing and the frills at the side of his neck fluttered. “She’s trying to speak. How charming.”
“I’m not trying, I am speaking, you giant red jackass. Give me shoes.” She pointed to her foot. “Shoes! I need shoes.”
“You do have tiny feet, yes you do.” He patted her on the head.
“No, I’m cold! I need shoes and a coat. Look at my goosebumps!” She shoved her arm in her face. The thin hairs stood on end.
Her antics no longer amused Randevere. He pushed her away, forcing her back down onto her cushion. “You will be quiet or you will be put in your cage. Do you understand?”
“I understand you’re a dick.”
He tilted his head, watching her.
“I understand,” she muttered. She curled up on the cushion, tucking her feet underself, and resumed watching the world glid by.
She didn’t know where they were going, but guessed it wouldn’t be her idea of fun.
The train entered a tunnel. With the outside view nothing but blackness, Alice had nothing to distract herself from her own misery and resentment.
Randevere had staff, or maybe henchmen. Three aliens, the same reptilian variety as him, came in and out of the carriage. When he wasn’t issuing orders, Randevere busied himself with a handheld device that reminded her of a phone, not that she could get a good look at the screen. Not that she could read anything on the screen.
Ugh, abduction problems.
Maybe he was googling “How to take care of your new human.” At least she knew that he knew her species name. She heard someone say human and Earth, so all he had to do was look up her basic human needs. The internet made this problem, so now it could fix it for her.
Alice rose to her knees on her cushion. The floor of the train swayed.
“Human,” she said, tapping her chest. “Alice.”
“Not now,” Randevere grumbled.
“I’m human, from Earth.”
“I said be quiet.”
The collar issued a mild shock, nothing more than the pop of static electricity on a cold day. Regardless, Alice’s eyes went wide and she gasped, clutching the collar.
“Be quiet like a good pet or I’ll use the collar.”
Alice sat back down, an ugly loathing brewing her guts.
I’m going to smother him in his sleep the first chance I get.
The lights flickered. Shouts came from outside the carriage.
Men with guns burst into the carriage.
Only the strong survive on Reazus Prime.
Old hands at the saloon slap each other on the back, congratulating themselves on another day of survival. They celebrate with lukewarm beer that tastes like piss, liquor that would taste better if it were piss, and food bland enough that you wished it tasted liked piss.
Trust was for fools. Trust got you a knife in the back. Faris had learned that lesson the hard way.
Faris wanted to do more than merely survive. He’d stubbornly clung to life on this hellhole of a planet, out of pure spite. He craved revenge.
Today he would take the knife his former partner left planted in his back and return the favor.
Twenty-three years ago, Faris killed a male and was dumped on Reazus Prime the Overlords for a lifetime sentence. He’d kill since then but found he couldn’t regret a single one. The first killing had been necessary. As the fourth son with a four syllable name, he did the unpalatable work his family required and paid the price.
Since then, he tried to avoid taking life but sometimes a slithering bastard wouldn’t take no for an answer and measure had to be taken.
He didn’t like it but that was the cost of survival on this planet.
If the goal of imprisonment on the planet was to make a person think on their life choices and repent, then mission accomplished. Faris had plenty of long, solitary nights under the stars to think and even more frigid nights huddled under a thin blanket. He questioned every damn life choice he ever made that led to this place but he was here now.
And the Overlords weren’t. Two decades ago, the mines dried up and they left everything behind, including the prisoners.
Only the strong survive.
Faris shifted, his boots sinking into snow. The cold seeped in through his gloves and coat. The hovercycle between his thighs rumbled and purred, wanting to lunge forward. The snow storm created enough cover that he was not concerned about being spotted.
The train snaked through mountain pass, a black streak oozing through the grey stone and snow of the mountain pass.
“Now?” Perrigal ’s hovercycle rocked forward.
“Wait.” Their timing had to be perfect.
“Now,” Perrigal said. He wanted revenge as much as Faris. Randevere planted a lot of knives the day he betrayed his business partners and left them for dead.
Faris clamped a hand on his companion’s shoulder, keeping the impetuous youth in place. Faris had been thirty when he was transported to Reazus Prime. Perrigal had been eight.
Faris knew what he had done but couldn’t imagine what crime a child, little more than a hatchling, could have commited that warranted a life sentence to a barely habitable rock. The child wouldn’t have survived on his own for more than a day, Faris feared, so he told the hatchling to stay with him. They’d been like brothers ever since.
Perrigal hadn’t liked Rand when he joined the crew, which should have been Faris’s warning. The youth had an uncanny ability to sense trouble that saved their tail more than once.
“Come on, I’m freezing my frills off,” Perrigal grumbled.
Faris ignored him. Perrigal was soft, too soft for this world and that was partly Faris’s fault.
The train sped forward, gliding on the mag levitation track. Their timing had to be perfect. They only got one shot at this.
“Now,” Faris said.
He pushed off, his hovercycle speeding down the steep slope towards the mag lev tracks. Snow flew past him, thick in the air.
The bikes wanted to connect to the tracks. Internal sensors were drawn forward, ready to dock and zip along at ludicrous speeds.
With a jolt, his bike hit the track. The machine hurtled forward, the last car of the train growing closer. They had moments to connect before the train entered the tunnel, when a force field would shut out any stragglers hoping to hitch a ride.
Reazus Prime was a dangerous place, after all. Full of criminals and miscreants. Ne’er Do Wells would take a hovercycle down a mountain side just to rob a train.
Faris would know.
The bike inched closer to the train. Faris deployed the leash. Power zipped down the tether, forcing a connection between his bike and the train’s security system.
The display on Faris’s control blinked. Success.
A quick glance to the side showed Perrigal struggled to make the tether connect. He smashed buttons, his mouth moving in shouted curses that the wind swept away.
The tunnel grew closer.
Faris told Perrigal his bike was a pile of expensive junk, all flash and no substance, but the youth wouldn’t hear it.
“Now or never,” Faris said, knowing that Perrigal would not be able to hear him.
Power crackled and fizzed along the tether.
The train entered the tunnel, plunging into darkness. The security field slammed down on the other side of his bike, close enough to shave off the tip of his tail.
The bikes docked along the back of the caboose.
Now came the tricky part.
Faris climbed onboard, his plasma blaster strapped to his back and a small arsenal–a variety fun pack of weapons of destruction– decorated his person. Using an iron lever, he pried open the back door.
The male guarding the door jerked in surprise but never shouted his warning. He crumpled to the floor after a blow from the pry bar.
“No style,” Perrigal teased, stepping over the fallen guard.
“Brute force is a style.”
Perrigal removed his blaster from his holster, the weapon humming to life. “Setting to stun?”
“Yes. I’d prefer not to make any corpses today.” He stepped over the stunned male. “It’s not this poor bastard’s fault he works for Randevere.”
Randevere, though. The mere thought of the male left a sour taste on Faris’s tongue.
If he had the chance to make Randevere a corpse, he just might.
They advanced through the train cars. Faris had the guards stunned and bound before they knew what was happening. Most did not require extra attention but a few, hardier males needed to stay unconscious.
Brute force was a style. His commanding officers from the Imperial Forces would not find the description flattering, even if it was accurate.
Perrigal worked on unlocking doors and bypassing alarms.
“I’m appalled at security, really,” Perrigal said, stepping over a male who lay on his side.
“Don’t get sloppy. There’s five more cars to go,” Faris said.
“How many carriages on a train does one male need?”
“One for him and the rest for his ego, plus baggage,” Faris said, his tone dry.
Perrigal laughed, his frills rippling along his neck. “People think you just grunt and stab people to communicate. No one believes me when I say you have a sense of humor. ”
Faris preferred it that way, honestly. He worked hard to hone a reputation that encouraged people to leave him the szat alone.
Finally, they reached the luxury compartment near the front of the train. The guards there were no more competent than the ones at the back of the train. Once bound and no longer a threat, Faris opened the last door.
He tried hard not to think strategically about what waited on the other side, about the number of guards, their weapons, and how to extract their target without damage.
The surprise on Randevere’s face, however, was worth all the weeks of planning.
The barely clothed beige female he used to shield his body, however, was a complication.
Coming November 12th!
Tell me what you think in the comments.
Stop me if you’ve heard this story before. One minute Alice was camping, trying to connect with nature, then there’s this blinding white light. Gravity must have quit because Alice and her sleeping bag were floating off the ground.
Classic alien abduction.
She wakes up on an alien planet full of, you know, aliens. Outlaws. Rules are optional and people are property. So not cool. Then there’s a train robbery and she’s getting abducted. Again.
But this guy? He’s a giant lizard man, just a solid wall of muscle, scales, and bad attitude. He’s dangerous and he’s gone into a mating fever, which he says is her fault.
So what is she going to do about it?
Better question, what is tall, dark and grumpy going to do about it?
Two decades ago Faris was exiled to this prison planet. Only the strong survive here.
He’s too old for a mating fever but his body has other ideas. The human female is meant for his boss but there’s a change of plan. She is his and he does not share.
4 thoughts on “Sneak Peek at Alien’s Challenge”
Sounds good. Can’t wait
I’ve been waiting for this to come out. I shouldn’t have read the teaser though. Now, you’ve whetted my appetite and waiting for launch day will be excruciating!
Can’t wait to read it. Ooh, November 12th come already!