“What the hell is this for?”
Katie flicked at the tentacle-like appendage dangling from Drago’s neck. He flinched at the motion, putting two hands around his neck while pushing her away with his tail, as if terrified she would do it again.
“Never!” he bellowed, “never touch a Kowlang’s menterals!”
“Alright, fine,” Katie said.
Six months she’d been stuck on this ship. Maybe stuck wasn’t the right word. Imprisoned. It was a prison no doubt about that, but more because she didn’t want to leave than any bars on the windows stopping her getting out. The last planet they’d set down on, he’d killed three of the Buu… Buunarni… Big Blue Bastards.
Dragging the head of the last one into the loading bay, he’d let her walk around the base of the ramp. She put her foot on an alien world. How crazy is that. But seeing what was lurking out there, she didn’t venture far. Drago was many things; a commander, a warrior, a bit of a prick. But he never hurt her.
“I’m going to have to remember that,” she said, wrapping more gauze around his bicep.
“I would not recommend repeating the action, little one. Not if you wish to see the blue world again.”
Earth. He couldn’t pronounce the word properly without splitting his mandibles so far apart you could put you hand between them. And you did not want to put your hand between a Kowlang’s mandibles. Katie was on a residency in French Guiana when she’d had a cow or ox or something brought in with complaints from it’s owner it wasn’t giving milk. Sure enough, it’s belly was covered in the little blood suckers. Three jaws, covered in teeth. Now imagine that, only big enough to take a bite out of an elephant.
Drago cupped her chin.
“It will not be like you remember.”
He’d warned her before. He always promised to take her home. She had no reason to doubt him. Well, she had reason, but if she admitted it she’d be giving up all hope in exchange, so she bucked up her ideas and counted down the Rays. Rays. Drago’s days. They hopped between planets, doing a hundred light years in a week. But it seemed you couldn’t break the speed limit without paying a price and Drago’s fine was pretty huge.
“I know. I just want to see another friendly face.”
His grin split his chin once more. She flicked another menteral and hopped down from the pedestal. Drago growled, standing up so he towered over her and blocking any exit from the small dojo. If he didn’t scream ‘warrior’ enough, every wall in the room would do the job a thousand times over, affixed with spears and swords and knives and weapons of every make Katie recognised. And a lot more she didn’t.
“I warned you,” Drago said. “Do not do that.”
“Why, does it annoy you?”
Katie smirked. She’d been getting more and more confident. She even took a leg of… something from his plate the other day during the midnight meal. He bent down on one knee, clapping a huge hand on her shoulder and curling his tail around behind to pull her in close.
“For my kind, it is a mating ritual, to touch another’s most intimate parts.”
Luckily shame seemed to be a universal emotion and Katie turned away awkwardly. She hadn’t been this red since that night in pre-med with Matt and the stethoscope. But Drago smirked and touched her forehead to his chin. It was like an affectionate kiss only she didn’t have to look at rows of sharp teeth.
“We land in an hour, prepare your things.”
The ship landed on the outskirts of a city that could have been London or some remote hicktown for all Katie cared. She just wanted to see a person. A human. A real human being. As the ramp landed she ran out, heedless to Drago’s calls for restraint. As she touched the dirt the ship behind her vanished, it’s outlines invisible to all but the most discerning eyes until Drago stepped out beside her.
They walked together. Or more accurately Drago strode while Katie kept up a gentle job to keep pace. Which was fine by her, she wanted to get to where they were going. The city crept into view slowly, an endless vista of slums, elevated highways twisting across the horizon.
In the centre stood a monument Katie reminded from a childhood trip. The Eiffel tower was almost lost amidst the chaos. It was encrusted with small dwellings and looked ready to topple.
“What happened?” she said.
Her eyes were wet but she refused to cry. This was home. This was where she’d been fighting to return to ever since Drago took her.
“Your planet has aged much since we left. It has navigated it’s Star dozens of times. I told you, little one.”
“I want to go home,” Katie said, heading back towards the ship.
Prompt originally posted by KingKadorrah on reddit and received 2 upvotes.