The AEssyrian High Priest was a skinny, bent old man that spoke his native tongue in a dialect Doctor Harlan Ambrose had never heard before. As one of a handful of human doctors on this planet, Harlan had struggled to learn the local language, but because of the complex pitches and tones, she’d had minimal success. She smiled and tried to look friendly as he spoke.
The High Priest removed his tunic, tossed his cane on the floor and scrambled up onto the examining table. The green skin around his arms and chest sagged from age and his reptilian eyes showed some minor cloudiness. He pointed to his groin, with long black nails, barking and screeching out a bunch of complaints. They were accompanied by some disturbing hand gestures.
Harlan frowned. This was hopeless. She needed an interpreter. She popped her head out and called her receptionist, Karla, in.
Karla, a tall, curvy, alien woman, was dressed in a short, ivory dress with a plunging neckline. The color of the dress set off the light green of her skin, but her dyed red hair made her look rather clownish. Her large breasts seemed just about to burst out of her clothing. Even though she wanted to confront her, Harlan kept her anger down. Who comes to work dressed like that?
Karla eyed Harlan up and down, then glanced at the High Priest. "What?" she said in English.
Harlan took a deep, calming breath. "Could you please ask this gentleman what his complaint is?"
Karla rattled off a series of questions to the High Priest. After a lengthy conversation between the two, the receptionist turned back to Harlan. She smirked and said, "He says his penis isn’t working anymore."
Harlan swallowed, wondering if Karla was making the story up to embarrass her. She decided she didn’t have much choice but to trust the woman. After a lengthy question and answer session, Harlan wrote the High Priest a prescription and asked him to come back in a week. She hoped she’d have a better interpreter by then.
When the High Priest had left, Karla said, "I need the rest of the afternoon off."
Harlan was half expecting this. Karla was forever in need of time off. "Why?" she asked.
"My mother’s ill."
"Wasn’t she ill last month?"
Karla shrugged and leaned in the doorway. "What can I say? My family is sickly."
King Megolyth’s concubines were stunning in the soft light of the royal baths. Their green flesh glowed from the steamy moisture and their long dark hair was plastered to their round, luscious breasts as if it had been painted there. They huddled near Megolyth as he lounged in the warm pool, pouring soapy water over his back and chest. One lusty maiden leaned down and ran her forked tongue along the spinal ridges between his shoulder blades. He glanced back at her and gave a barely perceptible shake of his head. She quietly retreated to the background. Other than that, he paid them little attention except to stroke a belly here or a breast there. None of these captive women seemed to hold much interest for him. He was still a king in search of the ever elusive perfect queen. At least for now, his matrimonial pursuits would have to wait. He had more pressing interests that needed his attention.
General Gavin Theron stalked into the balmy grotto slowly, his heavy boots thumping on the stone floor. He took his time breathing in the rich scent of the women’s bodies. They made his dick ache in all the right ways, heating his blood with thoughts of a good, long orgy. Unfortunately, as desirable as they were, none of them made him feel like his human lover, Doctor Harlan Ambrose. The mere thought of her was lustful torture and he vowed to find the time tonight to ravish her, no matter how busy he got.
Megolyth watched him with an amused sparkle in his eyes. "You’re late," he scolded good-naturedly. Then he added, "You’ve gained weight. A good, stable woman seems to agree with you."
Gavin grunted his acknowledgement. He made his way over to the bath and leaned against a stone pillar folding his arms. Ribbons of steam rose from the pool and coated the dark gray stones with their moisture. The humid air was infused with the scent of exotic oils. "What can I do for you, your Highness?"
Megolyth rose from the tub and one of the women wrapped him in a long, black robe. He turned to the women. "Leave us," he said with a wave of his hand. They gathered the oils and towels then quickly left the room.
Megolyth sat on a carved stone bench and pulled his wet, black hair back over his shoulders. "I’ve been studying your service record."
Gavin shifted his weight. "Have you?"
"Thank you, but I doubt you asked me here to pay me compliments on my career."
Megolyth ignored the sarcasm. "How ambitious are you?"
Gavin frowned and studied his king. A small knot formed in his gut. "I guess most would say very ambitious."
"Most would say that. What would you say?"
Gavin unfolded his arms and moved closer. "What are you asking me, really?"
Megolyth leaned his head back and took a deep breath. "I’m asking you if you have the appetite to take this kingdom and make it into an empire."
Gavin stared at Megolyth in search of any signs of humor. Was he serious? Historically, several AEssyrian kings had attempted to build an empire by warfare, but not one had ever been successful. The potential was there, especially now. Two of the neighboring kingdoms had ailing monarchs and no heirs to speak of. As a result, their armies were weak and undisciplined. Trying to take them by force would be an all or nothing deal; either they’d win or be destroyed trying.
"The real question is do you have the stomach for it?" Gavin said. "A move against either of our neighbors would bring unprecedented bloodshed. Our losses would be great and leave us vulnerable to attack ourselves. Are you willing to assume the risk of losing a kingdom you just obtained? The nobles are another problem. They enjoy their lives of leisure. You won’t find many war supporters there."
Megolyth smiled, but there was no humor in it. "You let me deal with the nobles," he said. "And you? Do you have the stomach for it? Or do you also enjoy your life of leisure?"
Gavin placed his hands behind his back. He paced in a small circle trying not to agree too fast. This was the chance he’d waited his entire life for; a chance to become the most celebrated general in history. This was an opportunity to do what has never been done before. How could he possibly refuse?
He met Megolyth’s gaze. His heart sped up as his soul hungered for the carnage of battle. Closing his eyes for a moment, he could almost smell the blood. This was his destiny, what he was born to do. "It will take a lot of planning and resources."
Megolyth rose from his chair smiling. He advanced holding his hand out to Gavin. "So you’re in then?"
Gavin met his king half way and took his hand. "My most gracious sovereign, how could I refuse you anything?"