The royal throne room echoed with careful discussion. The cavernous space was exorbitantly crafted and made with expensive materials by expert craftsmen. It was opulent to say the least. The room loomed over the two Hjott males as they carefully discussed their important business.
An enormous throne was as the forefront, in a position opposite the large entryway. The throne itself was adorned with carvings and gilded decorations. Each small piece of art on the chair would have cost more than most people could make in an entire year. The materials used were precious and some of them difficult to come by, adding even more to the luxury of what was essentially just a chair.
But this was also the throne that seated arguably the most important man on the planet Jatra: King Thras. He was a Hjott, a royal race of beings who occupied this world. The two men, being of the Hjott race, were enormous themselves. Thras was a particularly impressive specimen and a fine role model for what a warrior king should be. He was six-foot-eleven, dwarfing not only many other people of his own race, but also those of other races around the solar system. His impressive golden skin seemed to shimmer and shine as he moved around, and the light reflected on him. His hard muscles added to the effect as they bulged out in every possible place all over him.
The Hjott people had a natural skin pattern that was one of their more alluring physical traits. On Hjott, it showed almost like a faded tattoo that was deeper shades of gold than the rest of his skin. His dark violet eyes were always watching carefully, looking for new information and possible threats. Assessing and surveying. Reading those around him and remaining watchful. His long eyelashes complemented his striking eyes and gave him a sense of sophistication that the women of his planet found intoxicating.
The very top of his head was the only place his dark hair grew, which was standard among his species. It was long as was their custom and style. Since he was royalty, his hair was pulled into a special warrior's knot. This was bound together by an inscribed, hammered, copper band.
Vini stood before the throne and addressed his king. He had similar physical attributes, only they were less impressive. That wasn't saying a lot, however. Since there were few, if any, men on the planet who were as impressive as King Thras. Vini's hammered band was black, just like the rest of the Hjott males who were not of royalty.
Across his prominent forehead were three creases, which seemed like they were etched into his golden skin. These were a very characteristic feature of the Hjott male. Thras' creases were a brilliant example of this. Each of his two ears had an earring in it, which dangled down low. These were made from silver cylinders in a surprisingly rough fashion. There was a single violet stone in each of these, denoting that the wearer was of royalty much like the copper head band with the insignia did.
Thras clenched and unclenched the six thick fingers on his large hands anxiously. It was a small freedom that he only allowed himself because there was no one else present but the two trusted warriors standing guard at the sole entrance to the throne room. These two men looked ahead of them and remained ever-vigilant for unwelcome intruders or other signs of threat to the occupants of the massive throne room. He also tensed up his feet where his three large toes were.
In between making eye contact with the man before him, he took in the view. There were giant windows overlooking the Jatra Ocean's bay. It was a breathtaking sight to behold, and one that helped to center his mind. That was especially important given the topic at hand.
Thras was in a deep discussion with Vini, his right hand man. To say that Thras would willingly trust his life to Vini was an understatement. In fact, he trusted him with things that were much more important: things like the very kingdom, and the safety and wellbeing of all those who dwelled there. Those things were more important than Thras' life as far as he was concerned.
"Yes, the rumors are entirely true," Vini said. He was standing by the throne.
Thras had never been comfortable having his most trusted and loyal men stand while he sat comfortably on his throne. But that was the tradition and there was no point in fighting it. The throne was glorious to look at, but as a functional chair, it was far from the most comfortable thing he'd ever placed his toned behind upon.
"There are Terud and Aulius ships landing on Jatra without invitation then..."
"I'll admit that I was shocked when I heard about it," said Vini with a serious expression. If this was bothering Vini so much, the magnitude of the situation must have been extreme.
"Well, what would you advise me to do about them?" he asked Vini. Thras had many potential plans of his own forming already; had started thinking of them the moment he was told of the Terud and Aulius movement toward their sector.
"We honestly don't have enough information yet for me to make a sensible decision. Our stationed troops have been doing their best to deflect the unwanted, visitors. Until they give us more news about what is going on out there, we are somewhat in the dark.”
"All the technology we have, and we can still be left sitting here without knowing what's going on around our own planet. I suppose some things still haven't changed much from when my ancestors sat on this throne."
"That's absolutely true. However, I am awaiting word and hope to find out more very soon. That's why I asked to meet with you at this time. To give us enough time to discuss the matter before word arrives."
"Excellent," said Thras.
Someone arrived at the entrance and the guards allowed them through. It was Kenor, star commander pilot and fellow Hjott. "Sire, I have grave news," he said as he approached the throne and bowed his head to the king.
"Tell me," said Thras.
"Those on Prorr fought with honor, but their numbers were just too few to stave off the attack from so many ships."
"Please, out with it," interrupted Thras impatiently.
" I had fears that the star gate would be breached when I first heard rumors of ships landing on Jatra. Unfortunately, I was right to worry. The Prorr star gate has been breached. It's now useless to us.."
"I worried about this too, but was hoping for better news," replied Thras.
"Let me through, let me through!" shouted a familiar voice.
Oszul rushed by the guards, who bowed their heads and moved quickly out of his way. He was the head of the Jatra military and seemed understandably flustered. Also bowing his head to his king, he began to speak.
“Oszul, what brings you charging into my throne room, has the Terud or Aulius attacks worsened?”
"No, King Thras, not that I am aware. I was with the traders just now. I have purchased another female slave from a regular Terud trader." Noticing the looks of apprehension on the other three men's faces, he continued, "Don't worry, he is not from the warships, he is a trusted trader who is allowed passage here on Jatra, despite what is going on with the enemy ships. I was there seeing about weapons, but he had a number of slaves available as well."
"Is this one human?" asked Thras with an upset tone.
"Yes, of course. Humans are strong of body and mind," replied Oszul impatiently.
He was getting tired of these other races who he found alluring but could not mingle with. He longed for a mate of his own. That was to be the duty of his father, to find a suitable mate from a selection of royalty. Now that his father was assumed dead that was never going to happen. He secretly wished that Hjott royalty was permitted to breed outside of their own race. Their women were frail and prone to dying during child birth. He felt that a king needed a strong woman who could stand by his side for a lifetime. Was that too much to ask?
"Sire, you know that it's forbidden for you to fraternize with the human slaves. I can see that look in your eye."
"I know, I know..." Thras had to keep pretending he didn't want anything to do with these exotic and tempting women. It was common knowledge among his most trusted men that Thras was dreading the day his father arranged his marriage with a Hjott woman. The thought of her dying like his mother had, due to being so frail and weak was too much for him to consider.
And just like that, Oszul had gone and purchased yet another forbidden temptation to dangle in front of him. "They are beneath you, beneath all of us," confirmed Vini. "I am afraid you must come to accept that."
Thras was thinking about raising objection, perhaps trying to persuade the others that he just wanted to talk to the new slave out of curiosity. Before he was able to speak his mind, the palace shook violently with a massive physical blow. Screams came from Thras' young sister, Pari’s chamber.
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