The Third Cycle of Time-Chapter 23

From: Cheryl Baumgartner(C Baumgartner, Posted Date: Aug 13th, 2011

The ambush was set.  Hir was on the transport.  Kai, Dex, Dak and Lowen were hiding behind debris waiting for the insects to get within range.  With the transponder, they had been able to work out where the insects were headed.   Why they were headed here was a mystery.  There was nothing at all in this sector except a bunch of debris.

“Whoa!” Hir’s voice came over the comm system.  The insects are still a good ways off but the instruments are starting to go crazy!”
                “What do you mean starting to go crazy?” Kai demanded.

“Just…crazy.  I’ve never seen anything like it!”

Kai tapped into the data stream.  “Crap! Heads up!  It’s a rift.  Keep an eye out for debris suddenly appearing in front of you.”  Another thought came to him.  “Move out! We have to stop them. Whatever you do don’t let the insects get near here!”

“Dak! What the hell? He’s gone.” Dex’s voice was panicked.

“Dex, Move now!” Kai ordered.

“Dammit! Dex is gone too they both just disappeared off the scanners.” Hir noted.

“Don’t try to follow them! Back the transport away from where they were.  Lowen let’s go.  We have to keep the insects away from this rift.”  Kai shouted.

“They are retreating.  I gave them a taste of our new plasma cannon.  They didn’t like it much.” Hir said.

“They aren’t interested in fighting anymore, they are trying to escape.  The door swings both ways and they know it.  They were heading for the rift.” Kai said tiredly.

“Dak and Dex?” Hir questioned.

“They are where ever that doorway leads to.  Ba’ark lost a ship the same way.  Let’s pray that they came out near a planet on the other side.  Let’s hope that they find shelter somehow.”

“So what now?” Lowen asked.

“We get back to the transport and try to figure out where they are heading next.” Kai replied.

 

 

“Kai, go get some rest.  You’ll think clearer with a little sleep.” Lowen said.  “You aren’t going to be any help to us exhausted.  And like you have been telling us since we left Brunnis, an exhausted warrior makes mistakes.”
                “He’s right.” Hir said.  “You’re practically asleep on your feet.  We’ll keep an eye out.”

“Alright already.  I’ll go rest for while.” Kai said as the two practically shoved him off the bridge. 

He was tired.  And the search for the missing brothers had taken a lot out of him.    The hardest thing any commander had to do was to decide to leave men behind.  But big boy was on the move again.  They couldn’t afford to wait.

He got to the small quarters he had claimed and collapsed on the bunk.  He was asleep almost as soon as his head hit the pillow.

The dream was fragmented.  Selai pressing his clan Badge into his palm, his mother speaking before the Council of Judges on Pordyah, and Dava smiling as they walked along the river the day before he left to return to Brunnis.

“You can’t be that dense.  Think about it, connect the dots.” A young woman and a man that looked like a masculine version of her stood before him.  “We are another shadow of what might be, if you can figure it out.”

Dava was pointing up at the sky.  “Look Kai, our anomaly.  It is special to us.”

Kai was instantly awake and remembering the flash and fade he and Dava had witnessed that day.  The anomaly was another rift.  That is where the insects were headed.

He activated the intercom to the bridge.  “Set a course for Pordyah.  That’s where they are heading.”

“How do you know that?” Hir asked.

“There’s another rift there.  I saw it many years ago, before the war.  Get us there as fast as possible.”

 

 

“General Kai, welcome back to Pordyah.  My uncle trained under you before the start of the Great Evil.  You and your men will have whatever you need.  You have but to ask.” The Judge said.  “We assured your mother that we would help you if you had need.”

“My men need to rest.  There are four insects headed in this direction, one of them is like nothing any of us have seen before.  I don’t think they will attack but it would be wise to put any of the remaining fighters you have on alert.”

“Consider it done.” The judge replied.

“One more thing, the daughter of Judge Nix, Dava?” Kai asked with his heart pounding.  He knew the Pordyans had short lifespans.

“She is well.  She still lives in the family home.” The judge replied.

“Thank you.  This is Lowen my second in Command and Hir.  Can you find them lodging for a couple of days?”

“It would be our pleasure.”

 

The house had not changed.  Kai thought back to his many visits here.  He had stopped on the way at a small market and purchased a box of odo peppers.  He knocked on the door waiting patiently as footsteps approached.  The door opened and the elderly woman stared at him in shock.  All he noticed were her eyes, those sparkling green eyes that had always looked up at him shining with love.

“I thought you might need these to feed to some unsuspecting young man.” He said as he held the box out to her.

“Kai? Is it really you?” She asked.

“I left my heart with you.  Did you doubt that I would be back?” He asked opening his arms to her.

“I always knew you would come back.” She said through her tears.

“Come in, I will fix you something to eat.” She looked at the box mischievously.  “Perhaps odo peppers?” She said with a laugh.

“I’m sorry that I could not be here for you when your father stepped onto the path.” He said.

“But you were, in my heart.  You have always been with me, Kai.”

 

Dava was snuggled against Kai sleeping peacefully.  Kai was wide awake.  Once more he had to leave this woman, his woman.  His mate in every way that mattered.  And somehow he knew that he would not be coming back this time.  The message had been clear, the insects were determined to reach the rift.  He was just as determined that they would not, even if it meant his life.

Dava stirred at his side waking to the day.   “There’s something to be said for waking up next to a handsome young man.” She said.

“There’s something to be said about sleeping next to a beautiful young woman.” He replied.

“Kai, I look old enough to be your mother.  I’ve certainly been mistaken for your mother more than once in the last two days.” She replied.

“I see a gorgeous, young woman with the heart and courage of a warrior.  You have owned my heart since the moment you fed me odo peppers and laughed at my reaction.  You didn’t fear me, you treated me like I was a man, not a prophecy.   I gave my heart to you in that moment.

 I could not make my feelings known, you were too young.  When I came back I was determined to avoid you because I believed that you should have had a happy life.  You should have married a good Pordyan man and raised a family.  I knew that I could not give you that and you deserved it.

I could not take you as my mate.  Brunnen G law forbade it.  But here in my heart my mate’s name is written for all time, her name is Dava, daughter of Nix of Pordyah.” 

He handed her a small metal brooch.  “This is my Clan Badge, I give it to you.  If you ever have need, my family will see that you are taken care of.”

“You are leaving?” She asked.

“I have to, the insects are here.” Kai said as he dressed.

“I love you Dava.” He said as he gave her one last kiss.

Dava waited until he had left and called her son on the comm link.  She knew that this was the last chance for her son to let go of the hatred he felt for his father.

 

 

Hir and Lowen were busy doing last minute checks on their fighters.  Like Kai they knew that this was the final battle.  Like Kai they had resigned themselves to giving their lives to prevent the insects’ escape.

“Lowen, look.” Hir said as a group of men headed in their direction.

“We come to join in battle with our fathers.  We are the sons and grandsons of the Brunnen G who came here years ago.” Tano said to Lowen.

Kai approached the group after making arrangements with one of the judges to return the transport to Brunnis.  As he approached he recognized one of the Pordyan pilots.

“Tano, it is good to see you again.” Kai said extending his hand.

The man shocked him with an embrace instead.  “She would never tell me who my father was.  I spent my life hating the man who sired me.  Now I understand, I know that my father is a man deserving of my respect.” Tano stepped back and let Kai look at his chest where the clan badge sat.

Kai was speechless. “This is Timor, my oldest son.  We will join you in this battle knowing full well who we are.  We are descended from the greatest of Brunnen G warriors, the Bloodline of Kai.  We will honor those ancestors, we will follow you into battle.  You fight today with your son and grandson at your side.”

“That is why you always seemed so familiar, I was seeing your mother in you.  I wish that I had known.” Kai said.  “But I do know of your bravery, you proved it by saving my life at X-72. 

I wish I could have been there to watch you grow.  I cannot take credit for the man you grew into, but I can take pride in the fact that you are a part of my bloodline.  Your grandparents will also be proud of you.”