Finished stories set in an alternate universe to that introduced in the show, or which alter events from the show significantly, but which include the Roswell characters. Aliens play a role in these fics. All complete stories on the main AU with Aliens board will eventually be moved here.

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Post by dreamangel » Sun Apr 20, 2003 4:42 pm


She let the last notes of the dirge die away, and watched as her son’s casket was lowered into the ground.

She finally let herself cry.

Her baby was gone. She felt her husband’s arms come around her and she leaned into him, hiding her tears in his shoulder. She felt weak, she felt empty, and the only light in her soul right now was holding her, grieving with her.

Ria had never been one to cry. When she was a little girl, she never bawled when she fell off her Gem. When Kivar choose her from her province, she never sobbed from missing her family. But since she had come to Antar…

She cried the first time Rath had told her he loved her. She had cried when she brought Ryley home. And now she was crying as she laid him to rest.

She hadn’t allowed her tears to fall until now. There had been too much planning, too much to do. And she had to keep her vocal cords relaxed in order to sing his lullaby…

“It’s over Ria,” Rath whispered, he was crying too, “Let’s go home.”

She followed him wordlessly, coughs racking her frail body, until he picked her up and carried her back to their rooms in the palace. She didn’t notice her best friend staring after them worriedly, or the sad, sympathetic looks of bystanders, all she saw was white nothingness. And she heard only silence.

It was all over. She was dying. She could feel it. She’d be with her baby again soon.

Rath wouldn’t accept that though, and she wasn’t sure if he was strong enough to be left alone, but Eros had taken the decision away from her when he gave her this sickness.

She felt the softness of a bed beneath her, felt her husband gently taking off her clothes, trying to make her comfortable. “Rath,” she croaked.

“Ssh, Ria,” he replied, voice harsh with held back tears, “Just get some rest.” But she shook her head, grabbing the hands that were trying so hard to cover her up, and pulled him weakly down beside her.

She held him as he finally let everything go, she kissed away the furrows in his face, and she made love to him in the stillness, letting him feel her flesh…her warmth.

They needed each other right now.

They needed to feel alive.

Vilandra wiped tears away angrily, not knowing why she was crying. She didn’t like Ria, Rath had gotten distant since his marriage to her, and Ryley had always just annoyed her with his baby-like presence, but….

He was just a little boy, not even a year old…And he was gone. Just like that. It wasn’t right. It wasn’t fair.

She had tried to explain this to Niko, but he had just frowned at her, dismissing her tears. He didn’t understand. He never saw Rath and his family, he hadn’t even come to the funeral, but he was supposed to care about her. He was supposed to care that she was sad…

A white square of cloth came into view and she looked up, surprised, into understanding blue eyes.

Are you okay?”

Lonnie gulped her tears back and looked up, wiping her eyes, and not caring about the dirt she had managed to smudge in the act. She had come to these gardens as a sanctuary, no one else should be here! “Who are you?” she demanded imperiously.

The little boy grinned widely and held out his hand. “I’m Lex. Who are you?”

She felt her jaw drop. Who was this boy who didn’t know the Princess of Antar when he saw her? She was about to reprimand him about respect due to her as a princess, but paused, arrested by his guileless blue eyes. “I’m Lonnie,” she finally told him, holding out her own hand.

“Well, now that we’re acquainted, what’s the matter?” he asked.

She sniffed and sat up, pulling foliage out of her short blonde hair. “My brother is the matter,” she told him, anger starting up at Zan again.

“What’d he do?”

“He killed Reagan.”

“Wait…He killed someone?” Lex looked incredulous.

She nodded, “Reagan was my favorite doll. And he smashed her! He said dolls were for babies, but he’s only eight! What does he know?”

“He does seem a little spoiled,” Lex offered sympathetically.

“I’ll say,” she muttered, “Just ‘cause he’s Crown Prince, Momma acts like he’s Eros, and Daddy just doesn’t have time for me anymore.” She sniffled again, and looked at her new friend for consolation of her plight. But he was just staring at her with wide eyes.

“Eros bless,” he whispered, “You’re Princess Vilandra.”

She blushed and bit her lip, “I am.”

“Wow. That’s cool.”

She shrugged. “Sometimes,” she said modestly.

“So… How long have you had Reagan?”

She breathed a sigh of relief that he wasn’t going to harp on her status. “Daddy got her for my 10th birthday,” she told him, “So I’ve only had her for three months, but she was so pretty, and she even talked. It wasn’t right for him to do that!” she exclaimed, shredding a leaf hatefully.

“No,” Lex agreed, “It wasn’t.”

She peered at him through her bangs. “Can you keep a secret?” she asked in a hushed voice.

He nodded and raised his right hand. “I can.”

“You swear?”

“On my flute.”


He pulled out a little, whittled flute and played a ditty. “Yup, it’s my most prized possession. I made it myself.”

She gazed at him earnestly, and he met her brown eyes, serious. She finally nodded, satisfied with his promise. “Sometimes I hate my brother.” Lonnie looked around as if to make sure no one was spying on them.

“Sometimes I hate my father,” he told her. They stared at each other for a moment, in complete accord, until their haven was invaded.

“Lonnie!” She looked up at her brother.

“What do you want?” she demanded. Zan looked at her sheepishly, and ran a hand through his black hair. He gave Lex a sidelong glance and she grabbed his hand, letting her brother know he wasn’t going anywhere.

“I wanted to apologize for what I did to your doll,” he said quietly, looking her in the eye, “And I wanted to give you this.” He held out the other hand, the one he had hidden behind his back.

Lonnie gasped and took the doll reverently. It was beautiful. It was the doll from the milliner shop in the market place. The really expensive one that Momma told her she couldn’t have, even though they had more than enough money. “Oh, Zan…” she breathed, “How did…How could you…afford this?”

He shrugged sheepishly, “I used my savings, I know how much you liked her so…”

“Thank you,” she said, hugging the doll and pulling her brother close for a kiss. He turned red and pulled away.

“I gotta go, Rath’s waiting for me…so…” He gave a little bow and scampered off.

“I guess he’s not so bad after all, huh?”

She looked back at Lex and smiled, looking at her gift. “No, sometimes he’s not so bad.”

“I wish I could say the same for my father.”


Lex didn’t respond, just brought his homemade flute to his lips and played. Lonnie listened, spellbound, to the music he produced, the magic he weaved. When the notes finally faded away she applauded loudly.

“That was wonderful!’ she complimented him, “Are you going to be a bard?”

He shook his head, “Father says I can’t. That’s why we’re here, to enroll me in the Military Academy.”

“But- That’s such a waste,” she protested.

He snorted, “Tell that to my father.”


The two children jumped in surprise and Lex scrambled to his feet. “I have to go.” He gave her the flute. “Here, I won’t need this anymore.” Then he saluted her and was gone.

Vilandra took the handkerchief and gave him a small smile. “Thank you,” she whispered. He shrugged and sat down at her feet, leaning against the wall of the window seat. Then he took out a silver flute from a hidden pocket and began to play the melody from a time long ago.

She closed her eyes and listened, letting him take her away to a time when things were simpler. A time when love and politics didn’t matter, and her main focus was a tea party for her dolls. A time when she was happy, content, with her life…

“How long until Ria goes?”

She shrugged, “Not too much longer. I’m surprised the boy managed to live this long.” But not really, his father was strong, obviously Ryley would have inherited that strength. She sighed, sorry to have caused her beloved Rath so much pain.

Niko turned away from the food platter on the table and looked at her. “You’re ready to initiate the second part of our plan?” he asked. She nodded. She was ready, but she wasn’t doing this for Kivar. She was doing it for herself, for her cause, for Rath, and for the good of Antar.

He would be King.

Kali cuddled closer to Zan. She wanted to go see Ria, but knew her comfort wouldn’t be helpful at the moment. She sighed, and her husband kissed her head, wrapping his arms protectively around her abdomen, as if he could ward off any trouble that could potentially hurt her or their unborn son.

“I don’t think we should announce it yet,” she suggested to him.

“Announce what?” he asked, fingers tracing circles on her skin.

“That I’m pregnant. I think it might hurt Ria and Rath.”

She felt him nod against her neck. “You’re right. We’ll wait, but not too long. I want to get away from Ava as soon as possible, and the people are going to need some hope, Kali. So much has been going wrong lately…”

“I know, I just… Why can’t everything go back to the way it was before Zan? When nothing was bad…everything was just perfect…Why can’t…?”

“’Cause life doesn’t work that way, Kali. Especially not for the royal family.”

She sighed again and wiggled back against his body, needing to feel him closer. “Serena told me things were going to get worse before they got better,” she told him, remembering her sister, still trapped in Paerhna with Kivar and his minions.

“Probably,” he agreed sleepily, “But we can’t predict the future, Kali.”

“I wish we could,” she said, almost to herself, “Then we could change what’s wrong and save the world.”

Her husband chuckled, “What would you do to save the world, Kali?”

“Anything,” she replied vehemently, “I’d do anything to keep you and the people I loved safe.” Zan didn’t reply, already asleep, but she stayed awake much longer, just listening to him breathe.

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Post by dreamangel » Sun Apr 20, 2003 4:43 pm


Zan entered his father’s chambers unannounced. He was nervous, knowing that his father would be difficult, regardless of the good news. “Father? I must speak with you.” Tynan looked up at him from the bed and gestured the scientist beside him to depart.

The two men waited until the third had departed before looking at each other again, amber eyes the mirror image of each other. “Well?” his father demanded impatiently, “What is it now?”

“Kalila’s pregnant!” he blurted out, smiling broadly.

His father didn’t reply, just sat stock-still in his bed and stared, his mouth hanging open. “You got her pregnant?” he finally hissed.

Zan frowned, “You don’t seem pleased.”

“Pleased?” Tynan repeated, “You want me to be pleased that you got that whore with a child? That you have now ruined everything I have worked so hard to achieve? Tell me, Zan, what am I supposed to be pleased about?!”

He clenched his hands into fists, feeling that blind rage he got whenever he was in his father’s presence appear, and he had to concentrate to keep from shouting. “I have told you before, Father, do not speak of my wife in such a manner.”

“Your wife,” Tynan laughed, “Ava is your wife.”

Zan shook his head furiously. “Did you not hear me? Kalila is pregnant with my heir. The heir to the throne, to Antar! Obviously I will expect a divorce from Ava.”

“Well you’re not going to get one,” his father commented blithely, turning back to look at the papers spread out on his lap.”


“No, Zan. You divorce Ava and Gorganin will withdraw its support and Claren will follow. We cannot risk that now, not with that stunt you pulled going into Paerhna like that…Kivar will be on a rampage soon.”

“Hannar loves Kalila, he won’t abandon us if she becomes my wife again,” he told his father reasonably.

“No doubt he loves her because she allowed him into her bed,” Tynan pointed out cynically. Zan stiffened.

“Take that back,” he ordered, voice dangerously calm. His father looked at him, surprised.

“Why should I?” he inquired.

“Kali loves me, she’d never allow another man to touch her,” he staunchly defended his beloved.

His father shook his dark head. “If you believe that you are a fool,” he said tiredly, “Love is nothing when royalty and titles are involved Zan, you remember that.”

“And what do you know of love?” Zan demanded harshly.

“Don’t take that tone with me young man, I’ve been in the same position you were once.” At Zan’s shocked look he nodded grimly. “That’s right. I was in love once…” he trailed off, eyes clouded with remembrance. “Her name was Chordae, and she swore she loved me. I was going to marry her, but my father forbade it. She was poor, and therefore nothing in my father’s eyes, and Ariann’s family had already agreed to the betrothal. When Chordae found out she told me it didn’t matter, that she didn’t care about being Queen. She vowed she’d never love another…”

“What happened?” he asked, feeling a little curious. His father had never spoken of anything like this before.

“A few days after the wedding, I went to see her, and…” he swallowed hard, unexpected tears coming to his eyes, “She was in bed, with a Lord from my court.” Zan didn’t say anything, he could think of no words of comfort. “So you see,” Tynan continued, “With us, it’s always about politics Zan. Your little bedmate has no place in our world, not as your wife or as future Queen.”

“Father, just because Chordae didn’t love you, doesn’t mean that Kali doesn’t love me. It doesn’t mean she staying with me just to get the throne.” He threw his hands into the air. “If she wanted a throne she could’ve stayed with Kivar, he’s willing to do anything to be King!”

“Don’t say that!” his father yelled, “Kivar will never have Antar, not as long as I live!”

“Well,” Zan said wryly, “At least we agree on something.” They glowered at each other for a bit. “Father, she is pregnant, with my son-”

“How do you know it’s male?”

“Kali says he is.”

Tynan snorted, “She’d say anything to get you to remarry her.”

“NO! Damn you, listen!” he insisted stridently, “I love her! She loves me! We’re having a son, I don’t see why you can’t just accept that and let it happen!”

Tynan pursed his lips and stared at his son in distaste. “And how does Ava feel about this?’ he asked calmly, “Does she follow your rationale also?”

He sighed loudly and scrubbed his face. “Ava’s being weird, I told her, but…”

“Well, let’s clear this matter up then. Get the guard and order her to come here.” Zan glared at him, but do as he was bid, telling the man stationed at the outer door to fetch Kayl and Ava.

Ava stepped demurely into her father-in-law’s chambers. She dropped a curtsey to him and then stole a glance at her husband. Zan was slumped against a wall, wearing a rebellious expression, but his eyes were pleading with her for something.

Kayl had offered to come in with her, but she had declined, knowing what this meeting was about. Zan had finally told Tynan about his precious Kali’s baby. She didn’t want Kayl coming in on this discussion, it was private, and as much as she had come to trust him, he didn’t need to know about this.

“You called for me, my King?” she asked softly, voice sweet.

“Indeed. My son here has just informed me off some disturbing news. It appears his former wife is pregnant with what she believes is a male child. Zan has also informed me he already told you this.”

“He did, your Majesty,” she agreed.

“And why did you not ask for a divorce?” he inquired inquisitively.

She shrugged her delicate shoulders, “I did not want one.” Zan pushed away from the wall angrily, staring at her hard. She ignored him.

“Why ever not?” Tynan asked.

She gave another little shrug. “I am quite content in my marriage. And plus we have no guarantee that Kalila truly is with Zan’s child, male or no, at all.”

“The healers confirmed it,” Zan put in.

Ava smiled at him gently, as if he were a naïve child. “And did they also confirm the child was yours?”

His face darkened with resentment, and she shivered, feeling the hidden power deep in him. The power to hurt. “And who’s else would it be?” he drawled, daring either of them to say it.

“Well…” she started, then looked to Tynan, who nodded encouragingly, “In the time that I’ve been here I’ve noticed more than a few men willing to go even behind your back to get to her. I believe they see it all as a part of the Court intrigue, you see. You have nothing but her word that she remained faithful.”

“I trust her,” he stated simply, truthfully. She felt jealousy rise up again. Would nothing make him doubt her love? Would nothing stop him loving her?

“I will not agree to a divorce,” she told them stiffly.

Tynan’s grin was one of triumph, “Then I shall not permit one.”

“No! You cannot-”

“Zan!” the king interrupted, “Do not tell me what I cannot do. I am King, I may do whatever I wish, and I do not wish to grant your petition.”

“I will never give you an heir then,” he whispered furiously, “Not with her.” He pointed at Ava and she felt tears sting her eyes. Why wouldn’t he just accept the fact that she was his wife? His Queen.

She saw Tynan’s eyes widen at that statement, and her stomach dropped, knowing something was going to change.

“No, you won’t, will you?” he observed quietly, “If nothing else you are true to what you love Zan, whether or not it accords you the same award.” The king shook his head. “A compromise then?” he offered.

“Compromise?” Zan echoed warily.

“You remain married to Ava, and I will allow Kalila to stay with you in the palace and to bear your child. If it is male, he will be the heir. If not, you do your duty by Ava.” Zan opened his mouth to protest. “Otherwise, she will be taken from you and you will never be able to find her, or the child. Is that agreeable?”

Ava nodded. Tynan turned his riveting gaze on his son. “Zan?” he said questioningly, voice hard behind the pleasant demeanor.

“Fine,” he said tersely.

“Good, then you two are dismissed.” He waved them away and Zan strode wrathfully away, Ava running to catch him.

“Zan!” she called, grasping his arm. He swung around and she jerked away, scared of the expression in his eyes.

“What?” he hissed, “What else in my life do you want to take away from me, huh?”


“No,” he interrupted, “No, I don’t want to hear it. I thought you understood,” he whispered, sounding hurt, “I thought you comprehended what I told you when I said she was the only one I’d ever love. That she was my soulmate. My heart…” he broke off, “But you didn’t. I bet you didn’t even try. And you know what, I’m tired of trying to be your friend. From now on, you leave me alone.”

Ava watched him walk away, frozen where he left her. He just didn’t get it. Why didn’t he get it? They were destined to be together, she just knew it.


She turned to Kayl, feeling vulnerable. He led her back to her suite, and she waited until he had closed the door before she burst into tears. And then he held her, rocking her gently, and she clung to him, the man she had started to think of as a brother, and she let herself go.

Why didn’t he get it?

The door slammed shut and she winced, knowing what that meant. “I’m taking that to mean it didn’t go well?” she asked gently as he came into the room. She put down her book and held her arms out to him.

He came to her, tears dripping silently. “I’m sorry Kali,” he whispered, laying so that his head was cushioned on her breasts, ear to her round stomach. “I’m sorry.”

She wiped away his angry tears. “What happened?”

“I had to agree to remain married to Ava. They would have taken you two away if I hadn’t.”

“But what does that mean?”

“It means you’re allowed to stay here, and our son will be my heir, but we won’t be remarried. And you won’t become Queen.”

She laughed. “That doesn’t matter to me, Zan. As long as I can stay with you and raise Maxim, everything will be alright.”


Kalila felt a blush brush her cheeks. “I thought it was a good name. We can call him Max for short.”

Zan smiled at her, “Max…I like it.”

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Post by dreamangel » Sun Apr 20, 2003 4:44 pm


The news was proclaimed throughout the five planets: the Princess Ava was pregnant with the heir to the throne of Antar.

The people of Antar didn’t believe it. They knew their Prince, and they knew there was only one woman in the universe for him: Princess Kalila. They came to the conclusion that Kali was the one who was pregnant and the King was being his usual self and not handling the good news well.

The rulers of three of the other planets had come to the same inference. The Kalila was the one who was pregnant and Tynan had something to do with the non-truth of the announcement. Larak, in particular, wondered why Zan was letting his father get away with it, but was busy with preparations for the upcoming war and dropped it.

On Gorganin people were celebrating in the streets. The Queen Kathana was engaged in packing. She had decided that she wished to be there to support her daughter and help her out through this difficult time. She remembered how hard childbirth had been for her, and she wanted Ava to know she had a mother who wanted to aid her. Unlike her own mother…

And on the other side of Antar, the Emperor of Paerhna ripped the announcement to shreds. This was going to far. Kivar was well-aware Kalila was the one Zan had dared to impregnate, and he was not going to stand idly by. He sat done to write a coded message to Niko, things needed to start as quickly as possible. Which meant, now.

Rath sat alone in the darkened room. Ria had been laid to rest a day ago, and he had yet to move from his position of a grief-stricken slump. Zan and Kalila had been to visit, but he hadn’t been in the mood for guests, especially as seeing Kalila reminded him of Ria round and glowing with their son in her womb…

A choked sob was emitted from the Commander’s throat. Why had this happened? What had he done that Eros would take away the most important things in his life?

His hand strayed to the leather cord tied around his neck. There was a silver locket dangling from it, it was simple, no engravings or markings, just straightforward and plain. Ria had gotten it for him years ago. She had told him it reminded her of him.

But now it was his reminder of her. A lock of her golden hair was trapped safely inside, the last part of her he had. Tears leaked down his face as he remembered all the times he’d buried his face in her sweet-smelling hair, wound it around his fingers, tugged on it to annoy her, the way it would fall around him like a silk curtain when they made love.

He missed her so much already. The way her eyes flashed when she was angry, or the way they shimmered when she was happy, the musical sound of her laughter, the softness of her lips…

He wanted her back. He wanted Ryley back. He wanted life to go on the way it had been before all this mess screwed it up.

A knock came on his door and he clenched his fists, not answering the timid voice. The door opened anyway. He kept his head averted, knowing it was either Zan or his wife, and they’d fuss if they saw he had been crying.

There was the soft whisper of skirts touching the carpet as the intruder walked closer to him. “Commander?”

His head whipped around. This wasn’t Kalila, or Ariann, or even Vilandra. This was the Paerhnian girl… “Cora,” he stated, voice harsh.

She smiled at him, flicking her shoulder-length blonde hair out of her eyes. Eyes that had shifted from blue to green in the unlit room. Rath was painfully reminded of Ria just looking at her. “Do you need anything, my Lord?”

“I’m fine,” he told her, “Thank you for asking.” She nodded, and he turned his head away, but she still didn’t leave. “Did you want something?” he asked bluntly, startling her.

Cora bit her top lip, hesitating to say what she needed to. And endeavoring to keep from blurting out that she wanted him. “Actually…Rath…” she started, kneeling down and placing a hand on his knee, “There was something I wished to speak to you about.”

“And that is?” he asked stiffly. His whole body had tensed when she touched him. She looked up into his shiny brown eyes and tried to order her thoughts into something logical. Something he wouldn’t send her to prison for.

“As I’m sure you’re aware, as Commander of Antar’s defenses, that Kivar is plotting to overthrow the King and Zan,” she said slowly, watching him.

“It’s common knowledge the Emperor of Paerhna is discontented with the current monarchy,” he agreed blandly, eyes inscrutable.

“But it is not common knowledge that a large number of people do not want either the monarchy or Kivar ruling over them.” He raised one eyebrow at her and she continued. “The people I work with want both disposed. They want you on the throne of Antar.”

“What?” he exclaimed, rising to his feet.

“Rath,” she protested, following him up and grabbing his arm, “Think of it. Tynan and Kivar are both unfit to rule, and Zan… You could do so much better than him. So much more for your people.”

“This is ridiculous, please leave,” he said, gesturing toward the door.

“Won’t you at least-“

“No,” he interrupted, voice hard and unyielding, “I’ll pretend this never happened if you leave now.”

Cora stared at him a beat and then nodded. “I’m sorry you feel that way,” she whispered, knowing that there would be no way to help killing him now. She kissed his cheek gently and walked sadly back to her chambers.

There was no hope for her cause now, not unless Zan royally screwed up and Rath saw that he was needed to protect Antar. But she had no way to make something that cataclysmic happen. It just wasn’t in her power, and so Kivar would triumph.

She sighed, feeling helpless for the misfortunes Antar would have to endure under the men presently fighting for possession of the throne. The planet was doomed.

“You shouldn’t have to much trouble getting in,” he told her. Vanea nodded her bronze head, gray eyes regarding her Emperor with a cool, detached look.

“After all,” she put in, “I’m just visiting my beloved little brother.” Kivar grinned at her, lilac eyes shining in amused appreciation.

“Niko has missed you Vanea, and so have I.” She smiled gently, allowing warmth to creep into her eyes. She had missed her brother a lot, and Kivar, who had grown up with them, was practically a brother too.

“I missed the two of you also,” she concurred, “But I am much more valuable as ambassador to Vaina, wouldn’t you agree?”

“Of course,” he said, “I never implied else wise. In fact, you match me in political brilliance, if we weren’t both already taken, I’d suggest an alliance.” She blushed a little and accepted the glass of wine he had just poured. “Congratulations, by the way,” he added, “Lord Shane is a fine catch, very…influential.”

“He’s also very sweet,” she retorted, hackles rising. She loved Shane, whether or not he lacked in the looks department. Kivar raised his arms, signaling defeat.

“Let’s get back to business shall we?” he asked, “I don’t want to get on your bad side Vanea, it hurts too much.” They laughed at that, recalling times past when both he and Niko had wound up incapacitated for days.

“I deliver your message to Niko, and prepare for your arrival. It’s not rocket science, Kivar,” she rolled her eyes at him.

“Not like you’d have trouble with that either,” he pointed out.

“Oh,” she slapped him playfully, “Stop it! Just because you didn’t end up first in the Academy doesn’t mean…”

Serena left at this point in the conversation. She had heard enough. Kivar was ready to start his campaign against her sister’s husband and his family, which wasn’t something she would allow.

She’d have to go about this carefully. She wasn’t sure of the exact date of the final strike, but if Kivar kept up having important military conversations in easily eavesdrop upon places, she would soon enough.

She would need to be ready at the drop of a pin. She needed to pack, um…exercise Marina, avoid Kivar, and figure out some way to get into the Antarian palace without being waylaid.

But then, she could just take a page out of Kivar and Vanea’s book and say she was just visiting her sister…

He had finally figured it out.

He had it all planned now. Everything would be right soon enough. He just had to get the right people started on the project now. Struggling to sit up, Tynan rang his bell for service.

A servant came running in immediately. “Yes, my King?” the boy squeaked.

“I wish for you to inform Nero and Kalib that I wish to speak to them in an hour.”

“Yes, your majesty,” he hurried to agree, bowing deeply, “OH! And the Queen, she said to tell you that Queen Kathana of Gorganin has just been reported to have landed in the spaceport for a visit with Princess Ava.” That being said, the boy ran from the room faster than he had come in.

Tynan growled, he’d deal with Kathana later. Ariann could handle her for now. He had big plans that would require both Chylians. Nero for his knowledge of the primitive planet of Terra, and Kalib for his expertise in science and space travel as well as managing people.

He knew there had to be some reason he had allowed the shape shifters to reside on Antar when they had come seeking haven. It was a shame Chyli had imploded like that, they had had a large amount of resources available.

Oh well, all’s well that ends well.

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Post by dreamangel » Sun Apr 20, 2003 4:45 pm


Ava fluffed up a pillow resting on the couch and then paced around the room again. She sent hateful glares at Kalila, who was curled up on a loveseat with Zan, his hand resting on her stomach, a loving expression on his eyes.

Her mother was here! Couldn’t they at least try to keep up pretenses? But no… They probably wanted her mother to get mad and take Ava away. Well, she wasn’t going! And there was no way to make her. Zan would see soon enough that she was meant to be his Queen.

But right now, she was worried about a different Queen. Her mother-in-law had gone to the spaceport to meet Kathana, and Ava was sure Ariann would refrain from telling her mother the truth, which meant when her mother found out…she’d be angry. Really angry. And her mother could throw temper tantrums with the best of ‘em.

“I can’t believe this is happening,” she muttered, “Why couldn’t she just have stayed on Gorganin? Why?” But Eros didn’t answer her questions, her archrival did.

“It will be all right, Ava,” Kalila told her, voice soft and sweet. Ava winced, she hated the sound of that perfect voice. “Everything will work out, you’ll see.” And the other woman smiled at her sympathetically.

“For you,” she shouted spitefully, “You have everything you ever wanted! You have people who love you, you have Zan, you have your baby… What do I have? I have nothing except a title!”

Kalila blinked rapidly, obviously taken aback, and Zan glared at her over his mate’s head. She glared back, refusing to let him see how much he was hurting her.

“That’s not true,” Kalila protested, “We would have been your friends, but you didn’t want us to. And your mother obviously cares, or she wouldn’t have rushed all the way here when she heard you needed her-”

“But I don’t need her,” she interrupted ruthlessly.

The girl shook her long, dark hair, and Ava hated the way it moved just so, making it flow like a waterfall. She also hated the way Zan stared at it, entranced. “It’s the principle that counts Ava, she came when she thought you needed her. She loves you. And Tynan and Vilandra are very fond of you, and Kayl can say nothing but good things…”

Ava blocked everything out from there. She didn’t want to listen to anymore of Kalila’s moralizing drivel. Though it was true that Tynan and Vilandra liked her, but Tynan was incapacitated and Vilandra was…busy, with matters of state.

And then there was Kayl. He had become her best friend in the few weeks they’d known each other. She was surprised to hear he’d been talking about her, but of course that was why Zan had assigned him to watch over her. To keep an eye on her. Disgruntled now, she flopped down on the couch and met Kalila’s eyes.

“And you have one thing I never will,” Kalila said.

“And what’s that?” Ava demanded, not believing her.

A deep, abiding sadness formed in the dark eyes. “You are Zan’s wife, acknowledged by law. I will never have that.”

“Kali…” Zan murmured, and captured the woman closer to him, her growing bulk not seeming to be a problem. Ava thought she heard a sniffle coming from the bent head and rolled her eyes.

“So you want to be Queen?” she expanded scornfully.

“No,” she replied, tears in her voice, “I just want to be Zan’s again.”

“You’ll always be mine, Kali,” Zan told her, lifting her head up to meet his eyes. “We promised each other, for beyond eternity remember?”

Kalila nodded, “I remember. I’m sorry, it’s just hormones…” And then they got lost in each other’s eyes and Ava sat, watching them with revulsion. How could they just pretend they were the only two people in the room? It was ludicrous, she was here, had made her presence painfully obvious, and now it was like she didn’t exist.

“Could you two just stop?” she asked, “For just a minute could you think about the fact that my mother is here to support me in my non-existent pregnancy and that if she sees you all…together like that, she’s going to know Zan hasn’t been faithful.”

They just stared at her. “But I haven’t been,” Zan pointed out, “What’s the point in lying? She going to see you’re not pregnant and Kali is, the rest is obvious.”

“She’ll make us get a divorce.”

“I want a divorce.”

“Well I don’t,” she argued, turning red.

“Well-” he broke off as noises were heard beyond the chamber door. The three occupants froze as the door opened and Ariann entered with Kathana following, commenting about the castle architecture and décor and whatnot.

Her mother broke off as soon as she saw her. “Ava!” she cried and enveloped her daughter in a tight hug. Ava allowed herself, for one moment, to believe she was a little girl again, and had done something to make her great mother proud.

“Hello Mother,” she whispered.

“Well, let me see you!” Her mother stepped back, holding her shoulders and looking her over. “You’re not showing that much yet,” she mused, “Ariann are you sure it was wise of Tynan to announce it this early? What if there are complications?” At Ava’s eyes widening, she continued hastily. “Not that there will be sweetie, there’s nothing for you to worry about,” she reassured. “Now, where is that husband of yours?”

Her mother turned and looked for Zan, who was no standing up, beside his mother. “There you are Zan…” her ability to speak diminishing as Kalila rose also, Zan carefully helping her to her feet.

Ava looked anxiously from her mother to her husband, where he was still fussing over his noticeably pregnant mate. Kalila bit her bottom lip and gave a little curtsey to Kathana. “Mother,” Ava piped up, “There’s something you should know.”

“Who is this?” her mother demanded.

“This is Kalila,” Ariann said quietly, “My son’s first wife.”

“First wife?” her mother repeated faintly, sitting down on the couch. “What is the meaning of this?”

“I fear my husband was not completely honest with you when he arranged for Ava and Zan’s marriage, Kathana. You must not be angry with the children.”

“Tell me.”

“Mother, Kalila’s the one who’s pregnant, not me.”

Her mother’s green eyes blazed and she glared at her daughter. “You mean to tell me he has been with this woman while married to you? And he got her pregnant?”

“Yes, Mother,” she replied meekly.

Kathana closed her eyes for a moment. “And you didn’t see anything wrong with this?” she inquired calmly, “Didn’t even think of requesting divorce?”

“Your majesty,” Zan started, “I did ask for one, but my father wouldn’t grant it, and Ava did not want one.”

“Is this true? He cheated on you and you didn’t want to get away from him?” Her mother now sounded incredulous.

“I wasn’t cheating on her,” Zan protested, “I was never with her to begin with.”

“You never consummated the marriage?” Her husband shook his head in response to her mother’s question.

“Then this situation is easily rectified. You two will have an annulment and I will take my daughter home.”

“No!” Ava cried. Everyone turned to look at her. “I don’t want to go home. And I don’t want an annulment or a divorce! I’m his wife!”

“He doesn’t love you!” Kathana shouted back.

Ava stopped, tears coming to her eyes. She looked around the room and met everyone’s eyes. She kept hers trained on Zan’s, which were so hopeful as he clutched at his beloved. “I…I’m staying.” His eyes darkened, face fell, and he turned away from her. But she stood her ground and met her mother’s infuriated gaze. “I’m staying, Mother,” she repeated, more confidently this time.

“Fine,” her mother spat out tersely, “But know this Ava, you are no longer my daughter. And Antar no longer has Gorganin’s support.”

She pursed her lips, but nodded. “Then this is good-bye Queen Kathana.” Her mother didn’t respond, just gave Ariann a curt nod and walked stiffly out the door. Ava stood staring at her departing back until the commotion of Zan and Kalila leaving took her attention. They said not a word to her as they left, but Zan’s rage crackled in the air around him.

Finally she was left with only Ariann. She turned to the Queen, eyes pleading for her to understand, but Ariann’s eyes were a cold, ice blue. “You’ve destroyed us all,” she whispered, and then she left too.

She stood there a while longer, before everything hit her, and she ran, crying for Kayl. She needed Kayl. He was the only one who believed in her…

He stared at the man he acknowledged as his King. Tynan had allowed him, and his fellow escapees, refuge when their planet, Chyli, had imploded in a nearby galaxy. As a result, he and his fellow shape shifters stayed on Antar, doing various tasks for him.

Nero had recently returned from a brief stint on the planet known as Terra to the Universe and as Earth to its primitive inhabitants. Tynan had finally called him in for a debriefing on the trip, but he had no idea why the scientist Kalib was here.

“So they are humanoid in appearance?” his King inquired.

“Yes, your Majesty, they have the same basic body as us, but are much more primitive. They do, however, possess a greater potential for brain development. From what we observed, they are capable of doing a lot if they could access the proper portions of their minds.”

“Did you bring back samples?”

“DNA only, your Majesty, the humans would have panicked if we had taken one of them. They are a very suspicious species.” He frowned, allowing his disgust to show through. There had only been one human he could stand and that had been a small boy who called himself River Dog. The boy had taken him in when he had been injured one night, to the utter displeasure of his tribe.

“Can you work with that Kalib?” Tynan asked the other man.

“I believe so, Sire, if there is enough.”

“Good. Nero, would you be willing to accept another mission?”

He held back a sigh, did he have a choice? “Of course, my King.”

“Then here is what is going to happen. Kalib has been working on a top-secret project in which to speed up our space travel and to clone our people. How is it going by the way?”

“Very well, I’ve found a large energy source in the Granolith,” Kalib said, eyes shining behind his wire glasses.

“The Granolith?” Tynan repeated, sounding surprised, “It’s nothing but a religious icon for Eros.”

“No my King, it holds a vast amount of power. I have been discussing its prospective uses with the priests, and the Keeper says if you had the right control crystals, anything could be possible. I have began working on making those crystals and an instruction book for the Royal Four when they grow enough to use it-”

“The Royal Four?” Nero interrupted.

“My son and daughter,” Tynan explained, “As well as the Princess Ava and Commander Rath. We’re going to mix their DNA with that of the humans’ to insure they will fit in on Terra.”

“They’re going to Terra?”

Tynan sighed. “We are cloning their essences and sending the developing embryos to Terra so that when the time comes they can come back as a unit and defeat Kivar. Because Eros knows we won’t win this time.”

Nero gaped, “Why don’t you just clone yourself? Or let someone else crush Kivar?”

“Because,” Tynan said snippily, “I am tired of being King, and I refuse to let another family on the throne of Antar. My family was the first and it shall remain the only.”


“Enough. I am tired. We will continue this conversation as soon as preparations proceed further. Leave me.”

The Chylians exchanged glances and then bowed to their King. They parted ways outside, Kalib going who knows where and he to his rooms to rest and mull. He had a strong inkling his King was a bit mad in the head.

He shook his head, not paying attention to where he was going and barreled into a small body. The woman went tumbling to the floor and he quickly knelt to help her up. “Are you all right?”

“Nero?” she asked, green eyes shocked.

He started and her name popped into his head. “Ana?”

She rose, brushing of her gown and fixing her red hair. “It’s Kathana, actually.” He froze and she gave him a small smile. “Queen of Gorganin.”

Kathana watched the man who had gotten her pregnant as he digested this information. She had been on her way to see Tynan and inform him with righteous indignation that Gorganin and Claren would no longer be his allies. She wasn’t going to join with Kivar either, but she wasn’t going to help.

Nero hadn’t changed much in the twenty plus years she’d last seen him, but then again, he was a Chylian, and you could never tell with them. Blue eyes became guarded, eyes that were mirrored in Ava.

Her anger came flooding back to her then. “It’s been a while,” she said frostily.

“I’ve only just returned from Terra,” he told her.

She shrugged, as if it didn’t matter. “You’ve missed your daughter growing up.”

“Daughter?” he gasped.

“Ava. She’s yours. And I’ll leave you to deal with her, because I have no time for her foolishness. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to see Tynan and head back to Gorganin. Good-bye.”

She turned and flounced away, leaving a flustered lover behind, and concentrated on making her fellow ruler pay for his transgressions.

Niko left his sister and minion discussing a shopping trip and strolled toward the Royal Quarters, to see Vilandra. Cora had said Rath was being suitably pathetic with the loss of his crazy wife, and Vanea had brought him a message from Kivar telling him to begin drawing Vilandra to their side.

He knocked on her door and opened it when no reply was heard. He paused in the doorway on the antechamber, frowning at the sight before him. Vilandra was dancing around the room while a Royal Guard sat in her chair, strumming a lute, but never taking his eyes off the Princess.

Niko cleared his throat loudly and the lute player faltered, the discordant notes causing the Princess to stumble onto the couch, where she lay, laughing, red from exertion. “Your Highness?” he inquired politely.

Vilandra was up immediately, appearing disheveled. “Ambassador Niko, what an unexpected surprise. Have you met Guardian Lexus?” She gestured to the man, who nodded his head imperceptibly. A sign of rudeness on his part. Niko frowned again.

“I wish to speak with you, Princess.”

“Of course,” she said, “Lex, would you please excuse us?”

He rose and bowed to Vilandra deeply. “As you command Lonnie, I’ll be in the hall.”

She nodded, smiling at him, and Niko watched as her eyes followed him out the door. As soon as it shut, he was at her side, arms twining around her waist. “Ah, Vilandra, it’s been two days.”

“Niko.” She pushed away from him and seated herself on the couch, fixing her hair and not looking at him. His brow furrowed. Kivar had said she was flighty, but she had never shown signs of straying from him except when his Emperor came into question. He was feeling a little betrayed, and was startled to realize he cared more deeply about her than just as a bedmate.

“Vilandra, this is important.”

“What is it?” she asked impatiently.

“Kivar wishes to take your father’s throne.” She blinked and frowned. “He wants peace, Vilandra,” Niko continued, “With Zan and your father…Wars would happen every day, civil and intergalactic. He wants to unite Antar and Paerhna by marrying you and your children will intermarry with the other planets and we’ll achieve universal peace.”

“I don’t know…” she said, “And Father would never let me marry him.”

“Vilandra…Sweetheart, you know Zan won’t make a good King. He fawns all over that girl instead of attending to matters of state.” Her expression darkened. Got you, he thought. “You were born to be Queen, Vilandra.”

“I…No! Not…No, go away Niko.”


“Go!” she shouted, looking torn.

He nodded and bowed. When his back was turned, he smirked, knowing he had planted the seeds of doubt and soon they would grow. He opened the door to find the Guard staring at him coolly. He met the blue eyes forthrightly and smiled. Lexus didn’t reply, merely walked past him and went back to his Princess.

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Post by dreamangel » Sun Apr 20, 2003 4:46 pm


“Zan? Could I speak with you?” His Prince looked over at him and nodded then kissed Kalila and told her to get some rest. Kalila smiled and gave him a small wave good-bye.

“What’s up?” Zan asked.

Lex shifted, not sure how to put this. “Um…well…”

“Lex?” his tone now had a slight edge to it, “Is it something to do with Vilandra?”

He nodded, “Yeah.” Biting his bottom lip he looked at Zan, who appeared worn and defeated. “Niko came to see her.”

“Niko often goes to see her,” Zan retorted sarcastically.

He winced, knowing some of Vilandra’s past sexual exploits. And there was no use in denying the fact that she had slept with both Kivar and Niko. “Not for awhile. And Vilandra didn’t look too happy to see him this time.”

Zan snorted, “She losing interest so soon?”

“Stop it,” Lex ordered. His Prince looked at him, surprised, and he blushed. “Sorry, it’s just…She’s not bad person, she’s just confused about a lot. She feels like you’ve betrayed her and your father. All of Antar…”

“What?” he demanded, “I’m not the one sleeping with the enemy!”

“But that’s just it,” Lex protested, “She thinks you are. To her Kalila represents the same as Kivar or Niko, and she thinks you’re being hypocritical about the whole thing.”

He shook his head, “Kalila loves me.”

“I know that Zan, but Vilandra believes Kivar and Niko love her. She doesn’t see them as using her, she sees them as men she could potentially fall in love with and marry.”

Zan was quiet for a while, and it was obvious he was thinking. Lex hoped he had gotten through, because what Lonnie really needed was to sit down with her brother and know that he still trusted her. “Tell me what happened,” Zan commanded quietly.

He sighed, knowing he hadn’t gotten through. “Niko came, I was asked to leave, I left, I eavesdropped, Niko asked Vilandra to join with Paerhna in overthrowing you and Tynan, Vilandra said no.” And then he waited.

“She said no?” Zan repeated as if he couldn’t believe it.

Lex nodded, “She did, but she was hesitant about it.” He hadn’t wanted to say that, he had wanted Zan to have full confidence in his sister again, but he couldn’t leave Zan unwarned.

“And that means she probably wasn’t planning on coming and telling me of the offer,” Zan concluded wearily. He rubbed his forehead. “All right, I’ll deal with this.”

“Zan, if I could be so bold as to make a suggestion?” Brown eyes regarded him amusedly, as if asking when had he not been overbold, and he grinned sheepishly. “Don’t confront her. You’ll put her on the defensive and she’ll attack you right back. If you want her to listen, you need to talk to her, don’t order.”

Zan smiled, “Sometimes it’s hard not to yell at her, Lex, she can be so dense sometimes.”

Lex made to leave and Zan walked him to the door. “I mean it Zan,” was his parting shot, “You can’t play the King card with her.”

Zan pinched the bridge of his nose and pondered over what he was going to do about his sister. He didn’t know what had happened over the years that their relationship had deteriorated as much as it had, the way it did, and he had no idea how to fix it.

When they had been younger they had gotten along great, sure, there was the usual sibling rivalry, but nothing that wasn’t forgotten by the next day. Then Lonnie had hit puberty and suddenly she was “Vilandra”, she wouldn’t respond to her nickname anymore. And then she was too cool to hang out with him and Rath anymore, and that’s when Kivar had come into the picture.

It was too late now to change the past, but maybe he could make sure she was taken care of now. He had to find some way to protect her from Niko’s influence and Kivar’s false love. They would be her downfall if she didn’t wake up and see they were using her.

It hurt to think she might betray him, their mother, their planet… And why? Because she believed herself in love with a man who cared nothing about her except her value as pawn in his game. Couldn’t she see he wanted Kalila?

Zan walked into his bedroom and looked down at his sleeping mate. The wife of his heart. A small smile graced his face and he gently lifted her up so he could place her beneath the covers.

“Zan?” she murmured, eyes fluttering.

“Ssh, little one,” he whispered, “Go back to sleep. I have to see Rath, I’ll be back soon.” He kissed her forehead softly and she sighed, snuggling deeper into their bed. He watched her for a while, losing track of the time. This was his Kali, who was pregnant with his son. Pride swelled in him as he stared at her, just taking in the way she breathed, the way her lips parted just so…He’d done it a thousand times before, but he never got tired of it. She was so amazing.

The bell tolled five mark five, startling him out of his reverie. He frowned at the timepiece and gave one last look at her before leaving and heading done the hall to Rath and Ri-Rath’s rooms.

He knocked once and entered a still dark room. Rath was still sitting in the same chair he had been in the last time Zan had visited, in the same position, in the same clothes. A tray of untouched food lay at his feet.

“Rath,” he sighed, walking forward, “You have to stop this. Ria…you know she wouldn’t want you mourning like this. It’s been weeks, you need to get out of this room, you need to eat something… Take a shower, whatever… But you’re killing yourself acting like this.”

“That’s sort of the idea Zan,” Rath said sarcastically, his voice hoarse.

“Rath, I still need you.” It was the only thing he could think of to relieve his friend of this funk, to tell him he was still Commander and he still had a duty to fulfill to his King and his planet. “Kivar’s starting to make his move, I need you to be my Commander now Rath, I need my Second.”

A spiky head turned toward him and blood-shot brown eyes met golden-hazel ones. They stared at each other for a moment, not as King and subject, but as friends. Finally Rath nodded and stood up.

“What do you need me to do?”

Zan smiled, “I need you to take care of Lonnie.”


“Kivar’s trying to get to her and Lex can’t keep an eye on her all the time. I need you to take care of her,” Zan expanded, but Rath still wasn’t getting it.

“I don’t get it.”

Zan sighed, “I know this isn’t the best plan, and I know it’s a hard after…after Ria, but Rath, it’s the only thing I could think-”

“What is it Zan?” he interrupted impatiently, ignoring the pang his wife’s name brought.

“A betrothal.”

“Still not getting it.”

“You and Vilandra.”


“Rath!” His Prince pinched the bridge of his nose. “I realize it doesn’t seem feasible, or even hypothetically feasible, but you wouldn’t have to actually marry her, just…Just keep an eye on her.”

“What brought this up suddenly?” he demanded.

“She’s been talking with Niko,” Zan sighed, “And I don’t know what to do. If she’s betrothed to you, then Kivar won’t have any ground on that front, and she knows you, so it’s not like I’m shipping her off to some foreign planet to marry some guy she’s never met.”

“She’s not going to go along with this,” Rath informed him. He saw the need of what Zan was saying. He didn’t like it, but he’d do what needed to be done.

“She’s not going to have a choice,” Zan stated firmly, eyes hard.

Rath gave a long whistle. “Not a good idea Zan, you know she hates you playing heir. She’s not going to let you bully her, she’ll just lash out.”

“That’s where you figure into this. Keep her safe, and keep me safefrom her.”


Zan grinned at him, “You can handle it.”

Rath’s mouth quirked into a tiny smile. “I won’t have to marry her?” he asked.


He chewed at his cheek, thinking. Finally he gave his friend a curt nod. “I’m in.” Zan’s grin grew. Rath watched him closely, this was his Prince, and Lonnie was his Princess, he had to protect them, it was his duty as Commander. And, Ria would have wanted it.

“Now I have to tell Vilandra,” Zan said, eyes wide with fear at the prospect. At his look Rath laughed, for the first time in weeks.

“Sucks to be you,” he offered, still chuckling. Zan glared at him and stalked out, head high. He collapsed on the floor giggling and wishing Ria had been here to see the look on Zan’s face.

Vilandra stalked through the palace corridors in the dead of night. The three moons were glowing softly in the sky, illuminating her path and creating shadows to hide in when the guards crossed her path.

She was mad.

Her brother had again decided to rule her life and had announced her betrothal to Rath, of all people! She didn’t even want to know what Zan was thinking, but she wasn’t going to put up with his hypocritical insanities anymore.

She slipped into Niko’s room easily because he always left the door unlocked for her, and walked stealthily to his bedroom. She stared down at him for a long moment before shaking him awake.

“Wha? Huh?” He shot up, hand going to his bed head of brown hair. “Vilandra,” he stated, looking at her with sleepy eyes, “What’s wrong?”

“I’ll do it.”

“You are not being serious.”

“Read the message Ariann,” her husband ordered. She glared at him fiercely and glanced down at the written speech.

“I am not saying this. It’s ridiculous.”

“It is not ridiculous, and you will do as I command. Now read!” They stared at each other for a beat, amber eyes into blue, and then she relented.

Not because she was giving up, but because she had formed her own plan. She just had to talk to Zan and then she’d get her scientist working on it right away.

“If you are seeing me now it means that you are alive and well. I take this form because it will be familiar to you, and it will help you to understand what I an about to say. You have lived before. You perished in the conflict that enslaves our planet, but your essence was duplicated, cloned, and mixed with human genetic materials so that you might be recreated into human beings. My son, you were the beloved leader of our people. I have sent with you your young bride. My daughter, the man you were betrothed to, and your brother’s second-in-command. Our enemies have come to Earth. You will know them only by the evil within. Learn enough to use your skills, your knowledge, your leadership, to combat the enemy so that you can come back and free us. And that I may once again hold you both in my arms. I live for that moment. Help us. I love you.”

The hologram clicked off and Tynan placed it in an orb, sealed by the Antarian crest, and handed them to a scientist on hand. “It will be activated when Zan and Vilandra come of age, their orbs will trigger each others and the message will be played,” he explained.

“How do you even know they won’t make it?” she demanded, angry with his lack of faith in their son.

“I am not as dense as you would believe me Ariann, I see what’s going on. I see that Vilandra is sleeping with the enemy, that Zan cannot get over his whore.” He waved a hand to cut off her protest. “I see, I know. This will change things. They’ll be chemically attracted to their true mates and nothing will get in their way of fulfilling that destiny.”

“They don’t want that destiny Tynan.”

“They will when they don’t know any better,” he said breezily, “You may go now Ariann.”

“This won’t work Tynan,” she made an attempt.

“Of course it will.”

“No, it won’t.”

“Will it work?” he asked anxiously, glancing at the door that held his mate and their unborn son.

“The transfer will,” his mother told him, “But we can do something to prevent the other part.”

“I won’t be separated from her Mother.”

“I don’t expect you to be. We’ll take some DNA from her, some from Ria. It will set things right.”

“Lex and Kayl too,” he told her.


“Vilandra is more herself around Lex, and Ava seems to rely heavily on Kayl for emotional support. If we can provide someone for them… Maybe we won’t go down the path we’re on now, again.”

His mother nodded her blonde head and gave him a sad smile, “I’m sorry everything blew up in your face.”

“It’s not your fault Mother, Father just… He doesn’t understand that I don’t want to be him.” Zan sighed, feeling a sense of regret for the lack of relationship between he and his father. He had given up trying to be the perfect son years ago. He never seemed to please Tynan, no matter how he had tried, so he just stopped trying. “I should go wake Kali up. We’ll meet you in the lab along with Rath, Lex, and Kayl.”

His mother kissed his forehead gently. “I love you Zan, and I’ll make things right, you’ll see. Everything will work out all right for you and Kalila. I promise.”

He watched his mother leave his rooms and then went to the bedroom, watching Kalila for the thousandth time that day. Everything had to be all right. He had promised her it would. He had promised her nothing would come between them. They were Zan and Kali for eternity.

She was his destiny

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Post by dreamangel » Sun Apr 20, 2003 4:47 pm


“How is the procedure coming?” Ariann inquired as she entered the sacred Granolith chamber at the Temple of Eros. She had a hard time coming to terms with the desecration of this most holiest of places, but if it kept her son alive she’d willingly go along with anything.

“Quite well, your Majesty,” Galen told her, “But we may have some glitches on out other ‘project’,” he whispered eyes dodging around the scientist-filled room.

“What’s wrong?” she asked anxiously once they were out of earshot.

“There is no way to create more embryonic pods, my Queen.”


Her old friend sighed. “The King has ordered another set made. The first were too…off, I guess the word would be. The blending of DNA and essences didn’t mesh as hoped, so Tynan has commanded us to try again. We have purchased Gandarium crystals from Dagon to help the melding along. It provides a suitable medium-”

“Galen,” she interrupted, “Please get to the point.”

“I’m saying Ariann, that there will be no surplus of genetic material or Gandarium. There won’t be any way to make the Princess and the others.”

“But there has to be a way,” she protested, “I promised Zan that Kalila would follow him to Terra.”

“We’ve already cloned their essences,” Galen told her, “I suppose if they were injected directly into a human subject it might work, but we don’t have the resources to test that hypothesis.” He waved an arm in an all-encompassing gesture. “And there’s only a slight possibility of it actually working.”

“But there is a chance?” she prodded, feeling a tiny spark or hope flare to life.

“Slim to none,” he agreed reluctantly.

“Then that is what we shall have to do,” she said decisively, “Yes, that is what we’ll do.”

“Mother, this cave doesn’t seem very sound,” Zan said, holding on to Kali’s arm tightly as they maneuvered their way after his mother.

“It’s perfectly stable Zan,” she assured him cheerily, turning back to watch them with sparkling blue eyes. “And it’s just right for what we want to use it as.”

“You honestly expect to live here for who knows how many years?” he demanded, catching his mate as she stumbled, “Kali! Are you all right love?”

“I’m fine,” she replied, giving him a small smile as she regained her footing, “And so is Max.” She placed a slender hand on her round tummy and he positioned his own over hers, feeling their son kick.

“He’s so strong,” Zan whispered, awed, as he gazed down at the bent head of his lover. She tilted her head up, pink lips quirking slightly to the side, brown eyes full of laughter.

“Just like his father,” she said softly, her expression changing from amused to admiring and he felt his breath catch. It had been so long since they had been together. There was just so much for him to do, and she was tired often with the baby…

“Kali…” he breathed.

“When we return to the palace Zan,” she responded, as eager as he for their joining.

“Zan! Kalila! Hurry!” the Queen called from farther down the passage of tunnel. Zan let out a groan of disappointment, but grinned ruefully at his wife’s peal of laughter. They slipped their hands into each other’s and continued on their way until they came to a large, open cavern.

“Wow,” Kalila said, gazing around the large room. It was well lit, with many smaller access tunnels extending in a network around them, through which people were popping in and out of. And in the center of it was a small, one-person spacecraft.

“It’s like a miniature city,” Zan said.

His mother beamed. “Exactly. We have food and shelter and access to aboveground should the need arise. Everything’s set.”

“Good,” Zan murmured as he wrapped an arm around Kalila, “Because something’s going to happen very, very soon. I can feel it.”

Nero was passing the telecommunications room when a series of hushed voices cause him to pause. He peered into the dark room, where a man was seated before a blue screen, talking to another man.

He narrowed his eyes, staring at the man on the screen. He had pale blonde hair and dark purple eyes, and he was an enemy of the state. It was Kivar, and the man in the chair was another Paerhnian, Niko. What were they doing?

Pushing the door further open soundlessly he concentrated on the serious, private discussion, knowing it was integral to Antarian society as he knew it.

“Tynan’s been a busy boy, hasn’t he?” Kivar said.

“Indeed, your Imperial Highness, the ship is all set to depart to this Earth place with duplicates of Zan and his cronies in tow,” Niko replied, sounding disgusted.

“Well, we can’t have that, can we?”

What was it with this guy? Did he always speak in questions? Nero shook his head, not liking the implications with this deal going on.

“No Kivar, I don’t believe we can.”

“Very well Niko, start the preparations, we’ll depart in a day. I’ll deal with these…dupes as soon as Antar is in under my control.”

“As you command, so it shall be.” Niko bowed to his Emperor and his hand reached out to flick off the telecom unit.

“Wait!” Nero cried before realizing he spoke aloud. Both men turned they’re eyes on him, surprised.

“Who is that?” Kivar demanded.

“I am Nero, a pilot.”

“Well, Pilot Nero,” Kivar sneered, “Give me one good reason why Niko should not end your life and maybe I’ll let you leave this room.”

“I’m pilot of the ship going to Earth, with the pods…”

“Continue,” Kivar ordered, looking interested.

“I could deliver the Prince, Princess and Commander to you, if…”

“If what?”

“If you allow Ava to live.”

“And what would I want with Ava?” Kivar asked, looking condescending.

“She is my daughter, Emperor, and I would have her live,” Nero stated quietly, “If not, I am quite capable of mind-to-mind communication with my fellow Chylian, and he is extremely loyal to the current Royal Family.”

The violet eyed Emperor stared at him a moment and then looked to his advisor. Niko pondered, they exchanged looks. “It could be wise,” Niko suggested, “Bring them back for a public execution…”

Kivar nodded and turned to the pilot. “Very well…Nero. Ava will live, but on two conditions. One she delivers Zan, Vilandra, and Rath into my hands, and two, when she returns she is pregnant with Zan’s heir.”

Nero gaped, “But that Kalila girl is already pregnant!”

The purple eyes hardened to black. “You will do as I command and not ask questions, or your daughter will die. Understood?”



Serena slid around the corner from the communications room and hurried to her own. She grabbed the bag that had been packed for weeks and hurriedly made her way to the stables, carefully keeping an eye of for Kivar’s sentinels, who wouldn’t believe she was out for a midnight ride.

She saddled Marina quickly and quietly and led her from her pen to the open desert. She had tonight. Kivar was moving out tomorrow. Of course, she supposed she had a slight advantage, being as she was only one person and he would have a whole army to lead. Hopefully it would be enough, and she’d arrive in enough time to warn Zan, and Antar would be prepared for the invasion.

But fate didn’t seem to be on her side tonight. She struggled to maintain a steady pace and course, but Marina wasn’t used to long desert treks, and it was a dark moons night, with Dimaras barely giving off enough light to see the hand in front of her. She shivered as the winds picked up.

“Please Eros don’t storm,” she pleaded of the god, but her prayers weren’t heard, or, if they were, they were ignored, for a few hours later a swirl of sand descended on Serena and her mare, causing utter confusion and absolute chaos.

And when she awoke the next morning, sand in her hair and mouth, her horse gone, she was hopelessly lost.

Kivar surveyed his troops with satisfaction and gave the signal to ride out as soon as the first sun rose in the sky.

He’d have Antar now, as well as Zan’s head.

But most importantly, he’d have his Kalila back.

The door banged open and Zan sat bolt upright in bed, instinctively moving to protect the nude form beside him.

Rath stood in the doorway, panting, eyes wide. “What is it?” he demanded, still quiet, for Kali slept on, oblivious.

“He’s on the march.”

“I want the guards doubled,” Tynan was shouting when his son finally got to his chambers. “Finally!” he exclaimed, “We’re under attack boy, and what do you do? Sleep-“

“Enough!” Zan roared, “I’m here, let it be.”

They stared at each other for a beat. “I’ve ordered extra security around the palace and city, but we don’t have enough soldiers now that Gorganin and Claren have pulled their support, and Larak can’t get his people assembled in time to be any help.”

“And Kivar’s probably been prepared for months,” Zan finished. He sighed, “Eros bless, it’s too fast. Everything’s changing too fast.”

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Post by dreamangel » Sun Apr 20, 2003 4:48 pm


She was sneaking around again, but this time instead of fury in her heart, there was dread. She didn’t know how things had come so unraveled, that she was required to perform such horrible acts in order to bring peace back to her planet.

The defense of the palace and city had been increased, but that had been expected and planned for. She moved around following each change of guard, hiding in shadows if she did happen to be passed. Luckily most of the guards weren’t used to staying up so long and seemed to see everything through a sleepy haze. It was also lucky that she was adept at slinking around from seeing her lovers late at night.

Her first stop was her father’s chambers, then on to the front gate to let Kivar in. Niko had laid out the whole plan for her. It was a simple matter of disposing of her father and taking Zan and Rath into custody. Then Kivar could marry her and take over the throne by right, and therefore be in a position to smooth things out with all the other planets.

Vilandra watched her father sleep and felt a pang of guilt. He wasn’t a kind man, nor a wonderful father, but he had always treated her as the princess she was and respected her avid interest in politics. He had always told her that if it had been possible he would have made her heir to the throne, but Zan had been born and the title had been denied her.

It was her biggest regret that Zan would be robbed of his birthright. Her brother was adored by everyone. He had a good heart and a loving soul, complimented by an intelligence and compassion that would have made him the greatest of all Antar’s kings. If only that girl hadn’t come along.

As far as Vilandra was concerned, Kalila was the root of all evil. She had turned her brother’s head from his duties and responsibilities, she had twisted Zan’s love for his sister into contempt, and, worst of all, she was using him to gain the throne.

To Vilandra, Kalila was the reason behind any betrayal.

And now, looking down at the face her brother had inherited, she squashed down any misgivings. She had signed on for this, and regardless of the small amount of affection she felt for Tynan, she would do what was needed. For the sake of Antar.

She picked up one of the pillows that had been haphazardly thrown from the bed in one of Tynan’s fits, and sat on the bed, clasping onto it tightly. “I’m sorry father,” she whispered, and placed the pillow over his face in order to suffocate him.

Tears pricked her eyes when he woke up, fighting with her, hands desperately trying to dislodge the thing that was killing him, but she held on. She held on until the strained moans ceased, and his hands released her now bruised wrists. And then she stood, tossing the pillow back on the floor. She gave him a quick kiss on the forehead and walked out the door.

She made her way out of the palace and to the gate blindly, trying not to think about what she had just done. She kept her eyes focused on the destination, the large iron entryway at the end of the stone lined road. And when she reached it, she rested, unclean hands griping the bars.


She gasped and spun. Lexus was standing behind her, in formal Guardian garb, watching her with a puzzled smile. “Lex! What are you doing here?” Go away, she told him in her head, leave and escape, please.

“I’ve duty,” he replied, “What are you doing here?”

“Oh, um…” she trailed off, flustered, “I’m, um…walking. Yes, that’s it, I needed a walk.”

“Really?” He raised an eyebrow, “This late at night?”

“Yes,” she responded primly, sweeping her skirts away from him. The nerve of him, questioning her actions! She sniffed at him disdainfully, feeling peeved. “This late at night.”

“Well, why?” he inquired, grinning now. She knew he liked to provoke her a little, it was his way of making her open up, of tempting her trust him. “Guilty conscience?”

That wiped the beginnings of a smile from her face, and she felt herself pale, but before she had the chance to laugh off his joking accusation, two arms wrapped around his neck. A piercing shriek of panic escaped her throat and she leaped forward, scratching at the arms holding her friend prisoner.

“Vilandra!” was the harsh grunt, “Stop it!” And one of the arms pushed her away, but the loss didn’t give Lex a chance to fight. She fell to the ground and looked up, stunned into the furious eyes of Niko. “You’re going to signal the guards that something’s amiss.”

“Let him go!” she pleaded, staring at the man who was going limp, his blue eyes dimming, “Don’t kill him!” she cried, voice rising.

“He’s merely unconscious Vilandra,” he assured her coolly and nodded at his second, who let the man fall to the ground. His once lover rushed to the fallen Guard and frantically checked his breathing. He curled his lip in disdain for her tears and sigh of relief when she realized he lived.

“Come Vilandra,” he beckoned, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and drawing her up against him. He began to lead her towards the palace, annoyed when she kept glancing back anxiously. Kivar shot a glance behind him, purple eyes signaling Niko to kill the unconscious man once they were out of sight.

Vanea followed behind him, the army she had let in at the gates came up the rear. Niko would trail behind the stream of hardened, battle-ready men and join up with his Emperor later. They met up with Cora in one of the open corridors surrounding the palace and he began to delegate responsibilities.

“Cora, you take Niko to the Commander, Vanea, see if you can discover the location of the Queen. Vilandra will take a squadron to find the Princess Ava and her lieutenant guardian. I will find Zan and “escort” him to the throne room. The rest of you know your jobs,” he gazed at his people and smiled, “I want this done tonight.”

They let out a low cheer, the chant of “For Paerhna” echoing, before they all left to complete their individual duties. He himself was out for Zan’s blood and started forward, eager for the conquest, but he paused and turned back to the unmoving Vilandra, his restless men fanned out around her. “Princess?”

“You won’t hurt them?” she inquired worriedly, “We’re just capturing, right?”

“Of course, my love,” he told her, lying through his teeth. Her expression immediately cleared and he resisted the urge to frown at her weakness. She would unfortunately need to be disposed of also. He regretted the loss of such a skilled lover, but soon he would have Kalila back, and Vilandra would never cross his mind again.

And with the thought of his beloved in his mind, he went in search of the Prince of Antar. For today was a good day for Zan to die.

The insistent knock roused Rath from his fitful slumber. He lay in bed for a moment, grateful to escape the nightmares, but then another series of knocks sounded and he groaned, rising from the lonely bed.

He fingered the locket medallion at his neck as thoughts of his wife invaded his head. They had taken DNA from the lock of her golden hair enclosed within it, and recreated her essence. He wasn’t sure of the process, all he knew was that when his…clone woke up on a distant planet, Ria would be there too, and they’d be together again.

The banging was giving him a headache. “I’m coming,” he roared, and flung open the door. Cora flinched and cowered back at his thunderous expression. “Cora? What is it?” he inquired, frosting over his expression with one of cold politeness. He didn’t have time for any more of her treasonous ramblings.

She gulped a little and bit her lip. “The palace is under attack,” she whispered.

“What?” he demanded.

“The Paerhnians are inside, my lord,” she elaborated. He stood immobilized for a second and then snatched up his sword, heading for the door and his Prince. Cora moved into his way. “It’s too late Rath. I’m sorry.” And she fled, tears in her blue eyes.

Without warning, a glint of silver came crashing down upon him and he barely had time to bring up his sword to block. Niko burst into the room, sword flying, thrusting at him until all he could do was parry. He tripped suddenly and his weapon went skidding across the floor. Glancing after it, he gave Niko his full attention, and just when his opponent began his downward stroke, triumph glittering in those cold brown eyes, He twisted and rolled across the room.

The swords met in a shower of sparks and he rose on one knee, hooking his blade around Niko’s hilt and sending it flying from his grasp. He went in for the kill, and then stopped, arrested at the sight of a gun in Niko’s hand, pointed at his heart.

His lip curled up in disgust at the sight of a weapon considered cowardly on any planet. Guns were impersonal. There was no honor in using one. “Always taking the easy way out, huh, Niko?” he inquired, contempt dripping from his words.

The other second just smiled. “Whatever gets the job done, Commander.”

Rath kept his grip on his sword and kept his eyes open, letting Niko see the derision in his fierce gaze as the other man began to squeeze the trigger. His last thought was of his wife and son.

The door burst open and Kayl and Ava were on their feet in an instant, Kayl’s knife half drawn. “Vilandra?” Ava gasped.

Her sister-in-law had her shoulder pressed to the door, she was breathing heavily, her hair mussed from what appeared to be a run. The door was slammed from the other side, making Vilandra wince. “Kayl, your knife, quickly,” she panted, gesturing for the Lieutenant to pass her his weapon.

Her best friend hesitated for a second and then tossed the shining blade to the capable warrior Princess, who then allowed the door to open and soldiers came pouring in upon them. “No!” Kayl shouted.

“Kayl!” Ava screamed as he was felled and then she was beset, helpless and unarmed.

“Kali stay here,” Zan ordered, grabbing a weapon from his closet and strapping it around his waist. She watched him apprehensively as he checked the fastenings. “If you hear anyone come, hide. I’ll be back for you as soon as the way is clear.” He looked at her, amber eyes vulnerable. “I love you, Kali.” He reached for her, kissing her deeply.

She wrapped her arms around him, the bulk of her stomach making it slightly awkward, but the kiss was no less passionate than any other they had shared, maybe even more so. Zan was going out into danger. The enemies had breached their home and now he was trying to get her and Maxim to safety with Ariann in the hidden stronghold.

“I love you, too,” she murmured, “We’ll be waiting, come back safe…and soon.”

He smiled at her, kissed her forehead and rubbed a hand across her abdomen. “I promise,” he replied and then went carefully to the door leading to the sitting room and then out into the hallway.

She waited in the silence for a long while, her thoughts with her husband and berating herself. She should have gone into hiding when Ariann had, then Zan wouldn’t be in this predicament. It was all her fault.

“Kalila?” She froze at the call and stifled a fearful exclamation. Instead she calmly walked to the open closet and hid herself way in the back, among the clothes, as Zan had instructed. “Kalila?” the voice called softly again, “I know you’re here, little one, just come out.”

Closing her eyes she mouthed prayers to Eros, begging him not to let Kivar find her and her son. But it was as if just thinking his name in her head drew him to her and she was pulled forcefully out of the wardrobe and into the light of her bedroom. She cried out in protest at his hold on her arm and he loosened his grip immediately.

She looked up, frightened, into his vivid violet gaze. His eyes were wandering over her body, sneering at her obvious pregnancy, but when he reached her face he smiled and cupped a cheek in the palm of her hand. “Don’t worry, little one, I’ll let you keep the bastard.”

Anger rose in her and she jerked away from his touch. His own expression darkened and he grabbed her again. “Come Kalila,” he said, voice now harsh, “I do not have time for this. Tell me where Zan is and let me have you escorted somewhere safe.”

She looked at him, eyes wide with disbelief and revulsion, “I am going nowhere with you, and I will never betray my husband.”

He seemed to recoil at her vehement proclamation and gaped at her, a hurt look coming over his face. “Why do you always choose him? He is nothing. I am your true husband.”

Shaking her head aggressively she looked him in the eye. “I love him,” was her simple response.

“But I love you. And in time you will learn to love me back, once I get you away from his influence.” He took her hand again and began to tug her to the door.

“You don’t get it Kivar,” she said, ripping her hand from his grasp, “Can’t you see what he means to me? He’s the love of my life, my soul mate… You can’t be him Kivar. You can’t take his place. You’ll always just be second best.”

“You loved me once,” he said desperately.

“I loved you as a sister loves her brother, not as a wife loves her husband. Not as I love Zan.” Her tone had gentled now, and as much as she knew about him, about how deadly and twisted he was, she also knew that the man who had taken her for rides and made her laugh was still a part of him. “Please understand that, please.”

He stared at her, into her earnest, tear-filled eyes, and shook his head. “No. He’s done something to you. But I’ll take care of him. You’ll never have to worry about him again, my love.”

Her objection was stilled in her throat when Vilandra breezed into the room and froze at the sight of Kivar and Kalila. She begged with her eyes to Zan’s sister, begged her to go for help, but all she got was hostility.

“Ah, Vilandra.” Kivar let her go, turning to the Princess with a smile. “Watch our charming captive here while I search out her lover.” Vilandra nodded and moved forward, blocking any chance of an escape Kali had thought to make.

“Don’t harm him,” she pleaded. Kivar’s eyes feigned surprise at the thought and Kalila knew he was planning to murder her lover. She racked her brain, not able to get the picture of Zan dead out of it. “If I agreed to come with you, without a fight, would you let him live?”

Kivar smiled, and the smile told her she would be coming with him whether it was peaceably or not. And then Vilandra finally spoke, “He won’t hurt Zan,” she told her, voice sounding as if she were trying to convince herself, “He said he wouldn’t, so he won’t.”

Kalila stared in dismay at her one time sister as the woman’s brown eyes followed the Emperor’s exit from the suite of rooms. She couldn’t believe Vilandra had betrayed them all, she couldn’t believe the world-wise Princess was being so naïve about this whole thing.

Kivar wanted Antar, he wanted her, and the only way to get both was to eradicate Zan.

“Five mark,” he shouted as pressure built up in the cabin. He looked over at Nero, who was copiloting the ship to Earth, the man was pale, and kept glancing back nervously.

The hangar hadn’t been attacked at the first go and they had managed final preparations for the journey in record time, it was lucky that the Granolith and pods had been safely installed only days before, and now they didn’t have much time before the Paerhnians entered the docking/take-off bay of the space port and Kalib had plans to be gone long before than.

“Mark! Punch it!”

And suddenly they were launched through the atmosphere and into the dark, star-filled sky. Kalib breathed a deep sigh of relief and sent a grin Nero’s way to relax him. The response was a weak one, but at least it was something.

“Set coordinates for the Earth and plan a flight path, we’re in this for the long haul.”
She turned, eyes on her rival, filled with malicious intent. The knife she had hidden in the folds of her skirts flashed with light and silver, burying itself in the abdomen of the younger woman. Kalila made a small sound, one of surprise and denial, and she looked up at Vilandra, brown eyes huge with pain.

The Princess felt righteousness fill her. She had done it, she had destroyed the thing that had caused this war. Caused the fighting and betrayals. She had done what both her brother and Kivar could not have. She had seen the truth, she had confronted it, and she had won.

A smile twisted her lips as Kalila gazed at her, shock still written in every line of her delicate face. And then those dulling chocolate eyes went past her, love permeating the pain. “Zan,” she whispered, and Vilandra narrowed her eyes in anger. How dare she invoke her brother’s name! She twisted the knife and in one vicious movement, tore it out of her once sister-in-law’s body.

The tiny body seemed to slump backward, one hand clutching her stomach as if to staunch the blood flow. “NOOO!”

She spun at the bellow, so close behind her, and the hand holding the now forgotten knife was flung wildly in an effort for protection. The scream of protest was cut off to a gurgling noise and Vilandra watched in horror as her brother grabbed his neck, the same lost look on his face that had been on Kalila’s.

He looked at her for an infinitesimal moment, as if he were really seeing her for the first time. “Zan,” she breathed, “No…No, Zan, I’m sorry. I’m sor-” But his beautiful amber-brown eyes weren’t focused on her any more, they were centered on the woman lying on the floor.

“Kali,” he murmured, his voice breaking. He fell to his knees beside her, bloody hand reaching for hers, another wet sob escaped his lips, his almost purple lips…Vilandra watched in terror as he tried to breath, tried to speak, but he was dying, the light fading in his eyes… “’Til death and after," he managed to get out before he collapsed, "Promise…"

He finally lay, hand still entwined in his heart’s wife’s, head resting between her breast and his unborn son, as the life went out of him. Oh Eros strike her, she had murdered her brother.

The knife slipped from her numb fingers as she collapsed to her knees, weeping uncontrollably, begging Eros to bring her brother back, to make him live again…

And that’s where Kivar found her hours later.

He entered the room where he had left his beloved in a state of rage. He had searched the whole palace, which had been successfully conquered, but the irritating princeling was nowhere to be found. Kivar knew he had to be somewhere though, he would never leave Kalila alone in the middle of a takeover, even Kivar could not believe that of him.

The tableau that presented itself to his eyes arrested him mid step. He drew in a shaky breath and finished walking to the bloody scene.

Vilandra looked up at him, eyes red and puffy, one hand picking uselessly at her brother’s stained shirt. “I killed him,” she informed him, voice raw with pain, “Oh Eros,” she wailed, “I killed Zan!” She bent over, sobbing again as Kivar knelt beside her.

He stared numbly at his adored Kalila’s lifeless body, her wide, unseeing eyes, and his gaze drifted downward, to where Zan’s hand was clasped in hers. Together even in death. The thought brought a black fury into him and he reached down and picked up the bloodied knife lying on the blood-soaked floor.

“You killed my Kalila,” he asked, sounding vaguely disinterested and he examined the knife, eyes flicking to her every so often.

“Yes…” she hissed, “She deserved it. She distracted Zan. His obsession with her blinded him to anything else.” She sniffed and he saw her glare at the other woman, “He called me a whore once, because of her.”

“And in the end she distracted him to death,” he concluded, knowing denial was going to set in and he didn’t want it to, he wanted her to die knowing what she had done. Knowing that she had killed her brother. Well, at least she performed one task he’d needed to accomplish, though he would have preferred executing the boy himself. “And Vilandra,” he muttered, stabbing the knife into her heart, “You are a whore.”

She didn’t say anything, didn’t even cry out. She pulled feebly on the knife hilt, trying to pull it out, but he had embedded it within her using too much force. She eventually gave up and lay still, one arm flung toward Zan and Kalila’s intertwined bodies.

He rose, his heart hard, and headed out of the room, through hallways littered with the massacred bodies of the Antarian Guards and servants. He’d have to get a clean-up crew in here before he moved in.

As he entered the Great Hall his people let out a cheer. He smiled victoriously and walked up the carpeted pathway and seated himself in the King’s throne. “Report.”

Niko grinned, “No problem at all, everyone possible of fighting back was taken out. Kayl, Rath, Ava, all the Guardians…” he trailed off, looking at his Emperor, and now King.

“Zan, Vilandra, and-” his voice broke, “Kalila…are also out of the way.” He saw Niko’s eyes darken at the mention of Vilandra’s death, but the other man nodded and stepped back. His older sister now came forward, an expression of apology on her striking face.

“I regret to report that no sign of the Queen was found.” She frowned, “It’s as if she disappeared without a trace.”

“It doesn’t matter Vanea,” he waved away her concerns, “She will present no opposition to our rule. No one will. Tomorrow we announce our occupation of Antar’s capital city and control of the planet.”

“The Alliance?” Niko spoke up.

“They’ll submit no challenges to my reign, they’re all weak, and none of them were very happy with Tynan’s idiocy.”

“Even Dagon?”

“Larak will go along with the rest, he doesn’t have enough military resources to try something. My people, Antar is ours!”

“My Queen.” The herald bowed, face grave.

“What news?” she demanded.

“Kivar has usurped the throne.”

Ariann closed her eyes, fighting to hold back the grief. “My son?” Oh Eros, not Zan…not Kali…

The man hung his head. “He’s dead, Majesty, every person in the palace died,” grief thickened his voice, “A ship was launched though, the one carrying the pods.”

“Then there’s hope,” she said softly, shocked, “Hope for Zan’s return.” She nodded, “We must not give in yet, we must continue with our plans. My son will need his Queen and his loyal people when he returns.”

And so the rebellion was born to counter the ramifications of the Alliance’s most infamous military coup.

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Post by dreamangel » Sun Apr 20, 2003 4:51 pm


The Caves of Kane.

Serena slumped down under an outcropping, closing her eyes for the coolness the shade provided. She’d had to trek across the desert on foot, all the way to Antar. She had had no idea which way she was going, but she had followed her gut and it had led her in the right direction.

She was on the outskirts of the City. Unfortunately her gut instincts had not led her through the jungle on the direct route. Oh no, it had brought her to the Caves of Kane, and going around them would waste more time then she had, so it was through the vast, winding maze of stone that she had to go.

She had read about the Caves when she studied Antar, A History. It had been a fascinating book, only it hadn’t gone into much detail. All she knew was that the Caves were named for the warrior, Kane, who first banished the Paerhnians to the desert. He had used the Caves as a hideout, and trapped many enemy soldiers in their depths, leaving them lost to starve to death.

And chances are she’d be subjected to the same fate as her ancestors. It had been nearly two days since she’d last found a brindlebush to milk, and a week since she’d really eaten. All her supplies had been lost when Marina bolted in the sand storm. And if she fell into one of the fissures in the Caves, there was a chance she would never make it out.

All in all, it seemed hopeless to keep going. She should probably just give up and die right here…

But she couldn’t. If there was a possibility that Kalila was still safe, that Kivar hadn’t attacked yet, even if it was small…She had to keep going, had to warn Zan…

The flash of surprise caused her to jump up off the ground and spin around wildly. Her heart was beating overtime, but she put that out of her mind, concentrating instead on the emotion she was receiving from another person. “Hello?” she called, voice cracking from the dry heat it had been forced to endure during her journey, “Who’s there?”

Serena moved toward the location she thought the flash had come from. Abruptly, five men popped up out of the ledges, all pointing firearms at her. She raised her hands above her head, fingers spread wide so they could see she was weaponless.

They exchanged glances, in wordless communication, and she could sense it when they all reached an agreement. She held her breath and waited, hoping the conclusion hadn’t been death for the prisoner. One stepped forward and three others moved in closer around her.

“Move,” one commanded from behind her. She took a startled step forward and they followed, the circle foreboding, leaving one man behind as a guard.

“Where are you taking me?” she asked, frightened. She couldn’t read them anymore, and she didn’t know if they were friend or foe, and for that matter, how would they know which side she was on…

They didn’t respond.

The small group walked on, a confused Serena in their midst, they had ducked into the Caves and marched as if they knew where every opening and boulder was. She felt slightly reassured that her captors knew where they were going, because she most likely would have wandered over a sinkhole and fell to her death.

After walking for what seemed an eternity because her feet were bare and burnt and cramping from her already long trek, she saw, incredibly, a light ahead of them. Her jaw dropped open in disbelief when they walked into a monstrous cavern, teeming with people. Serena watched, wide-eyed, the inhabitants running to and fro, building things, reading, eating… Oh, Eros, was that stew…?

She ran into the back of one of her guards when he stopped abruptly, her mind still on the prospect of real food, and then shot him a sheepish smile when he glared at her. “Majesty,” he said, and a woman seated at one of the tables rose. Her captors all knelt, and tugged her down to kneel too.

Her eyes met the curious blue gaze of the one termed ‘Majesty’, and a sense of peace stole through her body. She’d be all right.

“Majesty,” the spokesman said again, “We found the prisoner near one of the entrances, we-”

“Are you Queen Ariann?” Serena asked, interrupting. The woman met her sister’s description…

“I am,” she replied calmly, then gave a little frown, “And who are you?”

“I’m Serena. Kalila’s sister.”

Ariann ushered her guest into her private chamber and gestured for her to seat herself on the bed, the only other sitting surface in the sparsely furnished cavern was a rickety old chair. The Queen sat herself beside the young woman and took her hands, “Tell me everything,” she commanded.

Serena took a deep breath, “It started, Eros…I guess the day when Kivar first saw my sister and I in the marketplace in Zion. He went to my father and demanded my hand, but I had been betrothed to Lord Briant on Vaina, so my sister took my place. Kalila was only fourteen, she was a child, I don’t know what my father was thinking, but…He let Kivar have her.”

The girl pulled her hands from Ariann’s and tucked her dun-colored hair behind her ears, it reminded Ariann of Kalila, and tears stung her eyes. There were not many similarities between the two sisters, Kalila being small and dark-eyed while Serena was tall and gray-eyed, but little things about the two made it obvious they were sisters.

“My father, he was Governor Thane, he died a few months ago and I came back to Paerhna for the funeral. My husband piloted, it was his hobby, and he was going to come get me after a week was up, but word came he had died on the flight over. It was then Kivar insisted I stay at his palace, and I began to suspect he had a hand in my father’s and Briant’s deaths.”

She drew in a shaky breath and Ariann handed her a handkerchief and patted her back lightly. It was obvious Serena had cared very much for her husband, and had yet to have time to grieve properly. Ariann had already indulged in a small period of mourning for Tynan, but had yet to fully acknowledge the deaths of her children.

“When he brought Kalila back, I knew. He’d orchestrated the whole thing so that I’d be there for her when she returned. He was trying to use me to force her hand. We talked a lot, Kalila and me, when we managed to buy her some time, she told me all about you and her life here in Antar,” she smiled, “She wouldn’t stop gushing over Zan for the longest time…”

Ariann smiled too, memories of Kalila’s innocent laughter and Zan’s adoration of his small wife drifting in and out of focus. She couldn’t believe she had lost both of them. Oh, her poor babies…

“Anyway, I knew what Kivar wanted from her, and I had a plan to get her out before he could get to her, but I ran into Zan on the way to the rescue. He’d come for her, she had known he would, I could feel her hope…” Ariann shot her a sharp look. “I’m an empath,” she explained, “I get emotions, that’s how I felt Zan, his surprise.”

She nodded repeatedly, “I told him to save her, that I would stay behind and when I had concrete information on Kivar’s battle plans, I’d come to Antar to tell him. I left a day ahead of Kivar and his troops, but there was a sand storm and I lost my Gem. I walked all the way here, and I was too late…”

Her voice broke off and she dissolved into tears. The Queen wrapped a comforting arm around her shoulders, “Maybe not, dear.”

Serena raised her head, gray eyes wet with tears, “What do you mean?”

“We’ve cloned Kalila’s essence, along with some of her friends. Zan wanted her to be able to be reborn on Terra, oh, um,” drat, she always forgot the report’s term for the planet, “Earth, with him. You see, Tynan sent my son and daughter, along with the Princess Ava and Commander Rath. Their essences were combined with human DNA via Gandarium crystals from Dagon.”

“You mean, another Kalila’s developing right now?” Serena inquired.

“Well, no,” Ariann admitted, “But we do have the potential, and the plan. You see, there wasn’t enough Gandarium or genetic material to recreate Kalila, Ria, Lexus, and Kayl, but it is possible to implant their essences into human subjects. The result would be the same, only without the advanced brain capacity. They’d be themselves, only human, with no memory of their pasts.”

“I don’t fully understand,” Serena said.

“If we can get their essences to Earth, and inject them into the humans, they would be reborn, with Zan and the others.”

“But how do we get them to Earth?”

“That, my dear,” Ariann said, “is the question.”

He dug his fingers into the wet ground, letting the smell of rain and soil invade his senses. He fancied he could smell her light, fresh scent floating to him from below. The rain fell soft and warm on him as he knelt on the newly dug grave.

The Antarians had all been piled together in a pit and burned, but he had given his Kalila a proper burial, and now she lay, six feet beneath him, death creating a contented mask on her beautiful face.

Rage filled him at the remembrance of Vilandra’s final betrayal. He could see her small body vividly, soaked in blood, brown eyes dull, hair strewn across the stained floor, hand in Zan’s…

It always came back to that, to him. The pitiful princeling. If only he had had the satisfaction of killing Zan himself, of watching the life drain out of him… Kalila would have seen then just how weak her chosen champion was, she’d have realized Zan would never compare to him…

“You can’t be him Kivar. You can’t take his place. You’ll always just be second best.” Her voice seared his brain, always, always…

Oh, Kalila…

“Your Imperial Highness?”

He gave the intruder an impassive glance and rose to his feet in one smooth motion, trailing a hand along the cool surface of Kalila tombstone. “What did we talk about Niko?”

His Second gave a wry smile. “So sorry, your Majesty.”

Kivar smiled and they began walking back to the palace. “Much better. Now, what news do you have?”

“Our scientists have developed a protective coating, a Skin, if you will, that will allow us to live on Earth without damage. They last for approximately fifty years, which should give us enough time to locate the Royal Four. I’ve taken the liberty of beginning flight preparations so that we can pick up the Antarian ship’s ion trails before they dissipate.”

“Good.” He nodded thoughtfully, “I’m handing over the control of this mission to you. You’ll be my representative on Earth. You will speak for me in all matters. Vanea will of course be going as your second-in-command, and you have your choice of officers for the rest of the duties. Have anyone in mind yet?”

Niko nodded his brown head thoughtfully, “There’s Gren, he showing a lot of leadership potential, and he should do all right away from home for a long period of time, and then, I have to bring my mother or she’d throw a fit, and she'll drag Father along…”

Kivar smiled, knowing full well how protective Idelle was of her son and daughter. She’d never let them out of her sight for more than a month, and then she’d be tearing the planet up looking for them, Wallache in tow. Yes, Idelle would have to go with. Well, that settled…

“Any information on the Queen and the missing villagers?”

Niko frowned and shook his head, “None, Kivar, it’s almost as if they’ve disappeared from the planet.”

A frown marred his own features, “They’ll turn up eventually, Niko. We just have to be prepared when they do.”

“Well, that’s that then,” Ariann stated, “We’ll just have to steal one of these Husks, and then steal a ship.” She frowned, “Unfortunately, we cannot steal a pilot…”

“I can pilot a ship,” Serena piped up from beside her, “Briant taught me. If you can get me on it, I can get it to Earth.”

They stared at each other for a moment, surprised that everything was falling together so nicely. Ariann turned to the informant and sent him away with a smile, and then turned back to her new friend and began to revise their plans.

“We’ll need a diversion,” the Queen mused, “My people can manage that, and one of them can get you to a small, personal craft… You’re sure you’ll be all right piloting that great a distance by yourself?”

Serena nodded, gray eyes showing confidence, “I can do it, I promise. And I want to. If it means Kalila gets another chance to live… And I need to be there for her if she does. Your place is on Antar, Ariann, mine is with my sister.”

Ariann bit her bottom lip, but finally nodded, “Let’s do this then.”

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Post by dreamangel » Sun Apr 20, 2003 4:52 pm


The spaceship carrying the two sets of Royal Four was approaching Earth’s orbit at a rapid speed. Kalib smiled broadly at the view of the blue-green planet. It looked fascinating. He couldn’t wait to start exploring the surface, find all about the denizens running around down there. He couldn’t believe Nero detested it so much, the studies he’d made from the view-screens showed humans to be an extremely potential race.

As the circular disk-like ship grew closer, final preparations for landing had to made. The healer in the medical ward beeped him over the com-link and requested his presence in the pod chamber. He gave up control of the ship to Nero and headed toward the back.

The eight pods were glowing red, signaling they were still in the developmental stage. He gave them a quick glance, giving the Gandarium crystals they were embedded in a wide berth.

“You wanted to see me?” he asked of Carlin, who was one of the other passengers on this vessel. (There were two others in the medical ward, but both were deformed Antarians, made for menial tasks, and were of no consequence.) She headed up medicals, he doubled as scientist and pilot, and Nero acted as mechanics and co-pilot. They would all be acting as protectors as Four grew up. Carlin would be judging them as they grew into adulthood, picking which set would return to Antar as the reigning monarchs. He and Nero just had to make sure they stayed alive.

“Yes,” she said, “King Tynan asked me before we left to find a way to ensure you and the other Chylian’s loyalty to his children.”

Kalib frowned at her unfriendly attitude, “I beg your pardon?”

“Hold out your arm,” she ordered, and he complied, still frowning, as she injected some type of serum into his vein. “That will make sure you do your job.” She gave him a cold smile, “You are answerable only to Zan. Anything he asks, you must answer. Anything he commands, you must do. Now go, and send Pilot Nero to me.”


She glared at him, “You have been dismissed, Pilot Kalib.”

He scowled and opened his mouth to tell her off, she was a disturbingly blank personality, when they flew into each other as the ship jolted. “What the…” He steadied Carlin and then leaped to the communicator. “Medical to Bridge, medical to bridge…Nero, what happened?!”

“Systems malfunction,” came the crackling reply, “I need you on the bridge now! We’re entering Earth’s atmosphere and I’m losing control!” The com-link went dead and Kalib spared Carlin a glance where she was working on securing the pods for an impact, and then raced to the bridge.

The sabotage had been a success. Of the five passengers, only three had survived. The two malformed Antarians had died in the crash and their bodies had been taken, along with the pods, by the humans. Kalib had not questioned him about the details, and Carlin was too distraught over the loss of the pods to say anything other than prayers to Eros and premonitions of doom. He shook his head, damn Antarians.

“They took them to Eagle Rock Military Base,” Kalib was saying when Nero tuned back into the conversation, “We can go in and get them back, we’re much more powerful than them. Our brains are more developed, we can use that to our advantage.”

“What about the Granolith?” he asked.

Kalib sent him a surprised look, but it was Carlin who answered. “The Granolith can take care of itself, the fetuses cannot.” She sent him a dirty look, shivering in the protective suit that had been designed for her. Her fragile Antarian body couldn’t survive on Earth’s filthy atmosphere, so Kalib had designed a suit for her to breathe and protect herself.

It was glowing white in the Earth environment, it had two slits in the general nostril area to take in air and purify it to Antarian standards, and large, dark elliptical lenses over her sensitive eyes to protect her from the new sun’s rays. The suit was very noticeable in contrast to he and Kalib’s passable human-like bodies.

“Nero and I will take the extra suits as a disguise and sneak in. We’ll get the pods out, find hiding places, and integrate into the population,” Kalib continued outlining his plan.

Nero rolled his eyes, unseen under the cover of night, and then agreed with the idea, “Let’s go now, there’s no sense wasting darkness. Carlin can wait for us here.”

“That’s Chief Medical Examiner Carlin to you, Pilot,” she sniffed at him.

“Whatever.” Antarians were just as bad as humans in his opinion. “Let’s go.”

Hal Carver, Captain in the 509th Bomb Group, crept around the base until he got to the infirmary Betty Osorio had specified in her note. Then he used the key she had left him and opened the door. The sight that confronted him was out of the ordinary.

Jiminy Christmas, he thought. There were eight pods, the ones he and Dodie had transported from the crash site, they were separated into two groups of four, and they were looking like human fetuses.

He moved further into the room, careful to avoid the dead bodies on the floor, a silver handprint on both their chests, and lifted the camera to take a picture. The American people had a right to know what their government was keeping from them.

A movement caught his attention from the corner of his eye and he spun around to be confronted by two of the very type of being that he and Richie had “run over” the other night.


Hal stepped back awkwardly, hands up, afraid. They looked at him, and then their big, black eyes turned to the pods and comprehension dawned on him. They didn’t care about him. They wanted the pods, like a mama bear with her cubs, willing to do anything to protect them.

He walked backward even more, hands still up, showing he meant no harm, that he wasn’t going to get in their way. “Save them.”

And then he left. Noise came from down the hall and three officers started to approach the room. He couldn’t let that happen, the aliens needed to get their ‘children’ out. His eyes fell on the fire alarm and he pulled it. “Hey!” he shouted, grabbing the attention of the officers, and then he ran for it, them close behind.

He got out of the compound rather quickly, but had to waste time climbing the wire fence surrounding the base. And to top it all off, he dropped the camera on the other side. His pursuers were just coming over the hill, not quite in shooting distance. He reached through the links in the fence, straining for the camera, but then they were in range and he wasn’t quite prepared to be dead.

The base was on full alert as he packed his bags and took off, he could hear the alarms going in his head for days. And failure rode him like a favorite horse. The one time he stuck his neck out to save anything, and it all went to hell. Nobody could have gotten out of that base on red alert, not even aliens. And he didn’t have one shred of proof against his government.

Betty had died for nothing.

He and Nero had reverted back to their base forms and were huddled with Carlin around the pods they had just rescued, in the back of the human vehicle they had stolen. They all looked at each other, wondering what to do now.

“We need to get them to safety,” Carlin finally said, checking the pods with a touch of her hand, “Without the Gandarium the growth process will take longer, they’ll be in this state for years.”

“How many?” Nero demanded.

She looked at him, the dark lenses blocking her expression, “I don’t know, I’m a healer, not a scientist.” Her head turned to him, “Pilot Kalib?”

He gave them a bleak look, “Decades maybe, more than probably…” He bit his lip inside the suit he was still wearing, the fetuses inside the pods were still small, “Forty to fifty years, human standard time.”

The other two looked away from him, to the pods, where the helpless children who were supposed to Kalib whispered to Nero, “We need to get them to safety. The question is…” he shot the pods a glance, “Where?”

Nero met his gaze, “One set here, right under their noses. Another set somewhere with a large population, where finding them would be difficult.”

“So, we’re splitting up?” he asked.

A nod, “Yes. I will stay here with the second batch, Carlin will stay too, to supervise. You take the imperfect set either to Los Angeles, California, or to New York City in New York. From my surveys of the planet last time, they are the most densely inhabited cities in this country.”

Kalib nodded and started loading his set into the covered truck. Nero would be able to take care of his set as well as Carlin. He knew this planet better than Kalib did, after all, he’d been here before, had lived here for a long time to study this amazing place.

Kalib would have to learn as he went.

He raised the inferior human viewing equipment to his blue eyes. Binoculars, hah! Still, it was lucky the boy, River Dog, had been able to lend them to him, otherwise he’d never know what was going on in that confounded compound.

The FBI, as these humans called themselves, had captured he and Carlin on their way to the reservation after hiding the Royal Four’s pods in the desert. There was a crag there, leading them to it, and it had a natural cave in it that Carlin had been able to use to set the pods up in proper order.

They had been obnoxious, per usual, asking ridiculous questions about hostile alien takeovers and what not. They had discovered that the FBI agents had experimented on the Antarians that had died in the crash, and were quite excited to have two live ‘specimens’ to study.

Nero, or Nasedo as he was known on the Mesolika Reservation, a name River Dog had given him, it meant ‘visitor’ in their native tongue, had managed to escape. He had hung around the compound for a while, memorizing the layout of the base in order to avoid detection. He hadn’t managed to rescue Carlin, not that he’d tried much, but…

Finally, risk of recapture had become too great and he had fled to the reservation. For the past three years, he had lived alone in a cave among the hills, visited only by River Dog, and going out only to check on the compound where he had been held.

Today a body was being dragged out in a child-sized coffin. Carlin had been a small woman. He frowned and turned away. It was time to get going. Without Carlin to distract them, they would be coming to find him again. The head agent, Lewis, of this ‘Special Unit’, was a real jackass, to use human slang.

He told River Dog he was leaving, and the boy nodded solemnly, listening to the visitor’s last words with grave attention. He left the cave, with its map painted on the wall, he left the healing stones and a piece of his broken protector’s pendant with the boy. Then he made a stop at the local library in Roswell, hiding the Destiny Book the King had commissioned within its walls.

And then there was one last trip to the desert, to bury the remaining orb (the FBI had taken Carlin’s), and he checked on the pods, running a hand over his daughter’s. He’d collect his hidden items when he came back for her. He’d make sure she led the life she deserved before he had to fulfill his bargain with Kivar.

But, right now, he had to lead the FBI on a goose chase. A smirk twisted his lips as he drove down 285 South. Texas, here he came. “Yee-haw,” he drawled sarcastically, glancing in his rearview mirror.

He hated this planet.

Kalib, once scientist and pilot, now street rat and great protector to the Royal Pods. He crawled out of the sewer/subway home he had made for himself, mounting the pods against the wall in the abandoned tunnel of track. He was beginning to detest his dull routine, and nearly everything about Antarians, holding him to this ridiculous position.

But he found humans fascinating. In the twelve years he’d been on this planet, humans became more and more an obsession for him then ever before.

He eyed a blocked off section in the street ahead of him with curiosity. It wasn’t often New York streets were closed for anything other than a ten-car pile-up. And he saw no flashing blue and red lights to indicate that, but the crowd was pretty big.

Kalib slid between the onlookers and stared with bewilderment at the scene in front of him. There were people in weird clothes, saying the same things over and over again. There was a lot of arguing and shouting of ‘cuts’ and ‘action!’, and it finally hit him that they were actors wearing costumes, they were making a film!

His jaw dropped. He loved movies, they were the most amazing things he’d ever seen in the universe. And one was being made right in his chosen city!

“I quit!”

Kalib turned toward the yell and stepped a little closer. One of the ‘behind-the-scenes’ workers was storming away, and a very important-looking man was spewing profanities after his back. The man spun around and caught Kalib’s eyes, “You!”

“Me?” Kalib asked.

“What’s your name?”

“Um, Kalib…” he looked around wildly and his eyes lit upon a street sign (he’d never needed a last name before), “Langley. Kalib Langley.”

“Well, Kal, you just got yourself a job as a clapper loader, get over here.” Kalib, now Kal Langley, a clapper loader, didn’t bother to correct the director, and leapt to do his bidding. This was so exciting!

At the end of the day, as the crew was loading up, the director approached him. “You did a good job today, Kal,” he said.

Kal practically glowed as much as those pods of his, “Thank you, sir!”

“We’re heading back to Hollywood tomorrow, want to come? You got a bright future ahead of you.”

“Really?” He grinned fit to split the moon, a grin that faded a bit at the thought of his responsibility to the unborn Royal Four, but then came back full force. He still had a least three more decades until the hatched, he had time. “I’d love to.”

He was gonna be in pictures.

Serena swore under her breath and frantically tried to right the error. But to no avail.

“Warp-drive malfunction,” the computer’s voice repeated over and over, “Warp-drive malfunction.”

“I realize that you piece of…” she trailed off and hit the control panel in her frustration. This would definitely put a kink in the Queen’s plans. Well, there was nothing she could do. She checked the navigation path, and the ship was on course for Earth, and it appeared to be staying that way.

She engaged the autopilot and got up, heading toward the back of the one-person ship. She made sure the vials of essence were secure, and then checked on her mature Husk, or Skin, or whatever those Paerhnians had called it, and the one still developing. They were safe.

Cracking her back, she lay down on the small cot and stared at the rounded ceiling of the spaceship. Who knew how long it would take them to get to Earth? She sighed, “Computer, engage Chryogenic Status.” A shield closed over her head, encasing her in a type of pod, and she felt the coldness of induced sleep creep up on her.

“Wake me up when we get there,” she murmured as she slipped into oblivion.

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Post by dreamangel » Sun Apr 20, 2003 4:53 pm


“I want the town taken out,” Niko commanded from the bridge. “Every one of those sniveling humans need to be gone. Dust.” He looked over at where his sister was consulting with Gren. “Vanea, Gren!” They turned their attention to him, “We’ll be landing shortly, brief the crew on their duties.”

They gave him curt nods and scurried off to do his bidding. Ah, it felt good to be in charge. He looked out the bridge window at the view of Earth and sneered. They’d have to go in stealthily, land somewhere obscure, and take over that small town quickly, before the suspicious humans knew anything was up.

He left the bridge and headed back to his quarters. Flopping down on the bed in the small cabin, he opened his provided closet and stared with distaste at the being he would be. The Husk was a young human male, inconspicuous, a fact that would serve Niko well if authorities came sniffing around. Humans were gullible, he’d be able to fool them easily.

The transfer of essences was really, very simple. He hooked the wire from the back of the protective vessel, where it was attached to the ‘destruct’ button, into his own Paerhnian skin, and let the electric current stimulate his brain into ‘otherness’ until his personality, his soul, could be switched to the other body.

When he opened his eyes, he was fourteen again. Small, compact, ambitious. He left his room and traveled back to the bridge, where his people had gathered, all in their Husks, waiting for his orders.

The study they had made of the human race was extensive. Each and every person had made a complete research into everyday life, government, etc. And now they were putting that knowledge to work.

The entire population of the town of Copper Summit, small as it was, had been incinerated in a matter of minutes. They had swept down in the dark, raided the homes, and accomplished their task to perfection. Now they were moving in.

The house his family had moved into was an old farmhouse. It was filled with old furniture and thousands of knick-knacks his mother cooed over. The red mailbox said ‘Crawford’ on it. So they discarded their Paerhnian names and took up human ones.

He went from Niko to Nicholas Crawford, Vanea to Vanessa Crawford, Idelle and Wallache to Ida and Walt Crawford. And they, the Skins, settled in on Earth.

The first order of business had been to find a place to hide and protect their precious Husks. Finally, one of their number, a boy with curly black hair and brown eyes, spoke up with the idea of a wax museum.

So, they set to work on setting one up, hiding the now growing Husks in the basement, where they would mature for use during the next fifty years. Not that Nicholas was planning on staying on this filthy planet for that long.

Then came the discussion about how to find the Royal Four. The decision was made to set up an organization to handle the problem. Nicholas delegated the responsibilities to Gren, who now went by Theodore Greer. Under Greer’s leadership, the ‘Vilandra Project’ was formed.

It had been a collaboration of ideas between Kivar and Niko to go for Vilandra. She was the weak link of the Four, the malleable one. And Niko missed her. He could hardly wait to see her proud stance, her long blond hair, and flashing brown eyes… He was afraid he had fallen in love with her…

The Friendship Committee, as Greer had labeled it, because it was unthreatening to humans, had dispensed followers throughout the United States. They had already combed the desert for the supposed UFO crash, that Nicholas was sure was the Royal Four’s ship, but no trace had been found.

So they expanded. They had operatives across the country and even in other countries. They needed to find Zan and the others so they could go home. And they needed the Granolith to get home, their own ship was deteriorating in the Earth’s atmosphere, and they had no technologies to repair it.

Vanessa, sad at the loss of her betrothed, was occupying her time by looking into the U.S. government for answers. She had always had a knack for politics, and had discovered a secret ‘Special Unit’ that had been created when the spaceship had crashed last year. She felt it could be useful and determined to keep her eye on it in the future.

Cora, now known as Courtney Banks, was also looking out for her future. She had fifty years before she would require a transfer of Husks, and she was resolute in using it to her full advantage.

Antar had failed because Zan had been in control. She was not going to let that happen another time. Rath should be King. He deserved to be King!

Her people, the rebel group of Paerhnians within Kivar’s rule, had told her to find the Commander again and bring him home to rule. So she began her own search here on Earth, striking out on her own, disobeying Nicholas, to find her true King.