Arcot and the Queen
by Luca Rossi
Copyright 2013 Luca Rossi
by Luca Rossi
Copyright 2013 Luca Rossi
This novel is part of a collection of short stories
The planet Vlaolia is ruled by a powerful species of vampires. Trade with earthlings is rare, and not many space shuttles venture out to the fringes of the galaxy to exchange goods and merchandise with this world. The culture of its inhabitants, the Vlaoli, remains largely a mystery. Vlaolian society is based on the principles of absolute hierarchy. All power is in the hands of Queen Vril, who makes all decisions regarding the life, or death, of anyone .
When Captain Arcot's ship reached the vicinity of the planet, he was granted permission to land in the capital's biggest space port. He was going to complete the transaction that had already been previously discussed via spacelink. Once he landed, Arcot was surprised to find no mere master-at-arms was waiting for him, but the Queen herself.
The Vlaoli are slightly taller than earthlings, incredibly strong and perceptive. They've mastered the powers of telekinesis, telepathy and prophecy. Arcot had spent a lot of time practicing with a mental shield to prepare himself to meet with them.
Once he reached the throne room, Arcot felt every single one of his emotions was directed towards, and strictly dependent upon, the Queen's presence. The hall was filled with towering purple columns and bas-reliefs whose inscriptions narrated the history of the planet. At the top of a long flight of stairs, the Queen sat on her throne. Soldiers stood motionless near each column, only to disappear with a simple wave of her hand.
Arcot felt his blood run cold at the idea of remaining alone in the Queen's presence. He felt an irresistible impulse to move forward: it was as if an invisible force led him towards the throne. The sound of his footsteps echoed through the silent hall.
Once he reached the bottom of the staircase, he was forced to kneel. He tried resisting the best he could, but his legs bent by themselves and he found himself on the floor, his gaze directed downwards.
For just a split second he remembered the formalities usually used during business negotiations. He had never found himself in this sort of situation before.
He waited for the Queen to speak, yet was overcome with the curious suspicion that his thoughts and emotions were under the Queen's intense scrutiny.
He felt another urge he couldn't resist, an impulse to move closer towards her, and slowly began to climb the stairs. He wanted to lift his head and look up but couldn't: he was forced to keep his head down.
Once he came closer to the sovereign, his eyes became slaves to her nude feet. The magnetism between them was incomparable. He kneeled down again and his head automatically bent down. He tried again to resist but instead sensed a dark attraction emanate from those feet and slowly come over him.
In that same moment, he lost control over his own mind and limbs. He felt he no longer needed to make his own choices. Every other thought and emotion left him as the energy radiating from those feet enveloped him. He observed their every detail: they seemed perfect, like the most beautiful things he had ever had the honor to lay his eyes upon.
The Captain closed his eyes and placed his lips on the Queen's feet. Time stopped. He felt he could remain frozen in this position forever, without being able nor wanting to separate from her. He wished harder and harder that this moment would never end, that the energy moving through his lips into his entire body would fill him up completely.
He obeyed, though extremely reluctantly. He delicately removed his lips from her feet: the separation was excruciating, as if he was depriving himself of everything that he had ever truly wanted all his life. He rose to his feet.
The Queen was swathed in a tight dress whose dark colors were constantly changing. The Captain did not dare look into her eyes, instead he observed her limbs, her lithe legs, her tiny and perfect waist, her generous breasts. The vampire's classic figure showed through her dress. Arcot wondered what he should say or do, yet was unable to utter a word.
“Look at me!”
“Look at me!”
He raised his head and looked into her eyes, dark as the depths of outer space. Her black, extremely long hair was slightly wavy, licking the edges of the throne upon which she sat. Her lips, as red as blood, stood out from her milky white skin. Arcot immediately sensed the sheer power of her gaze. The emotions he had been holding back until then erupted all at once. He wanted to tell her and show her an infinite number of things. His words were about to gush from his mouth yet the Queen cut him off before he began.
“You can't stay here.”
The Captain did not reply. He didn't understand. Those words were a stark contrast to everything he felt at that moment. He couldn't even comprehend the idea of being away from her. Vril continued:
“The Vlaoli are an elite race. We have lived on this planet and this planet alone for thousands of years. We only trade with other beings in this galaxy to the extent necessary. We continuously study other planets, much how scientists study mice in a lab. For us, other people are simply not worthy of interacting with us. We believe that one Vlaolian vampire is worth the population of an entire world. The few foreigners that live among us have become our pets. You are young, earthling, a dreamer, determined, courageous. The mental shield you tried using doesn't do anything in this hall. I know everything about you. If you ask to stay here, I can permit you to do so in chains, sitting in a corner of the royal palace. You would spend your days doing nothing else than begging for the occasional glance. Now turn around, go away and never come back.”
The Captain still had not dared to address a single word to the Queen. He felt short of breath. His tongue was made from stone. After her response, all kinds of thoughts swam through his mind. Nothing made sense. He remembered the vampire stories he and his friends had told as teenagers. He remembered the images of bloodthirsty vampires. Finally he found his answer.
“There's something that not even you, my Queen, can do without.”
Vril looked at him curiously and, for the first time, a glint of interest shone through her hard and firm eyes. She intuited what Arcot was going to stay and felt a deep, dull desire throb inside of her. The Captain continued:
“I could be your living reserve of precious earthling blood.”