A short story set very shortly after events in Shadowed Stars book 1

Steven Koutz


SPOILER ALERT: You may want to read book 1 first


The stable wormhole had been collapsed and sealed for some time. The planet named Home now faced other challenges. The politics of setting up a new structured government had proven daunting. It was no longer a difference of human cultures and races but many alien cultures and races as well, and everyone wanted equal stature. Slade and Eva were just newly married and had still not gotten much time to be together without others scurrying about. Eva Cusping was the new president of the League of Unified Worlds and Slade despite his attempted escape from his former duties as a prince and keeping his people safe, was now minister of defense and minister of the Book of Prophecy. It was not to mention that he was also grieving the recent loss of his best friend and comforting his sister over the loss of the man she loved.

Eva had managed to seal herself in the temporary office of the president while the massive tree fort where the government offices would reside was being constructed. Eva took advantage of the noise and distraction to sneak out from a secret rear entrance. She ran to a Teon starship that had been crippled in the Battle of Home and had been refitted as a governing structure on the surface of the planet. She was a beautiful beyond belief woman. Long and soft blond hair with blue ocean-like eyes. Her body was incredibly sexy with enhanced curves in any position that she rested in. Eva had stealthily entered her husband Slade’s defense office. He was a well-built specimen of a man. Dark black hair that had grown just a little long and a muscular body frame. It would not be known by looking at him but most of his inner organs and brain connections, as well as a robotic right arm covered by fake flesh designated him as a cyborg. He still had his heart, mind, and soul. All of which made him despise the cyborg term. Eva crept up behind him, as Slade hunched over a rough mapping of the planet Home, as well as other planets in the system that still required exploration. Eva threw her arms around him and began to softly nibble on his ear. She told him they needed to go now. He asked where they would go and why. Eva was so in love with him and often forgot that Slade had not lived on Earth. He was from a dusty and rocky planet called Aklowda and had spent most of his life running the underground world as a prince. She explained the Earth concept of a honeymoon to him. He admitted that it sounded nice but they would be noticed if they even attempted to slip away. Eva was not asking for a long honeymoon, just a day or two away. She had already schemed with Slade’s sister, Erikai to run deception and interference for them. A small Helven yacht ship had already been secured. One long and deep kiss on his lips from her own full and luscious lips was all the convincing that Slade needed.

They had made it to a secluded area on the other side of the forest. A few Helven aides to Eva had presented them the small yacht class starship. Slade had taken the pilot controls and the small starship ascended into the sky.

They had flown for hours and discovered a nearby planet that was mostly water with a few scattered sandy islands. A perfect paradise for two newlyweds lost on the other end of the universe.  The yacht had been set on course and the autopilot engaged. They looked at each other with no words needed as they left the cockpit and started for the central living quarters.

They did not make it out from the corridor before they were grabbing each other and literally ripping their clothing away. Their lips and tongues clashed and not touching the soft flesh of the other, was not an option. Slade eventually lifted Eva from the starship floor and she wrapped her legs tightly around his torso.  He carried her to a bed-like area and rested her on it. He then moved his lips and tongue down the side of her neck at a slow crawl. Eva’s flesh tingled with his touch and his breath against it. The slow crawl of his lips and tongue down her neck was only torture as she knew where it would end. He paused to lightly hold her large and firm breasts as his tongue played with her even firmer nipples. He then slid further down her tight abdomen and his tongue went even lower to each of her inner thighs and back up to where it disappeared inside her. Each stroke of his tongue jerked her body. When he was done, they took the time to switch positions with Eva taking her turn below his waist. Slade held the top of her head as it maneuvered in an up and down motion. It was time at last for Eva to climb atop her man. Slade rested as she straddled herself over him and lowered herself onto his stiffened feature. She started to again maneuver herself as Slade joined in and they were soon shifting their bodies in perfect unison.

They had climaxed together just as a proximity alarm sounded. They quickly dressed themselves again and rushed to the cockpit. A Derth starship had fired on them. Derth starships were nicknamed humpbacks due to their flat top bridge, long, curved, and skinny neck leading to the mass of the starship in a large, humped build. The small Helven yacht was a pleasure cruiser and no match for the Derth humpback. Two shots had sent the yacht class starship into spiral roll toward its planet of destination. Slade tried to gain some bit of control and used thrusters to manage their trajectory toward the planet and slow its pace through the atmosphere. An uncontrolled descent through the atmosphere would burn the starship up and shred the remains to pieces. Eva had tried to contact the Derth humpback over comms and received only a loud roar in response.

The Derths were an orange scaleded carnivorous yet intelligent species that hunted other beings, sentient or not. The Ubide race had been supplying the Derths with humans and other races as food. The Battle of Home saw many Derth humpbacks flee through hyperspace and with the wormhole sealed they had become stranded on this side of it. There were a few Derths that had turned against their own and the brief Black Guard alliance but due to their violent lifestyle and hunting of other sentient species to feed upon, the Derths had been banished from Home by a decision from the League of Unified Worlds. It was a decision that Slade and Eva had fought against. They wanted to reward the Derths willing to adapt but the league had voted and many could not forgive one of the races that had hunted pursued them across the universe. These Derths were obviously from the hostile factions.

Slade had managed to gain some control as they entered the atmosphere. Eva had abandoned communication and attempted to get Slade more thruster and vent control. The Helven yacht class starship had managed to make it through the atmosphere with minimal heating and intact as it now entered the high altitude of the paradise planet’s sky. One engine was destroyed and ejected to allow Slade the chance to give them a rough but survivable landing. The repulsion lifts had failed to slow the yacht’s descent and one thruster also failed to disengage and only hastened the drop. The yacht skimmed across a small sandy island and went into a projectile launch. As it hit the watery ocean surface it began to roll like a barrel across the rough tides and break apart with each spin.

Slade and Eva had quickly ejected themselves through a torn opening in the ship’s hull. They had grabbed their war arms in their hastened exit. They popped above the waterline and donned the war arms they had snared before beginning to swim toward the distant shore. War arms were a highly technical tool that was worn on a forearm. It fastened just below the elbow and above the wrist. It was more than a gauntlet style weapon; it was a device as well with multiple options. Slade’s people on Aklowda had used them for daily survival and Slade had crafted Eva her own.  They swam side by side and increased their effort as they heard the familiar sounds of a Derth shuttle braking out of atmosphere. As they crawled onto the wet sand of an island, they looked back and seen the Derth shuttle on descent. It flew over them and fired its repulsion lifts to land ahead of them.

They were exhausted and halted their crawl forward. Returning to the ocean was not an option. Slade tried to push Eva behind him but she insisted on fighting at his side. They each took a kneeling position and readied their war arms. The Derth shuttle ahead of them opened its side doors and four Derths poured out in a charging rage complete with ferocious roars as their battle cries.

The Derths were a muscular humanoid form and covered with an orange scaly skin. Their feet were two toed with long claws on each. A massively thick and single spiked tail drug behind them. Their hands had four fingers and a thumb with long claws on each. Their eyes were crimson red and their mouths were filled with razor sharp teeth designed specifically to tear flesh and muscle tissue from bone. They had a hard red fin attached to each side of their head and affixed to their shoulders. Another hard fin ran from the top of their heads down along their spines.

Slade and Eva both fired pulsating energy blasts from their war arms that only bounced off the hardened chest areas of the charging Derths. Slade adjusted and Eva followed as they switched their aims for the scaled and less armored legs. They dropped two of the four before the other two pounced onto them.  Slade fell backward and used all his strength to hold the open jaw that was dropping toward him the stench was horrible, as if this Derth had just recently fed on rotted flesh. The dripping saliva was not any better.

Eva had managed to grab onto the Derth that charged at her and their opposed grapples were released after a spinning motion. Each of them rolled away from each other. The Derth roared loudly again and with an open mouth charged at Eva once more. She fired off four mini grenades that impacted ahead of the Derth’s charge and caused him to stagger. She then fired multiple pulsating blasts at the Derth’s head. He shrugged the first two off but was dropped by the rest. She slowly walked toward the Derth, noticing now that it was a female. The female Derth was writhing about in pain. Its head was mutilated but it was still alive. It was slowly dying but seemed to hiss and growl at her standing over it despite that fact. Eva tried to end the Derth’s pain with another pulsating blast but the war arm was drained and failed. The one option left was a single small spear shot directly between the Derth’s eyes. Its body became still.

Slade was losing his battle and grip. The snapping jaws fell on him and only his quick shifting maneuver saved him from a deadly bite into his jugular. The bite did land on his left shoulder and tore flesh from it. The bite was deep but Slade still struggled. This time the male Derth bit onto the right arm of Slade. His robotic right arm had saved him in this case. The Derth jumped off him with chipped teeth and a shattered jaw. Eva’s snap blade from her war arm then suddenly pierced through the back of the Derth’s head. As she retracted the short blade, the Derth fell forward to the wet sand. She offered a hand and pulled Slade to his feet. They kissed deeply and embraced tightly.

The passion was only broken by the sound of another Derth shuttle breaking into the sky. It was then suddenly fired upon by two diamond shaped Luth Bik starfighters, dubbed the name of shards. The Derth shuttle headed back upward and into the atmosphere. The commlink on Slade’s war arm then sounded and it was the voice of his human friend Nat Gorondo from the planet Talaha. He was on the Teon starship that had just chased the Derth humpback from orbit. He asked if the two lovers needed some extended time. Eva laughed and spoke up stating that this honeymoon was a bust.

A couple of weeks passed by when Eva again snuck up behind Slade and hugged him from behind. He turned and they kissed heavily. She stated that she had another surprise for him. Slade cited that her last surprise did not work out so well for them. They kissed again. Eva broke away with a smile and stated that it worked out better than he thought. Slade’s look of confusion was quickly followed by joy when Eva stated that she was pregnant and they would have their first child.

The End. That first child will be all grown up and having an adventure in Shadowed Stars the Children of Home, Book 3 in the series and currently in edit.