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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 - 88. Chapter 88

“We’re on approach now.”

“Are we ready for this?” I sat in a chair and watched our arrival on the planet. It was beautiful from the air. They had so much open space, filled with natural wonders. The colors were vivid from space with small areas of lights dotted here and there as we grew closer. Still, the overwhelming majority of the planet had been kept in a pristine state.

I had to hope that Ases was ready, and that the satellites ringing the planet would bounce the signal he was using out to the Galactic. One of the rebels had the codes, and she’d transmitted them to the ship as soon as we came in range.

“Entering atmosphere.” Even with my increased density, it was a jarring landing. I wasn’t sure what was harder, my heart pounding or the way I was thrown against the strapping holding me to my seat.

“We didn’t come down this hard last time,” I said.

“Last time we were invited.”

Good point. I sat quietly, aware of the tension rising as everyone very competently did their jobs. The communications guy twisted in his chair, “Confirmation, sir. We have two crews at the landing site, and more than enough of a presence to ensure your safety.”

“Any sign of security?”


Garjah sank back in his seat. “He did it.”

“You doubted Seedrah?”

“Not his loyalty, but his ability to lead in my place. I have broken tradition; I could see the Kardoval using that to replace him.”

“Does that mean it’ll work? We’re going to be safe?”

“We should be. I still want you in a suit.” It was a bone of contention between us; he wanted me in a suit, but he wasn’t willing to wear one. Thought it would show weakness or fear. His skin was thicker than mine, but not that much. A suit would keep him safer.

Bouncer was at my feet, the rough journey not even phasing him. I wish there was some way to protect him, but he was an animal. Besides, he had even thicker skin that Garjah, the ridges on his back protecting his spine. His attention was riveted on Garjah, even as he hovered near me. He definitely sensed something was happening.

The view through the screens changed, and we descended below the upper levels of the atmosphere. The flight eased, and we stood together. The landing zone was almost visible without the magnification of the screens. “Time to get Ases,” I said.

“I’ve captured the feed from his mech,” the communications tech said. “He’s already broadcasting so we can begin to relay as soon as you give the signal.”

“He is?” I asked in surprise.

“We’re ready,” Garjah said.

“Okay.” I took a deep breath. “We got this.”

Ases’ was dressed in ceremonial robes—the easier to drop and shift if he needed to—and his mech was behind him holding him in place with both arms, the eyes lit up the only sign it was recording. “Hey, Essell. You ready for our big show? I always said drama was your true calling.”

“No, you big fat liar. If anyone was a drama queen, it was you.” My voice had the slightest shake to it that I couldn’t hide.

“Guilty,” he sang. “But causing trouble is so much fun. And you’ve been having a lot of fun.”

“Fun. Sure.”

Garjah leaned against me and held a strap on the wall. “We’re landing.” I crashed against his body, and he wrapped both of his left arms around me and held me against his side. Bouncer lay on my feet.

The engine shut off, and the quiet was broken just by the sounds of the metal pinging and settling in the return to gravity. Gravity, shit. “You’re okay here, right?”

Ases had taken a few steps away from his mech, and he’d lost some of his fluid stride. “I’ll manage. It’ll get easier. I’ve been on light planets for too long, but my body adapts quickly.”

All I could do was nod. “Ready then?”


Garjah led the way. The crew of our little renegade ship lined the corridors, each saluting as we walked past. Garjah saluted back, and I smiled at everyone who met my gaze. The outer hatch seal cracked with a hiss as we neared, and then opened fully. Garjah turned to Ases’ mech and saluted, nodding while staring directly into the viewer that mimicked eyes.

We took the final steps out of the safety of the ship.

The sun blazed overhead, and the breeze brought with it a dusty tang of dirt and the ozone of the protective border between the shuttle port and the city. As soon as we appeared on the walkway, cries and shouts greeted us.

Garjah and I were holding hands, and Ases walked on Garjah’s other side. His mech walked behind him and slightly to one side for the best recording vantage. Gasps and hands pointed to him and the mech. Some pointed at Garjah and me.

Swintik came trotting up. He held out a tiny projector. “They’re all primed for you. Thank you for helping bring the needed changes to our world we’ve been begging the Kardoval for years for.”

“I live to serve.” Gajrah saluted. He attached the projector directly under his face on his naked chest, then looked over the crowd. “Thank you for coming. For those who did not hear the rumors, yes, this is Essell Deray, my bonded mate, and a human who was exploring Ardra. Joining us is an ambassador from the Galactic and their Council to speak to our people and find out how we can work together to ensure peace and open cooperation between their many races and our planets.”

“Why did you bring them here?” That shouted question had to be staged.

“We cannot hide any longer. If we do not dictate the terms of our discovery, we are bound to be victims instead of equals.”

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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