Kneus: A Terraneu Novel (Book Four)

BOOK: Kneus: A Terraneu Novel (Book Four)
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K
n
eus

(A Terraneu Novel, Book
Four)

 

By

 

Stormy McKnight

Copyright and Disclaimer

 

Copyright
pending, Stormy McKnight

 

Cover
Art by Brandi Doane McCann

 

Published by Stormy McKnight

http://www.stormymcknight.com/

 

Kneus is the fourth book in the Terraneu series. I would advise that the
books be read in order, to enhance the experience. However, I do try to write
them as stand alone as possible.

Kneus is a work of fiction and the characters, events and dialogue found
within the story are of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as
real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, either living or deceased,
is completely coincidental.

No part of this book may be reproduced or shared in any form or by any
means, electronic or mechanical, including but not limited to digital copying,
file sharing, audio recording, email and printing without the permission in
writing from the author
.

Chapter One

Kneus was back on Earth. As he was running toward the port pad, dodging
and weaving through the trees, he worried at the ominous shadows they cast
along the ground. Turning to look over his shoulder he yelled at his brothers to
hurry. They only had a few minutes before it lost power and wouldn’t be active
again for another six months. He turned to see Kniam, Knollig and Knaleg all
running with him. It seemed that no matter what it was always his brothers and
him against the world. Even though those three had found mates, they were all
still very close. There were women and children in Terraneu to protect now. The
lives that they were building on Terraneu had to be defended at all costs.

Just as they reached the port pad all four of them bounced off an
invisible barrier. Landing roughly on his back Kneus gasped in pain. Groaning
loudly he gingerly got to his feet. Walking with his hands outstretched he was
able to reach a certain distance from the port pad, and then the barrier stopped
him from preceding any further.

“What is happening Kneus?” Kniam asked from his left. Knollig and Knaleg
just stood stoically waiting for an answer.

“I don’t know.” Kneus stated and for once he really couldn’t reason out
what was happening. He could feel the panic rising in him as he frantically
thought of a way off Earth. He was bombarded with images flashing in his mind
of all the horrible things Earth humans did to each other, the wars, the
famine, the death and loss. He felt again the pain and hopelessness when
confronted on the port pad by Knaleg’s mate Catherine all those months ago. He
had resolved to activate the port pad and if Catherine shot him then so be it,
he was not going to stay on Earth one way or the other.

His surroundings shifted and he was instantly engulfed in inky blackness.
An icy coldness spread over his body and with it what felt like a steely fist
was squeezing his heart. Just when he thought his lungs would explode from lack
of air, he heard a voice that stopped his attempts at breathing.


We are coming
.”

Only three words, but Kneus felt the hatred and pure malevolence
radiating from the speaker.


Kneus. Are you coming to the council meeting? We have been waiting
for you.”
His brother’s voice spoke telepathically to him.

Jerking fully awake and bolting upright in bed Kneus raked his hands
through his hair. Damp with sweat he wasn’t surprised to see how badly he was
shaking. The dream was rapidly fading and he struggled to hold onto the memory
of it. He needed to try and make some sense out of the imagery. Why would he be
back on Earth when he was safely on Terraneu? The port pad to Earth was long
ago deactivated so there wouldn’t be any more traveling through it. Also, his
brothers Kniam, Knollig and Knaleg had not been on Earth with him all those
months ago. It just made no sense.

What his rapidly awakening brain shied away from the most was that voice.

We are coming
.”
 
Just repeating
the words made a chill run down his spine. “
We are coming
.”

His brother Knaleg had been attacked on Antilles almost six months ago.
The leader of that group had left them alive for some reason, giving his mate
Catherine that same warning. “We are coming.”

Maybe his dream and that warning were somehow related?


Kneus
?” Kniam was getting a bit impatient. “
Is something
wrong?”

“No. I’m on my way.”
He jumped out of bed and stretched his taunt
muscles. They must have been flexing all night to be this tight. It was as if
he had done one of Knaleg’s workouts while he slept! He had been slowly gaining
back the muscle mass he had lost on Earth, but he hadn’t reached his prime form
yet. A few inches over six feet tall he needed to gain another fifteen to
twenty pounds to be where he was when he left Terraneu for Earth.


Sorry I just slept in. I will be right there.”
He hurried through
a shower and got dressed as quickly as possible in the usual clothing of a male
on Terraneu:
 
black pants, black vest
and black utilitarian boots. He knew that the members of the council were anxious
for any news about the research he had been working on with Gwen. She was
assisting him to find a reason for why the males lost consciousness whenever
they heard the name of the male they called the “mystery soldier” and the ship
he was on. The council would also ask about how things were going with finding
some way to use shielding and upgrading their weapons system. He only wished he
had more to tell them but no matter how far back he searched in the archives he
came up empty.

As he rushed to get to the council meeting before Kniam became really
impatient, and even with everything else on his mind Kneus couldn’t help worry
about those three words.


We are coming
.”

Chapter Two

Gwen tiredly rubbed her eyes, and then refocused on the data in front of
her. She had been helping Kneus almost exclusive of her other duties, and they
were still no closer to finding any answers than the first day they had started
searching. She knew the male council was meeting today, and they would be
asking Kneus for updates on their progress. She was all too aware of the
urgency to locate something in this sea of information that would shed light on
the reason for the strange blackouts the males suffered from. There just wasn’t
anything to find. Everywhere they looked and everything they tried led to a dead
end.

She thought back on when the blackouts had happened to all the males
attending the council meeting. Catherine, a fellow female council member and
one of her friends had been giving a briefing about the attack on Antilles. A
group from Terraneu had gone there to destroy the cloning facility and been set
upon by unknown humanoids. Catherine had been the sole person conscious for the
whole of the attack since the males with her had been either stunned by the
initial grenade blast, or in her mate Knaleg’s case, shot with a stun gun by a
humanoid they were referring to as the “mystery soldier.” When Catherine said
the name “Marcael” aloud the males had blacked out. Then it had happened again
when she had said the name of the ship he had referenced, the Elyon.

At that point in the meeting she had been asked to help find some answers
by working with Kneus. In the weeks since then they had performed many types of
experiments to try to see the full extent of the block. No matter what they
tried, Kneus would lose all sense of awareness whenever Marcael’s name was
spoken or written, and also when he heard or even saw the name Elyon.

Sighing loudly Gwen stood up from the seat she was in and stretched. Her
back ached from sitting for so long. She needed to check on Mairi and she
figured this was as good a time as any to take a break. Leaving the Square of
Four where the technology dome was located, she started to make her way to New
Haven, the community just to the south for mated couples. Finding the first
male she came across, a nice man named Jorren, she asked him to relay a message
to Kneus telepathically for her.

“Could you please tell him that I am checking on Mairi, and will return
to the technology dome as soon as possible?”

 
Jorren was very happy to do as
she asked. Gwen almost laughed at how eager to help the males were when it came
to a female on Terraneu. If that female was pregnant, well the males then bent
over backwards to make sure that she was especially content and cared for.
Mairi just happened to be mated to a council member, and she was pregnant so
this male was especially willing to help.

“I have spoken to Kneus for you Doctor Gwen.” Jorren hurried to assure
her that he had relayed her message. “Kneus said that he will see you when you
get there, the council meeting is almost over. Also, Knollig said to convey to
you that his mate is probably at the swimming pond with—“

Gwen hurried to interrupt him. “Thank you Jorren. I can imagine the list
of whom she is with at the pond could be quite lengthy. Thank you for the
help.” Smiling warmly one last time at the male she then made her way to the
park to the east that held the soccer or football fields (depending on what
Earth name you called the sport) then farther along the path to the entrance of
the swimming pond.

When she arrived she paused for a moment to enjoy the sight in front of
her. There was the lazy river that ran around the perimeter of the entire site,
weaving and winding its way around different levels of the swimming pond. She
couldn’t see the section that was perfect for smaller children and beginning
swimmers from the entrance, it was ahead and to the left of where she was
standing but was blocked by a moderate skills swimming pool and waterfall. The
deeper section, which accommodated adult or proficient swimmers, was to the
right of the entrance and took up half of the whole site. There were four
waterfalls of varying sizes in total, and multiple exits and entrances into
every area of the pond. There was also additional grass and park like areas for
lazing around in the sun on the perimeter of the water. There were little balls
of fur called gnowlers that “mowed” the grassy areas of Terraneu, including the
swimming pond, but they avoided the water and were nocturnal so she didn’t see
them moving about. The only one she knew of that was halfway domesticated was
one that visited Amber. She had nursed it back to health and named it Chewy and
as far as Gwen knew it still visited her at night.

Turning around to take it all in she let out a contented sigh. This was a
huge tropical oasis and had been built solely for the purpose of entertaining
the new females that had been brought here from Earth, and the family units
that had resulted from the addition of females into the previously all male society.
It was a really good idea too, it gave everyone a place to go on dates, hang
out with friends and get some exercise.

Smiling to herself at the energized feeling the sun gave her, she quickly
made her way to the beginning swimmers area. When she arrived it wasn’t hard to
spot her friends. There were no other children on Terraneu yet, and this
swimming area didn’t get a lot of traffic. Once in a while community members
would travel by in the lazy river and either yell a greeting or stop to play
with the triplets for a few minutes. Otherwise it was usually blissfully quiet
here. Amber and Cat were playing in the grass with the triplets, Knadyn,
Knacayn and Brennae. Mairi and Jen were stretched out in lounge chairs relaxing
and soaking up the sun.

Her eyes swept over the group. The only thing that was missing from this
picture were the males. Kniam, Knollig, Knaleg, Kneus and Thian. They were five
members of the male council and four of them were brothers. All of the brothers
were over six feet tall, darkly tan, black haired, and extremely handsome.
There were slight genetic variations but all four of them had high check bones,
full lips, and ridiculously long black eyelashes that perfectly framed smoking
purple eyes. In her personal opinion Gwen thought Kneus was the most
attractive. He had lost weight on Earth, but she noticed that he was slowly
gaining it back. His musculature wasn’t close to Knaleg, but his arms, chest,
abs and thighs were all nicely defined. His hair wasn’t too long, or too short
brushing just at his shoulders. However it was the depth of emotion swirling
around in those velvet pools of his eyes that held her captivated whenever they
happened to lock gazes. It had been his eyes that had gotten her to sign up for
McPherson Match Making to begin with. Kneus had modeled for the webpage and it
was the pain she had seen in his eyes that had drawn her in. Was she ever drawn
to the brooding, troubled type! It is what had kept her in the medical field
after all those brutal years of schooling. She always seemed to be drawn in by
the ‘walking wounded’ as her colleagues had teased. Dating had never worked out
well for her on Earth, she would put all her time and effort into ‘fixing’ her
boyfriends. They had put all their time and effort into sitting around her
house and spending her money. It was after the latest breakup that Gwen
realized she wasn’t just alone...she was lonely. So when she had seen Kneus on
the website, and she happened to be chosen for a free dating vacation since she
was a huge nerd, off to Scotland she had gone. Only Scotland wasn’t the final
destination. If you were willing to accept the changes, the dating site was
actually a way to find women to come here, to Terraneu. While the dating site
had
been a way to find women, the port
pad on Earth had been compromised and for safety reasons shut down.

Looking back at her new friends she silently visualized the couples in
the group. Amber was the mate to the male council leader Kniam, the oldest of
the brothers. Together they had triplets that were going on almost eight months
old. Knadyn, Knacayn and Brennae. The boys took after their father with dark
hair, larger builds and the hint of patrician features they would grow into.
Brennae took after her mother with a smaller frame, light blond hair and
delicate facial features. The toddlers still had blue eyes, but Gwen expected
them to change to purple any time now.

Mairi was mate to Knollig, also a member of the male council and brother
to Kniam, Knaleg and Kneus. With her fiery red hair and green-purple eyes she
was a strikingly beautiful woman. It was hard to believe that she was literally
on her deathbed before coming to Terraneu. Now she was pregnant with twin
daughters, and due any time now. The last scan performed on Mairi showed the
twins were healthy and growing fast. With the technology here on Terraneu, Gwen
was confident they would survive delivery even if they came early.

Cat was mate to Knaleg. They were an odd couple if you gauged by size.
Cat being just over five foot tall and the shortest of all the females, and
Knaleg being well over six feet. Cat was tiny of frame, while Knaleg was
massively muscled. They were however the perfect couple if you took into
account other factors like deadliness, cunning, loyalty, intelligence and their
love for each other.

Finally there was Amber’s best friend from Earth, Jen. She had come to
Terraneu with the first wave of women at Amber’s insistence. She was mated to
Thian, the blunt one of the group. They didn’t have any children yet, but were
working on starting a family.

The females were all on a council together, having been formed to help
with women’s issues so they could take some of the pressure off the males. Gwen
enjoyed working with them, and was also blessed to have the benefit of their
friendship.

Smiling again at being lucky enough to be living this new life, Gwen
strode quickly across the grass to join her friends.

 

BOOK: Kneus: A Terraneu Novel (Book Four)
2.84Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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