Wolves and Dragons of the Blood: Revelations
Chapter 1

Caution: This Fantasy Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Consensual, Romantic, Lesbian, BiSexual, Heterosexual, Hermaphrodite, Shemale, TransGender, High Fantasy, Science Fiction, Aliens, Space, Vampires, Group Sex, Interracial,

Desc: Fantasy Sex Story: Chapter 1 - Fifth Book in the Wolves and Dragons of the Blood series.



JANUARY 27, 2575

They were no longer children in appearance or action. If they ever were.

Her name was Eirene Leonidas.

She stood two inches shorter than her elven mother’s five foot eight frame, and weighed in at only one hundred and seventeen pounds, but every part of her was womanly curves and head turning beauty. Her bright golden hair, falling almost to the middle of her back, was tied into a single pony tail with a simple leather tie. The exceptionally tight, dark gray color workout clothes she wore did absolutely nothing to hide the tempting curves of her lithe, tanned half elven half Lycavorian body, and she was not in the least bit shy about showing what she had. It was a trait that the vast majority of Lycavorians embraced. They were unafraid to show their sexuality in the way they dressed, acted and talked. It was a trait that was shared by the elves who were born and raised on Earth and it was a cultural oddity that was quickly gaining vast popularity on the elven homeworld of Elear and many of their colony worlds. Her breasts were extremely firm, topped with small but pert nipples. Her flat abdomen was tightly muscled and her waist narrow. The dark gray knee high pants conformed to her supple, yet maddeningly taut ass cheeks and long, power packed legs. She was barefoot on the training mat as she snapped her right foot forward with confidence and incredible power. Strength that was packed into her half elf, half Lycavorian body, granting her increased speed and additional physical power over normal elves and even some Lycavorians. Eirene’s dark brown eyes, exact duplications of For’mya’s intense dark orbs, were determined and alert and focused. She had her mother’s high cheekbones and luscious soft, thin lips, but most surprisingly to those that saw her was the fact that her face bore the resemblance of her mother but also the man who stood in front of her. A man who was watching her movements intently. A man who was more a father to her and her twin brother Fedor than anyone could possibly imagine. A commanding man whose Mindvoice essence filled her just as much as her beloved mother and the one who was her brother.

Eirene’s confident movements matched exactly the graceful movements of the six foot one, exceptionally muscled young man to her left.

Her beloved twin brother Fedor Leonidas.

Fedor was dressed only in loose fitting workout pants similar to the man in front of them. His darker golden blond hair was cut short with his hair spiking to the middle of his head in a unique style he liked. His broad, tanned chest and thick arms bore semblance to the exquisitely muscled man in front of them. Fedor’s abdomen rippled with superb definition, the “V” cut of his back nearly matching that of their instructor. Their tanned skin was slick with sweat from the grueling intensity of their work out, but neither of them would have it any other way, and this pleased the man in front of them.

That they were brother and sister was obvious to even a casual observer. That they were fraternal twins only required a simple question to be asked for them to begin their rant. Neither of them was shy about the other, nor were they the least bit hesitant about bragging in relation to each other, though Fedor seemed to be the more reserved of the duo. Since their accelerated birth only six weeks ago they had never been apart and while this had been mostly because of the distinct circumstances surrounding their birth, it had instilled in both of them the love of paternal twins. Their accelerated growth, caused by the drugs injected into their mother, also had a side effect of making them much more attuned to each other. When Andro touched them within Mindvoice he unknowingly amplified this sensation two fold, as well as bestowing awareness of life and their surroundings to them while they were still in their mother’s womb. They now did nearly everything together, whether it was instruction with one of the six women they called mother, or the man they called “Father of their Hearts”. And they were never very far from the two they called Bonded Brother. Kdan and Dnom had grown fast as well and in the nearly six weeks since they had hatched they had grown close to fifteen feet long and almost the same in height when they stood on their hind legs. While this was unusual for dragons, Arzoal had said it was not unheard of. They were filling out into rather muscular Firespitter dragons with near identical light green scales. At the moment they were undergoing just as strenuous and demanding a training regime with Torma and Aurith in the ARC ROYAL’S port landing bay.

Eirene and Fedor Leonidas’s movements were fluid and precise as they completed the turn and front kick motion, Fedor’s leg going much higher than his shorter sister. The music that played in the background was their instructor’s idea and it was very loud and carried with it a rhythmic balance that flowed with their movements. Eirene and Fedor Leonidas had decided together to go against their mother in the first and only act of defiance of their parent’s wishes. Well ... more five of their six mothers really. They had done it to honor the man who they called father without hesitation or doubt. They convinced Pablo Gomez, a very talented tattoo artist from Martin’s SEAL Team, to decorate their bodies with his art. When they had done this, For’mya finally decided to stop trying to control what they did to protect them and allow them to grow as she had Arrarn and Bryon. Fedor now sported a large black and red cross like image on his upper right arm and an ancient Chinese symbol that meant Honor on his upper left arm. Eirene had the image of a sun setting over a black ocean tattooed at the small of her back. Both had been inspired because of the tattoos adorning the body of the man they called father and the elf female they called mother. Dysea Leonidas was the only one of Martin’s Queens to have tattoos and she considered them superb pieces of work and the symbolism of the designs quite meaningful. Martin also approved of them and this pleased both Fedor and Eirene and quickly caused For’mya to turn her mild anger on Martin. That anger didn’t last long Fedor and Eirene knew, for they had stood and watched as the Father of their Hearts simply touched For’mya with his aura of love and she could not stay mad at him for more than a few seconds before she was melting into his embrace.

Martin watched as they both turned slightly after executing the front kick and then thrust their hands forward as if executing a double chest strike. It was a technique that he had seen only one other person execute with enough force to shatter ribs and that was Androcles. He nodded his head approvingly, knowing that his oldest son had passed to them quite a bit of his fighting style, believing they would need it. Martin knew Androcles was one of the most lethal hand-to-hand fighters he had ever known, not only because Martin himself had taught him almost everything he knew, but because he absorbed everything Danny and Nayeca and even Lynwe had taught him as he was growing. What used to be called Kenpo, mixed with gutter fighting and Drow training had made his son a most lethal combatant. As Fedor and Eirene executed this final ending move they came to a halt in defensive positions with the knife edges of their hands facing forward and ready to strike once more.

Martin nodded his head and stepped forward. He too wore just a pair of work out pants, his powerful upper body decorated in the black flame tattoos he had gotten long ago and his Talon Guardian Brand above the right side of his pectoral muscle. It was the branded talon of the long dead Dragon Elder and very first Talon Guardian Gorath, a brand that signified his position as a Talon Guardian for the dragon species.

“Excellent!” He spoke as he moved to the panel on the wall and ended the music. He turned back to them. “As strange as it may seem, dancing is almost identical to fighting. It uses the same muscle groups and tones them in the same way. Use it when you can because it can turn the mundane into something interesting. I see you have adapted some of what Androcles passed to you into your forms.”

“It ... it came almost naturally MedwanGai.” Eirene spoke first calling him the name they had given him. (Father Heart.)

Fedor nodded. “Like it was part of us.”

Martin moved up to them and nodded. Looking at them he could not help but be filled with the same pride as he felt for his other children. That Eirene and Fedor were not his blood children never entered his mind anymore. Yes they were his foul brother’s children, but Pusintin had been away from their people for so long that he had forgotten how to pass on his Mindvoice essence to his children with a Lycavorian female, or one who had been turned as For’mya had. The twins had reached for such an essence of their father within their mother For’mya and instead Eirene and Fedor had found his essence burning ever so bright. He had been the one to turn For’mya so long ago and because she was his mate, his Mindvoice essence resonated within For’mya like a beacon of light, and this is what they had used and reached for. This is what had shaped them in those first few hours after they had been conceived, and that resonance is what would shape them going into the future. It is why they both looked more like For’mya and oddly like himself than they did his brother Pusintin. The differences were not something you could notice instantly for they were subtle, but they were there nonetheless. It was also something that pleased Martin to no end. When Pusintin did finally see them he would be enraged to say the least.

“Your brother Androcles is one of the deadliest close quarter’s fighters that lives today. His style is unique for he has combined several different techniques from those who instructed him.” Martin told them. “He passed some of his basic knowledge to you because he knew you would need it. It gives me and your Uncle Danny a solid base to build from like we have been doing. The learning never ends though ... remember that.”

“It makes us feel powerful.” Fedor said with a smile.

Martin nodded his head. “Just remember Fedor, it does not make you indestructible and you should not call on these skills unless they are necessary to defend yourselves or others.” He stated with an even voice. “We are Spartans yes, but since the time of my father, we have never begun a fight out of anger or greed or the desire to conquer. Our wolf nature sometimes drives us to but our minds harness that urge. Always fight as a last resort. Never seek conflict for that is what you will become known for, and then people will not respect you. They will fear you and that fear will lead to hate. That is what will ultimately destroy you.” He clasped his hands behind his back. “You have Lycavorian blood and elven blood within both of you. It allows you to harness the wild nature of one species and direct it with the calm nature of the other. Those of us who are true purebloods sometimes have to struggle more to harness it, like your brothers Andro and Deni, but it should come naturally to both of you.”

“I would never use my skills to hurt others MedwanGai.” Fedor spoke softly.

Martin smiled and reached up to place his hand on Fedor’s neck and squeeze. “I know that keto.” He spoke seeing Fedor’s eyes smile back at him. Martin directed them to the floor mat and all of them settled lotus style to the mats. “As time passes both of you will come to discover what it is you are meant to do. What path you are meant to walk.” He spoke to them. “But neither of you should wish for power or wealth or influence. These things always corrupt and change you.” (Son)

“But don’t we, won’t we have that anyway MedwanGai?” Eirene asked. “Because of the name we carry?”

“Yes you do.” Martin said. “And as you learn more you will see how the others in your family blend that with who they are so as not to let it corrupt them.”

“We will always be your children though MedwanGai.” Eirene said.

Martin nodded with a smile. “Yes you will. Always. Nothing that happens will change that now. Nothing. Ever. Your mothers and I will not allow it.”

“Why did it happen like this father?” Fedor asked softly. “We look like mother and some say like you even more than him. That is not normal. Mother said it is because you are stronger. That you are the strongest Alpha wolf within the Union. The entire galaxy!”

“Mother says your aura makes her melt.” Eirene spoke with a knowing glint in her eye.

Martin shook his head with a smile now. “No, it’s not normal.” He took a breath. “I love your mother. Just as intensely as I do all your mothers. She is the Voice of my Heart. Part of who I am.”

“Your Kinsoaurgai.” Eirene said softly.

“Yes.” Martin said. “I was the one who turned your mother, so a part of me, a part of my essence will always reside within her. In her blood, mixed with her own essence. When we as Lycavorians have children, pureblood and turned wolves alike, our children instinctively reach for the Mindvoice and Etheric essence and core that is their parents within a few hours of being conceived. He forgot that part of how our people influence our children within the womb. He forgot that we can control it to a point. When you were conceived you reached for that essence and you found your mother. You found me.”

“We do not look like him at all MedwanGai. So mother is right isn’t she? Your resonance is more powerful.” Eirene asked.

Martin met her eyes and shook his head with a lopsided grin. “No, you do not look like him.” He answered her question with a modicum of pride. “Thankfully both of you got your mother’s looks. I’m uglier than a hundred year old mole rat. And to answer your question Eirene, yes it would appear I am stronger.”

Eirene laughed. “I don’t think our mothers agree with that father.” She exclaimed.

“How did mother Aricia put it Eirene?” Fedor asked with a smile on his face now. “That MedwanGai is the perfect specimen of a man and they love to eat him up.”

Eirene nodded with a chuckle. “Yes, that is what they said.”

Martin grinned as the faces and luscious bodies of his Queens flashed through his mind. “Well, let’s hope they continue to think that for a lot of years. And I think the same about them.”

“You have never, you have never desired another woman MedwanGai. Outside of our

mothers?” He asked.

“Fedor you igord!” Eirene gasped. “That is none of our business!”

“I was only curious!” He defended himself.

Martin shook his head. “Never. Not since the day each of them came into my life and made me part of who I am. Their Mindvoice and Etheric essence is part of me as I am part of them. What I feel for them, all of them, it comes from deep within me. I could not feel for another what I feel for them. I would be unable to find any other attractive enough to pursue in that way even if I wanted too. And I most certainly do not.” He said instantly. “Trust your instincts and your nose but most of all trust your heart. Most of the time it will not let you down. It hasn’t for me.”

“But not all of the time?” Eirene asked softly.

Martin smiled again as he shook his head. Martin had found in the last weeks that both of them were always full of questions.

“No. Some people can mask their scents to a degree. Kavalians have this ability in a limited fashion, but they are also like us in a way with enhanced senses. Their senses are not as acute because they do not know how to process the myriad of smells they come across in their lifetimes. Your sense of smell will never be as acute as a pureblood, but you are half wolf and you can train your elven senses to make up for that difference.” He spoke reaching our to stroke Eirene’s two and a half inch pointed ear in the way a father would stroke her ear. She leaned into his caress lovingly. “Your brother’s Arrarn and Resumar and your sister Normya have done this and your brother Bryon is beginning to master the nuances as well. Never rush things. It will only lead to you hurting yourself or others. You must master one skill before moving on to the next and it will make you stronger. Patience. As you train with Kdan and Dnom, use the patience you master with them to train yourself in other areas as well. When you finally meet your sisters Zarah and Carina they will tell you the same thing. They had to learn patience as well. We all do.”

“Uncle Danny and Aunt Jules say you have not always been patient.” Fedor said with a smile.

Martin chuckled. “No, I have not.” He answered. “But I also paid for those instances in pain and blood.”

“They said that too.” Eirene told him with a bright smile.

“Yes and I’m quite sure they used much more colorful metaphors to describe it as well.” He said.

Fedor and Eirene both laughed at that and nodded their heads. “Yes.” Eirene said.

Martin nodded. “Always remember you are a Leonidas. That blood flows within you as your mother’s royal elven blood flows within you. The blood of the First Elven King. As your Pralor blood flows within you.” He told them, meeting their attentive gaze. “Never forget that our blood and what it represents to others is what makes them follow us. It makes them believe in us and themselves. When they are better, it makes us better. When they honor us it make us honor them more. No matter what, try as hard as you can to never inflict harm on innocents. People look to those with our blood to lead and as my father taught me...”

“Fight with your head...” Fedor spoke.

“But lead with your heart.” Eirene finished.

Martin smiled. “Yes.” He spoke.

“He will find us won’t he father?” Eirene asked softly after a moment.

Martin lifted his eyes to her and nodded his head. “Probably ... yes.” He answered them honestly. “We haven’t been able to determine how he found you the first time and it stands to reason he will do so again.”

“Mother Anja says it is probably something so simple we are not thinking about it the right way.” Fedor spoke.

“More than likely. Your mother Anja is a brilliant doctor.” He told them. “The finest in the universe but she is not perfect. None of us are. And we can not think of everything. That is also something you will come to discover.”

“Do you hate him father?” Eirene asked.

Martin met her gaze. “I don’t hate him ... no. I don’t think so. I hate what he has done.” He answered. “What he did to your mother, what he did to the both of you. I hate what he has done to our people. His actions can never be forgiven. And he needs to be stopped.” He looked at them. “That is not something you need to concern yourselves with at the moment.” He spoke getting to his feet. “We still have two hours before your mothers return from the planet and you need to get you history instruction with your mother Dysea in before they come back.” He watched them rise up. “Same time tomorrow. We’ll continue with advanced weapons training then.”

Fedor nodded his head and Eirene reached up on her toes to kiss his cheek. She turned quickly and took Fedor’s hand before they both began to jog across the ARC ROYAL’S training gym.

[Why didn’t you tell them the truth brother?] Torma’s voice filled his mind from the landing bay. [Your true feelings and intentions?]

[They do not need to know I hate him with every fiber of my being Torma. They do not need to know that I will take his head from his shoulders for what he has done.] Martin spoke. [There has been enough hate to begin their lives brother; they do not need more of it going forward.]

[Perhaps. But I believe they are stronger than you know my Bonded Brother.] Torma spoke with wisdom. [Androcles did not just impart his some of his skills upon them. He gave them part of who he is.]

Martin nodded. [I know. And that is what frightens me.]

Martin held Anja with one arm and Aricia with the other as For’mya walked down the ramp of the STRIKER DT IIA wearing her flight suit and laughing softly with Endith and Tina. There was a reason the three of them were considered the finest flight crew within the Union. Their skills intermingled almost magically and they knew what the other was thinking almost instantly. Four weeks For’mya had been back flying with them and the happiness that gave to her could be seen in her face and eyes. And it made Endith and Tina exceptionally happy as well. Endith was the more naturally gifted pilot, For’mya the more experienced and tactically sound and Tina was a master engineer and excellent pilot herself. They meshed together like fingers and gloves.

Martin watched her share a friendly kiss with both before moving towards where he stood with Anja and Aricia. She stepped right up to him, Aricia’s and Anja’s arms circling her waist and pulling her close to all of them as For’mya and Martin shared a kiss of passion, devotion and love.

“Nothing useful I take it?” He asked finally.

Anja shook her head. “Not at all. We were able to gather a hundred tons of fruits and vegetables that were growing wild.” She answered. “Iama was thrilled when we discovered the fruit patch. Once I cleared it medically she had all of us eating something that tasted similar to an apple. You’ll like them.”

“She is proving to be invaluable Beloved.” Aricia spoke looking at him. “Her skill at cooking is amazing and she has a talent for making even the rations taste good. She is quick witted and far more intelligent than we suspected the Kavalians allowed their females to become.”

“No doubts about her?” Martin asked knowing that because she was a Kavalian there were many among the crew who still did not trust her.

Aricia looked at Anja and For’mya and then shook her head. “There are always doubts Martin, you know this better than us. But none of us have detected anything remotely like a lie coming from her. She speaks openly of her past without hesitation, though she does harbor an incredible amount of hate and anger at her family for giving her to the biogenic process. She does worry that no man will want her now because of what she was forced to do and that is why she has thrown herself into her cooking skills. No, I firmly believe she is relishing the second chance on life she has now.”

“The Kavalians were training their biogenically altered females to do just what she is doing.” Martin said. “To infiltrate and confuse. That is where the smarts come from. Resumar says they schooled them mercilessly in many areas to give them more options as spies.”

Aricia nodded. “Yes. But she was being used as a common whore for the troops at that facility Beloved. You saw and heard the same thing we did.”

“Lift the surveillance on her Marty.” Anja said to him softly. “She’s proven she is not our enemy, and if we stop trusting our instincts where does that leave us? We are not like them and that is what makes us different.”

Kinsoaurgai?” Martin asked.

For’mya nodded. “I concur.” She said.

Martin nodded. “Consider it done.” He spoke.

For’mya looked around, her dark brown eyes searching. “Where are Eirene and Fedor?” She asked.

Martin motioned over to the other side of the massive landing bay and For’mya cut her eyes. She could see them standing beside the large dragons Kdan and Dnom, their Bonded Ones. All of them were listening to whatever Arzoal and Helen were imparting to them within Mindvoice. Kdan and Dnom were her grandsons and Arzoal was taking a personal interest in their teachings and what they learned. She had spent most of her days instructing the hatchlings that filled the port landing bay, many of them almost the same size as Kdan and Dnom now. Arzoal believed their rapid growth had something to do with the amino acids that the drones were providing to them in their eggs. She and Helen worked tirelessly with the hatchlings, devoting most of their time to them.

For’mya smiled. “Good.” She said.

“Good?” Martin asked with a smile.

For’mya turned back to look at him. “They are beginning to fit in.” She said. “They no longer greet us every morning and they are doing things on their own. They are making friends and that makes me very happy.”

Aricia smiled and leaned over to nuzzle her elven ear. “I told you Kinsoaurgai.” She said.

For’mya leaned into the nuzzle with a smile of her own and nodded. “I know.” She said. She looked at Martin. “Can they come with us to Twelve Alpha Martin? It’s three days away and the experience could be goo for them. They need to get off the ship.”

Martin nodded his head. “I don’t see why not.” He answered her. “Akemi says the indigenous humanoid life signs are on the far side of the planet from where we will get the meat. According to Wayonn, who seems to have found a niche working the sensors on the bridge if you ask Akemi, his extensive planetary scans have determined they are a pre-light drive society.” He looked at Anja and Aricia. “Comparable to Earth during the 20th century before they began to explore Mars and the other planets. Not exactly primitive but not very advanced either.”

“Humans?” Anja asked.

Martin shook his head. “More reptilian in outward appearance but very close. They are confined to the southern continent it appears. We are going to the northern continent. That’s where the big beasts are. I saw a picture of one of these things we’re going after and it looks damn close to a Wooly Mammoth from ancient Earth.”

“What are we taking?” For’mya asked.

“Danny and I will put the finishing touches on the security team tonight, but Iama says she will need at least a hundred men and women to help her slice and dice the meat that Torma and the others bring to her. Another hundred to load the KADENs. We’ll have thirty-six hours to gather as much as we can carry. If we get enough, Iama says she can make it last for two maybe three months at least.”

“As long as it is medically sound.” Anja said immediately.

Martin nodded. “Yep.”

“We should insure our footprint on the planet is well covered Beloved.” Aricia said. “This will be the first planet we have landed on that has humanoid indigenous life.”

“Hey! Who handles the tactics around here?” He asked defensively.

Aricia grinned. “I’m just saying...”

Martin leaned over quickly and softly bit her ear lobe causing her to giggle in delight. For’mya looked around once more. “Where are Bella and Cirith?” She asked. “And Melda Min?”

“Bella and Cirith should be on their way back with Miseo.” Martin answered. “They have spent the entire day on DAYRIDER instructing the Monitors and those who have come forward to volunteer to be trained.” DAYRIDER was the name of the ship Muton and his people had built. Half of the thirty-three Worker Drones that had been discovered with the dragon eggs were now working on her all of the time. She was a solid ship and the drones had begun tweaking her systems to make her even more efficient. “Wayonn caught Dysea as she was coming down. He wanted to show her something in regards to a schooling program for the twins.”

“Schooling?” For’mya asked. “In what?”

“Andro passed more to them than we first thought.” Martin said. “It was his way of trying to insure they and you survived in case we did not reach you it seems. Wayonn would like to develop a training regime aside from what they are already doing. He seems to think that Andro may have affected them similar to what happen with Zarah.”

“Etheric power?” Anja asked.

“In a manner of speaking. He wants to test them.” Martin said. “He’s going to discus it with all of us at dinner. He wanted to run the organization part of it by Dysea first to make sure they were not overloaded.”

“What do you think Martin?” For’mya asked him.

Martin shrugged his shoulders. “I say we hear what he has in mind. They have pretty full schedules right now and trying to squeeze something else in may be more harmful than good.” He answered.

For’mya, Aricia and Anja nodded. Anja pulled them both away from Martin. “Come on.” She said. “Let’s go change out of these field uniforms and get ready for dinner.”

Martin watched with dark brown eyes as they began walking across the bay, his eyes lingering on their asses as they walked, Eirene’s words coming back into his mind. Even with her flight suit and their body armor, Aricia, Anja and For’mya looked delicious.

[Pervert!] Anja called over her shoulder at him. [Stop looking at our asses!]

[Hey! If you got it ... flaunt it!] Martin barked back. [And you ladies certainly have it! Yum ... yum!]

[That is the best you can come up with?] For’mya asked without turning as they continued to walk. [Yum. Yum?]

[I’ll show you my best tonight!]

Martin snapped playfully.

[Promises ... promises!] Aricia called as they all laughed softly and kept walking.

Martin caught the movement out of the corner of his eye and turned as Tony waved to him casually from the back of the DT. He didn’t hesitate and made his way to the bottom of the ramp and he saw Tony standing near the COM panel at the top of the ramp and Cody sitting on midway up the ramp, his P190A4 resting across his knees.

“Master Chief?” Martin asked as he came up.

Tony motioned to the COM panel. “It’s Yuriko Skipper.” He said.

Martin moved up the ramp to stand in front of the screen where he saw the face of his adopted pureblood vampire daughter Yuriko. Unknown to everyone but Andro, Danny and the members of his personal team and Captain Akemi, Yuriko and OMEN THREE were tailing them by a full day, remaining under Shroud and covering their rear. It had been a last minute decision by Martin and one he trusted fully with Yuriko. The crew of her ship adored her, not only because of her name, but because she was truly a commander who cared for her people. Of all his children, adopted or blood, Yuriko was the one he trusted the most behind Andro. She was the most experienced and like his son, she had a darker streak to her that she could call on if it was necessary to escape a situation they were in. If he was doing something on the ARC ROYAL when she called then Yuriko would contact Tony or Danny directly.

“Yuriko?” He spoke warmly, smiling as he looked at her image.

“Tony said you were busy so I was going to fill him in but then he saw you were free.” She spoke.

“What do you have?” Martin asked.

“We are clear.” She told him. “No sign of pursuit ... but then again we are only scanning the current sector we are in father. I think we are following too close. If Pusintin is following us then he will be very cautious and not close within range of the ARC ROYAL’s sensors. He will assume we have eyes and ears out in the way of fighters and such. He would not know we do not have this luxury. He would remain as far back as possible depending on how he is tracking mother.”

Martin shook his head. “He’s following us, bet on it, but their gear is not as advanced as ours you’re right.” He told her. “I don’t want you dropping back more than five light years though Yuriko. No more. You and OMEN THREE are too important to us and we have no idea what we could encounter out here. Akemi would normally have RAPTOR’s out doing what you are doing ... so right now you are our eyes and eyes outside this sector.”

Yuriko nodded. “Very well. Five LY limit. I will order the adjusted course. We are cross decking our sensor scans to the ARC ROYAL every hour via secure link. I’d like to start sprinting up to your group and letting my people spend some time on the ARC ROYAL father. Civilian clothes so no one catches on easily, and only in twos and threes.”

Martin nodded his head. “They can hang with The Master Chief and Team Twelve in their area. Less chance that they will be noticed. No one goes down there.”

Cody chuckled and turned his head to look back up the ramp. “We seem to be these big bad warriors that no one wants to get close to.” He said from his spot on the ramp. “Can’t figure out why though?”

Yuriko smiled from her ship. “Perhaps because you tend to kill everything before asking questions Cody.” She said.

Cody turned his head and looked at her image. “Yeah ... that could be it.” He said.

“Could be that you are just plain fugly!” Tony spat. “Ever think of that?”

“That hurts Master Chief.” Cody grinned at him.

“Yeah ... my ass!” Tony grunted. “Insulting you is like trying to insult a rock.” He turned back to the monitor. “We can set your people up Yuriko.” Tony spoke. “We got room for five more in our barracks and we have our own mess and recreation area. We’ll watch out for them.” Tony looked at Martin. “That means Iama will see them Skipper. She skips down to the small mess lounge on that deck at different times to check stocks and stuff.”

Martin nodded. “I’m going to talk to her but I don’t believe she is a threat of any kind. Aricia and the others concur.”

Tony nodded. “Danny, Jules and I were talking about that as well. She seems genuine enough.”

“I’m lifting the surveillance on her.” Martin said. “She’s becoming valuable to everyone and it’s time we began to trust her.”

“Father ... why the secrecy with us?” Yuriko asked.

Martin met her gaze. “Laustinos could have influenced more people than we know.” He stated. “Andro told me as much when we spoke last week. If by some chance one of them did manage to infiltrate Dreamland and get involved in the Arizona Project and they are on this ship I don’t want to reveal all our cards.”

“That’s a big if father?” Yuriko said. “You know Uncle Ben is ruthless with his security at Dreamland.”

Martin nodded. “I know ... but even Ben would say better safe than sorry. Until we finish the checks on the crew this is how I want to play it.”

“We’re about half done.” Tony told Yuriko. “But it’s a slow process without any of Armetus’s people and not alerting anyone.”

Yuriko nodded. “I understand.” She said.

“You haven’t detected anything that could be used as a trail I suppose?” Martin asked her somewhat hopefully. He could feel his brother following them, but that didn’t mean he wanted to engage in combat against a Kavalian fleet.

Yuriko shook her head. “We are using every spectrum we can think of father. So far nothing. Whatever they are using to track mother ... it’s either more advanced than anything we have or it’s too simple and we just haven’t thought about it. I’m leaning towards the latter. The Kavalians don’t strike me as very open to new ideas or sophistication. Hell ... they have five hundred year old ships in their front ranks.”

Martin nodded. “Me too.”

“I have my people beginning to shift to older communication and scanning means to try and sweep areas, but the unique possibilities are nearly limitless father, and I don’t want to limit our sensor arrays.” Yuriko told him. “If we happen to stumble across it, it would be a miracle. We’ll keep at it though.”

Martin nodded again. “I know. Try your best ... but maintain your normal sweeps and sprints ahead of us.”

Yuriko nodded. “Tony ... I’ll let you or Uncle Danny know when we make another sprint and drop our people off.”

Tony nodded. “Will do.” He said.

“I love you father.” Yuriko said.

“And I you.” Martin told her. “Tell Filrian I send my regards.”

Yuriko nodded and the transmission ended. Tony looked at Martin. “You want to keep these transmissions on the DT Skipper?”

Martin nodded. “For the moment.” He answered. “We keep Yuriko and the others out of the main net of the ARC ROYAL for as long as possible. If we do have a traitor on board ... I don’t want to give my foul brother any advantages.”

“You really think he is coming after us Skipper?” Cody asked.

Martin nodded his head slowly. “He’s following us ... yeah.” He answered softly. “I can feel his slimly ass.”

“Skipper ... next time we meet him ... gut the motherfucker will ya.” Tony said. “Save us all a lot of aggravation in the future.”

Martin nodded. “I intend to Master Chief. I intend to.”

It had been decided shortly after they had begun this journey that Muton and Miseo would remain on the ARC ROYAL to better facilitate joint operations between the two ships and their crew. In the ensuing five plus weeks they had grown accustom to the corridors of the ship and the Union crew. They also took note that many on the crew looked at them in an elevated manner for their actions in rescuing their elven Queen and her children. They were greeted with friendly smiles and waves almost everywhere they went on the ship now, even though they were Kavalians. Whatever caused the crew to act differently with Iama apparently did not carry over to Miseo and Muton. The entire crew was polite and open with them and even inquisitive in some respects, wanting to discover about them all they could. Training under Isabella and Cirith Leonidas was no easy feat by any stretch of the imagination. They were taskmasters to the extreme, but Miseo and his fellow Monitors and those who had volunteered to be trained relished in the sometimes harsh training. Sixty-five of the younger Kavalians had joined the thirteen monitors with a desire to learn all they could from the Union vampire Queen they knew to be nearly as deadly as the King. Cirith Leonidas was also exceptionally skilled as they were discovering, and in five weeks they had begun to shape a fighting unit that could rival a Union company.

It had been odd for Miseo and the others to take orders from vampires at first. Though none of them had ever fought against the High Coven, they had heard stories passed on by others about vampires, none of which were turning out to be true. All of them found Isabella and Cirith both to be patient and extremely intelligent. They worked one on one with someone if it was needed and it did not matter to them that they were Kavalian. This only reinforced the idea of many of them in regards to King Leonidas. If you were not his enemy, then he would go to great lengths to insure you could reach the potential that nature intended for you. The Worker Drones were the primary example. They skittered all over the DAYRIDER now tweaking this system or repairing that system and the ship ran better now than it ever did. He had sent them over to the DAYRIDER before anything else, holding out the hand of friendship without even a breath of hesitation.

Muton enjoyed the discussions he had with Wayonn while they were on the ARC ROYAL; while Miseo’s primary reason for remaining was far different. He had not intended for it to happen but he could not help himself or the direction his heart was obviously taking him in. He had felt something the moment she touched his tail on Nefoa, what seemed like a lifetime ago already, and up until a week ago he had done everything within his power to try and suppress these new feelings and sensations she brought out within him. Each time he had seen her she had grown more and become more beautiful in his eyes. Each time he had seen her he wanted her even more. She was fully grown now he knew and if one looked at her they would see she was now a twenty-four year old half elf, half Lycavorian Princess who could turn heads no matter she went. However it had happened, since he did not delve much into the intricacies of Mindvoice, her mind had matured right along with her body. Miseo tried to think and see the small girl who he had seen first on Nefoa. The same one who was fascinated with his tail. That was becoming far too hard over the past weeks and it became downright impossible as of last week.

Miseo stepped quickly through the door to his quarters and caught her in midair before the door was even fully closed, her body moving with all the speed and grace of her elven nature. He held her in midair then as she laughed softly, turning quickly to the side as his gear dropped to the deck and he pinned her to the bulkhead and covered her wonderful tasting lips with his own. His two meter long tail twitched madly as it snarled around her waist and her long legs curled around his back, her combat boots locking at the base of his spine. Her arms went under his, her hands spreading across his broad back as their kiss smoldered in its intensity and his powerful arms drew her tighter to him.

Eirene groaned in blissful delight as his arms crushed her lithe form to his wonderfully powerful body and she ground her hips against his, making sure her firm breasts were crushed against his chest. She could feel his cock, even through the layers of clothes between them and this only made her hotter. The nipples of her breasts strained against the thin fabric of the shirt she wore as she allowed a small portion of her Coming of Age fever to engulf her as she kissed the man she desperately desired with ardor. Miseo’s large hands gripped her firm ass cheeks and he pulled her tighter against his body caught up in the moment, causing her to coo out her enchantment within their kiss. Her Coming of Age fever was upon Eirene, but unlike her other half sisters and even pureblood females, Andro’s touch within Mindvoice had gifted her with the power to suppress it entirely. She didn’t know how, but it was how she had hid it from her mothers, making sure it did not come out in her scent which she knew her MedwanGai would detect instantly no matter how slight it was. His nose was keener than any living wolf Andro had passed to her and Fedor and nothing escaped his notice even though it may have seemed that way. Fedor helped her as much as he was able, adding his own abilities to help her mask her fever, but there was no way he could help her when she allowed it to come out as she did now.

Eirene had known shortly after coming to the ARC ROYAL that Miseo was the one she had wanted. She may have been fifteen at the time during her growth cycle, but she was sure. The awareness that Andro had granted to her and Fedor had allowed them to do much more than others thought. Now that she was fully grown, with all the needs and abilities of a female wolf, she knew with no doubt in her mind. His juniper like scent drove her mad whenever she caught a whiff of it, setting her body on fire unlike anything she had ever felt in her short life so far. It was so similar to what she had witnessed with her mother on Enurrua when she was reunited with her MedwanGai. Her mother’s scent of sweet orchids had spiked unbelievably and her desire and want for him poured forth in buckets from her very pores. Just as it did with Eirene for Miseo. None of the pureblood or turned wolves on the ARC ROYAL had even caught her nose in interest, and there were many who were even more attractive than Miseo. None of that mattered to her. She wanted him and no other. She knew he had been fighting it for so long and last week she had grown tired of waiting. She had thrown herself on him one evening in his quarters just like this and during their passion filled kisses they had professed what they both felt for one another.

Miseo finally pulled his head back to stare into her changed wolf eyes and he saw the tips of her dual wolf fangs protruding from beneath her lip. Smaller than the fangs of her brother but fangs that were unique to the Leonidas bloodline he knew. Miseo had spent the last weeks using the computers on the ARC ROYAL to discover as much as he could about the family of the woman who had so captured his heart and soul in such little time. Trying to find some way that he could fit in. His body vibrated with need for Eirene and he blinked several times as his heart pounded away in his chest. He leaned forward finally to nuzzle the outer ridge of her half elven ear, drawing a gasp of delight from her as he fought his own raging emotions and hormones.

“I have ... I have missed you so Miseo!” Eirene rasped out the words as her hands came up to his beautifully handsome face and his tail tightened around her waist.

“I have only been gone a day Eirene.” He said with a smile.

Eirene grinned and rubbed her lips across his cheek. “A day is too long!” She exclaimed. “It will always be too long until you claim me!”

Miseo met her eyes as he was finally able to gather enough control of his emotions to keep from ravaging her right here. “Your fever burns hotter Little One?” He asked.

“Yes damn it! And it burns only for you!” Eirene pleaded.

Miseo pressed his forehead to her silky throat and allowed his own lips to brush against the skin just above the valley of her breasts. “I do ... Eirene I do not want to deny you choice.” He stated. “I do not want to keep others from...”

“I have been on this ship for almost six weeks Miseo! The fever has become so strong. I have gone to every area on this ship ... looked at every man! Just as you wanted me too!” Eirene gasped pulling his head up so she could look at his face. “You are who I want Miseo! You! No one else! Why ... why do you resist? I know you want me as much as I crave you. I can smell it coming from you Miseo!”

“I can barely control myself Eirene.” He told her. “But I have read about your people. You are suppressing your fever ... I don’t know how ... but you are. It is not fair to others if they can not prove to you...”

Eirene snarled and nipped his jaw with her fangs, the slight pin prick of pain causing Miseo to grin. “This is not a competition!” She growled at him. “I am suppressing my fever because I want you damn it! I have always wanted you! I don’t want to be bothered by others who wish to claim me because of who my MedwanGai and mothers are! I have seen how some of them look at me.”

“Listen to her Miseo.” Fedor’s voice broke in and Miseo turned his head to see him walk out of the small bathroom area of his quarters. “You aren’t going to change her mind. She’s a stubborn upaee.” He spoke as he settled to the couch.

“Shut up Fedor you midaeus!” Eirene snapped at her brother.

Miseo pulled his eyes back to Eirene and her dark brown orbs smoldered at him as she tilted her head to the side in a ‘I told you so’ manner. Miseo knew that Eirene and Fedor were tied together in a very unique way for a brother and sister. That they shared everything with each other, holding nothing back from one another, didn’t bother him in the least. Miseo liked Fedor immensely. They were closer in age than any of Miseo’s own brothers and they shared many of the same values and interests.

“Your ... your MedwanGai would not approve Eirene. I am Kavalian no matter that I have Pralor blood within me.” He said finally looking at her. “He would not approve after what...”

“Why don’t you let me worry about what I would approve of?” Martin’s voice carried to them and all of their heads snapped around as the door to Miseo’s quarters slid fully open and Martin stepped into the room, For’mya beside him with Anja.

Sibfla!” Fedor gasped as he shot to his feet. “Father! Mothers!”

Miseo’s eyes were wide as he quickly retracted his tail from around Eirene’s waist and lowered her to the deck. His father had raised him to be true to his individual nature and not to act differently for someone’s approval. In that instant Miseo decided he would not hide his feelings for Eirene Leonidas any longer. Eirene’s dark brown eyes were wide as well and they flashed with anger at him when he withdrew his tail, but they instantly changed to adoring love when she felt him grip her hand tightly, refusing to let go.

“King ... King Leonidas!” He rasped as the door closed behind them.

“Would any of you care to explain what is going on here?” For’mya asked sternly.

“Mother...” Fedor began. “We...”

For’mya held up her hand. “I’m not looking for an answer from you young man.” She spoke turning her eyes on Eirene. “I want one from your sister.”

Eirene gripped Miseo’s hand tightly with one hand, her other grasping his arm as she pressed her body close to his side. “Mother I...”

“Eirene ... you didn’t really think you could suppress your fever from your father did you?” For’mya asked.

Eirene’s eyes cut to look at Martin as he crossed his hands behind his back. “You ... you know MedwanGai?” She asked in a stunned voice.

“I’ve known for a week.” He told her. “I don’t know how you have learned to suppress it as you have Eirene, a talent that many of our females would like to learn I’m sure, but it leaked out ever so slightly in your training. I told your mothers immediately.”

“What else has your brother Androcles taught you?” For’mya asked looking at Fedor now too. “He certainly did not tell us about this. Or many things for that matter. He showed you how to do this didn’t he? He has passed to both of you far more than he told us. As he has done with all of his siblings.”

Martin nodded his head. “Something I will address with him when we speak again I can assure you.”

For’mya stepped up to Eirene but made no effort to pull her away from Miseo. She let her eyes drift from Miseo’s face and she looked at Eirene. She brought her hand up and touched her daughter’s cheek, feeling her warm skin and easily smelling her heightened arousal in her sweet musky amber and orchid scent. Eirene closed her eyes in delight at the touch of her mother and she leaned into her touch. “You should have told me Eirene. You should have told us. Your mothers and I do have a little bit of experience in this you know. You did not have to do this on your own.”

“Stop suppressing it Eirene.” Martin told her. “We know ... so you no longer need to hide it.”

MedwanGai ... I ... I do not wish to become the object of interest for every male wolf on the ARC ROYAL!” Eirene spoke passionately. “They will smell me and I will be shooing them away like flies from food. And it disrespects my Miseo having to do this.”

“They would not get near you.” Miseo growled softly.

Martin moved up beside For’mya and Anja with a sly grin at Miseo’s response and he looked at her. “It is part of who you are Eirene. You can’t hide it.” He said softly. “What have I told you in our classes?”

Eirene met his eyes. “Be ... be who you are and not what others want you to be.” She said softly.

“So be who you are daughter.” Martin said. “It is nothing to be ashamed of Eirene ... our people, Lycavorian and turned wolf alike, this is something we all deal with. Well ... the ladies anyway.”

Anja moved behind Eirene and pressed close to her as For’mya inched closer as well. For’mya felt her mother’s auras wash over her and surround her and she smiled. “Do not be afraid Eirene.” Anja spoke softly into her ear. “Be yourself.”

For’mya nodded as she continued to look at her and Eirene finally lowered all of the Mindvoice shields she had been using to hide her scent. The intensity of her scent spiked five fold when she lowered her shields and For’mya, Anja, Martin and Fedor all detected it immediately. It did not affect them because they were her family, but surprisingly enough it did affect Miseo. He inhaled deeply, his eyes wide and he looked at her with astonishment and a new pride.

“Eirene ... my love ... you have ... you have been suppressing this?” He gasped as his body began to vibrate being so close to her. Kavalians did not have as keen a sense of smell as Lycavorians, but it was strong enough to detect heady scents and right now Eirene’s pungent fever induced scent was maddening to him. For’mya and Anja could detect the intensity of her aroused female scent and who exactly it burned for. And they could also detect the response it was receiving from Miseo, and if they could detect it they knew Martin could as well. For’mya felt him come up behind her and stand between her and Anja.

“This could be a problem.” Martin said softly.

“See!” Eirene protested vehemently. “I told you! I will attract every unmated wolf on this ship now MedwanGai! I didn’t want that! I only want Miseo!”

“Milord ... King Leonidas ... this is my fault!” Miseo began to speak doing his best to try and shield Eirene anyway he could.

“Damn right it is!” Martin snapped looking at him. “I’ve smelled your scent on her for nearly a week! That’s not the problem I was talking about though...”

MedwanGai please!” Eirene spoke frantically reaching out to take his hand with hers thinking he was going to deny her what she wanted so much. “I am ... I want this father! I know what I feel and...”

“You should have claimed her days ago!” Martin finished with a snort looking at Miseo.

Miseo’s eyes mirrored Eirene’s as they went wide and looked at him. “I thought ... I did not...”

Martin shook his head quickly. “Never think that because you are Kavalian I lump you in with a single group Miseo. You, your father, the others, they have Pralor blood within them. You are not fully Kavalian and therefore you do not share the same values. And even if you were pure Kavalian, your actions have more than shown all of us that you are different. That is and has been very clear to me from the moment you and your father began helping For’mya. Pian, Jalersi, all of them. They think and feel like you and that is why they are on our side. I could care less if you were Kavalian, Kochab or Algolian. If you loved our daughter the way your scent says you do then that is all that matters.”

For’mya took Eirene’s hand in hers. “You are a woman Eirene. No matter how quickly that came to be ... no matter how much I hate that it happened the way it did, you are fully grown and I can not deny that. Your desire for Miseo pours from you in waves and his for you.” For’mya said. “We have never denied what the hearts of our children want and that does not change with you and Fedor.”

“The ways of your people...” Miseo stammered looking at For’mya. “I have ... I have nothing to offer to you Milady. Nothing to give you for...”

“Do you love her?” Martin asked simply.

Miseo’s blue eyes darted to him once more and then they turned on Eirene. “I ... more than I have ever loved anyone in my life.” He said seeing Eirene’s eyes become moist and her face beaming in its beauty. “I have never felt these things that I feel for her within me. I...”

“Then love her Miseo.” Anja spoke moving around to stand beside Martin and wrapping her arms around his waist as his arm curled around her back and he drew her close to him. “Love her. Honor her. Protect her.”

For’mya looked at Miseo. “Respect her above all else.” For’mya said. “And love her so much it takes her breath away. Just be sure it is what you both want. If you do this ... if you do this ... you will be together for eternity.”

“Lycavorians and elves become mates and husbands and wives for all time.” Anja said. “Especially when the decision is made during a Coming of Age fever or a first Phase. Be sure. Both of you.”

Eirene watched as For’mya stepped back and did much the same as her mother Anja, pressing close to Martin, and her arms going around his waist. Her eyes were wide in disbelief. “That’s ... that’s it?” She gasped.

Martin chuckled and looked at her with love and warmth. “What? Did you expect us to be a bunch of raving lunatics?” He asked her. “I can still do that if it makes you feel better. Run up and down the decks screaming my head off and ranting like an idiot with foam coming from my mouth.”

“Like that is any different than how you normally act?” Anja quipped up into his face with an adoring smile.

For’mya laughed and smiled at her daughter. “We vowed to each other long ago to never try and interfere in the lives of our children.” She spoke. “Why should that change for you or Fedor? All we ask is that you share it with us Eirene. No matter what it is? You and Fedor are ... you are special in many ways.”

Anja turned her head and looked at Fedor who had crossed his arms over his broad chest with a smile. “Don’t let that go to your head young man!” She quipped. “It’s not a free pass to get away with murder!”

Fedor’s smug look disappeared quickly and Anja smiled at his expression.

“Ok ... enough of this mushy stuff!” Martin barked. “I’m hungry and that’s where I was going before this little detour.” He looked at Eirene and Miseo. “You two will join us for dinner no matter how much you want to stay here. You don’t have anything to worry about Eirene. You are saturating Miseo with your scent daughter ... given that and his own scent on you ... no one will bother you.”

Eirene couldn’t help but blush and she giggled softly looking at her mothers. “I can’t help it.” She said as For’mya and Anja reached for her and drew her away from Miseo.

“When you are done eating ... then you can return here.” For’mya spoke. She looked back to Miseo. “I expect that her fever will no longer be a problem for her come morning.” She said sternly.

Miseo shook his head quickly not really understanding what she meant. He just said the first thing that came to his mind. “No ... no!” He stammered.

“Good!” Anja echoed. “We didn’t want to have to get ugly.”

Martin chuckled as For’mya and Anja began to lead Eirene out of Miseo’s quarters.

“We will see you in the Mess Lounge.” For’mya called over her shoulder as they led Eirene out.

Martin looked at Miseo his face calm. “You need to let Muton and your mother know what is happening.” He said. “I clued your father in a few days ago.”

Miseo’s eyes grew wider. “He knows!” He gasped. Miseo shook his head slowly. “Then everyone knows.”

“Miseo...” Martin said softly and Miseo lifted his eyes to look at him. “You, your father, the others, you are not part of the Kavalians that we left behind or that are probably chasing us. You are different and never doubt that I trust all of you with my life.” Martin moved closer to him. “One thing though ... if you ever hurt her ... even a little bit ... pray someone finds you before her mother’s and I.”

Miseo didn’t back down or look away and that told Martin all he needed to know. “I would die before ever hurting her. I would kill myself before that happened.”

Martin nodded and reached up to pound his shoulder. “Good. Now let’s go get some food. As intense as her fever is ... you’re going to need it. Have you ever...”

Miseo shook his head slowly embarrassed. “No. No ... no woman has ever affected me like Eirene. And with all my training as a Monitor, I never had the time. This is what ... this is what For’mya meant?”

Martin nodded with a smile. “Yep!” Miseo looked somewhat concerned and Martin grabbed his arm. “I will give you a tip or two that always works with her elven mothers. Once you claim her tonight, the fever will recede and she will be your mate.” Martin said with a grin. “The rest is up for you to figure out. And for fuck’s sake ... don’t tell Eirene! She’ll just turn around and tell her mothers and then I’ll be in deep shit!”

Miseo looked at him and then Fedor who stood behind him. He looked back to Martin and then began laughing as they headed out of his quarters.




“Noooo! Not there! Noooooo! You bastard nooo! Ahhhhhhhh!”

The female voice grated against Kalis’s ears as he approached his father’s room. Kalis stared at the door of his father’s private quarters as the whimpers of pain and humiliation from the Hadarian Healer he now knew as Ceale reached him even through the thick steel door. His father had been abusing the woman every few days ever since they had left Nefoa, her cries of defiance and pain reaching into the corridor of the ship even as his father forced himself upon her, sometimes violently.

Kalis lifted the data pad he had brought and looked at it before dropping it to the floor in front of his father’s door and turning to move down the corridor. He almost reached the lift when he came to the large view window and he looked outside to see the Kavalian warships they had taken from Nefoa on this stupid chase across unknown space. They were going into their sixth week of chasing his Uncle and still they were no closer. The trail was there as his father had hoped, half of PUMA’S PRIDE sensors being used to keep tracking it. The LSD jumps took a toll on their engines and they had to stop every few days to reinitialize the engine cores and make minor usage repairs. His grandfather Keleru had ranted over the COM at what his father was going to do, enraged that he would conduct himself in such a manner when the Kavalian military needed him. He had relented in the end, both he and his father still believing that somehow recapturing the elf female and her bastard children would give them some important leverage against the Lycavorian Union.

Something that deep down within himself Kalis did not believe for an instant.

His father had largely ignored him for the entire trip so far, barely speaking to him even when they sat down together for dinner in the Mess Lounge with the other officers. Kalis could see the disappointment in his eyes that he had not performed better on Enurrua. That he had somehow not fought better and helped him to defeat his Uncle. He had come away with only half his ribs broken and two severe lacerations of his abdomen from sharp rocks where he had landed. It was almost as if his father didn’t care about that. How do you fight a man who could do the things his Uncle had that day. Kalis was by no means helpless. He was a cunning warrior himself who had fought the vampires on many different occasions with Special Operations. He was a skilled hand to hand fighter and perhaps the finest shot on PUMA’S PRIDE with any weapon. How do you fight that kind of rage over a woman though? How do you fight a man who can do things you could not explain? It was not an ideal Kalis could comprehend.

Now they were off on this wild chase through areas of space that they had no idea about. They did not know what awaited them and part of Kalis was frightened of this. Frightened yes but so very interested as well. The other officers on the bridge of PUMA’S PRIDE were wary and unsure, but to Kalis this was an opportunity to see what no one had ever seen. He just wished they weren’t doing this because of his father’s misguided belief that the elf female For’mya had feelings for him. Kalis knew there was no chance of that being true. He had tried to tell his father this calmly but he would have none of it, slapping him repeatedly in front of other officers on the ship to demean him and show others he was weak and did not know what he was talking about. None of the other officers would say anything to him, or do something that showed the disrespect they felt for him, for he still held the rank of Colonel. Who his father was insured this and the fact that Kalis was exceptionally deadly all by himself and he would not hesitate to kill in order to discipline someone. But the lack of respect was there Kalis knew. And it was growing. Especially among the Puma Bane troops.

Kalis had tried for years to become the same son that his younger brother Leruk was to their father. Even when they were small, he never paid much attention to him or Karun once Leruk had been born. It was almost as if they no longer existed. This did not bother Karun as much as it did Kalis. Karun was always closer to their mother and sister than him and Leruk. It was something his father hated, but there was nothing he could do about it. When first Karun and then his mother betrayed them and defected to the Union, his father reacted as he expected with outrage and threats of retaliation if they were captured. When they discovered that Leruk had been killed by his cousin Androcles however, his father seemed to lose a small portion of himself. He became crueler and harder and silently he swore vile revenge on Androcles. Of course it never occurred to his father than he had to capture Androcles to fulfill that oath. A possibility that had no chance of ever happening Kalis knew for some reason. And that was before they discovered that his Uncle was not dead and was indeed very much alive. Kalis had seen his father fly into a rage unlike anything he had ever seen when that was confirmed. Now they had an entire and fully modern Fleet Group and a division of Kavalian troops and they were chasing his Uncle and For’mya into the unknown.

It was stupid Kalis knew.

He had read the reports of what that lone ship had done to their Task Force and they had no idea if that ship had gotten reinforcements before departing Union space. For all they knew they could be facing a much larger Union force because his Uncle was King and they would not allow him to go off unprotected. Kalis turned away when he heard the Hadarian female bellow in painful humiliation once more and he stepped onto the lift trying to push her cries from his head. No doubt his father was punishing her for losing For’mya. He had been using her as a fuck toy since they had departed Nefoa, and it seemed he was becoming more and more cruel when he took her. Her felt sorry for her really. What was happening was not of her doing and she had been the one to heal his father and save his life. This is how his father repaid her. By turning her into his whore and hurting her at every opportunity. Her family was being kept in separate locations on the ship, her fool husband by himself.

Kalis didn’t know what sort of arrangement the man had made, but he had made some sort of deal with his father to insure he was not harmed in any way while his wife and children were kept in one large cell and his father raped his wife almost daily. The man was a pig as far as Kalis was concerned. To leave his woman and children to the mercies of others while he kept himself safe was the purest form of cowardice that Kalis could think of. Kalis didn’t even realize that was his wolf blood within him or how similar that made him to many others who thought like that?

Kalis exited the lift on deck twenty-six, the second lowest deck of the ship and where his quarters were. He had chosen this location because it was quiet and far from the relentless scorn his father now looked at him with. Only the Kavalian engineering crew stayed on this deck and it was easy to avoid them as he moved to his quarters and punched in the code for entry. Kalis had changed the entry code and added an additional layer of security after the events on Enurrua had finished. He didn’t know why, but a looming sense of personal security had overcome him and he feared what some upstart Kavalian trooper might attempt in order to get on his father’s good graces. When the door closed he secured it in the same way, engaging the security system almost as an afterthought. Anyone who attempted to breach his quarters now, whether he was in them or not, would be carved in half by the security laser beams he had installed in the door and floor frame.

Kalis looked around his large quarters a moment, a main room, large kitchen area and then a separate bedroom area. He had spent quite a bit of time making the quarters try to reflect who he wanted to be, statues and pictures of famous Kavalian warriors decorating his walls, everything in its exact place. Looking around the room now something was very different. It was missing something. What Kalis had seen on Enurrua was unlike anything he had ever witnessed or heard about. The ferocity of his Uncle was almost beautiful in its depiction. The look in his eyes, even knowing he was outnumbered more than three to one. It was inspiring for lack of a better word. The glow from those yellow/gold eyes he had never seen on any other man. Not even his father in the wake of one victory or another. Those eyes were so confident, so brilliant and so methodical. His father’s eyes were always so cruel and emotionless.

Kalis moved to his desk and reached down to enter the code to unlock it. He opened the small drawer and pulled out the data disc his Uncle had given him. Kalis didn’t know what had possessed him to keep it and tell no one but he had. As he lifted it out of the drawer, the memories of that day flashed back to him.

Martin lifted his hand with his palm towards Pusintin and you could clearly see the pulsing of the psychic power radiating from his palm. Without any warning Kalis was yanked from his feet and rocketed through the air towards Martin. He covered the sixty meters in four heartbeats and then he was gasping for air in Martin’s armored fist as his fingers closed around Kalis’s throat. Not enough to crush his windpipe or larynx but enough to make it very difficult to breath and cause Kalis to claw at his hand with strong fingers. Kalis could feel the intense heat radiating from the psychic shield around his Uncle, only the part of his arm from the elbow up to the hand squeezing his throat now free of that shield.

Pusintin took three steps towards them but stopped.

“So nephew...” Martin spoke softly gazing at Kalis’s dark blue eyes. “Your father stands there. He will not come for you Kalis. He will not try to protect you from me. In truth ... he does not care what happens to you!”

“I do ... I do not believe you! You ... you do ... not frighten me!” Kalis gagged on the words even as he continued to claw at the armored fist that held him suspended two feet off the ground. The grip was far too powerful for him to even get the tips of his fingers under the armored grasp.

Martin drew him closer, Kalis’s blue eyes growing wide the closer he came to the searing psychic shield and he stopped struggling with both hands wrapped around his Uncle’s wrist. “I see within you Kalis.” Martin growled softly loosening his iron clad grip on Kalis’s throat ever so slightly. “Like I saw within your brother Karun. You have never seen the things Karun has discovered Kalis. Never experienced them.”

“Karun is a traitor!” Kalis hissed. “He betrayed us! His people!”

“Did he?” Martin asked him, his voice softer now. “Or did he just embrace the things your father has never spoken of with you? That he has never showed you? The things that it was his duty to show you! The things you could be still.”

“You lie!” Kalis spat once more.

“Do I?” Martin asked calmly. “Your brother Leruk was a lost cause Kalis. He spent too much time around your father. It twisted him beyond help. I saw this in my son’s mind after what happened. That is why you have tried so hard to gain his favor. He always regarded Leruk as his favorite. You have a chance Kalis ... you have a chance he did not. You have a choice.”

“I will never betray my father!” Kalis hissed. “I will never betray my people! I am ... I am not afraid of you!”

Martin smiled up at him, but there was no joy in that smile. His wolf fangs prevented it from being anything but a smile of death. “I am not the one you should be afraid of Kalis. It is not my mate that you disrespected by doing what you did. You would be dead already if it was. It is only another crime that your father bears the shame for. Not teaching you what you should know as a wolf.” Martin told him.

“He ... he killed my brother!” Kalis snarled.

Martin shook his head. “Androcles killed a cancer. Not your brother.” He spoke softly still. “I see that cancer growing within you as well ... but you can stop it Kalis. You can choose to stop it. You can open your eyes and make a choice.”

“Never!” Kalis growled.

“You are on a collision course with fate Kalis.” Martin spoke softly and he drew a thin data pad from a small pouch on his belt, keeping his movements hidden from all those around him. “Open your eyes nephew ... open your eyes to what you could be. It will be your only chance. You will survive this day Kalis ... and I will leave you with a gift. Do with it as you wish.” Martin pushed his other hand through the psychic shield and shoved the data pad into the folds of Kalis’s loose fitting clothing and partial body armor. “And remember my words to you now ... Androcles Leonidas is my son ... and there is not a merciful bone in his body nephew. For what you have done he will carve you up and spit you out. Your only chance is to read what I just gave you. Read it! And then make your choice. My son will not give you a second chance nephew.”

“I do not fear him!” Kalis growled.

Martin smiled. “You should boy. He is the instrument of your death or your salvation.” He spoke. “Now ... no more words. I have other things to attend to. Think for yourself for once Kalis! Think for yourself and become a Leonidas! It is the choice your grandfather wants you to have. Try to land without breaking too many bones.”

Kalis stared at the data disc for a long moment. What harm could there be in this piece of material. Perhaps he could learn something from it that would establish himself back in his father’s eyes and good graces. He closed the draw and sat in the chair, pressing the disc into the slot of his computer and making sure all the security protocols were in place so that no one could access his personal computer. The monitor flashed and Kalis sat back in shock as the pad ejected by itself and flopped on the desk top, a thin beam of light projecting from the thin front side. And then suddenly standing before him was the figure of his Uncle in the holo projection. Instinctively he rose to his feet prepared to defend himself, but then his mind recognized it was simply a holographic portrayal of his Uncle. The man who had nearly killed him almost six weeks ago.

“I see you have finally worked up the courage to view this nephew.” Martin’s image spoke. He was dressed in simple clothes, not the glittering armor Kalis had seen him wearing on Enurrua. The tunic was a dark blue color and cut low around his neck, the pants black in color and he wore a simple pair of boots. “That makes me glad.”

Kalis looked at his image with wide eyes. “How... ?”

The image of Martin smiled. “You are probably asking how I knew to say that?” It spoke. “Let’s just call it a guess shall we. I know you are viewing this alone because it would not have activated if someone else was with you. I would imagine you wouldn’t see much of this program if your father was with you, so I took precautions to insure only you viewed it. This data disc is not something you will be able to use to gather intelligence on me or others. Now that it has activated, it will also no longer open without your assistance.”

Kalis reached forward disgustedly to end the transmission when he heard the soft laughter and clucking sound and looked up to see his Uncle shaking his head.

“Don’t turn it off Kalis. That’s what you were going to do isn’t it Mandri? Mandri is nephew in the ancient language of our people in case you didn’t know. Five minutes Mandri. That’s all I ask. Listen to me for five minutes and then make your decision.” His hands went out to the sides. “As you can see ... I’m speaking to you from a ship. I’m on my way to recover my Kinsoaurgai from your father. The Voice of my Heart in the ancient language.” Martin’s image spoke. “This is kind of awkward ... but after meeting your brother Karun ... I made the decision to do this. It was a decision to try and show you what your father has not shown you. That is obvious in your brother Karun, but since he has embraced the part of himself that your father denied him, he will learn these things on his own. You will not have that chance. I was going to try and figure out a way to get this to you within Kavalian space but once I determined what your father was working towards I knew I would be meeting you face to face at some point. Probably very soon too.”

Kalis looked at the image with wide eyes. “You ... you knew!” He gasped.

“What your father has done Kalis ... it goes against everything that is honorable in all of us.” Martin spoke. “I do not blame you for what is happening Kalis. I blame your father. You are ... you are simply a casualty of the hate that your father has for me and your grandmother. I do not understand all of it Mandri ... in truth ... now I don’t care. I would have listened to him; I would have listened to anything he wanted to say to me Kalis. And had he expressed a desire to return to his people, though many would have called me insane, I would have granted him that. He was my brother and I loved him. I loved him right up until he took For’mya from me. Until he used her, raped her, treated her as some sort of animal to further his sick goals. He should have read the ancient laws set forth by our grandfather better and not listened to those who said they could help him achieve what he wanted. For’mya is my mate and wife Kalis. She has always been mine, and will always be mine. A much higher power than you or I saw to that nephew. She knows I am alive now and I will get to her before your father. And I will do what I should have done a long time ago. I will make her truly mine in every possible way. When that happens, your father will have no affect on her no matter what he does.”

Kalis remembered on Enurrua when his father hit For’mya with his full Alpha Wolf aura and she simply stared back at him with hate in her eyes.

“This disc is not about your father however. It is about you Kalis.” Martin continued. “You have probably heard many things from your father and others about me. Hell ... some of them may even be true. But I want you to hear about them from me. I want you to hear the reasons why I did things. I want to share with you some things I have only shared with one other. My son Androcles.” Martin began walking and Kalis could see it was indeed the corridor of a ship. “I will tell you why I want to do this ... and believe it if you will ... but it is what your grandfather wants. It is what our father wants me to do in order to try and save you. I talk to him in my dreams sometimes...” Martin held up his hand. “I know ... weird ... but what can I say?”

Kalis couldn’t help the small chuckle that escaped his lips and he found himself drawn to this image. This was so different than the vengeful warrior he had encountered on Enurrua. The man who had single-handedly wiped out nearly a full platoon of Puma Bane soldiers in his rage and he didn’t break a sweat doing it.

“Come with me nephew.” Martin’s voice continued drawing Kalis’s eyes back to the image. “Come with me and allow me to show you what the other part of your blood means. You are only half Kavalian Kalis. The blood of a Leonidas also flows in your veins and there is not a single reason why that blood can not live side by side with your Kavalian blood. I have met your mother and the man who she now calls husband. She is strong and proud and she loves you. She just wanted more than your father and others allowed her.” Martin’s hands went behind his back as he walked and the Vid Drone must have moved around in front of him.

“A species can not survive if the ones who give us the sons and daughters that make us strong are treated as if they are nothing more than animals themselves Kalis. That is one of the major differences between our people. We view our females as the bearers of our future. We do not need to beat them down or force ourselves upon them. Treating them as if they are precious jewels works far better my boy. It is not wrong to show them you love them. To let them know they are your equal in every way.” Martin chuckled. “Believe me ... it can be a lot more fun and adventurous between the sheets when the woman or women in your life knows how you feel about them. It can get downright...” Martin stopped. “Ah ... I digress.” He said with a smile as he stopped walking. “I ask only one thing Kalis. If you truly want to see things differently ... if you truly want to see what you can have ... then let me show you. Let me show you what your father should have shown you. Let me give you the ability to make your own decisions in a life that is yours, not someone else’s. There is no information you will gain militarily by viewing this disc, none at all. I’m not that stupid regardless of what your father thinks. But if you wish to know what he has not told you; about your blood; about your choices; then allow me to tell you. At least then you will have all the information you need to decide for yourself what you want going into the future.”

Kalis found himself pulling the chair away from the desk and settling into it with almost no hesitation.

“I have talked to Androcles about what I want to do nephew.” Martin continued. “What I want to show you. There is very little that I do not share with my oldest son. There are some things that we have experienced together that no one has ever seen. I want to share them with you and he has agreed.” Martin looked directly into the Vid Drone. “He also wanted me to pass on a message nephew. ‘Choose with the heart that beats in your chest cousin and not with the false hate that flows through you because you have not seen the truth.’” Martin smiled. “He can be very profound when he wants to be don’t you think? If you do this ... Andro believes you would be one of the strongest of Leonidas blood, our blood and he would be honored to stand beside you. If you do not ... then history ... history will never know you existed.” Martin held up his hand again quickly. “Do not take offense at this Kalis. It is what I believe as well ... and as much as it would pain me, no matter the tears I might shed ... I will kill you just as assuredly as I will kill your father. I would much rather you have the opportunity to decide for yourself which path in this life you want to walk ... because that is the choice your father has taken from you. A choice he had no right to take away from you. I want to give that back to you. So come with me nephew, let me show you the world of a Leonidas. A life you could have without question if you so desired. All you need do is reach out.”

Kalis was riveted from that moment on.

Serale stared at the door to the quarters that was now their prison waiting.

Never in all her years did she imagine she would be waiting for her nineteenth birthday as a prisoner on a Kavalian ship. Nine more days to add to the almost six weeks they had been on this ship barely surviving on the rations they were fed and constantly harassed. What her mother was enduring brought tears to her eyes every time she thought about it. And the hatred for her father grew by the hour.

Serale was one of the most gifted Healers her grandmother had ever seen she had been told. She was one of the few Hadarians, like her mother, who preferred to use their power to diagnose injuries and diseases and forgo the instruments that were available to them to do this. They would then treat the injuries or diseases with their Healing power of metaphysical radiation. Serale had ascended only last year, feeling the ecstatic surge of healing power as it swept through her body and infused her with the unique radiation that allowed Hadarians to be what they were. The galaxy’s foremost medical Healers and researchers. At almost nineteen, Serale was a vision of Hadarian beauty. Standing barely five foot three and just over a hundred pounds, her physical assets were hard to miss. Her breasts were medium sized and very firm and she had a tiny waist to go with lean muscular legs and an incredibly firm backside. She had spent the last few years on Talbor Seven and hated every moment of it, just like her mother. She hated the advances of males from nearly every species regardless of her age. A Kochab businessman had even offered to purchase Serale so that he could turn her into his personal sex toy and doctor. She had only been sixteen at the time, her mother having to threaten her father that she would take Serale and her brother off Talbor Seven and return to Hadaria if her father did not take a more active role in keeping things like that from happening.

Her mother and father had fought a great deal since coming to Talbor Seven. Her mother did not mind that they were helping others who did not normally have access to Hadarian medical means, but nearly seven years without returning to their homeworld had taken its toll on all of them. It was on Talbor Seven where Serale had finally seen her father’s indifference to both her and her brother. He seemed more interested in making credits and treating less than savory individuals outside the limits of the many resorts than he was in raising them. She had witnessed his docile attitude when the Kavalians had stormed into their clinic and demanded that they accompany them. Her father had done very little to keep this from happening and he had ignored the lustful looks both his wife and daughter had received from the cruel looking troops. He believed Elder Healer Buonau’s actions in disposing Queen Anja and aligning with the Kavalians was the right one, while her mother and Serale did not. They beat him down viciously when he protested the first time they touched her mother, but he didn’t protest what was happening after that. Even though he knew what the Kavalians had planned.

They had only seen him three times in their entire five week imprisonment. Each time he had looked well fed and his clothes were clean. Serale, her mother and brother still had the same clothes on, and they had only been allowed to bath twice a week. Serale knew what was happening each time they came for her mother. She came back battered, bruised and sore. The Lycavorian they knew as Marshall Pusintin, King Leonidas’s brother, was raping her mother each time he sent for her. And he was not gentle with her in the least. She would return with dark bruises on the insides of her thighs and on her shoulders and arms. Her cheeks would be red and bruised as well and Serale knew why. She was no stranger to men, Serale had seen her fair share of young men that she was attracted too, but her father was of the old school and he was insistent on choosing a husband for her. Serale had no intention of allowing that, but she would let him rant about it so he did not argue with her. There were times that he would get truly angry with her and slap her in the face or verbally abuse her as he did her mother.

Serale knew there was no love between her parents, if there ever had been. Their union had also been arranged and her mother had not wanted to marry her father. Their families would have nothing of it. Her brother Danim was only fourteen and though he was very intelligent, he did not want to believe their father was letting this happen to them. Serale had even seen some of the Kavalian troops look at him with something akin to a predatory glance. Danim’s eyes were being open however, and his anger at the Kavalians taking his mother every other day was beginning to shine through. Danim was fair skinned like their father and his soft brown hair was wavy while Serale was deeply tanned like her mother, with long, billowing rosewood red hair that fell to the small of her back and dark Hunter green eyes. Serale knew at some point she would be taken and there was nothing she could do about it. This Pusintin would tire of her mother and take her, or she would be given to his men for ridiculous achievement. She knew how Kavalians treated and regarded their females, and she did not know if she would be strong enough to fight them.

The door to the quarters opened and Serale scrambled up to her feet as her mother staggered through slowly.

“Mother!” Serale gasped as she went to her, the door closing almost immediately.

Ceale let her daughter wrap her arms around her waist and support her weight as she guided her to the couch. Pain wracked her body, but the humiliation was far more. Serale felt her tears come as she lifted her hands and the soft white of her healing ability flared openly on her mother’s badly bruised face and split lips.

“Mother!” Serale gasped. “Mother this can’t continue!” She stammered drawing her hands over her mother’s face and watching as the bruises and injuries healed quickly.

“I will ... I will endure.” Ceale hissed. “I have too Serale!”

“This pig of a man punishes you so mother!” Serale exclaimed as her hands dropped to her mother’s midsection and she let her power flare once more over her abdomen. The healing radiation pulsed forth, healing the bruises to her stomach and then Serale adjusted the healing radiation of her power to kill any sperm Pusintin may have injected into her womb. When she did this she discovered what else Pusintin had done to her mother and her eyes flew open in horror. “Momma!” She declared in horror.

Ceale shook her head slowly. “The pain ... the pain is almost gone. Just check for tears Serale. He is a bull in the cock department and uncaring of the force he uses. I thought ... I thought I felt something tear inside me.”

Serale shook her head quickly as she used her hands to smoothly run over her mother’s abdomen and hips. “No.” She said confidently. “No tears.” She pulsed out another soothing wave of her power through her mother, causing her body to begin to revert to its state before he had taken her this time.

Ceale shook her head quickly. “No!” She hissed softly. “Leave it! He ... he rutted like a dog on my back and he will do so again. Better to leave me accustom to his size. He puts your father to shame.”

“Mother!” Serale gasped.

Ceale looked at her daughter. “I must find ... I must find something humorous in all this Serale or I will go insane.” She stated reaching up to place her hand on her daughter’s cheek. “Better to have him spill his seed into my ass than in my womb. I will not carry a child of that vile man! Now that he has discovered my ass, perhaps this is where he will empty himself now. He ruts like an animal. Over and over. When he is done with me, he forces me to ... he forces me to pleasure his officers with my mouth while they sit there and laugh at me. They are even larger than he is by a good deal. I would never survive having them inside me.”

“Oh mother!” Serale sobbed lowering her head to her mother’s abdomen and letting the tears come. “Why is this happening mother? What ... what do they want? Why are they doing this?”

Ceale rested her hand on Serale’s head as the pain in her body began to fade away with Serale’s healing pulses. “I don’t ... I don’t know.” She answered. “Something about the King and Queen For’mya I think.”

Serale lifted her head to look at her as Ceale straightened on the couch and sat up. “King Martin?” She asked. “I thought ... I thought he was dead.”

Ceale shook her head. “No. The information must not have reached Talbor Seven before these bastards arrived, but he is very much alive. I heard them talking when they thought I was ... I was preoccupied.”

Serale looked at her. “Mother ... if the King lives then ... then this man forced the Queen against her will. He tricked her somehow. You know how Lycavorian females act when their mates die. If she believed him dead then...”

Ceale nodded. “Then her body would have reacted even if her mind did not.” She answered. “But we are not returning to Kavalian space. We are chasing the King and Queen For’mya and the children she bore him against her will. We are no longer in the Alpha Quadrant Serale.”

“We have gone beyond the outer border?” Serale gasped.

Ceale nodded her head. “Following a trail that supposedly leads to Queen For’mya.” She answered. “He wants her back.”

Serale’s eyes were wide. “Wants her back?” She rasped. “She is not his mate if the King is alive! Queen For’mya would never betray her love of the King for that pig! None of the Queens would!”

Ceale nodded as she rose to her feet slowly and moved to the medium sized view window in the quarters that was now their prison. “He is going after her anyway. For some reason he thinks she will come with him. He is a sick man Serale. Twisted in his head. Beyond anger and hate now.” She turned back to her daughter. “That is why we must keep secret that you have Ascended.”

“Mother why?” Serale asked. “I could help you!”

Ceale shook her head vigorously and moved to take her hands. “No! They would only use you Serale!” She gasped in worry. “He has already threatened to give you to his men if I do not submit to his orders!”

“Mother I...” Serale began to protest.

“No!” Ceale insisted. “I will not see my only daughter raped repeatedly by these savages! It would kill you Serale.”

“Father knows mother. Surely he already told them.” Serale spoke.

Ceale shook her head. “I never told your father we snuck back to Hadaria so you could Ascend.” She spoke. “You know there is no love between us Serale. There has not been for a very long time. If there ever was.”

Serale nodded. “I know.” She spoke softly.

“Your father is a supporter of Buonau.” Ceale spoke. “He is probably using that fact to insure his own safety somehow. He has abandoned us Serale. All of us.”

Serale nodded again. “I know mother. And Danim is beginning to see it now as well.”

“That is why your powers must never be used in view of them.” Ceale spoke. “If they knew you had Ascended I can’t begin to imagine what they would do to you. No ... we tell no one. I will endure Serale. As long as I know you and Danim are safe I will endure.”

“Mother you can not endure this for much longer!” Serale complained. “He hurts you every time they take you to him!”

“I have to Serale!” Ceale insisted. “Until we can discover a way to escape I have to do this!”

“Mother we are trapped on this ship and not even near the Alpha Quadrant!” Serale hissed. “I have seen their transport ships when we came aboard. If you are correct that we are no longer within the Alpha Quadrant, none of their ships have long range capabilities! We would leave one trap only to be stranded somewhere in another.”

“We have to try Serale.” Ceale spoke.

“How?” She gasped.

Ceale took her hands. “Hope for a miracle.”


“ ... already noticed that he passed to them more than he told us.” Wayonn spoke as they sat at one of the large tables in the Mess Lounge.

In the nearly six weeks they had been on board, Martin and his queens had fallen into a routine. They pushed two tables together when they entered the Mess Lounge and all of them sat at the single large table. At first no one would sit near them, they were the King and Queens after all, but gradually crewmen began to sit at the other table and soon it was a race to see who could be at their table first. Though it was well known that King Martin and his queens were incredibly open and down to Earth, the crew of the ARC ROYAL did not begin to see it until the laughter and jokes began to emanate from the table during meal times. Eirene had done as her father and mothers asked, keeping her shields low and allowing all to know that she was within her Coming of Age fever. She got several interested looks immediately from Lycavorians when she entered the Mess Lounge, all of which quickly turned to disinterest when they saw the hulking Kavalian Miseo beside her and smelled his scent already surrounding her. Not to mention the fact that her female wolf aura was radiating for him and only him, making it very clear she was not in any way available. Danny and Julie always sat with Martin and his queens as did Wayonn and Helen. At the moment Helen sat beside her grandfather listening as Wayonn explained what he had in mind to Martin and the others. Anja and Aricia sat on either side of Martin with For’mya to Aricia’s right and then Eirene and Miseo. Fedor sat between his vampire mothers as he always did, his mother Isabella very nearly as skilled as his MedwanGai when it came to hand combat. He learned much from listening to her and his mother Aricia and insured he always sat near one of them. His mother Cirith, though the newest of his father’s Queens, was a half breed like himself and he had learned many things from her about balancing the dual nature of himself. Now all of them were listening intently to Wayonn.

Wayonn had learned quickly that while they ate, business was not discussed unless absolutely necessary. The time just before the meal and during was used to reconnect with each other and talk of what they had done during the day. It was one of the reasons the devotion and love within the Leonidas family was so famous Wayonn knew and he had long ago been swept up within that family and learned the small things. He was wolf as well and Wayonn quickly detected Eirene’s fever when she entered, but also the intent of Miseo. He had worked many long hours with Muton and Helen and Arzoal in the weeks prior, learning all he could about what they knew of the people and quite possibly the dragons they were hoping to find on the target planet.

Martin nodded. “Yeah. Something I’m going to mention to him when we talk again.” Martin spoke.

Wayonn shook his head. “Do not be angry with him Martin. Helen, Arzoal and I believe he does not realize that he has done this.” He said.

Martin’s eyes narrowed. “Come again?”

“Andro is nearly as powerful as you Martin.” Helen spoke now. “If you were to have done the same thing he did, you could quite possibly have taught Fedor and Eirene more than you intended or realized. Peripheral Etheric Resonance. Information that flows through all of us but comes so naturally we do not realize it. Certain skills and such.”

“Are you saying Andro didn’t know he passed this to us?” Eirene asked.

Wayonn nodded. “It’s possible child.” He answered. “It is not unheard of.”

Martin shook his head. “While I understand what you are saying Wayonn ... this was no mistake. Androcles knew exactly what he was doing. He passed to them the skills he thought they would need to survive in the event I was not able to retrieve them.”

“Which makes him more like you then he realizes.” Helen spoke. “You have a tendency to prepare for the worst as well.”

Martin nodded. “True.”

“What kind of tests are we talking Val’istar?” For’mya asked. “They are already being bombarded with training and schooling.”

“Dysea and I discussed this.” He said. “It is why I wanted to speak with her first. She is the closest thing we have to a higher education administrator. We do not need to add to what they are studying now. We can blend it in with their currents classes. They are simple tests at memory really. Most of the time they won’t even know it.”

“As their emotions and certain things they have experienced so far trigger these instances that Andro has passed to them, we can make it so it comes out naturally.” Dysea explained. “It may just be a spoken word or an emotion. I was going to use the same regime I did for Andro when we discovered he was fully aware within Aricia’s womb. In principle it should work the same.”

“Their potential is there.” Wayonn spoke. “Reaching for For’mya’s essence and then yours Martin right after they were conceived triggered it. You have touched all of your mates in a way most alpha’s do not.”

“That’s putting it mildly.” Anja popped from beside Martin with a seductive grin. “He’s been doing that for years.”

Martin looked at her. “Now who is the pervert?” He exclaimed.

“Just stating the obvious lover.” Anja answered.

Wayonn shook his head with a grin. “Touched them with Mindvoice.” He corrected his wording.

“Oh ... like that?” Anja continued. “Yeah ... he’s done that too.”

Cirith laughed and leaned into Anja from the side. “You are so bad.” She hissed softly.

“Dysea’s ability of precognition.” Wayonn continued as he shook his head with humor. “For’mya’s ability to read emotions from the life force of others around her. In some ways even Anja’s healing power has been augmented by you. Making it possible for her to go such long periods without Ascending. These are skills that they have acquired because of you Martin.”

“So it is his fault?” For’mya said with a smile looking at Martin out of the corner of her eye.

“It’s always his fault.” Bella chipped in.

“That’s it! Blame everything on me.” Martin declared.

Danny laughed from further down the table. “Hell ... it’s always worked for us fervon.” He spoke.

Wayonn looked at Martin. “With Fedor and Eirene being bonded to dragons, it doubles the chance they will have more of these events happen. Discovering and then unlocking that potential as it appears will be tricky, but it can be done. They could conceivably become just as powerful as say Resumar or Eliani ... they are the two strongest of your children behind Andro and Denali. I have not seen Dorian so I can not say what his skill level is right now, but given that he too was born aware of everything around him it stands to reason he will be experiencing the same things.” Wayonn said looking at Isabella. He turned back to Martin. “The sooner we are able to discover and bring to the forefront within their minds these abilities, the sooner they will achieve the full potential for the age they now are.”

“So it’s just an accelerated Mindvoice and Etheric growth spurt. Like the serum they used to make us grow so fast?” Eirene asked.

Wayonn nodded. “Essentially yes. Andro may have known what he was doing, but when Arrarn shoved him away as he was biting For’mya he may not have been able to put the triggers into a cohesive pattern. That pattern is what we need to discover.”

“Can’t we just ask him Val’istar?” Fedor asked.

“We could ... but I don’t know if he would be able to answer that question.” Wayonn spoke. “There were a few Paladins that Sumar and I knew who had this ability but we never had the opportunity to study it closely. Sumar’s Tomes might reveal more and Helen and I are studying them but if what I have seen so far with Eirene and Fedor stands, then this is what Andro tried to do. The patterns may be nothing more than advanced fighting skills given how Andro views all of his siblings with such regard. A failsafe measure if you will Martin, just as you believe.”

Martin nodded. “That would be like him.” He said.

“So what do we do to make this happen?” For’mya asked.

“I believe Twelve Alpha will be an excellent opportunity.” Wayonn said. “They are going with you to the planet yes?”

Martin nodded. “Yeah.”

Wayonn nodded and sat back. “Outside this confined environment working with their dragons will stimulate the patterns if I am correct. Paladins were not used to learning in such restrictive places when they trained. Our classrooms were always outdoors. It may very well be the same for Fedor and Eirene.”

“But they won’t become Paladins?” For’mya asked.

Helen was the one who shook her head now. “They are not Lycavorian pureblood. In order for the Paladin gene to be present, the parents must always be both Lycavorian and descendants of the original Ruling packs on Lycavore. They were who Wayonn and the other Pralors chose to merge with.”

“The mission to Twelve Alpha may be just what they need.” Wayonn continued. “I will remain here on the ARC ROYAL to monitor the sensors and also to keep tabs on Eirene and Fedor. I have already tuned one grid to stay locked on them while they are down there. Helen and Arzoal will be on the surface as well and should any of the triggers happen they will be nearby.”

“There is no danger to them is there Wayonn?” For’mya asked worried.

“Mother we are grown you know.” Fedor complained.

Wayonn reached across and took For’mya’s hand before she could snap at his dismissal of her motherly concern. “No For’mya.” He said. “If a trigger does happen, all that will result is a short period of time where they will be confused as they absorb the trigger’s patterns into themselves. A few seconds at most.”

Martin nodded. “Ok. Danny ... you, Kenny and Jules go to the collection point with Iama ... keep Fedor and Dnom with you.” He said. “Eirene, Kdan and Miseo will stay with us at the load point.”

Danny nodded. “Done.” He said.

“Wayonn ... have you discovered anything with the sensors that could...”

For’mya turned her head slightly and looked at Eirene. [Go Eirene.] She said with loving warmth. [Take Miseo and discover what you have found daughter.]

Eirene looked at her. [I ... I am frightened mother.]

[Do not be. He will not hurt you and discovering the pleasures you can have with one that loves you as he does will be enlightening.] For’mya told her.

[I do not want to be rude mother. I... ] Eirene began.

For’mya smiled. [You are not being rude Eirene my daughter. Trust me ... having you nearby is having an affect on all of us and that will lead to a very pleasant evening for us as well. Now go. And be ready for the mission when we arrive at Twelve Alpha in two days.]

Eirene turned to Miseo who was chewing a piece of spicy meat. His eyes showed confusion and then Eirene smiled and took his arm, pulling him up from the table. He quickly dropped his fork and napkin to the table and allowed her to lead him out of the Mess Lounge to the knowing smiles of many of the Lycavorian females within the room.

The inbred nature of Lycavorians and turned female elves did not include a shyness of their sexuality when gripped within either their Coming of Age fever or the fever when they were in Phase. Alone in Miseo’s quarters with him for the first time since she knew this was the man she wanted, Eirene let down all of her Mindvoice and Etheric shields and let her fever come roaring forth. Miseo had Pralor blood within him yes, but he was still a Kavalian. Though their senses were not as acute as a Lycavorian, the strength of her fever combined with how he felt for Eirene made it easy for him to smell her sweet desire and feel the trembling of her Mindvoice power against his own limited abilities. They were barely within his small quarters before they were locked in an impassioned kiss and pulling at each other’s clothes. The fever burned within Eirene brightly, her nipples almost painfully erect and the moistness of her womanhood easily discernible even in the low lighting of his quarters as she quickly stripped out of her clothes. Miseo was a little more controlled in his actions and his blue eyes grew wide as Eirene was finally exposed to him.

His hands were trembling as he stood before her, looking down into her beautiful face, and he lifted his hands to caress the bare skin of her shoulders and neck. Her hair shimmered in the light causing his heart to race and pound against his bare chest. Eirene for her part stared at the exquisite definition of his upper body with ardent fervor. She had felt his chest against hers before, but never bare skin to bare skin and she stepped closer to him with a whimper and pressed her lips to his skin. Her hands explored the hardness of his shoulders and she fell to her knees as her lips dragged along his rippled abdomen in wanton need. Quickly she tugged at his pants, the only remaining item of clothing he had on and with her wolf and elven strength she pulled down mightily revealing what he had to offer her. Eirene gasped in both fear and blissful desire as his cock was exposed for her eyes. It was far longer and thicker than she had imagined it to be these past nights in her quarters, tapered from the tip back to the abnormally thick base. He was hairless and Eirene’s eyes gazed at every wonderful inch before she reached up and grasped the length of his cock in her warm hands.

Miseo hissed in barely uncontrollable need now and he shook his head in scarcely controlled desire. He would not allow this just yet. He wanted Eirene to know how much he loved her ... how much he cherished her. Miseo gripped her shoulders and quickly yanked her to her feet.

“Miseo!” Eirene gasped. “What ... I wanted to taste...”

“No!” Miseo hissed as he drew her into his arms and lifted her off the floor. Her arms flew around his shoulders and her legs locked around his waist, her passion dripping onto his cock and lower abdomen. “I will show you what you mean to me first!” His voice trembled out the words and then he crushed her lips with his own.

Eirene nearly exploded right then from the force and intensity of his kiss. The waves of unabashed pleasure swept through her like a storm, and then she was groaning deeply into his mouth as her hips bucked against his abdomen and her sweet juices soaked his tanned skin. She couldn’t help it as the orgasm smashed against her senses and overwhelmed her. Locked in the kiss with him as she was she barely felt him lower them to the single bed in his quarters but when she felt his weight upon her she tore her lips from his and clutched at his powerful back.

“Ahhhhhhhh ... Miseo!” She cried with tightly shut eyes, her long legs locked at the small of his back.

Miseo waited for a few moments as she rode the storm of her orgasm and then her changed wolf eyes opened slowly and looked at him. “Mis ... Miseo!” She gasped out.

“I will ... I will show you this night what I feel for you Eirene Leonidas. This night and every night into our future.” He stated with a husky voice. “I do not know what hold you have over me ... but I will deny it no longer.”

“Miseo ... I ... you...”

Miseo reached around and took her long legs in his hands. Eirene thought she knew what he wanted and she unlocked her ankles, only to have Miseo lift her legs high into the air. She gazed at him with wide eyes, unsure of what he was doing now. “Miseo ... what...”

Miseo was beyond help now, his own desire for this exquisite woman far outweighing his own inexperience. He brought his lips to her calf where he held her legs above him and kissed her satiny skin.

Eirene stared at him, her eyes wide and her fever burning within her body. “Miseo I want...” Eirene suddenly saw his face drop from between her thighs and her eyes flew open in carnal delight when she felt his lips and tongue delve deeply into her dripping center. Her entire upper body went rigid in violent pleasure as her belly undulated with another staggering orgasm induced by his ministrations.

Eirene screamed. She screamed long and loud in utter catatonic bliss as one raging orgasm after another smashed against her senses. This what not what she had envisioned. This was far beyond what she had ever thought she would feel. She had no idea it was only the very beginning of a night of pleasure she would never forget.

Martin sat on the large couch in the quarters they were using, the data pad in his hand, but his dark brown eyes gazing upon the six women who occupied the large bedroom area of the quarters. The ARC ROYAL’S engineers had cut out the wall between the two smaller sets of quarters making them into a large single one for their King and his Queens. They had designed an enormous oval shaped bed that fit perfectly within one section of wall they had cut away, leaving a meter on either side of the bed to move around. The bed could easily accommodate all of them with room to spare. Martin Leonidas was not one to silently go around thanking the gods for what he had. He was a man who believed deeply in faith, more so since he had discovered long ago who and what he really was after so long not knowing. He did not often stop to reflect what he had endured in his life to reach this point, but this night for some reason he could not help it as he gazed at them.

Martin had never once imagined himself in this position. Many years ago when he had first met Anja he would have been completely content to settle down with her at that very moment. She had called to his wolf blood even then, before he knew what he truly was. That he would one day have six breathtakingly beautiful women who adored and loved him to the point of complete devotion was not something that any fantasy could have prepared him for. He watched them as they talked softly amongst themselves, sometimes giggling or laughing, and always touching one another. It had been a long time since they had all been together and these past five weeks had been a godsend for them Martin knew. Even Cirith, the newest and last woman that would share his life, had quickly been accepted and fallen into a similar pattern of comfort with her fellow Queens. She had yet to have a formal ceremony granting her the title, but they would when they returned to Union space. Cirith wore a simple yet enticing black lace panty and bra set, her body tightly packed and rippling with muscle and power as were all his Queens. Anja sat beside her on the bed as they discussed something from a data pad, one of Martin’s dark t-shirts pulled down over her body hiding her straining breasts but leaving her hairless center bared for all to see. For’mya wore a maroon colored pair of thong like panties, leaving her larger breasts bare. For’mya was strangely thrilled to have larger breasts, apparently feeling for a long time that her smaller breasts were inadequate compared to her fellow Queens. Aricia sat behind her completely naked as she brushed out For’mya’s long hair with slow strokes. Dysea and Isabella were also completely naked, their legs entwined as they laid on their stomachs, each of them reading from data pads. Their exquisitely tight and muscled assess were exposed for his hungry gaze. As usual there was no shyness between them when they were alone together. After all they had shared together through the years, all the times that they had pleasured one another in so many ways; it was ridiculous to try and hide from each other.

Martin knew of the many rumors that filtered among the Union. How he had such surreal and beautiful Queens and how he had all of them every night. Martin Leonidas had chased far more male Lycavorians away than his mates knew about. Male Alphas who thought they could challenge him for one of his Queens. Those who survived the encounter knew the error of their ways and quickly became devoted followers of their King. They went on to discover equally beautiful mates that they now cherished as he did his Queens. Those that did not survive ... well at least they died well. When it came to his Queens or the Union, Martin Leonidas could and did have a savage streak within him that he did not often unlock. In truth, most of their nights were like this, lounging around and relishing the company of each other. If the mood gripped them, they would let it be known easily enough. There were times, like now, when his Queens paid him no mind and concentrated on each other, either by brushing out their hair or hot oil massages given to each other that usually led to torrid moments between them. They kept nothing from each other or him and he could easily smell when they pleasured each other. They would probably curl into the arms of the one they were with and sleep this night though their sexual activity had been frequent lately because they were rejoicing that For’mya had returned to them. Looking at them on the bed, he felt the swell of desire for all of them within him, and while all their scents swirled around him constantly, tonight Anja’s scent was sweet and pure and called to him brightly. Her comment earlier in the day probably had something to do with it, but like Aricia, Anja was always sexually adventurous.

He began to rise from his chair in the main room where he was watching them from when the soft beeping of his personal data pad stopped him. His personal data pad was far more complex and advanced than the standard one and each member of his family carried one. He settled back into the chair and lifted the pad so he could see the screen.

-Holoprogram Leonidas One has been initiated King Leonidas- The simple typed words appeared on the small screen referring to the computer program he had designed with Avi’s help many years ago. He had just never used it before. Martin displayed a public distaste for computers but in private he had become quite the expert with Avi’s help and instruction through the years.

Martin glanced up at his Queens, saw that they had not noticed, and he rose to his feet moving in front of the view window and out of sight of them. He looked at the pad and tapped several commands into it activating voice interaction. “Confirm time.” Martin asked softly.

-Six point three hours ago-

“External target?” Martin continued.


“Any others?”

-Negative. Primary coded target was alone-

“Did he view the entire program cycle?” Martin asked.


Martin smiled slowly and looked up and out the view window at the stars surrounding the ARC ROYAL. His normally dark brown eyes changed quickly to the yellow/gold color of his wolf persona. {Ah ... Pleistarchus my brother.} Martin whispered within his thoughts. {You have made your final mistake brother. You violated the most sacred of our people’s laws by taking my Kinsoaurgai. For what you have done to her, how you have violated her, I will revisit that pain upon you ten fold. And it will not be quickly either. I’m going to take everything from you brother. I have already accomplished that with Karun. He is seeing all he could be now. He has a half elven woman who he worships, a woman who worships him. He is seeing what being a Leonidas means. Leruk ... the son you twisted down that dark path beyond redemption is dead ... and you have lost your daughter Nikkei.} Martin’s yellow/gold eyes nearly pulsed in brightness to his thoughts. {Eirene and Fedor are my children now. They will always be my children now. I will raise them with my wives and mates and they will carry the blood of our father with honor and respect. Now I am going to take everything you have left brother. I am going to take Kalis.} Martin blinked as he stared at the stars. {I will teach him what you should have taught him brother. I will give him the choice you never gave him. And should he choose the path I hope, I will be the father you should have been to him. If he does not then he will die just as you will.} Martin looked at the pad. {And when we meet again brother, when we stand face to face you will know how big a failure you truly are before I spill your entrails before you and take your head.}

Martin tapped on the pad. “Initiate Leonidas Protocol Three Four Six. Activate upon target’s physical touch with transmitter and initiate interactive program.” He spoke softly.

-Initiating Leonidas Protocol Three Four Six. Parameters set. Activation trigger set for interactive program utility-

“Inform me when next program cycle is complete and then automatically activate follow on Protocols until they are all complete. Insure no activation if primary target is not alone.” Martin spoke.

-Commands understood-

Martin allowed his eyes to return to normal as he smelled Anja come up behind him and he deactivated the data pad.

“Lover?” Her whisper reached his ears. “Are you ok?”

Martin turned and looked down into her bright jade green eyes. He quickly tossed the data pad discretely behind her back as he leaned over and collected her into his arms, lifting her up so her face was even with his and she could see his smile of intense desire. Anja looked a little surprised when his lips came down on hers with wanton need, but as his unshielded aura quickly wrapped around her like a warm blanket and she felt his love come pouring out, she quickly forgot everything else and returned his kiss with equal fervor as he carried her back to the bed.

The howls of delight from six voices began soon after.

Eirene was beyond overwhelmed.

The last few hours had been nothing but pure, unadulterated pleasure on a plane she had no idea existed. Her mothers had told her that making love to a man who consumed their soul was the most powerful and blissful feeling in the world. They had this with her father, and Eirene now had this with Miseo. There were no doubts in her mind, no questions of her heart. Any fears she may have had quickly disappeared with her shyness when his lips and tongue dove into her center and brought the world crashing down around her. She had very nearly screamed herself hoarse as the staggering orgasms followed, crashing upon one another with no end in sight. These feelings only doubled in intensity when Miseo had poised himself to fill her and then, with an inexperienced yet eager plunge, he sank the entirety of his fourteen inch cock into her depths in a single soul shattering drive. It was all Eirene could do to keep from passing out at the devastating sensations of uncharted bliss that ripped through her. She thought there might be some pain at least, given his enormous size and her petite figure, but the only thing Eirene had felt was an all unbearable need for more.

Miseo gave her everything she wanted. And so very much more.

Now Eirene found herself atop him, his swollen cock buried within her and causing ripples of ecstasy every time she ground her hips upon him. Her breasts were crushed against his sweaty chest, her own skin slick with sweat, as she showered his handsome face with kisses and his hands continuously stroked the flesh of her thighs and lower back. His fingers tickled the sensitive spot of her tattoo, causing jolts of pleasure to shoot through her. And then there was his tail. Never did she think his tail could do what it did. It never seemed to stop rubbing her body in different locations, wrapping around her waist, dragging deliciously across her breasts to intentionally brush over her super sensitive nipples and drawing ragged gasps of unabashed delight from her. It delved over and between her perfect ass, never ceasing to explore every minute portion of her flesh. Her hips were a blur of motion as she rode him, striving to reach the pinnacle of pleasure. Each time their loins crashed together it brought joyful cries from her and groans of intense pleasure from Miseo.

Eirene had experienced countless orgasms up until this point, but she didn’t understand why Miseo had not yet exploded. Why he hung on the edge for so long and did not let his passion fill her as she so desperately wanted. When his hands clamped onto her ass cheeks and he began slamming into her with fervor she knew he was close. She met his upward thrusts with downward smashes of her hips, wanting him to fill her and make her his. She gasped in unearthly bliss when with a growl of arousal he sat up, causing her to fully impale herself on his wonderful cock.

“Eirene!” He gasped between clenched teeth. “I ... you don’t ... what will happen!” He gasped as he looked at her enchanted face, gripped in intense pleasure.

Eirene’s eyes were half shut as dominating tremors of another building orgasm from deep within her belly and the base of her spine began to surge upward. “Give me all of you!” She rasped out the words.

“Eirene ... I am Kavalian!” He gasped with another upward thrust of his hips. He watched her face twist into a dreamy smile as he pierced her so deeply. “I will ... we will ... Eirene!”

Eirene’s eyes grew wide when she felt it. She was fully speared upon his massive cock, his strong hands pulling her down even more and then she felt the base of his delicious cock swell even larger, stretching her around him and sealing their bodies together over a sizeable bulb at the base of his cock. She gasped in devastating pleasure as the length of his cock also swelled thicker and then his lava hot passion was rocketing up the length of his shaft to erupt into the depths of her womb. His soft lips wrapped around her right nipple and he nursed on it almost painfully as she screamed in utter, cataclysmic heaven. His powerful body went rigid, his hands holding her ass tightly to his hips insuring she could not move and the bulb at the base of his cock insuring they were locked together. His explosive release into her quivering body sent Eirene cascading over the edge of the pleasure abyss and Eirene couldn’t help the screams of enchantment then as her whole body rumbled in out of control ecstasy.

Miseo fell back on the end, dragging her with him as his hot passion continued to erupt into her. Four times. Five times. Six. Seven. With each eruption Eirene cried out in glee as another orgasm rocked her own body. It was almost too much as her body responded to his, her mind awash in catatonic bliss. Three full minutes, what seemed like an eternity, and finally Miseo’s body relaxed and he rolled over on the bed, covering her petite figure with his and finding her lips in another breath stealing kiss of desire and need and love. She could feel him within her depths still filling her with his essence. Eirene’s arms wrapped around his powerful back, his tail twitching madly as it danced across the flesh of her outer thigh, until finally they drew apart and his head fell to the crock of her neck mewling out words of love and devotion as he nibbled the skin of her neck and shoulder. His breathing was coming in great heaves and Eirene couldn’t stop the tears in her eyes from forming as his words reached her elven and wolf ears.

“I love you Eirene Leonidas.” Miseo hissed in a whisper. “More than I have ever loved anything in my short life. I do not know how this came to be ... but I ... I can’t live without you now.”

Eirene shuddered in delight as he nuzzled the outer ridge of her two and a half inch half elven ear and she gripped him even tighter.

“My ... my Miseo!” She gasped into his cheek her voice filled with happiness. “With all that I am ... I love you.”

Miseo pulled his face back to gaze into her beautiful dark brown eyes. He leaned over and kissed her quivering lips, relishing in the taste of her lips and skin. “Forgive ... forgive me.” He said finally. “We will ... I will not soften for at least an hour ... if not more. We are locked ... we can not separate until I soften Eirene.”

Eirene’s eyes twinkled in delight and she shook her head as she squeezed the shaft of his cock as tightly as she could with the inner muscles of her womanhood. She watched his face contort as she did and she chuckled. “Who says ... who says I want to separate.” She hissed softly.

Miseo looked at her with adoring eyes. “If you continue to do that it will be longer.” He told her.

Eirene drew her hands from his back and took his face in her palms. “Hold me Miseo my love. Crush me to you and hold me and never let go.”

Miseo did exactly as Eirene asked him, wrapping his powerful arms around her body and rolling to his side. His tail wrapped tightly around her thigh as she curled it up alongside his hip and he pulled her against him. Eirene relished in the feelings of his strong arms around her and his incredible cock still buried deeply within her. She pressed her face to his chest and with much reluctance, the exertion of the last few hours finally caught up with her. Miseo watched as her eyes closed and she was asleep in moments, a smile of blissful satisfaction and love on her face. Miseo brought his hand to the back of her head and he held her there as his own eyes closed and he followed her quickly into the blackness of sleep.

They had found something wonderful in this crazy world. And that something was each other. There was no going back now, and in truth, neither of them would have it any other way.



JANUARY 30, 2575


For’mya turned her helmeted head and glanced out of the right side window to view the KADEN transport that was matching their speed and descent angle. She reached up and touched the side of her helmet. “KADEN One Four ... adjust your course three degrees to starboard. You are too close to our ventral exhaust.”

KADEN One Four acknowledged.” The voice answered.

For’mya turned and looked at Endith in the pilot’s seat. Endith smiled and shook her head slowly. “Rookies.” She said humorously.

“Final inbound marker in five seconds.” Tina spoke.

“Final marker copy.” Endith echoed as her hand dropped to the thruster controls of the STRIKER DT IIA.

For’mya touched her helmet again. “Martin Leonidas ... we are six minutes from the landing zone. Daniel’s team is already down.”

“Copy Kinsoaurgai.” Martin’s voice replied. A hint of a smile played across For’mya’s face as his words filtered to her. He had ceased replying with her full name as they had begun during that time on Ukwav. Now he simply called her Kinsoaurgai. This difference was not lost on For’mya for it showed her that his love for her was absolute. Just as it was for all of them.

They all heard Martin’s voice fill the internal ship COM. It was his business voice now, and no one would question his instructions.

“Six minutes people. Once we are down, Dysea and I, with Torma and Iriral will do an airborne circuit before we begin to disembark and set up the staging areas.” Martin’s voice spoke. “Cody and the Master Chief will conduct the ground perimeter check and establish our defenses. When we give the all clear, begin setting up your load stations. Iama will direct what is coming from the processing area so be prepared. Torma, Arzoal, Isheeni, Miath and the new hatchlings will be working quickly. We have thirty-six hours but I want to be fully loaded and gone in twenty-eight. The follow on KADENS will arrive in twelve hours so let’s be ready for them. This planet is unknown to us so no one wander away from the perimeter. Science Team Leader?”

“Here King Leonidas.” The female voice answered.


“The site we wanted to inspect is only half a click from the load area. Once you give the word we can be ready to move in seven minutes.” She answered.

“Good enough. We’ll get the perimeter up and then we’ll detail you out.” Martin replied. “Aide station will be the back of my STRIKER. Designate your buddy teams and prepare for touch down.” Martin looked towards the cockpit. “Take us down For’mya.” He ordered.

“In we go then!” She announced as Martin turned and saw Eirene standing beside Kdan as Miseo was further back in the ship helping Cody adjust something on their cargo containers. He made his way over to them and as he approached her heard Eirene speaking with Kdan within Mindvoice. They had forgotten to shield their conversation and he quickly threw up a barrier for them without them noticing. He inhaled deeply and instantly detected Miseo’s rich scent buried deep within her blood now. She was also much calmer and all signs of her Coming of Age fever was gone. The wolf within her proudly announced to all that she was Miseo’s wife and mate now and she would broke no insult. The elf within her had chattered away with her mothers for nearly an hour before boarding the ship this morning, her face beaming and so very beautiful just like her mother.

[ ... his wife and mate now Kdan.] Eirene spoke as she stroked his cool light green scales.

[He is ... he is very large sister. He did not hurt you?] Kdan asked with real concern in his voice.

Eirene smiled as she pressed her cheek to the scales on his enormous head. Kdan’s dark green eyes closed in happiness. [It was ... it was beyond wondrous Kdan.] She said slowly. [I am a little sore after two days ... but the pleasure was beyond anything I imagined or hoped for. I... ]

Martin did not want to intrude on their conversation any longer and he stepped up behind her softly. Her head turned when she smelled and sensed him, and Martin saw the brightness in her eyes.

MedwanGai.” She spoke softly and with adoring love.

Martin leaned over and nuzzled her cheek drawing a sigh of happiness from her. “I am so very glad for you arande.” He said softly. “But remember to shield your conversations with Kdan. Unless you wish everyone to know about the pleasure you experienced these previous nights with your new husband and mate.”

Eirene’s eyes grew wide at his words and her cheeks flushed with embarrassment. [Oh ... oh no!] She gasped.

Martin grinned and nuzzled her cheek again. [I shielded for you.] He said. [And do not be embarrassed about what you experienced and will experience into the future arande. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Nothing at all.]

[MedwanGai I... ] Eirene began to speak.

Martin shook his head. [Your sisters Lisisa and Eliani both have shared things with me that may seem out of place for a daughter to tell her father. For them to share that with me is an honor. That my daughter’s trust me enough to not be afraid to talk with me is even more of an honor. And it is a confidence I will never break. You need not fear I will judge you arande. You can talk to me of anything you wish.]

Eirene stared into his dark eyes and felt warmth wash over her as his aura drifted out and engulfed her in a fatherly manner. [Thank you MedwanGai.] She whispered within Mindvoice. [You ... you don’t know what that means to me.]

[You and Kdan stay close to Torma and I when we are groundside. After he is done with the collection for the day we want to teach you some tricks that are not normally used by other Bonded Pairs. Your mother and Isheeni will be teaching Fedor and Dnom the same skills.] He told her.

[We will.] Eirene answered.

Martin nodded his head with a smile and then moved towards the back of the ship. Eirene turned back and looked into Kdan’s green eyes. [There are times my Bonded Brother ... there are times when Fedor and I wish that he was our true father. Not just of our hearts ... but of our blood.]

Kdan touched his snout to her shoulder. [But he is Eirene my sister.] He told her. [You need no more proof than to look in the mirror. He is the one who turned your mother. He is the one your mother loves more than any breath she may take. When he turned her, his blood became part of her. It flows within her. And that blood flows through you and Fedor as well. Never doubt that.]

Eirene looked at him with a beaming face. [I love you my Bonded Brother.] She said softly.

[No more than I love and treasure you now sister.] Kdan snorted softly as Eirene did what she had done when she was still growing. She snuggled her body under his folded wing and placed her head against the side of his chest to hear his heartbeat.

Eirene did not see Martin step up to Miseo.


Miseo rose quickly to his feet and turned. “King Leonidas.” He gasped.

Martin looked at this tall, powerfully built Kavalian with Pralor blood running in his veins. The biogenic process had altered his outward appearance, his tail the only thing left from a different life, but standing before him was a man that could have just as easily passed for a Spartan. “Thank you Miseo.” Martin said softly. “You have ... you have given her happiness after everything she has endured up until now.”

Miseo let his blue eyes look behind him and he saw Eirene cuddled under Kdan’s wing. He turned back to Martin. “It is I who should be thanking you Milord.” He said respectfully. “She is ... Eirene is like a precious jewel to me. One I will worship for the rest of my life.”

Martin nodded. “As it should be.” He said. He leaned closer. “Did it work?”

Miseo couldn’t help but grin at him. “Milord ... she would not release my head for almost an hour.” He answered. “I will continue to improve my technique in that regard. She ... she tastes like sweet honey. I would have ... I would have never thought of that myself.”

Martin pounded Miseo on the shoulder. “Good man.” He said. “I’ve learned through the years that it shows them that you love every little thing about them. When they know that...” Martin grinned. “Well ... let’s just say that things will always stay spicy. If more of your people back in the Alpha quadrant would try it ... things might be very different.”

Miseo chuckled softly. “That may very well be true Milord.”

Martin nodded. “You and I will have the first watch for tonight. We can talk more and I can establish a more definitive connection for you and Eirene to use for just yourselves. You have Pralor blood within you and it’s time you began to learn about that part of you. At least as much as I can teach you. Your father agrees”

Miseo nodded. “I will look forward to that sir.”

“And stop with this Milord crap will ya!” Martin hissed. “Sibfla ... you’re making me feel ancient!”




“Tell me what you see?” Danny asked as he handed Fedor the macrobinoculars.

Fedor took them and adjusted his position on the ground beside the man he called Uncle without hesitation. They were on the ridgeline two hundred meters north of where Iama was establishing her Processing Site on the plateau three hundred meters above the beach four hundred meters away. Three other teams of two were out on the four corners of the perimeter, though Dnom was with them, so they counted as three.

“I see lush green forests and an ocean in the distance.” Fedor answered.

Danny rolled his eyes. “Wise ass.” He muttered. “Now tell me what you really see?”

Fedor chuckled and then allowed the wolf within him to come out. His dark brown eyes became encased in a dark black ring as he began flipping through the different spectrums that his wolf eyes allowed him. “The animals are plentiful.” He spoke as he observed the terrain surrounding them. “Their movements are slightly erratic ... almost as if they are spooked in some manner.” Fedor said lowering the binos and looking at his Uncle’s dark skin and eyes.

Danny nodded. “Good. Very good.” He said taking the binos back. “I got a feeling most of them can smell us and our dragon friends and they are being wary. Wayonn’s scans did not indicate any predators close to the size of the dragons and they are probably worried they will become a meal.”

“How many of these beasts do we need to take?” Fedor asked shifting his Mark IV ArmorPly slightly to be more comfortable.

“About sixty.” Danny answered. “Half today ... half tomorrow.” His eyes scanning the treeline below them.

Fedor looked at his Uncle from the side after a long moment of silence. “Do they fear us Uncle?” Fedor asked.

Danny turned to look at him. “Fear you? I don’t follow. What do you mean?”

“The crew.” Fedor asked. “Sometimes I can sense their confusion and distrust of how Eirene and I came to be.”

Danny lowered the binos and looked at him. “Last time I checked you came to be just like every other child.” He spoke. “Just at a little faster pace is all.”

Fedor nodded. “That is just it.” He said. “They question if we will be like our brothers and sisters. Like Andro and Deni and Eliani. They fear us because of how we were conceived and what Eirene and I could do.”

Danny shook his head. “They don’t fear you Fedor.” He said. “They are timid because of who they know you are. Of the events surrounding how you and your sister came to be. It’s not that they fear you ... they don’t know you.”

“Don’t know us?” Fedor asked.

“Your father and mothers have been keeping you two pretty secluded these last few weeks. Only recently have you begun to get out among the crew and mingled. They ... they are feeling you and Eirene out.” Danny said.

“Why?” Fedor asked.

Danny shrugged his broad shoulders. “It’s what we do.” He replied. “You are the son and daughter of the King and For’mya. That makes you larger than life in some respects. Most of them have never ever seen the Royal family in person and now there is a shit pot full of you on their ship. It will take some getting used too.”

“Then they know who he is?” Fedor asked with distaste in his voice.

“Everyone knows who he is boy.” Danny said. “Kind of hard to miss the biggest asshole in the known universe. Not to mention he is uglier than sin.” Danny shifted his body. “You are worried that they see you and Eirene as his children and not Marty’s?”

Fedor nodded his head slowly with a trace of a smile at his Uncle’s words. “I some ways yes.” He answered.

Danny shook his head. “You and Eirene can put that right out of your head Fedor. None of them believe that for an instant. Especially not now. I’ve seen his ugly mug up close and personal. Neither of you looks anything like him. You look like your mother and Marty as strange as that seems. I’m sure you know why that is by now?”

Fedor nodded. “Because MedwanGai is much more powerful than him.” He said. “When Eirene and I reached for the essence of our father ... we found his.”

“That’s part of it yes.” Danny said. “The other part ... the larger part of it is that Marty’s essence comes from in here!” Danny stabbed his fingers into his chest. “The heart pumping in your MedwanGai’s chest is pure gold Fedor. He loves without question, and when he trusts, he trusts without hesitation. Somehow ... somehow he has found the perfect balance between compassion and violence. Between anger and peace. He is a very unique man. A man that in many ways is closer to me than my own brothers. I would die for him in a blink. Not because of his name ... but because I know deep down he would die for me just as quickly.”

“How old were you when the Guardian of the Line brought you to live with him?” Fedor asked.

Danny shrugged. “A year maybe. Me and Jules.” He replied. “We’ve been together since the very beginning of everything. In all that time he has never given up, never left any of us behind and he has loved us all despite our flaws. And we have loved him. No doubts. No regret. None of us would be here today if not for him at one point or another.” Danny rolled onto his back. “You know the difference between your MedwanGai and Pusintin?”

Fedor shook his head. “No.”

“Martin has never wanted power.” Danny said. “He’s never wanted power or control or any of that shit. You could take all of this away from him tomorrow and he’d be happier than a pig in sibfla. He would take your mothers, retire on some lush planet like this and never look back. If he knew we would never have to fight again. And I’d take your Aunt Anuk and Aunt Nayeca and be right beside him.”

“He would give it all up?” Fedor asked.

Danny nodded. “In a nubous heartbeat.” He said. “And you would be hard pressed to get Andro to take his place. That boy is scary like his father and he’d probably be on the same ship with him as they ran away.”

“But he is King?” Fedor said. “Andro is Crown Prince?”
Danny nodded his head. “Yes they are. And believe me when I tell you there is not a power mongering bone in either of their bodies. They hate to fight. Hell ... we all do! It just so happens that we are very, very good at it. I’d much rather be home nuzzling my Anome and your Aunt Nayeca and partaking of their beauty and gifts than out here.” Danny smiled. “I’ll give you a piece of advice your MedwanGai shared with me when we were still very young. We had just completed our second mission and we were watching the moon in our wolf forms. Damned if I can remember where though.” Danny shook his head. “Marty told me if anyone offers me power ... if they offer me something that seems to good to be true on the outside ... then run away. Run away just as fast as I can. Those who want power are the ones who are dangerous. Those who want power are easily corrupted. Those who have no desire for power ... those are the men and women who are usually the ones who make history as the leaders of others. Mainly because the whole time they are in power, they are trying to get back to their normal lives. Your MedwanGai has three ... four rules really. He drilled them into our heads as we were growing. Has he told you them?”

Fedor shook his head. “No.”

Danny smiled. “He can be very profound when he wants to be you know. First rule ... the Pack comes before the individual. He hates being King but he does it because he considers the Union his Pack. And as the Alpha, it is his duty to insure everything he does is good for the pack. Second rule ... Blood before all else. Your blood is your strength ... that is where your power lies. Never betray your blood for any reason.”

“But we are not...” Fedor began but stopped himself. “No ... we are his blood.” He said looking at Danny. “We are of grandfather’s blood. His blood and essence.”

Danny nodded. “Yes you are. You and Eirene both. You are his blood and you are his children. Nothing and no one can ever take that away from you. Either of you. The third rule ... never for any reason disrespect the ones who bear your name and your future.” Danny said. “Love your wives and mates with everything that you are. Show them that they are everything to you. Do that ... and they will love you back with a fervor and many happy times will be had by all.”

Fedor nodded his head slowly and then looked back up to him. “You said he had four rules Uncle.”

Danny nodded. “The fourth rule ... well that is simple. Kill anything and anyone who tries to keep you from fulfilling the first three rules.” Danny’s head tilted slightly as he caught the scent on the slight wind. He turned back on the ridge. “Show time.” He said. “Torma and the others are bringing back the first load.”

Iama stood near the center of the Processing Camp they had established, ready for the work to come and completely relishing the new life that she had discovered here among those who she had been raised to believe were her enemies. Her short conversation with King Martin the previous night had released all her doubts and inhibitions about making the decisions she had in the recent weeks into the void of space.

Her family had forsaken her. Her Pride had forsaken her. These men and women had embraced her.

All in an attempt to become more powerful within the Kavalian hierarchy. An attempt that to this day had not born fruit to the best of her knowledge. So they had given her away for nothing. They had allowed the Kavalian leadership to turn her into a biogenic whore for their troops. When the biogenic treatments had not taken completely and left her with her tail, all the schooling and training they had given her was for naught. They shipped her off to Nefoa to be used as a sex slave within the brothels there. The only thing that had gotten her away from Nefoa was her willingness to do anything sexually that got her free from the sometimes six times a night she had to lay with rutting Kavalian troops. Troops that she was only an object to. Iama had proven stronger than that, and the day the Lycavorian King had come to her on that planet and offered her a new life, Iama had jumped at the chance to have something different. Even with an enemy.

Yet what Iama had found was not the enemy she had been raised to distrust and hate. This was an enemy that offered her whatever she wanted and asked for nothing in return. This was an enemy that was not an enemy at all. The Lycavorian King had given her the chance, and with every day that passed and her future appeared brighter, Iama began to fit in. Everyone knew her to be a biogenic Kavalian female, but only those who had been on the planet knew of her tail. It was the one thing she kept hidden. She had no idea how it would make others react to her. Twice now in the last eight weeks she had caught the eye of a Lycavorian male and when they had discovered she still had her tail, twice they had politely told her that was not something that they could deal with. Iama understood ... she might find it hard herself. It was the reason she kept her tail tightly wrapped around her waist like a belt that was part of her uniform. No one questioned it, and no one got close enough to her backside to see that she had cut a small slit in her uniform to allow this to happen. Cooking had become a desire for her, an outlet to make her forget her life. That she had become incredibly good at it never really crossed her mind until that day on the planet.

The day Martin Leonidas and his Queens set her free.

As she looked at the ridge where she knew Daniel Simpson was she saw Julie Collins move across in front of her. She darted forward to Julie, the one time female wolf and now vampire clone with all the memories of the Lycavorian female who had died long ago and that she had replaced. She felt a kindred connection to Julie for the woman had endured almost the exact same thing as she had, just in a different form.

“Julie?” Iama asked casing Julie to stop and turn to face her.

“I think we are in good shape Iama.” Julie said.

Iama nodded. “We are just waiting for the signal that the King’s dragon and the others are returning.” She said. “I wanted to ask something.”

Julie nodded her head. “Shoot.” The young Kavalian female was very inquisitive and none of the questions she had asked her up to now had been military in nature.

“The half breed with Daniel Simpson?” Iama asked. “I have ... I have never seen him before. Who is he?”

Julie smiled. “Fedor?” She asked. “He’s really cute isn’t he?”

Iama shrugged her slim shoulders far too quickly in dismissal. “I had not noticed really.” She lied and not noticing the slight crook in Julie’s mouth that indicated she knew Iama was lying. “Only that he has never been on one of our gathering missions before. I wanted to make sure he was properly trained and would not be a burden. The King was very specific in his instructions.”

Julie nodded. “You don’t need to worry about Fedor Iama. He can more than take care of himself.”

“The last few days I have seen him and a young blond woman sitting at the King’s table.” Iama spoke looking at her. “Are they the children of friends perhaps? Is that why they are here? Some sort of reward for being faithful.”

Julie looked at her for a long moment. “That is not something we do Iama. No ... if you must know ... they are the children of For’mya and the Skipper’s brother.”

Iama’s eyes grew slightly wider. “The twins?” She gasped. “I ... I heard about them when they came aboard! I saw them even! That ... that can not be them! They are fully grown now! When they came on board they were just children!”

Julie nodded. “It is true.” She said in response. “The same accelerated growth serum that your people use was for your infants and the clones was used on the twins while they were in For’mya’s womb. It was part of Pusintin’s plan to use them to try and take control of the Union. He’s as dumb as he is ugly for thinking that.”

“Then they ... they are Prince and Princess?” Iama asked.

Julie nodded. “Yeah. Why don’t you talk to him?”

Iama shook her head quickly. “Oh no. I could not. He is a Prince.”

“Prince is just a title.” Julie said. “And like his MedwanGai and his brother, I’m thinking he will not really care for the title.”

MedwanGai?” Iama asked.

“It’s what Fedor and Eirene call Marty.” Julie said. “Father of our Hearts. They don’t recognize Pusintin as their father.”

“How can they do that?” Iama asked.

Julie smiled. “It’s actually very confusing. Has to do with Mindvoicing and Etheric power and such. They’ve been training and staying mostly with their dragons when they eat. Martin and the others decided to acclimate them slowly. I think that part is over now and they’ll be around more now. Eirene just took Miseo as her mate and husband. You should talk to Fedor Iama. He’s really very interesting.”

Iama looked at her with wide eyes. “Miseo? He is ... he is Kavalian? He is ... she is just a child! He is just a child!” She gasped.

Julie nodded. “What difference does it make if he is Kavalian? And believe me, Eirene and Fedor are not children any longer.” She asked. “When two are meant to be together you can’t fight it. Eirene didn’t fight it and neither did Miseo. They make a cute couple really. He’s so much taller and wider than her that it looks silly sometimes.”

“I thought...” Iama began to say something but that was quickly pushed from her mind as Danny’s voice echoed in both of their ear implants.

“Tally Ho! You got inbound!” His voice spoke. “Torma and Isheeni are bringing back the first batch!”

“How many Danny?” Anja’s voice filled their ears and they turn as her five foot three figure walked up to them wearing similar Mark IV ArmorPly.

“Looks like six Red.” He answered.

Anja nodded as she stopped next to Iama. “We’re standing by.” Anja reached out and squeezed Iama’s hand. “Ready?”

Iama smiled and nodded. “Yes.”

Anja grinned. “I clear them, you dice them.”

“That’s original Anja.” Julie quipped.

Anja looked at her and smiled brightly. This Julie Collins didn’t remember what they had shared all those years ago. She probably knew about it now, but she didn’t remember it. It didn’t matter to Anja, Julie and Danny had been the catalyst to her finally discovering and most importantly accepting her love for Martin and for Anja that had been the most important part. This Julie was still discovering memories, but as far as Anja was concerned, this woman was the friend she had been way back then.

Anja shrugged her shoulders as she looked at Julie. “Marty and Danny are the one liner experts not me.” She said.

Julie laughed and shook her head as she mocked punched Anja in the arm. “As if anyone will believe that.” She spoke.

Anja smiled at her as they heard Torma’s trumpet and they turned to see him carrying the enormous beast in his talons.

“Time to go to work.” She stated.


“ ... Fighter group is ranging out ahead two light years.” Popal reported to Pusintin as they sat in the officer’s lounge. “Their modified sensors are detecting the Borellum trace, barely, but it is on a constant course.”

“Can they estimate how old?” Pusintin asked as he sipped the wine.

“Given the dissipation, the Flight Leader estimates three days ... four at most.” Popal answered.

Pusintin nodded. “They must be stopping every few days.” He said. “Why though?”

“The other ship with them did not appear to be a warship Marshall.” Popal spoke. “The design is nothing we have seen, but it appeared more like a transport of some kind. A large one.”

“They’re looking for supplies?” Pusintin said.

“It’s a possibility.” Popal spoke. “We were able to replenish our stores before we left Nefoa. There is no indication they returned to any Union planet to do the same. They could have replenished by ship, but they could not have received much.”

“It is out of character for my brother.” Pusintin said as he rose to his feet. “And why run in the opposite direction into unknown space? They could have made it back to core Union space easily. What else Popal?”

“Captain Korua has the reports you asked for.” Popal spoke motioning to the Kavalian officer that occupied the table with them. Kalis sat quietly at the other end of the table.

“What took so long?” Pusintin asked.

“Marshall ... I wanted to be absolutely sure about my conclusions before I presented them to you. It took some time to trace all the information within the ship’s data bases.” The man answered.

Pusintin nodded. “What did you find?”

“The report from the outpost that was struck by the Lycavorian King and his men stated that all were accounted for except one of the females that was sent there to entertain the men. Iama’Juturi was not among the dead. Biogenically altered, but her tail remained. She was given to the brothels of Nefoa because of this.” Korua spoke evenly. “It just so happens that her father commanded a DIATAGA assigned to Nefoa Marshall. He is among the fleet even now. He knows of his daughter’s betrayal and he has been asking to speak to you since we left.”

“Really?” Pusintin asked.

“Commander Koguth Marshall.” Korua answered. “He has served the Empire since he was a small boy. He commands the RAVAGER with his son who is his executive officer. He is highly spoken of by even Prefect Keleru. Commander Koguth’s father is one of the Prefect’s most strident supporters.”

“Interesting.” Pusintin spoke. “Set it up Korua. Now ... tell me why this attack on the outpost was significant.”

“Well ... aside from the fact that they killed everyone and stuck their heads on staffs, we believe they were able to somehow tap into our command channels Marshall.” Korua told him. “Nothing truly secure but enough access to give them deployments and numbers for a sizeable number of our fleets. I believe that is how they determined you had only a short Task Force with you. I am not completely sure ... but much of the evidence indicates this.”

“I don’t care about that Korua.” Pusintin said. “I care about anything you have discovered about Muton and the others that helped For’mya escape.”

Korua nodded and held out the data pad to him. “This is everything Marshall.” He stated. “I cross referenced his name over nineteen different data bases. He is part of a group that the prefect ordered destroyed nearly a thousand years ago.”

Pusintin looked at him. “That group on Cabelir? The Watchers ... the seers ... something ridiculous like that.”

“They called themselves Monitors.” Korua spoke. “A religious sect of some sort that Prefect Keleru ordered wiped out as I said. It is actually the second time he has done this, the first being some five thousand years ago.”

Pusintin looked at him. “Same group?” He asked.

Korua nodded. “Yes Marshall.” He answered. “I have nothing to base my...” Korua stopped talking and looked down.

Pusintin glanced at Popal and then back to Korua. “Captain Korua ... I may be a mean sonofabitch, but I’m not completely foolish. Do not be afraid to tell me what you have found and what you think. Intelligence is your field ... not mine.”

Korua looked at him. “Thank you Marshall Pusintin.” He spoke. He lifted his copy of the data pad. “I do not believe Muton was what he made himself out to be.” He said. “Yes ... he was your doctor for nearly four centuries Marshall, but he was far more than he deceived everyone into believing. I believe he was one of these Monitors. His age alone indicates that he was alive at the time Prefect Keleru first ordered their religious cult destroyed. He is nearly as old as the Prefect if the records we have are accurate. Which leads me to my next point. The records are incomplete.”

“Incomplete?” Pusintin asked. “In what way?”

“They only go back five thousand eight hundred years.” Korua answered. “His age alone indicates that we should have records going back nearly ten thousand. We do not.”

Pusintin looked at him. “And when did Keleru first order this Monitor Group destroyed?” He asked.

“It was before you came to us Marshall. The exact date is lost to our historians, but it happened five thousand eight hundred years ago, give or take a decade.” Korua answered.

“You think he was part of the group that Keleru took out?” Pusintin asked.

“As I said Marshall ... I have no proof.” Korua said. “But that is what I believe yes. And he has been among our midst all of this time planning for something just like what they have executed. A mass exodus out of Kavalian space.”

“Why?” Pusintin asked as he returned to his seat.

“I’m not entirely sure Marshall ... but I believe it has something to do with these Pralors that have been mentioned in recent Union broadcasts. A race of highly advanced species of humanoid persuasion that have incredible mind powers and I dare say, are the species that built the ship that butchered so many of our brothers. I would even go so far as to surmise that the old woman Demahra is of this species.”

“The one who tried to guide Keleru into different areas?” Pusintin asked.

Korua nodded his head. “One and the same. He ordered her immediate execution after Athani defected but she was never found. The Prefect blames her for twisting Athani’s thoughts and manners. There may be more to that than we know.”

“She disappeared months ago.” Pusintin said. “And if she has stayed hidden that suggests she has quite a following.”

Korua nodded. “Yes. No record of her having been found or her death has ever been produced.” He spoke. “I believe she is somehow tied to this ship. Somehow tied to the obvious technological advances the Union has made in recent years that we did not know about.”

“Korua ... where have you been assigned before you came to PUMA’S PRIDE?” Pusintin asked.

Korua lowered his face. “I was a minor analyst within the Intelligence Division sir.” He said. “No one ... no one believed any of my theories.”

Pusintin looked at Popal. “Popal what do you think?” He asked.

“Had we not seen and experienced what we did Marshall I would say he is crazy as a mole wasp.” Popal answered. “Now ... now his theories actually make sense.”

“Korua ... I want you to draft a secure message to Keleru. Lay out everything you have and tell him it is my belief that my brother is after something else out here.” Pusintin spoke as he leaned back. “Put it all together for him and I’ll sign it.” He looked at the wall. “I may have come out here after her, but it’s entirely possible he’s not running away from us and running to a place we know nothing about.”

“For what?” Popal spoke.

It was Kalis who leaned forward now. “More of those ships.” He stated.

Pusintin looked at his son across the table with some distaste but some new respect for what he had just said. At least he wasn’t as ignorant as Pusintin thought. “Kalis is right.” He said. “Can you imagine what we could do with ships like that Popal? Two or three of those ships under my command and we could rule the entire universe.”

“They would fight us.” Kalis spoke again. “And they already have an advantage in their engine designs or else we would have caught them by now.”

“Let them try to fight us!” Pusintin said. “We have detected no other Core Plasma Traces from different engines since we have been out here which tells me they have that one ship and the transport we saw at Enurrua. We have an entire Fleet Group!” Pusintin got to his feet and smiled. “Oh this is beautiful! I’m going to rescue For’mya, fuck his other Queens to death in front of him and take whatever it is he finds before I kill him. When we return to Kavalian space we’ll be hailed as heroes.”

Kalis looked at his father silently as he paced the room at the other end of the table. {Rescue For’mya?} Kalis thought to himself. {She would carve your nor from your body before she ever allowed you to have her again.} Kalis blinked several times in surprise as he realized he had just used a word from the Lycavorian language. He also realized then that his father was twisted beyond his ability to reason with him.

His hate for me and your grandmother drives him now. His Uncle Martin had told him in the Holoprogram. He is beyond reason. Beyond redemption now.

For the first time in twenty-five and a half years, Kalis realized just how true that really was.

Kalis was walking down the deck towards the lift, his mind adrift in thought, when he heard the desperate female cry. He had been deep in thought as he went from deck to deck simply walking and trying to bring things into focus within his mind. Nothing had deterred him until he heard that voice.

“Stop it! You’re hurting him! Stop it!”

“Shut up wench!”

Kalis stopped when he heard the distinct sound of a hand hitting flesh and he altered his direction. He was on deck nineteen, and he realized this is the deck where they were holding the Hadarians. He quickened his pace, winding around the corner until he came to the open door and saw three Kavalian troops. One was standing in the corridor laughing at whatever was taking place inside the quarters. He heard the deep thud of a fist hitting a body and he moved quickly towards the quarters. The Kavalian in the doorway did nothing as Kalis stepped into the quarters and his blue eyes grew wide.

The teenage Hadarian male was on the floor beneath the much larger Puma Bane troop as he pummeled the young man. The second was looming over both Hadarian females menacingly with one hand holding the front of the younger female’s shirt. Kalis had seen the older Hadarian female before but he had not seen the younger one and his dark blue eyes grew even wider as the scent reached him. It was a delicious cinnamon and cherries scent but it was also mixed with fear and something inside Kalis told him that was not right. The scent should not have the fear in it. Kalis did not know what possessed him to do it, but he would eventually discover it was the Lycavorian male within him that acted upon Serale’s female scent touching his nose and igniting something within him. The sweet and pungent scent of cinnamon and cherries assailed Kalis’s senses, overriding everything else in the room and his blue eyes suddenly and quite instinctively changed to that of his wolf persona. The thick black ring appeared around his eyes shifting between different spectrums without aide until they stopped and he was looking at the Kavalians and Hadarians in the room with a bluish hue to them. He felt the splash of his salvia inside his mouth as the long dual wolf fangs burst forth from his gums. His hands went to his mouth as he felt the long powerful fangs fully extend, his eyes going ever wider. This had never happened to him before. His father had never delved very deeply into the Lycavorian half of his blood, never taught him anything and because of this fact Kalis responded in a very instinctive manner. A most instinctive and painful manner.

His keen mind determined he had three seconds before the Kavalian straddling the young Hadarian male would hit him again and Kalis moved. He moved with all the inbred speed of his wolf and feline blood combined and he struck viciously and without mercy. He snatched the raised arm of the Puma Bane troop and twisted savagely to the left. The trooper yelled in pain as his arm dislocated and then Kalis’s knee ended his conscious thoughts as it crashed into his jaw with terminal velocity. His head snapped back roughly and he exploded off the floor to land against the wall unconscious and out of the fight. The Puma Bane troop hovering over Serale and Ceale whirled instantly; lifting his arm to strike Kalis in the head. A blow intended to kill. A blow that would not strike anything but air. Kalis simply sidestepped the soldier’s weak blow and hit him with a ridge hand just above his nose. That part of his face crunched and ground together as blood erupted and the pain caused his eyes to tear up as he staggered back. As he reached for his face, Kalis continued to move. He stopped behind the dazed trooper, gripped the back of his head and brought it smashing into the bulkhead with devastating force, shattering the man’s cheek and staining the bulkhead red with blood as he slumped to the deck befuddled and completely out of it.

The Kavalian from the corridor was entering the quarters by now and reaching for his assault rifle. As the Puma Bane troop got it unclipped and was about to bring it up, the Kavalian Industries ARSOC 11 12.7mm sidearm that Kalis always carried was out and jammed painfully into his cheek stopping the Puma Bane soldier in his tracks. Kalis wasn’t even looking at him as he slowly turned and the Puma Bane soldier saw those wolf eyes focus on him. His dark eyes grew wide as he saw Kalis snarl and expose the vicious looking dual fangs. The Puma Bane troop did not know the significance of those dual fangs. He did not know now and he would never know before his death came to him.

“I will give you five seconds to explain your actions Senior Sergeant!” Kalis growled savagely. “Then I will pull this trigger and scatter your ignorant brains all over the bulkhead for what you were attempting to do here!”

“Colonel!” He gasped. “You ... your father sent us to bring the Hadarian bitch to him! The boy got in our way and struck Sergeant Greno! Then the younger female struck Hendi! Your father has decreed the Hadarian bitch is to be left untouched but not the children! They struck us! Greno and Hindi were only going to...”

Kalis rammed the barrel of the ARSOC tighter into his cheek in savage anger that he did not understand. “Going to what?” Kalis snarled at him. “Beat the boy to death and rape the female! Rape her in front of her family! In front of her mother and brother!” Kalis’s wolf eyes were wild with unbridled and overwhelming anger.

“She struck Hendi!” The sergeant growled back.

“My father sent you to collect her mother!” Kalis snarled at him. “Not to force yourself upon her daughter and beat her son while she watched! He has told her they will remain unharmed if she does as she is instructed! You will not violate that decree! Collect your men and leave! Now! Send another detachment to collect the woman!”

“Colonel we...”

Kalis reached up and jerked back the slid action of his ARSOC. “Do not make me repeat myself or you will be dead for disobeying the orders of a superior officer! You and your men may not care for me Senior Sergeant, but you will follow the Kavalian Order of Command or I will execute you right here!”

Kalis could see the hate in the man’s eyes but he also knew the Puma Bane soldier would comply. He watched as he lowered his rifle and moved to help his fellow trooper to his feet. Together they got their unconscious comrade between them and hauled his inert form out of the quarters.

Kalis lowered his ARSOC, his entire body shaking in a combination of fear and resolve. He slowly turned his wolf eyes on Serale, gazing at her tanned face and wide dark green eyes. He stared into her face for a long moment, studying the contours of her cheeks and her lips, the way her deep rosewood colored red hair cascaded around her face and over her shoulders. The depth and brightness of those eyes. To the surprise of both himself and Serale, his eyes never once moved lower to gaze upon her womanly body. They remained locked on her face and the way her eyes moved and her lips quivered in fear. Finally, after what seemed like several minutes, Kalis blinked.

“Tend ... tend to your brother. Before ... before more of them come.” He spoke finally in a soft whisper of a voice.

Serale didn’t hesitate and didn’t think. She dashed to where Danim lay on the floor, her hands flaring a soft white.

“Serale no!” Ceale gasped seeing this.

Kalis turned his head quickly and saw the shimmering glow of her hands vanish instantly at her mother’s warning. Serale’s face was locked in an expression of horror as she realized what she had done and stared at Kalis. He turned his head and looked back to Ceale and then to Serale once more, his wolf eyes wide. His father did not know the younger Hadarian female had this ability yet, of that he was positive. The mother had told his father that her daughter had not Ascended ... yes that is what she had called it. Kalis looked back to Ceale and he could still see the minor bruising of the woman’s face and the state of her clothes. His mind suddenly pictured the younger woman like that and terrible anger surged though him. In another act he would not fully understand until later, Kalis turned back to Serale and nodded his head.

“Heal him. Heal him quickly.” He hissed at her softly. “Do not let them see you doing this. Hurry!” Serale didn’t move from her position, her eyes now filled with confusion as she looked at Kalis. “I will tell no one! But you must hurry! Take care of your brother!” Kalis insisted jarring Serale out of her daze.

Serale didn’t hesitate and she brought her hands to her brother and began to heal his painful injuries.

Ceale stared at Kalis from the floor and pushed herself into a sitting position against the wall. “Wha ... why?” She gasped.

Kalis returned his ARSOC to its holster and met her eyes. “I ... I do not know.” He spoke softly. The words poured forth then and to Kalis they were the most truthful words he had ever spoken in his entire life. “I ... I am not like ... I am not my father.”

“Your father?” Ceale rasped with wide eyes.

Kalis didn’t answer her and moved for the door and let it close behind him as his wolf persona finally left him and he took several deep breaths before locking the door. Her scent was not as powerful here in the corridor and it did not affect him as potently as when he was in the room. He shook his head gently as a two member team of Puma Bane soldiers came rushing up to the door. One of them the man Kalis had leveled his weapon at. The other man was the Senior Master Sergeant of the Puma Bane detachment and a man who had trained Kalis when he was younger. A harsh Kavalian instructor but one who had taught him well and always seemed to take interest in what Kalis was doing.

“Kalis ... what is going on?” He demanded.

“They were beating the woman’s son in front of her Mata!” Kalis hissed angrily. “They were going to rape the younger female in front of her mother! My father told the woman they would not be touched if she cooperated with him.”

The Kavalian looked at the second soldier. “Is this true?” He snarled.

“They are Hadarian!” The man hissed back. “Prisoners! We should be able to use the younger wench as we see fit! There are many of us who wish to use her! And she struck Hendi Senior Sergeant!”

Mata’s large hand snapped out and struck the Puma Bane soldier in the head savagely. “We do not disobey the orders of the Marshall or his son! No matter the reason!” He growled. “She is a tiny thing ... her blow would have been no more than an insect hitting him!”

“She must know her place!” The man insisted.

“You would take her against the Marshall’s wishes?” Mata growled.

“Why not? She is female and many of the others agree. She is ripe and she has a lush body for fucking! She could entertain many of us!”

Mata lifted his hand again to strike him but held back. “The Marshall would see you flayed for disobeying his orders. Is that worth some young Hadarian wench? Is it?”

The younger Puma Bane trooper finally shook his head. “No.”

“I will discipline you for this!” Mata snarled.

“No.” Kalis said quickly looking at him. “It is done Mata. But they are not to transport the female prisoner anywhere on the ship and they are not allowed to come near this room again. Is that clear?”

Mata bowed his head. “I will see to it Kalis.” He spoke.

“Allow them a few minutes to recover from this fool’s actions and then you may collect the mother to take to my father.” Kalis spoke the words even though they left a foul taste in his mouth. “I will be in my quarters.”

Mata watched him turn and head down the corridor. When Kalis was out of ear shot the other spoke. “Why do we listen to him Senior Master?” The man hissed with contempt dripping from his voice. “He is not the Marshall.”

Mata looked at him with angry eyes. “He is the Marshall’s son and he defeated you and your stupid friends with ease. He is not to be trifled with. I am the one who trained him and he would make short work of you and the others” Mata snapped. “He will be obeyed because of the rank he wears! Do not make the mistake of thinking him weak. He is not weak. And he will kill you if you press him too far.”

“Him? Kill me? Not likely.” The Puma Bane soldier said. “He is not Leruk!”

“No ... he is not Leruk! And that is what makes him more dangerous than his brother. Who is now dead in case you have forgotten?” Mata hissed.

The man shook his head. “No.” He answered meekly.

“Return to the barracks and send the Watch Sergeant fool!” Mata hissed. “If the Marshall catches wind of this he will punish you regardless of his son’s orders to leave you be. You heard his orders ... now go!”

“He is no Kavalian.” The man spoke before turning and heading down the corridor.

Mata turned to see Kalis’s back as he rounded the corner of the corridor heading for the lift and he nodded his head. “No. He is no Kavalian.” Mata said softly. “He is something ... he is something different.”

Kalis entered his quarters and waited for the door to close before he released the long sigh he had been holding in. He stood with his back to the door for an enduring minute as the memories of what had just happened raced through his mind. The wolf blood within him had never come out like. When her scent had wafted around him, drawn deeply into his lungs so that it filled his head, Kalis had felt the incredible surge of anger at what the Puma Bane troops were doing. He wanted to slaughter them all, his entire body filling with the strength of the wolf inside him. His father had never told him anything of the wolf blood within him. He had never taught him how to shift his form, how to track with his nose or use the many different spectrums of vision he had when his wolf persona gripped him. What had occurred today had been instinctive to him, his mind reacting without thought.

Kalis liked that feeling. It was a feeling of power and control. A feeling of confidence and ... honor.

He pushed away from the wall quickly and moved to his desk to unlock the Data Disc. He had already viewed it three times in its entirety, listening to his Uncle’s voice as he walked the corridors of the ship he had been on, telling him things he had never known. Part of the Holoprogram had also had him walking within some sort of modern village where he had seen Immortals in the background, as well as dragons and elves and other Lycavorians in great numbers. All of them working together, talking and even at one point laughing. True to the very purpose of the Union his Uncle had said. His Uncle Martin spoke with patience and even humor as he told him of many things Kalis had never imagined. It was mostly about the men and women in the Union. How they had built what they had. Towards the end his Uncle had spoken of his grandfather and grandmother and a longing had filled Kalis to meet her just as his brother had. Kalis had hoped for more from the data disc, but he knew you could only put so much information on one, no matter how sophisticated it was. And the one he had was exactly that Kalis knew. He had tried to take it apart to study it, but decided against it for fear of damaging it in some way and losing the program. The technology was far beyond him and would be far beyond any technician on PUMA’S PRIDE. Not that he would ever give it to any of them.

The last two times he had viewed it, he had fallen asleep with his Uncle’s voice in the background. A confident and warm voice, always interjecting humor whenever he could into his words. During that sleep he had dreams unlike any he had ever experienced. So vivid and lifelike. Places and people he had never met. Events he had never experienced. Images of so many of his cousins as they grew, laughing and smiling. So many things that he had never experienced yet they were events he wanted to experience for himself. Seeing the Holoprogram had awakened the wolf within him and Kalis wanted more. He wanted to know so much more. To experience more than what he had now. The craving was growing stronger by the hour and he found himself no longer fighting it. Even knowing that it would be the same program again Kalis reached for the data disc wanting to watch it again. As he lifted it, the data disc beeped twice and activated on its own. Kalis looked at it wide eyed as he had not hit the button to begin the program. He stood there amazed as a different image of his Uncle suddenly appeared from the tiny holoprojector in the disc’s front edge. This time he was dressed in a different set of clothes than Kalis had seen him in before, and he was standing before a monument of some kind.

“Hello Mandri.” Martin’s voice spoke. “Have I surprised you again?” His image smiled and looked around. “The Data Disc you have is a unique device Kalis. It is not of Lycavorian design, nor High Coven. It is a technology that is not widely known and only my family and one or two friends have them. Primarily because we don’t know how to build more just yet. Each Data Disc is encoded to its user. The one you now hold in your hand is the last of twenty-one of these devices and it is now yours. No one else will be able to access the information on it, or utilize the other options it can facilitate. That Data Disc you have is now encoded to you nephew. It is linked to your life signs. If it detects that your life has ended it will self destruct. Use it Kalis. Store your thoughts and wishes upon it. It will only activate by your touch and it will not work if there is someone else in the area with you unless you have activated and entered a biometric scan of that individual that you want to be able to access the information into the Disc. Something I don’t believe you can do just yet. You know as well as I Kalis that a biometric scan is very thorough and takes several minutes to complete and it is my hope that after viewing the previous Holoprogram, you have at least decided to see for yourself what your Lycavorian blood gives you. The history it gives you.” Kalis saw him hold up an identical Data Disc. “Every one of these pads is linked to mine. Given the nature of the men and women who designed them, they are ... powerful to say the least. Wherever I am at the moment, a message has been sent to me and I know that you have seen the previous holoprojection.”

Kalis’s eyes grew wide as he heard this and he looked at the Data Disc.

“It is I who has activated the additional programs within the disc’s memory Kalis. As before ... they will reveal no military information useful to your father or anyone for that matter. I am of the hope that now you would not share that information with others. At least until you have seen what I am showing you. These programs ... they are meant only to give you knowledge Kalis.”

Kalis pulled his chair out quickly and sat down.

“As you can probably see I am not where I was previously. These programs I made weeks prior to whatever event led me to get this Disc to you. This is Thermopylae Kalis.” Martin waved his hand behind him and to the sides. “This is where your grandfather fought and died for the freedom of so many against the High Coven. His remains are interned here in the tomb behind me. I come here often when I want to focus and think of things. I thought it would be the best place to teach you. To give you the knowledge your father should have given you. Each Holoprogram that is now active within this disc is a separate training and history program. It is ... using an expression I learned long ago ... it is a poor man’s tool. A way for me to give you at least the beginnings of your Lycavorian and Spartan history and possibly the future you could have. As I have told you, I do not wish to influence you Kalis. What I want is for you to see the other side of your blood. Only then will you be able to make a definitive decision on the path you wish your life to follow. I will not plead or beg for you to turn against your father or those you have come to call your people. That would be wrong in every way. I am going to give you the means to follow your instincts in what you feel you want for your future. Something they will not do.”

Kalis watched him turn and face the monument in the background.

“I remember the first time I came here.” Martin spoke. “It was nighttime and the moon was high in the sky. I was with my Melda Min. My first elven mate Dysea. It was the night I discovered who I really was Kalis. The night I discovered the true blood that runs in my veins. The blood that runs in your veins Mandri. Somehow your grandfather’s essence had been lying dormant here until I arrived. Over three thousand years since his death and it had remained within the circle of power of this place. He appeared to me that night Kalis. In front of those who were with me.” Martin turned back to the vid drone that was recording the message. “As crazy as it seems, I have been able to speak with him or an image of him if you will, in my dreams ever since. I wasn’t kidding when I told you that before. Not directly mind you, but in the form of a dream and whatever event that dream is depicting.” Martin began walking now and Kalis waited patiently until his Uncle reached what appeared to be some sort of bleacher benches and sat down. Martin looked up as the vid drone shifted again.

“There are six programs available to you now Kalis. Each of them about three hours in length. The first two are simple history files. The history of our family and the history of Sparta and the Union. These were put together by a man who fought beside my father during that time. He is called The Guardian of our Line. The man who is responsible for raising me in many respects. For saving me. He will be the one conducting the classes since he is the one who knows the most about it. Assisting him will be another man who I have come to trust with my life. You probably know him already; he is your grandmother’s current mate, Fleet Admiral Riall. The second two programs are given by two of my wives and mates. Anja is Hadarian. And she is as fiery as the color of her hair. I turned her long ago and it is she who can tell you all you need to know about what you can do and cannot do as a child of two species. She will also be able to tell you many things of the species you call your people that you probably did not know. The fourth program is where you will meet my Melda Min. She is as supremely intelligent as she is beautiful and she is also an exceptionally skilled warrior. She can answer almost any question you may have in regards to the Union now. Our politics, our education system. Anything. The fifth program is much more recent ... and it took a bit of arm twisting mind you after what took place on Hadaria ... but that is by your cousin Androcles. He does not yet trust you Kalis and he thinks this is a bad idea but he will allow you to begin to view the world using your wolf blood. He will show you how to shift, how to run and turn and fight in wolf form and how to use many of your senses. He does this regardless of his feelings because of your blood Kalis.” Martin smiled at the vid drone.

“Androcles is ... he is as passionate as he deadly. Like his brothers and sisters, he honors the blood in his veins with all that he does. The sixth program is by me and you will only discover what it is about when you complete the others. It will remain locked until you have completed each instruction block. Only then will you understand what I will tell you.” Martin sat back on the bleachers.

“The really cool thing about this particular Data Disc is that it is interactive.” Martin told him. “It will allow you to ask questions within a specific set of parameters. I am doing this Kalis ... I am doing this to give you all the pieces you need to make a decision on your future. You may hate me now ... hate your cousin and all of us because that is what your Kavalian blood and your father no doubt tell you, but you deserve to have all the pieces of knowledge Kalis. All the parts your father did not tell you. That he did not let you experience. It is your choice nephew. It is my hope that you will make the best one. Do what you will now Kalis. I have given you the means to discover everything about who you are. And perhaps explain to you some of the things you have experienced but do not understand. What you do with them is now up to you. If you take nothing from these programs then know one thing. You are of my blood Kalis. Your grandfather’s blood. I will love you without question until the moment you give me reason not too. Then ... then we will be enemies. And you have already seen how I deal with my enemies. I hope that does not turn out to be the case my boy. Learn all you can Kalis. Only then will you be who you are truly meant to be.”

Kalis sat there as the holoimage froze at the end of the message. He looked down at the Data Disc in his hands and stared at the metallic surface for several long moments.

“What I could have?” Kalis whispered to the silence around him. “What I could have?”

Kalis lifted his thumb and without hesitation he stabbed down on the control board. “Activate first Program.” He spoke in a firm voice.


It was primitive given the technology they had but without proper facilities and tools, they made the best of it. And it moved quite smoothly even without proper tools. Twenty-nine of the enormous beasts had been captured by the dragons, killed with quick but savage twists of powerful jaws and snapping of the necks. Torma, Isheeni, Arzoal and the others were careful to cull only the older looking beasts from the herds that dotted the plains below. The six week old hatchlings were able to participate to an extent as well, refining their flying skills as well as their hunting skills. None of them were able to actually make a kill, but Torma and the adult dragons allowed them to track and direct the hunt in little ways.

Iama and forty others were the ones assigned to process the animals and they were efficient and quick after the first two beasts were processed. Iama wasted nothing, even keeping the huge bones of the animals for the dragons to gnaw on and keep their teeth strong and sharp. This was something that did not escape Arzoal’s notice and unbeknownst to Iama, she earned many dragon friends that day. For a Kavalian, Iama seemed very comfortable around the dragons. She did not go out of her way to pet them or go near them, but the inbred fear she had of dragons had been harnessed long ago on Kranek. While Iama and the others processed the meat and bones and skins, the remaining personnel packaged them with equal efficiency and within six hours the dragons were lifting off into the air to bring the cargo down to the loading area in the valley beneath them.

As darkness began to stretch across the sky and the land, a huge table was set up and Iama and the cooks from the ARC ROYAL began to put together a generous meal of fresh meat, vegetables, orange colored potatoes and spicy green salad. Within an hour, the men and women were sitting on the ground in twos and threes or larger and enjoying a night under moonlit skies and a delicious meal. Portable lights were set up all around the camp making it easier to move around among the many transferable soft metal tents that had been set up.

Iama was proud of herself at what they had accomplished. As she drew in a deep breath of fresh air she knew she had found her niche in this life. She had found a place where she was respected and treated well and above all else liked. The skills her mother had passed to her in cooking she thought useless at the time. Now they were paying huge dividends and carving her a place among those she now referred to as friends and comrades. As she sat at the table on the far end of the row of tables, her keen feline eyes detected the large dragon first as it swooped down from the security positions above and then she saw General Simpson and the boy Prince appear from the darkness walking casually. They appeared to be talking quietly between themselves and smiling as they did. Iama was surprised at this for she assumed the boy Prince would be the first to arrive to eat his fill. As he and Daniel Simpson stepped up to the table weighed down with food she realized they had just returned from their posts. Her light green eyes were able to watch him easily even as the portable lights cast an eerie glow across them. They had actually waited until everyone had eaten before even leaving their posts above.

He was tall Iama saw, much taller than her five foot four frame, and even under the Mark IV ArmorPly he wore she could tell he was fully developed and incredibly muscular. She heard him laugh at something Daniel Simpson said and he turned to toss a large chunk of meat at his dragon, which the beast easily snatched from the air and gulped down. As Iama watched he withdrew an odd looking knife from his right leg and stabbed another piece of meat. The way he twisted the blade and twirled it in his hand before stabbing the meat told Iama he was very skilled with it in some form of combat. Most soldiers she knew did not prefer knives because they were hard to master, but this boy Prince seemed to be equally as comfortable with a knife as he was with the cut down version of the P190A3 that dangled from quick release straps. Iama had to admit to herself, he was incredibly handsome. Even more handsome than many of the Lycavorians she had seen since joining them. Her ears detected soft laughter and she turned her head to see several Lycavorian and elf females watching him as well and giggling to themselves as they watched him. Iama shook her head in disgust. How could they desire someone who would no doubt have the mind of a child? When Kavalians finished their growth cycles they had to undergo months of strenuous mental conditioning to be able to catch up to their fully grown bodies. This boy Prince was only six or seven weeks old. He would not know the difference between anything Iama knew.

Iama turned her head once more when she heard Julie call out for Daniel from the COM tent. Her eyes went back to where they stood and she saw Daniel and him leave their plates on the table as they turned and began moving towards the tent. Iama saw an opportunity then to make additional points with the King. She knew that Daniel Simpson was widely regarded as the only brother of the King. His status among the Lycavorians and others was nearly equal to the King. Though they were not brothers by blood, she had learned that they had been together since both were a year old. They had seen and done things together, bled together and fought impossible odds together. They were brothers in the truest sense Iama found out and that is how Daniel Simpson was viewed. She rose from her table and moved to where he had left his plate of food, retrieving it. As an afterthought she also grabbed the plate of the boy Prince, seeing several thick slabs of meat but hardly any greens on it, and shaking her head at his unhealthy diet.

She quickly moved after Daniel Simpson towards the COM tent.

“ ... looking good here Skipper.” Julie spoke as they stood around the holoimage of Martin from the valley below them.

Danny stood next to Julie, Fedor sitting on the table to their right flank and scratching Dnom under his massive jaw with his head extending into the tent and his huge body outside the tent.

“We’re settling in for the night.” Danny told him. “Security is out and the perimeter is activated.”

“Portable Gun Platforms and sensors?” Martin asked.

Danny nodded. “One Avenger PGP on every corner and two inside the perimeter facing all avenues. I do know my job you know?”

“Well ... excuse me for asking.” Martin quipped playfully. “You know ... you’re getting ornery in your old age.”

Fedor chuckled from behind them and Danny snickered. “Careful oh great and ugly King Martin. You gave your son to me remember. I might just get him to spike your coffee in the morning. Give you the runs for a week.”

Martin laughed in the transmission. “Ignore him Fedor.” He said. “He’s always been angry that I am so much better looking.”

“Shiit!” Danny grunted. “That will be the day.”

“Ok...” Julie announced. “Enough testosterone!”

As it had been so long ago, Julie was the one who had always ended their banter back and forth. Even though she was a vampire clone, she still had that power over them it seemed and it was the main reason both Danny and Martin had welcomed her with open arms upon realizing it was truly her regardless of what Aikiro had done to her body.

“First two birds are away.” Martin told them as the tent flap opened and Iama entered carrying the plates.

She glanced quickly to the side of the huge dragon and saw Fedor sitting on the table. Her eyes rolled slightly as she saw him, though up close as she was now, she had to admit he was even more handsome than she first thought. She thrust out his plate to him with barely a pause. “You should eat more greens.” She stated sternly. “It will stimulate the growth of your mind.”

Fedor looked at her with wide eyes as he took the plate she had shoved at him. His nostrils flared wide as her sweet kiwi scent crashed against his senses and he watched her turn to his Uncle.

“You ... you left your plate General.” She spoke in a much more friendly tone.

Danny looked at her and took the plate. “Thank you Iama.” He said.

“Iama ... you did an outstanding job today.” Martin told her from the transmission.

Iama looked at him. “It was a team effort King Leonidas.” She told him honestly. “All of us deserve the praise.”

“Think we can do it again tomorrow?” Martin asked.

Iama smiled. “We’ll do better.”

“Science team find anything interesting Marty?” Julie asked.

“Last time I checked they were giddy over some samples they found in the soil of their site.” Martin answered. “Something about exponential growth or some shit like that. Gives me a frigging headache if you ask me.”

“Maybe a colony planet in the future?” Julie spoke now. “We could start marking any promising ones we find you know.”

Martin nodded. “Maybe.” He said. “If I know you Jules ... you are already doing that.”

Julie grinned and held up her data pad. “By the numbers.” She replied waving the pad back and forth. “Makes me wonder how you and Danny ever got by when I went on vacation for a quarter century.”

Martin and Danny both laughed. Julie had begun referring to her death and reincarnation as a vampire as an extended vacation.

“We muddled through pretty good.” Danny told her. “But we got you back to pick up the slack now sister!”

Julie looked at him. “Fuck you Simpson. I ain’t carrying your tight asses any longer. Both of you are going to carry your weight!”

“Here! Here!” They heard Anja’s distinct voice in the background of Martin’s end of the transmission.

“Cute!” Martin said. “Danny ... we’re going to close out for the night. I got two techs on duty monitoring any calls from the ARC ROYAL. Stay at Condition Two. We still don’t know enough about this world to let our hair down all the way.”

Danny nodded. “Will do.” He stated. “Tur anzen fervon.” (Be safe brother)

Martin nodded in return. “Mornar forn.” (And you)

Danny looked at Iama as Martin’s image faded. “You done good Iama.” He said. “Damn good.”

Iama smiled sweetly at him. “Thank you General.” She said. “All of us had a hand in it.” She said.

“This meat is really very good.” Fedor spoke from the table. “What spices did you use?”

Iama turned her head to look at him. Fedor’s dark brown orbs blinked several times at the look of near distain that came across in her eyes. “You would not understand if I explained it to you.” Iama spoke almost harshly though only Julie caught the true inflection in her voice. “You should pay more attention to your training and less to your stomach.” Iama looked at Danny who had a surprised expression on his face. “I will see you in the morning General. We will be ready.”

Danny nodded his head. “Ok. Sure.” He said as Iama turned and glanced at Fedor once more before pushing past Dnom’s bulk out of the tent.

Fedor got up off the table and looked at him. “Uncle ... did I do something wrong?” He asked.

Danny shrugged his shoulders and looked at him. “Beats the hell out of me.” He turned to Julie. “Know anything about that Jules?”

Julie shook her head as well. “Caught me by surprise too.”

“Wow!” Danny said. “Be careful where you tread boy, maybe you stepped on her tail when you were smaller.”

“I’ve never seen her before tonight.” Fedor complained even as her kiwi scent still drifted to his wolf nose and aroused his other senses.

“Don’t worry about it Fedor.” Julie told him. “She doesn’t know you.”

Fedor looked at the tent flap. “Treating me with contempt is not right though.” He said. “I have done nothing to her.”

Danny put his hand on his shoulder. “Don’t sweat it.” He said. “Grab some more chow and then get some rest. Tomorrow will be just as busy.”

Fedor turned to look at him and nodded his head. “I will be ready.” He said.

Danny nodded. “Good.”

Fedor looked at Dnom. “Let’s go brother.” He said. “I found a good spot for us this morning. And I want to say goodnight to my sister.”

[ ... would she say these things Fedor?] Eirene asked softly within their sole connection. Eirene was tightly wrapped within a sleeping Miseo’s powerful arms; her lithe body conformed to his and swallowed up within his embrace. She had fallen asleep like this for the last three nights and to Eirene, nothing could ever compete with the sensations this caused within her.

[I do not know sister.] Fedor answered from the processing site above them. [She spoke to me with contempt in her voice. Like I had wronged her in some way. Like I was a child!]

[Did she smell good?] Eirene asked him playfully.

Eirene heard her twin chuckle softly within their private connection. Only Kdan and Dnom could access this connection if they wanted, though Eirene knew their father and mothers were strong enough within Mindvoice to intrude if they so desired.

[She smelled very good Eirene. Like sweet sugary kiwi. Her eyes are fascinating and her skin... ] Fedor spoke with more truth than humor in his voice. Something his sister detected right away.

[Enough Fedor ... I get the idea!] Eirene told him with a laugh. [So you do find her attractive then?]

[That does not make up for her attitude towards me Eirene.] He said. [I did nothing to her to deserve that tone or her harsh words.] Eirene heard Fedor sigh and dismiss it. [My heart sings for your happiness sister.] He told her. [He is good to you?]

[Carians Fedor ... he is even bigger than our mothers say father is.] Eirene answered with no shame. She and Fedor were tied together so closely that it made no sense to try and hide from him anything. [He was so gentle and caring. And when he kissed me I thought I would explode. I did explode!]

Eirene could feel her twin brother’s smile of love even from above her on the plateau. [Finding the Father of our Hearts has brought us so much more than we would have ever had sister.] Fedor told her. [We must never let that be taken from us.]

[We won’t fervon! We won’t.] Eirene agreed. [As Miseo affected me because of my fever, perhaps this Iama is affecting you in some way.]

[Perhaps ... I will ask father when we are alone but it doesn’t matter right now. She is being an upaee!] He said. [I did nothing wrong to her and we have taken the trait from our mother that makes us dislike arrogant people.]

[Yes we have.] Eirene said.

[I will ignore her.] Fedor spoke. [She knows nothing about me and to act in such a way is far more arrogance than I want to deal with. I do not wish to become angry.]

[Then stay away from her fervon.] Eirene said. [You will find someone just like I have. It just may not ... it may not happen so quickly.] Fedor heard the sadness in her voice and he shook his head where he was.

Fedor hissed softly within their connection. [Never regret what you have found because of me sister!] He scolded her. [You are right. I will find someone someday. But I will always love you first.]

Eirene smiled dreamily in Miseo’s arms and nodded. [And I will love you first always.] She answered.

[Sleep well in his arms my arande. I will see you tomorrow.] Fedor spoke.


Akemi read the last report for the day and signed off on it before getting to her feet. “How are our people?” She asked out loud.

The Tactical Officer turned from his post. “The King reported in ten minutes ago. They are tucked in tight for the night.”

“Sensors are clean.” Wayonn spoke as the second shift officer stood behind him waiting to relieve him.

Akemi smiled. “I like it when things go smoothly.” She stated out loud. “Makes my job a lot easier.”

Wayonn got to his feet and looked at her. “Considering Martin’s propensity for finding trouble I have to agree Captain.” He said.

Akemi moved up next to him. “Recalibrations are complete for both ARC ROYAL and DAYRIDER. We’ll be able to make jump seven as soon as they are aboard. Which also makes me very happy.”

Wayonn looked at her. “Worried?” He asked.

Akemi shook her head. “Not really I guess ... but the King’s sense of things is sometimes scary. Ben and Miranda both told me that if he feels something it is usually correct. He believes the Kavalians are following us. If he believes it, so do I. I don’t like staying in one place too long knowing that.”

“Then that makes you concerned?” Wayonn asked.

“We can outrun anything those Kavalian space scavengers have in their inventory and we won’t have to get out and push.” Akemi snarled proudly. “Even with DAYRIDER attached to us. And if they drop from LSD operation anywhere within sensor range we’ll have plenty of time to react even if they do see us. Our sensor range is three times what theirs is.”

“Then why feel so anxious?” Wayonn spoke.

Akemi looked at him. “I’m human Val’istar.” She answered. “Being anxious is part of our nature. We react better when we are prepared for the worse. That has always been the case with us.”

Wayonn tilted his head to the side. “Ah ... I see.” He spoke. He took her arm. “Well let’s go to the Mess Lounge Captain. We can be anxious together. That is part of Pralor nature too you know.”

Akemi grinned and allowed him to lead her off the bridge.

“ ... do you think we’ll find Val’istar?” Akemi asked Wayonn as they sat at the table drinking two steaming mugs of Aricia’s coffee.

Wayonn met her gaze. “To be honest I don’t really know.” He answered. “Muton’s calculations are correct and Anja has medically confirmed he and all of his people have different Pralor genes within him. Some stronger than others like Muton and his sons. That matches with the memories he has as well as those the others possess. The DAYRIDER might not look like much, but they built it from memories passed to them from their ancestors. And then the way his memories and dreams led Muton to the map on Enurrua? There are only two species within the known universe that I know of, that can imprint their children with memories and images like that. Pralors and Lycavorians. I can only take so much coincidence before I have to start to believe.”

Akemi nodded her head. “Same here.”

“Those Pralors that left with Arzoal’s dragons are probably dead by now.” Wayonn spoke sadly. “I don’t imagine we will find much of them left after so many years no matter how much I wish otherwise. It would be nice to know that Shiria and I are not the last connection to a lost species. Whether any of Muton’s ancestors survive is up for grabs to be honest. The dragons ... if they flourished ... they would probably number in the ten thousands by now. Perhaps more. If they have survived, will they recognize Arzoal as the Elder Mother they left behind? An awful lot of questions is what I think we will find.” Wayonn looked at her. “But I have known to be wrong in the past as well.”

“How often did that happen?” Akemi asked him.

Wayonn chuckled. “Only twice.” He said.

Akemi smiled. Her face became serious then. “Tell me of the Scourge Val’istar?” She asked.

Wayonn looked at her surprised that she knew of them. “How did you... ?”

Akemi smiled once more. “I can tell you the biggest reason why the military of the Union would follow the King to hell and back Val’istar. They trust him. He doesn’t keep information from those who he knows needs that information. He gave me a pad when he first came on board. Not a whole lot of information mind you, I think he was holding a lot back that he has seen in his mind, but it was enough to nearly make me wet my panties. He told me you would have more.”

Wayonn nodded slowly. “They are not a kind species Akemi.” He said softly. “They can not be reasoned with. They can not be communicated with. They can not be trusted. I watched to many civilian settlements burn under their weapons during our first war to believe that they even have a soul. They exist now only to conquer and kill anything or anyone with Pralor blood or those who have helped them.”

“They never took prisoners?” Akemi asked.

Wayonn shook his head. “No ... they took prisoners.” He answered. “Only they weren’t prisoners for very long. Those they did not feed on they turned into warrior vermin. Their basic soldiers. The cannon fodder as Martin calls them. They altered them genetically to become like them in many ways. It was not a pretty sight. Sumar and I were leading a small unit at one point. We stumbled upon one of their conversion chambers. I was sick for a full day at what I saw and I could not eat for two more.” Wayonn leaned across the table and set his mug down. “Martin is right. It is time I began to share what knowledge I have. I will tell you all I know Akemi, what Martin and Andro already know, but promise me that you will tell no one until the time is right. When it becomes time to reveal it to everyone, then you may tell anyone who needs to know. Until then ... it is better if the whole did not know.”

Akemi nodded her head instantly. “Done.” She said.

Wayonn took a deep breath. “It was our fault.” He told her. “Xaxon’s fault. In reality, the Scourge are of our own creation. Xaxon just did not know the entire scope of the species he wantonly began to slaughter one day. It began on...”

The Sensor Watch Officer was leaning back in his chair sipping a mug of tea. It was the only comfort that Akemi allowed while on duty. She demanded perfection from her crew and for the most part she received it. As with all the ARIZONA-Class ships, most of the crews were hand picked by the Captains, and just being part of a crew of one of these ships was an honor. An honor he would preserve for the sake of his name and his family. The crew on the third watch would banter back and forth, but all of them maintained constant attention to their duty stations. This constant attention is what allowed him to see the row of small white blips on the sensor screen that was monitoring the ground team. He blinked and leaned forward, sitting up in his chair to insure he hadn’t seen a glitch. On the next sweep they were still there and moving. He set his tea aside and adjusted his sensor array slightly to bring the contacts into focus more clearly. His eyes grew wider when he realized that the contacts were in open water and moving towards the position of their King and the ground crew. He didn’t hesitate for a moment.

“Contacts!” He barked out causing all heads on the bridge to turn towards him. “I have unknown surface contacts! Bearing three six one and closing on the Ground Team’s position!”

The Third Watch Duty Officer was beside him in five steps. “Confirm!” He snapped.

The SWO nodded his head. “Already confirmed sir.” He spoke confidently. “Thirteen surface contacts. Now bearing three six two. Range fourteen klicks from the Ground Team. They are on the water.”

“On the water?” The DO asked.

“Coming in from the southern islands.” The SWO answered.

“Tactical! Immediate realignment of the lateral array to sensor coordinates. Lock onto the contacts and show me what we got!” He barked. “Put it up on the main monitor!”

“Shifting array!” The Tactical Officer barked. “Locked. Magnifying!”

The Nodon JCN Type 71 Tactical Sensor Array was the most powerful the ARIZONA-Class carried, the most powerful in the entire fleet to be exact and it could cut through pea soup like clouds on its worst day. Clouds was not something they had to worry about however as the night on the northern continent was clear and star filled. As the DO turned to the main screen he saw the picture of the ocean focus and zoom three times to align on the thirteen contacts. His eyes grew a little wider.

“Water ships!” He hissed.

“Confirmed.” The Tactical Officer echoed. “Thirteen water ships. Estimate sixty meters in length for each ship. Target closing speed is one hundred and fifty KPH constant. Current speed and course will put them on land only two kilometers from the Processing site. On the beach to the east!”

“Give me a picture of the deck!” The DO barked. “Set Condition One and get the Captain and Wayonn up here now!”

The screen zoomed once more and they could all make out the figures standing on the deck of the ship.

“Not good!” The Tactical Officer snapped. “Not good! Looks like about thirty to forty indigenous personnel on the deck of each ship. They appear reptilian in nature as per the Op order. They are jammed pretty tight and it’s hard for the sensors to distinguish! They ... Commander they appear to be armed!”

“Fuck me!” The man snarled. “This isn’t good! Have the spare KADENS spool their engines and prepare for immediate Evac! Do it now!”

Akemi burst onto the bridge three minutes later still pulling her uniform top on, Wayonn just behind her. “Report!” She barked.

“Thirteen surface contacts! On the water, bearing three six three! Closing on the King’s position! Range twelve point two klicks! Speed one fifty-eight steady!” The ARC ROYAL’S Tactical Officer called out.

“They appear to be part of the indigenous population from the southern continent.” Akemi’s XO told her as she settled into the command chair. “Approximately forty per contact. They appear to be on some sort of water ship.”

“Doing over a hundred KPH?” Akemi snapped. “Wayonn ... I thought this was supposed to be a Pre-LSD drive society?”

Wayonn stood next to the sensor operator now and he turned to look at her and nod. “My preliminary scans indicated no Plasma or Fusion Matter power sources. They would need these for space flight!”

“Power source of the Water Ships appears to be some sort of fuel induced turbine.” The XO said. “Wayonn would not have detected it without a Gamma Spectrum scan. Our gear isn’t tuned to detect power sources we haven’t used in over ten thousand years Captain.”

“Fuck!” Akemi exclaimed loudly. “Wayonn get on the other sensor station! Reconfigure the operational parameters and give me detail! How the hell did we pick them up in the first place?”

“I was utilizing a lateral sweep of the ocean around the continent Captain.” The Sensor Operator replied. “Adjusted for surface temperature variants. It detected the ships because they were an abnormal heat signature with no base variables!”

“I have the KADENS spooling for an evac.” Her XO said. “We can launch in another three minutes.”

“How soon before they reach land?” Akemi asked.

“At current velocity they will reach landfall in seven minutes. Five hundred meters from the processing camp and two hundred forty meters below them.”

“Shit! Get me base camp! Wake the King up if you have to!” She snarled. “And tell the KADEN crews to fucking hump it!”


JANUARY 31, 2575

Fedor was leaning up against Dnom’s broad chest, his Bonded Brother’s neck and head resting on the ground beside him, one of his large talons draped across Fedor’s lower leg. His long tail was curled alongside his body. They had chosen to forgo setting up a tent because of the clear skies and fresh air. Fedor wouldn’t know until later that what he and Dnom were doing was something his brother and Elynth often did, and it was a minor twist of information that Andro had passed to them.

Dnom’s eyes popped open when he detected movement and he saw Danny moving towards them with a purpose. A simple nudge of his talon against Fedor’s leg and Fedor came fully awake and looked up as his Uncle appeared beside them.

“Uncle?” Fedor asked.

“Up and at them Fedor.” Danny spoke. “We got company. Bring your toys too. You may need them.”

Fedor was moving instantly as his Uncle Daniel turned to head back to the COM tent. He adjusted his MARK IV ArmorPly and secured his combat vest. He yanked a belt from the large duffle bag next to where he and Dnom sat and then pulled it over his shoulder and chest like a bandolier before snatching up the most recent P190A4 from atop his gear. The Lycavorian A4 was very similar to its P190A3 predecessor, but it was a cut down version, and fully four inches shorter than the original. It also kept in line with his father’s mentality about stealth, as it had a integral silencer built into the barrel. It was a weapon that had been specifically manufactured for the Durcunusaan and the Omega Teams his MedwanGai had told him. Light, accurate, and providing a powerful punch with it’s Kavalian based 12.7mm caseless round. The war with the Evolli had brought to light the Kavalian 12.7mm kinetic round and Martin had quickly seen the excellent stopping power and accuracy it provided. He ordered it adopted for all the covert units within the Union.

Fedor didn’t need to tell Dnom to follow him as he turned and bolted for the COM tent. He covered the distance in seconds, pushing aside the tent flap to see his Uncle, Julie and the Kavalian female Iama already inside. The image of his MedwanGai was once more active within the holoprojector. “ ... where they came from or how they got so close but we got about four minutes to get ready.” Martin said.

“If Wayonn was only scanning for modern power sources Marty, it’s no wonder he missed them.” Julie said.

Martin nodded. “I know. The ARC ROYAL is retuning her sensors to detect non-Plasma and fusion based power sources, but that ain’t our problem right now.”

“Where are they going to land?” Danny asked.

“About two hundred meters west of you Dan, down on the beach no doubt.” Martin told him. “I want you to pull your people in tight Danny. Take Fedor with you and eyeball them from the ridge. Use Dnom if you have to since it is still relatively dark.”

“Hostile?” Danny asked.

Martin shrugged and shook his head. “I don’t know ... but there’s a whole lot of them and they appear to be armed with older projectile weapons according to Wayonn.” He replied. “That doesn’t imply friendly in my book.”

“Mine either.” Danny said.

“We are half a click east of you in the valley. The backup KADENS are inbound for a fast Evac if necessary.” Martin told him. “Looking at the terrain ... they’ll have to go right through your camp to get to us.”

“Oh ... ain’t that convenient.” Danny remarked sarcastically. “I’m always the one out in front protecting your fat ass!”

“You’re a bigger target!” Martin exclaimed.

“I should go with you Daniel!” Iama spoke quickly.

“There’s no need for that.” Fedor spoke calmly.

Iama’s eyes flashed angrily at him. “I was not talking to you!” She snapped. “I have been trained in close combat! I have seen combat! I am the better choice!”

Fedor met her eyes. “I wouldn’t be too sure.” He said. “I’m pretty good.”

“You are a boy in the body of a man!” Iama barked causing even Martin to take notice of her reaction to Fedor.

Fedor’s eyes darkened at the obvious insult and he glared at her moving a step closer to her. “You don’t...”

“Iama you stay with Julie and help to get the others ready here.” Danny ended the heated discussion before it got out of hand. “We don’t have time to argue! Fedor goes with me. Jules ... break out the old faithful backups and get a perimeter established.”

Julie nodded. “Will do.”

Danny looked at the monitor. “If their hostile fervon?” He asked.

“That’s why Tony and Kenny are on their way up to you.” Martin told him. “With a few surprises.”

“Nice.” Danny spoke.

Martin’s expression didn’t change. “Do not engage unless they engage us Danny. If they do ... all bets are off and we beat feet, but I ain’t losing people over the fact we don’t know them right now. They want to make nice ... fine. But we lose no one.”

“Understood.” Danny said. “Be ready if we come barreling down the hill brother.”

Martin nodded. “We will.” Martin looked at Fedor. “Keto ... listen to your Uncle and stay close to Dnom. That is your strength.”

Fedor nodded. “I will MedwanGai.” He spoke. “Eirene?” He asked.

“She’s helping your mothers establish a secondary perimeter here. Kdan is never more than ten meters from her, and neither is Miseo. She will be fine. You and those with you will be in the most danger if this goes to shit.”

Fedor nodded. “We will be fine.”

“Marty ... we’re out of here.” Danny spoke once more.

Martin nodded. “Watch your six.”

“Always.” Danny answered taking Fedor’s arm and exiting the tent quickly. Martin’s image faded from view on the monitor and Iama looked at Julie.

“I should be the one going with him.” She stated. “The boy Prince will be of no use to him Julie!” She stated.

“I wouldn’t take bets on that.” Julie said.

“He may look like a man, but his mind is like a child! He has not grown anywhere near enough!” Iama insisted.

Julie shook her head. “Not our problem now. Let’s get that perimeter set up.”

Dnom rolled over in the warm air and cut silently back inland. He had stayed at five hundred feet as he passed over the Water ships as they began to land on the beach below. This allowed him ample time to view the figures below easily with his dragon eyes.

I count over four hundred Fedor. Dnom spoke as he turned once more and shot over the tree below him where he knew Danny and his Bonded Brother rested. All of them armed. They are exiting the Water Ships with speed. As if they have done this before.

What else brother? Fedor asked.

They are reptilian in nature as the reports said ... but there is something different about them.

What do you mean different Dnom? Danny asked as he was listening in on Dnom and Fedor’s Mindvoice connection.

Their skin appears scaly like my own, but it is also similar to your skin Daniel. Dnom answered.

Similar to ours in what way? Danny asked confused.

Supple and not as rigid as normal scales would be. Darker in color as well. They have clawed hands and feet, and they move with a hunch in their gait, but it seems natural to them. Dnom explained.

Danny looked at Fedor. “Scales. Hunch in their gait. Dark color. What does that equate to you?” He asked.

Fedor met his eyes. “A species built for conflict.”

Danny nodded. “My thoughts too.”

Fedor looked skyward. Dnom ... land a hundred meters behind us and wait. The sun is coming up brother and I don’t want you caught in the sky above.

I will be waiting. Dnom answered.

Fedor lifted his A4 and sighted down the scope towards the beach. Their position did not give them a clear view of the beach, only the thin treeline surrounding it. Fedor could make out half a dozen large vessels that were stationary just off the shore and flashes of movement in the water.

“Left Fedor. Forty-five degrees from that double trunk tree.” Danny’s voice whispered softly and Fedor shifted his scope.

Fedor’s heart began beating much faster than normal as he saw what his Uncle was looking at. “Sibfla!” His hissed softly.

“Ugly fuckers aren’t they.” Danny spoke. “And watch your language boy.”

Fedor lifted his eyes and looked at his Uncle with a sarcastic gaze before bringing his eye back to his scope. “Sharp boney protrusions from their heads. Bone plate covering half their face. Large eyes.”

“Yep. Ugly.” Danny spoke. “He’s the leader.”

Fedor focused his scope on the alien who appeared to be doing all the shouting and giving orders. His arm was pointing in different directions and then dozens of the creatures would sprint off.

“He’s sending flanking teams Uncle.” Fedor spoke quickly.

Danny nodded. “He sure is.” Dan answered. “And you don’t send flanking teams unless you plan on attacking a target.”

“That is the general disposition of forces.” Fedor spoke.

Danny glanced at Fedor. “Stay calm boy. Remember your training. And keep your psychic shield with Dnom in place. Anything happens to you and your father and mothers will cook my nor if I live.”

“I ... I am frightened Uncle.” Fedor stammered looking at him.

Danny nodded. “Good. Me too. It will keep us sharp. Just remember who you are. Let the fear flow through you but not control you Fedor. Just like your father and I taught you and your sister. You get into a bind ... you send Dnom to the sky, you shift and haul ass!” Fedor took a deep breath and nodded his head.

“I won’t leave you.” Fedor said.

“Leave me?” Danny spoke. “Sibfla boy ... I’ll be right behind you!” Fedor couldn’t help but grin. “Just imagine you are chasing Iama’s ass. That will get your blood pumping. She’s got a tight little ass.”

“She is an upaee!” Fedor spat.

Danny nodded and sighted through his scope. “Yep! But she is an upaee with a fine ass! Makes you wonder what you could do with that tail of hers too.”

“Bah!” Fedor spat softly. “She would probably still be calling me man child or boy prince or something like that! I don’t know what I did to piss her off, but she is beginning to annoy me something fierce.”

Danny looked at him. “Yep! That’s how it starts!”

“How what starts?” Fedor asked.

Danny shifted on the ground. “Uh-oh ... here they come.” He spoke.

Fedor looked at him. “Uncle ... we still don’t know if they are hostile. Perhaps they think we are the enemy.”

Danny looked at him. “Well shit ... you want to stand up and fucking ask them?” Fedor met his eyes for a moment and then rose to his feet exposing himself. “Fuck! Fedor what... ?”

Fedor drew his K12 from the holster on his right thigh and fired a single shot into the air, the echo of the discharge reverberating through the trees and hills. He made sure his weapon was pointed skyward so as to appear as less threatening as possible. The single shot had the desired effect as all of the creatures that they could see, including the leader, came to abrupt halts and dove for whatever cover they could find. Fedor stepped higher on the log.

“We are not hostile!” He bellowed down the ridge, his keen wolf eyes seeing many heads looking in his direction. “We are Spartans from the Lycavorian Union and we come in peace!”

Danny looked at him from the ground. “We come in peace? What the nubous is that?” He exclaimed.

Fedor looked down at him. “I saw it in an old Earth movie that Eirene and I watched last week. It was quite good.” Fedor spoke. “The villain speaks these words just before he kills his victims.”

“Christ ... Marty’s got to keep you away from the Vid Room.” Danny gasped.

They could hear shouting coming from below and Danny peeked around the side of the log he was still hidden behind. “What are they doing?” He asked.

Fedor shook his head. “It appears my presence has confused them I think.” He answered. “They...”

A single booming shot rang out and Fedor was thrown backwards.

“Fuck!” Danny nearly screamed as he scrambled to where Fedor now rolled onto his back his eyes wide. “Fedor! Fedor!”

Fedor looked at his Uncle grimacing in pain. “Oh ... Uncle Daniel.” He hissed. “That ... that hurt!”

Danny looked at him wide eyed and then watched as he moved his hands away from the impact point in his upper chest. Danny watched as the single rifle slug fell away from the outside of the Mark IV ArmorPly leaving a medium sized dent in the armor. His heart nearly fell from relief. “No shit it hurt! You just got shot! Have you lost your nubous mind?” Danny barked. “What the fuck was that?”

Fedor began to push himself up. “I think ... I think I have just confirmed their intention.” He said reaching for his A4.

“No shit! What was your first clue?” Danny exclaimed.

Fedor looked up at him with a smile but that smile faded quickly when he saw one of the creatures rise above the log they had been using for cover, the strange looking weapon leveled at his Uncle’s back.

Danny saw Fedor’s eyes change instantly, saw his whole body tense and felt his scent spike off the charts. He didn’t have time to react as Fedor grabbed his Uncle’s shoulder pulling him to the side, his other hand bringing the A4 up in the same motion. Three shots rang out and Danny turned just in time to see the creature’s skull explode into a mass of red and gray as all three rounds impacted his oversized head and punched right through the boney plate. Danny’s would be the first of two lives Fedor Leonidas would save this day, and it would begin to build him a reputation of respect and honor that would carry him well into the future. It would also show one individual that perhaps he was not a child after all.

“Shit!” Danny barked as he rolled away and scrambled back to the log, Fedor beside him. He risked a glance over the log this time and could see the dozens of creatures dashing among the trees below. “They’re on the move!” He snapped.

“Father did say not to engage them until they engage us.” Fedor spoke. “I am reasonably sure we have established their intent and they did shoot me.”

“Fucking smart ass!” Danny spat. “No one is going to doubt whose son you are after this! Let’s stir the nest shall we?”

Both Danny and Fedor thrust their bodies around either end of the log and began to unload carefully placed shots downrange. The scopes on their weapons provided a Virtual Aim Assist and bodies began to fly. Martin’s voice began to echo in their ear pieces demanding a report and Fedor tapped his jaw quickly.

MedwanGai ... we are rather busy at the moment!” He snapped as he took another of the creatures through the chest and watched as his body flew back from the force of the 12.7mm kinetic round.

“I ordered not to engage unless they fired on us boy!” Martin shouted from his location.

“They did fire on us.” Fedor spoke. “I have the dent in my armor to prove it!”

“What? You’re hit?” Martin screamed. “Danny?”

Danny rolled to the side behind the log. “Yeah! Yeah! We come in fucking peace!” He shouted. “Not now! We’re busy!” Danny ended the conversation and looked at Fedor. “Time to go boy!”

“I agree.” Fedor stated.

“Get to chasing that ass!” Danny barked. “I’m right behind you!”

Fedor didn’t hesitate and in a silver/white flash of light the large dark blond wolf took his place. Almost three feet at the shoulder, Fedor was impressive in wolf form and his dark eyes watched as his Uncle shifted into an even larger black/brown colored wolf. Then the two wolves were kicking up dirt and leaves as their large paws propelled them with incredible speed back towards their encampment.

Iama turned from where she was positioned behind the large crates as Julie came up to her. “What is wrong?” She gasped. “What was that shooting?”

Julie shook her head. “They fired on Danny and Fedor!” She gasped. “Fedor was hit! I don’t know after that!”

“I told you!” Iama barked. “I should have gone with him! I...” Iama stopped talking as the large shadow swooped over them and Dnom settled to the ground in a rustle of air and dirt. She turned her head to look in the direction he had come from and her eyes grew wide when she saw the huge body of the dark blond furred wolf leaping directly at her over the crate. Three steps behind him was the even larger black/brown colored wolf following suit. Iama ducked down as Fedor leaped over the top of her and the crates and she whirled around to watch as they both skidded to stops and then two silver/white flashes of light later Danny and Fedor returned to their normal forms.

Julie rose to her feet. “Danny!”

“Start them out of here Jules!” Danny barked. “They’re flanking us on two sides and they got us outnumbered four to one!”

“What happened?” Julie demanded.

“We tried to communicate with them Jules and apparently they didn’t appreciate Fedor’s special introduction.” Danny spoke with a small amount of humor. Iama couldn’t believe his tone of voice. He acted as if nothing was happening around them. “They popped him in the chest.”

Julie looked at Fedor as he checked his weapon. “You’re hit?” She barked.

Fedor pointed at his armor. “It did not penetrate my armor.” He spoke. “I am fine. We need to leave Aunt Julie! Now!”

Julie glanced at Danny when she heard that command tone in Fedor’s voice and a look of acknowledgement and wisdom passed between her and Danny. A look that told her Fedor was everything Marty was in the leadership department.

Iama was still in shock at what she had seen. The boy prince was very large in wolf form, larger than most Lycavorians she had seen on the ARC ROYAL with the exception of the King himself and the transition between his forms had happened much more quickly than she had seen the others do. She glared at him however and finally rose to her feet and moved up to them. “I told you I should have come with you!” She popped at Danny.

“And you would be dead!” Fedor barked at her. “You have no armor!”

“They would not have shot at me fool boy!” Iama snapped.

“This is no time for arguments!” Danny snarled. “We have three minutes tops before they are on us! Get everyone moving Iama! Head them to the Loading Site! Go!”

Iama glared Fedor for a moment longer and then turned to run across the camp towards the primary defensive outpost.

“I will pack the COM gear and load it on Dnom!” Fedor spoke quickly before moving off.

Julie looked at Danny then stepping up to him. “Danny?” She asked softly.

Danny looked at her after changing his magazine. “He saved my bacon Jules.” He told her seriously. “Popped one of those fuckers in the head just as he was about to shoot me in the back. Three round burst center mass of the ugly fucker’s head. He didn’t hesitate or blink.”

Julie’s eyes turned to watch Fedor’s back as he moved towards the COM tent. “Another Leonidas son. Another leader.” She said softly.

“Fucking A.” Danny said. “We’re gonna need them too.” He looked around. “Tony here yet?”

Julie nodded. “Set up at the Primary.” She said.

“These fuckers are fast and shifty Jules.” Danny said as they began walking quickly. “If they get in the perimeter they’ll be all over us. Make sure we get the crew out before they get here.”

Julie nodded. “On it.” She said before taking off at a sprint.

Danny tapped his jaw. “Marty?” He spoke.

“Danny ... what the fuck is going on fervon?” He barked immediately.

“I’m sending our people to you Marty.” Danny told him as he walked quickly toward the primary defensive position. “They’ll be moving fast. These things are fast and they ain’t happy to see us. Fedor took one in the chest but his armor saved him. Then he turned around and saved my life fervon. He’s loading the COM gear. We’re coming at ya fast and heavy brother.”

“We’ll be ready.” Martin told him and Danny could hear the relief in his voice that they were ok.


SHOT!” For’mya screamed as she looked up from the co-pilot’s seat and listened to Martin in her implant.

“He’s not hurt!” Martin exclaimed. “They’re moving here now!”

MedwanGai ... he was shot!” Eirene protested as they were all connected into the same channel. “We must go to him!”

“They are evacuating now Eirene!” Martin hissed. “They’ll be here in minutes.”

“No! I must got to him!” Eirene insisted.

“Eirene don’t ... Eirene!”

For’mya glanced out of her cockpit side window frantically and saw her golden haired daughter motioning furiously with her arm. She saw a flash of light green scales and then Kdan was tearing in front of the cockpit lifting into the air. In a silver/white flash of light Eirene shifted into a golden furred female wolf and was speeding off into the timber, Miseo easily keeping pace with her using his inbred feline speed.

“Oh ... that ain’t good!” Endith stated as she watched what For’mya saw.

Nubou!” For’mya roared as she tore at her helmet. “Endy...”

“Go!” Endith snapped waving her hand. “Go!”

For’mya Leonidas was a pilot by trade, one of the finest in the Union, but what few people knew about her was that she had become an exceptionally skilled fighter as well. Daily sessions with Aricia and Isabella and Dysea had honed her combat skills to razor sharpness. Hours upon hours of instruction by Martin and Aricia had also turned her, Anja and Dysea into true Alpha female wolves. As graceful as they were beautiful in wolf form and just as lethal. Before hitting the end of the ramp For’mya had shifted into the large female wolf and was sprinting after her daughter and Miseo into the timber.

Martin reached the end of the ramp just as her tail vanished into the timber. He had sprinted to the STRIKER in order to stop her from doing what she had just done and he shook his head as he skidded to a halt.

“Shit!” He swore long and loud. “No one fucking listens to me anymore!” He tapped his jaw. “Pablo!”

“Here Skipper!”

“Up top Pablo! Unpack and launch G.O.D!” Martin snapped.

“Thirty seconds boss!” Pablo replied and Martin saw his form dash for the STRIKER from the side and disappear into the interior.

“You kill anything that gets close to my family Pablo! You hear me?” Martin snarled.

“Consider it done Skipper!” Pablo answered.

Torma! Isheeni! Get airborne and down to the beach! Make sure more of these assholes aren’t coming and take out those ships. Aricia, Aurith go after For’mya! Arzoal, Iriral, Helen and Dysea ... get the other adolescents on the KADENS now! Martin fired off the orders rapid fire. And god damn it ... everyone better start listening to me or I’m going to become real agitated!

You’re always agitated lover! Anja quipped.

You ... just get the damn people loaded Red! Martin hissed. We are not set up to engage in an all out battle with a bunch of reptilian looking goons!

I’m on it! Anja answered without a sarcastic comment, realizing by his tone that Martin was very upset about not being able to engage in the fight. She knew he hated to be out of the action.


“Dnom go!” Fedor shouted as he secured the final duffle of gear on Dnom’s back. “Drop it at the Load site and get back here quickly!”

Dnom trumpeted out his answer and lifted off into the sky.

Fedor turned and began sprinting for the primary defensive position. He leaped and careened over the stacked crates and landed next to his Uncle on the ground. Julie squatted next to Kenny with Iama beside Tony and looking over the top of the crates with wide eyes. “COM gear is secure and gone.” He spoke.

Daniel nodded his head. “Good job Mandri.” He stated. He looked at the ground and Tony reached over and slapped Fedor on the shoulder.

“You done good boy.” Tony spoke.

Iama looked back quickly. “If not for him we would not be in this position!” She snapped at Fedor with angry green eyes.

Danny stabbed his knife into the ground. “Ok ... enough! They’re coming from both flanks and head on. Tony ... you and Iama got left flank; Kenny and Julie right flank. Fedor and I will cover the front. They go down pretty easy but they’re fast as shit. Once they get close enough to our perimeter the right flank will have to close with the main body because of the cliff. That’s when we cut loose with the PGPs! We need to give our people at least five minutes to load out and extract.”

“They could go around us to the west!” Iama spoke quickly.

Fedor shook his head looking upward in the direction she had indicated. “The ridge to the northwest impedes their movement.” He spoke. “They do not seem to like the thick timber for they are avoiding it in their drive towards us.”

Danny nodded. “And the east is a straight drop of two hundred meters or more.” He said. “No ... Fedor is right ... they’re going to come straight at us with tight flanks.”

“How many did you tag?” Kenny asked.

Danny shook his head. “Twenty ... maybe twenty-five.” He spoke. “We...” Danny looked up as he saw the flash of movement coming from the loading area and suddenly Eirene’s wolf form came into view, Miseo keeping pace with her. Just behind them Danny saw For’mya and Aricia in their wolf forms and then the three women were shifting their forms and skidding to halts behind the defensive crates, Miseo landing smoothly next to Julie. Danny grinned at them. “Welcome to the party!” He exclaimed.

For’mya and Eirene ignored him as they moved directly to where Fedor sat.

“Fedor?” Eirene gasped.

“I am fine sister!” Fedor complained. “You and mother should not have come. It is not safe!”

“You were shot!” For’mya exclaimed as her hands began to roam over his upper body and finding the dent in his Mark IV easily. The material was already beginning to return to its original shape. “Don’t tell me about safe!”

Fedor took her hands. “Mother! I am fine!” He said.

“I told you to be careful!” For’mya snapped at him.

Iama snorted. “See?” She hissed. “It is the act of a child to not listen to his mother!”

Aricia’s azure eyes went to Iama and her pureblood nose kicked in. Her eyes grew slightly wider as she realized that Iama’s scent reeked of attraction to Fedor. She glanced at Danny. “Daniel?”

Danny nodded. “Yeah ... I know. Not something we can worry about now though.”

Aricia tilted her head slightly. “Kdan and Aurith say they are moving closer. A hundred meters. They can burn the trees.”

Danny nodded. “Do it!” He hissed. “Fedor ... take your sister, Miseo and your mother with you and jump to the next position. Aricia will cover the front with me.”

For’mya looked at him. “Daniel ... how many?” She asked.

Dan met her gaze. “Too many for us to do anything other than hold for two minutes and then run like hell! Two minutes people. Then haul ass!”

The strange screams began as two Firespitter dragons swept in over the western side of the position and cut loose with searing streams of flame directly into the thin timber and setting dozens of the creatures ablaze instantly.

Whatever they were, they came at them with little regard for their own lives. The PGPs had a store of three hundred rounds per gun and the 20mm chain guns could fire it all in a matter of seconds. This they did, in short controlled bursts that chopped the creatures into hamburger. When the guns ran dry nearly two hundred of them lay scattered about the treeline. The creatures burst over the top of their fallen brethren then, horrible screeches filling the air as they began to rush the defensive positions.

“They are insane!” Miseo screamed as he let loose with a long sustained burst that brought four of the creatures down.

Thirty seconds!“ Danny’s voice filled their implants.

Eirene reloaded her K14 KM and began firing around the side of the crate, picking her shots like her mother. “They are almost on us!” She shouted.

Fedor dropped back down after emptying his A4 and ejected his magazine, ramming home a new one. He glanced at his mother. “Medwaw!” He barked watching as she slammed another magazine into the spare A4 that Julie had tossed her.

“Down to one mag!” For’mya announced before rising slightly and beginning to pick her shots with relentless fortitude. Anger gripped For’mya, for these creatures had shot her son, no matter that he was unhurt.

Fedor turned and was about to lift over the crates when he saw one of the creatures make an unbelievable jump and land on the crate just above Julie who was reloading. His eyes grew wide as the creature let out an unearthly screech and the boney plate covering half its face split open to reveal rows of tiny sharp teeth and what could only be a tongue of some sort that was easily fifteen or sixteen inches long. The creature reached down and grabbed Julie by her head, that tongue snapping out to graze her cheek and trying to force its way into her mouth. Julie’s eyes went wide, but she was a seasoned soldier in every respect.

“Fuck!” She screamed reaching up and grabbing the tongue like appendage and ripping her hands downward.

The appendage gave way easily enough and tore free from its roots showering both her and Danny with sickly looking pasty white blood. As the creature roared out its agony Danny lifted his A4 and shot it four times in the head flipping the creature back off the crate and three meters back.

“Fuck this! That thing just tried to tongue fuck me!” Julie screamed. “Let’s get the fuck out of here!”

“They are around us!” Tony roared as he laid down a withering field of fire with the Mini-Gatlin Laser. “They are breaking for our people!”

“There’s too many!” Miseo echoed.

“Pull back!” Danny shouted. “Move! They’ll catch the last of our people if we don’t go now! Evac! Evac!”

Fedor looked at his mother. “Mother go! Eirene too!” He barked. “Miseo and I will cover you as we follow!”

“Fedor you...” For’mya began to protest.

“Mother ... go now!” Fedor screamed at her his dark eyes determined and unquestioning.

Eirene could feel the resolve of her brother and the command tone of his voice and she quickly dashed to where their mother squatted. She grabbed For’mya’s hand knowing her brother would not fail and knowing that For’mya had heard the inflection of his voice as well. His confidence filled her as well and she yanked on her mother’s arm. “Medwaw we must go! Now!”

For’mya met her eyes and saw the concern for her and she swore to herself. She should have seen it coming weeks ago in the way they acted with her. They would not leave her in danger and they would face down any enemy in order to protect her. For’mya saw it in Eirene’s eyes and it was so very evident in Fedor’s eyes. They would die before allowing her to come to harm ever again. She gripped Eirene’s hand and nodded. “Right behind us!” She screamed at Fedor.

Fedor nodded. “I have no desire to stay and entertain mother!” He shouted back coming to his knees and beginning to cut loose with his A4 as Miseo moved up beside him and together they began to mow down more of the creatures.

Two silver/white flashes and then For’mya and Eirene were tearing away in wolf form, their paws barely touching long enough to leave a print as they ran downhill.

Fedor! Dnom’s voice echoed in his head.

Fedor looked skyward. Burn in front of us brother! He barked out. As hot as you can make it!

“Fedor now!” Danny screamed at his nephew and Fedor nodded.

Miseo grabbed his arm with one hand. “Now Fedor!” He snapped as Dnom came in a hundred meters in front of them and his stream of flame set a dozen of the creatures ablaze while laying down a line of fire in front of his retreating Bonded Brother.

Fedor rose up and nodded. “Go! Go!” He exclaimed as he pushed Miseo ahead of him.

Miseo didn’t hesitate and began to sprint away, Fedor digging in his combat boots and beginning to follow. He saw his Uncle and the Master Chief tearing away from their position as well as he ran and he was just about to shift into wolf form when he noticed Iama scrambling around the ground near her body as if she was looking for something. Fedor’s eyes grew wide as he saw two of the creatures leap over the line of flame Dnom had laid and land on the crates. Iama whirled around and screamed as one leaped down upon her.

“Iama! NO!” Fedor screamed his eyes wide.

Savage fury gripped Fedor Leonidas then and with a howl of unbridled rage he ran straight for where the creature was now beating his arms down upon an obviously stunned Iama. Fedor had no idea what came over him, but he allowed the rage to engulf him and his wolf eyes burned with hatred as he ran. When he reached ten meters from where she was Fedor Leonidas leaped into air and was shifting before he had even fully left the ground.

For’mya and Eirene were racing side by side down the ridge, almost identical in size and color. Their powerful hind muscles propelled them at great speed, so fast that they were closing on a group of five creatures who had managed to get around behind them and were chasing the slowest members of the Processing Group that were running for the Landing Zone. For’mya quickly spied the running figures of three females and two male elves who were trying to keep them between them.

Mother! Eirene screamed out within Mindvoice.

I see them! For’mya barked.

We will not reach them in time! Eirene rasped as her paws dug harder into the ground trying to go faster.

Faster Eirene! Shift just before we reach them and use your weapons! For’mya shouted out as she dug her paws in harder and moved faster.

Even as they ran they were witness to two of the creatures dragging down two elven females from behind. Even though they struggled and screamed trying to beat the creatures off, Eirene and For’mya watched in horror as the bone plates on both creatures lifted, exposing those small teeth and tongue like appendages. Those tongue appendages shot out amazingly fast and plunged into the open mouths of the two females. The creatures faces drew close as their tongues bulged the necks of the women as they were shoved deep into their throats. Filled with horror and anger For’mya began shifting even as those tongues began to move and For’mya could see bulges constrict the female’s throats as if something was being pumped into their stomachs. They were nearly inert now, quivering as the creatures continued to plunge those tongues into their throats. Her eyes detected two creatures bring down one of the males in front of them, but For’mya was already committed.

For’mya and Eirene were shifting before they even came to complete stops. As she took her elven form, For’mya was reaching for her K14. When she got within three feet she lifted the weapon and fired four times point blank into the creatures head. The impact of the rounds tossed the creatures off the elven female, its tongue appendage whipping out from between her lips as his body flew back. For’mya pumped three more rounds into the disgusting animal before dropping beside the elf female who was holding her throat and gasping for air.

Eirene shifted back and simply stepped up to the creature atop the female and grabbed its head in anger. She twisted violently, using all of her inbred elven and wolf strength and the creatures neck could be heard popping in the forest. Eirene wrenched even harder, yanking its body off the elven female, its own teeth biting through its tongue in place. Eirene didn’t hesitate or watch as the body flew to the side and she bent over the elf female and grabbed the slimy appendage, tearing it out of the elf’s mouth and throat and hearing her gasp for air and begin coughing.

“Mother!” Eirene screamed out as she helped the female get to her feet. “We have to help them!”

For’mya looked up and saw the last creature had caught the third female elf. “Get her to the Landing Zone Eirene!” For’mya barked back.

“Mother ... the others are...”

“Your father and mother will save the others!” For’mya snapped as she bent down and began to haul the elf female to her unsteady feet.

Eirene’s eyes shifted and grew wide as she saw the massive black shape racing towards them through the trees. Eirene had seen her MedwanGai in wolf form before on the ARC ROYAL during their lessons, his majestic size and power always captivating to her and Fedor. She had never seen him in his wolf form and moving as he was now however. His speed was unlike anything she had ever seen, his massive paws propelling him forward but seemingly never touching the ground. His raven black fur was glossy and shiny with health and even now she could see the riveting muscles bunched and tightly corded within his chest and hind quarters as he ran. With a howl of savagery the likes of which she had never witnessed Martin fell on the two creatures that had brought the man down. One was about to stab his tongue forward into the man’s throat when a four inch wide paw smashed across his reptilian face and black, razor like claws removed the lower half of his head in a single swipe. His tongue appendage included. Eirene watched with adoring love as her MedwanGai skidded to a stop, turned instantly using his bushy tail, reared up on his hind legs and shifted back to his human form.

The second creature hissed evilly at her father and leaped towards him. Eirene stared in unabashed awe as her father simply stood there and reached out with his hand, freezing the creature in mid-leap within the grips of his Etheric power.

“These are my people motherfucker!” Martin screamed in anger, spittle flying from his lips. “And you can’t have them!”

Martin’s left hand rose and a shimmering psychic diamond appeared instantly. He then launched the psychic diamond from only sixteen inches away from the creatures face, its tongue flapping wildly in the air between them trying to reach her father. The psychic diamond struck the creature just below its large eyes and blew its head into oblivion. With a simple wave of his hand Martin tossed the creature aside and released it from its Etheric prison. The body sailed through the air to smash against a large tree as he knelt next to the elf male. Another flash of movement and Eirene saw a smaller raven wolf leap through the air and land upon the fifth creature who had injected its tongue appendage into the last female’s throat. Aricia Leonidas was just as capable and even faster when in wolf form. She was the largest of Martin’s Queens when she was a wolf, now easily a hundred and sixty pounds of muscle and teeth. Aricia was also the most feral and unforgiving of her mothers when she wanted to be Eirene knew.

And that was right now.

She tore open the creature’s chest with her talons without hesitation, hearing it howl and begin to rise. As it did Aricia slashed down with her right paw and severed the creature’s tongue from its mouth, drawing even more howls of agony. She leaped away to land and then shifted into her human form, the psychic knife exploding from her clenched right fist. She didn’t hesitate and stepped up to the dazed creature and drove the psychic knife into its skull until her knuckles met its skin. She twisted her fist and Eirene watched the creature’s body go rigid as Aricia solidified the psychic knife in the monster’s head. She yanked her arm free quickly, leaving a gaping and smoking hole in the skull of the misshapen monstrosity, spit on the body of the creature and turned immediately to the elven female.

Martin had pulled the man to his feet and turned to For’mya and Eirene as they rushed up with their two elven females. “Get to the loading area!” He shouted. “Take them! Go!” He screamed. “I’ll cover the rear!” He looked at the elf man and handed him his A4. “Go with them and cover them.”

The man nodded quickly. “Thank ... thank you Milord!” He gasped as his hands tightened on the weapon.

“From now on, all of us go armed!” Martin told him and the man nodded.

“That seems to be the prudent course of action sire.” He stated breathing heavy in a combination of fear and adrenalin.

“Get moving! Go!” Martin spoke as his eyes turned and he found Aricia some hundred meters distant.

Daniel, Fedor and the others were right behind us Beloved! She snapped out in Mindvoice.

Saaraurano ... have Anja check them when they get back! Martin told her. Something about these fucking things has me worried.

Aricia nodded. I saw it as well.

I’ll wait for Danny and the others. Go.

Aricia didn’t question him and helped the elf female to her feet and began heading back to the Landing Zone.

Martin looked into the distance and saw more wolf shapes moving nimbly towards him. He began moving towards them. “C’mon Fedor my boy.” He whispered as he shifted back into wolf form and began to sprint.

Iama was in trouble and she knew it.

The creature had stunned her when he leaped upon her, her head banging into the ground with enough force to bring stars to her eyes. She had enough presence of mind to role onto her back and then she saw the foul monster on top of her, its mouth opening and she saw the tongue appendage. Her green eyes grew wide and her hands snapped up to try and hold the creature back by its shoulders as she realized what the disgusting beast wanted to do.

“No!” She screamed. “No!”

The beast used its hands to slam down on her arms, the pain shooting through her limbs and she could only withstand two blows before her arms gave out and she screamed in pain. With a roar of approval the beast reared back its head and its tongue shot forward with dazzling speed.

“NO!” Iama screamed knowing what was coming and suddenly unable to act. Iama did not want to be assaulted by this beast. This putrid monster. She had suffered too much in her life to reach this point. Been tossed aside so casually by so many. Tolerated too many foul monsters of her own species that had forced themselves on her for her to accept some reptile looking beast to have her. Iama also didn’t believe she was going to survive this encounter or have the strength to fight for long so she did the only thing she could think of. With a last surge of strength she heaved upwards with her hips trying to throw the creature off in the hopes that she could free herself enough o begin running.

That is when she heard the savage growl and she saw him.

A flash of dark blond fur and corded muscles, and then a silver/white flash of light and Fedor Leonidas was there. Only one thing popped into her mind at that moment and that was he had come back for her. Iama watched with wide green eyes as Fedor’s hand snatched out and caught the creatures tongue centimeters before it would have plunged down Iama’s throat. With a savage cry of anger Fedor ripped upwards and the tongue tore free from its roots, showering both of them with white pasty blood. As the creatures roared in pain Fedor grabbed its head in his large hands and physically ripped him off Iama before tossing him several meters away. The creature was fast as it righted itself and landed on its feet, its bloody mouth opening again to let out a screech of rage. Iama watched with awe then as Fedor Leonidas reached up to the strange bandolier he wore across his body and suddenly a slim and lethal looking knife was in his hand. In that same instant Fedor’s arm snapped out with blinding speed and the knife covered the distance to the creature in the blink of an eye, striking it in the eyeball. The force of the thrown knife flipped the creature over backwards, landing on its belly.

Fedor turned and was reaching for Iama. “Time to go!” He screamed.

Iama’s mind cleared instantly at the tone of his voice and she was scrambling to her feet. “My pad!” She cried out. “I dropped my pad!”

Fedor looked at her and even in the midst of the blood and gore all around them Iama shivered as those beautiful wolf eyes fell on her. “You are not worth losing over some fucking data pad!” He screamed at her grabbing her arm. “Let’s go!” He pushed her towards the evac point. “Go!”

Iama, still surprised at his actions, broke into a run just as Fedor looked down and saw a glint of metal. He reached down and snatched the data pad from under the dusting of dirt beneath where she had been laying and rose back up to see three creatures sprinting after Iama. With a howl of rage he shifted once more and was sprinting after Iama. He closed quickly on the closest creature, taking note that Iama had unwrapped her tail from around her waist as this allowed her to move with incredible speed and agility. He leaped, his right front paw smashing into the head of the closest creature and crushing his skull with a sickening sound. As his paws hit the ground again he was running, digging his paws in lightly, propelling himself with his hind legs just as his MedwanGai had taught him and Eirene. His wolf eyes were mindful of everything around him as he came up on the second creature and jumped once more, stopping only long enough to drive the monster to the ground and rake his hind claws across its back. He didn’t break stride as the creature howled and squirmed on the ground.

Iama knew the creature was just behind her and it would be upon her before she could get to the safe area. With a burst of determination and anger for a reason she didn’t understand, she whirled around to face the monster just as it leaped to fall upon her. Iama’s tail snapped up and with vicious precision it wrapped around the creature’s arm and wrenched to the side, slamming the smaller beast to the ground beside her. Iama fell on the monster with a scream of rage, pummeling it with her fists. Iama’Juturi was not weak by any means, she was a Kavalian after all, and her blows were incredibly painful and the fourth one shattered the creatures jaw and one side of its face. As she raised her arm to land another blow, Fedor was shifting in front of her while still running. His powerful arm reached out and snatched her up as he ran by without breaking his strike or slowing down. Iama was only five foot four and barely over a hundred pounds while Fedor Leonidas was easily six foot one and two hundred plus pounds. As she felt his arm close around her waist, Iama instantly released her tail from around the creature’s and let Fedor’s momentum carry her back. With all the grace of her feline nature, she scrambled up and over his back and her feet came down on the ground beside him in a running motion. What she didn’t realize was that she had not released his hand in the entire motion and she gripped it tightly even as they ran.

Fedor let his nose guide them, his MedwanGai’s strong mint smell easily pulling him forward. In seconds he saw his father in the treeline, his eyes watching them and waving his arm frantically as he stood beside his Uncle Danny. In another fifty meters they were beside him and they skidded to a halt.

“What the fuck!” Martin screamed at him. “You stop to sight see boy!”

“No time to scold him now!” Danny barked. “Let’s di di mau! Like right fucking now!”

They looked behind Fedor and saw more of the creatures running through the timber towards them.

Sibfla! Move!” Martin shouted grabbing Fedor and shoving him toward the Landing Zone.

Fedor looked behind them as well and saw what had to be dozens of the creatures closing on them. “Shit!” He exclaimed pulling Iama with him as they began to run again.

“There!” Aricia screamed from the rear of the STRIKER’s ramp as she saw them running across the huge clearing where they had set up the Loading Zone. Aricia’s azure blue eyes grew wide when she saw dozens of those creatures burst out of the treeline just behind them. “Pablo! Now!” She screamed.

“Got it!” His voice filled her implant. “G.O.D. is on station!”

Aricia looked up into the sky at the sound of a heavy gun report and she saw the remote guided gun platform move into sight. The Guided Ordnance Delivery platform was mounted with a mini fifty caliber cannon and atmospheric thrusters. The God Gun Platform as it had been named was the result of a tinkering job by Julie and Collin in their off time. It was only two meters tall and one meter long but it was a devastating piece of armament. There were three of them on each STRIKER and everyone could operate them easily, Pablo just seemed to have a special knack for it. Aricia watched with satisfaction as Pablo brought the God Platform low to the ground, barely above the heads of her beloved Martin and the others and the mini chain cannon began to spit concentrated death, mowing down the foul creatures in droves as they burst from the treeline.

Aricia turned back towards the cockpit. “Endy! For’mya! Take off now!” She shouted, though her implant transferred the directive in a more subdued tone.

The surge of the engines told Aricia they had heard her and the STRIKER began to rise slowly off the ground just as Fedor and Iama reached the edge of the ramp. He scooped her up and literally tossed her the last five feet and she landed nimbly on the ramp just in front of him. Martin and Danny jumped off the ground as the STRIKER got to three meters height and they landed on the ramp easily just as Endy fed more power into the engines and they began to rise further. Iama stumbled forward as Fedor turned to look at his MedwanGai and Uncle. His eyes grew wide as two of the creatures landed on the ramp. They both screeched loudly, causing Martin and Danny to turn with Fedor, all of them pulling K12 KMs. One creature sent his tongue shooting out towards Martin.

Martin’s hand moved faster than could be followed and he grabbed onto the slimy tongue appendage before it got close to his mouth.

“Get off my fucking ride asshole!” Martin screamed before pulling the trigger. Danny and Fedor joined him and the two creatures were perforated with at least nine rounds apiece, their bodies flailing madly as the ramp continued to rise and tossed them about. Both fell dead, their pasty white blood staining the deck.

“They even smell bad!” Danny snarled.

“Kick their carcasses off my ship!” Martin growled as he reloaded his K12. “Endy ... get us to five thousand feet and we’ll do an in-flight recovery of Torma and Isheeni over the water.”

“Will do!” Endith’s voice echoed in his ear implant. “Hell of a morning Skipper!”

“You got that right.” Martin answered. “Pablo ... have God follow us out over the water and we’ll recover it then.

“Already moving bossman.” Pablo’s voice answered.

“Wait!” Anja called out as she moved back to the rear with them. “Don’t kick them out!” She barked. “Make sure they are fucking dead and then bag them Danny! Intact!”

Martin looked at her as she came up. “Red?”

“They injected several of our people with those tongue things lover and I want their bodies. I want their carcasses as base variables to make sure I find out if we are going to have problems.” Anja said.

“They ok?” Martin asked looking at the three elf females that had those tongues shoved down their throats. They were sitting on a bench; all of them still in shock had what had just happened.

Anja nodded her head. “They seem to be right now. I’m quarantining them when we get back aboard. I’ve already contacted Duewa to set it up. Just to be sure.”

Martin nodded and looked at Danny. “Do it!”

Anja turned to Fedor. “Take your armor off.” She ordered.

Fedor met her eyes. “Mother ... they did not stick their tongue down my throat.” He said.

“You were shot igord!” Anja popped. “Take your armor off! I want to make sure nothing else besides your head is broken.”

Fedor grinned and saw his sister and mother moving towards them. Eirene didn’t hesitate and walked right up to her brother and slugged him in the chest. “Reckless fool!” She yelled at him. “What were you thinking going back?”

Fedor glanced quickly to where Iama was now sitting on a bench and one of the medics was running a medical scanner over her. He turned back to his sister. “I ... I had to go back.” He said. Eirene saw where his eyes went and she moved closer to him.

For’mya picked up on this right away and her dark eyes went to Martin. His gaze touched hers and he gave her a slight nod. For’mya took Fedor’s arm then. “Let’s get your armor off.” She stated.

“Mother ... I can do it myself.” He complained.

For’mya met his gaze. “Just like you follow orders right?” She spoke sternly. “Your sister and I will make sure this time. Dnom is not happy with you either! You better talk to him before we reach the ARC ROYAL.”

Martin watched For’mya draw him to the side with Eirene and he stepped back to where Danny and Tony were rolling one of the creature’s bodies over next to a body bag. “Danny?” He said softly.

Dan looked up from where he was squatting. “He saved my life fervon. He saved Iama by going back for her.” Danny told him knowing what Martin wanted to hear.

“You can smell why he went back for her.” Martin said.

Danny nodded. “Yeah ... but what matters is he didn’t hesitate. He tried to make contact and they shot him Martin. He’s got ice in his veins Marty. Cool under fire no matter what. Sort of like your ugly ass, he’s just better looking.”

Tony grunted. “Seems that runs in the family.” He spoke with a grin.

Danny looked over at Fedor. “You think he realizes why he went back for her?”

Martin shook his head. “I don’t think he has a clue.” He answered. “I’ll talk to him when we get back to the ship. Res and Arrarn had the same issue ... and I’ll need to let him know what’s going on inside him.”

Danny nodded his head. “He done good Martin. He done real good. Eirene too. A lot better than most rookie’s first time out.”

Martin looked back to where For’mya and Eirene were fawning over Fedor now and he nodded his head. “It’s only the beginning.” He said turning back to them. He motioned to the dead creatures. “Cut that fuckers head off. Same with his partner. I don’t want them waking up anytime soon. Anja can yell at me later.”

“Can we watch?” Tony asked with a smile.

Danny laughed. “It’s always fun to watch Red chew you out. She does it so well.”

Martin couldn’t help but laugh now as the adrenalin began to bleed off now that they were safe. He had some things to do when they returned and he needed to talk to Wayonn about them.

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