Title: The Borgia Kiss
Author: Kurt Heinrich Hyatt
Genre: Science Fiction
Book Heat Level: 3
BLURB: The Borgia Kiss
Falle Crandell is a young starpilot of PanGalaxy Spacelines, content with her life and career until her tourist flight crashes on the sinister Swampworld. After being rescued as the sole survivor she discovers she has contracted a rare virus which lives in her body fluids and contains a venom, for which she herself is immune, but can kill others on contact.
EXCERPT: The Borgia Kiss
Wind blew through the jungle gorge rustling the thatched roofs of the little Ghote village. The adult males squatted on the sundried mud, searching for fleas in their fur or fondling clubs spiked with splinters of obsidian. The smallest of the Ghotes weighed over three hundred pounds and they resembled body-building sloths with curved canines hanging from warty muzzles. Their morose little eyes watched the strange human girl unload crates from the jetwing and walk toward them.
Falle’s impractical black bodysuit had been discarded for the simple Aghaid loincloth and band supporting her breasts she had worn on Satellite. She pushed a strand of platinum hair from her eyes and gazed out over the group. They stared back with the insolence of a classroom full of delinquents facing a new teachmaster.
“As you all know, Umas raiders have set up an outpost on this planet as a prelude to colonization,” she began, her voice carrying though the hot, clear air. “The Rim Mercenary Battalion has sent me to train you in the use of modern weapons, military discipline and tactics. You will learn them. Because if you don’t, you will find yourselves speaking fluent Umas and this little village of yours part of a Umas slave labor logging operation.”
There were several yawns from her audience and a few mocking grins.
“Major Grange tells me you’re the best fighters in the Eastern Gorge and you’re going to make crack troops,” she continued. “Now after meeting you all in person all I can say is you’re the most worthless bunch of rejects I’ve ever laid eyes on.”
The yawns and grins evaporated. Hair began to rise on bulging necks and arms, paws tightened on spiked clubs.
Falle noted the response with grim satisfaction. “I know what you’re thinking, hairballs. You see this little blonde girl walking around in front of you in this scanty loincloth and you’re probably wondering if she’s good to eat. Well, I don’t discuss my sex life with anyone, especially with raw recruits who aren’t fit to dig a squathole.”
Saliva began to drip from curved incisors. The Ghotes began to sneak furtive glances at each other, searching for a candidate in leading a mass assault.
“Which one of you sissies thinks I’m wrong?” she asked in a finale to this carefully orchestrated preamble.
A hulk of fur and muscle ambled over, blotting out the sun.
“I Tik-Tik. No like you talk bad about Ghote warriors. Tik-Tik ready fight you.”
Always the biggest and always the bully,thought Falle.
“You know what, Tik-Tik,” she said. “I think you look lonely and unloved.”
Tik-Tik paused, stared at her in blank confusion. “Huh? What you say?”
“I think you’re lonely, unloved and need a kiss.” She leaned toward him, pulled his face to hers and planted a wet kiss on the massive lips.
Tik-Tik jerked back in surprise, almost dropping his club. “What you do that for?” he demanded, scowling. “Now Tik-Tik show little human wedge how…how…” His small eyes began to bulge, the club clattering to his feet. He uttered a choked bellow, clutched at his throat and fell heavily to the ground. He thrashed about, lay still.
“Well now,” said Falle to the hushed and gaping assembly. “Who else is lonely, unloved and in need of a kiss?”
The Ghote pack scrambled to their feet and stood at attention. Spiked clubs landed on the ground before them.
“Very good.” Falle opened one of the crates and pulled out a weapon. “What I have here is a Model DDIV pulse rifle, capable of two hundred rounds of phased photon energy per recharge.”
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