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Chosen by Chigs

Chosen by Chigs

His duty is to rescue his fated mate, but a tiny human is stealing his heart.

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Main Tropes

  • Alien Warrior
  • Fake Relationship
  • Fated Mates
  • Corporate Intrigue
  • Petite Heroine
  • Lots of Action!

Synopsis

After discovering her fiancé was taking part in Syndicorp's atrocities, Emmy’s done with men, done with heartache, and determined to help the rebels overthrow the corporation’s underhanded regime. When Chigs, a massive rebel gunner with a heart of gold, asks for help interpreting what he claims is a prophetic dream, she thinks his subconscious has dredged up clues that could locate a Syndicorp lab holding captive Denaidans.

Chigs is on a quest to find the captive Denaidan females where he’s been called to claim his fated mate. But when he and Emmy pose as newlyweds on an undercover mission, Emmy’s intellect and courage ignite a war within his heart, making him doubt the path of destiny.

Caught in a dance of heated glances and unspoken desires, the two are pulled into a whirlwind of corporate secrets, forbidden kisses, and questionable loyalty. Will they surrender to their passion, or is destiny too powerful to resist?

Intro Into Chapter One

Chigs stood motionless beside the sterile med bay cot, his face a hardened mask as he stared down at the copper-skinned denaidan woman. Beside him, Tovik shuffled his feet, the youthful mirth drained from his face.

Across the cot, Mek, the ship’s doctor, pulled the retractable arm of the med bay scanner out of the way, his usually clean-shaven face dark with several days of stubble. “Her neural pathways are fried, just like the others. Dollard’s experiments left nothing but husks.”

Chigs’s fists clenched involuntarily, feeling the weight of a thousand lost futures in the quiet rise and fall of the woman’s breath. Ellam Cua, how could you allow this to happen? To give us such hope, only to tear it away so cruelly?

Though her chest rose and fell, beneath her closed eyelids there was no flicker of consciousness, no trace of what should be a vibrant animating spirit. Several more women like this one had been returned to cryopods, awaiting a decision on what should be done.

“I thought we’d found our future.” Tovik’s voice hitched. “We only saved bodies, not lives. Not mates.”

A heavy silence settled between them, broken only by the relentless beep of the vital monitors.

“There has to be a way to reach them,” Chigs insisted. “We can’t abandon them to this empty existence.” He refused to give up, not when the nagging urge to locate his destined mate had become his singular driving force. Other males had discovered mates among the human women on their crew, but to Chigs, humans had always seemed too small, too fragile, to offer him a viable bed partner.

Mek sighed, his dark eyes clouded with resignation. “I’ll keep digging into the lab data, but we need to face reality. The odds of them ever waking are almost nil.”

Tovik turned away morosely. “I’ll get cryopod ready so she can rest with the others.”

Feeling useless, Chigs retreated with heavy footsteps, the corridors of the Icarus stretching out before him like the tunnels of some ancient crypt. His quarters offered little relief, the spacious confines now seeming too tight, too suffocating. He’d never had such lush accommodations in his life, but the captured Syndicorp flagship had enough officers’ quarters on board for each rebel to have their own suite. The Icarus—with its advanced technology, size, and weaponry—had become a floating base for the entire rebellion in their fight against the corporation that ruled the galaxy, and they’d executed several successful raids on Syndicorp facilities in the past few weeks.

Chigs had believed finding the denaidan females was an answer to their prayers; Syndicorp had exterminated all life on their home planet, and his species had believed their females were extinct. But instead of lighting divine hope among the rebels, the brain-dead women only served as a reminder for all that had been lost.

Chigs peered longingly at his rumpled bed, glimpsing his eyes, bloodshot with blue veins, in the mirror across the way. He needed to sleep, but dreaded the nightmares of women in cryopods that had been haunting him every night. He’d believed they were a sign he was destined to find his mate. Now, he could only think his god was playing tricks on him. Collapsing onto the edge of his bunk, he cradled his head in his copper-skinned hands. Deep breaths failed to ease the throbbing ache spreading through his skull.

“Ellam Cua, stop this torture.” He prayed that somewhere in the vastness of space, his deity was listening.

With a sigh, he lay back and closed his eyes, surrendering to the lull of sleep...

Devastation and decay surrounded Chigs, like the remnants of a city lost in time. Ahead, a dusty road faded into mist. His gorge rose in dreadful anticipation. He didn’t want to be here. Didn’t want to see this nightmare again. Yet his body felt numb as he glided forward on unmoving legs, the insistent breeze nudging him along until the road transformed into a long corridor with metal floors and pale, sterile walls. Rows of translucent, pod-like chambers caged him on either side. Harsh lighting glinted off the pods, hiding the contents, but he already knew what lay within.

His hearts pounded like twin fists in his chest, his mouth dry as sand as he tried to turn aside. Yet he was compelled to peer inside the nearest one. The copper-colored skin, perfect breasts, and curved hips of a denaidan female lay motionless behind the glass. Tubes and wires coiled around her like malevolent sea creatures. Her open eyes seemed to stare back at him with accusation.

He wanted to help her. To free her. But his movements weren’t his own. He moved to the next pod and the next, each one holding another female. Some resembled his mother, his aunt, his cousins, all long dead; lost in the destruction of his planet.

Through the mist, a familiar feminine voice whispered his name, the sound caressing his senses like a lover’s touch. He spun, searching for the source. So many pods. How was he supposed to find her? Yearning and anguish entwined his heart as he moved down the rows.

A bark of hoarse, male laughter echoed through the room, harsh and grating. Although Chigs had never met Dr. Dollard in person, he was certain that’s who the laughter belonged to—the scientist responsible for the atrocities committed against his people.

Rage burning in his gut like molten lead, Chigs whirled, bellowing, “You’re dead!” His voice reverberated off the sterile walls.

“You’ll never find her,” the voice cackled, mocking him. “Never...”

Chigs woke with a start, covered in sweat and breathing hard. Dollard’s laughter still echoed in his mind as he swung his legs over the edge of the bed and sat, blinking to clear his vision. His quarters held the familiar scents of oil and steel, a sharp contrast to the antiseptic stench of the lab from his dream. He dragged a hand over his face and down his beard.

The dream had been the same for the past three nights. Why did the lab feel so familiar? It wasn’t the lab from the raid, and yet he felt like he’d been there before. Although the dream’s details were already fuzzing around the edges, the horror of the translucent pods and the women imprisoned within them continued to sting like razor cuts to his soul.

He rose and began pacing again, unable to silence Dollard’s laughter in his head.

“That evil qumli’s dead,” Chigs muttered out loud.

During the most recent raid, Dollard had been swept into the vacuum of space without a suit, which no ordinary human could’ve survived. But Dollard’s twisted experiments might have granted him unnatural resilience, and Rust hadn’t been able to find a body. The human had cheated death before. Could he do it again? Ellam Cua was a trickster god, and would appreciate such a twist.

Shaking his head, Chigs resumed pacing. Regardless of whether Dollard was dead or alive, the raid on his lab hadn’t been a complete success. Several shuttles had escaped, presumably carrying cryopods and more denaidan females with them—females who could still be alive.

Not for long if someone continues Dollard’s experiments.

Chigs cursed, slamming a fist into the wall. The polymer panel dented under the blow, and pain lanced up his arm. But physical pain was nothing compared to the anguish of knowing there were more females out there, unreachable, untraceable. Was he doomed to hear that voice in his dreams for the rest of his life? She felt so real, like they were connected. He almost felt—

Chigs froze mid-pace, hearts pounding. What if the lab he was seeing wasn’t the one they’d already raided? The female voice calling his name floated through his memory once more, like a song barely heard on a breeze.

My mate.

It had to be. Only mate bonds allowed couples to communicate through thoughts. And he felt certain that a female in that lab was calling him to rescue her. She was meant to be his. The realization felt like a star going nova, staggering in its implications.

But how was he supposed to find her? He needed more clues. Coordinates. A map. Anything!

Chigs closed his eyes and bowed his head. “Ellam Cua, I don’t understand. Please. Show me the path to my mate.”

Silence filled his quarters. No booming voice came down to give him divine orders. But after a long moment, his mind conjured the image of liquid brown eyes that softened into a smooth pale face with round cheeks and a gentle smile.

Emmy?

Chigs frowned. The human female had joined the rebellion almost a cycle ago, but he’d never paid her much mind. She was small and easy to overlook, even for her species. But he knew crew members sometimes sought her out to speak of personal troubles or ask for advice. Now he wondered... could she be some kind of spiritual guide?

The more he considered it, the more certain he became. Was it possible that Ellam Cua wanted him to seek Emmy out and ask for her help interpreting his calling? Maybe she would show him the path to his mate.

Chigs smiled as determination burned away his earlier helplessness. Those CEOs at Syndicorp would soon regret the day they’d dared to cross a denaidan on a mission for his mate. He’d find the lab. Rescue every last woman. And burn Dollard and any of his remaining experiments to dust.

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