RATING: (M) Featured themes: occasional heterosexual activity, references to male/female genitalia, mating rituals, implied alcohol/sexual/domestic abuse, drama, angst, gambling, brief reference to slave trafficking, derogatory remarks, English/Yautja profanity, explicit descriptions of torture/violence, sensitive themes (death/birth/neglect), and implied witchcraft/sorcery. You have been thoroughly warned!
The arena echoed with roaring Yautja.
Three xenomorphs lay dead in oozing heaps of black and green. The champion's body glistened, reflecting a fresh sheen of sweat. It rolled off of his body in small beads, contouring his muscle as he panted to catch his breath. Compared to other warriors of his stature, he stood immensely taller than the rest (no shorter than nine feet at least). His first victory alone shows that he remains the bravest, strongest, and most cunning of those who came before him—other contestants entering the tournament with elated pride and failing just the same. He was, without a doubt, the most honorable—and logical— choice for a Sire. Protector. Mate.
A certain female's keen eye watched as he basked in the shrouding attention of his fans while they whooped and hollered for him—their undefeated champion.
Centerfold, he stood pounding his chest while a booted foot lay atop the dead xenomorph's head. She could practically see his face swell with pride as he deliberately inflated his chest so that his smooth, amber skin rose and fell with his labored breaths. The thermo-netting around his legs, now shredded and drastically discolored, was tight enough to suffocate even the strongest men. His muscles were thick and angular, making his armor rather bulky; more so than the other warriors in the arena.
She hated to admit that he was the most brilliant male she had ever laid eyes on in her lifetime.
The future queen's innocent yet deviant eyes couldn't help themselves. His entire anatomy made her mouth water, and she wasn't even aware of how uncomfortable she had become just sitting on her thrown. His sweaty, bare biceps flexed as he clenched his hands into iron fists— talons sharp and ready for another round. She desperately wanted to look away, but when he began to shift his weight to face the opposite side of the arena his armor (ornate with battle mars and gashes) winked at her, flashing shades of red and orange toward the royal family as he turned—reflections of the grand, colossal fire pits surrounding the gladiator ring. She was mid-breath when he was mid-turn. The full on size of his groin protruded from his body like an extra limb. Between that and his other features, the princess was completely and utterly dazed.
Admiration was quickly swallowed up by guilt and anger. She looked away with a jerk of her head. She felt dirty; lowly even. She was far too young to be gawking at a male (despite his physique) far older than she. Still, avoiding his breath-taking image was nearly impossible—him currently being the center of attention— and borderline torture; especially when he let his mandibles expand, releasing a deep, resonating roar to finalize his claim on victory. The crowds were in awe, responding to their champion with their own rattling growls.
The young female cocked an eyebrow, shifting in her seat with unease. She was royalty. She could have anything she wanted, couldn't she? Even him... Right? The young sovereign shook her head, dismissing the thought. Just when she was about to inwardly scold herself for having tyrannical thoughts, the audience—even her own family— bolted from their respective seats to applaud the champion as he lifted the dead prey above his head like an offering to Paya. The princess scoffed. They were giving him a standing ovation. Like he needed it, she frowned, he was already cocky enough as it was.*
His adoring, screaming fans were undoubtedly impressed by his hand-to-hand combat skills and utter brutality without the use of plasma canons, or radioactive sais. Despite the rules of engagement, it would seem that his weapons of choice were his bare hands and a blunt knife anyway. While her people cheered, she remained seated, scrutinizing his behavior with a keen eye as lights sporadically flickered around him like flaring strobes. The more he emotionlessly basked in their hefty cheer, the more she felt the pit of her stomach jolt in frustration. Did he really deserve all of this praise? He wasn't that impressive... The young princess crossed her arms with an agrivated huff.
The royal family overlooked the entire vicinity of the chaotic arena on a towering platform made of marble stone. Banners were hung high above their heads in wavey folds of indigo satin. The royal symbol—the family name—was embroidered in the center of each banner with champaign-gold tinsel—a finely twisted rope, no larger than a pup's dreadlock, made from moon-dried Es'pion Flyer feathers. It was a rare piece of fabric and rather hard to come by, but worth every penny to the royal family nonetheless.
Despite being the future of the Yautjan race, the princess' throne was a pitiful sight. It would never compare to that of her sires' royal chairs. They were forged in pure gold, elevated higher than any of the other thrones on the platform...and then some. It shimmered day and night without the help of burning pits or jewels. Her thrown was the smallest and the least decorated of five. Being the youngest of their mother's brood, her's happened to be forged with bronze—a peculiar metal their harvester hunters used to mine from Earth. It was sparsley adorned with jewels of any kind, save for a random diamond here and there. If that wasn't embarrassing enough, she sat in between her brothers' thrones—theirs forged in silver and profusely decorated with a variety of rubies and polished stones.
The buzzing lull she had heard while daydreaming was suddenly replaced by the erruption of yet another round of applause. This time, the princess found some reason—any reason—to clasp her hands together and mesh with the applause. At that very moment, her heart began to flutter. Her breath hitched inside her chest. Her body was suddenly overwhelmed with intense heat. He was looking at her. His piercing glare sent shivers down her spine. She waited while he took his precious time to turn his entire body toward her.
Before the princess could even comprehend his movement, the male champion was slowly making his way to the center of the platform—to her throne—as if to taunt or tease her. His pace was nonchalant and every step he took shook the very core of his body, every fiber of his muscle. Holding her breath, the princess chirped nervously, clicking her mandibles anxiously.
Her father—the Elder Elite— couldn't have picked a better time to address the crowd; unknowingly saving his daughter from a direct confrontation with the champion. The Elder Elite interrupted the champion's path, meeting the brute halfway. Lifting a weary hand, the king silenced his mate's people at her command.
"You fought honorably. They were dangerous prey," her father clicked proudly.
The young female felt her shoulders slouch. There was something about the way her father spoke to the champion that made her twitch with jealousy. He greeted the brutish warrior as if he were royalty; as if he were family. The princess frowned bitterly. The champion mumbled a thanks before pounding his chest and bowing to the Elder stiffly. He turned to the queen next—his bow lingering a second longer for her—then to the young bloods (her brood brothers), and then, finally, herself. The royal family nodded simultaneously in return.
The champion returned his attention to her father, tall and confident. As if reading her thoughts of jealousy, his shoulders broadened with pride; though not a hint of emotion could be detected across his face. She grimaced. At a glance one would have expected him to be a ruthless, passionate warrior; one with fierce immorality and unimaginable skill. But he wasn't. The princess couldn't even tell if he was breathing or not. He was like a stone statue. When she looked up at him again, he was staring at her. It was brief, but noticeable. She looked away, hoping he would eventually find someone else to peg with his tireless glares.
The champion's name was Ye'yinde.
It meant The Brave One.
*Every pun intended. ;-)
Ye'yinde = "Yeh-yin-day"
There you have it! Please review and express your honest thoughts!