Authors: Viola Grace
Tags: #Adult, #Sweet Romance, #Science Fiction, #Space Opera, #Paranormal
“Ysyr, what is the status?”
He smiled at her tone. “Well, Colah, the area has been secured and they are mopping up any Raiders who slipped through their immediate attention. How are things here?”
Col grinned. “Fine. My sister and niece are inside with another four hundred locals.”
“Why are you smiling?”
“My sister is a fire talent. I had no idea.” She giggled. “She used it in front of people.”
“She may want to keep it stowed. Reinforcements have been arriving across the globe and they are returning home with any welcoming male or female with talent.”
“Returning home, how?”
“The Avatar opened thirty gateways to other worlds around Resicor and their folk can now walk in and out without anything slowing them down.”
Col was surprised. “Is that even possible?”
“Of course. Admar did it generations ago. They had links to all of their colonies. Some of them are still usable.”
“I had no idea.”
“You haven’t been using your educational access to the Citadel as much as you should. It is a shameful neglect of your education.” He grinned and wrapped an arm around her.
“Aunty Col, is he giving you homework?” Makki’s voice was quite clear in the silence surrounding the school.
Col laughed and pressed her forehead to Ysyr’s shoulder. Explaining Ysyr was not something she had imagined before.
“Ysyr, I would like to introduce you to my niece, Makki. Makki, this is Ysyr, he is my partner and I suppose you can call him Uncle.”
Ysyr was bemused. “I had not thought of that.”
He slowly released her and turned toward her niece. “I greet you, Makki of Resicor, niece of Colah Geering.”
Makki stood upright and she extended her hand. “Pleased to meet you, Uncle Ysyr.”
Col smiled because she knew that look. Ysyr went in for the handshake and he froze when it morphed into a hug and no one could hug like Makki.
Cabbi came out of the school and her eyes widened. “Makki…”
Col smiled. “Cabbi, this is my mate and partner, Ysyr. Ysyr, this is Makki’s mother, my sister Cabbi. I know you have seen each other on the com calls but I am delighted you have met in person.”
Makki slowly released Ysyr. “You are a good uncle, I can tell.”
Col felt a flicker of power from her niece and she stifled a gasp. Makki had always been a good judge of character and that appeared to be part of her up and coming talent.
Cabbi approached Ysyr cautiously. “I am pleased to finally meet you in person. You are taller than you look on the com screen.”
He grinned. “And you are more lovely. It seems that the Geering women carry genes not only for power but beauty.”
He took her hand formally and bowed over it. Cabbi blushed furiously.
“It is currently safe to come out if anyone wants to get some food or fresh air. Ysyr and I will watch over you until we get the call that everything has ceased.”
Ysyr nodded and Makki stayed close to him as Col separated to take a flying assessment of the surrounding area. They were clear below and clear above. The worst of the attack seemed to be over.
* * * *
Kiiki smiled at her parents and her cousin before heading for the power station. The Raiders had taken out the power and that was something that Kiiki could do something about until a tech talent came in to fix what was broken.
Harken wrapped around her as she flew and he formed an invisible armour plating that only she was aware of.
There was a sense of triumph to be free on her own world again, but being here with Harken was a rush she had never anticipated. In the distance she saw the amusement park that had started it all and she pointed it out to him as she flew.
They arrived at the power station and she took in the damage. There was nothing else to do so she hoped that the transformers along the line could catch what she was putting out. With the generators completely shattered she had to send the power directly to the city and towns down the line.
It was easy enough with all her practice of late but if their systems weren’t ready to come back online, it could be a bit of a shock.
“Are you ready, Kiiki?”
She chuckled as she heard Harken through her suit. “I am ready. I get the feeling that this is something I was designed to do. You might not want to be on me when I power up. Keep an eye out for any lurking jackasses in the darkness. I will leave them up to you.”
Harken flowed off her and down to the decking as she knelt on top of the outgoing lines. She started to pour power into the system and in the distance she felt the slight tug as power was taken, absorbed and used to bring hospitals, city lights, and houses back online.
Her Nishan would protect her from anyone behind her and she heard him calling for a repair specialist. Help would arrive and she would be relieved of duty. It was good to be home but she wished that it was under more joyful circumstances.
* * * *
Ainora got the message and headed toward the power station. Lyon was at the helm of her skimmer and Starbreaker was providing security.
Being back on Resicor was surreal. After her escape she hadn’t planned on returning but here she was, part of an invasion to stop an invasion of her own people. The odd route that had brought her home made her smile. Only a threat to those that had threatened her could bring her home.
Life was a very perverse thing.
Approaching the power station she saw one of the most famous Resicoran talents on record, kneeling over the cables and sending energy down the line. Kiiki was legendary for her tremendous power and the amount of time she spent in the domed Damith city. Ainora wanted to ask her how she had survived in a restrictor suit for so long but now didn’t see like the right time.
Lyon looked at her and grinned. “Good call.”
“I hate it when you do that.”
“Read my thoughts from my expression.”
“You are easy to read. I am amazed that you weren’t caught far sooner than you actually were.” He laughed when she swatted his arm.
He set their skimmer down and Starbreaker went on the alert to scan for any Raiders who were lying in wait to catch a repair crew.
When she motioned that it was clear, Ainora hopped out and headed for the interior. She would figure out what was wrong and effect repairs or a bypass.
The weapons fire inside the generator room looked worse than it was. She used the winches and cannibalized the parts that she needed from the most intact unit to begin repairs on four of the others. The other units had random parts blown to hell and outer housings to fix but getting the majority of them online would enable Kiiki to move on to another facility if she chose to.
Ainora hummed as she worked, moving parts and settling them in position. It was surprisingly fun to put part of her world back together when they had tried to take her apart.
Trala needed to rest. She was exhausted and while Hahvi had taken care of the lava situation, the oceans had still needed to be soothed into normal temperatures.
Hahvi was standing next to her and she cocked her head. “I know it isn’t my place to say this, Avatar, but you need a rest.”
“There is too much to do.”
“Let us do it. Resicor’s children are no longer helpless. Rest here and if you are needed we will call to you.” Hahvi’s tone was solemn.
Trala looked over to Envix and he gave her a silent nod.
“I will rest but if there is anything that I am needed for, I want to be summoned immediately. This is my body that is at stake, and the lives of people that I have been watching over since they crawled from the ooze.”
“Good. You might be the Avatar but you have not had the time you needed to blend together. I have met other Avatars and the first days were always the hardest. You went from being two beings to being one at war. Sleep.”
Envix stepped forward. “I will wake you the moment you are needed, Avatar. Take the rest and finish your bonding. Your people are safe and it is only mop up now. Let the Sector Guard and the Citadel do what they have been trained for. This is what they do.”
As if it had been waiting for this moment, fatigue swelled up and threatened to knock her down. “I will rest.”
Envix wrapped his shadows around her and lifted her up and into the air. He carried her to the large active volcano on the southern islands and found a cave to tuck her inside.
She was drowsy. “Why here?”
“The signature of the volcano will hide the power signature of a fusing Avatar. Access to the energy of the core of the world will also help you recover swiftly.”
“How do you know so much about this?”
“I was taught by a very smart woman. She learned everything she could from those she met and kept all the knowledge for later reference. When we asked, she taught us what she had learned.”
Two days with him and she still hadn’t seen his face. She reached up to touch what she thought was his shoulder and everything went completely dark.
* * * *
Envix sighed in relief. Healing sleep was what she needed. Worlds could easily burn out their Avatars in the first hours. That she had lasted this long was a testament to her own resilience.
He held her carefully in tendrils of his shadows. When he had been promised the chance to win the heart and mind of a world, he had not quite grasped that it would be literally the planet itself he had to court.
Nothing could have prepared him for Trala facing off against the Raiders and the incoming vessels. With the light of Trala and the power of Resicor they had taken out thousands of invaders mere moments after they had bonded.
That bond had never had the time to set and that made them unstable. Resicor could outstrip her flesh or Trala could drop from exhaustion because her cells had not learned to draw energy from the planet. This time was critical and he would make sure that she was safe.
The future of his happiness and hers, depended on it.
* * * *
Col looked at the folk who were nervously gathering to watch the Sector Guard and the Citadel staff collect the Raiders that she had dealt with. One of Makki’s friends whispered frantically to her niece before Makki smugly led her over.
“Aunty Col, Wellia has some questions for you.”
The little girl looked nervous.
“Hello, Wellia. What would you like to know?”
The girl looked back at what appeared to be her mother and whispered to Col, “How old were you when you learned you could fly?”
“About nine or ten. It happened when I fell. Suddenly I wasn’t falling, I was flying. I was very lucky. Why do you ask?”
Makki beckoned Col down. “She flew last month when one of the girls pushed her off a diving board.”
“Oh. Well, what would she like to know now?”
“How does it feel to fly free, I think? She only slowed her fall for a few feet so she didn’t splash.”
Col nodded. “Right. Wellia, would you like to go for a flight with me, if your mother agrees?”
Wellia looked at her mother with a worried glance. “She won’t say yes.”
“May I ask her?”
Wellia blinked and nodded.
Colah smiled and headed over to the worried woman and beckoned her to come away from the crowd.
“You are Wellia’s mother?”
The woman nodded and eyed Colah like she was speaking to a wild animal. “I am.”
“She has asked me if she could experience what it is to fly.”
“I am not finished. I would like to take you as well. Your daughter suspects she has a physical talent and her best chance of keeping it under her control is to learn what it feels like to practice. I will fly with you both and you can see what it is that she is looking for.”
There was excitement and fear in the woman’s features. “You won’t drop us?”
“Ma’am. I have just spent six hours keeping the school and those inside it from harm. I would not play games with so many witnesses out here to see proof of how dangerous physical talents truly are. I will not fly fast and I will only go as high as I am requested to by you or your daughter.”
The woman looked back to the crowd and then stiffened her spine. “Yes. You can take us both up but only until we ask to come down.”
Col smiled gently and beckoned to Wellia. “Of course. This is about learning, not showing off.”
The little girl was shaking with excitement and Col held out her arms. “One to each arm please. You can hold my shoulders. As long as I am in contact with you you won’t weigh a thing. Every woman’s dream.”
The mother laughed, Wellia quivered nervously and with a slight bending of her knees, Col took off.
Wellia enjoyed the flight but her mother loved it. The disappointment was written all over her face when they landed again.
Col let the pair go and they were both laughing with shared excitement.
Ysyr came up next to her and there was a smirk on his features. “You have created a sensation.”
He pointed over her shoulder. “They all want rides.”
She turned to see the clump of eager faces separate from the disapproving faces in the crowd. Cabbi was regaling folks with the true tale of Col’s arrest, including the hostage taking and being thrown off a roof and arrested afterward.
She looked at Ysyr. “This is what I wanted, right? I wanted them to know what actually happened when physical talents were arrested. Do you think I should tell them about how I lost the suit?”
He shuddered. “No. That is a secret that you should keep between you and those who had to watch it.”
She laughed. “I think I can make a few flights but the sunset is coming fast. Are you ready for fur and fangs?”
He laughed. “Always.”
“Get some of the Citadel specialists over here to talk to this group. If they are going to lose their fear of talents, this is the perfect opportunity.”
He gave her a salute and a quick kiss. “Go to it, Col. We are officially on public relations duty.”
She wrinkled her nose and stroked his jaw and neck. “Don’t bite anyone no matter how invasive the questions get.”