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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 - 83. Chapter 83

I was sure of Ases though. As soon as we’d gotten away from the planet and his family’s suffocation, he’d returned to the man I’d known. He’d sent so many questions via the comm. Everything about him screamed someone who was ready to seize the joy of his new life with both hands.

And by the way Bouncer just rubbed along his side, he approved too. Traitorous little shit. Eses hadn’t even fed him. Was it the animal thing? Like calling to like?

I cocked my head. “Come on. I’ll take you for a short walk and a meal.” Pointing to the security officer, I curled my lip discreetly. “I still can’t read their language, so we’ll take this guy and maybe a friend along for guides.”

Like he’d believe that. Still, it was the polite fiction, and I knew as someone trained to be an ambassador, he’d believe in letting fiction—the kind that was polite and used to pretty up a situation that could only be described as hostile and weird—be the official line.

Ases didn’t stare like I had as we wandered around the small ship. He glanced, watched from the corner of his eye, and subtly turned his body in the direction he wanted to travel. He was good. We chatted about old times, well, he chatted, and I sort of bobbed along. His razor sharp gaze missed little, but I also wasn’t stupid enough to take him anywhere important.

We ended up getting food, which was another adventure for him. He enjoyed poking at the different dishes, but he appreciated the fork I gave him after he the others hold their food and flick off bites with their knives.

“Do they ever lose parts of their noses?” he whispered. His eyes were huge.

“Not that I know of.” I glanced around. “They have really good hearing though.”

He flushed, turning his dark skin darker. “Do you think they heard me? No one here will… get mad, right?” He eyed our guards who were sitting at the far end of the long table we sat at.

Did he not realize the looks of amusement they all wore? No one had taken offense. I remembered how small Garjah’s smiles had seemed to me at first. Maybe he didn’t recognize them; Ases was a great diplomat, but he wasn’t a first contact specialist. Give him parameters, and he’d smoothly navigate the interpersonal waters of the craziest of situations.

“You’re not in any danger,” I said. Maybe I could be smooth too. I lifted my fork off my plate and the noodles on it went flying, splattering sauce across the plate, table, and floor where they landed with a plop. Bouncer had gotten tired of waiting for my attention and shoved his head between my arms. “You little troublemaker!”

Bouncer was happily slurping up the noodles he’d made me spill.

Ases was laughing and so were those closest to us. I didn’t really know anyone on this crew by name, but everyone had been friendly. They were all surprised to see a cerops on board, but Bouncer could win over others by .

We were headed back toward my quarters when Ases asked, “Do you want to see my ship? It’s been a while since I had a neat new gadget to share with you.” He did like his technology. Maybe that was why he’d jumped at this job; Garjah’s people had technology far more refined than any other species we’d come across—at least that I knew about.

I glanced at the guard behind us. He tilted his head toward the cargo bay. “I would like that,” I said. I turned in the direction the guard indicated, and Bouncer paused, confused. “We’re going this way to the ship.” His belly full, the lazy bones probably just wanted to take a nap. Too bad.

“You can go sleep by the door to our quarters or you can come with me.” Bouncer swung his head back and forth a few times, then he almost reluctantly turned toward me. I’d already started down the corridor, walking backwards. “I knew you’d come, you big faker. You’re so lazy.”

He snarled at me, swiping one of those big paws in the air. Ases and the guards gasped, but I laughed. “Oh, fierce beast, so cranky.” He snarled at me, but I pushed him.

“You’re insane.”

“He’s a baby.” A waist-high and lethal-to-anyone-but-me baby, but that was semantics. We entered the cargo bay, and the cylinder ship was nowhere to be found. “Stars above, Ases, your ship transformed!” I’d heard stories about the modular tech, but I never thought I’d actually see it. I’d expected to see the same tube he’d slid out of when he first arrived, but it was completely different.

Now standing erect, it two treads on the bottom. The body wasn’t hugely different, still an ovoid shape, but it had extended arms with manipulative digits and there was even what appeared to be a head.

“This is why my father was fine with me coming without staff.” Ases stood next to his ship, and it dwarfed him. It was still more than double his height.

“It’s huge.”

The guards Garjah had assigned weren’t happy to see it either. They were murmuring to each other behind me, and one caught me by the arm when I stepped forward.

“Please stay here until Garjah arrives to ensure this is safe.”

I frowned over my shoulder. “Ases is my friend. He would never put me in danger.”

The other guard had a weapon out, the deadly end pointed at the deck. Still, it made me nervous. I didn’t like armed guards at my back. Bouncer snarled, and the first guard who still had a firm grip on my arm dropped it like it was on fire.

“There’s no danger here. The ship mech isn’t armed,” Ases 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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