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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.

Egaran Stars - 71. Reinard- Ardai

Reinard’s feet trudged slowly down the Astéria’s promenade, his mind in too much torment to even appreciate the fact that for the first time in his life, he was going to live in luxury. Galen had borrowed heavily from Themis and Aegle to get him this spot on the ship, and he would enjoy the comforts of high class later, but for now his heart felt too raw.

Three hours had passed since he’d watched the tiger vanish from the shuttle’s window, three hours that should have been enough for him to recover from the pain of losing his bonded. He would see Galen again. And when he did, he would be healthy, free from the nightmares that haunted him. They would have a family together, and he could finally live a normal life, one with no one coming after him, trying to kill him for whatever his clan had done in the past.

Each hour had come with the puff of his inhaler, the nepáta working overtime on his nerves and his pain. Slowly, he began to relax, his heart still aching, but the drug dulling much of his worries. It hurt, but he needed to see this through, needed to help Galen help him. If he loved the Egaro, he would not let the tiger suffer through Reinard’s pain.

A large door awaited him at the end of a long hall, the fox having to strain to unlock the door with his key. A white tiger glanced at him curiously as she opened the room next to his, but the Faro ignored her, pushing into the surprisingly warm interior.

“Reinard Artego.”

Reinard yelped, his hand reaching for a dagger that wasn’t there. A dusty fox stared at him from the enormous bed further in the room, a uniform claiming him as one of the ship’s engineers.

“Artego?” Reinard gasped, taking in the fox’s pattern, strange dark tips at his ears and tail.

“Threce,” the strange fox denied. “But close enough. Eigal’s second son.”

Reinard shook his head in wonder, approaching this stranger, a long lost cousin to his clan. He hadn’t thought Eigal’s second son had kits.

“What are you doing here?” the Faro demanded. “You scared the fuck out of me.”

“I saw your name on the passenger list, and I had to see if it was actually you. I haven’t met another Faro in ages, let alone ardai, however distant. Ceiral, by the way.”

The fox slid off the bed, crossing the room to study the Artego closely. Reinard’s eyes scanned his body quickly, making sure he held no weapon as a force of habit. The nepáta was dulling the world around him slightly, and he started wondering if he had taken too much. Would Uisge even have the plant he needed? Noreen had promised they would, telling the Faro that his old friend would take good care of him when he landed on the Cervidae homeworld.

“You are very skittish,” Ceiral smirked, interrupting somewhat sluggish thoughts. “Been living among sex addicts for far too long. Why don’t we take a walk, catch up on clan relations? The ship’s about to make its first jump.”

As if to punctuate his words, an alarm blasted through the ship, followed by an announcement in Egaran, another in Cervidae, and then one in Xanthian.

“The ship is about to portal. Please keep all body parts away from the walls.”

Ceiral smirked up at the ceiling, rolling his eyes.

“They never do,” he shrugged, before opening the cabin door. “There’s always a bunch of burns during a jump, and the crew has to deal with them so rich bastards can’t sue them.”

Reinard followed the fox out of the cabin uncertainly, Ceiral leading him down the hall and into an elevator.

“You got a rather nice room,” the Faro said conversationally. “I always thought the Artegos were dirt poor. But then, Eiron passed recently, didn’t he? I suppose he probably had a good bit of money saved up to protect you.”

Reinard frowned slightly, wondering how the Threce was so knowledgeable about his segal’s passing. If he worked on the Astéria, he wouldn’t have had a chance to see the Alliance news that came from Athalea. Or maybe he would; Reinard wasn’t exactly up to date with the workings of a starliner.

They emerged from the elevator to an open deck, several vehicles set nearby. Reinard had no idea that cars could be carried on the ship. Surely people who spent a thousand credits on a berth could afford to get a new car when they got to their destination? It made little sense to him.

“Impressive, huh? You would not believe the amount of people who expect me to work on their beloved cars, make them street legal for Uisge or Egara. It’s such a pain,” Ceiral sighed, his hand grabbing Reinard’s wrist.

“What… what are you doing?” Reinard demanded as he was pulled toward the cars.

“Oh, I want to show you how we get them in here,” Ceiral said, motioning toward a large airlock.

His free hand hit a button, a door hissing open, and suddenly Reinard was stumbling toward the far end of the airlock, his fur standing on end. He whirled around in a panic, lunging back for the door and the leering fox beyond.

“No, wait-!”

The door closed before he could reach it, a quiet hiss following as the oxygen was slowly sucked out of the room. Panicking, the Faro gulped in a deep breath of air, trying to hold it in as he grabbed at a metal bar nearby.

“-survived this long… no sense of danger…”

He could hear the Faro taunting him through the sealed door, the far end of the room slowly opening into the blackness of space. His body was slowly growing heavier as he held onto the oxygen in his lungs, until a sudden agonizing pain blossomed in his chest, his lungs erupting inside him as the rest of the air blew him out into space.

You all have my sincere condolences for this chapter. I know Reinard was a favourite character for many of you, but the story had a mind of its own. This chapter was originally written back in July of '21, and I promise I didn't kill Reinard just for shock value. If it's any consolation, @Tsukihana has forbidden me from writing any more Reinards.

Copyright © 2020 Yeoldebard; 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

Wow, what a chapter. I didn't see that coming. Poor Reinard, never reunited with his bonded Galen.

  • Sad 4
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I suppose that the nepata might have relax Reinard some, but where is his ingrained sense of survival?  He should have been alert to any contact with a faro, especially one he did not seem to know.  He seems to be about to lose his life.  His only hope will be if his guardian white tiger rescues him.  Great cliffhanger.  When is the next chapter coming?😨 

  • Fingers Crossed 4
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God damn, i think reinard needs to be stricken from the book of names, it's too freaking unlucky. Poor little guy 🥺

  • Love 5
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It's finally reached this tragic point, and yes I really did ban her from writing any more 'Reinard's, in fact I gave a family in one of my short stories the surname Reinard so that they may live. Beautiful work as always, My Squishy.

  • Love 4
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Wow, didn’t see that coming.  Was it a dream? Reinard has been so paranoid about being killed off.  If he did die in this way that is very tragic. And poor Galen will be beside himself.

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