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Solar Calor fell under his spell promptly. Retkove smiled to himself. Unlike the Earthlings, who’d banished his kind to one sector of the miserable hellhole, the Apollans had no resistance to vampires. Of course, they had no experience of vampires either. If he played his cards right, he could feast on the pleasures of Apoll’ex for ages before anyone realized he was here and tried to limit him. Of course, he’d have to be careful not to draw much attention to himself and, above all, not to damage any of the Apollans irreparably. He could spell them just right so no one would ever remember being with him.
rays. His creation made it possible for him to be the first vampire ever on the sun-worshipping planet Apoll’ex. In later years, when others of his kind followed him here, they’d have him to thank, him to acknowledge. In addition to current pleasures, he’d enjoy future honors.
Trey. He didn’t want to share any of his reactions with the two other men, wanted to savor this time alone with Paul. After all, he didn’t know how much more of it there would be when they landed on Apoll’ex. Not only would Val face the competition of other Apollans, he knew the planet did not have a tradition of exclusive couples. Or vampires. They could be headed for rough waters as far as their relationship -- and much more -- went.
“Given the reality of being close to death at Ideg Retkove’s hands, can you blame me?” Val shook his head. “But your opinion was based on more than that.” Paul pursed his lips. “I studied a bit about vampires for an independent project at university. What I learned wasn’t complimentary. Now, of course, I know how superficial everything I had access to back then was. We can correct such previous misinformation once we get there.” Val suspected Paul was glossing over a lot of potential difficulties with his characteristic optimism.
Soleil shrugged. “The technicians involved with generation have perfected the process so that criminals aren’t produced.” That claim raised Val’s cynicism. “No offense, Soleil, Paul, but that sounds like a cop-out. Unless every being on Apoll’ex is exactly identical, which I know isn’t the case because you two aren’t, how can you know you’ll never have some homegrown criminals? How can you feel secure that your society can continue with no forms of punishment for wrongdoers?” “We know it as surely as we know our names,” Paul said. “But we may not be able to explain in ways that will be clear to you.” “You’re still thinking of Apoll’ex in the terms of your Earthling experience,” Soleil said. “To understand Apoll’ex, you need to view our world from a completely different perspective. And that’s just about impossible until you’re actually there.” “In other words,” Trey picked up, “reserve judgment. Okay, done. But what if Ideg Retkove is doing the same as we are and traveling to Apoll’ex? Somehow, I doubt that exposure to your peaceful ways will do anything to reform him.” Both Paul and Soleil looked horror-stricken. “Retkove on Apoll’ex? Talk about a rabid wolf among unsuspecting sheep. Hecan’t have gone to Apoll’ex.” Even as Paul said the words, the possibility of exactly that having happened seized hold of Val. “Just as a hypothetical,” he asked, hoping not to freak Paul and Soleil out too much, “what if Ideg Retkove came to Apoll’ex? Surely the powers that be must have some way to deal with him.” “You’re assuming Retkove would be out to harm the Apollans.” Trey, though hardly a fan of the criminal’s, didn’t hate him nearly as much as Val.