“How did you meet a human? Was he captured?”
“No. I was. I had crashed on your planet and your government had me locked up…”
18 Years Ago
Twyla opened her eyes weakly, and there was blood running down the side of her face. That worm hole had been destabilized and after that her ship had gone mostly dead. Twyla undid her seat restraints and dropped to the side of her ship, since her ship seemed to have crashed on its side. The gravity was similar to Doom’s, from what she could tell. Hopefully it was a civilized planet. She woozily made sure her crest dagger was on her hip as she staggered to the emergency hatch. The lever didn’t engage at first but it burst off with a small explosion making the injured Galra’s head ring. Damn Concussion. She tried to exit the ship but the light made her wince and her head pound. She slumped against the side trying to get her bearing, but it was not to be. Something entered her ship, and it was babbling at her in a language she didn’t recognize and her ship’s translation unit was probably fried in the crash. She was dragged out into the bright lights by this alien, who reminded her of a very pale Iyurian, and she was restrained as they searched her for weapons, finding only her dagger. She weakly grabbed for it. Her Father gave that to her, damn it! She snarled but they injected her with something she went under. She hoped these aliens didn’t just kill her.
Dr. Ji-hun Kogane, xenobiologist and microbiologist, cursed whenever he arrived on the scene and the alien, who had been acting a bit concussed had been knocked out.
“You morons! She was concussed!” he said.
“Dr. Kogane!” the soldier said.
“Don’t give me that. Get her to medical.”
“Her, sir?” another soldier said.
“You have a hand on one of her breasts, solider,” Ji-hun said. The Solider looked down and saw he was indeed touching a breast. He shifted his grip and they carried the purple alien woman away from the scene
“Wait, let me see that dagger,” Ji-hun said as he saw another solider walking away with the primitive looking weapon. The soldier complied and Ji-hun unsheathed it and had to fight off a gasp. He’d know that metal anywhere, and with the symbol on the blade he knew what the woman was.
“Examinations show that Dr. Kogane was correct in labeling this alien as female. She is very similar to a human woman in most regards as far as her general body shape and primary and secondary sex characteristics are concerned. Genetic capability with humans is unknown. Body temperature is at around 100’, and her heartbeat is different than ours but steady. Brainwaves seem to match up with a concussion, and I will be monitoring this alien closely. Other species variation is that she is covered in a fine coat of purple fur, with a longer mane on her head, and felid ears. Her incisors appear to be more felid as well, and her nails are claws, but her hands are very much like a human’s in shape. Careful examination of her eyes revealed that the assumption she had no pupils was incorrect: the pupils are under a top protective layer commonly seen in lizards, and the reason this coloration is as such is unknown, but it would seem to aid in low light sight. MRI’s show that her muscle density is higher than ours, and her bone density was revealed to be similarly more dense from X-rays. In short, we are dealing with a life form who is potentially stronger than the average human.”
Twyla awoke in a glass cell, her head still pounding but better. She was wearing some sort of loose garments and not her flight suit. She flexed her fingers. They responded just fine and the light sensitivity seemed to have worn off. Problem was, she needed to not be in a cell. This planet would suffer if her big brothers and sisters had to come rescue her from being vivisected.
“What are you doing on this planet, Galra?” That was Galatic Standard.
Twyla turned her head to see it was one of the semi-Iyurian looking in habitants of this planet. Though, he looked a lot more Iyurian to her than the others.
“I crashed. We were traveling through a wormhole and something destabilized it,” Twyla said.
“Where did you get an Iyurian metal dagger?” he asked.
“My Father gave it to me,” Twyla said.
“Your father is part of Zarkon’s household,” the man said, “A General, a trusted Druid? What?”
“None of the above,” Twyla said annoyed.
“Are the Galra on their way here?” he asked.
“No. This is an accident and if I can get out of here and on my way, I won’t tell them where I was,” Twyla said.
“That seems awfully generous of the daughter of a genocidal tyrant bent on domination of the universe,” the man said.
“So, you figured that out, huh? Congratulations, you’ve just met Her Imperial Highness Princes Twyla. Youngest child of Zarkon,” she said, “Daughter of Kirra the Druid, and Granddaughter of Kioreth the Rebel who was murdered before his granddaughter’s very eyes for doing the right thing.”
“Ji-hun Kogane. Son of Kuno Kogane and Iyura the Iyurian,” Ji-hun said as he punched a code into the side panel. He tossed her the dagger.
“By all rights, you should want me dead,” Twyla said catching her crest dagger.
“By all rights, yes, but Kioreth saved 100 of the Iyurians with his rebellion, so I have to repay that debt somehow,” Ji-hun said.
“Aren’t you risking yourself?” Twyla asked as she followed him out of the compound.
“Earthling technology is very easy to confuse,” Ji-hun said.
“Earthlings themselves, not so much,” Twyla said before she focused and her form shimmered to look more like an Asian woman instead of an alien one.
“Failed one. This is the best I can do, now let’s go before I run out of quintessence,” Twyla said, “So we have three hundred ticks.”
Twyla was impatient in the shack in the desert but when she heard the vehicle arrive she cautiously looked out to see Ji-hun driving a truck.
“It took a few strings and favors but I got the ship. Can you really fix this thing, Galra?”
“I’m actually an Engineer for the fleet,” Twyla said, “Should be a piece of glofi tart.”
“I regret saying that.” Twyla sighed as she looked at her mangled ship. Poor Black Wind. With help, she was able to get it up onto makeshift blocks and the damage was extensive. It would take a minimum of four months to repair if she was on a properly advanced planet. This planet? This was going to take forever.
“Prognosis?” Ji-hun asked offering her a beverage he called “tea.”
“I’m going to be here a while. Not a piece of glofi tart at all. More like trying to hunt a yelmore,” she said.
“Grandma told me about that,” Ji-hun said with a wince.
“Are there more Iyurians on this planet?” Twyla asked.
“Hidden, but yes. My mother marrying a human wasn’t exactly something the others liked but it was a reality for many of the younger ones. I haven’t been in contact with the rest of the Iyurians since I turned seventeen and my mother died,” Ji-hun said.
“My condolences. Your Galactic Standard is excellent,” Twyla said.
“Mom always made sure I spoke all the native languages of my heritage. Iyurian, Galactic Standard, Korean, and Japanese. She had wanted to be a diplomat before….” Ji-hun said.
“Would you like to learn about the advanced mechanics of this ship?” Twyla said, “I could use a second set of hands.”
“I was hoping you’d ask,” Ji-hun asked.
————————— ——————— — ——— —— ——— ——
“Pregnant,” Twyla said.
“But you’re Galra!”
“And you’re already an alien crossbreed,” Twyla pointed out with her ears down.
“This kid if going to be a quarter-Human, a quarter-Iyuiran, and half-Galra. What would that even look like? Like you? Like me?” Ji-hun said.
“If the child looks like me, then when I leave this planet, I will take them with me. If they look like you, then only I will be leaving,” Twyla said.
“Leave? But Twyla-.”
“I’m more than just “Twyla” and you know it,” Twyla said, “If my siblings find this planet while looking for me, the empire has found this planet and the last Iyurians and all of humanity are doomed. I have to return to them. If I could stay, I would. I don’t want to make Earth another Iyuria because I was selfish.”
“It’s not selfish to want to stay. Figure out some way to make it look like you died,” Ji-hun said.
“My Mother is a Druid. She can always sort of feel my Quintessence. Not enough to trace me, but she knows I’m alive,” Twyla said, “Please. I cannot take you with me, or you’d be seen as nothing more than my slave. If anyone figured out you were mating with me, you’d be taken to the arena and Lotor, my oldest most evil brother, would kill you slowly for presuming yourself worthy of an Imperial Princess. Not because he cares about my honor, but because if I’m an alien lover, then it reflects on him too.”
“If the child looks Galra, and you take them with you and they find out they’re a crossbreed?” Ji-hun asked.
“They’ll still be the blood of Zarkon, and treasured for the proof of Galran superiority,” Twyla said bitterly.
“If they look like me, they stay here,” Ji-hun said. Twyla nodded before she burst into tears.
“Damn, hormones,” she sobbed as Ji-hun held her.
—————————— —————————— ————————
Pink skin. No fur. Round ears. Violet eyes. In short, the child looked more Iyurian than his own father did. Twyla tickled the infant’s stomach making the baby giggle. He would be staying with Ji-hun. This saddened her but also made her happy. This child would not know what it’s like to grow up idolizing someone only to find out they’re a monster later in life. Would not grow up as the central part of a monstrous empire, like she did.
“I still don’t like the name Keith,” Twyla said.
“He looks like a Keith like this. Maybe if he was purple, a Galra name would be fitting. Can you tell me that he looks like a Kioreth?” Ji-hun said leaning over the bed and kissing her forehead.
“I can, but at this point, he needs an Earth name to fit in on Earth,” Twyla said with a sad smile.
“When will you leave?” Ji-hun said.
“In two months,” Twyla said.
Twyla looked over her patched ship and fought back a sob. She walked out of the ship and saw her mate and child were at the bottom of the ramp. The baby Keith had no idea what was going on, and for that she was glad. She pulled her Crest dagger off the back of her belt and presented it to Ji-hun sheath and all.
“When he’s old enough, give this to him,” Twyla said, “It’s not as good as me being there for him, but I can at least know something I did will protect him on this planet.”
“Please. Stay,” Ji-hun said taking the dagger. Twyla gave a watery smile and shook her head.
“If I stay, this all dies. If I leave, only I will be hurt,” she said before she carefully pulled him into a kiss. She kissed the child on his head before she stepped back.
“Maybe some day I’ll figure out a way to return to you,” Twyla said, “But don’t give up any potential happiness for a maybe. I’d rather you be happy without me.”
“I’ll wait for you,” Ji-hun said.
“Don’t tell him what I am, I beg you,” Twyla said, “I don’t want him to think all Galra are like me. I don’t need him thinking they’re something worth finding.” Ji-hun nodded. Twyla turned and fled up the ramp. Her take off was rough, but it is very hard to fly with tears in your eyes.
Merra hadn't let go of Twyla in over five minutes and Twyla suspected her eldest sister wasn’t planning on it for a while.
“Quit hogging her!” Twyla saw Arlioth was standing next to his only older sister bouncing on his feet like a cub.
“Go away, little brother. Twyla and I need to have a talk,” Merra said dragging her much smaller sister with her. Merra was a Desert Galra like their Father was, and her head scales were a darker violet than the rest of her, and but her pointed ears were a little longer than average adding to her beauty.
“Sister, where is it?” Merra asked once they were alone.
“Where is what?” Twyla asked. Merra placed a hand on Twyla’s abdomen and the younger Galra burst into tears.
“Did you lose it?” Merra asked. Twyla sobbed harder and Merra pulled her little sister into tighter hug for it.
“I’ve been there too, Twy,” Merra said combing a clawed hand through Twyla’s mane, “You’ll heal and in time maybe you’ll have another cub. Was it a boy or a girl?”
“A-a boy,” Twyla sobbed, “He looked like his father.”
“Is that where your dagger really is?” Merra said. Twyla nodded.
“We’ll have a private ceremony later. For now, let’s get you to your mother, and she’ll heal any lingering damage you have, ok?” Merra said.
“Ok,” Twyla said choking back more tears.
For all the impossibility of getting back to her mate and son, she might as well have miscarried.
“Appa, what’s this?”
“Unwrap it to find out.”
“It’s a big knife!”
“It was your mother’s dagger. She got it from her father.”
“Just like I’m getting it from you, Appa?”
“Yes. She wanted you to have it so you’d always have a piece of her with you.”
“Thank you, Appa!”
“This isn’t a toy, so you need to be very careful with it, ok Keith?”