Authors: Viola Grace
Tags: #Adult, #Sweet Romance, #Science Fiction, #Space Opera, #Paranormal
Trala’s interest was in those tubes.
They were not loading them with members of the population. They were already occupied by someone else.
Did you know about this?
Resicor’s voice was quiet.
I cannot see what you can see here. I can see it through your eyes but it is nothing but a hillside to my senses.
How is that possible?
I would really like for you to find out. I can supply power for you but I do not have any vision here. This is frustrating for me. This is my skin.
There was a low rumble in the surrounding soil.
Calm down. There seem to be folk in those tubes. I don’t want you shaking anything up. They seem to be coming out of that cavern.
Never mind. Continue your conversations.
Be wary, Trala. I don’t know why I can’t see.
I will get to the bottom of it.
Envix was at her side and he gestured for them to go around.
Knowing that her own talent didn’t allow her to fly and not counting on Resicor’s to hold her up she moved to the side of the hill and landed.
Envix brought his shadows into play and hid her from view. He kept his body close to hers and they moved silently through the scrub and brush of the hillside, approaching the open cavern. They slipped in past the Raiders carrying out another of the long tubes.
Through the shadows she could see a face in the clear substance that made up the tube. There was a sleeping person in that tube.
She felt cold as they continued inside and when she saw the warehouse full of stacked canisters wired to support systems. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. A dozen Raiders were working on the stacks of the tubes and the number exceeded what she could count without doing a lot of math.
Talents. There had to be talents in those tubes and this explained the rumours of folk being turned in and disappearing off the face of Resicor. Someone had been storing them.
Fury rippled through Trala but there was still no clue as to what was hiding the area from Resicor.
Envix touched her arm and guided her through the aisles of stacked tubes. He didn’t need to speak, she knew that whatever was hiding this from Resicor had to be hidden even deeper than the tubes themselves.
A line of power cables snaked into the depths of the cave. Trala noticed a few security systems but Envix’s shadows kept her wrapped securely and they moved passed the sensors without any alerts going off.
She wanted to know how he knew where he was going, but he kept following a path she couldn’t see until they were standing in front of a door with enough security systems to make her stare.
She whispered, “What is behind that door?”
“The true holder of Resicor. She is in there and she is creating a blind point for the world.” There was sad emotion in his voice.
“How do you know that?”
“She is my aunt. She has been used by the Vorwings for centuries.” His voice was tight. “Can you open the scanning system?”
Trala flexed her hand and walked toward the lock with Envix holding snugly to her backside. She pressed her palm on the scanning pad and used light to burn it out.
Locks opened and the door slid aside.
Wires, cables and tubes filled the room. A nude woman with grey skin, grey hair and tired grey eyes floated in a wide tank in the centre of the space.
A display was placed on the front of the tank. The woman blinked slowly and smiled in an exhausted manner. She pressed a hand to the tank.
Envix. It is good to see you again.
He bowed. “I have tried for a long time to get to you, Aunty Io.”
It is time now. Let me go.
“We are here to free you.”
I have seen too much, done too much. I will never be free. I want to go. Except for you, all that I love are long dead. Let me go.
Trala blinked and stepped out of Envix’s shadows. “Who are you?”
I am Io Vix, broadcasting null. I have lived over a thousand years past my lifetime and I have seen and caused sorrow. Envix can tell part of my story but it ends here. Unplug me and let me pass into the next life. I have lived past my time.
“You could start a new life here. There will be plenty of room for new starts.”
Avatar, I know what my presence here has cost the people. I would not forgive myself for what I have done. I could not live knowing that I was instrumental in holding people out of time and destroying their families.
Resicor reached out through Trala and touched the woman, flinching once before creating a solid link. The years and the horrors flicked between them before Resicor came to a decision.
“Unplug her, Envix. If she wishes to go, she will go. If she fights to live, we will rescue her.”
He looked at Trala. “Are you sure?”
“It is what she wants. You know how old she is. She has lived every moment of that lifespan. This is a choice she has made.”
The woman in the tank nodded her head.
Envix pressed a hand to the tank and his aunt did the same. While they faced each other his tendrils of shadow reached out and ripped all the moorings from the tank.
Liquid drained rapidly and Io slowly dropped to the bottom of the tank, vomiting fluid and shaking violently. She knelt on the bottom of the tank and looked up with her features surprised. “I am not dead.”
Trala smiled. “You are not. The tank was life support and stasis. You are the same age you were when you went into it. Would you like us to break it?”
Envix blinked. “I thought she would become her actual age.”
“She is her actual age. She is over a thousand but her body’s aging has just been on hold. She will start an aging normal. Io can begin her life anew and she can begin it here. Resicor is offering her sanctuary.”
Io stood, her hair clung to her like wet seaweed. She braced herself on the inside of the tank. “How do I get out?”
Trala looked to her companion and waved her hands toward the cylinder. “Please retrieve your aunt. I will see if I can find her some clothing.”
She flexed her hands and went to look for something she could repurpose. It took a few minutes but she finally located some tarp that became a heavy silk gown at her touch. Resicor was still powerful but it was only objects that she could touch that could be affected with Io in the vicinity.
She returned to the two strangers to her world and extended the gown to Io. She touched the other woman and sighed as her world suddenly was not missing a piece.
Io blinked. “What just happened?”
“I subdued your talent. It will last as long as you are on Resicor or until we find a way to use your skills and get you the training to turn it on and off.”
Io tugged the dress into position. “That would be…I have never not nullified those around me.”
“It seems like your installation here was enough to keep Resicor from seeing this hill and the caverns beneath it.” Trala smiled and helped her smooth the dress’s folds. Resicor now had knowledge of the area and she counted nearly a thousand tubes in the outer rooms.
Trala turned, “Envix, how is it that your talent remained active?”
“I am her blood. She is my aunt. Our powers cannot affect each other.”
It made a certain sense. When Resicor checked their bodies they hummed with the same energy. The frequency was identical.
Trala looked back toward the door that they had left open. “I think it is time to get them away from my world.”
“Those are your people, Avatar.”
“Those people are your citizens, stolen over the course of two centuries. When the ship I was on crashed during a raid they installed me here and began grabbing talents with interesting skills to hide under the very nose of the waking world. I dampened their powers and made this facility invisible. They counted on that to continue their collection.”
Trala asked, “Are you comfortable without your nulling field?”
Io smiled. “It is a relief. Thank you.”
Envix smiled. “You are going to take your world back, Avatar?”
She wrapped herself in light and lifted from her feet. “I never lost it.”
With a burst of speed she ripped through the tunnels and up into the storage area. She grabbed the Raiders as she passed and held them in bands of light.
She dropped her collection and listened to their shouts of shock as they hit the ground. Concentrated bursts of power blew the engines on the four Raider ships. Their crews came running out and seconds later they were unarmed and unclothed.
Envix swirled up next to her. “Why do you do that?”
“What are they going to fight with? If they have a talent I can block it, if they don’t they aren’t going to be able to blend in with the local population. They won’t have anywhere to go.”
Envix snickered. “Are you sure that you don’t just enjoy the nudity?”
“Nope. I have seen better, and far less sinister. I prefer men and women who are not trying to enslave my people.”
He laughed and headed down, using tendrils of darkness on the crowd of Raiders and soon they were all lying in a heap.
“I will look for tubes already inside the ships.”
Trala nodded and she went back to the tubes that were waiting to be loaded.
Io came up and said, “I can wake them up.”
She smiled and typed a code into the small pad on the side of the tube.
“The cycle lasts one hour to bring them up to temperature and get them breathing again. I will work my way through this bunch and those in the ships. The others are still on the storage batteries. They can last for a few weeks, longer if we set up a power station.”
Trala looked toward the rows of the tubes. “Start with the ones in immediate danger. Get them up and get them ready for what is waiting. I am guessing that they don’t know how much time has passed and that might be something that we break to them gently.”
Io nodded and continued working. “Right. I will tell them that their people are under attack.”
Trala nodded. “It is true. Not quite the people some of them left behind, but still true.”
Io sighed. “If you want to leave now, we can carry on.”
Envix stopped next to his aunt, his shadows snapping. “I do not leave the Avatar’s side, aunt. We will summon assistance and when they arrive, we will proceed to the next point at which she is needed.”
Io looked surprised. “I see.”
Trala turned and looked for the orb, smiling to see it capping the ridge and coming toward her. It might not be with her on time, but it seemed it would find her.
“We need restraints and transport for eighty Raiders and transport for twenty seven Resicoran talents. They are out of their time but will have useable power.”
The orb chirped as Relay got the information. “Request acknowledged. Vessels en route to your location.”
It took less than ten minutes before the Citadel ships were approaching over the crest of the hill. After briefing the crews Trala was up and in the air in search of the volcanic disruption in the southern isles. An Avatar’s work was never done.
Hahvi had never faced off against another fire talent before. He opened the ground and directed lava toward her and she deflected it to either side as she headed for him.
Once she caught on to the lava flows of her homeland she smiled and used his own weapon against him.
Hahvi twisted as he attacked her, her fire dance taking over as she redirected the lava up and over him in a lazy wave, thin tendrils formed a cage that got thicker and thicker with every attack.
It took him a while to realize what she was doing and he panicked, moving back and away from his weapon.
Interesting. He isn’t fire proof.
He might be resistant but it seemed that he couldn’t play with the element like she could.
She completed the cage and the attack ceased. Amused, she looked around at the bridge that their altercation had crafted. Other Morganti Citadel specialists were fighting on the island chain but this particular battle had Hahvi’s name all over it.
When she was sure that her opponent was subdued she left him and focused on the pattern of roiling liquid stone beneath them. If she cooled the surface without letting the molten minerals bubble up it would blow in a nasty way that could take half the island with it.
She focused and closed the pocket from the base, sealing it in a slow and deliberate manner that left a new island in the chain.
Rackon came up to her once the worst of the heat dissipated. “Where is he?”
She pointed to the stone dome she had put him in. “In there. Is he still alive?”
“Alive an unconscious. I think he deserves a few nightmares.”
“Nothing too exciting. I don’t want him triggering another lava event because he thinks he is trapped in ice.”
He chuckled. “Get him out of there and I will make sure that he remains in a nice dark hallway with no doors.”
“Aw, you say the sweetest things.” Hahvi moved to open the stone, trailing her fingers over it until it simply dropped away.
With the ease of practice she had never imagined she would get she pulled the heat from the stone and waved her mate and partner into the newly formed hut.
Rackon came out dragging the unconscious male behind him. “The rest of the specialists mopped up the Raider ship personnel. Well, they got most of them, a few fights are still going on. Those talents didn’t realize what they were in for.”
“Did they manage to grab anyone?”
“Anyone captured was freed in a matter of minutes. Is this really your home?” Rackon looked around with an assessing gaze.
“It is my world. What do you think?”
“It is a little more stressful than I imagined.”
“And a little more explody than I remember. Ah well, things change. Back to work.”
She winked at her partner and started to run as she returned to the small skirmishes on the island. It wasn’t what she had planned to do this month but she was freeing her world. It was the moment she had been dreaming of for a decade and she didn’t want to miss a chance to make a difference for the people of Resicor.
* * * *