Wednesday, November 30, 2016

WIP Wednesday - Clan Beginnings: Clan and Command

           Kila’s announce went off, interrupting his conversation with himself. He bared his teeth at the closed door before answering in a polite tone. “Identify.”
              “It’s Chief Engineer Lokmi, Captain.”
              Kila rolled his eyes at the ceiling. Ancestors help me. Speaking of Imdikos with control issues. “Enter.”
              Lokmi stepped in, coming right to the opposite side of Kila’s desk before bowing. He looked shipshape, his uniform without a wrinkle, his hair tied back in neat braid. He was a pain in the ass, but he always looked good. Tasty, even. Kila wondered what he looked like naked.
              The Nobek realized he was still aroused from thinking about Piras, and it was feeding into salacious thoughts about a man he’d only fuck as a punishment. Fortunately, his desk hid the evidence from Lokmi. In a gruff tone, he asked, “What do you want, Chief?”
              He granted Kila a polite smile. “Greetings, Captain. May I inquire as to your mood this afternoon?”
              “Shitty. You couldn’t have picked a worse time to irritate me.” That the man had shown up and acted so pleasant told Kila he was about to do just that. Lokmi looked like he was in far too good a mood to make things better for his captain.
              “Just my luck to catch you in a temper.” The exaggerated sigh only underscored Lokmi’s good humor.
              Kila rubbed his forehead. “What do you want to do to my engines now, you merciless bastard?”
              “It’s not what I want to do with my engines. It’s what I’ve already done.”
              Kila jumped up and glared. “Son of a bitch! I told you we’d have it out if you played around without my permission.”
              Lokmi, damn his sorry hide, didn’t flinch. “Yes, Captain. You did tell me that. I ignored you with good reason.”
              Kila seethed. “There is no good reason. None. You will be disciplined this time. So tell me why I’m about to pound you into next week?”
              “I stole another second of your precious boost. You still have five seconds’ worth that I swear on my mother’s name I will not touch.”
              “Yes, Captain. I’ve never claimed otherwise.”
              Kila was already planning how to best dish out the pain his chief engineer had coming. Yet he was curious to know what Lokmi had been up to. “What does this second of lost speed get me?”
              “Traction repel.” The Imdiko was damned near gloating with pleasure. “You remember how I pointed out that the shielding suffers during your speed burst? That hunter-killers could conceivably grab hold of the ship in a traction field? Now they can’t. I thought there was no way around the problem, but I found it. An exterior anti-grav pulse, tied directly into the boost!”
              Kila was impressed with Lokmi’s elegant solution, but he didn’t want to admit it. He was at the point where he wanted to beat on someone. He needed a release for the pent-up frustration brought on by Piras’s baggage and Lokmi’s insistence on fucking around with his engines.
              He growled, “There was damned little chance Bi’isils would be able to react fast enough to snag us with a traction field.”
              “Little chance is still a chance. I’ve eradicated that.” Lokmi refused to be deterred from the delight of his accomplishment. He damned near glowed with joy.
              “Fine. Keep it. But I still owe you discipline for doing it without my blessing.”
              The Imdiko shrugged. “Shall I stand stoic and take it, or would you like me to fight back?”
              Kila eyed the insolent Lokmi. Damn, he’d like to knock him down. Beat him to the ground and then pound him in a different fashion. Already his cocks grew heavy at the idea of fighting and fucking.
              He flashed his blood-freezing, ferocious grin. “Let’s see what you’ve got, dual-breed. Any training besides basic combat? Your file mentioned martial arts.”
              Lokmi looked delighted, the crazy bastard. “I’m an odikan. Master level.”
              “I’ve never faced someone using that discipline before. It uses your opponent’s weaknesses against him, right?”
              “That’s part of it. It demands calm and control, which is why most Nobeks aren’t familiar with the practice.”
              Kila was intrigued. What mistakes in his fighting style would Lokmi find to exploit? “I look forward to seeing how effective odikan is against a pissed-off Nobek captain. Prepare yourself, Chief.”
              Lokmi nodded. His grin was replaced by serene concentration as he bladed his body and crouched. He kept his face towards Kila as the captain came around the desk, watching him carefully.
              Kila took his time, eyeing Lokmi’s stance, the watchfulness of his gaze, the ease of his movements as they circled each other. Since Lokmi’s fighting style relied on reacting to an opponent, it would be up to the Nobek to make the first move. Already that put Kila at a disadvantage. Lokmi wouldn’t give up any of his limitations until after the combat began.
              So be it. He had measured his foe as best he could. It was time to see if he could beat him.
              Just as Kila was about to lunge at Lokmi, the door announce went off. Kila bared his teeth and shouted, “I’m busy, damn it all. Fuck off!”
              A cold voice entered the room. “I think you’d better rephrase your welcome, Captain Kila.”
              The Nobek froze to hear the clipped tone. Lokmi went still as well, catching the Kila’s mood. He whispered, “Who is it, Captain?”
              Kila straightened from his fight crouch and whispered back, “Bloody damned Rear Admiral Piras.” He thought of adding, the man I screwed the living hell out of last night. The man I pissed the fuck off this morning to the point where he wanted to kill me.

Releasing December 16

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

WIP Wednesday - Clan Beginnings: Clan and Command

              Kila scowled. He’d looked forward to beating someone up. And then fucking that someone. He still had cause since Lokmi had gone against orders before explaining why he was doing so, but anyone with half a brain would know it was a shitty reason. Lokmi’s changes were far better than what had been in place. Changes Kila had made. Yep, tearing the Imdiko apart would look too much like jealousy under the circumstances.
              The chief engineer must have sensed his victory, because he pressed on. “You’ve got six seconds of crazy speed, more than what you needed against the situation you encountered seven months ago against that Bi’is hunter-killer.”
              “You’ve ruined my excitement to turn a crappy night around. You know that? I really needed to kick someone’s ass.”
              “Your night would have gotten worse had I beat the hell out of you.”
              Kila burst into laughter. “What a class-A fuck-over this is. I’m stuck with an Imdiko who talks like a Dramok, and a Dramok who won’t behave like one. But why not? We’re at war with a group threatening to destroy the Empire if we don’t let them destroy the Empire! Why should anything make sense?”
              Lokmi watched him, tension bleeding from him as Kila continued to guffaw. He looked confused, but he offered his captain a patient smile. “Am I to assume you approve of my changes to our precious engines then?”
              Kila shook his head and fell back onto his chair, the last of the laughter dying off. “Fine, Chief. Next time you decide to defy me, at least do me the kindness of explaining it beforehand. That way I’m not disappointed over not getting to wear your ass out.” He looked the engineer up and down without bothering to disguise his appreciation. Lokmi did have a most delightful physique. That made two missed opportunities in one night.
              It looked like yet another date with his hand was in order. Kila sighed and waved the other man away. “Dismissed.”
              Lokmi bowed and headed toward the door. Just before stepping out, he turned and grinned at Kila. “So it wasn’t just a fight I missed out on? Damn, Captain. I might have waited to tell you the truth had I known how the discipline would have ended up.” He left with a wink and blatant leer.
              Kila snickered again. He told the door that had closed behind the Imdiko, “You tempting bastard. Do me the favor of ignoring my orders. I’ll show you exactly what you missed until you scream for mercy. Then I’ll throw your smug hide off my ship.” 

Releasing December 16.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

WIP Wednesday - Clan Beginnings: Clan and Command

             He didn’t bother with that tiny cubicle. Instead, he went straight to the bank of podium-style computer stations in the middle of the machinery. Kila ignored the sound of someone moving about behind him, not wanting any interruption as he contemplated his lovely engines. He brought up the day’s diagnostics and maintenance notes and looked them over in hopes of finding something he could tweak.
              He found something, all right. Kila’s fists clenched as he noted the work that had been done on his accelerators. The boosts had been downgraded.
              That son of a bitch. That fucking chief engineer. I’ll mangle him.
              Kila whirled around, looking for any underling he could scream at. He discovered someone standing several feet away behind him, watching him. Chief Engineer Asshole Lokmi himself.
              The idiot didn’t have the good sense to fall over himself with the apologies that should be streaming from his lips. He didn’t even have the terrible sense to attempt a retreat. Instead he stood there stoic as a statue, watching Kila with mild interest. He did remember protocol enough to dip a respectful bow to his captain, but his gaze never wavered.
              A sense of unwelcome respect stole over Kila, dulling the urge to rip Lokmi’s throat out. Instead, he growled, “You fucked with my engines.”
              Lokmi’s brow rose. “I put my engines within acceptable parameters. Captain.”
              Was the bastard actually amused? Kila would change that quick enough. He stalked towards him, all fearsome Nobek. Damn the man’s hide, the chief engineer watched him come with no change in expression. No hint he’d like to take to his heels to escape the coming doom.
              Fine. Kila would be more than happy to teach the dual-breed to obey his captain, or he could follow his predecessors by getting the fuck off Kila’s ship.
              “I gave you an order to leave my modifications alone. You disobeyed that order. You are subject to discipline, and I do not hold back with punishments.” The vicious smile that struck such fear in the hearts of those more intelligent than Lokmi spread over Kila’s face. Maybe he didn’t indulge in random fights to bleed off his tensions, but Kila had no problem in meting out the painful penalties his commission allowed for.
              Lokmi finally rewarded him with a slight flinch. Very slight, but it was there. Yet the Imdiko’s chin lifted in defiance, and he still gave no ground though Kila’s face was only inches from his. “Article four-seven-point-two of fleet regulations: the chief engineer will use his expertise to maintain his craft’s integrity in non-emergency situations to the best of his abilities, even if commanded otherwise by his superior officer.”
              “The last fool to quote regulations to me ended up with a mouthful of broken teeth.” Yes, messing up Lokmi’s attractive face would be a nice start to the festivities.
              “You may be the captain, but I have no problem with fighting back if I feel I’m in the right. And in this case, I am damned well right. Sir.”
              The man spoke in the forceful tones of a Dramok. For a split second, he even sounded like Piras – Piras the admiral, not Piras the lover. Lokmi’s eyes had taken on the cold, severe light of a leader expecting to be obeyed.
              The respect Kila had felt turned into admiration. He might get his fight after all. The prospect of a knock-down-drag-out made him feel happy again.

Releasing December.