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#101

The leader of the four laughed at him, “If you know we are harpies, then you have a lot of nerve talking to us like that. Say, you are not bad looking. Well, girls, looks like we have main dish tonight.” Once again they started to transform into feathered women, arms into wings and legs into talons.

The strangers voice was smooth yet seemed to rumble at the same time, “As if I would let one of you dirty feathered whores touch me. This is your last warning. Leave now, or die.” His posture, body language, everything about him said that he was dead serious.

The leader paused briefly, but the one next to her shouted, “Whores!? You are so dead pig!” She flew into the air and came straight down on him with talons out. Each talon was the size of butcher knife, and probably even sharper. Hiro couldn’t bear to look. Therefore he missed the man simply side stepping her attack, grabbing her legs, and slamming her into the ground with a very nasty cracking sound.

The other three gasped. Hiro opened his eyes to see the man pull out some sort of trinket. He said a few words, and the harpy’s body disappeared. He looked at the others and coldly said, “It would be a bad thing if humans discovered a dead harpy. Now, you three, yield or die.”

“You will pay for that! Our nest is over thirty strong, and our Queen even fought and won against the Royal Guard.”

“Your Queen doesn’t have a choice. Tonight, I will sever her head and burn the rest of corpse to ash. It is your choice if you want to share the same fate.”

The three harpies went livid in rage. They shrieked a high pitch that made Hiro cover his ears. The man didn’t budge. They charged him. The fight did not last long. Hiro could only watch as the man dodge, kicked, grabbed, and snapped. All three harpies were on the ground around him. They were no longer moving. He pulled the trinket out again, and the bodies disappeared.

The man turned to Hiro. His face had some vague Asian qualities, but it also had white features. He seemed to be in his early twenties, yet he spoke as if he was much older. The sound of his voice sounded young, even as he addressed Hiro, “Young man, I cannot spare the magic to erase your memory of this. I suggest you forget about it though. No one would believe you. Count your blessings and go home.” He turned and walked away.

Hiro stood there for awhile, unable to process what happened. He was not sure what the harpies were going to do him, but that man just killed all four of them. And tonight, he was going to kill their Queen. “Hime can explain. Hime can do something about this.” Shizu’s face entered his mind, “Would he kill her too?” Hiro charged towards home, shouting out loud, “HIME!”

He made it to the bottom of the hill. Riza showed up out of no where. Before Hiro could say a thing, Riza just said, “Sorry, Hiro.” and punched him the stomach. The world went black.

When Hiro woke up, he was looking at the ceiling of the entrance hall to the mansion. “Home,” he said. Yet quickly he realized he was bound. Several female voices surrounded him. Slowly, he looked around.

Harpies were everywhere. All of them were staring at him. Only one small one did not have the expression of looking at fresh meat. The blue feathers, the eyes, “Shizu?”

One voice he did not recognize spoke out, “Excellent work, Riza. I knew making you my pleasure servant was a wise decision. You and Reiri make an interesting, couple of playmates. Now I have the soldier of flame to have tonight. I will mate with him, then eat him. Soon, I will give birth to powerful daughters who will make even the Royal Family tremble in fear!”

As the harpies cheered, Hiro looked at the one talking. She was much larger than the others, nearly seven feet in height. Her feathers were brown and gold, her face was disfigured, and she looked at him with cold eyes. What shocked him more was the fact Reiri and Riza were standing by her, scantily clad, and seemingly enjoying themselves. He would have shouted, but his mouth was gagged.

“Leave me daughters! I would enjoy some alone time with this one, and my servants. Also, find where those four are.” The flock moved out, jeering at Hiro as the walked out the front door. Soon, it was just the Queen, Reiri and Riza, and one lone harpy.

The Queen’s voice grew cold, “Shizu, correct? Did you not hear my orders?”

Shizu squirmed a little, “Yes, I heard them.”

The Queen leaned over her, “Then why do you remain?” Her eyes peered into Shizu. Hiro watched, but something about the way the Queen looked at Shizu reminded him of something.

Shizu’s voice broke out louder than ever before, “MY QUEEN! Please, please don’t kill him! He was nice to me at school! He was being picked on at school just like I am here. He is my friend! Please, don’t hurt Hiro.”

Reiri and Riza looked at each in surprise. The Queen stated, “You are one strange Harpy. Even the ones that don’t eat their mates usually do not find males as friend material.”

Shizu looked up at the Queen with an opened mouth, “You are not our Queen, are you?”

Riza by that time walked over to Hiro and removed the gag and started to work on the ropes. The first word out was, “Hime?” But then he accidentally got gagged again.

The large Queen nodded. “I am Hime, Princess of the Royal Family. A necklace I picked up early today did this to me. I recognize this body from the Royal News. This rogue harpy Queen died a month ago in a battle against the Royal Guard.”

Shizu spoke up, “We were told two days ago that the story was a lie. The Queen faked her death and came here, and killed Princess Hime. That is why the entire flock came here, to rally behind the Queen once again. But once they find out you are not the real Queen, they will kill you.”

Hime looked down at Shizu, “Are you going to tell them?”

Shizu looked at Hime for a few seconds, then looked at Hiro, “No.”

Reiri spoke up, “I must admit, this is an odd attempt to kill you. Giving you an army of harpies and hoping they figure out you are not the Queen?”

Riza spoke out, “Yeah, if there weren’t so many though Reiri and I could take care of them for you.”

Hiro suddenly remembered the young man’s words. His attempt to shout through the gag finally got all of their attention…


#102

They listened to what happened after Shizu left Hiro. Shizu spoke first, “Those sisters are dead? I, they were cruel to me but every now and then, they they…” She grabbed Reiri and started to cry. Reiri froze, looked around for help. Riza shrugged, and Hime was lost deep in thought. Reiri eventually held Shizu in comfort.

Hime’s voice, though it was still the Queen’s, was barely audible, “But it could not be him. It just couldn’t be.”

Riza spoke up, “You know who this man is?”

Hime shook her head, “No, but if he is strong enough to take out four harpies without breaking a sweat, this can be the actual plan. Have this man kill me thinking I am the harpy Queen. Shizu, tell the other harpies that my meal spoke about this man before I ate him. Tell them to find him but do not try to stop him alone. Attack with ten or more. Once you have done that, I want you to come back to me.” Shizu nodded and left the room.

Reiri spoke, “Well, sounds like our problems will take care of themselves. How nice.” She did not look convinced. One glance at Hime confirmed her fears. “Or, did we just give the harpies a death sentence?”

Hime spoke, “This flock was to be completely executed for certain unspeakable crimes. Shizu is probably the only exception. Her markings show she was from a conquered flock. I am merciful, to those who deserve it. If this man is… as capable as I think he is, then yes, it is a death sentence. Not just for them, but for me as well, and any who stand by me.”

Reiri and Riza froze and looked at Hime. Hiro stood up. “Hime? You can’t be serious? It has been bad before, but how is this guy any different?”

Hime simply said, “Reiri, Riza, promise me, now, if he gets by the harpies, you will let me face him alone. Do not oppose him. Hiro, I must insist you do the same.”

All three were about to speak out, but Hime glared at them with such determination that all three didn’t say a word. Shizu came back in. “Qu… Hime, the others are raging mad. They are seeking him out now. I don’t know if they will follow the order to attack in groups though.”

Hime sighed, “Shizu, as a Royal Princess, I will left all crimes against you if you obey my orders from her on out.”

Shizu went silent for a second, then finally answered, “Yes, my Hime.”

“In case any of the flock come back, I need to have mated and ate Hiro. I want you to hide Hiro in one of the back rooms. Understood?” Shizu nodded.

Riza spoke out, “Wait, how are you going to make it seem like you mated and ate Hiro?”

Hime swooped down on Hiro. He fell to the ground as she began to straddle him.

Riza stammered as Reiri spoke in an unusual tone for her, “You are actually going to mate with Hiro?!” Even Shizu seemed shocked.

Hiro looked up at the Queen’s face. Still, he knew it was Hime on top of him. However, this did not seem right even as his face went red and his body started to react.

Hime rolled her eyes, “Of course not. Hiro, I need you to remain very still. This is going to hurt.” She summoned the flame of life, reached down and grabbed Hiro’s right hand. Using a talon on her finger, she snipped one of his fingers off. Immediately, she used the flame on the wound, and a new finger appeared. It did hurt a great deal as Hiro made a silent scream. Hime got up, and winced a bit as she jammed the finger in between two teeth.

None of the other girls present could speak. “Shizu, take Hiro now.” Shizu grabbed him and led him away…

As the sky became the darkness of night, Hime still was waiting at the entrance hall in her mansion. Reiri and Riza stayed by her. Shizu came by and told them Hiro fainted while being taken to the room. Hime ordered her to guard him. Time crawled by, then there was a flutter and knock at the door.

Riza opened it as a harpy fell into the room. She was covered in burns. Hime’s eyes widened in surprise. The harpy spoke in ragged gasps, “Flee…flee my queen. The … the others have fled… Twelve sisters are dead… he is…flame soldier…” Riza picked her up, only to realize she had just died.

Hime’s voice was soft yet carried command. “I thought it couldn’t be him. But, it is. Reiri, Riza, get away from here. Take Shizu and Hiro to Sherwood’s. Hiro will be hers now. Leave me. You cannot stop this man.”

Riza spoke out, “Hime, I am not going to leave to fight this man alone. Surely, we together can…”

“I AM NOT GOING TO LET OTHERS DIE FOR ME AGAIN!” Hime’s shout shook the entire mansion, as it was still the harpy Queen’s voice.

Reiri went over to Riza and took her arm. Riza stared at her, and somehow she knew without words what she was saying. “Okay, Hime, we will do that right now…”

They went towards the back of the house, but instead of getting Hiro, they went out another door. Reiri smiled, “I am an old vampire. I could take out twelve harpies. And look,” she pointed to the full moon, “I think I know a certain dog who likes to bark at that.”

Riza growled, “Blood sucker, if I weren’t so happy to see that moon, I would teach some manners.” They looked at each other, but both were surprised to see a bit of fear. Hime’s words seemed very strong. At once, both caught an unfamiliar scent. “Well, shall we teach this strange man a lesson?”

Reiri smiled, “Yes, we shall…”


#103

The two walked to the entrance of the grounds. There a man had already opened the gates. The moon light was bright enough to highlight the two young women. The man looked at them, and the squinted his eyes and looked harder. The expression was somewhat comical.

“An elder vampire, a half werewolf, and you two haven’t tried to kill each other yet? This is an odd surprise. But why are you two here?”

Reiri put her hand on Riza in a manner saying let her lead. She whispered, “Let’s trying talking before barking, okay?” Riza growled at her as she addressed the man. “I am Reiri Kamura. The harpy Queen you are out to kill is…” her mouth continued to move but nothing came out. Riza looked at her but Reiri visibly became distressed. “The Queen is…”

Riza spoke, “What the blood fetish girl is trying to say is the one you are after is…” Something stole the sounds from her mouth. She could not explain it. She was going to say ‘is not the real Queen.’ but something stopped her. “What the hell?” she thought.

The man called out, “Okay, something has bewitched you it seems. The Queen is a particular nasty one. Her flock destroyed an entire human village, murdering and eating men, women, children. She used tactics uncommon to harpies. I see she has added some new ones. She won’t escape this time. Especially since she just…” He grew cold, “Get out of my way now.”

Reiri spoke out, “We can’t let you hurt…”

The man’s voice seemed louder than possible and carried a deep growl that a human shouldn’t be able to make. “Old drain and young pup, get out of my way or I will teach you a lesson you won’t ever forget, if you live that is.”

Riza whispered to Reiri, “Something is very wrong here Reiri. Why can’t we tell him about Hime? Also, he is not at all what he appears to be. Reiri, this is dangerous.”

Reiri, “Actually, he just called me an old drain. I think I will try your tactic and just beat some respect into him.”

Reiri’s eyes turned silver as she rose above the ground. Riza called after her, “Yeah, how many times has that worked for me?” Reiri didn’t listen.

“I will teach you not to insult a true vampire!” She turned into many bats and swarmed around the man. He huffed, and flames erupted all around him burning all the bats. Reiri instantly reformed screaming in pain. The fire was not normal fire. Burns covered Reiri, and Riza realized some of the burns were inside as well. The man picked Reiri up with one hand and bathed her in a quick flame. Reiri went limp as he tossed her aside. Her body thudded hard against the ground.

Riza just stared at the unmoving body. “Reiri? You can’t be dead, Reiri. You were dead to begin with. Reiri? REIRI?!”

“You do care for that vampire, don’t you,” said the man. He was giving Riza a strange look.

“You %*#@in Son of A BITCH! I am Riza Wildman, daughter of Volg Wildman, and I will make you PAY FOR THAT!”

“Son of a bitch? Well, if your father was Volg Wildman, then I guess you one are to talk. Leave pup, the full moon does not give you the advantage you think.”

“I don’t need the full moon to defeat you, arrogant asshole.”

“Well, you are about to find out.” He looked up into the sky and breathed out a dark mist. Before Riza realized it, the moon had been blotted out by a dark cloud. “But since I have the honor of fighting a Wildman, I will fight you in my true form.” Riza shook in both fear and anger as she saw the man change into something she did not expect. Fire highlighted her features as she looked at the unmoving Reiri one more time before charging…


#104

Hemi gathered several weapons. As she prepared to head out to face him, she notice the light get darker. She looked out and saw the moon being covered by a dark smoke. “No…” Then she heard him roar. “Draco…” The glow flames reflected off the dark cloud, and Riza’s cry of agony was heard even inside the mansion.

“Riza? Reiri? Why…” She grabbed her weapons and walked outside. A dark fog now enshrouded the entire garden. But through the black mist, two glowing eyes of flaming orange could be seen. The dark slits instantly fixed on Hime. A blast of wind removed some of the cover, and Hime looked at a man she once knew.

Though in truth it was not a man, nor was it a dragon. He had the shape of dragon, wings, a tail, but stood upright and was only six feet and ten inches tall, not including wings. His black scales matched the darkness of the fog yet gleamed with an eerie light. His head resembled a more European style dragon, yet there were some oriental features. He slightly opened his mouth, and the glow of flames could be seen. He spoke.

“My my. You are actually coming out to face me, even after I revealed who I was?”

“You are Draco, one of the five Captains of the Royal Guard, and the only Eternal Flame Soldier.”

“You do know me! I am sorry I missed the last battle the Royal Guard had with your rogue flock. I would have assured your death at that time. This delay will be corrected now.”

“Draco, I am …” Hime couldn’t continue the sentence. However, she wasn’t surprised. Whoever set this up would not allow someone to tell Draco who she really was. However, finding the item holding the spell in place would not be easy. She couldn’t even remove the necklace from herself. “Draco, I never heard of you being so bent on killing anyone before. Why do you want to kill this Queen?”

“Talking in third person? Well, this Queen did something two days ago. She entered this mansion, overpowered a Royal Princess, played with her body, ravaged and tortured her, before killing her only to find out she could not steal the flame of life. That Princess, who I taught when she was young, who was smart, resourceful, clever, and merciful, who was everything I ever wanted in a daughter that I could never have, was murdered in such an ugly way by you. Now, I shall teach you the meaning of the word, pain. You will not die tonight, maybe not even tomorrow, but you will be begging for death VERY SOON!” Hime barely dodged the torrent of flames.

She rose into the air and dived at him with the long spear. He dodged quickly but she managed to avoid his grasp. Her thrusts kept missing, but she was able to hold back his swiping claws and biting teeth. Suddenly, he blew a solid stream of flame into his hands, and a spear formed in them. His spear cut off a few feathers in a near miss. Hime knew this fight was one she was not going to win…

“Hime?” Hiro woke up. Shizu was next to him looking like a normal girl. She looked rather scared. “Shizu, what is going on?” After taking a look at his hand and checking his digits, he gave her a small shake.

She jumped a little, “Hiro, it sounds as if there is fighting outside the mansion. What should we do?”

Hiro didn’t say a thing as he charged towards the battle…

Her spear was broken, the chain saw didn’t last long, and the gun’s bullets were deflected by a protective spell. She slashed with her sword and scratched the scales on his chest, but she didn’t dodge his tail this time. She heard, felt, and screamed as her leg bone shattered. This on top of several cuts and other bruises were slowly her down. She flew away again. Her hit and run tactic was not working as well as she hoped. “You sure have the energy of youth again,” she said.

Draco paused, “What an interesting thing to say. It seems you know one of my few weaknesses, but rest assured, I can last well until you are broken before me. Your tactic was a good one.” He seemed slower to Hime, but not as if he was tired. He looked at the sword she was holding. Flames erupted again, “Yet trying to use her own sword against me was not a wise idea!”

Hime could not use her normal style in the shape of the harpy Queen. It made it much harder to fend off his attacks. Now enraged, he leaped into the air and spread his wings. Flame sprouted from his wings on each down flap, giving him more lift and a deadly attack. She tried to dodge but her leg failed her. He smashed her with a fist and flames and she crashed into the ground. He aimed his spear at her, and begun to dive.

“NNNNNOOOOOOO!!! ,” Hiro screamed as he jumped in front of her. Draco’s tail whipped him hard and he flew back and landed hard. He cried out in great pain as his arm was shattered. Draco plunged the spear down, but only right next to Hime’s head. He put one foot on her preventing her from moving. Shizu rushed to aid Hiro.

“You, from before? And being helped by a harpy? And why couldn’t I hear what you shouted? And” His eyes widen as he stared at Hiro’s arm. Blue flames slowly healed the wound. He turned his head towards Hime.

“The report did say you died. The way you fight, the way those two fought for you, and now a soldier of the flame tried to save you, something is not right here. If I can’t hear, nor see, nor smell, what is going on…spells usually forget taste, and one thing never lies.” He looked at his spear. Blood dripped from where he got a few good scores. He raised the spear to his mouth and licked the crimson droplets. He dropped his spear and jumped back. “…!”

He clamped his own mouth shut. Anger filled his eyes as flames surrounded him again, yet this time two earrings began to glow on his ears. “These were a gift from you…I see now they have been tampered with. How sad, I rather liked them.” The flames flared around the earrings, and they melted away. “Hime! Speak to me!”

Hime smiled, though weakly, “Greetings, teacher. Your lessons have grown harsh.” He was by her side, though this time he gently picked her up. A small flame washed over her body, highlighting the necklace. “Draco, wait. My life is not in danger, do not over do it.”

Draco growled, “Silence, young one. This is my fault for being to blind to the situation. This will hurt, greatly, but you will feel fine after.” He bathed Hime in flame. The necklace melted away, fire burned her injuries, but once the flame disappeared, Hime was in his arms healed and whole, though shaking still from the intense treatment.

“Hime!” Hiro shouted as Shizu propped him up. Hime indicated to Draco to put her down. Hiro and Shizu blushed as she was now naked. A blast of flame suddenly wrapped around her, and a black scaled dress now covered her.

“Hiro.” She said. She walked over and hugged him and Shizu, “Thank you.”

“Hime, where is Riza and Reiri?”

Hime looked towards Draco, but he had already moved. In his arms was the burnt body of Reiri and the unconscious body of Riza. “They are alive, but have seen far better days. I can’t heal them fully now, as that spell takes a great toll on me. But I will do what I can for now,” he breathed his flame one more time. The two did not wake up, but seemed to stir in their slumber.

Hime summoned the flame of life and put some into Hiro. “You and Shizu take Reiri and Riza into the mansion.” She turned to Draco, who was now slumping onto the ground.

Before she could say anything, a deep growl escaped him, “I had a spell of deception placed on me. I was nearly tricked into killing a Royal member by a Royal member. My contract with the Royal family is here by broken by fault of them!” Hime heard a thunder crack, and one of the worst cases she thought of had proven correct.

“Draco, we can discuss this latter. You have far over exerted yourself. Rest for now.” He looked at her, smiled, then collapsed. She walked over to him. She produced the flame of life, but very slowly brought it down to him. A large raging yellow flame appeared as she slowly worked her blue flame in. The two burned against each other, then the yellow one reduced in size and became less agitated. Draco breathed easier but remained asleep. With no one in ear shot, Hime said, “Daughter you could never have? Draco, I never said this, but you were a father to me.” She curled up against him, enjoying the warmth of his scales once again…


#105

That was really good Redshirt! I enjoyed it very much. :slight_smile:


#106

Another great adaptation Red!


#107

Good one Red! :slight_smile:


#108

Riza was unsure how much time had past. First, she was not aware any time had passed, but slowly dreams entered the blackness. Dreams of a black scaled monster, dreams of her friends dieing as she stood by helpless, and dreams of pain washed over her mind. She tried to struggle against it, but her body refused to respond. Reiri’s broken body was lying on the ground in flames, “Reiri! Vampire bitch get up! GET UP!” Tears started to go down her checks.

“Bitch? You are the dumb bitch for not running away. Get away RIZA!” Reiri’s voice was soft yet loud and very close.

Riza opened her eyes. She was lying on a mat under a simple sheet. It was one of the first rooms in the mansion. She tried to move, but the pain that resulted erupted throughout her body. “What the hell?” She turned her head and looked to her side. Reiri opened her eyes at that same moment and looked right into Riza’s.

They both stared at each other for a few moments without moving or blinking. Simultaneously, they looked at their surroundings and saw they were on the same mat under the same blanket. Immediately, both tried to get up, and both were unsuccessful.

Riza wiggled as best she could as she said, “We died and I am in hell. This is HELL!”

Reiri tried to wiggle as well and said, “We are not truly dead, but I will never be clean after this. Why am I sleeping next to a filthy dog! Please don’t tell me you are heat.”

“Oh, I am going to kill you so no one knows of this you perverted arrogant ass!” She tried to take swing at Reiri, but her arms barely flopped at her. She couldn’t even transform them. The sheet was moved, and the lack of clothing on both females become apparent. “What kinda of torture is this!”

Reiri hissed, “Keep those filthy paws away from me you in heat pervert.” She tried to fly but nothing happened. Both women stared at each other, their hatred causing sparks to flash between them, yet both unable to act. Slowly, memories of last night caught up to them.

Reiri looked over her body. Some burn marks remained. Riza looked over her body, the bones weren’t broken anymore, but several bruises and burns still were there. Riza was the first to speak, “As much as this is my worst nightmare come true, it seems we didn’t die last night.” She sniffed in deeply. “Hime was here not to long ago.”

Reiri breathed a deep sigh of relief. “That is good to hear. I wonder what happened? However, may I ask, did I hear you correctly? Did you ask me not to die last night, and earlier to get up?”

Riza sneered, “What about me being told to run away?”

They stared at each other in glares. Reiri broke the silence, “We make a vow. After we leave this room, this never happened. You never said those things, I never said anything. We healed in different rooms. Agreed?”

Riza instantly said, “Agreed.”

“Good girl, nice doggy.”

“You are so dead old drain.”

They glared at each other again. So intent was their hatred that Riza did not hear the sound until it was too late. The sound of a young girls voice…

Words about not being greeted properly, what was with the front yard, what was with the harpy feathers, slowly started to register in Riza’s ears. Her face froze when she finally heard the last words, “Francesca, you say two are in there?”

Sherwood opened the door and looked inside. Upon seeing the two nearly undressed ladies staring at her under the same sheet, her face contorted into one of shock and indignity as she screamed…


#109

Very funny dialog between Reiri and Riza. :laugh:


#110

Sherwood backed away from the door trying to cover her eyes and bat away the image, “Disgusting! Perverted! Wrong! Wrong on so many levels! What mad house is this!?”

A calm voice cut through the air with a cool commanding sound, “Sherwood, calm down.”

Shewood looked to her sister as the two ladies in the room tried to peer around the corner. Next to Hime was Sawawa, Hiro, and a young girl Shewood did not recognize. However, she could tell what she was. “Sister! What happened?”

Hime spoke calmly, “I will tell you in a moment. First, Francesca, could you please take that battery to Flandre and getting her working? Shizu, Sawawa, could you please get some clothing for Riza and Reiri and then get some food ready. Hiro, show Sherwood to the dining room.”

Both young women said, “Yes, Mistress!” before running off, causing Hime to slightly pinch her eyebrows.

Sherwood was about to say something when Hiro offered out his hand. Faced with Hime’s cold stare, the sight of the room, and Hiro’s hand, she quickly grasped the hand. As Hiro lead her and Francesca moved on, she could be heard saying, “A vampire and werewolf? The age difference between the two? And they are both…” Hime gave one last glance to make sure she was gone and saw that Sherwood had turned red in blushing.

Hime entered the room with the prostrate ladies. They both were about to say something when she cut them off, “You did not listen to me. I told you that you could not face that man.” They both looked at her in surprise. She was truly angry. “You both should have died, going against one of the Five Captains, the Eternal Flame Soldier himself, Draco.”

The look of shock crossed each of their faces. Riza said as loud as she could, “Draco! The Eternal Flame Soldier! Isn’t he the one that can even kill a soldier of the flame?”

Reiri spoke, “The blood soldier destroyer, loyal to the King by contract and friendship, but cannot be ruled. I made a huge mistake.”

Hime leaned down to them. “You both did. I did not expect either one of you to be that stupid. However, I can not escape the fact that you stood against him of all people for my sake.” Her face became hard to read, and suddenly she bent down and kissed both of them on the forehead.

She immediately turned and walked towards the door. Both still blushing tried to speak at once, but Hime beat them to the punch, “Oh no, both of you are going to remain here as you are until you are healed. Let this teach you though I am merciful, I expect you not to disobey me!” She closed the door with a cruel smile.

Reiri spoke first, “How cold of her.” She was still looking at the door with a slight blush. Riza growled at the world and tried to bury her face…


#111

Sherwood sat at the other end of the dining table of Hime. Francesca stood next to her as Flandre stood next to Hime. Hiro, his sister, and Shizu were busy cleaning the mansion. Shewood looked up at her sister, “So he didn’t say much before he left?”

Hime sipped her tea. “He said he would explain everything after he got back from our brother’s.”

“Is he going to kill our brother?”

“No, but for having caused the breach of contract, Father is going to be most displeased with him.” Hime’s expression did not change from the face of simple delight from drinking tea.

“That brother was not smart enough to do this himself. I heard the rumor he begged Father for protection against an outside force, but I did not know Father lent him Draco. I wonder if that was someone’s else plan.”

Hime stopped sipping, “He and I agree with you on that. But he will be first to ask questions, though he did feel the need to rush.” A slight show of concern crossed her face.

Before Sherwood could respond, the sound of wings flapping and a gust of wind shook the windows. Her eyes widen as the silhouette of a large winged creature landed behind the window onto the balcony. In a quick instant, it shrank as the door opened. A young man entered into the room and gave a quick bow. “My Ladies, Sherwood and Hime.”

Sherwood gaped at him. “Wait…Why do you look so young!”

Draco looked up. His eyes peered at Sherwood causing her to squirm a little as his voice rumbled, “For one who seemed determined to skip my lessons, I am surprised you noticed. But I shall explain everything. First, I bear some bad news. Your brother is dead.”

Sherwood seemed mildly surprised, while Hime seemed to have guessed that outcome. “How long ago did he die?”

“Probably right as I entered your mansion as far as I could tell. Other Royal Guard soldiers arrived after me to his place. A quick investigation revealed as if he was going into hiding. He was about to frame me for his ‘death’ but someone beat him to the punch and killed him out right. All his blood soldiers are missing. His other servants were slaughtered. As to who did it, there were no clues.”

Hime held her hands together and spoke, “I do not like this. It seems there are forces outside the Royal siblings pulling strings in our battle for succession.”

Draco nodded, “Your Father agrees. Though I am not bound by any contract with him now, I have agreed to look into this and drop by to check in on you two once and awhile. I cannot interfere with the battle of succession, but any outside forces should be weary of my wrath.” He smiled, “That is all I have to report on that matter. My Ladies, may I ask what smells so good?”

Hime looked at him, “Food comes after you answer the question, Draco, why are you looking so young?” Hime’s expression was one Sherwood have never seen.

“Aahh, that. As you heard your brother requested I provide him with security as he was threatened by an outside power. He claimed it was a rogue dragon and he needed me to guard him. I found his story to be a great over reaction, but still your Father insisted. However, your brother found a nasty little part in the contract that your Father and I never even really thought about. Your brother argued I was getting to old to guard him well, and that I was obligated to make sure I could defend him. There was a little well known spell in which I could use the Eternal Flame to restore my youth, to the day I became what I am.”

He paused then, his mind going back nearly sixty years. “I didn’t realize it was possible myself. However, as with all spells of mine, the cost was going to be pain and weakness. After burning my own flesh down to each individual cell, I was unconscious for over a month. That is why I missed the battle against the rogue Harpy flock. During that time, your brother and who ever was directing him put this plan into motion. The gift you gave me Hime was cursed, and as soon as I woke up, your brother told me you were brutally killed. I was given the order to execute the Harpy Queen as I saw fit. Little did they expect that your friends, your fighting skill and style, and especially the most unique blood soldier I have ever seen would cause me to see through their plan.”

Flandre put some food on a plate where Draco sat down. He bowed his head in a quick silent prayer and picked up a fork. Before he began to eat, he said, “Oh, I guess I should mention, I actually have restored my youth. Forgive me if I behave oddly, this is getting some use too.” He began to eat, though he only slid the food into his mouth and gave a few chews before smoke leaked out the sides.

Sherwood broke the silence, “Well, dear sister. It seems we are down one brother, but have gained another enemy. Our alliance shall remain strong for awhile. Agreed?”

Hime gave Sherwood a cold glance, as if to say that was the wrong thing to say at this time. However, she said, “Agreed.”…


#112

Time was crawling by. It was possibly the longest period of time Riza ever went without saying a word while with company. Reiri was looking away from her and kept quiet.

Reiri looked out the bit of window in the room. She saw the sky had actually started to grow dark. Her wounds were healing, but very slowly. They were definitely caused by strong magic. She sighed to herself. She needed blood to heal quickly. She glanced once again outside, and saw a near full moon rising. A sudden dreaded thought crossed her mind.

Riza laughed, the first sound in a while. “Though not full, don’t worry blood sucker. I will be healed by the end of the night. I will be able to move earlier than that. And once I can,” she smiled.

“You’ll ravage me like the bitch in heat you are?”

Riza nearly gagged. “Hell NO! More like tear a limb off if you said a single word. But now I just want out of this room! You perverted freak!”

There was a knock at the door. Hiro’s voice called to them, “Riza? Reiri? Are you doing all right? Do you need anything?”

An idea struck Reiri, “Hiro, can you get me one of my ‘drinks’? And can you preheat it please?”

Hiro answered back, “Okay. Riza, need anything?”

Riza called back, “Get me something to eat and drink.”

“Okay, it is coming.”

Both heard Hiro run off.

Reiri started to smile. Riza scoffed at her, “One of your drinks isn’t going to allow you to heal any faster. I know it isn’t real blood. So why are you smirking?”

“Just imaging Hiro’s face when he comes in with our requests.”

Riza smug looked changed to one of panic. “He can’t come in here with us like this! We are nearly naked! I don’t want him to see me like this!” A slight blush began to cross her face.

Reiri’s smile grew. “I wouldn’t mind. It is about time I worked out that young virgin blood of his. I doubt he could resist my charm now. I hope you don’t mind watching.” She began to lick her lips.

Riza’s eyes widen in horror, “You wouldn’t. You would not dare. Reiri, you are not going to do that with him and to him right next to me!”

Reiri let out a soft moan, “Ooohhh Hiro, you won’t mind Riza watching? Let’s give her a good show.” She gave Riza a sly wink while rolling her tongue.

“WHO’s the Bitch in Heat Now! Reiri, if you so much as touch Hiro I will rip your…”

Both looked at the door as Shizu came in with a two different bottles and some food. She looked at them with some confusion and said in a faint whisper, “I brought your requests. Hiro said I should bring it since he shouldn’t enter the room.”

Reiri looked over Shizu with some thought and said, “Thanks Shizu.”

Riza thanked her as well as Shizu helped them both drink and eat a little. After she left, Reiri said, “She is cute, but harpy blood sounds awful.”

Riza spoke, “Were you really going to try something with Hiro?”

Reiri looked at Riza, “Ooohhh? Do I detect some feelings for him? Afraid I am going to steal your Hiro?”

Riza scoffed, “NO! Why would I have feelings for him?” Her reaction seemed a little forced, “I just thought that would be a very wrong thing for you to do to him, that is all.”

Reiri hid her smile, “Perhaps you are right. I don’t want to hurt Hiro.” She truly meant that. “Though Riza, please don’t taint his virgin blood.” Riza’s growl made her smile more…


#113

Oh, by the way, I did a background for Draco a long time ago…

http://www.theanimenetwork.com/component/option,com_kunena/Itemid,65/catid,9/func,view/id,4705/


#114

Hiro sighed after picking up the last bag of debris from the yard. Though most of it was feathers, it still weighed a bit. He walked back into the mansion and nearly crashed into Shizu. “Sorry!”

Shizu looked down and whispered, “No, it was just as much my fault. I got you a drink.” She looked up and offered him a glass of water.

Hiro could not help but smile as he took the glass. He did not know how Shizu made him feel, but it was different than the way Hime, Reiri, and Riza made him feel. Shizu looked away and said, “It seemed Reiri and Riza were wanting you to come into their room.”

Hiro barely refrained from spitting out the water in his mouth. The image that came to his mind was not appropriate. “Did they say why?”

“I don’t think I should repeat what they said,” Shizu whispered. She looked at Hiro as if to watch his reaction. She seemed a little sad as well.

Hiro breathed in and out slowly. “Got to control myself with her watching,” he thought.

He nearly jumped when Hime’s voice came out from right next to him, “Perhaps you should go. They need to be cleaned, a sponge bath perhaps? Shizu can help as well.”

The two turned and looked at Hime in shock. She had a small smile going, all to pleased with getting them stirred up. Standing next to her was the man from before. He was laughing to himself while watching the scene.

Shizu immediately went behind Hiro and held onto him. Hime seemed surprised by the move, though the man just smiled. “Hello, Hiro. I did not get your name earlier, but I did not know who you were. Everyone calls me Draco.” He bowed down to Hiro. “I must thank you for your bravery and dedication to Lady Hime. I owe you a great deal for revealing the truth of the situation to me.”

Hiro could not believe the man was bowing to him. “It…it was nothing. Really.”

Draco stood up and seemed to loom over Hiro. “Nothing? You are a very special blood soldier, Hiro. Your bravery, dedication, and loyalty are pure. But not all special things are good. Your lack of skill, strength, and any fighting capability is unprecedented in the blood soldier history.” He glanced at Hime. “Still, you have saved Hime and stopped me from making the worst mistake in my life. To pay you back this debt, I will start training you when I get back. The blood soldiers I have trained have always been the best.” He gave Hiro a pat on the shoulder. The pat nearly caused Hiro and Shizu to go down.

Hime spoke, “Hiro, Shizu, can you go see Sherwood home?” Though it was more of an order than a question. Both recovered and moved away…

Riza started to speak again, “Come on moon, heal me, free me from this nightmare!”

Reiri answered, “If only anyone else came in. I would even drink a little from Shizu now just to get away from you.”

“How do I know you are slowly moving over to me to get my blood?” Reiri’s efforts in movement had improved slightly.

“Even though you are a virgin, it is still animal blood. Eeewww,” Reiri made a face of disgust. However, she moved slightly back from Riza.

“Hey, lay off the virgin talk! A slut like you shouldn’t be talking as if you had moral standards.” She smiled as one of her arms could start to grow some fur.

“Slut? I would have you know that I…”

The door opened. Hime walked in with Draco. Both girls moved as much as they could to cover up. Hime smiled, “Had a pleasant time together ladies? We didn’t interrupt, did we?”

Riza spoke first, “What is he doing in here!”

Reiri spoke next, “Could we have some privacy?”

Draco looked at both ladies and huffed a bit of flame. Both of their eyes went wide and they froze. His voice was calm you rumbled in a way, “Sorry, my ladies. I forget about such things. But do realize, this image of a man before is a false facade. The way I can see, covering up is not important.” The two looked at each other, and both still felt uncomfortable. They looked back to the man and saw him bowing before them.

“Please forgive me, my ladies. I did grievous harm to you while you were actually protecting a Royal Princess. This is a horrible shame. Allow me to finish healing you.”

Riza and Reiri looked to Hime. She nodded to them. Both nodded to Draco. He immediately went over to one window and opened it fully to expose the near full moon. He breathed a smoke in the beam of the moonlight, and it turned itself into a glass lens. The concentrated moonlight beamed onto Riza, and she was quickly feeling the affect. “Wow,” she simply stated.

Draco looked at Reiri and said, “That was a nasty spell I did on you.” He pulled a metal cup out from no where. He looked back at Reiri, “I have only done this once before. And the vampire whom you should know said it tasted better than actual deflamed dragon blood.” Reiri gasped as Draco bit into his own hand, briefly revealing sharp dragon teeth. Blood poured into the cup as a stream of liquid flame.

Everyone watched in amazement as Draco’s hand set aflame for a second and was completely healed. He began to suck air from the cup, drawing in the fire that was peaking out. After a few seconds, he gave the cup a bit of a swirl and another drawing breath. “There, it is now safe to drink.” He brought the cup to her lips. She looked at him with awe as she sipped the blood.

Sweat instantly glistened from her body. Riza gasped at how suddenly Reiri was floating in the air, stretching, and saying, “I have never felt this strong!” Riza got up before Reiri landed next to her. Fortunately, Reiri no longer seemed interested in her. “Though, tell me Draco, what would happen if I just took some blood from you?”

Draco simply said, “You would burn to true death in a very few seconds.” He turned to Hime, “I will be off now. I will back, to train Hiro, train these two some as I did defeat them rather quickly, and to check on you and Sherwood. Be safe, my Lady Hime.” He walked out.

Hime watched him go and said, “You have clothes in corner. I am retiring for the rest of this night.”

Reiri was instantly right next to Hime and lightly held her, “Oh dear, leaving us so soon? Did you think tasting his blood would sate all my desire?” Hime looked at Reiri for a second, and gently removed her hands.

She went over and picked up the cup. To the shock of both girls, she drank the last drops. Hime seemed to stand a bit taller, “That taste should sate it your thirst for quite some time. Though if you wonder what my blood tastes like, ask him when he starts your training.” She walked out leaving behind two confused women.


#115

Inspired by the latest series episode from Star Trek Online.

General Lolileet Maya Belsona slowly stretched her leg over the arm of the chair. In doing so, she revealed her smooth blue skin to any looker. Their eyes would be teased into following her leg up, but the goal they sought would be cut off in shadow.

One blue man in the small room looked over to her. “General, you are doing it again.”

Belsona looked over to Darjma, son of Mortok, and quickly placed herself in a more ‘proper’ position. “I guess I should not let my mind wonder. Old habits die hard. Though soon I will the right color, you will have your ridges back, and the Empire will once again be shown the ‘benefits’ of having the Imperial legions.”

Though both looked like the Omotons that ran the small freighter they were on, neither were Omotons. Darjma was a proud Klingon warrior, though he specialized in engineering. Belsona was a commanding officer in the Klingon Defense Force, though she was a Orion. With the war not going as well as the Klingon Empire had hoped, it was forced to create ‘Imperial’ legions along side the normal ones. These legions allowed any species under Klingon rule to become officers and man the ships, though such officers had to prove themselves. For Belsona, after being tossed out of the Orion Syndicate for a petty power struggle, it was her chance to truly rise in power.

The freighter was leaving the Traelus system. The Federation had several ‘listening’ satellites there to keep an eye on the Klingons. Now they will keep an eye on the Federation as well. The freighter was successful in sneaking in while the satellites went through a maintenance cycle. During the cycle, Belsona, Darjma, and one other officer tweaked the programs on all three units. Now they traveled back towards Klingon space. This was a neutral freighter, so the Federation would not be bothering it. Even if they did, there was nothing but Omonton’s on board.

Darjma nodded his head, “Yes. With the satellites sending us the Federation movements, we can finally turn the tide of battle in this sector. Glorious battles await us. And you will be honored for your part of this plan.”

Belsona smiled a genuine smile, for Darjma was with the regular forces of the Klingon Defense Force. Most of the regulars despised non Klingons in their ranks, but now Darjma might have finally seen the light. “Indeed Darjma, but I do not want to think of battle until I am on the bridge of my ship. I feel caged in this freighter.”

Darjma gave another approving nod, “I feel the same. It should not be long now.” He looked around to see if anyone was listening. “You seem to have a bit of Klingon spirit in you. Have you ever considered a relationship with one? It could help pass the time.”

Belsona mentally rolled her eyes. She must have released some pheromones by mistake, or Darjma was really that easily seduced by her looks and success. She thought to herself, “Please something happen to end this conversation now.” Warning klaxons blared to life.

The captain’s voice came through the speakers, “Cardassion and Jem’hedar vessels approaching at high warp. They are on an intercept course!”

Belsona and Darjma looked at each other. The freighter had no real defenses. Belsona thought to herself, “Me and my damn wishes.”…


#116

Nice work on the Princess Resurrection story! I’ll save the Star Trek one for tomorrow.


#117

The sun glared off the sand on the beach. Laughter filled the air as waves of purple water crashed against the shore. His friends from before were there. It was memory perhaps, back when he was with the elite group of students at his school. He was not the highest ranking member, but people always confided with him and seemed to trust his wisdom. The faces floated by, but were cut off with a quick beep from the real world.

Roger Marverius Cross opened his eyes. Instead of whites with pupils, two mirrors looked out into the waking world. He was not flat on his back though. His bed was angled at about sixty degrees. At the top was an unusual device. Combined Borg and Federation technology allowed Cross to regenerate his cybernetic systems as he truly slept.

As Cross reached over to answer the signal, he noted himself to document the dream. Someday they might prove to be relevant, though he did not think the possibility was as high as the councilor thought. He pushed the button, “Cross here.” His voice was strong yet without emotion.

“There is a priority hail coming in directed to you.” Hachi’s voice had the same exact to the point tone as his. She did not bother to apologize for waking him, as she knew he had enough rest to last a few days. Cross wondered at times about how fate managed to bring her into his life the first day he took command of a starship.

“Patch it through.”

After a few security screens passed, a face appeared on the screen. Cross’s face became as stone Franklin Drake peered at him. “You know, you should do interrogations. That stare of yours could break people.”

Franklin Drake of Section 31 was not a stranger to Cross. Their first meeting involved Cross and his crew trying to stop him from selling out the Federation, only to discover it was a plot to draw out the Romulan infiltrators. Another meeting involved an elaborate test of Cross’s beliefs and methods, though the result was surprising for Drake.

“This had better be important, Drake, or I will terminate this communication immediately.”

“Oh you already know it is important, so I will get to the point. We have reports of a True Way fleet entering the Neutral Zone and picking a fight with the Klingons near the Donatu system. Having two of our enemies fight is good for the Federation, but I want to know why the True Way is so far out of their territory. Intercept them and deal with them. If you need to engage the Klingons as well, do so. A Starfleet task force has already been sent to the area; you’ll need to join them in the Donatu system as soon as possible.”

Cross continued his stare at the screen, “That is it?”

Drake sighed, “I know your a Vice Admiral, Cross, but have you ever wondered why you rose to that rank at record speed?”

“I figured it was mainly because of my achievements and the fact that most of my previous commanders felt intimidated by me. The easiest way to get rid of me was by promotion.”

Drake laughed, “Okay, so you do know most of it. My people had their hands in some of it as well. We have learned a great deal from you, even since you were in the Academy. Oh, by the way, sorry for waking you up early, but we know you can function for about three days now without sleep anyways.”

Cross immediately checked his memories and concluded Section 31 learned about how his regeneration and sleep cycles worked from his days at the Academy. “That does not explain why a Han class starship with a Vice Admiral commander needs to stop a group of stray True Way forces.”

Drake smiled, “Yes it does. Figuring out your sleep cycle with the security measures you put on taught us many things. For example, you can hack the True Way computers without much of an issue. And you are very observant. Something else is going on in the combat zone. Admiral Cross, we need you and the Rosewolf.”

“Very well.” Drake smiled before disappearing from the screen. “Cross to bridge, set course for the Donatu system, maximum warp. I am coming up.” He finished the last order while putting on his uniform…


#118

It did not take long for his command staff to assemble on the bridge. Cross looked over everyone.

His three top engineers were talking in one corner. Shuku, the reptilian, was chief engineer of the starship. F’sol, the female Bolian, controlled most of the maintenance and operations. Hachi of Hachi was the ground engineer commander, though she helped the others on the ship a great deal. As a liberated Borg herself, she was very efficient with her time.

He glanced at his science and medical officers. Moral, the female Klingon, was chief science officer. Tuddla, the Betazed, the chief medical officer, had developed a strong relationship with her after a troubling start. The male Vulcan, Volorum, studied both the sciences and medical sides, but focused mostly on cultural interactions.

He three security personal were quite busy. The human male Login adjusted his visor to keep in sequence with the ships sensors. He was the space tactical commander. Shelana, one of the female type of Andorians, talked with the Breen liaison officer Det in preparation for ground operations.

Sansaz, his joint Trill first officer, had already been briefed and briefed the crew.

As they turned to him, he simply stated, “As you know we are heading into a fight. The Klingons will probably do some of the work for us, but we must not let them destroy all of the True Way forces. More than likely we will have to board a ship in order to find out why the True Way is out here. Everyone here is more than capable for this task, but lets make sure we still do it right.”

Everyone nodded and headed to their posts. Sansaz whispered to him, “We still need to work on your speeches.”

“No has complained before.”

“That is because you freak most people out, except Hachi, but she doesn’t care.”

Cross glanced at her as she made the face he knew meant she was joking. Her face quickly changed. “You are about to tell me something I don’t want to hear.”

“If we need to board a ship, I will be on the away team.”

Sansaz was prepared to say something until she looked at Cross. She studied his face and simply said, “Can you tell me why it must be you?”

“Yes, but I have to find that out for myself as well.” As he took his chair, he calculated they should arrive in about two hours.


#119

“This is Vice Admiral Roger Marverius Cross to all ships. I am taking command of this task force. We are to find out why the True Way forces have violated our space and entered the war zone. We may have to deal with Klingon forces while accomplishing our orders. The Rosewolf will lead the way in. To battle stations!”

The three other starships fell into formation behind the Rosewolf. They leaped into warp straight for the Donatu system.

As they broke out of warp, the usual blackness of space was already lit with weapons fire. Klingon ships were attacking a group of Jem’hedar attack craft as Cardassian vessels moved to flank them.

Login called out, “Captain, I’m picking up multiple hostile contacts – both Klingon and True Way. They have already begun engaging each other.” He put up a tactical screen. Some debris of both True Way and Klingon ships already existed. Still, six Jem’dar fighters, two Galors, one Keldon, a Vor’cha, three Raptors, and 3 Bird of Preys were locked in battle. The total force was stronger than the Federation units, but they were not targeting them yet.

The Keldon vessel was sending out command signals. “Hail the Keldon, the named Axon. Tell them to explain their presence here and prepare to leave. Hail the Klingons as well, these Petach’s violated our space and are our enemies first. If they do not leave, I will kill them for trying to rob me of my chance to claim honor.”

Sansaz gave him a quick glance, but she did acknowledge the fact the Admiral did know how to speak Klingons. In a voice like she was speaking to herself but about something that should be heard, she said, “I can understand the Klingons being here. They’ve been trying to claim this system for months. But why the True Way normally don’t leave Cardassian space. They have no reason to be here.”

“And that is why we are here, Number One.”

Login called out, “They’re refusing to respond to our hails, sir. We may have to board one of their ships to get some answers.”

“To all ships, attack pattern Delta 4. Do not engage ships already exchanging fire, let them destroy each other. Pick out single targets or ones who turn to engage us. Our priority target is the Axon. She is to be disabled. Do not let a Klingon ship destroy it.” Though as he looked at the screen, it was doubtful they would. The Cardassian flagship was heavily modified and packing serious power.

The four ships swung in, taking a Galor off guard and breaking it in half. A few Klingon vessels and the other Galor turned towards the Federation forces. Disrupters and compressor beams struck the shields of the Rosewolf, but they held strong. She lashed out with her powerful beams, hybrid versions of phasors and tachyon weapons, that ripped through shielding and cut disabling slashes into hulls. The battle did not last long, as the Axon realized to late as it finished off one Raptor that it was now alone with four Federation vessels.

Their barrage smacked the weakened shields and soon the ship was adrift.

“Prepare to beam aboard the survivors. They will not be happy to join us, but I got questions to ask.” Cross stated this while leaving his chair and preparing his uniform.

F’sol spoke out, “Sir, they are using friend/foe transport scramblers. We cannot beam them out.” She looked at the Admiral and saw that he expected that report. “Also, I am getting some unusual readings throughout the ship, but the damage from the ruptured eps conduits makes it impossible to decipher.” Hachi looked over readings and nodded her agreement.

“Very well. Hachi, Volorum, Det, Shelana, and a couple of security officers with me. Let’s go have a talk with the Captain of the Axon.”


#120

The seven figures materialized at the end of a corridor. All wore protective armor and had some personal shielding. All carried various phasers, except Det who had a distinctly Breen rifle and the Admiral with his unique carbine. Shelana led the formation with the other security officers covering the flanks.

Shelana spoke out after checking her tricorder, “Captain, Cardassian security teams are already starting to move in on our position. We should expect heavy resistance.”

They proceeded slowly. The hallway was in shatters. Though the Federation vessels gave the ship a nice pounding, most of the damage came from the Klingons. The lights flickered, making it hard to distinguish shapes and forms. However, Shelana and Cross had heightened senses, and the Cardassian troops that charged out from the showers ran into a spray of stunning beams.

“This is going to be annoying. Tag them for beam out, and lets keep moving.”

Several times the Cardassians tried to ambush them, but the attempts were half hazarded. The troops were injured, confused, and disorganized. After the fourth small encounter, only one of his people had taken a hit, but it did not break his shielding. Cross thought to himself,“This is too easy. The True Way forces were not fighting nearly as hard as they could have. We ended up taking on most of the Klingons. I am missing something.”

Det spoke out in his Breen gargle. Cross instantly translated to everyone else, “He said this is too easy. I agree. Keep your eyes open, we are missing something.”

They entered another hallway heading towards the bridge. Cross stopped as he realized he did nearly miss something. If it was not for his Borg implants, he would not have seen them. With a silent signal, his whole team turned and bore their weapons at the two behind the fallen beams.

“DON’T SHOOT! DON’T SHOOT! You are not my enemy today, Vice Admiral Cross.” A woman slowly stepped out while dropping her weapon to the ground. It was a plasma pistol, one that Cross had seen before. The woman was blue, but her face, posture, body language, instantly revealed to Cross who she was.

“Belsona, Brigadier General of the Klingon Defense Force, are you here to interfere with my mission of discovering why the True Way forces have entered this space?”

It was her. The first time they met was while he was still in the Academy. It was the famous field trip that resulted in his current ship being named “Rosewolf”. It was also part of the reason why it was insisted he was made its captain. They met again, with the joint Klingon and Federation task force to help the Deferi. Though still at a state of war with each other, they were forced to work together in that situation against Breen. Being trapped with the Orion captain in the dilthium mines of the Breen was quite interesting for both of them.

Belsona smiled, “Is that a way to talk to an old friend?” She let slip some of the clothing she had on. But as she stared at the poker face of Cross, she pulled up her clothing and simply stated, “I am just trying to live. These bastards ambushed the ship I was on and some of us barely managed to escape by sneaking onto this vessel. But it has been a nightmare, and not because of just the Cardassians. Admiral, something is wrong with this ship.”