Scavenger Hunt
Part Three

by

Rob

 

I might as well pick up this story a while after I left off the last one. For the nosey out there who just have to know all the gory, check that, glorious details here they are. There wasn’t much conversation between Fairchild and myself. We were too busy basking in the afterglow, following some truly titanic sex. There was, however, a lot of kissing and cuddling. We stayed that way until the drying sweat and sticking sand got too itchy to ignore. That was when we mutually decided to take a dip in the warm waters of the Carribean.

It was then that I discovered Fairchild’s playful nature. I had no sooner stepped into the water when those muscles that were every teenage boy’s wet dream were brought to my startled attention. I was picked up in those gentle hands and tossed a hundred feet in the air. I landed with a splash and a splutter and before I came up Fairchild was there. She engaged me in a super powered water fight and I think that we scared every fish for a mile around. I must admit that I was holding my own until she decided that it was time to dunk me under the water. There was no way I could compete with those bulging muscles. I went up and down like a yo-yo and each time I broke the surface I would hear her laughing voice say, "Uncle?" I didn’t give in because frankly, I was having too much fun. No, I resorted to dirty pool. I started tickling. You wouldn’t have thought that a super woman who regularly dealt with evil menaces would have been ticklish but you’d have been wrong. You just had to find the right spots and apply the right pressure. I was lucky. I found them the first time. For Fairchild it was the armpits and the back of the knees. There may be others but then I didn’t have time to fully explore. As soon as I got my beautiful blond tormentor in a compromising position I attacked. Fairchild began laughing uncontrollably and as I was plastered to her smooth strong back she could dislodge me without turning serious.

"Give up?" I asked.

"Never!" said Fairchild enjoying this new game as much as I was.

I gave my best impression of a maniacal B-movie melodramatic laugh. "Surrender," I said. "You cannot win. In the end I shall be triumphant."

"Very well you win, you evil man. What are you going to do with me?"

"I plan to have my wicked way with you my lovely," I said wishing that I had a mustache to twirl.

‘Promises, promises."

Fairchild and I did speak of more serious matters there in the blue water of the Carribean. She told me about her life and adventures. She told me about the various beings she had fought over the years and what she had learned through those fights. She also spoke of her life among the people of Earth and her interactions with them. Some of the stories were erotic and some were horrifying, while others were thought provoking. All were fascinating and they held me speechless until she was done.

Afterwards with a little prompting from Fairchild I spoke about my life. I didn’t think it was all that engrossing and I’d lived it. Yet, somehow this gorgeous Velorian Protector found my trials and tribulations as a young man and then a college student and a working professional absorbing. There weren’t any battles in outer space or encounters with dangerous aliens or fights to save the human race. It was just your normal, albeit dull, life of your typical nerd. Maybe that was it. Maybe it was the absolute normality which held Fairchild captive. It was not as if she had had a ‘normal’ life, far from it in fact. I guess that each person finds events that they haven’t personally experience fascinating. What’s old hat to one person would be new and intriguing to a stranger. That’s the way I chose to look at it anyway.

When we were done exchanging life experiences we got down to more serious matters. They were namely the Arions and their seemingly inexplicable interest in archeologists like me. Fairchild couldn’t explain it and I was just as baffled. It wasn’t like we were important in the grand scheme of things. We’re just antiquarians. It wasn’t as if we were scientists doing research on subjects that were deadly and therefore of interest to Arions or politicians who could be used as leverage to gain power. No, neither of us had the answer to that one all important question. Why? And both of us knew that there was only one way to get that answer. I don’t know who had it first, Fairchild maybe but if she did then she didn’t say it. I was the first to speak it out loud. This brought some objections from the golden water nymph at my side.

"Ross, you can’t even think about it," said Fairchild suddenly intensely serious. "It would be suicide."

"I don’t think so Fair. We both know how tough I am and I’m not even sporting my jackal’s head."

"Of course I know how tough you are," she said sliding closer to me and giving my shoulders a warm but not full powered squeeze. "But you’re not as strong as I am. Even when you’re the Jackal you still don’t have my level of strength. Do you?"

"Nope, not even close," I admitted cavalierly. "I’m stronger than an Arion. Prime is it? But when it comes to what lies behind this silky skin of yours. I can’t hold a candle to that."

"See!" she cried out triumphantly. "You may be all right one to one. But what happens when the odds increase to five and even ten to one. You’d be slaughtered Ross. I won’t let that happen to you."

"Fair, you don’t know how much it means to me to hear you speak like that. You’re the very first person who’s ever demonstrated that kind of concern about me. But you’re laboring under a little misapprehension."

"Oh, and what would that be?" she asked doubtfully.

I could see in her brilliant blue eyes precisely what she was thinking. Oh great, the macho male ego strikes again.

"You’re making the mistake of equating strength with power," I explained calmly. "There’s more to me than just my muscles you know."

"I know. You’re ability to translocate. I admit it could come in very handy but it’s hardly going to be of much use in a serious fight."

"Oh, I don’t know about that," I said taking Fairchild’s hand and leading her back to the beach. A demonstration was clearly called for. "I can think of a couple instances where it might prove very helpful. But I wasn’t speaking about that. There are other things that I can do when I have my jackal’s head."

The moment that I stepped back onto the sand I switched. This was the first time that I had stood next to Fairchild when I was all decked out like this. When she was completely sober that is. She was just a little intimidated by my appearance. I mean Fairchild is tall, 6' easy. Standing next to a guy who is 6'2" isn’t that big a difference but next to someone 6'10" that’s definitely noticeable. Throw in a jet black jackal’s head and I think you begin to get the picture.

"Tus Skietra Ross," she said in a hushed voice. "I see what you mean about having a look of dread."

"No kidding. Imagine how I felt the first time I saw myself. And I didn’t know then that I could get my old face back."

"It must have been very upsetting," Fairchild said running her fingers over my muscles and the ancient costume that partially covered them.

"Upsetting isn’t the word for it. I looked at myself and knew any hope for a social life had just been flushed down the toilet. But by then I was stuck."

"Ross, where do these clothes come from."

"I’m not exactly sure on that one. The way I understand it they’re part of my Wanderer form, as integral as my skin. When I change they appear because they’re supposed to appear. I don’t even think about them. They’re just there. Oh, remind me to switch back before we leave. I don’t want to change back into a naked Ross Archer back home."

"I don’t know. I kind of like that idea."

"Fair!"

"Oh all right, if you’re going to be a spoilsport I’ll remind you."

"Thank you. Now about that demonstration," I said scouting the island for appropriate targets. "You already know that I can translocate like this. I can also fly if I want to. But that’s not what I was talking about when I said that strength wasn’t the only measure of power. I was referring to force bolts."

"What are force bolts?"

"These," I said looking a stand of half a dozen palm trees, "are force bolts."

The base of the first palm tree exploded as the force bolt from my left hand hit it. The second was lifted from the ground and thrown fifty feet into the air as the bolt from my right hand hit the ground just below. The third I struck with a blast from my eyes. This was the most spectacular display of all as I put a little more energy into this shot. The entire tree disappeared and was blasted into a shower of wood chips.

"Pistu!" Fairchild said after the echoes died down and the wood chips stopped falling.

"Those are force bolts. And I don’t mean to brag but that was using just of the power at my disposal."

"How much more powerful can they be?" she whispered.

"I’m not sure. I’ve never tested my upper limits. I didn’t want to accidentally damage things like cities."

"I see what you mean about not equating power with strength Ross. So, you got any more tricks like that up your sleeve?"

"Well, there is the force dagger."

"Force dagger?"

"Here, I’ll show you," I said making a fist, "but they’re a little hard to see."

"You mean that little shimmer to the air in front of your fist?"

"That’s it. I thought about making it more visible but as it is it’s more of a surprise."

"Can I touch it?"

‘Go ahead but be careful. It’s sharp and pointed and I don’t know how powerful it is yet."

Fairchild gingerly extended her hand and stopped it about ten inches from my fist. Her longer delicate fingers ran along the edge of my nearly invisible force dagger. She whistled long and low when she reached my knuckles.

"This could be deadly."

"Tell me about it. This was how I got rid of that Prime I told you about. I slipped it between her ribs and . . ."

"Crushed her heart," Fairchild finished for me.

"Yes."

"I know how you feel Ross," Fairchild soothed. "It still happens to me. It’s what keeps us from becoming as bloodthirsty as the Arions."

"Thanks for saying that Fair."

"Ah Ross," said Fairchild playful once more, "can you change the shape of your force dagger?"

"I don’t know. I suppose so. What shape did you have in mind?"

"Oh, the same length but a cylinder about this size." Fairchild held her thumb and index finger about two inches apart. "And a blunt rounded tip at the end."

"Why would I want . . . Fair!"

"Mmmm, think of the possibilities."

"You’re a wicked shameless woman Fair," I said as the air began to get thick with those heavenly pheromones. "I like it!"

"Well, can you?" breathed Fairchild as she rose from the ground to look me straight in the eye.

"I guess so."

"Good let’s see. Oh, I forgot I can’t see them very well. Okay, let’s feel."

"Later Fair, we’ve got Arions to consider."

"Let them find their own dates. You’re mine."

"Fairchild!"

"You’re right," she admitted reluctantly. "We should be concentrating on the Arions. It’s just I’m having so much fun with you that I hate to see it end."

"I know Fair and I feel the same. But we have to. I’ll tell you what though. When we have the time I’ll demonstrate my new force . . . dagger for you. Sound fair to you?"

"All right, as long as you promise."

"You have my word. And we Wanderers are known for keeping our word. It’s our blessing and our curse."

"Good," said Fairchild giving my ear a little scratch before floating down to the sand again. "I’m glad that’s settled because there’s something that I’m curious about."

"What’s that?"

"These bracers of yours."

I looked down at the eight inch long silvery metal bands which encased both my forearms and the symbols which were engraved on each. Fairchild had taken the right one in her hand and was tracing the symbols with one slender finger. I watched fascinated as her nail scraped along the metal. She then took the bracer in her hand and squeezed as hard as she could. The muscles along her right arm from forearm to shoulder expanded along with the tendons and veins. She kept up the pressure for at least half a minute before letting go.

"Make a muscle," she said.

"Okay," I replied though I felt silly doing it.

Fairchild took my now larger biceps in her hand and squeezed. The pressure that she generated was enormous and once again demonstrated the new resiliency of my body. This little exercise lasted half as long as the first one. When she finally let go Fairchild had an enigmatic little grin on her face.

"Do you know what these are made from?"

‘Sorry, no. I didn’t think to ask. At the time I sort of had other things on my mind. Why do you want to know?"

"Well, they’re made of no substance I’ve ever seen before or even heard about. They don’t even flex when I squeezed them as hard as I could. I thought that maybe it had something to do with your body. But when I squeezed your arm it gave under the pressure."

"Just a bit," I said defensively.

"I know, which is also really remarkable," she said quickly assuaging my pride. "When I scratched it nothing happened. If they had been made of Vendorian steel there would have been a little gouge in them. But with these bracers nothing, not even a blemish."

"I see what you mean. They are different, aren’t they?"

"They sure are," Fairchild said floating into the air once more. "I’d just like to know how different. Hang on I’ll be back soon."

With those words Fairchild zoomed off over the Carribean. With my obsidian eyes I watched her go out for about ten miles and then disappear beneath the waves. I was just about to try looking under the water when she reemerged carrying a large boulder made of volcanic basalt. She carried the forty foot rock back to the beach and dropped it there. She was off again before I could even wave.

The second trip was longer and I used the time trying out my new muscles. I carried the large rock up from the beach where Fairchild had deposited it. It was a chore let me tell you. This thing was heavy and I grunted a bit as I moved it. Yet, for Fairchild it might as well have been a beach ball. Every time I thought I new how strong that lady was she did something like this and started me thinking all over again. Lord did she have muscles and the way they were arranged on her body made my eyes itch. And Fairchild knew it.

When Fairchild returned the second time she was carrying a smaller cylindrical shaped object. She landed next to me and banged the narrower end of the urchin encrusted cylinder into the sand so that it would stand on its own. I watched this dripping blond goddess and her rippling muscles with unabashed awe and a large amount of lust. I couldn’t smell her pheromones but then again I didn’t have to. Just the sight of Fairchild got my blood boiling. When she turned back toward me Fairchild smiled and then chuckled.

"Your panting," she said.

"Sorry, but you have that effect on me."

"Don’t apologize. I like it."

"That’s nice to know," I said giving her my best canine grin. "So, what’s all this for?"

"The test," she said walking over to the boulder. "I want you to hit this."

"Okay," I said making a fist.

"But only with your bracer," Fairchild said before I had started my swing.

I thought that it was a little strange but it was her experiment. My arm swung through the air whistling as it went. Even though I knew that I hit hard but even so the results were spectacular. The basalt rock was turned to gravel and dust. I thought that I would crack it and split it in two. Yet, nothing like this had ever even entered my head. When I looked at Fairchild she had this supremely satisfied grin on her face.

"Wow," I said and it sounded a little lame to me.

"Great. Now try this," Fairchild said taking the shell encrusted cylindrical object out of the sand. "This should be tougher."

"What is it?"

"It’s a bronze canon I found on the sea bed. Spanish, 17th century, but not from a major ship just a lone merchantman. So there’s no need to worry about destroying a piece of history. Plus there were still five more just like it down there."

"Sounds fine to me."

Fairchild placed the canon on two adjacent rocks and then stepped back. This time as I stepped up to swing I remembered what my old sensei used to say. Strike through the target not at it and I did precisely that. My arm was a blur and there was a deafening crack. Where there had been one encrusted bronze canon there were now two neatly severed halves. I did a little mental calculations and figured that there was about a foot of the canon missing. I never realized that I had that in me.

"That’s splendid," said Fairchild giving me a rough and thoroughly exciting bear hug. "I thought those bracers had a use beyond the purely decorative. They must help with the force of your blows. Not up to my standards." Fairchild puffed out her chest and I suddenly had trouble remembering my name. "But definitely better than a Prime. I guess you’ll do."

"Gee, thanks for that vote of confidence Fair."

"I’m sorry Ross. It’s just that I’m not used to standing on the sidelines like this."

"Don’t worry about it. If things go the way we hope you won’t be for long."

The Arion Destroyer Pride

Captain Forgan paced nervously back and forth across the deck plates of his ship’s conference room. Forgan was a veteran, a many times decorated officer of the Arion space fleet, and it was a rare thing for him to feel nervous. These were not normal times, however. Already the purges had begun back on Aria. Three petty bureaucrats had already been sentenced to slave labor and Sub Lieutenant Varn had been tried in absentia and sentenced to death. The sentence would be swiftly carried out as soon as he returned from his patrol. No, these were not normal times. Even with an airless void separating him from his superiors Forgan recognized the stench in the air. It was fear. The high command was terrified and they were taking their terror out on everyone around them. Yet, given the information in his top security orders Forgan couldn’t really blame them. He knew and understood why they were so afraid and knew also that if he failed then he too would suffer the same fate as the hapless Varn. The captain was brought out of his pondering by the chime to the conference room doors.

"Enter," he snapped.

The doors slid back to admit a shorter than average Prime woman. Despite her lack of size, only 5'5", she was perhaps the bulkiest Prime that Forgan had ever seen. It was as if someone had taken a normal Prime female of 6' and compressed her down by seven inches without taking away any of her muscle. It was a strange but not unappealing sight. She carried herself well and with a grace that belied her bulky nature. She was dressed as all Prime women in the form fitting black and red outfit with it’s customary gaps which revealed much of the skin beneath. What was unusual were the two silver stars denoting her rank as sub-captain, second only to Forgan in rank on the Pride. She was ZauSha the Pride’s executive officer.

ZauSha entered and stopped exactly four feet in front of her captain, as regulations required. She then executed as text book salute. This was ZauSha. Duty and military precision were the words she lived by.

"Report."

"Recovery team 4 failed to obtain their objective captain," said ZauSha crisply.

"Failed! How?"

"The report states that they encountered the Velorian Protector Aurora with the Terran sent to be obtained. The said Terran in a fit of panic jumped out of his office window. Trooper Drennat was sent to ascertain the extent of the Terrans injuries. Warrant Officer Ydra remained with the incapacitated Protector. Approximately thirty seconds after Drennat’s departure a creature appeared in the office. It hurled Warrant Officer Ydra from the office and took the Velorian."

"And the Terran?"

"Drennat found no trace of him under the window. Warrant Officer Ydra assumes that the creature saved him as well."

"Yes, this creature. The report contains a description of it I assume."

"Of course captain. The warrant officer described it as being a very tall biped with the approximate body type of a lean Arion. Yet, it’s head was of some beast."

"Did Trooper Drennat see this creature?"

"No captain."

"As I thought. Ydra got her self caught in the orgone blast range and hallucinated the entire episode."

"At first I believed this as well captain but the warrant officer vigorously denied the charge. Therefore, I conducted her to the sick bay and had her thoroughly checked out by the chief med-tech. He could find no linger orgone traces in Ydra’s bio-scans and as you know orgone lingers in the system for some time after exposure. But this was not the most important discovery that the examination revealed."

"Well, out with it ZauSha."

"The med-tech discovered that the warrant officer had two cracked ribs in addition to a circular discoloration on her skin. A bruise I believe the Terrans refer to it. A complete scan was run on the injury and a residual energy trace was found but of no type that had ever been encountered."

"The med-tech is sure of his findings."

"I had him run the scans three times and the analysis four. The results never varied."

"Well, if there is an unknown alien operating on Terra it must not be allowed to interfere with the plan. Too much is at stake."

"Understood captain. I have Warrant Officer Ydra going through the species index to see if she can identify this new alien. Also I have assigned Recovery Team 7 to take up Team 4's assignment. Currently they are watching the target’s dwelling incase he should return to it. If the Velorian of the unknown alien should appear I have put Emergency Response Unit 2 on standby alert. They will respond instantly should the need arise."

"Very well considered ZauSha. It has my approval. Now, tell me about the progress with the captives."

"Slowly captain. Two, Fellows and Rembert, are being rather uncooperative but I’ve assigned two Betas to oversee their interrogation. However, the third, Martine, has proven most interesting."

"How so?"

"During a questioning session I had cause to discipline the Beta, ThenEtte, who was also in attendance. The Terran became most aroused by the sight of my punishment."

"It is not unknown. Continue."

"Upon observing his reaction to the punishment I took pains to prolong the exercise and at the same time to display more fully ThenEtte’s body. It had the desired effect and Martine was soon begging to be allowed to administer the discipline himself."

"What was your response?"

"I stated that it would be possible under certain conditions. He became most cooperative at this point."

"Well done ZauSha. This Martine sounds as if he could be most valuable to us."

"It was my thought as well captain."

"Then let us speak with this Terran. He interests me."

The Kintzi Rage Class Cruiser Bloodlust

"Why do we just sit here commander?"

"Patience Retchub, patience. You know the answer as well as I."

"True the Arion destroyer is a larger vessel but should we not be conducting our own search of the planet."

"Why? When the Arions do such a good job for us. No, my friend, we shall play the waiting game. The Arions shall do our work for us and when they have the answers we need. Then we strike. Is the destroyer under surveillance?"

"I receive reports every ten minutes Dreal. At present there are nine groups of Arions on the surface of the planet gathering Terrans. Four have returned so far."

"Good, we shall wait until they have all returned and then we shall move. You have you plan in readiness."

"Of course."

"Show me."

The Kintzi marine captain tapped two buttons on the console of the desk. Instantly a 3D image of the interior of an Arion destroyer appeared in the commander’s office. Retchub took a laser pointer and began outlining his plan off attack.

"We are in luck," he began. "Arions do not feel prisoners are of great importance. Consequently, they are house on the exterior decks of the ship. This will make the operation much easier and cut down casualties by 15%. My marines have been drilled on their appointed tasks as well as the other crew members seconded to the operation. Five teams will proceed to points here, here, here, here, and here." Five red dots appeared on the 3D image. "The first team member will spray the entire area with gold particles mixed with a special fast drying polymer. The second will ready the orgone dispenser to its proximity trigger. When those steps are complete the third member will close and seal the emergency bulkhead and scramble the entry codes. Each team will be accompanied by two marines with an ion canon. They will cover the approaches and protect the teams while they complete their work. Once the teams have completed their work the destroyer’s detention center will be effectively cut off from the rest of the ship. At that point the rest of my warriors go into action."

"A very carefully considered plan Retchub."

"Thank you commander. I still fail to understand how my warriors are to reach the destroyer undetected."

"That is well in hand. An asteroid has been located and hollowed out. The engineers have just finished lining the opening with lead. When the time is right your marines will be placed within the asteroid and it will drift with half a mile of the destroyer. A mass proximity detector will be fixed and sound an alarm when your within range. Never fear my friend you shall reach the target undetected."

"If you say so Dreal then undoubtedly it will be so."

"What is of more concern to me is how you plan to deal with the Arions you will find within the detention area?"

"I have given this much thought commander. The Betas should pose little threat. The Primes, however, do pose a serious threat. I plan to deal with them in two ways. Six of my largest marines will be carrying heavily modified ion canons. They will deal with any heavy concentration of Primes. The rest of my marines will be carrying these new weapons."

Retchub took a large double barreled rifle and placed it on the desk in front of Dreal. The shock commander took the strange looking weapon in his claws and turned it over and examined it carefully.

"Interesting. I have never seen it like before."

"Correct commander. I had them specifically constructed when you came to me to plan an attack on an Arion vessel. It has two functions. The first is based on old technology that the Terrans call firearms."

"Firearms?"

"Yes, the expulsion of a projectile, principally lead, through the explosion of chemical substances. This technology has fallen into disuse among the Arions and ourselves, having long ago discovered energy weapons. Yet, we know that most energy weapons are of little use against Primes. Therefore, I used many Terran principles in the construction of the weapon. It closely resembles a weapon referred to as a shotgun. In that weapon the projectiles are small lead pellets. However, they can also carry a single projectile called a slug. This is the form that this weapon takes. It fires a single projectile made of Vendorian steel with a friction resistant coating instead of the normal lead. It will, I think, prove very effective against an Arion Prime at close range. It will by no means prove fatal but it should incapacitate them long enough to bring the second function of the weapon into operation.

"This weapon," said Retchub handing the commander a small opaque pellet, "fires pellets such as these through a magnetic rail system. Inside each pellet is an once of pure gold held in suspension in the same polymer that I spoke of earlier. When a Prime has been incapacitated he or she will be covered by these pellets rendering them effectively helpless and no longer a threat."

"Excellent work Retchub, excellent."

"Commander, I assume that you’ve considered the possibility that the Arions may try and retake the detention section from outside the destroyer."

"Of course," said Dreal taking a small lead box and placing it in front of him. "That is why these were constructed."

Retchub opened the box and took out a dodecahedron just over one foot across. He turned it over in his hands before placing it back in the box.

"What is it?"

"It is a drone. After your marines begin the assault these drones will be activated. They will scan the immediate vicinity for signs of activity outside the Arion destroyer. Should any Arions leave their ship they will be detected and the closest drone will then close to the appropriate range and detonate. Do not let their small size deceive you. Each has the explosive force of half a megaton. Should all go as planned and none of the drones be needed they will then attach themselves to various keys points along the hull and detonate."

"Will the Arions not detect them?"

"I think not. The explosive has been heavily shielded and there will be no propulsion signature to give them away. Inertia will carry them to target. I myself released 100 drones a little over an hour ago. Never fear they shall be there if required."

"Ingenious commander."

"Thank you my friend. And remember the objectives of this mission. At all costs the complete computer records that the Arions have made must be found and taken. Next any Terrans still alive should be taken with you so that we may interrogate them at our leisure. Arion prisoners are a low priority and may only be taken if it will not jeopardize the successful completion of the mission. However, if the opportunity presents itself you may indulge yourself and take a Beta of two, for the crew’s amusement."

"Yes commander," said the Kintzi marine officer his snarling grin matching that of his commanding officer. "I remember your tastes in these matters."

"I never doubted that you had forgotten my friend."

California

Fairchild and I were still blissfully ignorant of what was happening in the skies above us. We were putting our plan into action. After dressing in my clothes once more I once more donned my jackal’s head for the trip back home. I translocated the two of us to a concealed spot just outside the library where Melythra was.

Yes, I told Fairchild about Melythra. In fact, it was one of the first things that I told her about myself. Fairchild was neither upset not disappointed to learn about my Companion. If anything she seemed curious about her. She asked me a lot of questions about Melythra but they mainly focused on two areas. What her personality was like and what she looked like? I tried to understand Fairchild’s attitude toward Melythra but like I said I know little about women. So, I was in the dark on this one. I finally decided that whatever happened they were going to have to get to know each other and that they might as well start now.

Fairchild was fascinated by the experience of translocation. This was the second time that it had happened to her and the first sober. When we appeared outside the library she was full of question but didn’t ask them. She knew that there wasn’t enough time. I left her outside the library and began our plan.

The plan if some of you haven’t guess it by now was to get someone on the inside. We needed information to that one question. Why were Arions snatching archeologists? There was only one way to get that answer. Get someone on the inside who could report on what they were doing and that meant me. I was going to allow myself to get captured and report everything I discovered to Fairchild through my mental link with Melythra. It was a risky plan but it was the only way either of us could think of to get the information we needed.

So, as soon as I dropped Fairchild off I walked home. Actually, I jogged home at a brisk 30 mph. After all the library was fifteen miles from my home. When I got within a couple of miles of my place I slowed down to a slow walk. I didn’t want the Arions to get any suspicions. I knew that they were probably looking for me. I just hoped that they weren’t looking that far. I also walked with a limp. Remember I had just fallen out of a window.

Even though I was going to let myself be taken. There was no way I was going to go into it blind. So, as I got closer to my house I began reading energy signatures. I was still a half mile away when I spotted them. The two energy signatures stood out like beacons on a pitch black night. There were two Arions lurking in the bushes just outside my front door. Well, at least I knew that this trip wasn’t a total waste.

I had just started up the walk when they pounced. I didn’t put a struggle as my hands were pinned behind my back. I decided not to struggle. I still wasn’t that comfortable with my new found strength and I didn’t want to risk letting it loose. I was just about to say that I surrendered when the cloth was placed over my face. I smelled the cloying scent and knew that it was chloroform. I closed my eyes silently cursing my luck. I hoped that I could open them enough to see where we were going. Oh well, I was committed now.

(To Be Continued . . .)


Sharon Best, Aurora Universe, Copyright 1995,1996,1997
Copyright ©1998, Infinity Bridge