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Authors: Viola Grace

Tags: #Romance, #Science Fiction, #Space Opera

Hunting a Soul (7 page)

BOOK: Hunting a Soul
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She reached into the pouch she was carrying on her hip, and she opened the sling for Krix. “Come on, sweetie. We have to stop something horrible from happening.”

The trail the soul left was dark and thick. To Lee’s amazement, she realised that she still had a grip on him. She used that link to run after him through the city streets and out onto the rocky dunes outside the elegant and civilized structures.

Krix was on her back in the sling, and Lee followed the footprints as well as the waves of thick darkness that she was gathering and holding tight.

Night was fully upon the ground, and she slowed down as the shadows took over and the moons gave her just enough light to see the footprints disappear.

The peacekeepers didn’t follow her, because no crimes had been committed aside from the domestic assault and that could be put down to cultural differences. It was the only reason that the captain could think off to hold off pursuit for a few hours. If he injured one citizen, they would come after him with everything they had.

The first slash came out of the darkness and opened the front of her suit. “You know, I thought you would be better at this by now, Leadra. I came for you, but you just wouldn’t stop looking at him with those huge, sad eyes. He couldn’t do it, so I took him to the bridge. We could have continued to have fun, otherwise.”

She winced and looked back into the shadows where the monstrous figure of N’ran had disappeared. She had heard him moving, but it was hard to see more than the flash of his teeth in the darkness.

Her own blood was soaking into the suit, but Krix healed her quickly. She touched the stone that Resicor had given her and willed it to show her some light.

Nothing.

Another strike left shreds on her suit, and Lee tumbled to the ground. She lay face down. N’ran slid his hand into her hair and pulled her upward, pressing against her neck with sharp talons. “You didn’t put up a fight. I am so disappointed.”

N’ran was in the morphed form that his kind saved for battle. He was taller, stronger, wider and far more dangerous than his normal shape.

“I don’t want to hurt him.”

She gathered her energy and hoped he would keep talking.

“How sad. He is screaming around in his own mind right now.”

“He doesn’t realise that you feed on fury, on hate and on sorrow.” She cooled her emotions and hoped that her hint had gotten through.

She didn’t have time to wait; she stuffed his energy and her own through the pendant, the tear of Resicor.

Light blasted him, and her energy became hands of flame that peeled at the shadows.

N’ran must have calmed down, because the shadow peeled off his calm, and Lee stumbled back with the shadow in her grip.

It screamed and fought her, so she increased the power she was pouring through it. When she had pulled him away from N’ran and had him up in the sky over the dunes, she opened her hands, and ripped the energy that made up his consciousness apart.

The light of the pendant burned the shreds as they fell.

Lee fell to her knees, and Krix chirped and chortled in commiseration. N’ran knelt next to her, and she put her arm around him, resting her head on his shoulder.

“Anyone else, I would have stabbed, you know.”

He pressed a kiss to her head. “I know. I was at your final weapons combat trial.”

“Thank you for catching on.”

“It was difficult. I wanted to kill him for what he was doing to you.”

A glowing figure spoke from a rock nearby. “That is why they win. The chaos shadows link in and hold tight through the hate. They feed on it, and it holds them to their host.”

Lee didn’t get up, and she held N’ran down. “I gathered as much, stranger.”

“You have taken to your training well. Resicor had great hopes for you, and she has been proven to be correct. I have to admit, you surprised me, Leadra Brikar. Perhaps there is hope for some of your kind after all.” The glowing figure stood and dusted off her clothing.

“What are you, stranger?”

The figure cocked her head. “Oh, the natural enemy of the chaos shadows, but you may call me and my kind the Sisters.”

“What are the shadows?”

“I can tell you that they are the evolution of a dead race. We separated in our evolutionary paths. They went one way, we went another.”

“Are there many of you?”

“Enough and too few. Now, you need to get back to your ship. You little friend there is about to give birth, but he has been too polite to tell you. You might want to get off the surface before he becomes an invading species.”

Lee looked at the city in the distance. “This is going to take a while.”

Lee blinked her eyes, and she was kneeling with N’ran next to their ship. Krix was quiet, but she could feel him squirming.

She nodded to her partner. “You take off and I will make the nest. I will brief the peacekeepers once we are under way.”

He bustled them into the ship, “You will need to call for clearance.”

“Fine, get me a headset and let’s go.”

Lee rifled through her bag for the wide, inflatable ring, the soft fabrics, the pillows and the towels.

She made the nest on her bed and supported it with the bag itself. N’ran brought her the headset and she ordered the immediate clearance for medical reasons. When they asked for proof, she took an image of her bloody suit and they were given leave in seconds.

She eased Krix around her and rubbed his head. His fluff flew and lined the nest. He had his wide eyes scrunched closed, and when he was naked and shaking, she curled a warm wrap around him and they took off.

When they left the atmosphere, Krix shivered over and over again. They were on their way back to Balen.

N’ran came in and held her hand as they kept Krix company. He shivered and ducked his head. They brought him water and food when the shivers stopped, and he attacked the shredded meat with extreme aggression.

“Do you think he is all right?”

N’ran held her and stroked her shoulders. “I think he is as good as he can be. He has been under stress, but he should be fine.”

They took turns keeping Krix company, stroking his head as his feathers grew in and giving him food and water whenever he stuck his head out.

Lee slept in N’ran’s quarters when she couldn’t keep her eyes open any longer, and when she woke, she brought food to both N’ran and Krix.

N’ran was sitting at the desk chair, next to the bed, watching over Krix.

Lee came in and put his meal on the desk. “Eat something and get some rest. We are headed toward Balen?”

“We are. I thought it would be best for Krix.”

“Good call.”

Lee carefully sat next to the nest and Krix poked his head out. “Holy stars. You are going to be so pretty; you are gorgeous already.”

The raptor’s head that came out was still growing full feathers. His face had gone from cute and fluffy to intelligent and wise in one night.

“You look amazing, Krix.” She smiled and extended her hand.

He sat up straight, shook off the wrap and hopped onto the edge of his nest. In the bottom of the nest were a dozen brightly coloured fluffballs, peeping and cheeping while tripping over each other in an effort to get out of their confinement.

N’ran looked over her shoulder. “Look at them. They are so cute. How many are there?”

Lee smiled. “Twelve.” She sat up. “Where is that manual?”

She flipped through the pages and sighed as she read that Krix would feed them for a week or so.

“More food for Krix. He is going to be sharing.”

To demonstrate what she was talking about, Krix made a horrible noise and tilted his head down to his children. The little ones milled around and took turns eating lunch.

“How long until we reach Balen?”

“At least a day. Planets are constantly moving and it changes our path.” N’ran smiled.

“Then, you get some rest and I will play with the babies.”

She reached in and Krix growled. “Or not.”

Krix extended the growing wing, and she was given an image of the babies a little larger.

“Okay. I will wait. They are just so cute.”

Krix ruffled his feathers and chortled.

“Yes, you are cute, too.”

He hopped back down to the centre of the nest, and his little ones cuddled under his growing wings.

Lee placed his food on the edge of the nest and she winked. “I will see you later; call if you need anything.”

N’ran followed her to the hallway with his tray in his hands and the food nearly gone. “You will be all right if I get some rest?”

“I will. Go ahead. If I get sleepy, I will just put my feet up in the navigator station.”

“Or you could come and sleep with me. You need to change your suit anyway.”

She looked toward the sleeping Krix, and she didn’t want to disturb him. “I will have to skip the change of clothing right now.”

“Well, if you want company, you know where I am.” He put his dishes away and headed for his room, leaving his door open.

 

Lee managed to read informational treatise on N’ran’s people for two hours, but the silence in the ship made her sleepy.

She made a face, got to her feet and stripped off on her way to N’ran’s room. She settled into his bunk, and he wrapped his arm around her without opening his eyes. She rubbed her face against his neck and tried not to think about how low the spots went.

 

* * * *

 

Krix craned his neck when he felt his bondmate cuddling with her mate. It was about time. If they did it properly by themselves, like the Yaluthu did, it wouldn’t be an issue, but two of his children belonged to their offspring, and if they didn’t get started, it would be a long wait.

Krix flexed his new purple feathers and preened. He was lovely and his babies were amazing. They had destinies, and today was the beginning of their impact on the universe. All twelve of them.

 

 

 

Author’s Note

 

 

Yay! Yaluthu are back! The damage done by the Resicoran society is not something that folks can just get over, so Krix had his job cut out for him.

Another Yaluthu will have their work cut out for them in
Psyched Out.

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Viola Grace

http://www.violagrace.com

 

 

 

About the Author

 

 

Viola Grace (aka Zenina Masters) is a Canadian sci-fi/paranormal romance writer with ambitions to keep writing for the rest of her life. She specializes in short stories because the thrill of discovery, of all those firsts, is what keeps her writing.

An artist who enjoys a story that catches you up, whirls you around and sets you down with a smile on your face is all she endeavours to be. She prefers to leave the drama to those who are better suited to it, she always goes for the cheap laugh.

Listening to readers has gotten her this far, and with her 300th short story looming before the end of 2014, she will continue to listen in the future.

BOOK: Hunting a Soul
5.47Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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