Bride of Albis
m/m science fiction
Chapter 1: The Pirates
The ship shuddered as the enemy weapons pierced the shields and Sam yelled for his crew to brace themselves. Against what, he didn’t know. If the enemy continued, they would be blown up and bracing themselves against the continual impacts of the blasters would do no good. But it was instinct; he was captain and he had to do something to reassure his crew. They clung to whatever was at hand and Ellen managed to get to a chair, strapping herself in as the vessel was battered back and forth as the pilot attempted to get away from the enemy ship.
The enemy had appeared out of nowhere and sent out a pirate signal. Sam and his ship had very little of value and he knew that a quick scan of his ship would reveal that to the pursuing ship, so it was likely the pirates would just destroy them. But they had been dodging fire for minutes now and the pirates seemed to be focused on crippling them, not destroying them.
The pilot gasped as an enemy blast smashed into the navigation systems on the hull of the ship and all steering became useless. Their ship slowed and came to a halt as the enemy fire ceased and Alex held up his hands helplessly, unable to steer the ship any further. Sam watched in growing horror as the pirates approached and prepared to dock. His crew looked at him for direction.
“Stay calm,” he said, more to reassure himself than them. “We’ll give them our cargo and hope that’s enough.”
The pirate ship was far larger than theirs and far more heavily armed, since it was built for skirmishes and they were a simple trade vessel. The pirates who boarded their ship would likely be equally unmatched; pirates were frequently from other species that would have no trouble taking on his small crew of three humans. So fighting wasn’t an option. Their only hope was that what little cargo they did have – a few tons of rice and nearly a ton of food rations – would be enough to satisfy the pirates.
The ship trembled as the pirate ship locked on and then there was the sound of people dropping through the upper port where they had made contact. Sam straightened and got to his feet, as did the rest of the crew. Ellen, Alex, and Tristan gathered behind Sam and Sam tried to look confident and menacing. He heard some of the people heading to the back of the small ship, no doubt to take stock of the goods, and then the door to the bridge was opening and a tall, brawny man stooped to enter.
He was Albin, Sam knew immediately, even though he had never seen an Albin before. But he recognized the species. Or rather, the subspecies. Albins were a form of humans, but the planet they lived on had a slightly different atmosphere and different gravity, allowing them to grow to over seven feet tall and become incredibly muscular. Sam was fairly tall for a space-faring human at six foot three, but this man towered over him. He was also quite beautiful, if one ignored the scars crisscrossing his face, and Sam knew that was also an Albin trait.
Two more Albins emerged after the first and the three of them examined the crew and flexed their arms as if silently warning the crew not to try anything. Sam knew he and the others were properly intimidated, but he tried to keep up his strong, confident stance. Finally, after the first Albin had examined each of the crew, he focused on Sam.
“You and your crew now belong to us, as does this ship,” he said in the common tongue.
He had an accent, but it was easy enough to understand him.
Sam felt a frown flash across his face before he could resume his impartial expression. What did the Albin mean?
“You will be sold as slaves,” the Albin explained, no doubt seeing the confusion on Sam’s face.
There was a shocked gasp behind him from his crew. They had probably been mentally preparing themselves to be killed, but to become a slave was entirely different. Pirates rarely took slaves, preferring to deal in material goods instead. But had never heard of Albin pirates, so all bets were off.
Sam didn’t know what to say, but he knew he had to say something.
“No,” he said simply, and the Albin seemed nearly as surprised as he was by the simple rejection. “My crew will go free.”
“We must make a profit,” the Albin explained, gesturing to the ship. “This ship and its goods are not nearly enough to be worth our time. But you and your crew will make up for the loss.”
Sam racked his brain for a solution that would save his crew. He was prepared to die for them, if necessary, but he couldn’t allow them to become slaves.
“You may take me as a slave,” he finally said. “But you will let my crew go free.”
There was a chuckle from the two Albins behind the main one and they exchanged a glance that Sam couldn’t interpret. The main Albin’s gaze sharpened for a moment as he ran his eyes up and down Sam’s body. Sam nearly flinched at the impartial yet deeply intimate gaze as the Albin seemed to undress him with his eyes.
“You will fetch a good price,” he finally said.
“Then we have a deal? My crew will go free?”
“Sam,” Alex hissed. “Don’t do this.”
Sam turned back to him. “I have to,” he whispered. “I can’t let you become slaves.”
“We’ll find a way out of this together,” Alex whispered.
“Dissension in the ranks?” the Albin inquired.
“No,” Sam said, turning his back on Alex. “I will become a slave as long as you let my crew go free.”
“Very well,” the Albin said. “Come with me.”
Sam looked back at his crew one last time as the Albin grabbed his arm and started dragging him towards the airlock. They looked stunned, but all except Alex looked grateful. Alex wore a look of such mourning that Sam was shocked and couldn’t figure out why he was looking that way. He and Alex were good friends, and several times he had considered taking that friendship further, but work always got in the way. He knew Alex had feelings for him, but surely he saw that this was the only way.
They reached the ladder leading up to the pirate vessel and several Albins were waiting. The head Albin, the one dragging him, spoke quickly in a different language and the other Albins chuckled and leered at Sam. He shied away from their gaze, unsure what exactly the head Albin had said to elicit that type of response. One of the Albins climbed the ladder first, then Sam was pushed forward. He climbed, and when he reached the top the Albin waiting for him lifted him up and into the room. The head Albin followed, then grabbed Sam by the arm again and led him to a small room with a bunk and bath built in. Typical quarters, although everything was proportionally larger than Sam was used to, sized to fit an Albin.
“You must look good when we auction you off,” the Albin said. “And we have an outfit for you to wear. Strip and take a shower.”
Sam nodded uncomfortably. The reality of his situation was starting to sink in. He waited for the Albin to leave, but the Albin just smirked and pointed to the built in shower. A little unnerved, Sam started taking off his uniform as slowly as possible.
Albins were attracted to human males, he knew. Sometime in the centuries they had been separated from normal humans, they had become an almost all-male species. Females were incredibly rare and as a result, most relationships on Albis were between males. When Albis joined the Galactic Confederation, the Albin males were reunited with their human relatives and quickly took a liking to human males, who were seen as ideal brides due to their smaller size.
Sam realized for the first time that since he was being taken captive by Albins, it was likely that he was going to be sold to an Albin. He hesitated in taking off his shirt and glanced at the head Albin, who was watching him with a hint of desire in his eyes. Sam was attracted to men, but he was always the top in relationships. He liked being in control. It was one of the reasons he had become a captain; everything on the ship was within his command. But now, forced to strip in front of an interested and domineering Albin, he realized that his new position as a slave might be an abrupt turnaround in more ways than one.
“Continue,” the Albin said, and Sam realized he had stopped undressing.
He blushed and pulled his shirt off the rest of the way. Then he reluctantly pulled off his pants, and his underpants. He was completely nude.
“Turn around,” the Albin said.
Sam glared at him.
“I said, turn around, slave,” the Albin said again, with a hint of warning in his voice.
Sam bit back an angry retort. After all, he was a slave now. He turned, and the Albin examined his carefully.
“You’ll bring in a very good price,” he murmured. “Are you a virgin?”
“No,” Sam said, thinking of the men he had slept with.
The Albin smirked again. “Oh, you’ve probably slept with people before, but has anyone penetrated you?”
Sam knew his face went bright red and he refused to answer, but the Albin apparently took his silence as a no. Which was the correct answer.
“Good,” he murmured. “Now hurry up and shower.”
Sam was angry as he turned the shower on. The controls were at his chest, higher than he was used to, and the showerhead was so high it felt like rain falling on his head. But he obediently showered and cleaned himself, trying to ignore the Albin watching him keenly through it all. When he was finished, the Albin handed him a towel and watched him dry off. Then the Albin handed him a thick cloth and helped him wrap it around his waist so that it covered his privates and his ass completely.
“If they want to see what you look like, they have to pay the price,” the Albin explained.
Sam flushed. He was still mostly naked, so whoever ‘they’ were would still see quite a lot, and it unnerved him to think that there would be men spending money to see him naked. And do quite a lot more to him, most likely. What had he gotten himself into?
The head Albin led him out of the room and grabbed his arm again, leading him to a meeting room that was completely empty. There were twelve monitors set up in a circle around the room, and several Albin guards stood by the door. They smirked as Sam was brought in wearing nothing but the loincloth and took their time running their eyes over his mostly nude body. The head Albin arranged him in the center of the room and put a hand under his chin, forcing Sam to look up at him.
“Now then, slave, remember that your voluntary participation in this is the only reason I’m letting your crew go free. If you try to run, or do anything to disobey me or the men who will be bidding on you, their freedom will be forfeit. Do you understand?”
“I understand,” Sam said, trying to hide the anger in his voice.
He was furious at being treated like this, but he had agreed. He would become a slave in order to earn his crew’s freedom. He should have known what being a slave would entail, and he couldn’t back out now. He would be a voluntary participant in his own captivity because his crew’s lives were at stake. It would be hard, but he would swallow his pride just this once and obey the Albin and whoever was bidding on him.
“Very well,” the Albin said. “First you will be examined. You may not remove your loincloth even if you are asked to do so. Then the bidding will begin. You are not to say a word during the entire process. Slaves do not speak.”
Sam nodded. The Albin seemed satisfied and released his chin. Then he gestured to one of the Albins by the door, who typed several codes into a computer, and suddenly the twelve monitors showed twelve Albins, all staring at him. The monitors completely surrounded him and he turned his head to look at the screens behind him. Yes, they were all full of Albin faces. They were definitely bidding on him as a bride. He swallowed hard. The head Albin spoke briefly, then left his side and he felt abandoned in the middle of the room. The twelve faces stared at him hungrily. The auction had begun.