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Alien General's Beloved (Brion Brides 6)

By:Vi Voxley

PROLOGUE

Lana



Report 897:Code-A, Concerning Brions.

Lana Cormac, captain of the rogue ship the Raptor, read out loud to her officers, feeling a dread she hadn't felt in a long time. Being a rogue ship meant operating out of the normal jurisdiction. It meant not receiving directives. And the Galactic union   wasn't known for sending cryptic messages like the one she held in her hands. Theirs were usually more like "Get in line," "Stop interpreting our orders," and "Terra will hear about you."

None of those bothered Lana one bit. Terra knew perfectly well what she was doing and what her methods were like. They knew and approved, because it was their orders she was actually following. Lana and the Raptor went where they were needed, doing things that weren't—strictly speaking—lawful, but needed doing anyway. She was an agent of good, Terra had told her, one that wasn't deployed lightly.

Which made this report all the more troubling. Lana chose not to share the tiny remark at the start of the message, meant for her eyes alone. It just said: "Trouble."

If the matter has anything to do with Brions, Lana figured, trouble shouldn't really be surprising.

She exchanged a look with her officers, shrugged and read:

"This is how the Brion myth goes.

"The first god, whose name no one remembers or possibly never knew, created the Brions. Only three of them. The beautiful Raya, the powerful Raen, and the terrible Radgen. The first god put them on a beautiful world and they named it Briolina.

"The three were powerful beyond anything, practically gods themselves. They walked upon the world, changing it to their liking. It is said that no other species the first god created changed their own being, left a mark that strong. All the others accepted their worlds and their fates, but Brions insisted on making their own. The three didn't settle on Briolina, they became Briolina, and every man and woman born on it carries the essence of the gods in them."

Lana paused for a moment. The story was a very well-known one—even she had read it as a child, long before she ever met her first alien, or the first Brion. The powerful, militaristic, head-strong species were the galaxy's perpetual troublemakers, until they were its saviors. Quite often both at the same time, because they usually solved problems with the sharper end of their spears.

The captain liked the situation less and less with every word she read.

"Raya was the most beautiful woman in the world—also, you know, the only woman in the world, but hey."

Her audience of the officers laughed along, but Lana could sense their unease as well as her own. She went on.

"Soon, Raen and Radgen started to fight over her. They both wanted her for their own. At first, Raya couldn't decide. They were both powerful men, with their own strengths and values as well as their weaknesses. She wasn't sure which one she should pick.

"Immediately, Radgen proposed a duel. He and Raen would fight and the winner would claim Raya. The others agreed. That was the Brion way.

"Before that, Raya had a question for them. When she asked why they were fighting, Raen said 'for you' and Radgen said 'for victory.'

"With that, Raya knew who she wanted, but the duel was going to happen no matter what. She watched them clash together with enough fury to level mountains and color lakes red with blood. Her heart started beating faster with every second, seeing the destruction the warriors were capable of, the rage that burned in them when something precious was on the line. Neither would give up, not before the other was dead.

"She called to the first god for help and it heard. With eyes like burning stars, it saw everything: The way the Brions had already crafted the world they'd been given, and the way they stood on the verge.

"Raya had wanted the first god to stop the fighters, but there was nothing that could do that. Brions did not back down. She screamed in despair when the first god's plan became clear to her. Raya rushed over to Raen, but her hand fell only inches short of reaching him.

"Then the first god ripped the three apart.

"They stood, looking at each other, standing close enough to touch, but never able to. The first god had separated them, forever denying them the chance to truly interact again.

"All three were left defeated by their passions. Raya and Raen had lost their love and Radgen had lost his victory. Everything they'd wanted was torn from their grip.

"The first god left them on Briolina and gave life to the Brions as they are now. Powerful, ferocious, but not like their gods before them.#p#分页标题#e#

"With every second that passes in the world, the desires of the three grow. Raya regrets what she did, longing to be with Raen at last. Raen aches for Raya, fighting the rage within him that needs to end the duel, but always knowing that she was the prize, not killing his enemy. And Radgen burns with the need for revenge, for the victory he was denied.

"Down from the days when even the stars were young, those relics come to all Brions. The love Raen and Raya shared is manifested in the sacred binding, the reason why it is so strong and so relentless. The gesha and the gerion are the love made whole at last, in endless variations when the gods themselves can never know it. And Radgen's rage burns dark in the hearts of Brions, ready to consume them, blind to everything else but victory and power."

Lana finished reading, looking at the confused expressions of her crew.

"We know all that," her second-in-command Fraly said gently.

He was a Palian, a humanoid species with big lidless eyes, known for their limitless patience. Lana had recruited him years ago and Fraly was one of the very few on her ship that knew of her true purpose. She trusted him without question.

And like usual, she agreed with him too.

"This is all just very odd," she said. "But it goes on."

Her eyes wandered idly over the lines that followed, until she caught a few key words and the warning at the beginning started to make sense.

The crew around her were getting restless. They had important tasks, things they should be doing instead of listening to her reading to them like a schoolteacher.

"Silence," Lana said quietly.

The tone of her voice made them obey, looking at her with wary curiosity now instead of boredom.

"I hope they're joking," she murmured before reading the second part.

"You all know that story," the report said. "It is a fable, a children's story both on Briolina and everywhere else in the galaxy. But it is also a test. Brion warriors are told that story when they enlist in the academy. During the years, the reactions have been predictable. Some laugh, some are tired of hearing it. Some want to argue the implications and so on. Most of them take it seriously, exactly because it's not true.

"Many years back, one of them was rumored to have said Raya chose wrong and that Radgen's rage was justified.

"He was a young warrior then, but saying that stuck to him all through his life. No one trusted him, but they couldn't stop him either. The warrior rose through the ranks and became General Worgen."

Lana stopped when her officers suddenly became quiet and she saw Fraly almost jump in his seat, flinching like he was kicked.

"You know of him too. The three gods are a myth and Worgen is a legend. There are no Brion Elders alive today who remember him, but many believe he did exist. Some have searched for him after he took his horrible ship Abysmal and disappeared. We've all heard of sightings. They have all been false, until now.

"The reports we've received are worrying, but need confirming. We send you this fable as a warning, to remind you what you might be dealing with.

"We can't believe we're saying this, but these are uncertain times.

"Look out for General Worgen. Look out for the Abysmal."





CHAPTER ONE

Corden



The room was tense with fear.

It wasn't the petrifying, hopeless kind that Corden inspired in his enemies. He was lounging carelessly behind a console in one of the command stations, away from the overall buzz of the bridge. The gigantic central throne was unoccupied, as it usually was. Corden, like most of the Brion generals, disliked waging any war from the safety of his gargantuan warship. He had his captains for that. A few of them were exchanging looks a few feet away from him.

It all took place in complete silence. They thought their quiet, murmured conversation wasn't bothering him, which was correct. They were also under the impression that the general didn't notice them hovering just at the edge of his sight, which was false. Corden saw them perfectly well.

He could also guess the main point of their concern. The general had made it very clear that he didn't want to be disturbed by anything that wasn't urgent.

There hadn't been much peace and quiet in the galaxy lately and Corden intended to read up on all of it. Right then he was very engaged in General Ryden's final report about his recent confrontation with the Clayor hivemind. And his following triumph over it.

No one could have guessed it by looking at him, but Corden was seething with jealousy. Every word made the fury rage within him stronger.#p#分页标题#e#

He wasn't jealous of his fellow general's proficiency, nor of the trap Ryden had set. It wasn't in Corden's nature to envy others, even those he begrudgingly considered his equals.

No. The thing Corden dearly regretted was not being given the same opportunity. If he'd been able to match his skills and strength against the Clayor Host... what a battle! Corden gritted his teeth. The next time he saw the other general, he'd have to challenge him to a duel.

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