Bad Alien Boss (Royal Aliens 6)

Page 42

I don’t feel any of those things. I feel weird. And buzzed. But not quite buzzed enough. I slide off Terrible’s lap and take a quick detour to one of the replicators to get another glass of merlot before sliding up to the nearest crew member.
“Hi,” I say. “I’m Lucky. You don’t have to ignore me. I won’t get you in trouble.”
Still they they refuse to so much as look at me. I can’t get anybody’s attention. I don’t know why this bothers me so much. Maybe there’s still something wrong with me right at the core. I need to be acknowledged by everybody. When Terrible yanked me from Earth, I was making a public scene. I’m creating another scene now, flailing across the bridge half-drunk, attempting to make conversation with aliens who act as though I’m not there.
“Make them talk to me, Terrible!”
“I will not. They have jobs to do, and you are distracting them. Come here and sit.”
He is speaking to me like I’m a fucking dog.
I bark at him, because of irony.
“That is not a sound which translates to any meaning in mine, or any other language, human.”
I was once voted most likely to end up drunk on a starship making dog sounds, but it was on a funny internet poll for social media and I didn’t think for a second it would describe my future. Does that mean all the stupid internet polls have deeper cosmic significance? Does this mean I really *am* a Samantha and not a Miranda?
“What point are you trying to make, human?” He puts his hand to his head and lets out a sigh of breath. I am driving him to madness while expressing my own.
“You talk to me like an animal. And they treat me like a ghost.”
“What do you want, Lucky? Do you want power, do you want to have all eyes on you from all people at all times, or do you want to be cherished by me?”
“Both? Can I have both?”
“It is rare that any of us can have both of anything,” he says. He’s right too. Life is all about choices and sacrifices.
“I’ll take cherished, I guess,” I say, taking another long drink of wine.
“I think you’ve had enough of that grape juice,” he says. “I begin to suspect that is not an innocent beverage.”
“Not nearly enough,” I smirk. He doesn’t know what wine is. He thinks it’s just fruit. And technically, it is. It’s just the kind of fruit juice which makes me feel very happy and settled and celebratory.
I make my way unsteadily across the bridge toward him, nearly missing my footing here and there, catching myself on various consoles and whatnot. If the captured aliens find me annoying, they don’t let on.
Terrible gives me one of those bright scaled scowls as I more or less fall into his lap.
“Are you intoxicated, human?”
“How have you become intoxicated? Is it the beverage?”
“You’re a quick study.”
“You’re a mess,” he sighs, taking the drink from my hand. He throws it against the wall, the cup clanging loudly against sensitive instrumentation, the wine making things hiss and spark.
I let out a laugh of surprise. I know just what happened there. He thought he was going to dematerialize it. He keeps forgetting that doesn’t work on this ship. It’s fucking hilarious to watch him revert to his old ways of doing things only to snap his fingers and have nothing happen, or in this case, to throw something not into eternity, but into a flashing panel of lights which probably do super important things.
“Someone clean that up!” He barks the order and pretends he’s not embarrassed, but I know better. “You are a distraction,” he growls down at me. I tense, knowing the trouble is going to have to land somewhere, and sensing it will land in the approximate place I am sitting.
“Are you mad at me?”
“I am almost always mad at you, for one reason or another. You are a maddening little creature, you know that.”
I do know that.
I also know that he said that with a smile, and there is none of the sneering, serious, absolute disdain he had for me when we first met. Terrible more than loves me. He has become fond of me. He has softened to all my ways.
And he doesn’t have time to be that angry with me, because suddenly we are coming into range of King Tyrant’s ship. I’ve never seen it from the outside before. It’s beautiful. It’s a big, long, sleek, color changing craft which has a sort of air of improbability all around it — like, you’re not sure you can fully see what it is, you just have a sense that you’re definitely seeing something.
Sirens start to go off on the bridge.
“We’ve been detected,” Terrible says.
Sure enough, Tyrant’s voice is projected across vast space by merit of some communication device which still uses speakers, I think. There’s a talky button on the panel in front of Terrible.