Marlix, a secondary character in Breeder, opposed hero Dak and appeared to be a bit of a villain. He’s now the hero of Breeder 2: Terran. How do you turn a villain into a sci-fi romance hero? Well, you’ll have to read Terran to find out (it’s under contract with Loose Id, publishing date TBD). But to catch you up, here’s a scene from Breeder in which Marlix appears. Dak and his fellow Alpha Commanders Marlix and Tarbek are having dinner. We are in Dak’s point of view.
Excerpt from Breeder.
Marlix’s lip curled as if he’d ingested something spoiled, although Omra’s meal showed all signs of being excellent as usual. “You must halt the contagion before it spreads throughout your province,” said the Alpha. “To other regions.”
Omra’s hands shook as she ladled soup into bowls; jerky movements had replaced her usual grace. Of course, this was her first time serving dignitaries, so her nervousness was normal. Two Alphas of the High Council, Marlix of Province Four and Tarbek of Province Three, and their betas convened in his dining chamber for an evening of conversation.
If he’d had a moment alone with her, Dak would have reassured Omra of his confidence in
Commander Marlix of Parseon Province Four
her ability to satisfy his guests, but under observation he could not do so. His peers would misinterpret encouragement as softness. Coddling would arouse disdain but also curiosity. Already he’d intercepted surreptitious expectant glances. His gut tightened. He sought to dampen their interest, not stoke it.
Omra filled the last bowl, and he dismissed her. “Leave us,” he said, his words and tone clipped by an urgency to expel her from the premises. She bowed and scurried away. Dak motioned for the men to eat and addressed Marlix’s comment. “The Enclave injures no one.”
“The males have anointed females as betas. Does one allow the worm to eat itself through the fruit, or does one cut it out?” Marlix fired back. “The settlement casts a blight on the Parseon race.”
Corren and Marlix’s beta Urazi nodded in agreement. Tarbek shifted his gaze between Marlix and Dak, as if he was viewing two combatants preparing to fight. His light blue eyes gleamed.
“There are only two hundred or so individuals involved,” Dak said. “They exist in isolation with little contact with the rest of Parseon.”
Disapproval had not spoiled Marlix’s appetite, and he spooned soup into his mouth with a fast hand. He smacked his lips. “Excellent.” He nodded at Corren, who beamed.
“Perhaps a couple hundred now.” Marlix picked up his argument. “But they are attracting more degenerates like themselves, and they produce offspring at a higher rate than the rest of Parseon. They breed like vermin.”
Dak tilted his head. “And how is it you know so much about my province?” Alphas commonly spied on each other, even going so far as to plant loyalists from their province in another Alpha’s cabinet and offices. Dak carefully vetted his inner circle.
“I find it prudent to educate myself about threats to my sovereignty. Though we rule autonomously, what affects one has the potential to affect—or infect—us all.” Marlix turned to Tarbek. “Don’t you agree?”
“I concur with your assessment as to the repugnancy of the Enclave. But where you perceive a problem, I conceive of a solution. Commander Dak’s lack of concern serves us all. All we need to do is enforce Protocol in our provinces, and the deviants will flee to his.” Tarbek shrugged. “I would not welcome such an infestation in my province, but I am not Dak.”
“No, you are not.” Dak inserted an edge into his voice and dipped a piece of panna into Omra’s thick soup. He took a bite. Savory flavors exploded in his mouth. He wished he hadn’t had guests so he could relax and enjoy the meal she had prepared. But put any two Alphas in a room and one could not predict what would occur. Aggression and the inclination to dominate simmered beneath the thinnest veneer of politeness. But for survival, he needed to test the winds. He considered the old Terran saying “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” wise advice.
His friends numbered a few. But enemies? Too many to count.
Once he’d considered Corren a friend, but since Omra’s arrival, he had begun to question their bond. Corren had committed no act upon which Dak could lay his suspicions, but his unease had worsened since Omra’s arrival. He glanced at Corren, whose head bobbed in assent with Marlix’s social theory. Corren’s opinion aligned with conventional belief. No one would fault him there.
“The Enclave’s existence undermines Parseon’s political stability. The elimination of social strata, males anointing females—it all hammers at the foundation of our social structure,” Marlix argued. “And the way the Enclave caters to them?” He shuddered.
“It is practically human!” Corren made a face. Urazi nodded in support. Veya showed no strong emotion one way or another but maintained a neutral expression. Tarbek’s beta would make a good diplomat, Dak noted absently. Or a spy.
“If nature had devised another way to produce offspring, we would not need females at all,” Tarbek said and stroked his chin. “My theory is the drakor are expressing a recessive human gene in their behaviors.” He glanced at the betas. “I apologize for my strong language.”
Marlix shook his head. “I rue the day our forebears chose that ill-conceived course of action.”
“We are more than our genetics,” Dak said. “And we had no choice. We would have perished. Terran DNA saved our race.”
“It polluted us. But if, as you say, we are more than our genetics, then perhaps we can eradicate our Terran impulses by euthanizing those who display maladaptive traits and behaviors. I’d recommend dispatching a regiment on a cleansing mission.”
“Genocide? That is your solution?” Dak asked, though unsurprised. He could have predicted how Marlix would react.
“Eugenocide. For the benefit of your province and the planet. One should not allow the weakest, most defective members of a race to breed.”
Dak could not deny the Enclave’s lifestyle and practices were aberrant, but did they merit death? “Bloodshed does not solve every problem.” Dak rested his fists on the table.
“Blood spilled for the greater good is an act of honor. I do not understand your resistance to a purge.” A red-faced Marlix struck the table with his fist.
Dak sought the dagger strapped to his side and leveled his gaze on the Alphas. He doubted the situation would erupt into violence, but whenever two Alphas gathered…
He flicked a glance at Tarbek, who smirked. “Next our esteemed Commander will nominate a female to the High Council.”
Marlix nodded, taking it seriously. “Commander Dak has succumbed to the influence of the Terrans.”
Urazi gasped, but Corren and Veya sat and watched.
Dak rose to his feet. He could not allow the insults to go unchallenged. Word would spread, and he would lose the approbation of his people. “You defame me and violate my hospitality, Commander. Should you wish to take our discussion of our political differences into the personal realm, I would be happy to settle this in a dola.
Marlix leaped out of his chair. “As you wi—”
“I do not believe Commander Marlix intended disrespect,” Tarbek cut in. “Opinions are spirited. Let us concentrate on creating a powerful and prosperous Parseon. Instead of a dola, I suggest another topic of discourse.”
Dak did not react but continued to hold Marlix’s gaze. He could not back down when his honor, his command, and the life of his people were at stake. He would see this through to the end.
Marlix blinked and glanced at Tarbek. “You surprise me by peacemaking, Commander. Surely you would view a hand-to-hand fight to the death as an opportunity to be leveraged?”
Perhaps he and Marlix could agree on something after all. Dak eyed Tarbek. Keep your friends close…
“One needs to select one’s opportunities carefully, lest they become threats,” Tarbek said. “I should hate to shirk my duties to my province while I participated in the tedium of selecting a new Alpha to replace one of you.”
“And while we have our differences”—Tarbek glanced between Dak and Marlix—“better the Alpha you know than the one you don’t.”
To secure his legacy, Commander Dak, a ruling Alpha of planet Parseon, purchases Omra, a breeder slave. He intends to impregnate her, produce a son, and hand her off to his anointed beta partner. As Dak and Omra discover a sexual bliss banned by law, he begins to question the traditions and ways of his people, causing him to jeopardize his command and endanger the life of the woman he has come to love.
Unofficial Terran Blurb
As vigilante killings in protest of the heterodox Enclave and its deviant male-female couplings increase across Parseon, Commander Marlix seeks protective uniforms for his inner guard. The special composite fabric is only available from the Terrans, with whom his planet has an alliance. He expects to be repulsed by the vendoress of an alien race he loathes, but instead he is amused and attracted by the female’s bold appearance and brash
Tara Diehl, the heroine of Breeder 2: Terran
behavior. When she is injured in an attack, he whisks her away to his underground bunker abode to recover. His intent is to help her, so he can’t understand. Why does she fight him so?
After fleeing loneliness and heartache on Terra, Tara Diehl has adjusted to male-dominated Parseon better than most vendors until she is kidnapped by an Alpha, one of the five rulers of the planet. At first she’s terrified of her tall, muscled abductor, especially when he doesn’t hesitate to quell her struggles with some force of his own. After all her methods and ploys to escape fail, she decides to seduce her way to freedom.
But out of seduction and subterfuge grow a true intimacy that cause both Marlix and Tara to take action that drives Parseon to the brink of civil war, and threatens their relationship and her life.
Terran, the second book in the Breeder sci-fi series, is a “capture” romance involving a domineering but hunky alien, a female with a bad dye job and an even worse attitude, graphic sex, and spanking.