“That is my real name.” Dakota said dryly.
The big bad alien was surprisingly calm, considering his eyes flared with uncontrolled rage. But aside the tingling cheek he received, he didn’t seem on verge of attacking him again. Even that had seemed like a sick accident when he tried to sooth it straight after the hit.
It wasn’t Tige’s fault and for the first time in his life, Dakota didn’t mind a violent partner. He might regret it later, but as it was, he understood. It must have hurt to find out what lay between the legs. Tige was upset and confused and by the looks of it, very much so and he didn’t want to hurt him further by lying to him.He wanted the truth and he didn’t mind giving it to him.
“I was born eight years before Meredith.” He settled for a more comfortable position, pressing his hands between his thighs for warmth. The place was, after all, right against the outer layers of the spaceship and quite cold. “I actually am a chemistry teacher and normally I do wear men’s clothes. I also wear women’s clothes when I feel like it, but until now I have never done it in public. I liked performing on stage as back dancer for singers, but that’s strictly for another..” He paused, eying Tige’s knees and how they nodded lower. He was listening. “About the time your space ships showed up on the edge of our solar system, a new party came to power, who wanted to please you and make friends with the new race. They wanted to show you the most idyllic image they could muster and for that they ordered everybody, who did not follow the norms, to go underground.” He shuddered on the thought. “I happened to be one of them, because I liked spending my time more with men than with women.”
“So you’re saying this was our fault?” Tige asked, visibly irritated by the thought.
Dakota dismissed him with a small wave of a hand. “No, that thing has been brewing for a while. You just lifted the lid off.” And wasn’t that the truth? All the acceptance they’d been praying for seemed like an ugly lid, dirtied by the boiling muck beneath it. “We have a lot of outspoken people among us, who wouldn’t go without fight, and they made sure the government knew about them. So when the NCC was chosen to lead the government that made peace with the Knuthy, and that peace was threatened by what Grof saw as threat to it through cultural depravity, a new plan went in action which included taking more drastic measures to deal with the problems. By how fast it happened, it had to be preplanned, but who cares about that now? He began cleaning us out, wiping us off the picture like dirty specks of coal dust.”
Tige shifted, frowning. He looked disgusted by the thought and Dakota felt relieved to see this was as sick to them as it was to most of the populous. Yet, the populous had done nothing to stop it, figuring it would have better benefits in long run.
“Our grandmother happens to be fierce supporter of the party. She’s always been hungry for power and she wouldn’t shrink away if few people died. I have never really discussed my sexuality with anybody outside my close friends and family. I moved out when Meredith was eleven, but still kept contact. One day, when she was chosen for this program, I received a call from grandma, who told me to never contact them again.” His eyes wondered away and he cleared his suddenly dry throat. “It would threaten her chances here.” He sighed. “So I stayed away, because I was already living out of state and had my own life. I wasn’t keen on spreading the news of my sexuality either – I was working with kids and it was already difficult thanks to NCC to keep my position if it came out.” He moved his legs a little, they were starting to bother him.
“I couldn’t give up the stage and plays. I became close to one of my student, Alice and her dad. He made costumes for us at the theater, so they knew. Knowing was dangerous, because people started to disappear and they would often search for connection points and so… Uh, one day someone would come for a coffee, an hour later they wouldn’t show up at work. Or you were found overdosed on your bed.” He didn’t like talking about it. “Some of my students, who we knew were gay or lesbian before it got really bad, disappeared too and that’s when we realized that NCC was targeting everyone, despite their age or if they were active. It didn’t even matter if we were out – if someone knew and snitched, we were dead! Even the children.”
“Somehow the newspaper caught wind of who I was. A reporter called me to verify the info. I didn’t know what to do, so I went to the first person I could think of. Jeff was always kind and when I…” He shifted a little, moving his knees around on the cold floor. There was too much sand, too much of everything at that point. “He let me stay with them for the night and then he bought me a ticket and organized a new passport to one place he could think of where someone could help me. We figured if I got to Meredith, we could come up with a plan to stop this! We could expose it all to your leaders and, well, if it cost us our contracts with you… I don’t know, it seemed such a little thing to lose if it gave us back our freedom to be who we are. Maybe we were wrong, but… I don’t know what that would lead us in, it’s still so confusing.” He felt tears running down his cheek, when he looked up. “Grof got hold of the article after the newspaper sent it to them for verification. Stupid journalist! He sent a cleanup team at Jeff’s place. I’d already left, but I wasn’t far. I heard the men at the stairs, so I hid in the crook of an old toilet. Jeff was fighting with them and Alice kept screaming at them. A gun went off and Alice stopped screaming and Jeff…” He inhaled sharply, unable to keep the pain away from the horrid memory. He gulped, struggling to keep an eye contact with him. “I didn’t go back to check, I heard them take him with them. I waited it out and left quietly after it got dark.”
“You didn’t try to fight?” Tige asked. He looked horrified and Dakota knew the feeling. If he’d tell anyone else on Earth, what had happened back there, they would be too. “Didn’t you try to find out, what happened to him?”
He shook his head. “No, I knew what happened. We all do. But you can’t fight a monster in its laird. Grof has them taken in a cellar of a apartment building. They never come back – they simply vanish in thin air. No body, no nothing.”
“You keep blaming Grof in it, why? If it’s the action of his men, then -”
“Oh god, you really are clueless! He’s been doing this since you contacted us! When they believed you hadn’t had time to take a closer look on our culture, or see the stuff most of us have been hiding themselves for years! We’ve lived in fear for five years, you really think we haven’t figured out, who our enemy is?”
He almost expected to be called coward. He sure as hell was one. But not anymore. His brows furrowed and determination shined in his eyes. “I ran, yes, and got on the ship! And then I saw Icer Grof sitting four seats down, swarmed by his ugly nest of vipers. Wasn’t that a gift from God? Bastard himself, right there, for easy picking. You see, the bigger the man in power, the more the likelihood most of him is a fake facade. It’s something our history teacher kept repeating. It would be easy to sneak under his arm, you know, for so far away from his home, nobody would know what he did, right? So I decided to kill him – eye for an eye, death to a murderer!”
That got Tige moving and he leaned on his elbows on his knees, groaning with exasperation. But it was starting to dawn on him, what Dakota was telling him and, Dakota figured, would not sit well with a security chief. It didn’t have to, he sooth him in his head, it wasn’t like he was asking for his permission. He’d long made peace with the fact that this might end his life as well. But if it saved so many others, he could do it.
“He has to die! If he gets away with it, we’ll all die! One by one, until there is no one left!”
“And you decided to do it here?” He growled, his eyes filling again with the anger.
“Yes.” He whispered.
“And cause a diplomatic scandal that would take us into war between the species.” He stated, raising from his seat.
“What? No, it’s not like that, we were – it was only meant to st-” He saw him coming in his direction before he was scooped up from the floor and slammed into the metal wall few feet behind him. He was tangling, kept up by a massive hand pressing into his abdomen, the only thing reaching the ground being his toes.
“What else did you think would happen?” He yelled straight into his face, furious. “You kill him here and his envoy goes back telling them whatever they want! How many possible outcomes do you think it has? One – your kind is to blame and should be terminated. Or two – Knuthy is to be blamed and did it to send back message of war!” He leaned closer to his face and snarled. “And you would die on both accounts!”
“I would make a confession on Internet first, I -” Dakota squirmed, suddenly aware of another little problem raising it’s head.
“I’ve heard enough!” His other hand pressed against his neck to make him quiet, but then he jolted, pulling away slightly and looked down. “Are you aroused?”
“I-I-I swear -” Tige’s hands rested on his neck, massaging his throat with his thumb absentmindedly and Dakota relaxed. That’s right, the guy was hot on him, so if he maybe played it right, he could get him to back off. “I could let you fuck me, you know?”
Tige’s fingers choked him and he roared into his ear, raw with emotions. “How can you still offer yourself to me? You filthy -!” he let out exasperated roar before letting him go and taking a step back. He glared at him. “If you try anything against Grof, I will shoot you on the spot!” He headed to the door. He punched in the code and it flung open, letting in a cold breeze that made Dakota shiver. The door whooshed shut after the alien and he was left alone.
He let out a long breath he’d been holding. He ran his hand through his hair, shiver coming back tenfold.