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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 - 91. Chapter 91

Sorry for the double posting; this chapter accidentally posted as the prologue somehow!

Ases sent his mech to the far side of the room where it extended its legs and looked down on the room. We’d been announced, and the applause had sounded sincere enough. The knots of people were slow to approach our trio, however, even after the mech moved away.

“The clothing is certainly interesting.” Many people wore outfits that mirrored the patterns on their skin, spots or stripes, but in many different hues. Others wore draped robes held over a single shoulder or wraps in plain colors but accessorized with gaudy jewels. “I’m glad I packed several formal outfits.” He wore a silver robe with crimson detailing around the collar and cuffs, but the trailing sleeves had gaps along top edges that exposed the muscles of his shoulders, biceps, and forearms.

Plenty of fabric to conceal his personal stunner and at least two knives I knew Ases used to always carry.

Garjah was dressed far more simply in a short kilt with his armbands on full display. I wore his mother’s, and more than one person side-eyed them. Still not comfortable forgoing shirts despite the added difficulty of accommodating an extra pair of arms, I wore a vest with open sides that tied. The sheath molded into the spine protection of the cloth hide a stiletto blade Garjah insisted I carry after I proved I could reach the retracted hilt, activate it, and then actually use it without harming myself.

The pillow he’d had me stab had been another story. Bouncer had pounced the second the plant fluff had appeared from the neat rip, and he delighted in yanking out more and flinging it over his head until the fabric bag of the bag hung empty and the room had been in shambles.

All in all, between getting clothes fabricated, weapons fitted and tested, and going over our plan for the evening, we’d already had a long day.

At least the banquet tables along the sides of the room had plenty of food. My dad used to complain that Institute functions were always lacking in the proper amount of selections, but there were many different types of plants, meats, and sweets laid out on platters for the guests to nibble on. Drinks were circulated by serving staff, which made me nervous. Cautious, I only took a glass from a server who held a tray that had been offered to several groups around the room.

“Careful, that’s intoxicating,” Garjah warned.

“I assumed.” The small bubbles and sharp bite of the scent that wafted up and hit my nose when I lifted the glass were hallmarks of a beverage I’d need to go easy on. “Where are our hosts, do you think?” The Kardoval hadn’t entered the room yet.

“They’ll make an entrance.” Garjah also held a drink and a small plate of food.

“Ah, Timok, I’m glad to see you,” Garjah said. I turned my head and caught sight of the medic, still not quite sure if I should scowl at him or welcome him too. He held too many secrets in that sly gaze.

“And who did you bring to us?” he asked.

“This is Ases, an ambassador from the Galactic Council. He volunteered to come with us and be a part of this new era for your planet,” I said. “Ases, this is the chief medical officer for the ship Garjah normally commands as well as the planet.”

“Interesting.” Ases brightened. “Most doctors I know either specialize in space travel medicine like mass injuries or alien pathogens or focus on healing their own people. Do you really practice both?”

“Well, it’s not that difficult, you see, when most of the time we don’t risk encountering other species,” Timok said. “Essell here was a unique case that brought many challenges with his unique status with Garjah as well as the adaptations necessary to handle the damage to his system.”

“Several scientists on the Institute’s council team wanted me to speak to someone about that; they were fascinated by the genetic anomalies he presented with the physical modifications like his extra limbs and the changes to his eyes. He wasn’t very cooperative in letting them learn more.” Ases smirked when Garjah narrow his nostrils.

“I am not surprised. He was a terrible patient.”

“Hey! I am not an experiment to be poked and prodded. And I said thank you for saving me, and helping Bouncer too.” Timok had helped him, but he was just such an arrogant asshole about it that it galled me to acknowledge the sheer miracle of what he’d done saving my life.

“Yes, yes, you won’t let me examine you for additional changes and monitor your system overtly. I understand this.” Timok turned to Ases. “But you are not a human, correct?”

“No, I’m not. I do have this humanoid bipedal form, but I can also shift into a four-legged mammalian form that is more… primitive, shall we say? I still understand and can reason, but everything is more black and white and my shifted form sees things in a simpler way.”

“Fascinating.” Timok led Ases toward a table with food, and we let them go. A few others joined them as they got some finger foods, Timok pointing and a young female nodding and then indicating the yellow spotted flowers with spiky petals she was dipping in a clear sauce.

“He is not as subtle as he thinks he is,” Garjah said.

“What?”

He nodded by tilting his head to the right twice. “There’s activity over there, which means the Kardoval should be arriving shortly.”

“Is he getting him out of the line of fire?” Not that I thought they’d bring actual weapons. But their biting comments were barbs intended to hit home every single glance and insinuation.

“There won’t be any firing.” A chime filtered through the room and everyone turned to face the door Garjah had already noticed activity at; well, he was the head of security for a reason.

Thank you to @raven1 @CincyKris @imogene_arant @astone2292 @drsawzall @scrubber6620 for commenting on this chapter when it accidentally posted as the prologue. NO clue how that happened!!

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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La la la 'Timok and Ases sittin' in a tree. Kissing!'Timok certainly warmed up fast to Assess.

Thanks 😘

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