What I came here to do
She stands in the chamber like an oiled statue.
After all this time and many planet systems later, I canít believe I am seeing her here, a slave to the Aterian trader I have come to kill.
She slithers through the doorway and goes to give him a kiss.
I want to puke.
No human should ever kiss anything so putrid as something like him, all horns and scabs.
No wonder his race refuses photographs.
No world would deal with them knowing what they look like in advance.
How did she get here?
The last time I saw her on one of the French worlds prior to the federation invasion,
She wanted to marry me, but wouldnít wait for me to finish my assignment.
She assumed I would get kill trying to assassinate the federation leader.
I nearly was.
I survived on the rage of her leave me, killing everyone and anyone as if each one was her.
Now, I find her a slave on a planet 100 light years away, and a slave to one more target I am assigned to kill.
The Aterian thinks Iíve come to trade for raw materials.
But she knows better.
She can give me away with a sign, and yet, makes no sound.
The Aterian notices my attention towards here and assumes it attraction.
He is not totally wrong.
Old love stirs inside me like a slumbering fire.
I try to crush it out but cannot.
The Aterian tells me I shall enjoy her tonight, and we shall leave our business transaction until morning.
Then she leaves me along with her, the two of us alone in the same room for the first time in years.
Of all the planets in all of the galaxies, why did I have to pick this planet to land on?
She says I havenít aged a day.
I know she is lying.
We make love, then sigh apart.
She wishes she could leave when I do.
But as his slave, she must stay.
She knows why I have come, and tells me Aterian law calls for her to die when her mater does.
My escape plan allows only one person to escape.
I know I still love her.
I know I will do what I came here to do.
I know I will miss her forever when I am done.
She knows these things, too.
We make love again before I slip out of the room to go do what I came to do.