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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 - 16. Chapter 16

I was tempted to irk Garjah by testing the material around Bouncer’s feet. It was molded to his feet like a second skin. I’d seen the same thing holding liquid in the front of the hold, and it was flexible. I had to assume it was to prevent any of the poison they said was in his claws from coming out. Or did he inject it. The curiosity almost made me pick up his front leg and press on the pad, but Garjah’s hovering prevented it.

Besides, what if his claws punctured it. I tilted my head… but then what good would it do? But it was thin, and flexible, just like plastic. Frustrated, I wished for my pack and scanner. I wasn’t into technology, but the Four Arms had very advanced materials. It would be great to get a sample of the clear material because it definitely wasn’t any sort of clear film I knew, and if I could get some readings on the poison Bouncer had, that’d be even better.

After all, his behavior wasn’t going to be indicative of his species anymore but I could definitely study his physiology.

“Are you done touching him?” Garjah asked.

“Hmm? Oh, what? No.” I’d stopped with my hand in the air above Bouncer’s shoulder, contemplating his paws. “Why can’t we wake him up?”

“Do you wish him to be stuck in this tiny cage?”

I stiffened. “Of course not. He could stay with me.”

“No.” Garjah straightened. He locked all four arms together in a weird clinch at his waist. If he was an animal, I’d say he’d taken a defensive posture.

“Of course not because of great and powerful Garjah has spoken. Right? Is there anyone higher in rank than you I can talk to?” I really didn’t like Bouncer being in stasis. This was wrong. Even though he was warm under my touch, his muscles were lax, he wasn’t bouncing, and he wasn’t begging me for food. I missed his energy.

“No.”

Sighing, I turned away from Garjah. “Sorry, buddy.” I’d try to make them let him go whenever they put me stopped next.

And me too. I wanted off this ship.

 

Garjah silently took me back to my quarters. The way seemed even longer because I was trying to pay attention, but I was so exhausted my eyes kept closing and I’d jerk them open not knowing how long I’d drifted. Plus I was almost positive we went a different way than we’d taken to the hold, and the guide strips didn’t make much sense.

“Sleep. Recover. Timok will be by after the sleep shift to check on you.” Garjah deposited me on my bunk.

“Just Timok?” I yawned, smothering it with a fist.

“I will be on duty.” Garjah inclined his head. “Rest well.” He left and sleep claimed me quickly.

 

The next morning, or shift, or just whenever they’d decided I’d slept long enough, Timok entered my quarters and shook me awake. I shouldn’t have been this tired. “Did you do something to me?” I narrowed my eyes, sitting up and scrubbing a hand over my short hair.

“Define do and something,” he said. “I administered a booster to help you, gave Garjah reliable data on humans, helped your cerops…? What more do you want?”

“A ride back to where you picked me up, Bouncer out of stasis, and to go on my way back to my ship,” I answered promptly.

“You are in possession of knowledge dangerous to many should it be shared. Ancalagon should have been safe, but your patrols are getting more bold.”

I snorted. Bold. Needy was more like it. The universe was a pretty big place, but people—humans, aliens, basically all sentient life—bred nearly unchecked. The challenge was finding the resources to support everyone.

“You’ve taken my equipment. I can’t share any proof.” I’d find a way.

“Hmm….” Timok’s expression didn’t change, or I couldn’t see it. “Even so, what happens next is not my decision.” He waved a hand, then slapped it against his side. “Come now, it is time you bathed. You are emitting an odor that is growing steadily more unpleasant, so I assume your species bathe frequently.”

“Of course we do!” I sniffed discreetly, but all I could smell was the salt and metal that permeated the ship and my clothes.

The short-sleeved suit I’d worn under my exosuit was only so good for so long, plus I’d slogged across the planet for some time in it. I probably could use a shower. “Do you have a shower I can use?” I didn’t see another door in my quarters where they’d stuck me.

“Stand here.” Timok indicated a space on the floor with a subtle texture. “Touch here.” He pointed to a small depression on the wall and then another one spaced farther than my fingers would spread. I sighed and used both hands to press the marks. Heated waves radiated down against my head and shoulders.

“Oh!” A sonic shower. “And it does my clothes at the same time? Efficient.”

“Usually you disrobe,” Timok said dryly. “We do have facilities to launder clothing.”

My face went up in flames. “Oh.”

“However, being as you have no other clothing, I can see the confusion.”

Aha! Here was my chance. “I have other clothing in my pack. Can I get it back?”

Timok’s face was easier to read than Garjah’s. The wrinkle between his narrowed eyes said things were sneaking through his brain. Maybe the same things going through mine. I widened my eyes and smiled serenely.

“Garjah didn’t get that for you?”

I hedged, “I was too tired after seeing Bouncer. I’d feel a lot better with my things.” Any biologist knew creatures managed captivity better with familiar surroundings. I’d play on that if I had to.

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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Now we know for sure Essell was taken to maintain the secrecy of the alien's existence. I have to wonder if he is their first abductee. Unlike Harish, Timok seems naive, although I doubt any of Essell's equipment will give him much advantage against their superior technology.

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I do not think the aliens are hiding only themselves. The biome of the planet could hold many interesting substances that humans could adopt and adapt. The aliens were not only rescuing Essell. They are also trying to hide the planet's secrets.  This story gets more mysterious with each chapter. 

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Essell's adventures, to borrow a line from Alice, are getting curiouser and curiouser! I am intrigued by the aliens and can't wait to find out what they are up to! Thanks. 

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If I select a print color, font and size, does my comment appear on the next page in that manner, or must I select a color each chapter?

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9 minutes ago, Will Hawkins said:

If I select a print color, font and size, does my comment appear on the next page in that manner, or must I select a color each chapter?

None of the above.

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I agree that Garjah's race are not just protecting themselves, but also the planet Ancalagon and its resources. They probably claim the planet as part of their own empire, but cannot stop humans without exposing themselves.  This is definitely a conundrum for them. It would seem logical to study more that one human to learn more about human behaviours and politics. Garjah's people don't appear to be cruel and that means Essell is also a conundrum for them.  Excellent new universe you have created Cia! Thanks!:hug:

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