Expect a Velorian
by MAC

- Chapter One -
Rev. 0.7

Lillith of Velor, Copyright ©, 1998, 1999, Infinity Bridge. All rights reserved.


Stories always have a beginning. The difficulty is in knowing where that beginning is, for stories go on forever in both directions. Our purpose here only requires that the story begin many years ago, on a remote planet that no one had ever heard of before, in a part of space where few ever visited. A planet surrounded by seven moons and inhabited by a rather unique species that now watch the skies above them.....and wait.

The planet Tetra, in the foothills of the Faldref Mountains

He was bored. Sitting out here in the middle of nowhere, among these small steeply rolling hills where one hill looked just the same as any other hill. The hills reached out to the nearby mountains with bland repetition.
He had been told to watch, nothing more, just watch. For how long, they did not say, so he sat and watched. Sometimes north, sometimes south. The direction usually was decided upon after taking into consideration whether the sun bothered his eyes or the wind blew dust in his face. Then he would turn away to watch in the more comfortable direction.
He was a Tetrite. Not an overly large one, just a bit under a meter tall when he stood on his eight black legs. His reddish fur gave him a distinctive look among his species, the attractiveness of which was not lost on the females of his species. How he wished he were back among them now. Females always had ways of preventing him from getting bored on such a warm afternoon.
Reaching into a small container, the Tetrite pulled out a wad of Northundrun seaweed. Placing his afternoon snack in his mouth, he was disappointed to discover that the seaweed was drying out from the arid desert heat, but it would have to do - it was all he had. His small jaw rotated slowly as he calmly chewed. A long sigh signaled to anyone who cared to notice his complete unhappiness with his task.
He was definitely bored as he chewed ...and chewed.
Behind him, circling slowly out of the base of a fair-weather cloud, a shiny metallic craft, shaped like a teardrop turned on its side, silently soared lower, the blunt end of the teardrop leading the way. There were no windows, visible hatches, nor any markings. It was simply a highly polished drop.
The breeze chose that moment to shift, puffing a bit of dust into the face of now totally disgruntled Tetrite. To avoid the discomfort, he slowly rotated around on the rock he occupied and nearly fell off when he jumped at the amazing sight of the drop so close behind him. He watched in total amazement as the metallic craft slowly descended to the crest of one of the nearby hills. Small puffs from unseen ports kept the craft level as it settled majestically to the surface. For a moment, the Tetrite could only stare, captured in the anticipation to see what creature would emerge. His wait was brief.
A side hatch at the midpoint of the drop appeared from what had been an smooth, uninterrupted skin. Hinged at the bottom, the top popped open just a few inches before making a loud screeching sound, as if some metal was binding in the mechanism. From inside the craft, a muffled voice could be heard jabbering away while something banged loudly on the inside of the door. Still, the hatch would not budge any further.
While the hatch refused to move further, the craft did not. Sitting precariously at the edge of the steep hill, it slowly shifted as the sand beneath it gave way under its weight. The puffer jets began firing faster and faster, trying desperately to maintain an upright position, but the craft finally had no choice but to roll. Tumbling like an egg down the slope, the voice inside screamed with surprise at the sudden upset. Reaching the bottom of the gully, the craft finally settled, rolling lazily back and forth until, for no apparent reason, the hatch simply fell open. Out tumbled a being wearing a wrinkled blue suit, completely mixed up inside what appeared to be a long red cape. The cape was so tangled over the being's head and arms that the Tetrite wondered for a moment whether the being had been tied up in it all for the passage. Based on the long string of what the Tetrite judged to be cursing, it was obvious that the being was not pleased about the present condition of its wardrobe.
The Tetrite calmly watched, swallowing his snack. He was no longer bored.
Pulling the red material off her head, a young blonde humanoid female puffed the hair out of her face through her lips and gave a disgusted look toward the craft. Rising to her feet, she unleashed a string of unintelligible expletives at the inanimate craft, kicking the hull once to accent her point. The craft rolled slightly, making her jump back a bit. When she did, her ill-fitting blue uniform nearly fell down around her ankles. This also seemed to annoy her as a new string of curses began. She laboriously reached down to pull up her uniform, as if she had been doing it all day. It was then that she noticed the small Tetrite staring silently at her.
Quickly slinging the straps of her uniform back over her shoulders, her hands rapidly coiffured her hair back into proper place. Sand was immediately brushed away and the cape thrown behind her in time for her to take up an impressive pose of feet apart, shoulders back, hands solidly on her hips, and chin proudly out. This struck the Tetrite as very official indeed and he sat up much more formally upon his rock. Just as she was about to make an even more official pronouncement, the craft rolled toward her a bit, making her jump with a shout. Turning angrily back to the misbehaving teardrop, she yelled something at it, cleared her throat, and resumed the very impressive pose, this time, even better.
"Kai'l Lill'th'a Veloor!" she announced proudly.
The Tetrite only stared. He had no idea what she was saying. The young girl steadied herself to try again.
"Kai'l Lill'th'a Veloor!" she repeated, just in case this important announcement wasn't heard the first time. "Kai'l dun'stre protresk'e."
The Tetrite blinked twice and burped once. The young girl's shoulders slumped as she abandoned her official pose. Trudging toward the Tetrite wearily, she slumped on the ground next to him. She seemed to be asking him something.
"Lill'th'a Veloor? Sk'comst tu?"
The Tetrite had no idea what she was asking him at the moment, so he didn't respond. He merely stared at her with the greatest of curiosity as to what she might do next. The young girl only sighed, her large blue eyes looking back at him, displaying her wish to communicate. The fuzzy face and beady eyes of the Tetrite impressed her as being rather cute. On a whim, she extended her hand to the Tetrite and tickled him under his chin.
"Teekoo, teekoo!" she coochi-cooed.
The Tetrite immediately lurched back, snapping his head into a blur as his fur stood on end. He obviously didn't like to be tickled. The girl rapidly pulled her hand back and mumbled an obvious apology as she glanced despondently to the ground. Another thought entered her mind, but just as she was about to speak it, the Tetrite stood, turned, and scampered away through the foothills, leaving the young visitor completely alone. Her crystal-blue eyes took on a look of abandonment as she mumbled quietly to herself with a newly found conviction that no one cared why she had come so far or, for that matter, who she was.
"Kai'l Lill'th'a Veloor," she sighed.
The loud screeching sound of her craft rolling onto the hatch and bending it made her jump. Flinging her hand at it in disgust with a aggravated grunt to accent her displeasure with the bothersome craft, she dropped her chin on her palms with a loud sigh of defeat, rolled her eyes left, then right, then realized that she had no idea what to do next. She exhaled another long sigh, letting it flutter her lips to emit a long blurp sound.

An hour later

Pesto, pesto, dihn'tra speaci,
Cunst'la nor'va, unst'la dhoor.
Pesto, pesto, dihn'tra cont'si par,

The subtle voice of a young girl sang a song familiar to her as she sat on the ground, drawing in the sand. She was lost in thought as her song took her back to her home.

Pesto, pesto, dihn'tra speaci,
Cunst'la nor'va, unst'la dhoor.
Pesto, pesto, dihn...



The booming voice suddenly behind her startled the young girl so much that her glute muscles involuntarily contracted, triggering her flying ability. She launched like a bottle rocket straight up into the air, landing in a flurry of arms and legs with a loud thud just a bit to the south. A huge, gray Tetrite, nearly thirty meters across from leg tip to leg tip, watched the ballistic mistake and shook his head before speaking to the reddish Tetrite standing next to him.
"Would you mind fetching the Protector, Fallustavilaus? She seems to have been displaced."
Fallustavilaus had only taken two steps before it became obvious that he did not need to fetch anyone; the Protector was angrily storming back toward them. Her cape balled up and tucked under one arm while she held up her loose fitting blue uniform, the young girl stomped rapidly toward the Tetrites, cursing rapidly all along the way.
Walking right up to the large gray Tetrite, she wagged a finger at him as her voice fired volley after volley of rapid alien words. She was obviously scolding him about something, but the large gray Tetrite had no idea what she was scolding him about. Finally, he raised a leg high in the air above her to silence her. She immediately stopped, her mouth drawn back and her wide eyes looking up as if she were suddenly in big trouble. At the sound of her silence, the leg lowered peacefully to the ground. He turned slightly, speaking behind himself.
"Would you be so kind as to inquire upon the arrival of the Gateway?"
The Tetrite that he spoke to trundled away and over the nearby hill. Within minutes, he returned with another Tetrite, this one brown in color. The new Tetrite kept stopping along the way to look at some item of interest only to himself. Each time, the other Tetrite urged him along. When they were close enough, the large gray Tetrite bellowed loudly.
"Philanthropithitatus! Join us!"
At the sound of his commanding voice, Philanthropithitatus almost snapped to attention before scampering wildly toward the towering behemoth. At the last minute, he saw the alien visitor and immediately changed course toward her.
Scuttling up onto a nearby boulder to position himself at eye level with the alien, Philanthropithitatus leaned forward as he peered curiously at the blonde woman. She leaned forward an equal amount to peer back at him just as curiously. A couple of light taps on her forehead with one of his legs resulted in crossed eyes for the alien visitor and a confident nod for the brown Tetrite. He made the report of his analysis.
"Definitely Velorian."
"Yes." groaned the large gray Tetrite, a bit annoyed at the obvious conclusion.
Philanthropithitatus then pulled the front of the blue uniform outward a bit to peer down into it. The alien visitor took immediate exception to this inspection, lightly slapping the top of his head as she pulled her uniform back to cover herself. Her eyebrows lowered disapprovingly. Philanthropithitatus retreated back a step and shook his head rapidly, recovering from the minor blow.
"And female, definitely female."
"Yes, Philanthropithitatus, we know all that. Can you gateway for us? We must communicate with her immediately." Philanthropithitatus looked at the innocent young face that now smiled sweetly back at him - all was forgiven. Her blonde hair swept around her face, framing it as if it were a portrait in an oval frame. He prepared himself and nodded to the large gray Tetrite.
"You may proceed."
The gray Tetrite cleared his throat and began speaking with a voice resonant with authority.
"Velorian Protector," he boomed.
The young girl jumped with a gasp, her eyes widened in amazement.
"You....you speak Velorian!" she stuttered.
"No, Mistress. Philanthropithitatus is serving as our Gateway. Through him, you will hear my words in a form suitable for your understanding and I will hear your words in a manner suitable for my own comprehension. Thus, we will converse. Do you understand?"
The young girl nodded quickly, sneaking a glance at Philanthropithitatus as if he were strangely magical. Philanthropithitatus only rotated his head slightly out of curiosity with her look. The large gray Tetrite continued.
"Mistress, let us begin. We have been expecting you for a number of weeks. Were you detained for any reason?"
"Detained?" The sweep upward of her eyes as she thought a moment made Philanthropithitatus look up. "Oh, you mean why am I late? Well, a couple of weeks ago I was supposed to come here but they weren't sure if I was sequenced right, whatever that means, so they had to check on that and Jo'N, that's my boyfriend, well he used to be my boyfriend, sort of, anyway he didn't want me to go but I told him I had to go `cause, you know, I had to GO, but his family is big on the Council and they were going to do something to keep me there because Jo'N wanted me to stay but I wanted to, you know, GO, not sit around all day waiting for him all the time and stuff so I told him forget it and that I didn't want to see him anymore `cause I got Protector stuff to do and all and he just kept thinking that we were gonna to be together so I went to the Foundation and told them I gotta kinda sorta go now so they said they would see what they could do and they did so they got a dimension ship for me but it's kinda junky and the door sticks and stuff but it got me here okay and .... and .... I'm HERE." The happy announcement of the last word was accompanied by a quick fan of her arms as she bounced blithely to her toes. She smiled so brightly that she scrunched her nose a bit.
"Interesting," the large gray Tetrite responded dryly.
They all stared at each for a moment as her bright smile faded away. The large gray Tetrite continued the conversation.
"May I inquire as to your name?" This question seemed to remind the young girl of her earlier official announcement, the one that she had been told to be sure to make upon first contact with an intelligent species after arrival. She immediately resumed her official pose, cleared her voice, and began earnestly.
"I am Lillith of Velor. I am here to protect the planet of Tetra and its indigenous species from all alien..."
"Yes, Mistress Lillith. We are aware of your mission. It is your training that we must attend to. There is much to learn and little time to learn it all. Philanthropithitatus will act as your guide, your Gateway, and at times your tutor."
Lillith nodded toward Philanthropithitatus and smiled again.
"I hope we can become friends, Philanthropithitatus." she said with a pleasant sincerity.
"Oh, I am sure we will find much in each other to form a lasting friendship, Mistress."
Lillith's uniform slipped from her shoulders, landing in a heap around her ankles. Muttering under her breath, she stooped down to pull the oversized clothing yet again into place when the large gray Tetrite stopped her.
"You body will acclimate to the yellow sun within a few weeks, Mistress, then your uniform will fit properly. Until that time, may I suggest that you merely do without it? For the time we have from now until your body acclimates, there is no need for its symbolism. All of our species know you are the Protector."
Lillith shrugged and stepped out of the troublesome heap gladly. The warm sun felt so good on her body, a body of a Terran fourteen-year-old, but a body that was undergoing amazing changes under the influence of the yellow sun that burned brightly overhead.
Her skin felt stiff, taut, as if it was stretched over too large a body, yet she didn't feel any larger. Within a few days she would discover that she was indeed getting larger, taller, stronger, more of everything that she was. Her genetics included the Protector sequence, the engineered genetic code that defined her as a Velorian Protector and gave her great powers as one. The yellow sun was the catalyst that released the full potential of those powers. Powers that would make Lillith one of the most formidable beings in the Universe. Eventually, her uniform would fit wonderfully.
"To begin our training, Mistress Lillith," said the large gray Tetrite, "you may ask your first question."
"Okay, um, what's you're name?"
"I am afraid that my given name would be rather confusing for you. One of a similar species once referred to me as `Large Grey'. Would that suit you?"
"Sure!" chirped Lillith. "Large Grey. That's not confusing at all."
"I am glad. Do you have any other questions before we proceed to your habitat?"
Lillith thought a moment, remembering her recent encounter with her first Tetrite.
"Are you guys ticklish?" she asked seriously.
Large Grey wrapped two legs around his midsection and drew back from her a bit.
"Why do you ask, Mistress?"



Expect a Velorian continues....


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