Tag Archives: Alien

Bound in Chain, Part 4

Suell pale gray eyes rested on her.  He let out a long sigh.  “You aren’t going to trust me if I don’t answer.”

Neela knew it wasn’t a question.  She waited.  For once in her life, she found she had patience.

“Do you know how I came to be born, Alaget?”  Suell asked in calm, soothing tone.

She shook her head.  “I know little of you Woellian culture, High Lord Suell.”

“Of course not,” He muttered.  Those strange blue hands ran through his fight hair mussing it out of place.  “Woellian live to serve the Leader Females.  It isn’t cultural behavior.  It is pure instinct.  A proper Woellian would crawl over broken glass at a single spoken word.  There is not questioning, there is no doubt.  All of them are united in their loyalty, and commitment to them.   They exert a subtle control over us.”  His brow wrinkled very slightly.  “Their morals, their beliefs are yours.  That’s why our society is so liberal in some respects.  Deviate behavior isn’t a threat when we all believe as one.”

“In a way there are three genders for them.  Male, female, and leader.  Leader females are a breed apart.”  His eyes turned inward the pale gray darkening.  “Beautiful, strong, brave, intelligent, deadly, protective, and leadership instincts to their very cores. “  Suell stopped speaking.

Neela wriggled in her seat.  In a few minutes she’d learned more than she’d ever known of the Woellian.  Yet, none of this answered her question.  “Thank you, High Lord.”  She stood up to leave.

His hand snapped out with blurring speed.  “Please sit, I’ll tell you the rest.”   He didn’t speak again until she was seated.  “My mother was born with a genetic flaw.  Many Woellian are our genetics are weak prone to random mutations due to damage inflicted on us a long time ago.  Sometimes we adapt in marvelous ways.  And, sometimes whole generations die from horrid diseases.”

Qwe-Fale-eiaa, my mother, was told she wouldn’t be allowed to breed.  They couldn’t risk the disease from passed on.  However, she wanted children.  She pointed out to the leader female in charge of the Qwe that if she managed to breed with an Alaget the child wouldn’t be flawed.   Qwe Leader Female didn’t agree.  My mother, who was once a high rank, grew angry and spilt off from her people.  She probably had a tendency to be an eiaa in her.  Otherwise, she never would be able to defy a leader female.  She searched out a male Alaget willing to accept children dying until the managed to breed one who might go insane before adulthood.”

Neela bit her lip.  “I don’t understand.”

“My mother was an eiaaEiaa tend to breed other eiaa.  My mother’s defiance doomed me.  Yet, if she hadn’t rebelled I’d never been born.”  His eyes flickered with red, his face growing taunt across his delicate bones.  “No one should have that right over others.”

“But,” Neela started without thinking, “didn’t this prove the Qwe leader female right.  Breeding was a bad idea.”

Suell’s face slackened as his mouth hung open. Then, he laughed.  “Perhaps, you are right, Citizen Neela.  But, I’ll never agree.  Do you trust me now?”

“No,” She said.  “I’m beginning to have faith you do not lie, High Lord Suell.”

“Good, someday I hope to earn all your trust.”  He tipped his head at the door.  “You may go and rest.  If you are hungry let someone know.”

As Neela dragged her weak body out the door, she began to hope.

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Bound in Chain, Part 3

An hour later she’d been bathed, dressed in a flowing dark blue dress, flown in a land ship, and taken up an elevator to a penthouse.  As the slick doors soundlessly opened the slave master shoved her forward.  She tried to gain her steps but her bad leg slide out from her.  A cry echoed against the glass and steel entry way as deformed leg twisted under her.

Two Alaget males reached down and pulled her up.  One lifted her into his massive arms and the other opened the door.  “Suell, she’s here.”  The man’s voice rumbled against her side.

He stepped from a door still wearing the black suit from earlier.  “They took their time.  Why are you carrying her?”  Those gray eyes started to take on a red tinge.

“Slave master shoved her.  Her body isn’t strong on the right side.”  He motioned to her disfigured body.   “You said to make sure we reduced her discomforts.”

Suell gave a tight nod the red fading.  “Neela, when do you want to start your training? Would you ready for it tonight, or would tomorrow be better.”

She blinked several times. “I don’t understand.  Are you giving me a choice?  You brought me, High Lord Suell. You may do whatever you want.”

He ran the shockingly blue hand through the mass of white.  “I brought your services.   In that I had no choice, but I will not treat you like filth.  Anyone who does so is merely someone covering their inadequacies.”  Those gray eyes looked into hers for the first time.  “We need to talk.  Are you hungry?”

Neela felt herself almost annoyed at him.  Truly, she was grateful to not be a mere chattel, to be beaten when convenient.  But, she had already resolved herself to that life.  It seemed she needed to realign her thinking once again.  “No, High Lord Suell, I am fine.”

Suell grunted.  “Put her in office, I’ll be there shortly.”

The man strode forward her legs swinging as they made it down the corridor to another set of doors.  He opened the second one to a sprawling office decorated with potted plants.  The bright blues, greens, yellows, and oranges told her they were probably from Knilt-on, Woellian home world.   He settled her into the heavily cushioned lounge across from the desk.  “Don’t get up.  He’ll be annoyed you didn’t listen to him when gets in here.”  The man left her.

Neela felt relief.  She didn’t know where she stood with these people.  Never before had she’d been this nervous.  She expected to be a slave, but now she wasn’t sure what she was.

Suell walked into her peripheral vision and passed her to sit in the large wood and cloth office chair.  “I’m sure you have questions.”

She suspected this was an opening, but she didn’t know the protocol.  Instead, she bent her head, waiting.

He let out a loud, heavy sigh.  “Ask your questions, please.  Stop standing on ceremony.  I have no patience for it.”

“Well,” She paused, and swallowed hard.  “Are you a half-breed? I mean, I know Woellian fight slavery constantly.”

His whole body flinched.  “Yes, I am.  I’m also an eiaa.  So, I don’t share their views on things.”

Eiaa, doesn’t that mean stupid, worthless idiot.”  Neela pale brow wrinkled up in puzzlement.

He shook his head.  “Only to an Alaget.  In Wol it is the rank of someone who can’t connect to the mind of the leader females.  If you can’t connect you aren’t a Woellian.  As far as they’re concerned.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.”  She felt bad that he wasn’t a full one race or the other.  And, on top of that he was some reject.

He shrugged, “An old wound.”

“Why did you want me?  You could have hired the services of any guild doctor.  And, you wouldn’t have to swallow the cost of training me either.”  Neela had no illusions that she was anything special.

“All that is true,” Suell waved a hand out.  “However, my noble house often goes on long engagements assisting my grandmother who is the ambassador to Amon.  No guild doctors were willing to be removed off world for any long period of time.  And, Woellian doctors tend to treat flesh wounds too casually and often to lead to unnecessary deaths with my Alaget employees.  And, in all honestly if I train, and pay you a modest salary it works out to very close to what I’d pay for a guild doctor.  I have one on staff due to the militant nature of our work.”

The news was rather startling.  The Nobles’ organizations, regardless of what type, didn’t do anything off world usually.   The political situations had to be watched closely.  One never knew when an ally or enemy would go for the throat.  One of the reasons she feared for her brother.

Suell tapped a data pad a few times.  “It seems you can be scheduled for training sometime tomorrow.”

“Why wouldn’t you make me infertile?”  The question forced its way out of her.  Neela wanted to ask, but had been very afraid.

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Bound in Chain, Part 2

“A doctor,” her father asked his tone full of wonder. “Truly?” His voice a bit muffled against her hair.

She nodded against his chest. “That’s what the SPB told me.” SPB being the Slavery Protection Board.

He pulled back to look at her. “And at least that is one good thing to come out this disaster. Are they going to send you through the slave lines?”

“Yes, I need to be lined up with the rest. They put some restrictions up for me.”  Her hearted ached knowing she was in such a mess.

A whip crack broke her way from her thoughts.  The slave master, however, was yelling at some alien slaves further away. Everyone in her line was for trained slaves, or exceptionally skill ones.   Another master voice spoke from behind.  “A client has asked to see you before the bidding. He may buy you early if any of you strike up his interest.”

Neela hated him.  Only the most powerful nobles would be allowed to check out slaves before bidding.  The man could have whatever he wanted.  A snap of his fingers and it would be his.  Her stomach turned.  She felt sick.

Once she saw him all such feelings faded under utter shock.  He was a Woellian.   Yet, he had to be one of rare half-breeds.  An unheard blending of two species, Alaget and Woellian.   Most children never were born, and only a few were making it to adulthood.   He must be one.  Their race abhorred slavery and often worked to free the Alaget’s fairly gotten slaves.

And, he was even dressed as an Alaget noble.   The form fitting trousers, long mid-calf vest over a tighter shirt was the highest on Alaget fashion.  Woellian only wore the most bizarre of outfits defying any logic.   With the blue skin, gray eye, and white hair he couldn’t be anything else.  He also had that delicacy of feature that no Alaget could have.

“High Lord Suell, this is the subsection you wished to look at. “   The plain dressed slave master seemed nervous, her eyes flicking over the slaves.

Suell gave a very slight frown.  “I have no interest inspecting them.   I told you I wanted to look at the one slated to be trained as doctor.”  His voice icy with utter disdain.  Nothing exceptional in that, Neela thought.  Nobles tended all talk that way with people below them.

Slave master twitched.  “Lord, it is Neela Giy, the fourth one down the row.”

He gave a curt nod and strode down to her.  The gray eyes stopped at each of her disfigurements.   “What is the price on her?”

“The auctioneer was going to start at a thousand ig.”  Slave master bounced from foot to foot.  “But, he didn’t think he get less than two and half thousand.”

Neela tried to keep herself from gasping at the staggering amount.  That equaled her father’s wages in a year.  And ig, intergalactic currency meant off world money could be used.  She knew unguilded doctors were valuable, but this was a shock.

Suell didn’t seem off put by this amount either. “Fine, I’ll pay it.  I don’t want any objections later.  Have her dressed properly delivered to my home.”

“SPB ordered to have her made infertile after the bidding.”  Slaver master tone quavered and her body posture slumped back.

His eyes flashed to red.  Terror ripped into Neela’s gut.  Hunting red, the Alaget called it.  Always a bad sign that Woellian temper had been provoked.  “She never went to the bidding.  Therefore, you can ignore that order.  And, if that is not enough for you, you can ask Alac-Hil-Yil about it.”

Slave master stiffened as her eyes widened.

Neela wished she knew more about Woellian names.  She knew their names function as title, job, and rank.

“I will do as you asked, High Lord Suell.”  Slave master tone dropped to low and rumbled.  “However, expect to be hearing from the SPB about your behavior. “

Suell smiled flashing his too sharp looking teeth.  “I hear your warning.  Do as I ordered.”  He gave Neela a bow and strode away.

Before his back was fully out of view Slave master’s hand crushed her arm.  “Come on.  I need to follow my orders.”   The contained rage of that statement made Neela flinch.

“What’s going to happen to me?”  She whispered.

Slave master shrugged dragging her back toward the containment buildings.  “I don’t know.  And, I don’t care.  He won’t kill you.  The SPB wouldn’t like it.”

Neela didn’t feel reassured he didn’t seem to be worried about what they did and didn’t like.

——————-

Author’s Note –

Okay, fail on my part my beloved blog readers.  This post is extremely late, inexcusable late.  I could blame the holidays, getting new glasses, life etc… However, doesn’t change the fact it was late.  To make up for it, I’ll post next week late Wednesday evening instead.  

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Walking in Shadow, Part 6

I dropped.  A tug as ripped them back stumbling toward the walls.  “Gulla, get away from the door.”  Her energy drifted to the center of the room.  Then, I let the bombs explode.

It was strange.  At first, there was no noise.  Everything was being thrown around.  The air seemed to be on fire as bits hit me, and cut into my flesh.  Then a strange soundless roar rose up. Once it faded I could hear the screams.  To my amazement even if the walls blown out there wasn’t much damage.  I took cover, and fired several shots.

The men panicked with no one to lead them.  Many fled.  Gulla’s gun fired as they ran. When, they got closer her knife slashed out. Some escaped, most died to her rage.

I limped over to her.  Blood ran down her body, her hair singed, but her eyes wild with excitement.  “That was unexpected.  Why did everything blow up?”

My gaze flicked back to Gabion. “He knew you’d come here.  He set up explosives.  I destroyed denator, but I realized we were overwhelmed.  I used my power to set them off.  After killing Gabion, of course.”

“One problem, did you ruin the medical supplies.”  A burned, bloodied brow lifted as Gulla laughed.

“Start looking,” as I turned to search I realized a massive metal rod in my leg.  My body braced against a counter, and tugged it out.  “Ouch,” I muttered.

A pleased whistle echoed over the room.  “A sealed medical lab back here, no damage outside the door.”

“Good, let’s get it and go.  I’m injured, your injured let’s go.”  My thumb flicked up toward the door.

Gulla chuckled.  “Keep yourself together.  We’ll go. Grumpy.”

“Keep myself together.” I repeated.

She grinned as the door whooshed and slide open. “You are kind prone to stuffiness and panic.”  The room was sprawling with no dust.  A wall of gleaming, glass cabinets stood out on the far wall.

Instead of entering I took a defensive stance by the door.  “Yes, I’m a fussy old woman. Go in, I keep guard.”

Her footsteps quiet as she made her way to the other side. “You don’t need to keep guard.”

“I think I’m done with surprises is all.”  Not that any time with Gulla wasn’t typically a surprise.

A sharp shout, as her feet raced back.  “I got the cache.”  She shook the box. “Let’s go.”

A smile forced its way onto my face.  “Let’s try to get back without any more injuries.”

“What’s the fun in that?”

<<<The End>>>

 

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Walking In Shadow, Part 5

“Not surprised you can’t hit.  Nobles think genetics make the fighter, when it is really killing, and a little brain power.  Your men were always short on that weren’t they Gabion?”  One could taste the loathing in Gulla’s voice.

Gabion the name echoed around in my head.  Gabion, could he be the one who killed her parents?  He must be.  I pressed myself against the wall allowed myself to sink into memories. Gulla powerful mental presence always pushed on my mental barriers. If I could pull of her memory of I could find him. There, he smiled down at her as a small child.

A half barked laugh, “Smart enough to kill your parents.  Maybe, they weren’t as smart as they always claimed.”

There I had him.  A tall, wide framed he stood in the back.  A device in his hands as he seemed confident and cool.  That worried me.  My instincts screamed to hurry, but I forced myself to move slow.

“They made the mistake of trusting you.  I won’t be making that one, ever.”  All the youth gone from Gulla’s voice.  It made my heart ache.  “Aren’t you going to attack?”

“I’m waiting for your friends to arrive.  I knew you’d be running out of supplies soon.  Especially with how strong your little rebellion has gotten.”  Apparently, he underestimated Gulla’s impulsive insanity.  If she could get away with only going out with me, that’s what she do.  If I’d let go out herself, she would.  Backup, a term she was utterly unfamiliar with.

The device in his hand was visible as I crept near him.  An automated trigger, he had something rigged to go off.  I needed to take out the device before anything else.  He shifted on his feet.  “Stay away from the walls, and doors, remind the troops.”

It won’t matter soon, Gabion, I thought to myself.  I’d have you soon.  My blade flashed out and the device shattered as I brought an elbow hard into Gabion.

He took the blow and rolled back.  A smirk on his lips.  “I knew she had a friend.”

Gulla liked to deal with taunts, I could care less.  I swept my blade down.  He scrambled out of the way.  “Fire, you eiaa, fire.”

The clang, and the echo of bullets were a tad distracting. I ignored it.  He pulled a gun.  The shadows and I were one as I ducked.

He cursed.  He lost sight of me.  A flare of gunfire as he shot at where I had been.

Still a bit blinded, I struck out my leg to trip him. As he fell I kicked hard. The blade snapped out cutting it into armor.

A shot hit me in the shoulder hard.  Another hack at, and I caught his hand.  Blood welled out as I heard the crack of bone.  Another shot caught me but from behind.  My eyes narrowed as I lowered onto him.  As we both started punching each other. A blow caught me in the face.  My finger wrapped around his throat.  Forcing my power through my fingers I slowed his heart. Each beat a struggle now.   His body began to thrash, one last desperate attempt to live.  I wrenched his neck.  He went still.

The fight still went on around me. They were taking controlled shots.  And, from what I could see they were edging around to flank her.  My gun started to fire.  However, they were ignoring my attacks.  Too many, in fear I reached out and found the edge of the demolitions.  I hesitated. What if Gulla got hurt?  I couldn’t bare it.  A cry of pain killed my concern.  They’d kill her either way.

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Walking in Shadow, Part 4

“Yeah, but you can do things normal Alaget can’t.  I’m not even sure how your abilities work.  Or, how the Soul Merchant’s could have given them to you.”  Her eyes widening as my skin stitched itself back together.

“I’m not fully certain either.”  The theory, I understood.  It took Soul People a long time to figure out how keep personality and traits consistent through each life time.  And, I gather, a lot of souls dissembled, and put back together to make me work they wanted.  Guilt hit me.  How many peoples’ souls had died to make me? I’d never know.  “I’m good enough to walk.”

A hop and Gulla was up.  She didn’t try to help me up.  This told me, she knew me too well.  “I’m starting to think this isn’t a good idea.”

My eyes blinked rapidly.  Gulla never acted unsure.  “Nothing you do is a good idea, why should today be any different?”

She flashed a grin before pulling out the map.  The blue-black paper pressed against the pitted metal wall, as her fingers traced patterns over it.  “The main lab should be nearby, up the hallway.  I couldn’t find any information on it.”  She shrugged at me before strolling down the hall.

Another companionable silence this time I was lost in thought.  Soul People had warned me twice in this lifetime.  And, both warnings had come due to some action involving Gulla.  They didn’t like her influence on me.   I hated the Soul People with every fiber of my stolen soul.  They used, and abused me without concern or care for how I’d feel about it.  They gave me commands, and never explained.  Soul People demanded I have a mind of my own, but became annoyed when I used it.  Gulla had been the only person to give me any peace.  Amass a contradiction that girl.  Brutal and caring, Vulnerable, and unbreakable, youthful excitement, and pain brought wisdom.   She was as much as a disaster as I was.

Gulla motioned for me to stop.  “The seal on the door is broken.”

I sent out my energy trying to read what’s in the room. My jaw clenched. “Noble guards, a lot of them.  They haven’t been there long.  We might not be able to take twenty of them.   They are too spread out for us to flank.  And, I bet they are on orders to keep us out, not kill us.”

“Ko, vaero nobles.” A hiss escaped her lips.  She kicked the door down, and screamed.  “Are you going to let me in here, or do I have to kill all of you.”

Fear lanced through me as I pressed myself behind a door frame.  I didn’t dare grab at her.  That would only anger her more.  “What are you doing?”  Even though, I knew.

The room went silent.  Instead ringing of gunshots, instead a voice shouted back.  “Gulla Valik, surrender, and submit to justice, and you won’t be harmed.”

Her emotions were so strong. I felt the memory of her family’s murder.  The rage twisted, as she sent it pounding it out an attacked followed by a generade.  “Never.”  Somehow, her voice echoed over the screams, and explosion.  She rolled into the room guns out.

I shook my feelings, and become one with the shadows.  They didn’t know I was here.  The room lights weren’t operationally, the room full of shadows.  A few would go down before I was discovered.  Shots rang out, no damage done yet.  Gulla knew how to wait.  The leader was would who I needed to find.  If I could take him out we would stand a fighting chance.  The problem was no one was talking.  And, my night vision was not nearly good enough to see individuals.  If I could see in the dark, I’d be able to tell the most enhanced person.  Their features always had an odd overly symmetrical appearance.  What I needed was for Gulla to annoy them.

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Walking in Shadow, Part 2

Has it really been a year since my first blog post?  It hardly feels as if a year has passed.   Though, considering the amount of blog posts up maybe it should have seemed longer.   I’ve never had quite so much fun learning before.  

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to read bits of my brain cracked open for everyone.   I hope to see you all next year, same time.

Walking in Shadow, Part 2

“What else is in the way?”  I shook my hand in irritation as the tip of it grew back.  The burning and itching feeling distracted me.

She grabbed me and lifted me up. “A few traps, a few natural obstacles, and other things I’d guess.”

“Strip,” I motioned at the dead bodies.

Gulla frowned her fine, thin brows making a knot pattern.  “If we can on the way back.  I’m not sure how heavy the medical supplies are going to be.  I’d be great if found enough we couldn’t carry the weapons.  We need to pass this way on the way back. We can always get them later.”

The rebellion had been doing poorly for some time.  I hesitated leaving behind valuable armor, and weapons.  There was a time we had only ten guns. “I’ll mark the location, for pick up by the Vallen, and his troops.”

“Not Harl’s men?” Gulla had a rivalry with the leader of the rebels.  Harl didn’t like her much either.  But, Gulla was the most genetically enhanced individual on all of Amon.  There was no one even comparable.  And, considering she had brought the technology to allow us to easily enhance our own troops, he couldn’t dismiss her.  Gulla took advantage of that fact, and was building her own base of power.

“Gulla,” The warning apparent in my tone, “be careful to not spilt the rebels.”

Gulla tossed her head.  “What a random comment.”

She couldn’t fool me.  “I know how you think.  You were thinking I don’t trust Harl.  And this could be good for you.  Since, we are clearly friends.   However, I trust Harl.  But, his people are standard soldiers. Vallen’s are scouts, which fits Vallen’s temperament.”

Gulla started down the hallway, and I followed.  My senses extended enough to warn me if more troops were waiting.

A few minutes passed when Gulla whispered.  “So, you and Vallen?”

The question felt heavy for implications. What those implications might be I don’t know.  “What is it you want know?”

I could feel as exasperated sigh, more than heard it.  “Are you two dating, having a casual thing?”

It took me a moment to work it out in my head.  “I’m not involved with Vallen.  Why would you think such a thing?”

Her shoulder’s shrugged.  “You always seem to know what the other is thinking.  You even share quiet, secret smiles on occasion.  And, I’ll catch you guys exchanging glances.  Isn’t that sort of thing that says there is something going on?”

The evidence did suggest the was something going on.  “Well, there isn’t.  Perhaps, there is potential for it.  I doubt any Alaget are interested in alien.”

Gulla looked back at me her eyes wide.  “An alien who looks, talks, and acts mostly like an Alaget, and can look like any Alaget who has ever lived, at any time.”  Her voice grew more amused with each word.  “I can’t imagine any man who wouldn’t want that.”

A presence nearby, not a person, maybe something else, “Gulla, stop.”

All joy fled as she stilled.  Her eyes scanning the area.  A pain hit my heart, a child shouldn’t be this good at surviving.

The presence seemed to be shuffling.  It couldn’t be an animal.  Almost all life had been wiped out in The Fall. “What is it?”

Gulla tapped her foot.  It meant she was tired of waiting on me.  She believed strongly in silent communication while on mission.

The presense wasn’t getting any closer.  “There is something.  I’m not sure what it is. We might have to go and confront it.”

The click of Gulla reloading her gun was the only response.  She motioned with the weapon.

I led going in the direction I sensed the creature.  The tunnel lightened even more as plants, and moss covered everything.  A few insects fluttered in the air.  I peered upward as artificial lights beamed down.  “I’m surprised. Was this a testing facility of some kind?”

Gulla shook her head clearly as baffled as me. “I don’t know.  The records I dug out of that old computer were pretty corrupted.  That’s why we had to check other locations, I wasn’t even sure what was where.”

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The Rebel’s Rise, Part 9

I could hear charging feet around the corner.  Then steps stumbled, Amaria stepped from around the corner.  “I sensed them.  Harl was hoping to get one more load.”  She pulled the other two up with a quick jerk.

 

My palms itching for my gun, as I followed suit. The urge to keep checking behind me was nearly overwhelming.  Amaria is there, I told myself, she’ll see someone far before you.  I swept down as I passed the door my gun resting, in my hands.  “Situation?”

 

“A lot of them are heading this way.  Our friend is either dead, or they gave up on them.”  The shadows spoke with Amaria’s voice.

 

“Can we go down the chute?” It was quickest exit I could think of.

 

Harl shook his head to the side.  “No, it would kill us.  I have an exit.  I’m not sure how to get there with all these men bearing down on us.”

 

A bit of hysteria filled me as I laughed.  All of them stared at me.  “I have a plan go to your exit, I’ll follow.”  They didn’t move.  “Harl, I swear to you I’ll provide a distraction.”

 

He knew what I was telling him.  He bowed his head.  “This way, be ready.”  They took off in a sprint.  Only Amaria lingered to offer me a deep bow of respect.

 

It didn’t take long for their footsteps to fade.  A few tears and I held the three remaining grenades.  I started to throw them into the cache when a voice piped up.

 

“Heroically sacrificing yourself.  That’s pretty adorable.” Gulla stood casually leaning against a wall.  Blood splattered across a tight fighting battle suit with several metal plates hanging loosely, or had fallen off.  The only fully attached pieces were the chest and shoulders.  “Aren’t you going to thank me for diverting the ambush?”

 

“That was you?” My jaw felt unhinged as I stared at her.

 

A roll her eyes as she strolled over.  “Of course, who else would try to keep you alive?  Do you think your little group of fighters has endeared yourself to anyone?”  Her eyes focused on the grenades.  “Why don’t you go hide out in the chute, I’ll throw them and join you before the explosion.”  She held up a pair of hooks.  I wonder who she had to kill for them.

 

“I made them myself.”  In the future, I realized, her having ability to read me was going to be very irritating.

 

I didn’t want to die, but I didn’t know if this was the best idea.  “I think you should go. I’m just a Noble, you are the hope the rebels need.”

 

She snorted.  “Give me a break.  I’ll be fine.  And, this is the only way to save you. I may be a kid to you, and maybe I could stand to be more mature.” It looked painful for her to say it.  “We don’t have time for this.  Go, or I’ll throw them and kill us both.”

 

I bit back a growl and headed out for the chute.  I slid in digging the metal hooks into the side leaving enough for her to fit as well.  A gust of wind filled the air as the door slammed shut.  The building twisted, and buckled around me. I rocked back and forth slamming into Gulla and the metal.  My muscles screamed in objection.  Then a series of explosions made it impossible to feel anything.  All I could think of it was I wish I had a way to plug my ears.

 

Gulla let out a holler.  “Now that was exciting.” She winked at me.  I could see bruises all over her.

 

“You’re hurt as bad as me.”  I stuttered, I never heard my voice so battered.

 

She wiggled upward forcing the blackened, twisted door open.  “I’ll heal.  Better than you.”  A tug and she tumbled out.

 

It took me several groans to follow after her.  “Where to?”

 

She gave a massive stretch.  “Out the hole.”  She motioned to the shattered wall.  “I got rope too.”  She patted the coiled pile on her back.

 

I frowned.  She was a little too good at this.  “Alright, let’s get it over with.  If we wait too long my muscles will seize up.”

 

She spent a moment tying the rope off.  She leaned over the side.  “We’ll have to drop a bit, or we can try climbing the wall.”

 

The grinding of my bones distracted me as I looked down.  The rope stopped about three full lengths from the bottom.  “Won’t kill either of us.”

 

“True,” she half laughed grabbing the rope and shimmied down.  I followed watching her move at speeds I could barely follow.  She got the end, hooted and let go.

 

My ambition was less I went to the very end of it, then fell.  The ground came up hard against my feet, and I let out a yelp of pain.  I opened my eyes and she leaned over me.  “Are you going to be okay?”

 

“Probably, can you take me back to base?” My leg was broken.  It cracked right below the knee.  Thank my useless father who replaced my kneecaps long ago. I shut my eyes leaving it to her.  I felt bad about it, but I couldn’t do it anymore.

 

“Harl, I got your second in command here.  Broken leg, you might want to fetch him.”

 

I meant to ask her how she was talking to Harl, but I blacked out. It dawned on me; I was resting on a cot.  Harl, Amaria, and Gulla sat around me on chairs.  The rebels arrayed other outside.  “You get the weapons.”

 

A light slap on my shoulder as Harl scolded me.  “You are injured and the first you thing you ask about is the weapons?  They are here.  You need to rest.”

 

From behind them I could see everyone’s eyes on Gulla.  I knew then, as I went back to sleep, she would be our leader.  Harl was already on the way out. He just didn’t know it yet.

 

I hoped you enjoyed Gulla’s antics in Rebel’s Rise.  The next story coming up is the Rebel’s Lesson, where Gulla might have to learn some humility, and social skills.

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The Rebel’s Rise, Part 8

“We can’t.  We need these weapons.  It is worth our lives, without them we won’t be able fight again, or defend our own base.”  He motioned at me.  “Fire three more bursts then follow me. I found a side path to the cache.”

 

I nodded.  Inwardly, I panicked.  There is no chance we tripped any alarms.  This is a trap, I thought.  The rest of me kept firing, and following orders.

 

Harl made the motion.  A rip toward a grenade from my side I hurled it down the hall, as we turned running down the side passage.  The hallway shook before I heard the boom.  A yank on my arm caused me to stumble.

 

“Are you trying to get us killed?”  There was no real accusation in Harl’s voice.  There was fear.

 

I shook my head.  “No, it’s a trap, Harl.”

 

“I agree.”  Amaria chimed in a gun resting against her side.  “We need to go, if we are going to make it at all.  You’re lucky Vallen knows how to make grenades, otherwise we would be dead already.”

 

A grunt as Harl swept his eyes over who we had left.  Celi was missing, as was one of Harl’s people.  “Amaria keep to the middle, Vallen cover the rear, and I’ll lead.”

 

Sweat dripped down my forehead.  Our progress was slow.  I couldn’t hear anyone coming down this way.  It didn’t make me feel any better.  Most likely they were concerned I had more grenades and were waiting to ambush us up ahead.  My arms, and neck ached with tension.

 

Behind me, I could hear gunfire, and shouts.  “Harl?”

 

“Not us.”  He sounded as tense as me.

 

Jirth’il!” rumbled from Harl.  “Vallen, come here.”

 

I tapped Bara on the shoulder.  “Take over on the back.  Understood?”

 

“Yes, sir.”  He looked pale.

 

I walked over to Harl and I cursed as well.  The hallway was strewn with corpses, at least ten

soldiers lying in their own blood.  A look told me they weren’t rebels.  I noticed a doorway stood open and inside were walls of weapons.  “Is this cache? Is this all the sand for the ambush?”  It didn’t seem like enough to me.  Nobles could be arrogant, but not generally stupid.

 

“No, they took after whoever did this.”  He motioned to footprints in the blood.  “Let’s get the cache. I have to set it up to go down the trash chute across the hall. Someone is down there to pick up.”

 

I didn’t feel like trusting Harl’s judgment since his contact failed this time.  “Who?”

 

Xialo.” I couldn’t object.  A Woellian isn’t an ally who you distrust.  Besides Xialo was a good guy for an eiaa, an abnormal.

 

Harl stood against the door frame.  “Bara, grab as much as you can and send it down the chute.”  I motioned to Harl’s trainee.  “Same for you.”

 

Amaria tilted her head in the direction the Noble’s troops went.  “Whoever they are chasing is frustrating and angering them.”

 

“Who they are chasing?”  Harl barked.

 

The star in her eye expanded outward for a moment, her eyes widening.  “I can’t sense them.  Either they are shielded in some way, or have the mental capability to block me. It seems they are leading them on a merry chase.”

 

Huge crates of weapons, and ammo got dumped into the chute, the two panted from the effort.  Still, the cache’s shelves filled with more.  “We can’t hope it will last. Eventually, they’ll get annoyed enough, or smart enough to come back here.”

 

“I agree, we’ll get a fourth of it at least before we cut out.” A fourth would help us last for months, and it would be more than worth it.

 

Something about Amaria’s posture troubled me.  She seemed either confused, or upset.”What is it?”

 

“They are dying.  Not quickly, but the person they are chasing is killing them.”  Her face scrunched up.  “I can feel their lives being snuffed out.  Whoever is killing them is as efficient as me.”

 

“You’re telling me they are drawing them out to keep them away.  As if they are choosing to keep them distracted.”  The rumble in Harl’s voice seemed as confused as Amaria.  Never before had anyone attempted to help us aside from those already with us.  “If that’s the case, go ‘till half.  Vallen, help them.  Amaria let me know if you sense anyone coming this way.”

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The Rebel’s Rise, Part 7

“You don’t want me to go. I’m the most enhanced person here.” Gulla’s hand rested on a cocked hip.

Harl whipped around.  “You are a child.  A well trained, tough child, but one nonetheless.  Do you think your parents would be glad if I risked your life?”

“They’re dead.” Her nonchalant delivery fell flat.  Pain welled up in her eyes for a moment.  She banished it with a snide smile.

Harl’s arm muscles tightened through his form fitting shirt.  “I am aware.  But, I knew them.  They would want you to live.  I have already failed them by not finding you.  Do you want me to fail them again by taking you into this situation and putting your life at risk?”

Her face flushed a deep crimson as her small fists curled.  “I don’t care.  You know who killed them? Those self- absorbed, meaninglessly, prattling nobles. I have the strength, the endurance, and the power to stop them.” She spat at his feet.  “I’m sixteen cycles. I’m not a child.”

“You are emotional.  As you have just proved.”  Harl roared back.  “I don’t know you.  What if you choose revenge over the lives of your comrades. What if you lose your cool and rush into a dangerous situation.  I know nothing about you, and how you operate.  I am not going to take you on such a risky mission to satisfy your bloodlust.”

Before anyone else could escalate this argument any further, I put my hands on them pushing them apart.  “Enough!” My voice raised with aggravation.  “Both of you are being stupid. She isn’t a baby, Harl.  And, you just joined. You can’t expect us to immediately take you.  Ko!”  I cursed giving them a final shove.

Gulla shoved back knocking me off my feet and onto my ass with bruising force.  “Fine!” She stomped off.

“Brat,” Harl started to wind up for a rant

“Don’t start.” I pulled myself up.  “I’ll see you tonight.  By then, I hope you would have cooled off.”

***

 

The ride out of the faculty was uneventful.  I’d taken Bara and Celi for my crew.  I didn’t recognize Amaria’s people, but her group was the most secretive.  The main sewerage tunnel was as gross as you could imagine.  Slimy, reeking with dim light from our guns, and so cold, it made me thankful for my heavy combat gear. Amaria seemed to be the only one not affected. Her calm dignity intact as she got covered in unmentionable goo.

The light caught Harl making the motion to stop.  I heard the scraping sound of someone removing the grate. This, for me, had always been the worst part of any mission.  The quiet tension gnawed at my worries.  I’d rather be shot at any day.  Harl’s deep voice seemed to boom, even though I knew he was quiet.  “We’ll go as a team, my people first, Amaria’s to scout, and Hallen’s to provide range support.  I don’t know what’s in here, so we have to be careful.”

For an agonizing minute, the group slipped out of the grate.  I got out last, pulling out my gun in one smooth motion.  A quick glance told me Amaria’s people were already scouting.  “Bara, Celi. What in the Ko are you doing? Get your guns out.”  I put a considerable bite into my words.

Bara ducked his head.  “Sorry, Sir.  I thought I heard something.  I was talking it over with Celi. She said she can’t hear it.”

“Your weapon has to be out in a hot zone. Be vigilant.”  One thing I agreed with Gulla on was how amateurish our whole operation seemed.  We never had enough time to train, and most of them weren’t really battle-ready.  The only thing our army had going for it was everyone had nothing to lose.  A dubious quality to build a rebellion on.

“Harl! Vallen!”  It took me a moment to recognize Amaria’s voice.  She had never yelled before.  A stutter of gunfire filled the air as a scream was abruptly cut off.

“Get in defensive posture. Defend us with long range.”  I signaled my people as weapons came up firing in short bursts.

Amaria appeared out of thin air.  “There is too many, Harl. We need to move.”

“Your people?” Harl pulled out a map.

“Gone.”  The sorrow in that one word stopped my breathing. One always forgot that underneath Amaria’s cool, reserved exterior beat a sensitive heart.  “Harl, we do not have time for this.  Abort the mission.  We must go.”

 

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