Wolf and the Cat. (7)
Chapter 1: Wolf and the Cat Constrained

Caution: This Science Fiction Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Fa/Fa, Consensual, BiSexual, Heterosexual, Science Fiction, Oral Sex, Squirting, Slow, Violent, Science fiction adult story, sci-fi adult story, science-fiction sex story, sci-fi sex story

Desc: Science Fiction Sex Story: Chapter 1: Wolf and the Cat Constrained - In three years of residing on the planet Elishen, Eric Wolf thought he had learned everything there was to know about the Dizyntk. He is about to uncover a dangerous secret from their past however. One that even the Dizyntk themselves had done their best to try and forget. (Note: No sex in the first chapter. It will show up though.)

The starship Lupus Rising had entered the uninhabited system located in the middle of the Second Star Cluster in order to attempt repairs on a malfunctioning star drive. That he had managed to make it to this system at all was something of a miracle, Eric Wolf knew. He hoped for a continuation of this good fortune as he looked for a planet to set down on. He had traveled much farther into Dizyntk space than he had intended, or than his operating permit from the Imperium allowed. This was due to the malfunction that he hoped to fix, but he was not sure if the Dizyntk authorities would understand that or not. He also had no real desire to find out. Hopefully he could land, fix the ship, take off and then get back to where he was supposed to be before anyone found out.

Eric had lived with the Dizyntk for three years. In that time he had learned their language and a good bit about their society. He had been an assistant pilot aboard the transport that brought him to the Imperium. It was because of his piloting skills that he had decided to acquire a private courier ship of his own as soon as he could. He had finally gotten the Lupus Rising just six months ago. It was an older ship and needed work, but that made it affordable. This was the first time that anything serious had gone wrong with it however.

"Terrestrial type planet detected." the ship's main computer said in its soft feminine voice. The voice could be programmed to sound a variety of ways, but Eric found this one pleasing.

"Class of planet?" Eric asked the computer.

"Insufficient information for certainty at this distance, however initial scans suggest Dizyn class atmosphere." the computer responded.

Eric found this to be very worrisome. He knew that he was in the large tract of space in the middle of the triangle formed by the Ashal-Kendant/ Elishen/ Kalantk systems. According to all his charts there were no inhabitable systems here. Gas giants, ice balls and airless rocky planets were all that orbited any of the stars in this sector. At least that was all that was supposed to be here. He knew that there was no chance that an inhabitable planet could have been overlooked this deep in Dizyntk space. That meant that the Dizyntk knew it was here and had decided to leave it off the charts for some reason.

He could not think of why they would want to do that. He was pretty sure he did not want to find out but this decision was taken out of his hands. The only other planets in the system were two massive gas giants. The remainder of the scans showed only small asteroids. With his star drive not functioning properly he did not dare get too close to the gas giants. This ruled out any of the moons orbiting them. He reluctantly set course for the mystery planet. He also had nowhere else to go until the drive was fixed.

"I guess that means I'm going to find out why they've hidden this planet." he muttered to himself unhappily. "I just hope that the reason doesn't kill me."

It took Eric two days to reach the planet and he did so just in time. As he passed over the small moon orbiting it, his ship's star drive gave out completely. Fortunately he was close enough that the ship's conventional engines could get him to the planet in another two days. It was annoying but it gave him time to closely examine the planet as his ship approached.

The ship's sensors and computer had already told him that the planet was at the outer edge of the system's habitable zone. Therefore most of the planet was locked in ice the entire year. The planet's equatorial zone, however, was quite capable of supporting human or, of course, Dizyntk life. This zone was mostly ocean, although there were several small island chains dotted around it. The islands in question were tiny ones, no larger than 3 or 4 km² for the most part. As he had come into orbit, he did find one that was considerably larger than these. Located right on the equator, this island was about 350 km².

The entire time he was approaching the planet, he had been on the lookout for ships, satellites, space stations, anything at all that would be protecting the planet and take measures against him for being here. There was nothing. This made any reasons for the apparent hiding of the system all the stranger. This just made him even more worried. Granted, the planet was not completely habitable but it was still not on the official Dizyntk space charts and that was VERY strange for any planet with a breathable atmosphere regardless of its overall habitability.

As he was pondering the overall weirdness of the situation, the computer chimed in with another piece of odd data.

"Energy signature consistent with a Dizyntk power generator detected on the large equatorial island." it informed him.

"Communications?" he queried.

"I have attempted hailing on all known Dizyntk frequencies. There has been no reply." the computer responded.

"Son of a bitch." Eric muttered under his breath. He was even less happy about this new development, and he was quite unhappy before. He then took a deep breath and began to take the ship down towards the island. Happy or not, he knew that he had to land someplace to effect repairs and this strange planet was the only game in town.

The Lupus slid gently through the atmosphere and raced quickly towards the island where the power signature had emanated from. As they approached the island, Eric could see that it was covered with a lush forest. His sensors told him that the temperature on the island was 18° C.

"That's probably summer temps for the place." He thought to himself with a slight chuckle.

His cameras showed a clearing on a plateau on the north end of the island large enough to land his ship and so he did exactly that. After the vessel came to rest, Eric just sat in his seat for a couple of minutes. He was still waiting for the other shoe to drop. There had to be a reason this planet had been left off all official maps and Eric knew that it could not be a good reason. He took another very deep breath and got up to start trying to repair his ship.

Actually the ship's automated systems would do the repairs. The main reason that it had been necessary to land was that to take the star drive offline for repairs meant completely powering down the ship. The computer and the small auto-repair bots had battery power good for two weeks. Every other system, however, would be down. Theoretically one could do the repairs in space, life support also had a two week backup supply, but it was much safer to do when landed. After an hour, the computer gave him the estimated time for repairs. It would take eight days to complete.

There was really nothing for Eric to do while the repairs were underway, so he decided to go check out the power source the sensors had detected earlier. It lay two kilometers to the north and it was the only clue Eric had as to what was going on with this planet. He strapped on a sidearm, a canteen and a machete and started walking. As he got to the edge of the clearing, he could see what was left of a paved path. It was overgrown and crumbling, obviously it had not been maintained in some years, but it was definitely there. This only added to the knowledge that the Dizyntk knew the planet existed. As Eric looked at the deteriorated pavement of the footpath, he thought, "At least they used to know it existed."

This was a possibility that had not occurred to him. What if the Dizyntk had simply lost track of the system and had forgotten about it. It seemed unlikely to Eric that this would happen but he supposed that stranger things had occurred. He proceeded down the path, only occasionally having to use the machete to clear some of the overgrowth, and eventually reached a much smaller clearing than the one he left. The clearing lay at the top of a cliff overlooking the ocean that stretched away to the horizon in front of him. It was a beautiful site and he would have happily looked at it for a while longer had not the other thing in the clearing caught his attention. The walkway turned to his left through the clearing and proceeded to a small temple. It was smaller than any of the temples that Eric had seen on Elishen or Trellken, but it was unmistakably a Temple of the Goddess of Dizyn. It was in fairly good shape, although it was covered with vines on one side. It almost seemed out of place, as if it had been transported here from someplace else. It gave Eric the willies. It was then that he heard and saw a small round maintenance robot slowly cutting the grass around the building.

"So that is what some of the power is for." Eric said to himself. "But what is the rest for?"

He knew that powering a few robotic maintenance devices would not require even a tenth of the power that the sensors had indicated. He slowly approached the Temple with his hands held out in front of him so as to show anyone watching that he meant no harm. He was still very confused about everything. The absence of the planet from the star maps, the obvious evidence that the Dizyntk knew about the planet, or at least they used to, and the complete lack of any response to his being here. He half expected the mowing bot to be a disguised security bot that would challenge or attack him as he approached. It did neither. It just continued to slowly manicure the lawn in what appeared to be a 50 meter perimeter around the temple.

"I guess now I know how Alice felt." He muttered to himself as he reached the door of the temple. He took hold of the handle and pushed down. The door was unlocked and opened easily.

The interior of the temple was laid out in a manner similar to other Dizyntk Temples Eric had visited in the three years that he had lived on the planet Elishen. There was a layer of dust on the floor and all the furnishings and fixtures which suggested that nobody had been in the building in quite some time. In one corner of the main room he saw a vacuum bot that had apparently stopped functioning years before. He slowly walked through the temple looking for any signs of habitation. He found nothing until he reached the back of the building in a room just off of the kitchen.

There were two things of interest in the room. When Eric opened the door, he immediately saw the control station for the maintenance bots as well as a control panel for other systems. It appeared to be turned off so Eric went to activate it. As he did so, he noticed the second feature; a door set into the far wall of the small room. It was a security door by the looks of it. Eric walked to it and felt all around for a handle or opening switch and was unsurprised that he did not find one. Security doors, in addition to being heavy and thick, were rarely operable by any means other than a remote switch. He walked back to the console and found a covered lever marked "Containment Facility Entrance". He had not seen anything in the entire temple the even remotely resembled a "containment facility". That only left whatever was behind the security door.

"Containment for what?" Eric quietly said to himself.

Eric's curiosity was now getting the better of him. It was even obscuring his previous trepidation and so, without even really thinking about it, he lifted the hinged cover pulled the lever down. A muffled grinding sound ensued that he readily identified as heavy bolts sliding down into the floor. The instant the grinding sound stopped, the door slid slowly to the right into a recess in the wall. Right behind the door he could just see the top of another security door just like it. Once again the grinding of heavy bolts that locked the door in place dropping into the floor could be heard. He got up quickly to go to the entrance and watch. This door slid to the left when it opened but yet another door was behind it. Their ended up being six doors in total down the length of the corridor. Eric's jaw had dropped open as soon as had seen the third and he was unable to recover until several seconds after the last door opened. These were heavy tungsten/iridium alloy security doors, each about 20 cm thick. Nothing short of a battle cruiser's main batteries or a heavy missile could punch through even one of them. The most secure facilities he had ever heard about used two. Yet somewhere at the end of the downward sloping corridor revealed by the opening of the doors was something that the Dizyntk felt needed six of the damned things to contain. Eric's trepidation was back in full measure.

He stood at the entrance of the corridor. He looked down its ten degree slope and could see, thanks to lights that had come on when the doors had opened, that it extended about a hundred meters. He took another deep breath, drew his sidearm from its holster and proceeded to walk carefully down the sloping hallway.

"Well, Alice, time to see what's down the rabbit hole." he muttered to himself as he started down.

As he approached the bottom, he could hear the soft hum of electronics operating along with the background thrum of some type of pumps. He reached the bottom and stood there for a minute to take it all in. The room was about six meters deep and the same across. It had large numbers of pipes and power lines all across the ceiling as well as the back wall. There was a small control console standing just a meter or so in front of him. In the very center of the room was the object that was seemingly the point of the room's, and presumably the entire temple's, existence. It was a large metal cylinder that was two meters long and one in diameter and it sat on a support that held it a meter off the ground. In addition, it seemed that all of the numerous tubes and power lines were attached to the cylinder. Try as he might Eric could not figure out what he was looking at as he walked up to the control console.

He merely touched the console and all of the displays lit up. He could not make any sense of the readings he was looking at. As he scanned the console he saw switch marked "Suspension Unit Cover Open/Close" and a covered red button marked "Suspension Unit Deactivation". He flipped the switch marked Open/Close and the top two-thirds of the cylinder slid upwards revealing the transparent tube enclosed by the metal. It was filled with a clear viscous looking liquid and suspended in the middle of it all was a female Dizyntk with numerous wires and tubes attached to her body. Eric suddenly realized what he was looking at. It was a suspended animation device. The readouts were the Dizyntk's vital signs but they were slowed down so much that he had not recognized this at first. He looked back at the monitors and was able to figure out which one was the heart monitor. Her heart rate was about one beat every two minutes. In effect she was still aging but at only one/one hundredth the normal rate. He also saw when the last time the console had been accessed; 122 cyankas previously. She had aged only a little more than a cyanka during the 122 she had been in there.

This explained the power supply situation. Eric knew that all known suspension techniques required a large amount of power; which was the main reason that starships did not use them. His ship's power generator would only be able to keep one or perhaps two people in suspension and only if the star drive was not used. His fascination over his discovery had temporarily led him to forget one important thing but this had come back to him. The facts lined themselves up in his brain; an uncharted planet in the middle of Dizyntk settled space with only this building on it and SIX heavy security doors between this room and the outside. All of it to hold one Dizyntk female that was being kept in suspension to boot. He searched carefully around the room and, sure enough, there were no other doors. This room was it, the sole raison d'être for this place. Eric returned to the console and just stared at the cylinder and the Dizyntk inside it.

"Just how dangerous could one Dizyntk possibly be?" he wondered aloud to himself.

He had considered deactivating the unit and taking her out when he first saw her, but now he was having reservations. Having lived with the Dizyntk for three years he was aware of the incontrovertible fact that the Dizyntk were, as a whole, not prone to irrational fears. If a group of them had gone to all this effort to contain this one Dizyntk then they probably had a pretty damn good reason. Perhaps he should not be too hasty in deactivating the suspension unit. That being decided, Eric decided to see if he could find anything about why the Dizyntk was being held here.

"I have eight days to kill after all." he thought to himself, "What else do I have to do?"

It took Eric two days to painstakingly go over everything in every room in the temple. In the end he had found that the temple had been constructed by the Nebula Order, an Order from Kalantk according to the documents he found. He had never heard of the Nebula Order but that was unsurprising. There were probably a couple dozen religious orders in existence at any given time among the Dizyntk. In general any humans that were living in Dizyntk territory, or indeed a majority of Dizyntk for that matter, were aware of only four of them. These four were the Star, Silver, Ivory and Jade orders. Together they contained 65% of the priestesses in the Imperium and their members could be found on every world the Dizyntk occupied. They were known collectively as the Major Orders. The other twenty or so were the Minor Orders and few, if any, existed on more than one or two worlds. Even on these worlds it was not unusual for most Dizyntk there to be unfamiliar with them. But that was all that Eric found. He could find nothing that referred to the Dizyntk being held below. Apparently if you didn't know, you didn't need to know.

On the third day, Eric was reviewing the control consoles while trying to decide if he should take the Dizyntk out of the tube or leave her there. Specifically he was going over the diagnostic reports. This was what would end up deciding things for him. He was still mulling things over in his head when he got to a series of reports starting twenty cyankas earlier. There were, apparently, defense systems located on the Island that should have targeted and fired on the Lupus when it tried to land without a clearance code. There were also a slew of automated upkeep devices on the island. That report from twenty cyankas ago reported a problem with the power generator. Its output was dropping; slowly, steadily, but it was dropping. The automated controls had standing orders to preserve the life of the "containment subject" before any other considerations. It had, therefore, begun to shut down systems in order of their power consumption. The security systems went first, then the various maintenance bots in descending order of use. The mower bot he had seen earlier was, in fact, the last of those bots still running. This was mostly because it had a solar charge backup built into it. The last part of the report was a countdown to the estimated time the generator had left before the life support systems to the suspension chamber would go offline. It currently said that there were 2 cyans left before that happened. The cyan was the Dizyntk month and was about 34 days long. Eric considered this for a moment and decided that he had to let her out.

He walked down to the containment facility and looked carefully at the female Dizyntk inside the tube. She did not look particularly dangerous. If anything she looked downright normal for a Dizyntk. She had long blonde hair that was feathered out around her in the viscous fluid she was suspended in. Her body fur was the same color with just the barest hint of a slightly darker blonde swirled in. The ears on the top of her head, the 61 cm (2 foot) long tail and her height of about 148 cm (4' 10") were pretty average for a Dizyntk. If anything she was just a tad shorter than average. He did know one thing though; in two cyans she would be dead. He knew he could get to a Dizyntk world in time for someone else to come back and decide whether or not to let her out, if they believed him. If he did that and nobody came back then her death would be on his conscience. That was something he did not want. He had lived with the Dizyntk since that day when the refugee ship he had been on, along with five other Baker Class transports had been allowed to land on the Dizyntk world of Elishen. He had come to like the Dizyntk in that time. He had several Dizyntk friends, including a couple of Dizyntk females that were more than just friends on occasion. With those thoughts running through his head, he flipped up the cover over the deactivation button and pushed the red button.

There was suddenly an alarm sounding as well as lights flashing slowly on and off. A Dizyntk voice came over the speakers. "Warning. Warning. Deactivation has been requested. Security doors have not been sealed. Push deactivation button again to confirm." Eric pushed the button again. "Deactivation confirmed. Beginning deactivation of suspension unit."

The liquid in the suspension tank began to drain away; as it did so, the Dizyntk inside gently descended to the bottom of the tank. As soon as all the liquid had been drained, the transparent top slid away. The intercom voice returned. "Beginning resuscitation procedures."

While this was happening something was nagging at the back of Eric's mind. He knew he was forgetting something, overlooking something obvious. While he was trying to think about this, the Dizyntk's body arched as the system hit her with a jolt of electricity. All he could do was stand there and watch. There was nothing at al he could do to help. His medical knowledge was minimal at best. But watching her like this took his mind completely off what he had been trying to remember. Her heart began to beat at a normal rate. The system removed the breathing and feeding tubes. She began to cough and breathe. Eric whipped off his jacket as he approached her. He intended to wrap her in it and carry her upstairs to the bed in the living quarters of the Temple that he had been using the past two days. Just as he finished wrapping the coat around her however, her eyes flew open and she looked at him in confusion for a second. Right as he began to say something she shrieked and tried to push him away. That was when Eric remembered the obvious thing that he had overlooked. If she had been here for 120+ cyankas, then she would have no idea what a human even was.

He felt and heard her growl and saw the intense silver flecking in her sapphire eyes begin to sparkle and glow with what looked like lightning running between the flecks. Suddenly he felt something slam into his body and throw him across the room where he hit the wall. He hit pretty hard and fell to the ground, ass first luckily. He was woozy and his body hurt all over. He was still conscious but only barely. His vision cleared just in time to see her sit up. She looked down at the jacket he had wrapped around her. She then looked over at him.

"What are you!? Why do you have a coat with writing in Dizyntilin!?" she asked while shakily trying to stand. Eric was having a hard time talking and his vision was blurring again. He reached his hand to the back of his head and it felt warm and wet. His vision cleared momentarily as the Dizyntk screamed at him. "ANSWER ME!!"

There was suddenly something like an explosion right next to him. He slumped down the wall and looked back up at it. Right next to where he had been sitting there was a hole, a meter in diameter and just as deep, punched into the wall and surrounding rock. His vision blurred again and this time began to darken. He had wondered how dangerous one Dizyntk could be. All he could think before he lost consciousness was, "Ask a stupid question..."

Eric woke slowly. His head was killing him and he did not really want to open his eyes, but he did anyway. He felt battered and bruised. He guessed he must have hit the wall harder than he thought. He slowly, painfully, sat upright as he wondered where the Dizyntk had gone. He did not have to look far. She was sitting against the opposite wall almost concealed in the shadows of the wiring and tubing there. As he looked at her he saw her eyes start to glow again.

He put up his hands as quickly as he could. "Whoa, whoa, whoa. No need to throw me against another wall. I don't think I'd survive it." He said quickly in Dizyntilin. He put his hand to the back of head to see if he was still bleeding and felt the bandage that had been put there. He smiled at her and said, "Thanks for patching me up."

"What are you?" she asked, much more calmly this time.

"My race is called human. We are from a planet called Earth. That's about, oh about eighty light-cyankas or so from Dizyn. At least that's what I hear." he answered in a light tone of voice.

"How do you speak our language? Why do you have Dizyntk clothes?" she asked. Her voice was steady and neutral as though she was forcing herself to stay calm.

"My people and yours have known of each other for almost fifty cyankas now. Although we have only gotten along for..." He trailed off as he saw that she had her head down and was shaking.

"I take it that I was unconscious for a while." he stated. She merely nodded in reply.

"Long enough for you to read the computer logs for yourself?" he asked, although he already knew the answer.

"Why?" she asked softly. Eric was confused as to what she was asking. "WHY DID THEY LEAVE ME HERE???" she screamed as large pieces of the equipment in the room tore apart and slammed into the walls with such force that they imbedded themselves.

Eric sat very still as the objects seemingly threw themselves around the room. He knew that it had to be this Dizyntk doing it although he did not pretend to know how. There were stories about some Priestesses having mental powers, even a human like himself had lived with the Dizyntk long enough to hear those. The rumored powers were described as affecting someone else's mind though, nothing like what he was witnessing now. As he sat there, he watched as the objects slowed and then dropped. The Dizyntk was now curled in a ball on the floor crying. Eric wanted to try and comfort her, but was unsure if approaching her would be a good idea. He had not been joking when he commented about not surviving another impact with the wall. He decided that some discretion on his part was in order.

"I would like to come over to you, if that's alright with you." He said as he shakily got to his feet and used the wall for support.

The Dizyntk looked up at him through the tears still streaming from her eyes. She merely nodded and tucked her head back down. Eric slowly walked over to her. He walked slowly for two reasons. He did not wish to frighten her and he was still unsure of his balance. As he did so he went over everything he knew about social etiquette among the Dizyntk. The Dizyntk were a matriarchal society. This was understood by most humans who knew anything about the Dizyntk since the Imperial Throne was passed down through the female line. It went deeper than that however. It even extended to social interactions. Males were expected to be polite, conscientious, and sometimes even subservient to females in a social setting. A male was certainly expected to get explicit permission from a female before touching her in any overly friendly manner. This last rule was only applicable to interactions between strangers of course. More to the point, any male who ignored these rules did so at his peril. A female slashing out with her claws at a male who overstepped his bounds was considered acceptable. A male trying to retaliate was considered to be committing assault. Seeing as how Dizyntk females outnumbered their male counterparts by almost two to one, they were perfectly capable of enforcing these social rules.

Normally Eric would not be overly concerned about this. On Elishen, if he made a mistake in this area with a Dizyntk, he would either receive a mild scolding at best since he was a human or a scratched arm or face at worst. He could well imagine what this Dizyntk might do to him given the state of the room now. He sat down at a respectful distance from her. In this instance, since they were complete strangers to each other, that meant outside of arms reach. He lowered his head slightly to her, although he never took his eyes off her. To do so would be to imply that he did not respect her fighting ability and would be considered extremely rude. Whether she actually had any fighting ability was beside the point.

"My name is Eric Wolf. I apologize if I frightened you earlier. I am also concerned that you are distressed. I do not know if I can help you in any way, but I would like to try." He had not spoken this formally to a Dizyntk, male or female, since the first year he was on Elishen. He had learned that in most social settings it was unnecessary. He had decided however that he was taking no chances with this girl.

She raised her head again and looked at him with curiosity. She had been suspicious of how well his race knew hers. But his statement to her was perfectly worded, just like the priestesses would have taught. They would have been quite pleased to hear it recited this way. She had never heard any Dizyntk over the age of 8 or 9 cyankas talk like that however. She almost smiled at the humor of it. She wiped her eyes as her tears receded.

"I am Veenalara Thersin. I am Faylantkrana." She said with a sad smile.

Eric had no idea what Faylantkrana meant. He considered his knowledge of Dizyntilin to be good but this word escaped him.

"Faylantkrana? What is that?" he asked her.

Her eyes widened a bit in surprise. "Surely my people tell the tales of my kind, the tales of what we are capable of..." She lowered her head and almost whispered, "The awful things we have done."

"If they do, they have not shared them with me." he told her.

She raised her head and looked at him. "The warrior priestesses no longer tell the tales at the Temples during the Day of Remembrance?" She asked in a tone of disbelief.

"Warrior priestesses?" Eric's mind raced. He had never seen a Priestess of the Temple bearing arms of any kind. In fact, he had been told that they could not. He had asked why and had been told...

"This may be a bit hard to believe, but there are no warriors among the Orders any more. At least that is what I have been told." He told her.

She laughed softly. "And just how is such a thing possible? It would take a major social upheaval to change something like that."

"Like a 24 cyanka civil war? One that united Dizyntk space under the rule of one House, one Empress?" he asked her.

Veenalara's eyes widened at this information. That would indeed cause major changes. "The last time I was awake, I was told that they might use me in the war that had begun because of the Felsank and Trendala Houses trying to consolidate all of Dizyntk space. They were currently fighting House Asarazyntk and they had suffered some unexpected setbacks. I did not want to go to Ishalitk and cause more suffering, but I was told I had no choice. They put me back in the suspension chamber and told me they would be back for me. That was the last thing I remember before seeing you."

"Who were "they"?" Eric inquired, although he was not sure if that would help. Dizyntk history was not his strong point, which was to say that he knew very little of it.

"The House that owned me, House Therazanik." She replied. "I had been born into a minor family of the House and they were the ones that trained me in the use of my powers; they and the Nebula Order of the Temple."

"Well, I am unfamiliar with House Therazanik or with the Nebula Order." Eric told her. "However, I do know that the Asarazyntks won that war and the entire civil war as well."

"How is that possible?" She asked in disbelief.

"I do not know. My knowledge of your people's history is limited. I do know that the name of the Empress is Laynathera Asarazyntk. That would pretty much say who won I would think." Eric said.

Veenalara closed her eyes and nodded. If this alien was speaking truthfully about the Empress then that would indeed say who won. She smiled at the thought of the smallest of the Noble Houses defeating all the others. Her eyes flew open as she remembered one other thing.

"I believe you, Human. Only a victory by the Asarazyntks could have had the effect on the Orders that you have described." she said with a smile.

"Why is that?" He asked.

"Because theirs was the only House that refused to use any of its priestesses as warriors. Their Duchess felt that the job of the Orders was healing, not fighting." she answered.

Eric nodded in understanding. At the same time, he winced as pain from his injuries flared up a bit.

"Speaking of healing," Eric said. "Can you make it upstairs without any help?"

Veenalara looked puzzled. "Upstairs?"

"Unless you want to sleep on the floor down here." Eric told her. "Personally, I am going to hobble up that hallway and climb into the bed I have been using. My body feels like hell and my head is killing me."

He watched as she looked hesitantly at the hallway leading up to the surface. She almost seemed afraid. "I am not sure if that would be a good idea. I have never been outside without the Priestesses escorting me. I was told there were security devices."

Eric smiled. "I would not worry about that. Even if there were such devices, the computer shut them down cyankas ago when the generator started losing power. It had to because you were its priority,"

The smile quickly vanished from Eric's face. He just realized that since the suspension chamber was now shut down, there was plenty of power for other systems. The rush of adrenalin allowed him to jump to his feet and run up the hallway. As he ran he yelled back to Veenalara, "Stay there until I check the security systems!"

Eric looked at the displays on the main console and could see that, yes, the computer was now using the extra power from the shutdown of the suspension chamber to reinitialize the other systems. The security systems had just come back online. He looked around and could see nothing where he was at. He approached the hallway to the suspension chamber and a silver ball descended form the ceiling. He recognized it immediately as a security drone. He drew his weapon quickly a fired at it. Luckily the drone's shields were not fully charged and Eric was able to destroy it on his third shot. He could hear an alarm sounding form the console behind him. He turned briefly to look and when he looked back down the hallway, another drone was already turning to face him. He fired once and then dove as the drone returned fire. The energy blast missed, but just barely. There was a smoking streak along the side of shirt and the flesh underneath felt like it was on fire.

"Now what the hell do I do?" He said to himself through clenched teeth as the pain coursed through his body.

Just then, he heard an explosion in the corridor. He peeked around the doorframe to look and saw the second drone smoking and crumpled like a piece of foil on the floor. He also saw Veenalara walking up the corridor. Another drone slid from the ceiling. Before it could even fire it was slammed into the wall hard enough to cause the drone to explode. Eric was worried that the computer might shut the security doors again and yelled to Veenalara, "Run, before the doors close."

She did so, at least as well as she could. Such a long period in the suspension tank had not done her muscles any favors. Eric covered the corridor with his weapon just in case any more drones appeared. Just as Veenalara approached the top of the hallway, a drone slid out from a side wall and positioned itself right behind her. Eric had no shot, but Veenalara was close enough for another tactic. He jumped at her and knocked her sideways into the wall just as the drone fired. The blast hit Eric on his right shoulder and slammed him back to the floor. The searing pain was his last sensation before losing consciousness.

Eric slowly opened his eyes. He looked around as much as he could while lying still on the bed. It was night and he only just recognized the room as the one he had been using while sleeping at the Temple. He was unsure of what had transpired after he had been shot. He could only assume that Veenalara had destroyed the drone and somehow gotten him to the room. He tried to sit up but was prevented from doing so by the sudden pressure from the arm draped across his chest.

"Do not try to get up. You still need much rest." came the whispered voice from Veenalara.

He turned his head all the way to the right and could just make out the she was lying right next to him. He could also see the dressing on his shoulder. He knew that he had to be under the effects of some serious painkillers. This was the only explanation of both the lack of pain and his next comment.

"How did something as tiny as you get me in this bed? Now if I had been awake, you would have had a very easy time getting me in bed." he said in a slightly slurred voice.

Veenalara looked slightly shocked at the human's innuendo. She closed her eyes briefly to repress a snicker, then leaned over and planted a soft kiss on his forehead.

"I will let that slide seeing as I have given you a large amount of painkillers. Now go back to sleep." she said. She nuzzled gently against his side and went back to sleep herself. It did not take long for Eric to fall asleep either.

Eric awoke the next morning with a bit of a headache. He knew it was the kind he got from sleeping too long. He sat up and grimaced as the pain from his shoulder reminded him of his "heroics" the previous day. He went over everything that he could remember since then, and it was not much. He winced as he recalled his statement to Veenalara while he had been drugged up. He quickly felt his face and satisfied himself that she had not given him four across the cheek for his flirtatious remark. He also remembered that she had snuggled up to him. Now Eric was well aware of the Dizyntk predilection for snuggling as they slept, but they were not known to do this with perfect strangers, especially alien strangers. The again he was also aware of how much value the Dizyntk placed on scent. If she had found his scent to be agreeable then she might have ignored the fact that he was perfect stranger. She had not done anything with him other than sleep next to him after all. Eric thought as hard as he could for several seconds and reassured himself that this was indeed all that had happened last night.

Veenalara walked into the room with some food. The gardens that had been planted on the east side of the temple had gone wild over the preceding hundred cyankas but there had still been identifiable edibles located there. She had had absolutely no confidence in her abilities to catch any game with her muscles in the shape they were currently in. Therefore she had gathered what berries, vegetables and roots that she could find and prepared them in the temple's kitchen. In truth she had gathered quite a bit and Eric saw that there was probably twice as much food as the two of them could eat.

"That's quite the feast you have prepared." he said to her.

She tilted her head to the side as she looked at the large platter she was carrying. "Really? I thought we might need more considering that we have no meat."

Eric laughed at the thought of them needing more. "I think that we will have a hard time finishing all of that; meat or no meat."

Veenalara gave him a haughty look and said, "Food is a blessing from the Goddess. We WILL finish it all." As she sat the platter down on the bed.

"Asta katheela kineet." Eric said with a bow of his head. This was a traditional Dizyntk saying before, and sometimes after, a meal. It basically meant "thank you for the food." From what Eric understood, it used to be followed by Treantk, which was the Dizyntk word for the Goddess. Over the centuries, however, the last word was dropped as all Dizyntk understood that it was the Goddess you were thanking for the food and not the host. You could specifically thank the host afterwards if you were so inclined but it was not considered necessary.

Veenalara looked at him quizzically for a moment after he said this. Eric noticed her look as his first bite of food was about halfway to his mouth.

He stopped in mid-motion and asked, "What is the matter? Did I say something weird?"

She smiled at him and shook her head slightly. "No, not at all. It is just hard for me to accept that my people have had contact with an alien race for some time now. When I was last awake we had never even met another race and now here you are, an alien, saying things which only my people would say."

Eric nodded in in sympathy for her feelings as he put the food in his mouth. She lowered her head and repeated the phrase Eric had said. She also began to eat at that point. After sitting quietly and eating for about five minutes, Eric decided to ask something that he had been curious about but had been unable to ask about yesterday due to the unpleasant interruption by the security systems.

He looked at Veenalara as he chewed his latest mouthful of food. After swallowing he decided to ask. "I never got a chance to ask you yesterday, but you said you were called a Faylan-something. What is that?"

Veenalara stopped chewing for a moment. She lowered her eyes and finished. She had hoped that he might forget that, although she was sure that he would not. She looked back at him, "Faylantkrana. The Orders have always trained certain priestesses to use mental abilities to ascertain whether or not an individual was being truthful as well as to coerce an individual into telling the truth. You know of this, yes?"

Eric nodded slowly. This was what the rumors said about some priestesses although he had thought they were just that, rumors. "I have heard that some of them are able to do so. To be honest I thought these were just stories told to encourage everyone to be honest with the priestesses in the first place. I got the impression from my Dizyntk friends that they thought this way as well. That being said, they all admitted to never having lied to a priestess."

Veenalara nodded in agreement. "Yes, most Dizyntk have never even seen the powers used, much less been subjected to them themselves. Even in my day the majority of Dizyntk thought the powers were just legends as well. Yet most had enough doubt that they would be truthful to a priestess out of reflex. I see that this has not changed."

"So you are saying that the powers are real, not just legends?" Eric asked

Veenalara nodded again. "Oh yes, they are quite real, although only about one priestess in a hundred has actually undergone the training required to be able to use these powers."

She closed her eyes and lowered her head. "I wish those were the only powers that I had. My powers are as far beyond those as a star drive is beyond a wind sail." she said softly.

She kept her head down as she continued. "You experienced some of those powers. The force that threw you against the wall, the equipment flying around the room and the security drone slamming against the wall hard enough to destroy it. These were but the tip of them. I had just awoken from a very long suspension and I was not yet in full control of my abilities yet."

She raised her head enough to look at his eyes. "You were probably wondering about the six security doors?"

Eric nodded, he had indeed been wondering about that.

Veenalara's eyes lowered as she laughed humorlessly and shook her head. "They would never have held me if I had tried to break out after waking. They were merely put there to slow me down enough so that they could either use gas or evacuate the oxygen in the chamber."

She looked back up and smiled at Eric. "Even I have to breathe, so that would have worked quite well."

Her head and eyes lowered again. "Faylantkrana. A living weapon. An abomination used by the Orders to destroy their enemies. A cursed one. A bedtime story used to scare children." She smiled a bit at this last one.

The smile vanished completely as she continued. "A creation of evil. A tool of destruction. A threat to all life."

She began crying a little. "This is what I am, what I was born as, what I was trained to be. Now I am forgotten even by those who feared me."

Eric just sat there in stunned silence for a minute. He was having a hard time accepting that this little Dizyntk had the mental power to rip through one security door, let alone six of the things. Yet he could not deny that she had been able to not only throw him across a room with her power but also partially dismantle said room. He also knew that she had done this just after awakening from a prolonged state of suspension. He now knew why the Dizyntk were afraid of her all those cyankas ago. That being said, he was now asking himself if he was afraid of her. Eric slid the tray of food to one side of the bed and crawled over to Veenalara. Just as she looked up to see what he was doing, Eric wrapped his arms around her and hugged her.

"If they were so afraid of you that they locked you away on this planet then perhaps it is a good thing that they have forgotten you. Wouldn't you agree?" He said to her.

Veenalara did not say or do anything for several seconds. Eric began to worry that he might have overstepped his bounds by hugging her like this. He was relieved when she slowly wrapped her arms around him and hugged him back. She replied to his question. "I suppose this is true; but what do I do now?"

Eric had decided that he was not afraid of this dizyntk, all common sense to the contrary. "You can come with me when my ship is fixed. Come with me to Elishen."

"It has been a long time since I have been to Elishen." She said with her face nuzzled against his chest. "Almost 3 cyankas." She laughed as she corrected herself. "I mean almost 125 cyankas."

Veenalara remained quiet for a little while after this and just let herself rest comfortably in the human's arms. Eric saw no reason to say anything until she made up her mind whether to come with him or not. He knew that she did not have to. The island they were on was perfectly capable of supporting her if she chose to remain on the planet.

She finally stirred a bit and Eric could tell by her body language that she wanted to ask him something that made her uncomfortable.

"What is it you wish to know?" he asked her.

She looked up at him with questioning eyes and smiled a little. "You have truly lived among my people if you are able to tell that I want to ask something."

"Two cyankas, as of three cyans ago." he told her.

She looked down for a moment before looking back up at him. "Are you not afraid of me? Even more so now that you know the extent of my powers?"

Eric smiled at her. "I have been asking myself that very question and the answer is, no, I am not."

Veenalara looked surprised at not only the answer but the unhesitating manner that it was delivered. Her eyes began to narrow in disbelief. Before Eric could defend his honesty however, this looked quickly vanished and was replaced by wide smile on Veenalara's face. She hugged him tighter and nuzzled against his chest again in a more enthusiastic manner.

"I take it that you believe me?" Eric asked with a bit of confusion in his voice.

She stopped nuzzling and laid the side of her head against him. "I believe you, Eric Wolf. It would be impossible for you to lie to me and I not know it when we are in such close contact."

Eric realized the implications of her statement and pushed her away from him slightly to look her in the eyes. "Wait, I thought you said your powers were different."

She smiled and replied, "I said that I wished they were my only powers."

She laughed at the look on his face. "You are a strange being indeed if my ability to adjudge the truth of your words is more worrying than my ability to throw you across a room with my mind."

Eric blushed in embarrassment at the truthfulness of this statement. It was indeed a silly thing to be worried about compared to the other powers she possessed.

He lowered his eyes and nodded in assent. "You are right; it is a strange thing to be worried about."

He looked back up at her. "Strange or not though, I am not afraid of you. I guess because I know that if you meant me harm you would have killed me when I was unconscious. Instead you tended my wounds. I do not think you are dangerous. Well, not any more dangerous than a battle cruiser."

Veenalara laughed again at this final comment. "Not any more dangerous than that, am I? Are you not afraid of a battle cruiser?"

"Not if I have done nothing to cause that cruiser to be shooting at me. I would be respectful of its power but not afraid of it simply because of that power." Eric answered.

"Just as I am not afraid of you simply because of your power." He said in a softer tone. He looked away from her at that point and said, just loud enough to be heard, "Besides which, you are a lot prettier than a battle cruiser."

Her eyes widened in disbelief. "Are you flirting with me, Eric Wolf?"

He turned back to look at her and thought for just a moment as to whether or not this was a good idea. A smile crept across his face as he decided that it couldn't hurt to give it a shot. Unless she took offense, then it might hurt a lot. From what he knew of the Dizyntk, however, she would not be offended.

"Yes, I am. Just a little." He answered.

He waited and got a promising result. Veenalara tilted her head slightly to the side and smiled a bit; a positive sign of amusement from a Dizyntk. "I will have to think on that, Eric Wolf." she said to him.

Eric smiled at her and asked, "If it is not too presumptuous of me, considering we have just met, please just call me Eric."

Her head straightened and the smile became a little wider. She nodded in assent. "Since I owe you my life then I would agree that we are on friendly terms. That being said you may call me Alara."

Eric was encouraged by this reply. Being able to use a Dizyntk's shortened personal version of their name was always a step in the right direction with them. He nodded in agreement with her assessment and looked over at the food he had slid to the end of the bed.

"A gift from the Goddess, huh?" He asked as he sized up how much was left.

Alara looked as well and nodded brusquely. "Yes, it is."

She grabbed the platter and slid it in between them again. "You must eat a lot to help you recover from the injuries I inflicted on you. I must eat a lot to recover form my long suspension."

That being said she began to eat with renewed vigor. Eric could only laugh a bit at her enthusiasm and join her in trying to finish off what was on the platter.

Over the following four days, Eric helped Veenalara with exercises intended to help her get reacquainted with her muscles. These were done throughout the day, with breaks only for meals. These were of particular distaste to Veenalara after the first day due to the lack of meat but she ate what was available. Eric had brought some dehydrated meat with him from his ship and while Veenalara agreed that this was better than no meat at all, she was not happy about it. This just encouraged her to redouble her efforts to get back into good enough shape to hunt. At the end of the fourth day, just before dinner, Eric received a message from his ship's computer. The repairs were complete.

He looked at the message on the screen of his communicator then back up at Veenalara, who was preparing their meal. She had still not given him an answer about whether or not she wished to leave.

"Alara." he said to get her attention.

She stopped her preparations. "Your ship is ready to leave." She stated matter of factly.

"How did you know?" He asked her.

"I heard your communicator beep. That is the first time it has done so. I cannot think of any other reason for your ship to contact you." She replied.

"You still have not responded to my offer to come with me to Elishen." Eric said.

She did not respond for almost a minute. She merely stood there with her back to him while thinking the matter over.

"I could live here for the rest of my life. The island has plenty of food and the Temple is a sturdy and comfortable place to live." She said in a neutral tone. It was as if she were trying to convince herself that it was a good idea.

"You would also be all alone, Alara." He observed.

"I have been all alone for a very long time now." She responded.

"That is not the same thing, Alara. You know that." Eric pointed out.

She went quiet once again.

Eric knew what the problem had to be. "You are frightened."

"I am not frightened." Alara said in a just audible whisper. "I am terrified."

Her entire body began to tremble. "I have been gone for over a hundred cyankas. Society has changed, customs have changed, and even the basic form of governance has changed. I do not know if I will be able to fit in any more. Not that I really did before. I know it sounds silly that I would be afraid of such things."

Eric walked up behind her and wrapped his arms around her trembling frame. "It does not sound silly at all." He said softly to her. "Would it help if were to say that I want you to come with me?"

Once more Alara was quiet for a few moments. "Why would you want me to come with you?" she finally asked.

Eric replied, "Because I think you would be miserable here by yourself; any Dizyntk would be. You have probably been miserable for along time, I realize that, but you do not have to be so any longer."

He smiled a bit to himself as he continued. "On a more selfish note, I think you are an attractive Dizyntk whom I would like the opportunity to get better acquainted with. If you stay here I will be deprived of that."

This last statement was just one step away from asking a Dizyntk to be your lover. Eric was well aware of this. He only hoped that the positive sign she had given to his flirting with her before would be of benefit now. He was rewarded when he felt her hands wrap softly around his embracing arms.

"We have only just met, Eric." She stated.

"I know that. If you do not come with me, however, then we will never know if we like each other well enough to be more than just friendly." He said.

Alara nodded her head in agreement with this. She released his arms and spun around in them to nuzzle his chest. After a few moments of this she nodded her head once more.

"Yes, I will go with you, Eric." She said with her face still buried against his chest. She then wrapped her arms around him and hugged him tightly. "Please take me away from this place."

"Are you ready to leave right now?" Eric asked her. "Or do you need to get any things together."

He was unsure if she would have any things here to bring after all this time. He felt it only right to ask however.

She pulled her head back and looked up at him. Surprisingly, she nodded. "Yes, there are a few things."

She looked back at the stove and the food she had been preparing. "Also we cannot leave until we eat our meal."

Eric closed his eyes and nodded. "Food is a gift from the Goddess after all."

She looked back at him and smiled. "That is correct."

The two of them ate their meal quietly. Eric could not think of anything else to say at the moment and Alara seemed content now that she had made up her mind. Afterwards, as she went to collect the things she wished to bring with her, Eric gathered up those things he had brought from his ship. This did not take him long and, when he had finished, he went outside to wait for Veenalara.

"I am ready to go now." He heard behind him after five minutes.

He turned and was very surprised to see her wearing priestess robes. They were of an older style than the current ones, as well as being of an unfamiliar color, but they were definitely robes of a Priestess of the Temple of the Goddess. Up until now she had just been wearing some simple clothing that had been sealed in a storage vessel in one of the rooms.

"You're a Priestess?" Eric asked.

Alara nodded. "Yes, I am. The training for any of the powers is only done on the planet of Lilac and only priestesses are allowed on Lilac. Is there a problem with that?"

Eric chuckled a bit and shook his head. "No problem really. I just never imagined I would flirt with a priestess."

She looked confused by this and asked, "Why would that be so strange?"

"Well, it is just that ... We humans believe that..." He was trying to think of a way to describe the way humans viewed priests and other religious figures in regards to sex and do it in a way that she would understand. He realized that it was an impossible task.

He shook his head quickly. "Never mind. Just a difference in culture between your people and mine. It doesn't change the fact that I think you're cute."

Alara smiled at this and walked down the steps to him. She was carrying a blanket that she had fashioned into a makeshift knapsack. He was unsure what she had decided to bring but did not really care. He took her hand in his and returned her smile.

"Well then, let's get going shall we." He said to her

She squeezed his hand and nodded. He could see that her lip was quivering slightly and knew that she was still a little scared. Yet she was obviously ready to be gone from this place. Eric decided that it was best to simply nod as well and start walking. He led her down the path that he had followed when he first arrived. He could hear her breath catch when she saw the disrepair it was in away from the Temple. He knew that it was confirming that she had indeed been asleep for over a hundred cyankas.

They walked quietly, just as they had eaten their meal earlier. When they finally arrived at the clearing where the ship was, this changed. As they entered the clearing, and Veenalara got her first look at the ship, she stopped walking and just stared at it.

Eric looked down at her. "Is something wrong?"

She shook her head. "Nothing, really. It is just that the only times I have left this planet, after they first brought me here, was to go and use my powers against other Dizyntk or train to use those powers. Afterwards I was always returned her and put back into suspension. I never really had a normal life after my powers surfaced."

"When was that?" Eric asked.

"When I was eleven cyankas." She replied. "Just old enough to know what a normal life was like. It would have been kinder if they had taken me as a child."

Eric gave her hand a little squeeze. She looked up at him and he smiled at her. "You never have to come back here again, if you do not want to. You have that chance to live a normal life."

Alara looked down at that statement. "I hope you are right, Eric. I hope that there truly is no one left who remembers me and no longer any records of my existence. I hope that I can be a normal priestess for the rest of my life."

Her head then came back up and she looked into his eyes. "But even if for some reason that is not possible, I want to thank you for at least giving me the chance to try."

She reached up, put her hand on the back of his head and pulled his face down as she rose on her toes and kissed him passionately on the lips.

After she had finished she said, "Now let us go. I am anxious to see the changes on Elishen since I was last there."

Eric could only nod. The two of them walked across the clearing to the Lupus Rising and walked up the stairs and into the hatch. Ten minutes later, the engines fired and the ship lifted off. They were on their way to Elishen.

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