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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 - 43. Chapter 43

The concept that four arms came in handy had occurred to me before, but being knocked off my feet when the ship lurched through the air hammered that home. Without the extra hand grabbing the bunk, I would have slammed my right temple right into the corner. I flopped over onto the mattress.

“Are you all right?” Garjah stood with his leg spread, riding out the ship’s shudders.

“You should sit down!”

“I am fine. I’m sorry I forgot to tell you to brace yourself. You have changed so much I forget you don’t quite have the same bone and muscle density we do.”

“You think?” I snorted. The extra arms were obvious. The eyes, when I looked in the mirror. I could see the muscles in my arms and legs, a definition in my chest, stomach, and those hip divots that I’d liked to trace with my tongue whenever my partner had them. But Garjah still dwarfed me.

“Give it a moment, and navigation will smooth out the flight. It is simply the—”

“I know all about transitioning from space to a planet in a ship.”

“Truly?” Garjah raised an eyebrow. “The small ship you went to Ardra on—”

“It’s a skimmer,” I corrected him.

“—the skimmer,” he continued like I hadn’t said anything, “was sideways when we found it. Surely that is not the usual way to land a vessel?”

“So the heavy gravity caused a few issues. Auto-navigation mostly took care of it.”

Garjah stared at me. “You couldn’t navigate it on your own?”

“I put in the coordinates for the planet,” I said defensively. “And I got there okay.” I didn’t like having this conversation flat on my back while he was standing over me. I sat up, swinging my legs over the edge of the bunk and hold on tight so I couldn’t be knocked off onto the floor. That’d be even worse. “Humans are very self-sufficient.”

Garjah’s nostrils flared. “Please don’t try to pilot any of our vehicles.”

He really thought I was going to get off the ship and try doing what, flying away? Hopping into a surface vehicle and going for a joy ride? I ground my teeth together. “I can’t even read your signs on the corridor walls.” My voice came out tight through my clenched jaw. “Do you really think I’m that stupid? If you do, then you should go look at your reflection.”

“That’s not what I meant.” His voice rose.

“It’s what you said,” I pointed out. “Like I’d take a vehicle and just scuttle off on a strange planet where I don’t know anyone or anything.”

“Like on Ardra?”

I stood, poking him in the chest. “That was different,” I roared. “It was supposed to be an uninhabited planet. It is uninhabited; it’s not my fault you people go there to rip off it’s natural resources and steal humans you go around doing experiments on.” The words flew out of my mouth in the rage before I even knew I was going to say them. I wanted to take them back the second I saw their impact; Garjah’s shoulders slumped, and his colors muted, dulling even if they didn’t quite change.

“I just… we… I don’t know what to say here.”

The corridor door slid open. “How about you apologize?” Timok said.

“Why don’t you try knocking?” All the anger that had drained away when I saw how I’d hurt Garjah surged back.

And I had no compunction about hurting Timok. He deserved it.

“Claws away, dear.” Timok sailed right by me, ignoring the threatening gestures I made to both his front and back. He circled me. “Yes, you look good, at least you will once you get a hold of yourself.”

I’d get a hold of him.

“Let’s go.” Garjah grabbed my hand and towed me out of his quarters before I could do anything Timok might live to regret.

“Bouncer!” I called the cerops, and he snarled as he leapt past Timok. He yelped and stumbled back, falling onto our bunk. I laughed until I realized his scent would be on our bedding. “Have to change that,” I muttered.

“Hmm?” Garjah looked down. He kept hustling me down the corridor. Bouncer paced beside me, and those coming toward us got out of the way or turned around and booked it back the way they came.

“Nothing.”

 

I expected a cacophony of noise, people, supplies and bureaucracy greeting the ship. There was one transport and the driver wasn’t even visible. The sky was blue, the weather warm from one large sun burning bright overhead, and the gravity was similar to Ardra. I could analyze that much about the planet from our short trip from the ship to the transport.

“Where is everyone?”

“I don’t know.” Garjah admitting that didn’t help my nerves. Were they hiding me? “Diplomacy isn’t my strong suit. I don’t know how they welcome foreigners. I’m usually doing reports when we return.”

Oh.

“How long will it take us to reach the Kardoval?” I asked.

“Ships land at a distance from the city.”

“So we’ll get to see some of the planet?” We were traveling through what appeared to be a fairly standard port, except it appeared nearly deserted.

“Yes.”

I watched eagerly out the windows, then gasped when we left the port.

The edge ended abruptly, falling in jagged cliffs into a deep canyon. There were roiling dark gray clouds below and lightning flashed, stabbing from the ground into the clouds. The crack in the earth stretched as far as I could see. “What is that?” I asked, my cheek pressed against the window.

“Security. If you try to pass it in a ship without the proper coating, it will fry the electrical system.” Garjah pointed. What I’d assumed were pieces of rock sticking out of the side of the canyon took on new shapes as he continued to speak. “No one makes it to the other side.”

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

Well, Essell seems to be getting the grand tour of unexplored star systems. Will he remain in exile from his family, will he be permanently a captive?

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Wow, that is pretty good security.  I hope that Essell gets over his anger, for his and Garjah's sakes.  I also hope that Garjah tries to be more sympathetic towards Essell's unique(?) circumstances.  I definitely want to see this couple succeed.

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Why, o why do I feel the following couldn't be more wrong???

“Security. If you try to pass it in a ship without the proper coating, it will fry the electrical system.” Garjah pointed. What I’d assumed were pieces of rock sticking out of the side of the canyon took on new shapes as he continued to speak. “No one makes it to the other side.”

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1 hour ago, drsawzall said:

Why, o why do I feel the following couldn't be more wrong???

“Security. If you try to pass it in a ship without the proper coating, it will fry the electrical system.” Garjah pointed. What I’d assumed were pieces of rock sticking out of the side of the canyon took on new shapes as he continued to speak. “No one makes it to the other side.”

Notice the way this is phrased with no could or would be. It implies there have been attempts. If this is the security measure here, what is the security on the other end? There must be something to stop skipping point A and going directly to B.

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2 hours ago, CincyKris said:

Now that you mention it, Essell is very similar to a British colonialist explorer or adventurer.  He has good intentions but a bit of the arrogance that justified their "discoveries" of things that existed for millennia.  Hopefully his genetic modifications and superior technology will prevent the equivalent of smallpox blankets.

Ah yes...the curse of educating the noble savage...Dr. Livingstone I presume??

?dr strangelove film GIF

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21 minutes ago, drsawzall said:

Ah yes...the curse of educating the noble savage...Dr. Livingstone I presume??

?dr strangelove film GIF

"Where the hell is Major Kong?"

He had to step outside for a bit.

Um.. No pretty good weekend in Vegas with the survival kit loot I'll wager.

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Essell is a self centered, it's-all-about-me, whiney bitch. I thought that when he and Garjah officially mated, he'd have a hallelujah moment (sigh). Please, please, make him grow up a little...

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2 hours ago, rewski84 said:

Essell is a self centered, it's-all-about-me, whiney bitch. I thought that when he and Garjah officially mated, he'd have a hallelujah moment (sigh). Please, please, make him grow up a little...

I’ll admit Essell’s journey was ill-conceived and he has some growing up to do, but at the moment it is all about him. As far as we know, he is the only one of his kind: a human (accidentally) spliced with Four Arm DNA, a human bonded with a Four Arms, a human bonded with a cerops.

This is an ancient and advanced civilization that’s taken great pains to avoid detection by humanity, and with good reason. Essell’s worry over his safety is valid. At preset he is little more than a test subject. A curious anomaly.

In his situation I’d like to think I’d handle myself with more thought but, then again, I’m not about to be paraded in front of a cadre of all-powerful Four Arms who will, I’m told, decide if I’ll be allowed to live.

The poor guy is terrified and fear makes us irrational. Moreover he went from taking control of his destiny (unwise but ballsy) by exploring an uninhabited planet to having zero control over his circumstances.

His petulance is ... if not entirely justified, it’s understandable, no?

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6 hours ago, Danners said:

I’ll admit Essell’s journey was ill-conceived and he has some growing up to do, but at the moment it is all about him. As far as we know, he is the only one of his kind: a human (accidentally) spliced with Four Arm DNA, a human bonded with a Four Arms, a human bonded with a cerops.

This is an ancient and advanced civilization that’s taken great pains to avoid detection by humanity, and with good reason. Essell’s worry over his safety is valid. At preset he is little more than a test subject. A curious anomaly.

In his situation I’d like to think I’d handle myself with more thought but, then again, I’m not about to be paraded in front of a cadre of all-powerful Four Arms who will, I’m told, decide if I’ll be allowed to live.

The poor guy is terrified and fear makes us irrational. Moreover he went from taking control of his destiny (unwise but ballsy) by exploring an uninhabited planet to having zero control over his circumstances.

His petulance is ... if not entirely justified, it’s understandable, no?

This whole story is all about him, so there is that. However, that's not the point. He just comes across as someone who is self centered and selfish. Manic depressive also comes to mind. He has a soulmate, and they've bonded. He often treats Garjah as someone he desperately needs and then in a blink of an eye, he does a 180 and treats him like shit. As I mentioned before, a little growing up would be helpful -- for all concerned. 

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raven1

Posted (edited)

We all know Essell can be irritating at times, especially under stress like he is now.  It will be interesting to see how he holds up to the meeting.  I am withholding judgement on Timok.  I want to see what he has to report on his actions and motives during the mission, before I decide whether his is an insane scientist, mole for the Kardoval, or just doing his job.

Edited by raven1
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