c s chatterly's books

DARK MATTER DARK MATTER
by C.S. Chatterly
ISBN: 978-0-85715-545-0
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Release: May 16, 2011
Copyright ©2011
Genre: Sci-Fi/ Futuristic (for those over 18 years of age)
Length: Novella

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War-weary space veterans...one from Earth, the other from a distant world...find common ground aboard an intergalactic cruise ship.

Captain Rorcan Darr fought in a galactic war lasting many years. Now that Armistice has arrived, he’s taking a well-earned break aboard an Earth-based cruise ship. All he wants is to put the past behind him. But going home again isn’t the pleasurable task he’d once believed. Because of his family’s royal lineage, he’s expected to take a mate of his father’s choosing, and breed a family for political empowerment. Outwardly, he’s always acted agreeable - the epitome of patriotic discretion. However, the war deeply changed him as much as it altered everyone else. His future behind a bureaucratic desk seems more like a prison than a life choice.

When he meets a beautiful songstress aboard the cruise ship – one who is a veteran like him and who shares so much sad history – Rorcan is torn between his duty and her lovely body. She’s everything he’s always wanted, all rolled into one desirable package. Now, all they need do is reconcile their differences. She’s from Earth…he’s from Vega. Though allied in war, neither planet’s authorities will tolerate species mingling. He must make the choice between his sworn duty and his family…or a life in deep space with a woman he craves.

 

 

excerpt

“Ladies and gentlemen…may I have your attention?” a uniformed crewman announced as he stepped on to a round dais in the centre of the floor.

Rorcan turned to see what news the man might impart. As Dreyar had pointed out, Earth English was a second language to him now. It had been necessary to learn it quickly at the outset of the war. Earthers, as it seemed, weren’t able or obliging enough to learn Vegan or one of a hundred other languages needed to transmit allied information in a crisis. Everyone not originating from their world had been forced to pick up their lingo and a few general idioms besides. Still, he set aside the egocentric tendencies of that world and attempted to listen to the announcer; to enjoy the night’s festivities and the fine whiskey he fully endorsed--no matter what planet distilled it.

“Tonight, we are extremely fortunate to have many members of the Allied contingent aboard the Perseus,” the announcing crewman asserted. “I see Crerians, Brachorts, Fromians and Vegans are joining in the celebrations.”

Rorcan amicably lifted his glass in a toast when the announcer pointed in his direction as included in the Vegan contingent. Being so physically different from everyone in the room marked him as an oddity--at least in the Earthers’ eyes.

“I also see many, many members of our own Earth forces--”

Loud cheers interrupted the announcer as hundreds of Earth fighters made their presence irrefutably known. Rorcan put his drink down and tactfully applauded when they yelled, hooted and stomped. The clapping of hands was like gripping palms and kissing. These gestures were an almost universal sign of acceptance, congratulations and warmth. He was fully aware that many in the room were watching him, waiting for some sign of injudiciousness that would diminish his presence and mark his race as less than cordial. As one of the only two Vegans present, his decorum would not be found wanting. He even stood when other officers of non-Earth races did, in support of their comrades-in-arms.

The announcer held up his hands to quiet the crowd. “Please, everyone…please take your seats. I have a very special surprise.”

The fighters eventually took their respective seats again. Rorcan did the same while putting his full attention back on his drink.

“As many of you may have heard,” the speaker broadcast over his old-fashioned floor microphone, “one of the most illustrious members of the famous fighting 534th Earth Infantry is aboard. As with all her entertaining throughout the war, she refused remuneration for her talent while fighting alongside you. Tonight she’s most graciously agreed to sing one more time. So please…everyone…put your hands together and give it up for Lieutenant Shay Winters.”

Rorcan made a supreme effort not to roll his eyes when the soldiers again erupted into loud shouts, yells and animal-like calls. He’d been in many Unified Soldier Support lounges over the last five years. Such USS singers--often referred to as lounge lizards by the Earthers--would frequently make an attempt at entertaining. He’d always shown great magnanimity at their efforts because no one of any real talent would deign to risk their safety, let alone discomfort, by performing in some faraway war outpost. None of the gifted artists of Vega, Earth or any other world gave a damn about making a war-weary soldier feel wanted or thanked. So…those singers seeking to make some kind of professional name for themselves booked their USS tours and gave the fighters an occasional treat. He simply lifted two fingers indicating the barkeep should fill his glass doubly. Being inflicted with one more of these off-key, warbling misfits wouldn’t be quite so painful if he could numb his senses a bit.

Once his drink was replenished, he turned politely and affected interest in whomever might approach the stage. That it was a fellow fighter made him only a bit more interested. Whoever this singer was deserved more attention than he’d given the non-combatant USS entertainers. At least she’d never charged for her presentations.

When the uniformed woman stepped on to the stage and a full orchestra was simultaneously and silently lifted from the depths of some pit behind her, Rorcan’s gut tightened in response.

The girl was exquisite.

Even in a very clean but worn black uniform and tall trooper boots, she exemplified beauty and grace that transcended anyone’s standard of splendour. From where he sat, he could see the very bright, unusual hue of her shimmering, aqua-coloured eyes. Her hair fell in a long, thick braid over her left shoulder. The colour of her thick mane was much like the bark of the ancient and protected Quercus trees of his home world. The Earth term for the colour, as he recalled, was auburn. Under the bright spotlight that now illuminated her goddess-like presence, her tresses shimmered the way sunlight danced on still water. Her skin glowed like Vegan moon-jewels and her mouth was tinted bright red. The smile she bestowed on her fellow fighters was perfect. Two attractive dimples appeared on her face, next to her full, incredibly delectable-looking lips. The indentations made her appear youthful, jubilant and approachable.

 

Available now at: Total-E-Bound!

 

 

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