Philcon Or Bust
Earthcon (Multi-author series)
Ebook ISBN: 07152-02304
[ SciFi Romance, MF ]
Jabel came for the hot Earth girls. So what if they only have two eyes and no tails. Earth girls are easy, right?
“I don’t know if this is a good idea…”
Jabel glared at the tall, muscular man standing by the foot of his bed. Ever since he had returned for training, his advocate had been cooking his favorite meals in an effort to fatten him up a bit, getting overly concerned about his health, and had become deft at stealth-snuggling. Jabel had been cornered in the family’s entertainment rooms several times and, before he knew it, the male who laid his egg had him in a grasp, hugging and squeezing.
Jabel of House Amiret appreciated his Advocate’s devotion and love… but there was only so much parental concern he could take before he was ready to strangle someone. Getting away for one last taste of freedom before he served his twenty years in the Corps was a suddenly understood and very much desired tradition.
“What? I worry. I have a reason to worry.” His Advocate crossed muscular arms as he glared at Jabel through silver eyes. “Do you know what those… those humans get up to at these events?”
“I know, I know.” Jabel resisted the urge to roll his eyes. “It’s just a front for wild sex parties and consuming human depressants.”
“And not the good kind of sex, either! I hear they room-hop and have key parties and drink cheap human stimulants –”
“And depressants… I am not sure if this is right for you. You are my little hatchling. You could get hurt.”
“Stop calling me that.” Jabel felt a blush heat his cheeks and tried to hide the rush of pleasure that came with the old nickname. It was funny, but he was fully grown, and that name had always made him feel as if he were standing at his Preserver’s knee, hiding as he was introduced to others. “And I was not seeking permission. I am going, and I just wanted you to know I would be out of touch for a short time.” He adjusted the fit of his red leather pants and made sure his whip was attached securely to his belt.
“But — but — but they only have two eyes! And their skin doesn’t glow, Jabel!”
“And they don’t have prehensile tails or penises.” He had to egg his Advocate on just a little. It gave the man something to complain about and was, in his opinion, quite amusing.
“Ugh, the notion.”
Jabel smiled at his Advocate, noting the glow that usually surrounded the huge bearer was not as bright as usual. Even the buzzing clan markings that covered his face and carried on through his hair didn’t pulse with their usual joyful lights. His Advocate was really worried.
“Hey.” Jabel reached over to cup Rozir’s face, realizing maybe he had teased his Advocate enough. “It’ll be fine, Advocate. I’m only going for a week. And I am a trained Imperial Leviathan. What could happen to me? I regenerate any missing parts, and I am immune to human ailments… I was spawned and altered to be nearly indestructible, and with you as my Advocate and Joklim as my Sponsor, I am more intelligent than the usual Imperial Leviathan. I will be fine.”
“But what if –”
“I will be fine,” he repeated, leaning forward to press a kiss against his Advocate’s closed third eye right in the center of his forehead.
“Just be safe.” Rozir’s prized dark skin flushed with a healthier glow as he pushed his fears aside, probably for Jabel’s sake and to send the first egg he’d hatched off with confidence. “Your Sponsor and I would be abject with grief if something were to happen to you.”
“Where is he, anyway?” Jabel wanted to say goodbye before he left and maybe get some good advice. His Sponsor, Joklim, had been to Earth several times and was groovy with the whole human scene… They still said groovy, right? Sometimes their radio transmissions were so out of date.
“Checking over the hatchlings… as usual.” Rozir’s lips pulled into a smile. “I was very fortunate to find your Sponsor. He is a most unusual mate, Jabel. Joklim settled down to do his twenty with the corps and returned with minimal loss of limb. They do regenerate, but they are always just a bit smaller than the original. There was a time when it took fifteen revelations of the moon for him to grow his left arm back. The healers thought the Dark Ones had devised a new virus to stop our regenerations, but their playing with Bactria only led to their own downfall in the end. Your Sponsor adapted, and new antibodies were created and injected in the Leviathan class as well as the Advocates. All new hatchlings were born with the antibodies, and your line was praised for its endurance. Their biological attacks were useless for an age because of them. If anyone else had been infected before the introduction of the antibodies, thousands would have been lost.”
“Advocate, that was a quirk of genetics.” He shook his head and bent down to place another kiss on his Advocate’s third eye. “That could have happened to anyone of our line.”
“But how many would have ignored the call to take the warrior’s way instead of enduring the stares and whispers given to a crippled Leviathan? He could have chosen to ram his craft into the blockade they were fighting. Instead he ignored the calls for his sacrifice and lived to create you.”
“More like he lived to spite those calling for his death.” Jabel chuckled. “My Sponsor has always been one to chafe at authority.”
“A habit you picked up from him, no doubt,” Rozir grumbled.
Jabel stepped back and grinned down at his Advocate, noting that caring for and nurturing many eggs had not taken away from his warrior-like figure.
He knew Rozir kept to the same rigorous training exercises his mate had kept even after he retired from active duty, if only to spite the ones who still dared look down their noses on their line. While other Advocates grew round and soft while being pampered by their mates, Rozir turned his nose up at such treatment and trained twice as hard as before he gave up the warrior way to lay eggs. After each successful delivery and incubation period, he was out on the training fields, rebuilding muscle lost from his time tending to the hatchery.
This was one of the things that made the House of Amiret unique. Jabel’s house line was one of the younger lines, hatched out of necessity when the government needed more adaptable warriors. And since his line’s inception, there had always been several from the House of Amiret serving in the Imperial Leviathan Corps.
“Then I shall go and find my Sponsor.” He hefted his pack over one shoulder and gave his Advocate a final, one-armed hug. “I will bring my L Bars and Imperial Sword,” he offered. “And in Amiret house style, I will eviscerate those who would stand in my way.”
“Excellent.” Rozir relaxed a little before tossing his intricately braided black hair over his shoulders. It clanged with beads and bells, a sign of his mate’s esteem. He knew Joklim dressed Rozir’s hair every morning, showing honor to his person and his line. It was a tradition Jabel intended to keep once he had chosen a mate. “Now be off with you, little hatchling. Enjoy your time before the things of youth are forced aside for the tribulations of adulthood.”
* * *
Joklim was a mighty warrior, and it showed in his every word and deed. He now stood overlooking the one egg in the hatchery, his gold eyes keen on the electronic readouts that showed this new egg’s development.
“Sponsor,” Jabel announced, leery of walking up behind the older warrior without making his presence known. He had done that once and, even with his enhanced reflexes, he could not dodge the instinctive blow that nearly knocked him out.
“Ha, Jabel.” Joklim turned, and the scarred visage of his Sponsor made Jabel want to stand at attention as he was taught in academy. “How fare you this glorious day?”
“I do well, Sponsor. My Preserver is more than pleased with my progress and now has several offers of Preservership.”
“Ka.” Joklim snorted, rolling all three of his eyes. It was a strange human concept that he had taken to before his own Corps service and had yet to stop. “Preservership does not make the warrior. It is the combination of lines that create the male, the tutorage of his Advocate and Sponsor that gives him his heart, and the training and knowledge of the Preserver that settles it all into place.”
“Sill, my Preserver has a lot of offers.”
“Which he will turn down.” Joklim spoke with confidence. “He has already laid claim to this newest hatching. I think he wants to prove the rearing of you was not a fluke.”
“Indeed.” Jabel chuckled. “If he managed to create more of me, I am not sure if the Imperium would be satisfied or horrified.”
“A little of each.” Joklim laughed, tossing his head back, his long black hair flowing down his back in its warrior braid. “But it is a new tradition that will keep them from growing stagnant.”
Jabel thought of the many punishments he had endured because of his stubborn nature and insubordination, but none of his trainers found fault with his skills. He was nearly undefeated, his one loss coming after several hours of hand-to-hand combat at the hands of his trainers early on in his training.
“I am going to Earth Con,” he informed him, watching as Joklim’s smile grew. “I intend to be there for the week-long event in the town known as Philly.”
“I assume there will be much debauchery?”
“You assume correctly.”
“Sex? Consuming of human spirits? Sex?”
“Take note that I said sex twice, Jabel. I am quite sure you can do my legacy proud.”
“I intend to.”
“Very good.” Joklim took his pleasure almost as seriously as he took his warfare. “If there are problems, an old ally of mine is stationed on earth. Mikhale Fas-something or the other.” Joklim nibbled on his bottom lip, and Jabel felt a flush of pleasure when he realized how like his Sponsor he looked.
They both possessed the long black hair of the Amiret line as well as the tall, muscular form. The difference was in their complexions. Joklim was paler in skin coloration while Jabel was a creamy light brown, the combination of Advocate and Sponsor showing in his skin. They were both of a build, though Joklim’s handsome visage was marred by several battle scars that proved his experience in battling the Dark Ones.
“He knows of the people of Earth and their ways. If there is a need, he can assist you.”
“I thank you, Sponsor.”
Joklim reached out and pulled his first hatchling into his arms, and Jabel relaxed into the hold. He was no longer a youngling to court affection from his Sponsor, but nevertheless, he felt the love and regard his Sponsor held for him.
“Now off with you.” Joklim released him, holding him at arm’s length as he examined him from head to toe. “Have fun, youngling. All too soon, you will be facing the perils of war.”