From Writers Exchange
“Hello, be-u-ti-ful!” A tall, lean figure in the sloppy, eye-aching purple fatigues of the Wedge, the exploration-and-rescue arm of the Galactic Fleet, stood in the doorway of the next checkpoint.
Elin nearly barked a response that bordered on crude, but she knew she was under surveillance as much as she kept those idiots at the last checkpoint under surveillance. She was a Khybor, and no matter how valuable her services to the government, no matter how flawless her record, she still had her family reputation to live down. Her multi-great grandmother had been the first Human to successfully carry bio-crystal in her blood. Kheeran had been classed a rebel and a danger because she refused to let the paranoid military lock her in a dark box for the rest of her life. All her descendants had proven themselves just as stubborn about freedom and personal choice, and just as willing to seriously damage anything that stood in their way. Even though Elin’s great-grandmother had forged a profitable, useful alliance between Khybors and the government of the Central Allied Worlds, the so-called voice of civilization and Humanity, that didn’t mean the family had given up its dedication to fighting for what they believed in or wanted. Elin’s mother had taught her to watch her mouth whenever she was around the unenlightened. Who knew, after all, when the Set’ri would decide that a foul tongue meant Khybors were mentally defective, therefore unstable and a danger to Humanity?
Elin shoved aside the constant complaint about elitists and paranoid cowards that ran at the back of her mind in a subliminal grumble, and offered a wide grin and wide-spread arms to Colonel Rorin Pace as he strode down the walkway toward her.
“Fi’in bless me, but I must have done some clean living for a change,” he declared as he scooped her up, held her tight against him and spun them both around two revolutions. “You look good, bratty kid.” He set her down, but didn’t step back right away.
“You don’t look so bad yourself, mud-grubber.” Elin ducked when Rorin reached to yank on her long, bronze-colored braid. She stuck her tongue out at him, earning a roar of laughter.
“If I’d known you got the short straw this duty shift, I’d’ve come down to personally escort you,” he said, as they strode up to the last checkpoint before Elin could enter the ship.
“Why?” She saw the answer in his eyes before he opened his mouth. “More Set’ri threats?”