The Sword and The Prophet (A Syren Novel) (14 page)

BOOK: The Sword and The Prophet (A Syren Novel)
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Chapter 14
J
ackson opened his eyes, and felt the

sleeping form of his mate next to him. He felt her softness, felt the weight of her on him, and knew that the next few hours were going to be the most crucial hours of his entire existence. He needed to see the light back in his mate’s eyes. He’d lived with the weight of his failure to protect his children on his shoulders for so many cycles of life that the possibility of seeing them again left him feeling anxious and empty at the same time. He was empty of the feeling of hopelessness that had consumed him for so many cycles of his life. He was empty of the feelings of inadequacy. He was now filled with a sense of purpose, and duty, unlike anything that he’d felt in more moons than he could recall. He wanted to see his mate’s arms wrapped around his son and daughter. He wanted to feel the three of them pressed against him, safe. He knew that if he was reunited with his twins again, that there would be nothing short of the end of his life that would separate them.

He gently pushed the top of the sleeping pod open on his side and slid out, laying Alexia in as softly as he could. She had always been a hard sleeper, and sometimes not even he could wake her when her body called her to rest. They had both been under tremendous strain since the moment Asrah had appeared in their lives again, but filled with an unwavering purpose to see their children again. He saw the lines of worry disappear from Alexia’s face that had grown there in the last few moons. He wanted her to feel the lightness of life once more.

He walked out into the hallway and made his way back to the command deck of the Aeroship. Everyone who passed him bowed their heads in respect and greeting as he passed and offered him a good moon. He returned the greeting, knowing that this moon would be the best that he’d ever experienced.

“How much longer until we reach the rendezvous destination, Captain?” Jackson asked as he sat in his flight chair.

Lukas turned his chair slightly as he heard Jackson’s voice. He’d known Jackson wouldn’t be able to stay away for long, but had been surprised that he’d stayed out of the command deck as long as he had. “We’ll rendezvous with them in approximately forty five minutes, Highness. The transport ship was successful in retrieving the twins and the family of Syren Kellen Tedor. Immigration has requested that he be transported back to Amatia Prime via Avedal One. We do not have adequate space to accommodate them, and I was waiting for your approval before giving acceptance of the transport.” He finished reciting the new developments to Jackson, and watched as the stars flew by. In the upper atmosphere of Earth they flew over the oceans and land with amazing speed. No human radar, or satellite was able to track his craft.

“That is acceptable to me. We may not have enough pods, but there are enough flight chairs. Please send a wake call to my sleeping pod. Make it a rather loud and annoying one. She was sleeping very hard when I left. Notify General Vallen that we are approaching the rendezvous, and have him and his team meet me at the external ramp when we land. ” Jackson knew that he would catch a little grief from his mate for waking her with a wake call, but he did not want to leave the command deck.

The stars flew by as he sat back and drummed his fingers on the cool metal of his chair. His heart began to race a little faster, and he felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up as he felt his mate’s presence next to him. He looked up at her, and could tell by the set of her mouth that she was none too pleased with him. He pulled her hand free from her crossed arms, and laid it against his cheek. He sent her his apology, and gave her the knowledge that in a mere thirty minutes they were likely to be reunited with their children again.

Alexia sat next to Jackson in her flight chair, and drew in a deep breath as she felt Avedal One descending rapidly through the atmosphere of Earth. They were so close, she could almost feel her children. She wondered what they looked like. She’d been given brief glimpses of them from the memories and emotions that had come from Asrah, but Jackson hadn’t permitted her to cling to her sister for long, fearing that the pain of Asrah’s memories would invade her too much. She reached back over to Jackson and took his hand in her own. Although she didn’t appreciate the way that she’d been woke up, there was no time for her to harbor ill feelings towards him. Now was a time for love, and rejoicing. She squeezed his hand, and looked over at him. She remembered the day that he’d come into her life, and knew that whatever it took, he would take care of her, and their children. She knew that he blamed himself for the loss of their twins, and there was no way to convince him otherwise. In his heart, he felt his responsibility more deeply than any Syren that she knew, and that was one of the reasons why she loved him so much. They had met during her eighth cycle of life at her Fut’uah ceremony, and she knew Jackson more deeply than any other Syren in the galaxy. Her heart began to beat rapidly, and her breath hitched in her throat as Avedal One started to descend into the upper skyline of Earth.

“This is the rendezvous location, Highness. I’m forgoing contact until their vessel is detected. I don’t want to have any
unnecessary communication over the air waves. We don’t know who’s listening,” Commander Lukas informed them.

“A wise decision. Please dim all externals as well. We don’t want anyone in the area to be able to see us, and I don’t want anyone in the sky to be able to discern our location either.” Jackson gripped the arm rests of his flight chair as Avedal One settled comfortably among the trees in the forest. Pushing to his feet he walked to the descent pad, and pressed his hand to the wall. The shift in the air was minimal as the door dissolved, and a smooth ramp descended to the forest floor. He turned his head before he walked out.

“Lukas, please keep four soldiers around your Queen, and seal the door after we
disembark. Keep all externals on dim, and leave the voice detection activated. I want you to be able to hear me, but I do not want any noise to penetrate outside.” Lukas nodded, and he glanced at Alexia and met her eyes.

“I’ll be just moments, my love.” He looked to the right at General Vallen and his team, hands pressed to their hearts. He returned the salute and strode down the ramp and into the steamy Florida night.

Chapter 15
“So, do Syren have a God? Because

I’m thinkin’ right now that he pretty much hates me.” Lily sat with her head between her knees on the floor of the transport ship. She was next to what the people on the ship called a
bathroom, and was poised to crawl back in there and upchuck the rest of the air in her stomach if her head didn’t stop spinning.

She’d never been on a plane, ship, or alien space craft before, and knew that she’d be happy to give up, well, pretty much anything to never have to get on one again.

“I thought Syren couldn’t get sick. Aren’t we supposed to be like, all powerful or somethin?” She asked no one in particular. When they’d met the transport ship in the forest she’d been nervous and excited at the beginning, but as soon as it took off her stomach had lodged itself in her throat and stayed there through the entire voyage. She was pretty sure she was now a green Syren.

“We can still get sick, although I have to admit this is the first time I’ve ever seen a Syren this ill from star travel before,” the ship’s captain told her. He looked back at Lily and winced as he saw her put her hand over her mouth again.

“I really wish that we had something to calm your nausea, Highness, but we don’t normally keep that type of medicine on the ship, and we were in a rush to leave and didn’t think to bring any. I am sincerely sorry that you’re so uncomfortable.” The look on her face was one he’d never soon forget. He’d never seen two children who looked more out of place, and lost, in all of his cycles of life.

“We are approaching the rendezvous location, you will have to strap into your flight chair, Highness.” He watched as her brother helped her into her chair, and strapped her in. There were ten flight chairs lining the walls in the transport vessel on each side, set a mere foot apart. The three flight deck command chairs were only two feet apart. In the center of the vessel was a table that served as both a desk, eating surface, and operating table should the need arise. The vessel was light, fast, and only used for emergency transportation. It was not designed for comfort, or long voyages. He was grateful that the privacy room was secluded, and could give the little Princess some much needed privacy to be sick in.

“Earth immigration transport vessel Dyonarah calling Avedal One, confirm
transmission,” the captain spoke into his mouth piece.

“This is Avedal One Flight Commander Morell confirming and acknowledging last transmission. What is your expected arrival time?”

“Confirming and acknowledging last transmission. Our arrival time is approximately one hundred and twenty seconds. We are approaching from the north east. We have five subjects for transfer to your vessel.”

“Confirming and acknowledging last transmission. We are set and ready to receive them. The escort team is in place and will provide security upon your arrival. Have your escort team flank on all four sides. King Ti’Druelle will meet them at the edge of your ship.”

“Confirming and acknowledging last transmission. Slowing for the final approach. We will touch down in approximately forty five seconds.”

The captain looked behind him at the prince and princess, and the Tedor family. He had never met the King of the Kingdom of the Sword before, but he knew exactly what he looked like, and knew that he was a king of great courage.

He looked below and saw the outline of Avedal One on his detection panel. The ship was not discernible to the naked eye, but with the sophisticated equipment that their ships possessed they were able to detect other ships easily when they were on dim.

“Brace for landing. Escort team be ready to unstrap. Touch down in 9 seconds.” He guided the ship effortlessly to the ground and sighed as he heard the unbuckling of the harnesses behind him.

“Mr. Tedor, you’ll be first in the column after the first four escorts. The children will go out in twos, your children first, then two escorts, the prince and princess next, then the remaining escort team. You will need to keep all of the children behind you, in the same order. The escort team will flank you on all sides in a solid wall. This is for your protection. You’ll be met by King Ti’Druelle, and his escort team will then flank ours. You’ll proceed with them to their ship, and be given further instructions at that time. It has been my sincerest pleasure to make your acquaintance. Our species owes you and your sons a debt of gratitude. You have my thanks, and the thanks of my crew for returning to us our missing jewels.” The captain walked over to Kellen and took his hand in his own. He knew he would never see the Syren again, and wanted him to know that his bravery was appreciated by all. He looked at the prince and princess, and fell to one knee and bowed his head.

“In your service, Your Highnesses. Be well, be safe.” He rested his hand over his heart briefly before standing again. Motioning to his men he watched as they took formation and walked down the pad. They assembled on the ground and started towards Avedal One.

J
ackson watched as the ramp lowered

on the transport ship, and the escort party descended. He could barely make out the figures as they left the ship, and signaled General Vallen to start surrounding the party. The soldiers ran up to them, and surrounded the escort party, moving them at a light run towards him. He watched as someone was put into someone else’s arms, and prayed that no one was injured. Meeting the group halfway across the distance to Avedal One he fell into the rear of the column as they approached Avedal One.

“Activate entrance ramp.” Jackson said. The external voice detection would hear him even if he whispered. As they neared the ship the entire group slowed, and two by two the escort team peeled off and set up a perimeter around the entrance while General Vallen and his soldiers motioned for Kellen and his children to walk up the ramp. With Jackson at the end of the party he was directly behind his son and daughter when the soldiers separated. His breath caught in his throat at seeing his daughter cradled in his son’s arms. She looked extremely ill, and at once his concern for her shot up. Hearing General Vallen and his soldiers climb up after him he turned to instruct them.

“Have your soldiers stay as extra guards while the escort party returns to the transport ship. Once the ship door has sealed they can board, seal the door, and alert Captain Morell that we are ready to leave.” He turned back around towards Tyler, knowing that his commands would be automatically carried out.

The group did not stop in the hallway by the ramp but was led to the main serenity room for everyone to strap in. He did not have much time to talk to his children, but he could wait no longer.

“Tyler, Lily, please stop.” He
commanded.
Tyler stopped at the sound of the commanding voice behind him. He didn’t know who it was, but he had a suspicion that it was his father. When they’d gotten off of the ship and run at a near sprint to the other one, the combination of the days events, plus her air sickness had been too much for Lily, and she’d stumbled into him. He’d had no difficulty carrying her into the ship. He hadn’t thought that their transfer to the other ship would be so fast, but he knew at some point that he’d be face to face with his father.
Tyler let Lily slip to the ground as he turned around, and kept his arm around her. The man behind him was enormous. The biggest man that Tyler had ever seen. Well, since he was really a Syren he couldn’t really compare him to a human man anyway. His hair was black, and his eyes a clear crystal blue. He wore the same kind of tight suit that the captain of the transport ship had worn, and his muscles were easily defined beneath the dark blue and grey material. Tyler swallowed, and looked into his eyes. This was his father.
This. Man. Was. His. Father.
He knew it deep in the marrow of his bones, and his face flushed as he started towards him. His father came up to him and put his left hand on his shoulder.
“I’m your father, Tyler, Lily.” Jackson couldn’t speak. He could see the weariness on his son’s face, and see that his daughter was sick. He saw Alexia at the edge of the room and motioned her forward. She practically ran over to them, and pressed herself to Jackson’s side.
“This is your mother, Alexia. We wish more than anything to speak to you both now, but we need to strap into our flight chairs. The ship needs to leave Earth as soon as possible. We’ll be sitting right next to you.” He motioned them both over to the side of the room to a small alcove where there were low flight chairs set in around a small fire dome. He wanted more time to speak to them before they needed to strap in, but their safety was paramount in his mind. Nothing came before that.
“Tyler, please help your sister put her harness on, and then please sit down. I must speak to the captain, and then I’ll return.” He kissed Alexia on the head before he left the serenity room, and practically ran to the command deck.
“Is everyone on board? Have we been sealed for take off?” Jackson asked as he strode through the room.
Lukas looked behind him at the face of one of his closest friends.
“We’re just about ready, Highness. The last of General Vallen’s soldiers are returning to the ship, and we’re ready to shift to high and leave.” Lukas was eager to be on his way. The transfer had gone smoothly, and had been quicker than he’d imagined it would be.
“Understood. Have your mate come to the serenity room with medicine to combat nausea, and an upset stomach. Also, I want enough food for five, and make it a lot. I have a feeling that they’re going to be hungry. I want two deep relaxation draughts prepared. The dosage is for the twins. They both look as if they haven’t slept in weeks, and what ever we have to say to one another will keep until they have rest. They are weary, and I do not want them to feel afraid while they are sleeping.” Jackson felt zero remorse for planning to give the sleeping draught to Tyler and Lily. It was regularly used on children and infants to help regulate sleep, and he knew that rest would be the best thing for both of his children. He’d anticipated seeing them for so long, but after looking at them he knew they needed the comfort of their own dreams before they could make sense of anything that he or Alexia had to say.
He returned to the serenity room, and his heart lifted as he saw his mate on her knees in front of their children. She was holding each of their hands and speaking to them low. The tears coursing down her face were of happiness, and he could not remember a more beautiful sight in his life than seeing his mate’s face streaked with tears of joy. He felt her love before he was close to her, and the overwhelming power of her love brought him to his knees behind her. He placed his hands over his mate’s and held his children’s hands in his own. He could feel their fear, pain, shyness, and anxiety, and he over rode that all with his love. He was an extremely powerful Syren, and he pushed his love for them into his fingertips and let it flow through Alexia’s hands into theirs. He watched as both of them sucked in a breath at the powerful feeling of his love entering their bodies for the first time. He saw unbidden tears form and flow from both of their eyes, and he continued to pour his emotions into them. No words needed to be spoken. He heard Alexia sniff, and his daughter let out her breath and he heard her begin to cry harder.
Dry those tears my precious jewel. You are no longer alone. You are no longer in danger
. He poured that thought into his daughter and lifted his head to look at them both.
Jackson moved and helped Alexia strap herself into the chair next to Lily. He took the chair on the other side of Tyler, and snapped his harness into place.
He’d been rehearsing what he’d say to his children when he found them for the last ten years. What he hadn’t anticipated was how strong his emotions would really be. He felt the ship begin to rise, and he let out a huge sigh of relief. He leaned his head back against the seat and closed his eyes for a brief moment before opening them back up again. He knew it wouldn’t be long before they’d be in the upper atmosphere and heading quickly back towards Amatia Prime.
Tyler looked over at his father, “I don’t want to be rude, but I really want to ask you how come we look so much like humans, but we’re not?”
The question was a valid one, and Jackson looked over at him.
“Many, many cycles of life ago when the heavens and the galaxy were as fresh as newborn babes, there were two twins born of the heavens. One was a powerful dreamer, and the other was a daughter of fire. They were revered among the stars for their beauty. They both chose to live among the stars forever, and with their power they became what we call Earth, and Amatia Prime. The twin who was fire became Amatia Prime, which is why Amatia is so much hotter than Earth. The sister who was a dreamer turned into Earth. It is said that she loved the water more than anything, which is why Earth is made up of more water than land. They were also created to compliment one another, one water and the other fire. From their love each of our species was breathed into existence. However, something that we did not expect was how different we would each turn out.
Earth didn’t teach her creations about the gifts they have in their minds and hearts, and she did not teach them of love. The greatest tragedy of the human race is that they are closer to us than any other species in the heaven, yet they are also further apart. Our mother gave us the knowledge of our existence, and kept nothing hidden from us. We know of our gifts, and we love our mother for them. We keep Amatia alive in everything that we do. We revere our women, and we protect our mothers.
Earth is a tragedy. We feel closer to humans than any other species, and it’s a struggle to see them search for their meaning, and to search for evidence of their creation, and meaning for their existence. They wonder so deeply where they come from, and the answer is inside each and every one of them if they would just communicate with their mother. But it is not to be I think.” Jackson stopped and looked at Tyler and Lily. They were watching him with intent eyes, and he knew that he had just given them something to think about that they would never forget.
“Does that mean that there’s no god I can blame my upset stomach on?” Lily spoke for the first time. She was taking short breaths, turning greener by the second the higher in the atmosphere the ship rose. She so badly wanted to sit and speak to her mother and father, but even more than that she wanted a bathroom to throw up in.
“No, there’s no deity that we call God, but we do have heavens where we believe all Syren return to at the end of their cycle of life.” Alexia explained to her. She felt terrible watching Lily suffer and knew there was nothing she could do about it until they reached the upper atmosphere and leveled off.
Lily nodded at her mother and tried to take deep breaths in and out through her nose. She wasn’t sure she was going to survive the trip feeling this way. Her only hope was that they had something on board that would combat her nausea.
“It won’t be much longer, Lily, I’ve got someone coming to bring you something to settle your stomach.” Her father told her.
Lily sat back and thought about everything that they’d been through in the last forty eight hours, and wished she could fast forward the clock to when they landed on Amatia Prime.
Finally after what seemed like forever the ship began to level off, and she could breathe easier. It was a lot better than being on the small transport ship, but she still wasn’t comfortable with the movement. Just as she was about to ask to use the bathroom a woman walked through the main doors pushing a cart that seemed to be loaded with food. She put her hand over her mouth, and couldn’t stomach breathing in very deeply.
“Lily, Amoura has something for you to chew on for your nausea. It should make you feel better very soon.” Alexia unstrapped herself from her flight chair and went over to Lily’s chair and unhooked her as well. She guided her to the low stools set around the fire dome, and placed her palm on the edge of the dome. At once the dome slid into the flat surface of a table, and she helped Amoura place the food and drinks on the table for the twins and Kellen and his children to enjoy.
“Mr. Tedor, please come sit with us. We have more than enough food for everyone, and would like to hear about what happened when you discovered the twins.” Alexia could barely focus on what she was doing. All she really wanted to do was put her arms around her children and never let them go, but as much as she loved them she realized that she was still a stranger to them, and didn’t want to seem too forward.
She put the nausea medicine in front of Lily and waited while she started chewing on it. Almost immediately some of the color returned to Lily’s cheeks, and she sighed in relief.
“What in the world is this? I think this might be the most amazin’ thing I’ve ever had in my life.” Lily couldn’t believe that it’d taken less than a minute for the medicine to start calming her stomach down. She sighed as the waves in her stomach receded and she was finally able to focus a little better on her surroundings, most especially her mother.
“Well all I can say is thank you very much for this. I feel much better already.” Lily could finally stomach breathing in deeply and she was even more amazed to feel some of her hunger coming back. She looked over as Talon walked over to the table and sat across from her. She wanted him to sit next to her, but didn’t know what the protocol was for that sort of thing with her parents. Tyler came to sit to her left, and her father sat next to him, and her mother sat on her right side. She was
surrounded by people who cared about her, and it was the first time in her life that she truly believed that everything would be okay.
“I welcome all of you on board our vessel, and most especially my son and daughter. There can be no disputing that you are my son, and daughter,” Jackson began. “I know what the two of you have endured over the cycles of your life, and I wish that I could make that disappear, but hopefully now that you are here with your family, you might be able to heal.”
“How do you know what we’ve been through in our life?” Tyler asked. He was confused. “We haven’t met before today, there’s no way that you could know what we’ve been through.”
“Actually, I am very aware of what has happened to you. These past moons have been very difficult for you. I know that. The woman who you believed was your mother was actually your Aunt, your mother’s sister. She was kidnapped with you when you were just babies. I know through her memories what has been done to you.” Jackson explained to them. He could tell by the fierce display of emotions on Tyler’s face that the mention of Asrah caused him pain.
“How do you know that’s who caused us pain?” Lily asked. She’d stopped staring at Talon long enough to listen to what her father was saying, and she was very upset to know that they knew what she and Tyler had been through.
“Asrah is the reason that we are here. As soon as you two fled her house she left for Amatia Prime. The reason for what she did we do not need to discuss now, but it will be explained to you.” Jackson was sorry that they were discussing this now, but there was no better time than the present to put it out there.
“I don’t want to talk about this right now.” Lily wasn’t ready to discuss her fake mother. She wasn’t ready to face what had happened.
“That’s fine we can talk about it later. Why don’t you try to eat something, and we’ve got a drink for you to help calm your nerves a bit.” Alexia didn’t want either of the twins to get any more upset. They’d been through enough already, and she didn’t know how much they wanted to disclose with Kellen and his children in the room. Alexia didn’t want to pressure either of them to talk about things if they didn’t want to, but she needed them to know that they were safe and protected with them.
Jackson watched as both of the twins and Kellen and his family dug into the food. He made a point to insure that Lily and Tyler both drank the sleeping draught that’d been prepared for them. He had waited so long for his family to be whole again. Just looking at his son and daughter made him want to defeat the universe’s enemies to keep them safe. Seeing the way they leaned into each other when they talked, and the automatic way they finished one another’s sentences made him realize that they were extremely close.
“Tyler, I know that both you and Lily have had an exhausting few days,” Jackson stated, looking over at Kellen and his boys. “I’d like to discuss everything that has happened to you, but I think the best thing for everyone is if you all get some sleep first. I know that you’ve probably not slept at all in the last few days, and I want you to be well rested before we start to talk about everything. This is very emotional for all of us, but I think we’d all better handle it if we were well rested.” No one looked like they were going to argue so Jackson took another sip of his drink and stood up.
“I’m going to the command deck to check our arrival time on Amatia. Travel takes far less time in a craft of this size traveling at light speed. I do want to discuss with all of you what’s going to happen when we arrive on Amatia, but for now I’m going to let Alexia get you settled, and I’ll see you when you awaken.” Jackson was confident that letting everyone get some rest was the best thing to do at the moment. He knew that the children’s natural sleep states would do wonders for healing them, and he wanted that more than anything.

BOOK: The Sword and The Prophet (A Syren Novel)
2.12Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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