Long-haul trucker Phred Cormier needs to make a delivery. Instead she finds herself part of a cargo. Snatched by an unruly crew of space pirates making a black market drop, to find her way home she must go along for the ride.
Trucking through space now, she is the alien in worlds she has yet to understand.
Adeus captains Kist, a high-tech ship he won in a card game. Taking a short-cut that crosses through the orbit of the savage planet, he makes a small detour. Phred's cries for help compelled him to pick her up. Once he sees the Earth-born beauty, he's determined to keep her. She might take a little convincing, but as a privateer ace he loves a good challenge. She will be his -- he'll stake his life on it.
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Triple Digits (Alien Mother Truckers 1)
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2017 Kassanna
In the semi-darkness, white lines on the black tar road blurred into one endless streak of color. Cocooned in the cab of her semi, Phred Cormier scrubbed her hand down her face. Fatigue made her eyelids heavy and her muscles ache. She checked the in-dash clock -- twelve hours of straight driving -- and she still wouldn't make it to her destination in time. Back-to-back hauls were a bitch. She was a dumbass for agreeing to it, but when her boss stared at her through those big puppy-dog eyes and gripped her hands...
She should have ignored him. It was the whine in his voice, that thread of desperation that did her in. Phreddy, all I got is you, babe. Everyone else is out on the road. A drop and hook. You can do this run in your sleep... yada, yada, yada. How many times had she heard that line? She wasn't Sister-Save-a-Bitch, and yet here she was once again pulling her boss's buns out the got-damn fire. McCormick owed her big for this bullshit. She sucked in a long draught of cold, recycled air. The pace was wearing on her. She would have to stop soon and get some shuteye.
One of her favorite songs, an old rhythm-and-blues tune, floated softly from the speakers. Phred turned up the music to sing with the artist. Beyond her windshield, surrounded by twinkling stars like diamonds on velvet, the moon hung full and low in the night sky. The route was lonely, and the barren landscape of the desert beyond the security of her truck only reinforced that feeling of isolation. It was desolate and beautiful. The lonely words belting out through the cab's interior fit the atmosphere.
To make better time, she'd taken lanes she wasn't familiar with, and since leaving the Interstate there were fewer cars and trucks on the road. It had been hours since she'd seen another vehicle. She checked her mirrors and rolled her head on her neck. She promised herself she would take a few hours to rest at the next rest stop. Only she hadn't seen a sign announcing one of the areas in hours.
A flash of light split the sky, and she started counting in her head. An old trick her momma taught her to determine how far away the storm was. Seconds later the rumble of thunder blotted out the singer's high note on the radio. Fat drops of water splattered the windshield and became a deluge within minutes. She downshifted to slow the big rig down while tapping the lever that would start her windshield wipers. Maybe someone upstairs was trying to tell her she shouldn't have taken the old route.
Phred squinted, the headlights ineffective in cutting through the continuous sheets of rain beating across the grill. The constant thump on the roof was like a bongo player beating a rhythmic tattoo on his drums. Even the wipers couldn't keep up with the amount of water streaming in rivulets down her rig's windshield. Staying on the highway was no longer an option, but she couldn't pull onto the soft shoulders flanking the blacktop.
She snatched up the handset to her CB radio. "This is Phreddythicknsexy out here in the middle of the desert on route six sixty-six with a load and a deadline. Anyone out here? Come back?"
Static filled the air while she waited for a response.
"Ten thirty-three, Phreddythicknsexy." She needed to know if there was a rest stop in the area. Someplace to hole up and wait out the storm.
The truck's beams flashed on a sign, and she struggled to read the information quickly. Route six sixty-six will be changing to four ninety-one. Seriously? Get the fuck out of here! Gusts of wind shoved her truck sideways into the other lane. She wrapped both palms around the wheel and twisted it opposite the airstream to keep her rig on the right side of the road. Her truck jerked and her biceps bulged to hold the semi steady. Lord, get me through this, she recited in her mind. Still, nothing but white noise filled the air, and suddenly her CB and radio went silent.
Okay, maybe she'd entered a dead zone. There were bound to be patches in the desert. Yeah, she wouldn't panic just yet. Someone would answer her soon. Abruptly, the weather changed, and the squall stopped as quickly as it had started. The wipers scrubbed the glass dry and squeaked until she tapped the lever down. This run wasn't worth the money.
The radio blinked on again, a commercial's garbled words echoing through the cab... then deathly quiet. A quick turn of the knob did nothing to alleviate the silence. She clenched her jaw, grinding her teeth. Worry niggled at the back of her mind, and she couldn't escape the growing feeling something was wrong.
Relief replaced her growing concern when lights appeared in the distance ahead of her. A stop, she was sure, was just miles up the highway. Phred pressed her foot down harder on the gas pedal. The lights she thought were stationary were moving toward her at incredible speed. She cocked her head, trying to understand how that was possible. Phred slammed her foot on the brake, but her truck wouldn't stop, instead gaining speed into the triple digits. Fuck, fuck, fuck.
She tightened her grip on the steering wheel, her nails digging into the smooth leather. She snatched the handset from its cradle. "I don't know if anyone can hear me, but there is some serious shit happening out here. Help. Come back... please." Phred ended her plea in a whisper.
To hell with it -- she couldn't back up or stop. Screw it. If she couldn't get away from whatever the hell was happening she would ram right through the motherfucker. She jammed her stick into gear, shifting two at a time. The transmission's high-pitched whine escalated with each movement. Her rig was topping out at a hundred and forty miles per hour. Her heart pounded and she sucked her bottom lip between her teeth. Lights flashed, and the landscape lit up as if the noonday sun were high in the sky. Phred screamed as brightness engulfed her cab. This can't end well.
Scenarios ran through her head. The truck jerked, and the roar of all the cylinders working filled her ears. Cacti and other foliage buzzed past her window as blurs against a gray landscape. Colorful dots swirled through the air, and her body drifted up off the seat until her breasts and waist pressed against the seatbelt.
The top of her cab was pried back. Shrieking metal, easily twisted by some unknown force, was cut away. She could see nothing beyond the beam and raised her arm to blot out the rays. A series of clicks and garbled sounds reached her ears, and she tilted her head to hear them better. She stretched out her limbs, spreading her fingers to try and touch the darker shape that floated just out of her reach.
If she was hallucinating, then her demise was epic. Her fingertips grazed something smooth, and then everything around her faded to black.
The ambient green light of her dashboard no longer glowed before her. She blinked several times hoping that she would catch a flash of something -- anything -- and tried to lift her hand to wipe at her eyes only to realize her arms were pinned to her sides. Phred slid her legs against a smooth, cool surface. Bindings tightened around her ankles, pulling her feet apart. She twisted her head, straining her eyes to make out shapes that might be familiar to her. Fear welled up, twisting in her belly. Warm tears slid from the corners of her eyes, and she squeezed them shut. This is a dream. You've been driving too long. She lifted her lids to the nothingness, and screamed.
* * *
Adeus stared into the medical bay that housed the tiny human woman. Her screams confused him. All he'd done was answer her call for help. The only reason she was in the clean room was to make sure she didn't host any parasites. It was protocol to makes sure anything they picked up from the blue planet was checked thoroughly. The aliens there had some hellish beasts that lived in your body and ate through you until they burst free.
He knew because humans projected the images of it happening out into the universe. Probably as some sort of warning. Adeus shuddered. Once they broke free the things moved onto another host. That was not a critter he wanted to make contact with, although it would probably be worth several taels to the right buyer. He shook his head at the idea and studied the female thrashing on the table. Maybe she was a trap to infect his crew. Rumors swirled about the other-worlders and their distaste for beings unlike themselves. They didn't much like each other.
He'd never encountered a species that asked for help then cried when they received it. No wonder the rest of the galaxy still viewed this planet as primitive. Perhaps it was an act and they were smarter than initially believed. But she was a beautiful specimen. Her dark hair was thick, and the curls wrapped tightly around his fingers when he twirled them in her tresses. The soft texture appeared course until he touched it. Her skin was the deep mahogany of the frozen Ajin sea on his home planet of Nexus. And her shape... He wondered if she wore protective padding under the half pants that covered the lower part of her body. He adjusted his growing erections. The woman was made for sin.