According to records, Isis was a goddess worshipped in ancient Egypt. She was worshipped as being the goddess of fertility (among other things) so when the gene that made human subjects compatible with Draygonians was identified and a test was developed to help identify it, scientists nicknamed it the Isis gene. It wasn't a particularly new find. In fact, this particular piece of hereditary data already had a name but it was one no one cared for, especially when naming the gene after a goddess associated with fertility sold more headlines. 

So was the birth of the Isis gene.

This gene didn't live in everyone though. Only females had it and even then, not all females were born with it. However it was this gene that could save the existence of Draygonians. The women with the gene were responsive to a Draygonian male's pheromones but more interestingly, it was a specific male. It was as if evolution had built a natural method of making sure that males and females met with the one most compatible for them. 

It became an endearing joke that it was like a cheat's way to finding your soulmate.

It wasn't mandatory to be tested but it had been encouraged in recent years. Camille remembered seeing the adverts on the TV or the posters around town. Nathan had sneered every time he saw anything related to the matter. He hated the visitors and thought any woman with the Isis gene was nothing more than a filthy whore (his words). So Camille never got the test done. She feared what Nathan would do if he found out or what it would mean if she got it. There were stories that women were forcibly taken and used as breeders or forced to marry a Draygonian then shipped off to their planet never to be seen again. 

Fake news could be a terrifying thing. 

"Why?" Camille finally spoke up when she realised she hadn't answered Heather and the silence was getting awkward. 

"Well you are going to be around a lot of Draygonians and we want to make sure we are offering the right support. It can be quite daunting learning you are compatible with someone who you work alongside." Heather smiled. "It's a subtle thing but we have found that professional lines are being crossed before anyone realises what's really going on." 

"Oh, right. Of course." Camille felt her cheeks heat with a blush. "No...I mean yes, I mean...I have been tested and no I don't have the gene." 

Camille felt awful for lying but she really didn't want any trouble and she was pretty sure she didn't have the gene. She would know by now, right? 

"Okay well in that case all that is left to do is get you put in the system and finish off this paperwork." Heather rose from her seat to hand the paperwork to Camille to complete. "I will also show you around and introduce you to the manager. I think they will have your rota as well." 

The paperwork wasn't difficult but it was tedious. Once done, Heather introduced Camille to a burley middle aged man with a thick Brooklyn accent and kind brown eyes. Donnie had been the manager since the facility had opened and knew every square inch of the place with frightening accuracy. Despite his gruff exterior and inability to mince his words, Donnie was gentle and kind which helped settle Camille's nerves as she followed him around. She already felt guilty lying about her name to him.

"Your shift pattern won't change but for security purposes the levels you work on will." Donnie explained. "I've made sure your shifts are mostly the same as Charlotte's. All you have to do is clock in and the system will tell you which floor you're on. Cleaning carts are kept near the service elevator however it's the supervisors who are responsible for checking the carts for equipment top ups and that there is nothing dodgy left in them. Your first few shifts will be on the same floor as Charlotte so she can show you around and show you the ropes. Any questions?"

"Uh no." Camille shook her head, her mind reeling a little. 

"Great. Now let's get you logged into the system." Donnie motioned Camille to follow him towards the elevators. "We normally have our own IT guys in to add people onto the system but they never seem to get it right so we get one of the geeks on tenth to do it for us. Not exactly their job but they tend to get the job done properly." 

The tenth floor was much busier and much more open planned than the third floor. Floor to ceiling windows wrapped around the space letting buttery yellow light pour in from outside. Camille noticed that some of the panels of glass were more tinted than others and realised they must have some type of system where they could block out the sun more in some panels than others based on need. The desks were set up similar to the one in Heather's office. They were lined up in semi-circle rows all facing towards giant screens that seemed to hover in the middle of the room. Camille couldn't tell if they were multiple little screens or eight massive ones. Either way, there was an enormous amount of information scrolling across them and none of it Camille could make sense of. 

Donnie didn't hang around long enough for Camille to truly take in just how impressive the whole thing was. He led her to one of the offices which was basically a glass box with a carpeted floor. Inside, at one of the futuristic consoles sat a Draygonian with similar features to the one Camille saw the night before except this one had stark white hair, and was leaner. He made her think of an Olympic swimmer with his broad shoulders, tapered waist and lean but visible muscle. She even saw the almost playful glow in his feline eyes. Unlike most Draygonians who wore their military uniforms, this one was dressed in human attire. Dark brown tweed slacks were tailored to highlight his long legs while a matching waistcoat sat over a white button down shirt. The arms had been rolled up to his elbows showing similar symbols to those on his chin and brow along the inside of his forearms. 

"Emma, this is Lieutenant Kal." Donnie motioned between the pair. "Kal, Emma is starting with us so I need her set up on the system to get through security." 

Warm glowing eyes the colour of amber closed a circuit with Camille's cool blue irises. For a moment Camille thought she saw something stir in Kal's eyes but it was gone within a second leaving Camille no chance to work it out. It spiked her anxiety slightly and illogical thoughts of this male recognising her and planning to report back to Nathan filled her head. She knew it was stupid, Nathan loathed the Draygonians and wouldn't dream of associating with them but, it hadn't even been a week since she escaped his clutches and she was under no illusion that he wasn't looking for her. 

If you ever try to run from me, I'll hunt you down and let the boys have their fun with you before I kill you.

Fear began to rise up her throat like bile.

"It's nice to meet you Emma." Kal spoke up, his voice neither too deep or too soft. It was tinged with friendliness and something like surprise which Camille couldn't fathom. "And welcome to the Ark." 

"The Ark?" Camille's brows pinched together in confusion, the impending panic attack stopped dead in its tracks 

"It's the nickname given to this place. Not because of the whole biblical thing but because we literally have everything here including a few animals." Kal grinned then showing off perfect white teeth including four very sharp looking fangs. "Come on, let's get you all logged in. I'm sure you would prefer just to scan in than be frisked by security every day." 

"I'll leave you to it. Don't suppose you could give her the grand tour could you?" Donnie interrupted. "You pretty much know the place like the back of your hand." 

"I would be honoured." Kal nodded. "Emma will be in safe hands." 

The thought of being left alone with any man should have set Camille on edge like it normally did but she found herself surprisingly calm albeit a little wary. She chalked it up to the fact Kal, despite being tall with all the good looks of a model, was friendly and open. Maybe it was the slight upward curve of his lips that seemed permanent or the fact he was dressed in civilian clothing or the kindness and intrigue in his golden eyes. Either way, Camille wasn't about to run a mile even if she was tense. 

"Okay, so firstly we'll need to do a palm and retina scan as that is how we access everything here. Then we can make up your ID." Kal explained. 

The nervousness of being around someone new was playing havoc or Camille's nerves. It had been a long time since she had been around so many people in one day. Being locked up and isolated for several years with irregular access to people would do that to a person. Especially if the only human contact was Nathan…

Regardless, Camille followed Kal's instructions. She had gotten good at that. She just reminded herself that once she had her ID she could melt into the background and become invisible. Cleaning might not be what she wanted to do with her life but right now it was a means to an end. Kal didn't seem bothered by Camille's quietness. Camille was happy to listen as the Draygonian explained that the tenth floor of this particular tower was dedicated to communications, intel and surveillance. They analysed thousands of bits of data not only on internal projects but missions outside of the Ark. 

"So are you from New York originally?" Kal asked as he led the way from his office towards one of the many walkways between the buildings. 

"Um no." Camille replied. "Colorado." 

Kal's perfect white eyebrows raised in surprise. "That's quite the journey."

"Yeah but not as far as yours." Camille pointed out. 

The bark of laughter from Kal surprised Camille, blue eyes watching the man warily. She hadn't thought about what she said fully which was unusual for her but instead of being met with hostility, Camille found someone who appreciated her humor. It was an odd experience for some more used to being ridiculed. 

"True but it's not as long as you think. We have our means." Kal chuckled. 

"The rings." Camille nodded, a vague memory coming to mind about the giant metal structures currently floating just over two thousand miles away from Earth. "I can imagine they do help." 

"They have their benefits but also their limitations which is why we don't use them for every voyage between our worlds." Kal explained. "It can't be guaranteed that they will be stable every time." 

Fresh spring sunlight poured through the windows of the walkway as the pair crossed to the next tower that Kal explained was where most of the Draygonian soldiers who lived on site worked as well as lived. It was like a military base but vertical rather than spread out. It was the largest of the structures with the bulk of the vehicles parked on the ground floor which was basically a workshop and garage. A large courtyard spread out to the east where units were either exercising or patrolling. 

"So if you're not working in building one you'll likely be tasked with the communal areas of the living quarters or some of the offices between floors two and fifteen." Kal carried on his tour smoothly, holding doors open for the small blonde. "There are two floors where most residents have their downtime. It's where the gym is as well as a mess and studios for training. There is even a swimming pool and basketball court." 

"Wow." Camille blinked in surprise. "That's a lot." 

"No more than your standard military base." Kal shrugged, glancing up when he saw movement in the corner of his eye. "Ah! Just who I was looking for. Emma, meet my friends Sid and Jag." 

Camille glanced in the direction that Kal was motioning, her whole body freezing as her heart kept into her throat. Walking towards her, dressed in matching black Draygonian military uniform, were two giant adonises. One she recognised immediately as the man she had seen the night before. His eyes flashed magnificently like excited flames. He had been a sight behold in the poor lighting of the grounds at night but now his high cheekbones and sharp jaw were fully exposed by the sunlight for everyone to see. Even the thin scar that crossed over one eye did nothing to detract from the painfully handsome features. The black t-shirt was stretched over a bulging chest and arms like a second skin. This time there were two black bands around his wrists which on closer inspection seemed to be some kind of metal. A holster hung across his torso while a tablet occupied one of his giant hands. 

However, it wasn't just the sight of this male that had Camille's mouth dry and knees suddenly feeling like jelly. 

The third soldier was just as tall as his partner but with skin a soft blue. Like Kal, his hair was brilliant white but cropped short in a much more classic military style. His eyes were just as bright but more yellow but their primal intensity was unmistakable. Unlike Kal and the other male, Camille noted that there were no white speckles on his temples and the symbols on his brow and chin appeared different even if they were the same white as Kal's. 

"Sid here is a lieutenant like me." Kal motioned to the lighter male. "And Jag here is a General and our unit commander. Jag, Sid, this is Emma. She is going to be working here." 

The urge to shrink back was intense. Sid gave a friendly smirk laced with an emotion Camille couldn't quite read but it was Jag's expression that had Camille's heart rabbiting against her ribcage. His features were neutral but eyes blazed with primal desire. Camille had experienced plenty of looks from men in the past but none moved her like Jag's did. A shudder ran down her spine only to coil in the depths of her like a pleasurable throb.

"It's a pleasure to meet you." Sid spoke, taking a step forward, his expression relaxing into a friendly smile that gave away just how much of a troublemaker he was. "And welcome to the Ark. How are you finding it?" 

"Big." Camille replied, trying to ignore the gaze scorching her as she felt Jag's state still on her. "No doubt I am going to get lost." 

"Well you'll get given a Comms device on your shift so if you do get lost just give one of us a call and we will be more than happy to help." Sid replied. 

It sounded like a completely innocent and friendly gesture but as Camille glanced between the three males, her heart rocketed. They were all watching her and she couldn't shake the feeling there was more to the offer than just friendship.

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