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Alien Blood, Book 2 in the Diaspora Worlds series is a summer story. It takes place on a wilderness planet.
They are chosen to be contestants on the wildly popular Wilderness Planet Survival Game, in which two prisoners compete to win credits and their freedom on a wilderness planet, soon to be open for immigration. With every moved recorded by a swarm of flying cameras, Kellac and Gema fight their attraction to each other
The competition goes well--until the spaceship carrying the show's production team crashes onto their wilderness planet. They are stranded and survival is no longer a game. .
The dugout was a small but serviceable shelter, with a sod and tree branch roof and a sod front wall. The sapling door didn’t have hinges, but could slide into place and be fastened shut from the inside, providing safety from animals.
Inside, the ceiling was high enough for Kellac to stand. There were two beds formed from meadow grass and a place for their belongings. Some distance from the dugout was their food cache, hanging high in a tree.
It would do. They could sleep through the night with a small fire in the pit outside the door, and be safe. Taking turns on watch was tiring even for him after a number of days. He looked forward to resting on the pile of grass through a whole night.
With Gema just an arm length away. Touching distance. But no touching allowed.
Kellac sighed. He was on a constant level of sexual frustration. It wasn’t as if they were ever apart enough for him to even have a good yank. The swarm was always present, except in the lavatory, made of a tarp. And the primitive lavatory was not a place where anyone wanted to linger.
Gema made him hot. He thought about her sexually dozens of times every day. She acted as though they were sexless. Buddies. Co-workers. They hadn’t talked about sexual matters since the first day, but he didn’t think Gema had changed her mind even a little bit.
At bedtime shortly after sundown, Kellac slid the door in place and put the locking sapling across it. It was a wise precaution, they’d seen a pack of slinky swift golden furred creatures run down to the river several evenings, some type of predator. They also found claw marks high on a tree when they'd explored the higher hills one day. From the highest hill they could see
mountains in the distance with an expanse of forest, leafy trees on the lower land, conifers higher up. Wild country.
“Beautiful. Imagine being a settler here. So many resources,” Gema said.
“You want to be a settler?”
“Yes, but first I would pay for training, some skill in demand in a colony. If I had the credits. And it won't be here, this will be a Puregen colony. You could settle here.”
“Yes. The charges against me are not part of the Allied Military Agreement with Toph. I was only held because I was on
Toph and a high official pulled strings. New Prague was working to get me released when I was selected for the game.”
“Are you homesick?”
“In a way. I miss meeting up with my brothers and friends
on leave. I miss the work I did every day. I want to see all my brothers together at once. We were in the Military Academy on Terra, so we continued through school and into the military. We’ve been separated a lot. It has been years since all four of us have been together.” He paused. “Are you homesick?”
Gema laughed. “For the Toph’s Women’s Pen? No. I have nothing to go
back too, there. I will move on.”
They hiked back to camp in quiet thought.
Kellac stopped to grab wood for the fire. They had stacks of limbs and sticks piled together but hadn’t yet hauled them from the small wooded area to the dugout.
Gema was already on her grass bed, with her back to him, when he
was done making the small fire. She always slept in a baggy shirt and shorts. The shirt hid her torso but the shorts cupped her bottom the way his hands wanted to do.
It was probably for the best. Even now in the twilight the swarm flitted around, taking boring shots of their faces and
dugout the Viewcast editors would cut.
If they had sex, every camera would be right there, recording every breath every exposed body part. He was pretty sure after all this time, and all this longing, he'd be noisy if it ever happened. He'd pull in the viewers for sure.
Gema would never go for it.
He forced his thoughts to other matters, which didn't involve lush breasts or pink lips.
“We’ll be getting a visit from the Game Master soon. What do you think the challenge will be?’
Gema sighed. “Something physical, I’m sure. The audience will be amused at my efforts to climb some rocks or something. They will enjoy seeing me fail.”
They hadn’t gained points on their housing.
“We can make a counter offer,” he continued. “Three players have died, you know, trying to do challenges. A counter offer gives us more control.”