Alien Captive Mate by Penelope Woods

Year: 2076

Location: Renegade Prisoner Transport

Deep Space.

* * *

Deep space is a fucking nightmare.

I’m the only cadet aboard this ship. My superiors trusted me and a few higher ranked leaders to pick up and transport alien prisoners, the scum of the universe.

We won’t let them down.

Unless I fall in love with an alien.

Yeah, right. That’s not going to happen.

Deep space isn’t for the faint of heart. There’s a reason nothing exists out here.

Nothing can survive here. Not even love.

No one thought a woman could last on a renegade alien prisoner transport, but I’ve done well for myself out here. My computer stats remind me how far I’ve come. Four quadrants and thirty-three percent of habitable pockets explored. I’ve seen what I believe to be a black hole, and you bet your ass I’ve witnessed other odd things I can’t explain.

I’ve seen just about every alien there is in the identification book, but I know there are other species out there. Kinder species who fight for love.

Most of them are like us, horny and ready to do anything to find a mate. They’re just more upfront with their wants and needs. Humans are more respectable, but we often get left behind because of it.

The savages always win. That’s why I signed up for Earth’s top prisoner transport, the Renegade. It’s not a glamorous life, but it’s the one I chose. I and I alone made that decision. That’s more than most people can say about their lives.

Today marks my thirtieth birthday, and no one aboard the Renegade has extended their well-wishes. The captain didn’t even bring down a bottle of whiskey for me to sip on alone. In fact, the entire crew seems absolutely fine with ignoring me all day. Judging by the tone of voices, people are tense. We’ve got some time until we get back to the international space station.

The trip back home is always the hardest.

The toughest part of exploring the cosmos is the lack of physical contact. Not that I’d want to get with anyone on this ship. One-night stands aren’t my thing. But a part of me thought I’d find someone out here to love. I know how crazy and stupid that must sound, but it’s true. I believed I’d meet my match out here.

That’s so not happening.

I try not to think about Earth. That planet has done me no favors. Besides, there’s a bunch of shit back home that I’m trying not to think about right now. The usual family crap.

I’ll get over it.

When you manage the phones, A.K.A. the intergalactic network, you hear a lot of crap. Bad breakups. Deaths. Space pirates. You name it. I’ve heard it all.

Unfortunately, our radio has been busted for a few weeks now. We can’t get any calls from NASA or the Federation. No mapping systems will activate either. We keep getting some screen asking about a passcode.

Just about the only thing we can get is a low level frequency call from inside the quadrant. Local calls, essentially.

What does this all mean for the Renegade? Well, we still have one mission left to fulfill our quota. But without the proper automation, we have to do it all manually. I’m not excited to hear what the next job entails.

As we fly, a frequency comes in range. It’s an inbound call from a reliable transport source, Der Adler. “Renegade Transport, you out there?” a voice asks.

Unwilling to work on my birthday, I bite the inside of my tongue. “Earth to fucking prison-catchers. Answer me, already,” the voice adds.

I know who’s calling. Jacob Weingall, some German guy who signed up because he’s a sadist. Word on the street is he actually gets off on this shit. Who knows if it’s true?

So far, I’ve kept friendly. But I don’t exactly want to take a job from this guy.

I grab the receiver and arm it. “Well, if it isn’t Jacob,” I say. “What the hell do you want?”

Bitter laughter reverberates in my padded room. “Ah, it’s Willow Easterman, the source of all my troubles,” he says. “You’re still out here? Find a boyfriend yet?”

I laugh, but I don’t appreciate the inquiry. “They’ve got me working on my birthday of all days,” I reply. “And to answer your question, it’s a resounding no. I work too much to care about a boyfriend.”

“Sounds about right. You Renegade folk work with sticks up your ass,” he says, chuckling even harder.

That’s about all the conversation I can get going before I let my irritation get the best of me. “All right, Jacob. Let’s hear it. What do you got for me?” I ask, hoping it’s nothing.

Sometimes, these guys call just to talk and act weird. But he’s got this tone of voice that tells me there’s a hell of a lot more coming my way.

“Got a live one for ya,” he responds.

“Another prisoner?” I ask. “We picked up sixteen last quarter. Took us a few months to get back to the first quadrant.”

We almost died too. Our fuel ran out, but I managed to dig out a spare canister in the cargo hold. It was the last one we had, so I’d say it was a godsend.

Something tells me that whoever Jacob has for me is going to be more of a pain in the ass than anyone we’ve picked up in the last year.

His voice is taunting, tone set to make me feel weaker than I am. “You getting soft on us, cadet? You’ve only been out there for four-hundred days. Calendar’s telling me you’ve got about two-hundo more,” he says.

I look over at my flight journal. Yes, I’ve spent four-hundred lonely days up here. There are two hundred more to go, but according to my books, we only have one mission left. After that’s finished, we can spend as much time celebrating as we want. I’ve always wanted to turn the lower levels into a nightclub...

“I’m fine,” I growl. “If you want to spar over details, tell your crew I’ve fared the best out here. Compared to my male counterparts, I’m calm.”

A crew member in the hallway yells. Something’s going on, so I check the cameras. Of course, with the network down, they’re not showing any images. The commotion soon ceases, so I shrug my curiosity away.

“American men are weak. You should think about applying for Der Adler. Our men don’t complain,” Jacob says.

Now I’m laughing. “Right. Like I want to be on a ship full of Germans. You guys are like Americans without the humor.”

“It beats having superiors that raise the price of cigarettes every month,” Jacob says.

I don’t smoke, but I’m sure most of the crew members on the Renegade would agree. There’s a lot of crap I’ve gotten used to here. These days, we don’t get many government packages. I know the Germans are used to their handouts. The only welfare we get are their prisoners. If we make a speedy delivery, there’s bonus pay.

No one makes a speedy delivery. It’s impossible. But I guess that’s part of the fun. The race against time is one hell of a drug.

But that’s not why I signed up. I believe in the good of Earth Federation. It doesn’t matter what country you’re from. We are all one in this fucked up cosmos. We need to stick together.

“Anyway, I understand if you’re too chickenshit to take the order,” Jacob says.

Chickenshit? Who does he think he’s talking to? “Like I said, I’m fine, asshole,” I tell Jacob for the last time.

But I don’t know if that’s true. These days, space has been spinning inside my head like a broken fucking carousel. Just spinning too fast for me to keep staring. I like to pretend I’m back at the space station, looking down at Earth. Even when I’m millions of miles above my world, the mere sight of the beautiful blue planet is enough to keep me grounded.

Out here, I’m floating. Endlessly floating. I can’t stop it, and the only thing that makes me feel any better is finishing the job. Jacob’s taunts only add fuel to the fire.

“I don’t know, Willow. You might not be able to handle it. The guy I’ve got for you is wanted in all four quadrants. He’s insatiable,” he says.

“Insatiable?” I repeat. “As if the others weren’t?”

It doesn’t matter how far you get with the prisoners, they’ll always turn on you. If a space cadet finds themselves backed in a corner, it’s obvious what’s on their mind. Doesn’t matter if you’re male or female. A lot of these savages don’t have the same hangups as us humans. They’ll whip out their fat cocks and show you their idea of a good time.

Their brains aren’t as developed as ours. Fucking and cumming is all they care about.

For instance, I picked up this green alien son-of-a-bitch a few months back. He had an entire fleet on his ass, but I knew his weakness. Pussy. It’s every alpha alien’s weakness. So much so it’s becoming a bit of a cliché.

All it took was me getting on his ship, smiling the right way, and showing off a little backside. Once I nabbed him, I felt sick for days. I questioned my own reality, even my sexuality. But after a week passed, I saw my bank account skyrocket, and I felt a little better.

That’s the thing about this job. Every day comes with an unbearable heaviness. Little by little, it breaks you. It turns you into a human without complex emotions. It’s shoot or be shot, take or be taken.

I never lose.

“I want the job,” Jacob I repeat.

I hear him typing hard on a keyboard, as if every finger tap is deliberately pounding to get a rise out of me. “You’re a few light years out,” he says. “And it says here you just delivered a package. Ah, shit.”

He curses and sighs. I can hear his chair squeak as he forces his spine against the upholstery.

“What’s wrong?” I ask.

“I think I fucked up,” he says.

“It should allow us to accept the transport. We don’t have any jobs lined up. Renegade servers will want to connect us to a bad guy eventually. Should be squared away and ready to go,” I argue.

“Looks like the system hasn’t paid your crew out yet,” he says. “I can’t get it to accept.”

It’s the damn network. If anyone is to find a workaround, it’ll be Jacob.

“So what?” I ask, face turning red with sudden anger. “Fix it.”

These jobs… they’re emotional. I know how that must sound, but I don’t like being told no. He called to give me a new project, and I’m going to take it if it’s the last thing I do.

“I’m not the one who sets the quota,” he says, typing. After a few seconds, his fingers stop. I hear him breathe out against the receiver, defeated. “Uh -oh.”

“Dammit, Jacob. Can you stop sighing and tell me what the hell is going on? It’s my birthday,” I say.

I never play the sympathy card, but I’m getting tired of the runaround. It’s my birthday, and I want my prize. A mean alien with an enormous cock. I’ll cry if I don’t get my way.

“So what you’re saying is you called to give me a job you can’t actually give,” I say.

Jacob laughs nervously. If the Renegade’s network wasn’t down, I’d witness his annoying Germanic expressions flashing on the screen.

“Hold on,” he says. “Eat a quarter pounder. You Americans are the most impatient,” he says, accent thick.

I want the job because I need the money. I’ve got family back on Earth that relies on it. But if all things fail, it’s going to be okay. There will be time to figure out my next move.

“Holding,” I say.

“Okay, honeybun. You have been approved for transport. I’m on the way to bring you an alien with considerable girth,” he says.

I feel my heart race. My blood floods with endorphins. I must look pretty crazy because I’ve got the biggest smile on my face. Is it wrong that I love my job this much?

Don’t answer that.

“That a boy, Jacob,” I say into my radio headpiece.

“Hey, you’ve known me for six years now. I don’t disappoint,” he says.

I punch in the coordinates and set the starship on a direct path to Der Adler. As soon as the thrusters switch on, I feel the ship’s artificial gravity shift. It’s the sickening feeling I’ve grown to love; it tells everyone another hunt has begun.

Thank God, the engine still runs.

“Another day, another dollar,” he repeats, still so German.

My birthday package is on its way.

I just hope it comes wrapped in a nice package, complete with a nice bow. And if I have to jerk him off to get him to calm down, that’s okay. I’m used to the dirty. The Renegade doesn’t give a fuck about our feelings. Our crew is ruthless.

We aren’t out here to find love. We’re here to take.