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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 - 63. Chapter 63

“Where did Bouncer go?” Sedating him again had not made him happy. He’d been so close to me for the last few days, his steady presence against my thigh, it was startling for him to be gone. I’d gotten a narrow-eyed stare when he lifted his head after we touched down and I revived him from the sedation, but this was the first time I’d lost sight of him.

“He’s outside.” Garjah peered out the door of the skimmer. A vine slithered over the metal and dropped into the space, and he brushed it aside. “Pacing.”

I didn’t blame him. The skimmer was too small, and all the space inside was taken up by the two of us. I would pace if I could, but there was no room. “Have you noticed how much calmer he is?” I’d called him Bouncer, and that had been all about the way he constantly moved. He’d been stalking the Resistance members or staring them down from my side.

From even earlier than that, actually. It started with the Kardoval.

“He is maturing. He was a juvenile when you found him, or he found you. His kind are deadly predators, ones even we avoid. It is in his nature to be less… bouncy.” Garjah turned from the doorway to stare at the blips on the screen. “Is that moving?”

One of them was. My stomach flipped. I gripped the arms of the chair and swallowed. “Yes. Turning on the skimmer caught someone’s attention.” I tapped the screen, turning on the display. The extra pair of hands was nice to keep me anchored, but I needed to work. They could come in handy outside of bed as well.

I snorted.

“What?”

“Nothing, just thinking stupid jokes in my head.” It wasn’t even really a joke. Just stupid. “It’s a jumper. Capable of holding a full team, though I can’t scan for life signs. Something about this planet seems to impact the scanning.”

“Maybe that’s why they didn’t find your ship?” Garjah suggested.

“Maybe. This place is strange. The gravity and the plant and animal life is just part of it.” Clearly, just looking at me. Yes, part of what had happened to me was what Timok had done to save my arm, but the bond I had to Garjah and even to Bouncer had affected that.

And that bond had occurred before Garjah saw me. He’d felt drawn to come out and find me. I should have been scared witless, and even if I’d acted like a brainless idiot several times, I hadn’t been nearly as terrified of an unknown alien species as I should have been.

More questions I wanted to answer that I couldn’t focus on right then because the jumper was moving fast. I stood. “They’ll be here soon. Let me go first. I’ll keep my helmet off.”

“Are you sure? That will leave your head vulnerable.”

“I’m known to them.”

Garjah pinched his lips together, his narrow nostrils flaring again. “You don’t look fully human anymore. You’ve changed. It makes me nervous.”

“The crew is not made up of humans; I know you only met me, but ships in the Galactic employ humans and aliens of all different species as long as they can handle similar conditions. I won’t stand out as the only non-human.” I wrapped an arm around his waist. “Along with you, I mean.”

“And Bouncer. We should get him in here.” I went to the door and called him. He stopped mid-stalk, swinging his head around to stare at me before looking back in the direction the jumper was coming from. I couldn’t hear it yet, but we probably would soon. “Come on, boy. Stand with us.”

He bounded through the small clearing, rushing toward the skimmer. I smiled. Well, maybe he wasn’t all grown up. Safe in my suit, I grunted but didn’t push him down when he jumped up and put his front paws on my shoulders. He rubbed his head on my neck and chin. I rubbed the pebbled skin on the back of his neck and shoulders, scratching the itchy spots he had a tough time reaching. He rumbled.

“It’ll be okay. Just stay with me and Garjah, Bouncer.” Good thing he’d come in when he did because as soon as he was with Garjah and behind me, the jumper’s thrumming engines filled the quiet with their distinctive whumping whirr.

I swallowed hard again. “It’ll be okay,” I whispered.

“No one will harm you. Remember, we upgraded your suit. Just don’t let them strike your head.”

Glancing over my shoulder at Garjah’s naked chest, I narrowed my eyes. “If you can make my suit with four arms, what about you?”

“I have something different?”

“Machismo?” I muttered.

“I do not know what that means. I have a shield. It will keep me safe.”

Sighing, I shook my head. “We need to work on our communication skills.”

“We will,” Garjah promised.

I had to trust we would. That we’d get that time. All the time. Once we faced the ships Sonez sent, and the first contact teams, and my parents, and then everyone else.

“Here we go.” The jumper powered down and the door opened. Soldiers filed out. They were armed, looking around, their suits glinting dully in the sun. Then came the scientists.

How did I know the difference? Well, they were in the same suits but they were armed with scanners and handhelds. They spoke loudly, and their glances around were done with avid curiosity and a desire to wander off if the cordon around them would allow it.

“The signal came from right there. Ahh, you can see it through the vines. They must have masked the skimmer before.” There was a scientist in the lead alongside one of the soldiers. They were both using their handhelds, but I guessed for very different things.

Time to surprise them. “Please don’t shoot me when you realize I’m here in the skimmer too,” I said.

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

Hear, hear, to all! 

If Timok shows up with the Kardoval, then will it be at the point of a weapon , in chains , or brandishing a weapon?

Waiting for Contact.

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They will have first contact protocals and should not fight at first glance. Like he said, it's ( finally) time to show what Essell Deray can do!

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The rescue ship has arrived. Check. The soldiers deployed to scout the dangerous area. Check. Scientist with recording equipment. Say What!  It's like they are expecting first contact.  How did they find out??? Oh well.  Lights...Camera...Action!

Bring on Big Mama!

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