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Behind the lines and on them.
See You Later
| Category: || Fantasy Fiction |
Posted:|| May 20, 2011 Views: 500|
Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of language.|
Life still sucked. Andi thought there was a little less sewage in it, though, since the Rogue council meeting. Every man and woman on that council was in the crosshairs of the slavers' laser scope. That wasn't anything new. Doing something besides making obscene gestures at the enemy was.
The Warrior was still worn out by the whole decision making process. The telepathic communication proved easy to do. The emotional strain of taking in all of the feelings and attitudes was the exhausting part.
His Hasaran knew this. He saw the slight shimmer of her teleporting entrance moments after the meeting in the Rogue conference center broke up. He felt that little hop in her heart the moment she solidified and their eyes met. Her smile followed it, showering sunshine all over him.
He smiled back, reveling in the moment. When he did, a thought jumped up inside of him and made him pay attention to what he was seeing.
She was happy. More than happy, she was eager, even excited to see him. Put into perspective, the concept humbled him. His grotesque appearance obviously did not have a damn thing to do with how she saw him. Everything about her when she looked at him radiated incredible, palpable joy.
"Hey, guy. How's it hangin'?"
The sassy, Warrior greeting made him smile even wider. He gave her the standard answer; and, for the first time in weeks, did not dwell on the underlying meaning
"High and hard with you around. Come to say good-bye?"
The joy in her vibrations vanished. Determination took its place.
"Yeah. Me and Chako've got to do some test runs before we set out for the big one. He says as of get my ass in gear now."
"Figured. Take care of him, will you? The grunter's still gettin' some balance back."
"He'll be ok. He's got a lotta I.O.U.s he needs to collect on, hey? I'm thinkin' once he gets into that, he's gonna shine."
"Me, too. Just keep him away from the kids if you can. Them damn toad turds've got his number now, and that's what they'll be throwin' at him."
"Know it. Let me ease you into sleep, and I'll head for the training field once you're out."
It was a short good-bye. Andi knew it had to be. If they held on any longer, neither of them would be able to let go.
Isik couldn't really say he was all alone. Some of the Rogues left, some of them stayed. The one dearest to him would never be around again.
The young Gentian doubted his heart would ever get over the loss. He did continue to hang on in spite of it. Joel expected it, didn't he?
"People are gonna need you, grunter, in ways they don't even know, yet. You make it through this, you hang in and wait until they figure that out. Gimme that promise, hey?".
Joel obviously knew some things he didn't; things like he would be powerful enough to slide out of that death walk and carry others with him.
"I did that, guy. Now I don't know what the hell else to do."
He held the world together for at least three of his comrades; held for so long he thought he would die doing it. The brain shots slamming into the command center came first. With Joel, Nilaina, and Narden already down there was nothing he could do except hang on and shield the rest as best he could.
Then Ahris took over and covered him while he clung to Andi, Melita, and Jimmy. Andi was so close to dead only Melita's power was holding him together, and she was bleeding power fast enough to make her own death imminent. Then Jimmy jumped in to get them both to the Healing Domes.
Isik barely remembered those things. Nor could his mind get a hold of the time he spent on his own recovery in the trance room. After that, things were out of his hands. He went numb before anyone could hand them back.
Until now. Now the Rogues were counting on him again and life was finally shaking him out of his sleep walk.
The proposal Ahris made concerning the Guardianship Training was the wake up call. He seriously considered the idea prior to the council meeting. After, he knew this was at least one way to go. Melita gave him another before she and Chako left to work out their mission plans.
"I'm needin' you to take care of him, Isik. He's gonna wanta go flat out, and he ain't got it in him. You and Joel, time was the two of you sat my ass down and straightened me out. He's maybe gonna need the same. So far, me and Chako's been the only ones he listens to on gettin' that job done. We ain't gonna be here."
The request was a big one. Isik knew he was up to it, and appreciated Melita's confidence in asking him to do it. He pushed on the question when she asked for the favor to see if he was seeing things the way they were, or the way he hoped they would be.
"You looking for a babysitter, Lita?"
"More like lookin' for an anchor. I'm knowin' he's supposed to be trainin' you to be a Guardian. I figure you got that covered and then some, but it gives you the chance to train him. There's a lot more to you than what you're showin', brain man. I'm countin' on that to protect him and to help him get into usin' that power tool in his head. You get me, guy? I'm puttin' the most important thing in my life in your hands, and I'm countin' on you to do right by it."
The sincerity in the woman's vibrations let him know this was no sop to sooth his ego; no busy work to give him something to do. She was talking Warrior to Warrior, and it felt damn good to hear it.
He gave his promise on everything she asked, and one more. That one he didn't tell her and never would. It was a Joel thing.
Jimmy wasn't quite sure how to take Melita sometimes. He understood her Warrior aspect and how to handle it. Ditto on her Healer phase. When she went Medicine Woman on him, though, it creeped him out.
That didn't mean he closed his ears or his mind to what she said. The far away look she got into her eyes commanded a whole lot more attention and respect. The words that flowed from her while she was in that place rarely made any sense at the time. They always did later on, usually in ways he never expected.
This time she hit him with yet one more thing he never considered.
"You need to be takin' that Guardian training with Isik."
Guardian wasn't exactly the last career choice in his mind. It wasn't any choice. Playing with technology and the computers that ran it were his first loves. `Doctor' was always hovering around somewhere in the background. This was particularly so with two of the Warriors so tied down with wounds. `Warrior' was mostly wishful thinking. Anything else didn't exist.
He couldn't see any sense in arguing with the woman, though. Her answers, when he did so in the past, were always less than satisfying.
"Don't be askin' me why. I didn't write the damn script."
This time he did ask her about the script, though.
"What are you seeing, Lita? Can you tell me that?"
The question brought the present back into her eyes, and a noncommittal shrug of her shoulders.
"Everybody knows we got kids out in them slaver pens someplace. If the toad suckers kept `em, they gotta be prime. That means if we come across `em, there's gonna be a rush on high end Guardians. What I saw is, the Rogues best be braced."
Jimmy took her word for it. He really didn't see Guardianship as a practical way of dealing with the situation. He figured there was only two ways of taking care of psychic weapons: dead or disabled.
Melita slapped into that kind of thinking hard.
"You're forgettin every damn one of us is weapons grade. Looks to me like disciplined work there, hey?"
Jimmy shrugged, and chalked the ass chewing up as one more reason he shouldn't argue with her when her eyes went funky.
There wasn't any way Naceel could let his heart out in the council meeting. He knew Ahris and Tkal were in the same predicament. They were going back at the battle full throttles open and none of the younger Rogues were full battle ready.
"Spent most of a god-cursed years makin' them assholes keep their heads down so's there was time for healin'. Now you're goin' out, busted wings and all. Damn!"
He hated that, but he knew he had to accept it. There was enough of an after battle breach when the `kids' found out the Elders lied to them. Never mind it was with the best intentions. The younger faction of the team was pissed as hell about the whole thing.
Some feathers got smoothed down when they finally understood the Elders were trying to protect them. Some, but not all by a damn sight. Not one of the younger set thanked anyone for treating them like Brats. Chako probably expressed the anger best.
"Been a goddamned Warrior since I was thirteen freakin' years old. What the hell makes any of you think I need protectin' from anything?"
Andi, Melita, and Jimmy threw their own logs on that fire. Even gentle Isik had a word or two that bit like a Denubian bed bug.
"Seems to me like a bunch of kids went in half blind and still got the job done. You should of trusted us."
The results of the raid were self-evident. The media got the locations of every one of the breeding farms Jerome Martin had filed away in his maggot mind. One of those farms went down. So did Jerome Martin. The operation was a success by anyone's standards--except some of the patients died.
General Naceel Vor was a realist. There weren't many choices open for the Rogues. They were either going to have to fight in some way, or hide in some way.
"Know you all got enough hot blood to fight `til you go down. Maybe that's the way it oughta be. Let `er ride, then, and see where the rocket takes us. It was gonna come down to that sooner or later anyway. I still got a way bad feelin' about all this!"
|The book continues with Turn Arounds. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.|
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