The Parable of Two Queens
Mary E. Lowd
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Copyright © 2009 by Mary E. Lowd
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The guards backed away, cautious, ready to intervene. The diplomat raised his eyebrows, hopeful. Unfortunately, the aliens didn't stay still for long. The Zi'rai representative launched herself at the Zee'nee, and their fight broke out again. N-jointed arms flailed and mandibles snapped. The four human guards flew into the fray and laboriously re-separated the aliens.
The Zi'rai, with her dramatically striped carapace, strained against the guards. Her brilliant stripes catching the light, the Zi'rai cut an imposing, bellicose figure. It took three guards to hold her. The Zee'nee, however, cowered. His deep purple carapace blended into the shadow cast by the one guard, Crewman Davis, standing over him.
"Take them away," the diplomat said, lowering his head into his hands. "Three of you guards take the Zi'rai to cellblock gamma and keep a two man watch over her at all times. Crewman Braieden, take the Zee'nee to cellblock alpha. I'll join you shortly." The diplomat stumbled over the word "crewman"...it always felt weird to call his one woman guard by that title.