He grimaced. Vadef was not a Nobek. He’d never frightened anyone in his life, and he didn’t like that he scared these poor women.
Miv’s hand squeezed his shoulder. His voice had a delightful gravel quality, and Vadef felt like it scratched an itch deep in his ear. “It’s all right, my Imdiko. We’re not hurting them.”
“I wish we could make them understand that.” He thought he might hear the screams for the rest of his life.
“They wouldn’t listen. They are poisoned against us. Not to mention terrified at this moment.”
Vadef nodded. Even the most benign invasion would be far from pleasant for those it was happening to. With a sigh he carried the woman he held to the wall of the corridor and laid her on the floor. Her white gown, while voluminous, still seemed inadequate protection for such a small creature. It wasn’t cold in the corridor, but Vadef still had the urge to cover her in a blanket or slip a pillow under her head ... something that demonstrated care. However, he needed to keep up with Miv, to finish this unpalatable work. The sooner this invasion of the tiny Earther colony was over, the sooner Vadef could sit in front of a computer where he belonged.
Reluctantly leaving the woman in the growing line of sedated females, he followed Miv to a closed door. Either someone was inside or it hadn’t been checked yet. The tiny sleeping rooms that were confirmed empty had the doors locked in the open setting. Miv pointed his frequency disruptor at the locking mechanism of the one in question. It beeped and slid open, and Miv put out a hand to warn Vadef back.
The Imdiko obeyed and stepped aside, though he really couldn’t imagine one of the tiny Earthers being able to harm him. Vadef didn’t get to feel big often, but being near the small women gave him a sense of how his powerhouse of a clanmate must feel.
He was content to let his Nobek be a Nobek – protective, in other words. Miv stepped into the tiny rectangle of darkness beyond the door to restrain whoever might be inside. Vadef thought the room must be empty since no screams issued from it.
Miv paused just inside and turned back to Vadef with a confused look on his face. Curious, Vadef stepped close to peer in past his clanmate’s large body.
Releasing Summer 2013