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    Cia
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Ancalagon - 100. Chapter 100

Bonus chapter #1. Yay! 

I turned on shaky arms, the bile racing up my throat until I vomited what little of the morning meal I’d managed to eat. My muscles clenched, and I heaved repeatedly until nothing was left and spit and snot drooled in nasty strings from my face to mix with the tears streaming down my face. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t see, and all I felt was certainty that Garjah was gone and I was going to die.

Something nudged me in my ribs, and I collapsed onto my side. Curling into a ball, I pulled my knees up with my lower arms and hid my face in my upper arms, blocking out the cruel world. I knew what we were doing was dangerous, but Garjah was so confident in his skills, and I never thought that I’d lose him. We were always together; if he was going to be taken, I always thought we’d be taken together. He’d protect me.

How could he protect me out here? I was all alone in the jungle. I’d die, and if he’d already been captured he was probably already dead. Whoever did this had been willing to kill anyone and everyone at the greeting celebration for Ases. Why would they keep him alive?

They wouldn’t. He was dead. I was sure of it, and my heart was just as dead in my chest. Silent sobs wracked me, and I ignored the tugs on my arms. I couldn’t move; I wouldn’t. I’d just stay right there until they found me. Maybe they’d take me to his body. Maybe they’d give me that at least, as his bonded. They’d let us go to the stars together.

A hand wormed between my arms, grabbing my tunic and fisting in the fabric. I was wrenched up, and the snarling visage shocked my swollen eyes as wide open as they would go. “Essell Deray, if you don’t stop this right now, I’m going to slap you!”

I stared at him, unable to focus beyond the pain in my soul. Ases cursed, drew his hand back, and slapped me across my cheek. The sharp pain echoed through me, stilling the manic thoughts that had blocked out everything else.

Bouncer jumped to my defense, shoving his bared muzzle between us, his chest vibrating with a warning growl. 

“You back off. He needed that, and I am not going to sit out here and die because he had a meltdown.” Ases turned his stern look away from Bouncer and then to me. “Essell, are you with me?”

I blinked, taking in one long, shuddery breath after another. “Yes,” I croaked.

Relief melted some of the tension in his shoulders and face. “Thank the stars.” He eased the grip on my shirt and used his other hand to help me sit up in a better position. Crouching in the dirt path in front of me, he stared into my eyes. “I know what you overheard was a shock, but they didn’t say Garjah was dead, and he’s a strong male with many skills. I believe whoever was stupid enough to capture him and try to take us will regret it. My mech is still recording what’s happening at his estate, but we need to put some distance between it and us. We’re too close.”

He was right. I still didn’t know all the technology they had, but on Ardra they’d been able to follow me with scans. There was a chance they’d be able to do that here. We’d stand out; I was a hybrid and Ases and Bouncer were other species entirely. “Maybe it’s best if you stay in your shifted form. I know there are a lot of animals here; there’s a chance that I’d ping on their scanners as a Four Arms, and you and Bouncer might just come off as animals. Your senses are stronger in that form, and I can steer us based on what I know of the planet.” I had spent time on the ships while we were traveling studying what I could get my hands on about Garjah’s planet as well as Ardra. A big part was for negotiating—it was always important to know what you had and what you could spare to trade with—but we’d given up precious little other than some transporting lanes through space and sharing resources on Ardra.

Still, I at least knew what the most dangerous plants and predators were. With those I could probably work out the biggest risks to our life and keep us from beying before our allies could find us. Because I had to trust that Garjah had allies who would be looking. Both for him and us.

Grimacing at the stench of the vomit on the side of the path, I struggled to my feet. Bouncer leaned against my thigh, and I rubbed his head, taking comfort in his protection and closeness. “Can I still monitor the recording your mech is making with you shifted?” I asked Ases.

“Yes, but he won’t take any orders.”

“Okay.” Not ideal, but it was better than nothing. I’d listen to the recording as we walked, and then I’d watch it later, see if I could discover any clues who’d done this when we found a better spot to hide. “Shift, and I’ll carry your robe again.” This time I rolled it up and tied it around my waist like a belt so my hands were free for the comm.

I winced at the sounds of them destroying the place. It was going to take a long time to fix it. Whoever was in charge had overridden the voice who believed we’d left the house, and they were convinced that Garjah had a hidden secret room, not just the security suite. They had the men searching for hidden spaces, tearing up the house and the garden.

Copyright © 2020 Cia; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Chapter Comments

I agree Timok is a stinker @astone2292.  He's obnoxious, alway stalking in the background and seems present whenever shit hits the fan.  I sometimes wonder if Essell's changes were as unexpected by Timok as he said.  He's smart enough that it could have been an experiment planned by him.  He certainly is a prime suspect for evil.  Unfortunately he is also very secretive and I don't know very much about him even though he's been in the story from the very beginning.  🤔

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1 hour ago, raven1 said:

I sometimes wonder if Essell's changes were as unexpected by Timok as he said.

This!!! 

I've been suspecting Timok did research involving Four-Arm-human gene blending, and was under the impression the "rescue experiment" was actually meant to kill Essell back on the ship. That leads to the question, "why didn't it?" There might be some underlying anatomy-related health benefits from Essell's bonding (can't remember if he was already bonded to Garjah at that point. If not, there goes my theory) to Garjah. I might need to go back and reread, create a timeline, and take notes...

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