Twice Removed... 6

Printer-friendly version
Xia Phar had a good life for a human on Saer’kah. She didn’t wear a restriction band and the Saer’khi family that had raised her since the Migration treated her like one of their own. Others humans on Saer’kah though had no reason to love the Saer’khi . At least Xia had some semblance of freedom. So when the humans decide to rebel against the Saer’khi and she discovers the real reason for the presence of humans and other aliens on Saer’kah Xia decides to take action. Enlisting the help of her family and her friend Tarek she forms a plan to get everyone out of the alien barracks without arousing suspicion and get them off Saer’kah on one of the newly built colony ships. Sounds pretty easy right? Now Tarek’s crush on her is the least of her problems and leaving Saer’kah is just the beginning.


Twice Removed
Chapter 6
Light in the Darkness

My eyes widened at his words and I scrambled back toward the wall of the cavern shaking my head furiously. “Don’t say that…”


Author's Note: Posting this one a bit early this week since I don't know what my schedule will be like tomorrow. Thanks as usual to my readers and of course the Big Closet team who work tirelessly to give us all a great place to post and read TG fiction. ~Amethyst.

Chapter 6: Light in the Darkness

With Matt watching over Amy I felt a lot less guilty about leaving her to pursue my other duties. Krie and I spent hours going over scans to determine everything that we could about the planet, though I think we both knew that we would have to land even if the conditions were on the harsh side of tolerable. Travelling to the next planet in the system would just take too long in the drop ships. Once all the results were in I silently thanked whatever higher power might be out there for at least this little bit of good luck.

The planet had an oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere just slightly heavier on the oxygen than Earth and its climate range was similar to Earth as well. Being smaller than Earth it also had a slightly lower gravity than Earth and Saer’kah both. There were three large continents, several island chains, and large ice caps at each of the poles. There didn’t seem to be much range in vegetation though, as the large forests that covered most of two of the continents seemed to be almost completely made up of conifer type trees judging from the pictures the long range scanners took. The third continent seemed to be partially in a tropical zone but the area lacked any of the jungle that was typical of those regions making it a near desert.

Finally the last of the calculations were finished and Krie read them for my benefit, *Judging from the scans there is only moderate volcanic activity, mostly centered in the tropical region, and we are looking at twenty eight hour days with approximately three hundred and twelve days to orbit the sun. So I guess that’s all we need to know unless of course your endless staring at the planet and the photographic scans has helped you to discover anything else.*

*Actually, I think it has,* I replied as I examined a zoomed in view of a large and nearly perfectly round lake that intersected a winding river. *This planet has two moons now but I think it may have had three at one time. Look at that huge lake, it’s a massive crater and there is at least one that is bigger than that and a lot of other smaller impact points all over the surface, though they are mostly covered in forest now. I think something struck the third moon in the past hard enough to break it apart. The debris field we appeared in is pretty close to the planet so it could be what’s left that didn’t rain down on the planet.*

*If that’s the case, I guess we won’t be finding any intelligent life down there,* she replied sounding a bit disappointed.

I gave my sister a hug. *I know you were kind of hoping we’d make first contact with some new race but just look at the size of that crater that reshaped the west coast of the northern continent. It was an extinction level event, I doubt much survived other than possibly some burrowing species and the hardier bugs and fish.*

Krie nodded in agreement. *And without certain insects and birds around to help pollinate then the only plants we are likely to see are those that pollinate asexually or by wind.*

I returned her nod with one of my own. *Well, there may not be much ecological variety down there, but it does seem fit for habitation. Let’s pick out a landing site and we’ll go down for a look before having Tanna bring the colonists down. The way our luck has been running I could be wrong and there could be all manner of horrible flesh eating creatures down there.*

*You really need to be more optimistic, think of this as an adventure,* Krie said in an obvious attempt to cheer me up. *Perhaps we should land at one of the larger impact points? We could take some samples and date them to figure out how long ago this disaster of yours happened.*

*Good idea sis, how about we land near the southern edge of that big one on the west coast of the northern continent?* I suggested. *We should be able to get good samples and it looks like there’s also a bunch of smaller impact points nearby as well as a river and some thick forest. It might be a good spot to settle with all of the possible natural resources nearby.*

*That sounds as good as anywhere else; I’ll let the others know while you set a course.* She stood up and headed to the back, leaving me alone to project a safe course for entering the atmosphere and taking us to the landing site that we had chosen. Once the ship had calculated the course I sent a message to Karran to let him know our intentions and left our place in orbit to follow the suggested route to the landing site. Entering the atmosphere was a little bumpier than I would have liked but I got us through it in one piece and soon we were closing in on our landing site.

I watched as the forests of this new planet passed beneath us and kept my eyes peeled for a large clearing or some other site suitable for landing the drop ships. Finally I discovered a large rocky outcropping on the edge of the west coast crater overlooking the ocean and carefully landed the ship. I thought I had spotted a river running through the forest nearby and felt that it might be worth checking out. Once we were safely on the ground Krie and I headed back into the main section and after checking on Tarek and Amy, the latter of which was sleeping somewhat peacefully, I gathered the rest of my team for a meeting.

When everyone was gathered and attentive I began to outline what we were going to be doing. “While I believe that this planet is mostly uninhabited due to a disaster some time ago, given our luck lately I want to err on the side of caution before bringing the colonists down. So we’re going to split into two groups and do a little exploring to make sure it’s safe while Krie and I take some readings. Captain, I want you and Lirra with Krie, Lieutenant Sanchez and Matt, you’re with me. We will meet back at the drop ship in two hours and keep in continual contact using subspace comms. Tarek still needs rest so he’ll be watching over the ship and Amy until we get back.”

Krie quickly added, “My group will go check out the forest while Xia’s will explore the cliffs and seaside. We will be taking various readings but keep alert for anything. We will need possible sources of food, clean water, and building supplies until we can find out exactly what supplies we have available on the other drop ship.”

With that we split up and while Krie’s group headed into the forest mine started heading for the cliff-side to look for a way down. Eventually we found a steep but navigable path of sorts and as we descended I paused repeatedly to take samples and scan them with a handheld scanner that would work for both organic and inorganic substances. From the results I was getting I discovered two items of interest; the disaster which rocked this planet likely happened around three hundred years ago and there were some interesting unknown minerals present in some of the stone and soil samples.

Krie’s team was making some interesting discoveries as well. She had discovered a red species of worm, two insect species, and possible small animal burrows. Lirra was picking up some animal scents and had also spotted a cave and the river I had seen earlier and Krie was planning on exploring those a bit next. By the time our group had made it to the beach I was beginning to think that Krie had taken the more interesting assignment as they had found that the river had fish in it, the water was clean, and there were animal tracks, made fairly recently.

By contrast exploring the beach was pretty boring. It was nice to breathe fresh air again and the pleasant smell of the air reminded me of outings at the beach during my childhood in San Francisco. The smell wasn’t salty though and prompted me to take water samples, which showed the water was drinkable. Other than that there wasn’t much to be seen but sand and rocks. Not that the rocks weren’t interesting, but geology wasn’t really my strong suit. Still I did take a bunch of samples for later study. Among those was some sort of a strange lightweight silvery black stone that looked pitted but felt smooth to the touch. My scans indicated that it was giving off low doses of radiation but not enough to be harmful. We also discovered a cave of our own while we were taking another path to the cliff top. While exploring it I chipped off a sample of a gold colored ore to place with the other samples.

Matt was waiting by the cave entrance and we were about to leave the shallow cave when something further back caught my notice. We moved toward the back of the cave where three piles of bones sat. From the looks or the skulls they had been some sort of humanoids, two adults and a child. The scanner dated them around three hundred years old and I wondered if perhaps they had taken shelter in this cave when the disaster struck. The poor people likely hadn’t survived the tsunami’s, earthquakes, temperature shifts, and volcanic activity that would have followed the debris of the third moon raining down on the planet. With that kind of extinction level event it was unlikely that any of these aliens had survived.

I spoke over the subspace comm, “Krie we found some humanoid skeletons here in a cave. It looks like whoever they were they didn’t survive the cataclysm though.”

Lieutenant Sanchez was inspecting one of the other bone piles, “I think this one has some type of knife, the workmanship isn’t great but it’s not Stone Age work either.” She got to her feet and was coming to bring me her find when suddenly the ground beneath her gave way and she fell through.

I heard a distant splash and a short cry of pain and mentally cursed. “Matt wait by the mouth of the cave, this ground isn’t very solid.” I was very glad that I was wearing my uniform and not something else or I would have to undress. The nanites that compose Saer’khi uniforms/environmental suits are meant to respond to our projected thoughts like the voice boxes, while the version we created on the ship for the colonists were altered to respond to simple voice commands. I dropped my pack and sent out a command to the nanites in my uniform to create an opening in the back, then I stretched out my wings and dove into the hole after Luiza.

The small woman was managing to tread water but it was obvious that she was in a lot of pain. “Try to hold on to my waist,” I quickly instructed her, “I’m going to try to fly you back up so I can lay you down and get a better look at you.” She nodded with a grimace and held on tight to my waist as I flew us carefully upward toward the hole in the cavern ceiling. I was really glad it wasn’t Matt who had fallen through as I wasn’t certain I could carry him with his size and all the bionics he had. At least Luiza was fairly light.

Still, as light as she was, I had trouble lifting her and carrying both my own weight and hers. I had to use my telekinesis not only to steady my flight but also to latch onto the ceiling of the cavern above us and pull us toward it. I wasn’t used to carrying other people when I flew so it was taking a lot more focus and time than I would have liked. Finally I got her to the cavern above and moved us closer to the entrance before awkwardly placing her on the ground as gently as I could. She winced as she laid down, “Damn that water was too shallow, I’m pretty sure I broke my leg.”

I switched my goggles to X-Ray mode and took a careful look of not just both of her legs but her spine as well just to be on the safe side. There was a stress fracture of her right tibia and, while there was swelling and it probably hurt like hell, there didn’t look to be any internal bleeding and at least it wasn’t an open fracture. I gave her something for the pain and after cutting away the lower leg of her uniform I applied a cooling gel on her leg to reduce the swelling. “Luiza, try to keep your leg as still as possible.” I took off my bandanna and offered it to Matt, “Matt, can you tear this into about six strips for me?”

Removing the bandana exposed my antennae and let my dark blue hair loose but they had both already seen my wings by now so there was no use hiding now. While Matt began tearing the bandanna into strips I grabbed my pack from where I had discarded it earlier and after placing all the samples inside I removed a retractable splint. I pressed the button on the side of the six inch long metal tube and it telescoped into metal pole roughly three and a half feet in length. One by one I took the strips of cloth from Matt and used them to lash Luiza’s leg firmly to the pole so that she wouldn’t be able to move it.

When I was finished I looked in my pack once again and withdrew a pair of foot long tubes connected by a durable and elastic synthetic cloth mesh. When the two tubes were pulled apart and telescoped they formed a stretcher roughly two feet wide by seven feet long. “Okay Matt, lift her up carefully and place her on the stretcher while I put all my medical supplies away.” I turned around and started loading up my pack, afraid to look at either of them. They probably hated me now; I should have known I couldn’t keep this farce going for long.

A large metallic hand settled on my shoulder, causing me to flinch and my wings to buzz nervously. “I was wondering when you were going to let us in on your secret,” Matt said.

“You knew?” I asked. I thought that they must think me a horrible person for keeping it from them and could feel tears coming to my eyes.

“I can’t speak for the others but I figured that there was some reason you never took your goggles and bandana off. I thought you just had cybernetics that you were embarrassed about or something, I didn’t think that you were…”

“A freak?” I supplied.

“Unique,” he countered. “So how does a California girl end up looking like you do now and living with the Saer’khi?”

There was no harm in telling them now; it had to be better than whatever theories he and Luiza might concoct on their own. So I told them almost everything from my parents dying in the Great Quake to why I was hospitalized and how my mom had changed me in her efforts to save my life. The only thing I didn’t tell them was that I had originally been male, that was really none of their business and I identified as female anyway. I even told them about the research center and my nanites and how the first humans I had met had reacted to my appearance.

Luiza was furious I could see it all over her face but the first words out of her mouth surprised me. “Assholes like that don’t count as human Xia. You have far more right to that title than them, but I can see now why you don’t trust most humans very much, I wouldn’t either in your place. Anyone in this colony who tries something like that because of your looks is going to have to get through me first.”

Matt nodded grimly in agreement. “I have your back too Commander, I bet this is hard enough on you without people making it harder.”

I let slip a soft sigh, “Yeah I grew up human but the Saer’khi have treated me far better than other humans ever have and my genes are half human and half Saer’khi. I’m not even sure what I am anymore, am I even human?”

“Does it matter?” Matt asked. “You’re unique, so what. Maybe being half human and half Saer’khi makes you more than both. I don’t see you as either though, I see you as a person, so maybe you shouldn’t stress about being seen as human and just be Xia. If these mixed colonies are going to work we all need to start seeing one another as people first and species second.”

“Besides, if you were human I would still be down in that hole and probably close to drowning because my leg wouldn’t work,” Luiza put in. “So I for one am thankful that you’re special.”

This was not what I was expecting to hear from them at all. I thought they would think I was some kind of freak and that I had been lying to them about everything all along. “Have you always been such a nice guy?” I asked of Matt as I picked up my pack and went to double check Luiza’s leg.

“Nah, you wouldn’t have liked me on Earth, I was a bit of an ass,” he replied. “I feel bad though, I know all about you and Lieutenant Sanchez but you both know nothing about me.”

“There’s ways to find out,” I said with a shrug. Luiza’s leg wasn’t looking any worse and the gel appeared to be helping the swelling some.

“You mean like reading my mind?” he replied with a chuckle.

I shook my head, “No I wouldn’t do that without your permission, the Saer’khi believe it to be unspeakably rude to go beyond someone’s surface thoughts without consent.”

He smiled, tapping the side of his head. “Be my guest, my mind is your mind.”

My eyes widened at his words and I scrambled back toward the wall of the cavern shaking my head furiously. “Don’t say that…”

* * *

I was sitting with Tarek amidst the white blossoms of a Vysila tree watching the sun set. We had had a nice day flying together, talking, and playing a telepathic version of Marco Polo amidst the low hanging clouds. The rain had been refreshing and I hadn’t even minded that my clothes had gotten soaked. It was nice to have a day away from my studies and my deliveries to the barracks and just enjoy living with no pressure to be anyone or anything but myself.

Tarek was distracted though and I thought that my friend might be worried about his upcoming training at the space academy. He wanted to be a pilot so badly. *What’s on your mind Tarek?* I finally asked.

*We’ve known one another a long time and you mean a lot to me Xia. There is something that have been wanting to say to you for a while now…* he began nervously.

*You’re my best friend besides Krie, you know you can tell me anything,* I assured him.

He turned to look right at me, amber eyes into amber eyes and said, *My mind is your mind.* He was offering me a look into the deepest recesses of his mind… and God help me I looked. I was unprepared for what I saw there; such love, complete devotion, and a desire to be mine. It was overwhelming and I was unprepared so I did the only thing that made sense at the time, I flew home as fast as I could. But I couldn’t seem to outrun what was in his mind, it was there, I could feel him in the back of my mind no matter how much distance I put between us. We were bonded.

I was in a panic when I arrived home and explained what had happened to my mother. She was so happy for me and it confused me until she explained things. He had offered me his mind and I had unwittingly taken it and the bond of Dhur-tal had been formed. I had always thought that Dhur-tal involved some elaborate ritual that as a half-breed I wasn’t privy to but no it really was as simple as a male offering his mind and the female taking it. I was so panicked that I could hardly breathe as I asked, *I’m married to Tarek?*

*Don’t be silly,* my mother reassured me. *You won’t perform a wedding ceremony until you have chosen at least two husbands. You have merely claimed him as your first Tess’hir. I would suggest having three before wedding so you have a good gene pool to work from for your children. Perhaps we can find a nice human male who would offer himself to you.*

* * *

“Whoa! What’s wrong Commander?” Matt’s voice brought me back to the present.

“Well by Saer’khi standards you just offered me a look into the deepest parts of your mind. If I had accepted and actually looked it’s possible that Dhur-tal may have occurred,” I said as I tried to collect myself.

Lieutenant Sanchez gave me a strange look, “What’s Doortall?”

“It’s a permanent mental bond that a Saer’khi female forms with each of her mates, or Tess’hir,” I explained. “When she feels she has enough mates she marries them all in a ceremony with their friends and loved ones present.”

“You’re only half Saer’khi, how do you know this bond could even happen if you tried?” Matt asked.

I looked at my feet in embarrassment. “Because I accidentally did it once already and have one Tess’hir waiting to tie the knot with me.”

“Let me guess, it’s Tarek,” Luiza prodded. “You don’t need to be a telepath to see how that guy feels about you. Anyone can see it when he’s in the same room with you.”

“Ummm… yeah it’s Tarek,” I replied, blushing a deep red.

“Okay so don’t offer you my mind unless I mean it,” Matt said with a grin. “I guess I’ll just have to tell you all about me the old fashioned way then.” We both moved to pick up the stretcher and as we made our way back to the ship Matt began with a wink, “You see on Earth I was this big movie star…”

“Bullshit,” I said with a roll of my eyes, “If you don’t want to tell me you don’t have to.”

“I’m being serious,” he quickly promised, “If I weren’t carrying a stretcher I’d cross my heart. Did you ever hear of a teen movie star named Mathew Scott?”

I stared at him a moment as I tried to picture him several years younger without the scars and bionics. “Holy shit! That’s where I recognized your name and face from. What happened? I kind of stopped following movies after my parents died and my health problems began.”

“I was a big name teen heartthrob until I was sixteen,” he explained. “That’s when the Great Quake hit and at the time I was filming a movie in the Soquel Demonstration State Forest near Santa Cruz. During the filming a redwood tree was uprooted and fell. Instinct kicked in and I tried to shield myself with my arms. Both of my arms were shattered, my right eye and the optical nerve were damaged, and I had deep gashes all over the right side of my face. I was half blind, scarred, and both my arms had been amputated so my acting career was essentially over and I dropped out of the public eye.”

“So what happened then? “Luiza asked from the stretcher.

He shrugged but I could see that there was sadness in his eyes. “Without my movie income and with the film company refusing to pay insurance premiums since it was an ‘act of God’ and not as a result of filming, my family nearly went bankrupt paying for medical expenses and my special needs. I sank into a real bad depression and pretty much figured that I was going to spend the rest of my days on exhibit in the hospital. Then the Saer’khi came to Earth and offered me an out so I took it, and I haven’t looked back since.”

I thought he would have finished there but he looked at me and said, “I didn’t see you there but I think we might have been in the same research lab. I only ever saw Dennis there, we were roommates. When they put in all my bionics they reinforced my spine too but they were afraid that I might reject the spinal implants so they put these nanites inside me to keep me from rejecting, help me heal faster, keep me healthy, and improve the connection between my nervous system and the bionics. I guess they were a little too successful with all of us.”

“Sarah was my roommate,” I admitted as we topped the rise and the drop ship came into sight. “Until now she was the only human who knew about me. She warned me against doing this… against coming on this mission. We both knew that it was only a matter of time until my secret slipped out.”

“We could keep it quiet until you’re ready to…” Luiza started to say

I shook my head. “No, I’m tired of hiding, Matt’s right I need to start being myself.”

* * *

Krie and the others had already returned to the drop ship when we arrived. My sister gave me an inquiring look and a mental nudge when she saw that I wasn’t wearing my bandanna and had my wings out so I quickly told her what had occurred telepathically and had Matt help her take care of Luiza while I explained my appearance to the others. I could have been a sea slug for all Lirra cared and Dennis admitted that he thought that there was more to my story than I had been telling but that it just didn’t matter to him.

It was a few minutes later that Matt and Krie joined us. My sister had set the bone repair nanites to work on Luiza’s leg and she was resting while they did their thing. We all held a quick discussion on our findings and how to proceed. No other signs of intelligent life had been discovered yet and we all felt that things just might be looking up. It was decided that we couldn’t wait any longer to bring the colonists down and that the planet needed a name. I tried to come up with something more positive this time around given how appropriate the name for the Bounty had turned out. None of us wanted to tempt fate any more than we already had given how the trip had gone thus far. But with the fish and all the clean water that we had discovered it looked like survival on this planet may be possible after all. They had also made some other discoveries that would help us to survive.

Lirra had found some cave dwelling hairless creatures about the size of pigs that Dennis had dubbed molehogs. They fed on insects and redworms and were half blind, stupid, and plentiful enough to provide food for at least a short while. Krie had also discovered some bushes with sour but edible yellow berries and some deciduous trees with light brown bark and large triangular leaves that seemed to pollinate by wind. The trees produced nuts the size of chestnuts and the shells had wing-like protrusions that allow them to glide to the ground and be carried on the wind. I jokingly called them wingnuts and the name stuck. All in all, our food situation was looking a lot better than we had all feared.

Finally I called Tanna on the drop ship’s subspace comm unit to give her the landing coordinates and inquire about the status of the colonists. They were bored and scared but none of them had reported any major injuries. Karran and Xawin were trying to keep them all occupied but there really wasn’t much they could do given the situation. I hoped that news that they would be landing soon would help brighten their spirits as I thought about how best to address some of the issues that were bound to come up. Tanna estimated a half an hour before touchdown so I decided to go check on Amy and Tarek while I had a few spare moments instead of worrying.

When I got to Amy’s room both she and Tarek were awake and he was telling her stories about his time at the space academy. She was listening intently and I smiled to myself as I watched the two interact for a moment before knocking on the door frame. “The other colonists should be landing in half an hour or so, so I thought I would come check up on my two favorite patients before I get too busy.”

Both of them looked up at my knock and while Tarek gave me that warm and loving smile of his Amy seemed to be trying to figure out just what she was seeing. “You’re…” she began to say in confusion before stopping herself.

I pushed my goggles up to my forehead so that my eyes were visible and went to sit beside her on the bed and ruffle her hair. “Remember how I told you my mom fixed me?” She nodded and I went on to explain, “My brain and my body weren’t compatible so she had to make me half Saer’khi to make my body and brain work better with one another. I went through a lot of what you’ll be going through, getting used to body parts that feel different and looking different from everyone else. I used to hide my differences because the first humans who saw me like this didn’t like it.”

“I think you’re really pretty,” she said with a smile, “Like a fairy princess. My mom used to tell me stories about fairy princesses; I wish she could be here to see you.” Her eyes were distant and teary as her smile disappeared.

“As long as you remember her and how much she loved you she will always have a place in your heart,” I told her as I wrapped her in a hug. “I think if she couldn’t be here herself to see you grow up, she would be happy to know that you have a fairy princess of your very own to watch over you.” I sat there with her holding her and caressing her hair until it was almost time for the other drop ship to land.

* * *

The colonists were all gathered outside the drop ships when I emerged from the medical ship with the others. I was wearing a temporary bandana and my goggles and my wings were once again hidden inside my uniform as we led Jared and the other mutineers out to the gathering. The only people not present were Amy, Tarek, Luiza, and Eric, all for medical reasons. We approached the front of the group and I raised my hands for silence, trying not to think about how few colonists were left. When I had gotten it I said, “I am not going to sugar coat our situation folks. With the destruction of the Bounty we are effectively stranded here with only the supplies that were on the two drop ships that we were able to salvage. We have lost a lot of good people in this fiasco; friends, loved ones, and people we were just getting to know. Right now we have to get past that and work toward the one goal that we all have in common, survival. Humans, Saer’khi, Nezan, Murqui, Haran and Yazuik; we’re all going have to work together to survive, so there is no room for bigotry or intolerance. We are now one people, on one world, and we need to act like it. That is why with great hope I have decided that this planet will be called Unity.”

A tall human man with dark hair and eyes and probably Latin ancestry asked, “What happened?”

“There was a saboteur in our midst working for Earth,” I explained with a sad shake of my head. “His mission was to get whatever colony that was founded under Earth, and more specifically American control. He led a mutiny and despite warnings from my crew managed to drop us out of subspace. We materialized inside an asteroid and the rest you can probably figure out from there. The saboteur is being treated for injuries until the colony as a whole can decide on a punishment for all the deaths he has caused.”

“How do we know that you’re telling the truth?” asked another man that I recognized as one of Jared’s supporters. “I thought that only you and the bugs could read their language and control the ship.”

Not this shit again, I thought as I considered how to best answer him. What happened next though surprised the hell out of me. “I helped with the mutiny,” Jared stated. “I was hired on Earth by Eric Townsend to encourage people to distrust the Saer’khi and to help him take over a colony ship when the time came. He had weapons and explosives and was able to read the language. It was supposed to be a simple takeover… only the bugs were supposed to get hurt.”

Jared’s admission was met with a lot of angry muttering. One woman said, “You should have just killed all the mutineers, they deserve it. And if Earth governments think they can just cast us aside and then expect us to happily re-join them once they pull something like this then they are in for a big surprise.”

I shook my head, “I wasn’t about to sink to their level, and I felt that their punishment was something that the colony as a whole should decide on. As for Earth, I agree with you completely. We’re the ones who were cast off from Earth, we’re the ones the Saer’khi have been preparing for this, and we’re the ones who have claimed this planet. If any Earth government tries to take this planet from us after all we’ve been through getting here, then they will have to pry the rights to it from my cold dead hands.” A loud cheer erupted at that and someone started chanting “Unity! Unity!” The chant was soon picked up by others until everyone I could see was chanting it.”

Finally I raised my hands again for silence and said, “We have a lot of work ahead of us to make this planet into a home and we have dead to mourn but I am confident that we can all get through this together and make this colony into something great. Before we start though, there is something you all deserve to know. I told you all that in order to keep my psychic abilities from killing me that the Saer’khi had to make some alterations to my body but I didn’t tell you what manner of alterations. They had to change my nervous system to a Saer’khi/human hybrid and as a result there were some physical changes. You have all followed me this far and you deserve to see me for who I really am.” I pulled off my goggles and bandana and sent a command to my suit for the back to open as I spread my wings for all to see.

 © 2013-2014 Amethyst Gibbs
All rights reserved

If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudo!
Click the Good Story! button above to leave the author a kudo:
And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks. 
This story is 6446 words long.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Loving the story though I am

Loving the story though I am still of the mind that the asswhole should be killed in the slowest most painful way they can fine.


may well be the needed path for a society existing in isolation on an unknown planet without the resources to devote to extensive prisons. Brutality and sadism, however, are probably not helpful in any way. Anybody intelligent enough to learn from seeing somebody else punished is going to learn that criminals die just from a relatively humane hanging or decapitation. Creative cruelty and gruesome executions don't teach prospective criminals anything - but they teach the rest of society that sadism is fine as long as the person you are abusing is unpopular, and that if you enjoy hurting people you should work in the government. Neither of these lessons is one you should want to teach.

I feel that you should reap

I feel that you should reap what you sow some of the people that died on ship had to be in agony before they died. I have a feeling that it will be a hanging or decapitation or even using a nanites to stop the heart. Though the best punishment is not able to be done since I do not think that they have the advance nanites to make him into a non-human humanoid.

Amethyst's picture

If it were me I would kill Eric

But Xia just isn't like that. Its part of why she thinks the colony needs to make the decision. Eric shows no regret for what he has done but with Jared and possibly some other mutineers there is some small chance at redemption. We will see what the colony decides and how much weight Xia's opinion carries when the punishments are decided.


Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

So very nice!

They got really lucky with the planet, but they still are facing very long odds. As for Eric, I would make sure he would live a very long time. He's the proof of what Earth tried to do. What they still might do. We just have to wait and see what happens. :)

Amethyst's picture

Long odds

yup things are looking better but still not great but there may yet be some supplies on the drop ships to improve their situation. As for Eric we'll see what's decided.




Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Yay for Xia !

Amethyst, your voice in this story to me, is much more real and authentic than in the other stories, not that they are not good. This story just rings my bell. :)

It looks doubtful the they can be resident on Unity permanently, unless they can transplant some sort of life from the other planet. It just does not look like the ecosystem on this planet is broad enough.

Hopefully they can somehow get a message off to the Saer’kah. Things just do not look very bright right now.

Of course Jared's little implant has probably already ratted them off. Perhaps the Saer’kah can get to them first?

Thank you



Amethyst's picture

This story

has been really calling out to me since I first came up with he idea, it's why I'm still considering having it published. I may just self publish on Amazon if people would be interested in buying the book and later books in the series.

There are supplies on both the personnel ship and the medical ship that may be of some help to our brave colonists and we'll find out next chapter what they have to work with both in supplies and manpower and there's always the chance that the engineers will find ways to use the locator for another use.

Not all hope is lost.




Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3


Eric Townsend had the original implant. Do Xia and company know yet whether Jared or any of the other mutineers have one as well?

(I assume the plan mentioned last chapter to check human colonists in general will have to wait, though it sounds as if it'll be important to know, once they've analyzed Eric's, whether any other wild card types out there have faster subspace systems.)


Amethyst's picture


Yes it was Eric with the implant, though they will be checking of others with similar devices once things settle down a bit. Right now survival and setting up the necessities are more important, but Xia and company will want to make sure there are no other uninvited guests going to show up.



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3


I finish reading a chapter of one good story, look down to see who wrote it, because I can't remember and "oh Amethyst", move on to another and the same thing happens.

Great stuff. Looking forward to seeing how they survive and what kind of shelters they decide on.

Amethyst's picture


I kind of sneak up on people that way ;)

Survival won't be easy but at least now they have a fighting chance.


Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

A good beginning.

I almost expected to see the planet named Botany Bay!

It looks like between Xia's speech and Jared's admission that the colonist might just be pulling together finally. It will be interesting to see the result of her revealing her true form to them and how that impacts that unity though.

I am really enjoying this story more with each addition and am looking forward to reading more.


Amethyst's picture

Botany Bay

That name is way too overused in Sci-Fi I think, and I really wanted a name that would encourage people to work together. Botany Bay would have been good for that but the original BB was a prison colony and the colonists really didn't need a reminder that many of them believed themselves to be slaves on Saer'kah.

But the colony just might pull together now if they can see Xia as a person rather than something else. They followed her this far so hopefully most of them will see that the only thing that has changed is that she's free to be herself now.

Glad you're enjoying it so much as I have been considering publishing this one and I was really uncertain at first whether I had what it takes to make a good Sci-Fi story out of the plot I had come up with.




Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

I just figured out the moral of the ending

No, you did not take 6 chapters to set up this old one did you?

"Bee yourself?"

Amethyst's picture


That is a damn good moral and loosely what I was trying to convey but sadly I didn't think of it in such a humorous way. I'm kind of wishing I had now though :)




Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Loki's picture

A nice chapter here :)

And a very good choice on where to stop it, from a writer's point of view. Please keep up the good work! :D


Peace be with you and Blessed be

Amethyst's picture

Thanks Loki

I thought it would be a nice place to stop it. A bit of a tiny cliffhanger but a good place for the readers to get a breather.




Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Spoken like a true leader!

Xia is really coming into her own, emerging as a true leader to this band of castaways! The timing seems right for full disclosure now. So Amethyst dear what's next for our castaways? I can hardly wait for the next installment hon! Loving Hugs Talia

Amethyst's picture


Yes, Xia is really stepping up and the castaways will need that kind of leadership in their new situation, Now they need to get organized, find out just what resources they have on hand, and get a head count of sorts. This planet has some surprises in store for our castaways.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Syndicate content