Part 2 We only want what we can't have.
"Why didn't you tell me, Liam," Lili hissed the question at him. She had waited until the following morning to confront Liam on who he had joined with. Due to their scheduled pick up of Da'an, there was a fifteen minute gap in which they could talk, and she was taking advantage of it. "You know I need to know these things."
"I am sorry, Lili, but I just don't see the importance of telling you about my joining. In fact it is kind of embarrassing talking about it with you, don't ask me why." A slight flush lit his features as he tried to avoid her knowing smirk.
"Just spit it out, who with, why, and what was it like?"
"Lili!" His stunned expression made her start to giggle. Turning away, he tried to hide his further blush.
"I am not backing down on this, Liam. You will tell me, or do I have to resort to more... persuasive manners?"
Liam froze in midstep as he was walking towards Da'an's audience chamber. A nervous twitch from his left eye as he reguarded her wearily from the corner of said eye. "You wouldn't."
"Try me, I've done it before." She made a big deal over her nails as he sweated it out. "Do I have to remind you of the Interdimensional Incident?"
"That's not fair, Lili. I told you it wasn't your fault!"
"After I had you rolling on the floor with fits of tickle induced laughter." The evil gleam in her eyes had him backing away. "Are you going to tell me, or am I going to have to bring out the tickle monster?"
"I am not a kid! You can't scare me with your tickle monster."
"Not if I run fast enough!" Laughing, he ran for the audience chamber with Lili hot on his heels.
"Liam!" She followed catching him as they entered the large purple room. "This is your last warning, tell me or else." After they wrestled a bit, she had him pinned to the floor, and started to tickle his sides. "Tell me! Tell me or I won't stop!"
Liam could only thrash as Lili sat on his chest, pinning his arms with her legs. "Stop! Please!" He cried out between laughs.
"No! Tell me!" Her hands started to drift to his belly, and his eyes went wide.
Shaking his head no, he tried to beg with his eyes. He knew he lost when she merely smirked and nodded. "It was Joyce Belman! I had to convince her not to kill humanity and the Taelons, a joining was the only way."
Lili's hand stillled just above his belly as she seemed to think about it. "So you played the role of the virgin sacrifice?"
"Yes! Now you can get off me?" He gave her a hopeful expression.
"Sorry Liam, but you took too long." Then her hand decended and the tickles began anew. Liam was in tears as Lili climbed off him. "May be next time you will talk to me?"
"No, next time I will keep my big mouth shut and remember why I don't tell you these things." He wiped the tear tracks away as he sat up growling.
"Wrong answer!" Before he could think, she was activating the portal.
"Hey! It's your turn to take the shuttle!"
"Snooze ya lose. See you on the mother ship, I'll tell Da'an you wanted to be the one to fly today. See ya!" A wave, followed by an energy wave, and she was gone.
Liam cursed her under his breath as he sulked his way to the shuttle pad. Things were just starting and he had a feeling they were going to get a lot worse.
Liam's bad feeling was confirmed when he heard the Mother Ship's alarms blare as he stood to exit the shuttle. Before he could set foot off the craft, a large figure barreled in to him and pushed him back in to it. The man's hand clamped over his shoulder and forced him in to the pilot's seat.
"Fly the shuttle or die!" The figure's hand lit up with Shaquarava as he aimed it at Liam's face.
"What are you?"
The man hit the back of his head with his fist. "I said fly the shuttle, don't ask questions, just do as I tell you! Now activate the controls!"
Fear shot through him as he nodded and did as ordered. Just in time to avoid an energy blast, the virtual glass came online. Liam tried to think of a way to let the mother ship drones get in, but the Jaridian had other plans. He suddenly found a hand on his lower back, tingling with energy. His face started to blush green in response to the placement of the shaquarava and he swallowed back the urge to complete it.
"Take us out of here." The deadly whisper made a cold shiver run down his spine. Moments later the shuttle flew out of the docking bay, entering ID space once clear. "You will fly me to these coordinates." The Jaridian tapped out the directions on the virtual display.
Liam knew this was going to be a bad day, he was just grateful Lili had tricked him or else she might have been the one in the shuttle. Acknowledging the orders, he activated the drives and headed for the coordinates given. Because of their actions, he might end up having to speak Jaridian for the rest of his life, but at least he knew the basis for the language. A dark, and nervous giggle escaped his lips as he flew the shuttle, always wary of the alien eyes on his back.
Lili was still laughing at the young Hybrid. He was going to be pissy all morning, but it was worth getting this little bit of information. After all, what kind of friend would she be if she let him have sex with-out her knowing all about it. Such things just weren't done. She had been trained as a marine to exploit the enemy's weaknesses to gain information, such methods were employed, when necessary, with the him.
When the alarms had started blaring all over the mother ship, she knew he was in trouble. "Liam!" Rushing to the docking bay, she arrived in time to see the drones open fire on the shuttle before it flew away. "Damn it, Liam!"
Sandoval caught her arm. "What are you doing here, captain?"
"That was my shuttle. What happened?"
Momentary confusion crossed his features before being replaced by his stoic mask of indifference. "The Jaridian escaped. Who was on your shuttle if not you?"
Lili ignored his emotional slip and slipped in to soldier mode. "Major Kincaid expressed his wishes to improve his flying skills and brought my shuttle to the Mother Ship. Are you telling me that an escaped alien has abducted him and my shuttle?"
"Yes! We will talk on this later." He checked the shuttle bay. "I want you to go after it, bring it back alive if possible, if not, make sure that technology does not fall in to the hands of the Jaridians."
Silently, she nodded.
"Then get to it." Ignoring her presence, he started to order the drones around.
Not wasting a moment, she jumped in to the nearest shuttle and took off after Liam. Hoping that he would be all right and they made it back in one piece was all she could do as the shuttle locked on Liam's coordinates. Activating the ID drive, she wondered what would have happened if she had been the one flying the shuttle and not Liam.
Liam was starting to get anxious as the hand on his back continued to pour energy into his body. He didn't know what the alien was trying to accomplish, but it was causing a build up in his body that was not going to end well. Already he could feel his shaquarava attempting to awaken. "What do you want with me?"
"I want to get back to my people, you were merely a target. Your knowledge of this Taelon... shuttle, will allow my people to create the technology we have been lacking and finally conquer the Taelons." He continued to kneel next to Liam, keeping one hand on his lower back, and the other on Liam's arm.
"So I take it, you are a Jaridian."
"You learn quickly. Perhaps there is a use for your species after all... What is that?" The shuttle rocked as they were thrown out of ID space. A few more twirls as the ship rolled from the sudden shock. Alarms on the holographic controls started to flash and emit their little pulses. "Get this shuttle under control immediately. I want to know what happened!"
Liam nodded his agreement, now was not the time to be rebellious. His controls flashed as he tried to activate them. "They won't stay on. I can't get any kind of readings, there is no way I can tell what happened. It is taking all I got to keep the power online, something is draining it faster than the core can produce it." He froze at his controls with a look of fear. "We're adrift in space! If these fluctuations keep up, the virtual glass matrix will collapse and we will be sucked in to space."
"I can't! Whatever is doing this has complete control." Liam gritted his teeth as he felt the Jaridian's reactions through the link. Fear was one of the strongest emotions, next was anger. Before he knew what he was doing, he was bringing his palms to fire on the Jaridian. "Get your hands off me!"
Keloren released his grip on the young man and placed his palms to Liam's before the young man could activate his shaquarva. His body tensed as he drew on the energy forming in Liam's hands. Before Liam knew it, the excess energy in his body was gone, along with a large portion of his own. A triumphant snarl erupted from him as he squeezed Liam's hands in his own, forcing the Hybrid to his knees.
Liam felt exhausted as his hands throbbed. The Jaridian had been planning this all along. "What did you do to me?"
Keloren smirked as he assumed the pilot's position. "I have used you to enhance my essence, refined is the word I believe you humans use. When I took you hostage, I had just absorbed massive amounts of Taelon core energy in order to sustain my own life. As you have seen, it didn't take well with my own, so I had to use your body as a distillation unit." He activated the controls as Liam slumped against the passenger chairs. "I am surprised you survived this long, from what I have learned, Human bodies are still too fragile to process energy. I needn't worry though, you will expire soon enough."
Liam shook his head to clear the fuzziness. "But I thought you needed me."
"I did, to escape. I don't need a lowly Human to understand Taelon technology, Jaridian scientists will figure out how this shuttle works and then we will destroy the Taelons."
"That's where you're wrong. These systems are Human designed, not Taelon. But it doesn't matter, if we can't find out what is wrong with the shuttle, neither of us is going home."
Keloren gave a knowing smirk. "We are caught in an energy web of an alien vessel. They are bringing us aboard their ship. When they do, they will be sorry they ever attacked a Jaridian."
"I am sorry I ever met you, and I didn't even do anything to you."
"You associate with the Taelons, that is a crime punishable by death."
Liam gave a short bark of dry laughter. "The Taelons have said the same thing about your species. I wonder what this is really about? What do your two species have against the other?"
Keloren turned in the chair to face Liam as the ship stopped rolling. "Since you will never return to your people, I see no harm in telling you. Perhaps you might realize the error of your ways. We were once one species. Out of fear of the shaquarva and the quest for spiritual perfection, the Taelons traded away their ability to reproduce for long life and a commonality. Jaridians fear the commonality, we value our emotions, our individuality. And for this we are blessed with the continued ability to reproduce. We continue to grow in number while the Taelons slowly die from their own fears. Now which is the criminal and the innocent?"
"Neither, both have destroyed with-out care to who they hurt in your eons of war. Both of you are as guilty as the other!"
"Never! The Taelons are the true enemy, their lies have killed countless species, and yours will soon be just another of those." The Jaridian turned back to the controls as an alarm started to beep.
"You sound like a Human I know," Liam muttered under his breath.
"Then perhaps you should listen to him, and stop associating with them. It might save your life if you joined his cause."
"Or end it," Liam hissed out in pain, "he is as much a fanatic as you are. Both of you believe that your cause is righteous, but so does Zo'or. You can't all be right."
"Then you must choose who's side is right, which cause is the noblest, and hope that you are on the winning side." Keloren spoke with an air of finality that sounded more like a regret than a threat to Liam.
Liam was about to say something when a large ship loomed in to view. "And here is your tin god."
"Magnificent!" Keloren eyed the alien ship with look of hunger. This was something he had never expected in all his years of existence.
The large silver vessel locked an energy beam on them to bring their ship in to the massive docking bay. The first thing Liam noticed about the ship were all the abandoned transports. An eerie quiet filled the large space as the shuttle's Virtual Glass finally collapsed. He took in a lung full of the old but breathable atmosphere.
Keloren stood from the pilot's seat and walked out of the shuttle down the boarding ramp. Quickly he scanned the area as he went. He knew with-out a doubt the ship was as abandoned as the transports in the hangar. There was something almost familiar about the ship as he followed along the cat walk to the insides of the ship. It was of a design any being with an eye for geometric shapes could appreciate. The simplicity belied the advanced technology hidden in the walls. This he knew and that he must bring it back to share with all Jaridia.
Liam watched as Keloren walked starstruck away from the shuttle. Ignoring the burning in his palms, Liam grabbed the arm rests of the seats beside him, and hauled himself up in one of them. He felt extremely weak as he focused on the situation. Alone on an alien ship with no way to get away or contact Earth, he knew he may not live to see another day. Basically he was screwed as Augur would put it. He could really use the hacker about now.
Something was off about the ship as he looked out through the entrance of the shuttle. It seemed familiar, yet wrong, as if there was something out of place about it. He could almost touch it in the back of his mind when he sagged in the seat from lack of energy. What he needed was to get something to eat, to try and replenish his dwindling strength. Then he could focus on the nagging feeling of familiarity.
Turning the chair to the wall behind him, he activated a panel and withdrew the large box of an emergency kit. Since the previous year's crash, Lili had kept a supply of field rations. Food, water, blankets and a pocket torch for fires were among the meager supplies. There were six more kits in the out fitted shuttle, but all he needed was in this one for it contained the most precious thing of all. Inside he found a glowing blue sphere, placing hands on either side of it, he focused his shaquarava and absorbed the core energy.
His body flushed green-blue as the energy dispersed inside his system, restoring his body to minimal health. It was enough to heal the damage done by the sudden drain on his system, but no more. Sighing with resignation, he placed the sphere back in the kit and pulled out a nutrition bar. Before he could take a bite out of it, the leathery hand took it from him. "What? Can't you just leave me to die in peace?"
"No, I was coming back to heal the damage I had done in my zeal, but evidently there is no need. We will eat, and then you will accompany me to the control core of this ship." He ignored Liam's shocked stair and started to eat the nutrition bar. He made a face at the strange flavor. "Your people call this vile substance food? It is no wonder the Taelons are on your world, this is one step away from core energy."
"It is called an emergency ration. We freeze dry them for such extreme cases when fresh food can not be obtained. It is better when you bite off a piece of it and soak it down with the fruit juice pouches mixed with water." Liam bit open a packet of the crystallized drink, and poured in water. He then sealed it and shook. A moment later he pulled out a straw and another nutrition bar from the kit. "You stick in the straw, like so. Take a bite from the food bar, take a drink of the fruit juice, and let it soak together in your mouth." Liam demonstrated as he said. After a few moments he stuck out his tongue displaying the moist bar in all its glory. "Sthee!"
Keloren's hand clamped down over his tongue and scraped the soggy bar off in to his fingers. A quick motion and he was eating it. He cocked his head as he swallowed. "That is better, but I still prefer the flavor of my planet's food."
Liam was feeling nauseous as he watched the Jaridian eat the food he had just prepared. When Keloren reached to take the drink packet from him, he handed it over with out a fight. "Take it, I have suddenly lost my appetite."
"You will eat! I do not need you passing into unconsciousness from lack of nourishment. If I must, I will force you."
Liam took one look at the Jaridian and decided it was better to eat on his own. If Keloren had no qualms about eating food out of his mouth, then may be the reverse was also true. Shuddering, he quickly devoured the nutrition bar in his hand and washed the foul taste down with another fruit drink.
"Get up, and bring along that kit, we may need the supplies. Are there any illumination devices inside?" He took the offered blue light sphere and led the way from the shuttle.
Liam looked down as they crossed the cat walk and felt his stomach drop at the sight, there was nothing separating them from space. If he fell, it would be forever. Keloren's hand pulled him along after a moment, and together they went deeper into the dark ship, unaware of that they were being watched.
Lili tried to activate the controls one more time as the shuttle continued to roll. Entering normal space had caused the shuttle to rock and throw her from her seat, artificial gravity shutting down for a moment. She thanked whatever gods there were that the virtual glass had with stood the sudden power drain.
Collision alert alarms started to blare moments before the large ship came in to view. The shuttle stopped rolling immeadietly as the vessel grew bigger in the view ports. The alerts stilled and lost all power as the shuttle seemed to give up the ghost and finally die. A shudder and it was docked allowing Lili to see the inside of the ship.
Holstering her weapon, and grabbing a pulse cannon, she exited the assault shuttle. Her way lit by dim over head lights and the flash light on the top of the cannon, she carefully examined the collection of ships until she found her shuttle. There was no sign of Liam or the escaped Jaridian, but one of her emergency bolt holes was empty of its supplies. From memory, she deduced they had taken enough supplies to last a few days before they had to come back, that meant she had to hunt them down.
Groaning, she grabbed a supply kit and set off in the direction of foot prints in the dust. Crossing the large cat walks to the entrance of the ship made her shudder. The place was creepy and reminiscent of the early Taelon shuttles she had learned to pilot, but their was a metalic tinge that screamed replicant. She wondered what the hell was going on as she continued after her prey. She too was unaware of the recording devices watching.
Johnathan Doors stared at the global, anger causing him to grind his teeth. "Are you sure?"
"Yes, sir. It was definetly the Jaridian, I saw it with my own eyes." The young woman nodded in to the global. "There is some good news, it took Major Kincaid."
"Kincaid? How in hell did it get that far with out Sandoval knowing?"
"He had no choice, sir. I kinda let it slip by my defence network in hopes it would kill a few Taelons, which I am sorry to say, it did not. The Major had landed his shuttle when the Jaridian came rushing in. Before the Major knew what was happening, both were back in the shuttle and he was being forced to fly the alien away. We got lucky this time, sir."
He schooled his face to keep the operative in the dark over his feelings. She had no need to know that Kincaid was one of his. "Just how did we get lucky, Leiutenant?"
"Sir, it was Captain Marquette's shuttle that he was flying. If she had not let him prove his man hood, she would have been the one with that scaley alien. Then our entire organization would have been in a world of hurt."
Doors leaned forward in chair as he glared at the woman. "I think it is time you got out of there. Delete all files, and your global. I suggest you find a way to get off the Mother Ship now, if they want some one to blame, you are it."
She nodded as fear filled her face. "Yes, sir!" A salute and her face disappeared from the global.
"Damn it!" Johnathan slammed the global against the desk as he turned to face out the window.
"What is that for, losing your operative or the loss of another Human being to the Aliens?"
Looking up, Johnathan glared at his son who was standing in the open door of his office. "What did you hear?"
"Starting with 'Just how did we get lucky, Leiutenant.' Now will you answer the question?"
"If you must know, both! No one deserves to be kidnapped." He looked away from the disbelieving stare. "Contrary to popular belief, I am not the monster you would have me be. I do care about humanity, but some times I simply refuse to tolerate the blind and ignorant members of our species."
"I would have believed that you would be thrilled over the loss of the Major. After all, it gets rid of another traitor, bad man, and the only man you have strictly forbidden me from being with. That does make one wonder." Joshua folded his arms and placed one hand under his chin. "Would the Major and I have something in common... say, genetically?"
"Only if your mother was secretly having an affair. I have never, nor would I have ever cheated on your mother. I may not have been a good husband or the world's greatest father, but I held those vows sacred!" He stood and buttoned his suit jacket, then straitened his tie. "Now is there any thing else you want to ask me, perhaps the names of every woman I have ever slept with in my life? Or may be you want me to confess all the sins I have commited starting with the first lie I told?"
"Fine! So you didn't cheat on mom!"
"You're damn right I didn't!" Johnathan walked out from behind the desk and headed for the door. "Now if you will excuse me, I do have an appointment with the press. Or do you need anything else Herr Commedant?"
Joshua ignored the barb and stared out the windows of the office over looking the city. Just before Johnathan reached the door, Joshua spoke again. "So Captain Marquette is one of your own?"
"You know I can't tell you that."
"Fine, then answer me this, was that her last year, or was she pulling a Matahari? Hypothetically, of course."
"Hypothetically, a little of both. That is if she was working for me, which I am not saying." A heavy breath. "This never happened! You know nothing about this, got that?"
"Yes, sir!" A long pause and then the door closed. Joshua walked behind the desk and fell back in to the plush leather chair. Hand still under his chin, he leaned against the desk. There was something about the conversation he just had that didn't feel right. For one thing, his father never reacted like that when Sandoval was hurt, but then again, Sandoval had personally killed many of his people.
Another thing was the strange word, Kidnapped. The major was far from a child, and usually Johnathan Doors liked to use big, or as he called them, Propaganda words, say for example 'Abducted'. It played on the old fears from the twentieth century about big, bug eyed aliens with flying saucers. In that moment, Joshua decided he was going to get to know this Major Liam Kincaid better. There was just something not right about the man, and he was going to find out. That is, if the man survived the kidnapping.
The insides of the ship were almost as cold as the derelict docking bay. His first impressions of the ship were that it was probably a prison or military transport, with the lack of vibrant colors, designs, or anything else to make it homey. But that was soon changed when he recognized a grouping of symbols on one of the inner walls. It was the entrance to the ship, the place was poorly lit, and he couldn't make head nor tail of the translation.
Liam was starting to get fed up with the lack of information. Being dragged around like a petulant child did not help matters either. From the moment he saw the symbols, he knew they held an important meaning. If only he could remember what they stood for, but the constant threat of the Jaridian at his side made for a better distraction. When he was jerked past the walls towards the entrance of the ship, he realized why the Jaridian had come back for him.
He needed some one to check for traps and scout through the area were they might be. And if there was, set them off. Liam felt his life expectancy drop severely as he looked at the steaming, glowing pool of water. A look at the Jaridian proved it meant business. Shrugging, he started to remove his jacket and kick off his shoes.
"What are you doing?" Keloren observed Liam with a statement of shock.
"I'm doing an impression of Agent Mulder, what does it look like?" He pulled off his under shirt and unbuckled his pants. "If I have to go through that, I am not going to waste the only set of clothes I have. Who knows how long I will be here?" Finishing his statement, he pushed his pants down, boxers and all. A cool, leathery hand on his lower back sliding to cup his butt made him jump up and away.
"So like us..." came the awed whisper, "your species is almost identical to my own."
Liam eyed the Jaridian with a look of anger. "Keep your hands to yourself, pal! I aint here for you to grope."
While Liam was telling the Jaridian off, he was busy taking in the young man's appearance. "Your bodies are all like this, hairy in places, and smooth in others?"
"Yes!" Reaching down, he covered his genitals when Keloren studied them.
Keloren noted, with a scientific eye, Liam's entire body. "What sex are you? What you appear, and what you might, could be two different things?"
"This is not a xenological studies course, and I am not your lab rat. I am your mole, and that's it! I find and set any traps off, and you keep your hands the same way." His anger made him forget modesty and assume a fighting stance.
The Jaridian smirked as Liam's face and upper body colored bright red. "Yours is a very emotional species. And a very amusing one. You clad yourselves in garments that serve no purpose, but to hide your bodies. That is most illogical."
"You do the same."
"No," His hands reached up to the dip in the front of his collar, pinching the sides together, he pulled them apart. The suit split down the front, and Keloren pulled it back, exposing the insides. Dark ribs in the fabric appeared like cushions against his reptilian skin. "This is Jaridian battle and body armor. All Jaridians wear this, no matter where we are. However, there are a few exceptions, cleaning ourselves, repairing body damage," He looked Liam over again, "and mating."
"I'm male, are you satisfied now?"
Satisfied, Keloren redid the seams on his suit and nodded before turning away. "Yes, now get in the water."
Muttering to himself, Liam tied the bundle of supplies and clothes up in his jacket. Slowly he set them near the water. When he received a smack on the ass, he jumped up and away, landing in the warm water. He came up sputtering and swearing as Keloren laughed. "What did I say about your hands!"
"You were moving too slow. I decided you needed encouragement to increase your pace. Now grab the supplies and get moving. I will soon follow." Keloren smirked as Liam glared at him, but complied. "Inform me when you get to the other side."
"What happens if I get attacked by something in here?" Liam asked as he waded across the water, arms holding the bundle on his head like a washer woman.
"Throw me the supplies and I will find another way around."
"Gee, whole lot of help you are." Grinding his teeth, Liam continued to step through the water carefully. When something brushed against his ankles, he released a yelp and decided to forego caution. Bounding through the water, he made it to the other side panting and soaking wet. "I'm across, you son of a buck!" The Jaridian followed him across laughing at his appearance.
Dripping wet, Liam shook his body. He narrowed his eyes as Keloren moved closer. "What do you want?"
"Put on your garments. I want to move, now."
"I'm still wet!"
"Put them on or else," Keloren warned.
"Not until I am dry.... Hey!" Liam screeched as his clothes were torn from his hands and thrown in to the water.
"Now, they are wet as well. You will wear them, go get them!" With that, he pushed Liam back in the water. Keloren watched as Liam did as he was told in fear of crossing him. His eyes were filled with laughter as Liam climbed back out of the water with only his shirt and boxers. "Where are the rest of your clothes?"
"There is something in there."
"And you fear it?"
"No! It took my clothes, thanks to you, I am now going to catch my death of cold on this damn ship. Leave me alone, or you will be sorry you ever crossed my path." He knew he sounded like a child, but he was tired, cold, wet and, well damn it, he was.
"You are a weak Human. Your species is pathetic, and there for you are no threat to me." He emphasized his point by slamming his hand on Liam's chest making the young man fall back on the floor. He turned his back on Liam, dismissing the hybrid.
When Liam saw this, anger welled up in him and activated his shaquarava. Rolling to his feet, he growled out a reply. "I'll show you weak!" Bringing up his hands to fire on the Jaridian, he did not count on the speed of the reaction by the alien.
Keloren lifted his arms and used his shaquarava to block the blast from the hybrid. Staring in shock as the last of the energy from the blast dissipated, he watched as Liam's body went through an energy blush. "So you are more than you appear. The High Council was correct about the Taelons." He moved in time to Liam's steps as they circled each other. "What other abilities do you have, Hybrid?" Keloren sneered his last word.
"Come and find out, lizard face!" Liam dodged the first blast from Keloren but caught the second in the chest.
Having fired only to stun, Keloren had knocked the young man unconscious. Grabbing the rope from the bundle, he bound Liam's wrists and put a loop around his neck to form a lead. When the young man would come around, he would make him carry the bundle and be able to keep him close at the same time. Before he could wait for Liam to wake up, blasts from an energy cannon sent the water flying up around him.
"Let him go you son of a bitch!"
At the sound of the female's voice, he grabbed Liam, their kit, and fled from the water's edge. In his wake, he could hear the screams of the woman as she cursed him. Both human and hybrid would earn him a great standing, enough to cover the shame of being captured by the enemy, all he had to do was capture her.
As he ran, he felt his body start to grow weak. In the rush, he had not realized the energy was still too Taelon. He needed something more matter based if he was to survive. The young hybrid could provide that, all that remained was a position secure enough for him to accomplish this. Seeing his chance, he took it.
Lili followed the foot prints through the dust covored floors towards a large wall covered in glyphs. Some of the symbols resembled those used by Ma'el in Ireland, but most were undiciferable. There was something about the ship that was familiar, like she had seen something like it before. Ignoring the memories of purple objects, she pressed on forward. The shouting of Liam and the Jaridian drew her nearer. She couldn't make out a word they said, both speaking in an alien language.
When the Jaridian fired the energy blast at Liam, she tried to call out, but it was too late, he went down hard. Angrily, she armed the cannon and charged the power cell. When it was ready to fire, the Jaridian was bending over Liam with a rope between the two in his hands.
Bring the cannon to bare on the water at their side of the pool, she fired the cannon. "Let him go, you son of a bitch!" The Jaridian looked at her with anger, grabbed Liam up over his shoulder and took off. "Damn it! Get back here!" Jumping in the water, she threw caution to the wind, and waded through the mirky liquid.
When something brushed against her legs, she blasted in to the water several times. Not stoping to see if she killed whatever it was, she continued after the Jaridian. On the other side she fired a few more blasts in to the water for good measure then took off in the direction of the water droplets left by the Jaridian and Liam's clothes.
Cannon in one hand and energy pistol in the other, she walked along in commando search mode. Along the walls shadows moved in time with her steps. A couple blasts from the cannon and the shadows disappeared. There was something seriously weird going on around here. A tingling in her spine came from the feeling of being watched.
Moving faster as the water drops became less frequent, she came to a bend in the maze of tunnels. Stopping, she looked around for the Jaridian or any traces of Liam. At the end of the corridor was a large wall that blocked the way from floor to ceiling. The only possible exit was a large wall that wilted enough for her to barely climb up.
Shouldering the cannon, she gripped the symbols and used them as foot holds. Midway she found a puddle of black liquid that smelled faintly metalic in one of the hand holds. From the position of it, it was from the Jaridian. Before she could speculate on it futher, she heard cries of agony coming from Liam which spurned her foward.
Keloren had been climbing the wall when the nausea hit him and his body started to consume its own organs in order to draw the energy he needed. This action caused his body to heat up and spend more energy. Spitting out the blood he finished climbing the wall. He had previously tossed Liam and the supplies up on the top, so the young man was convieniently placed for his needs. Sitting back against the wall, he reached for Liam.
Liam had started to come around after he landed on the ledge. His back hurt, and his vision swam. When he was suddenly yanked in to Keloren's lap, he fought the urge to puke.
"Give me your hands!"
Disoriented and wanting only for the shouting to stop, he thrust his hands upwards. His hands were locked in the burning hot ones of the Jaridian. The heat and energy as their shaquarava activated and merged made him cry out in pain. Through his right hand, energy flowed in to his body and out the left. His mind and body were over powered by the presence of the Jaridian energy. Blinding white light filled the ledge as Liam felt his body start to disentegrate. Too late he realized what was happening, and he was helpless to prevent it as their bodies merged.
When Lili reached the ledge, she gasped at the sight of an energy vortex similar to the one she had observed Ha'gel use. In the mix of energy were dark reds and dark purples of the alien energies. Putting her hand to her mouth she backed away. "Liam!" A moment later the energies coalesced and blew apart.
The two figures landed on opposite sides of the ledge, Liam in Lili's arms as the Jaridian hit the far wall. Lili cupped Liam's unconscious face in her hands as she tried to wake him.
"Liam! Liam! Wake up, Liam!" Tapping his face, she tried in vain to wake the sleeping hybrid. Finally accepting facts, she looked up to glare at the Jaridian.
Keloren landed against the wall, the breath knocked from his body. Distantly, he heard Lili trying to wake Liam. He knew he should explain something to her, but all he cared about was that he was alive and whole again. There was no more pain from the lack of proper care, or the threat of burning up as his body rejected the Taelon energy.
"What did you do to him? Why won't he wake up?"
Lili's voice woke him from the pleasure of being alive. When he looked to her face, he registered the shock. "Yes, it is amazing isn't it. I feel better than I have in all my life."
"What did you do?"
"I have made myself whole once more. I am no longer in danger of dying. Do not worry over Liam, Lili, he is merely exhausted of his energy. He will be fine in a few days after some rest. After that he will be fine." Seemingly pleased with her shock, he stood and looked around. Knowledge on the ship filled his mind, he now knew where to go in order to get to the core.
"How do you know all this, how do you know my name?" When he did not respond, she drew her energy pistol. "Answer me."
Keloren frowned at her insistance. The knowledge was slipping from his mind, and he wanted to continue understanding it. "I just do, I know you are Lili, you took care of Liam from the moment of his birth. Made a promise to his mother to do so." He waved off her shock as he walked away distractedly. "Bring the kit, and leave the boy. We don't have time to waste waiting for him to get up if we want to get to the core and free the shuttles. Each moment that passes I lose the memory of this vessel."
Lili started to protest, but decide he had a point. "What do you mean, lose the memory?"
"Exactly as it sounds, Lili." He stood with his hands placed on his hips in a familiar stance. "He will be fine, you can come back for him later."
"Why should I believe you?" She gasped as blue-green eyes locked on hers.
"You're just gonna have to trust me." The smile on the Keloren's face was not his own. Deep inside, his mind railed at his actions, but he ignored it as part of some fear.
Finally placing the characteristics, and the tokin smirk on the Jaridian's face, she nodded. Getting to the core was the only way to free her shuttle, and if he continued to behave like Liam, they might just make it out intact. "Of course." Keeping an eye on him, she gently lowered Liam's head on to her jacket for a pillow. Making sure the binding on his wrists was extra tight, she prayed she was right on this one. She kissed his stubbly skinned cheek and frowned, when had he started to grow facial hair?
"Let's go, Lili. The sooner we get down there, the sooner you can get back and worry about him later. You know how much he hates it when you do that."
Lili nodded and followed the Jaridian with out saying a word, his impatience showing signs of the his personality regaining control. The more she watched his easy gate attempt to straiten, the more she suspected she was right. And if she was, she didn't have much time before Keloren was back to his old, kidnapping, self again.
Agent Sandoval watched as the entire mother ship was put on emergency status. Shuttles and pilots were being dispatched in fleets to look for the escaped Jaridian. When they had entered ID space, both Liam and Lili's shuttles had disappeared. Zo'or was breathing down his neck to find the missing alien, and Da'an was doing the same to Zo'or.
In fact he was watching their display of an eternal dominance struggle. This time it was different, something new was happening between them. Da'an was standing up to Zo'or. In fact, he was threatening the Synod leader. These turn of events made Sandoval's eyebrow raise when Zo'or looked to him.
"I have tolerated your interference with my projects for the last time, Zo'or." Da'an's eyes narrowed as he stared at his fellow Taelon. "What makes you believe that your ways are best for our people? That you can do what you wish with no reguards to our laws?"
"In the respect that I am the leader of the Synod, and you are not."
"That excuse has run its course, you can no longer hide behind your position." Da'an's hands curled out as he moved towards Zo'or. "You know the penalty for your actions. It was decreed that only the entire Synod can decide when and if the time came to expose the Humans to the Jaridians. You have violated that with your act of petty sabotage and once again with allowing them access to a restricted lab. The consequences of which are still being felt in the form of my abducted Protector."
"What do you wish me to say, Da'an, that I was wrong to do this. I was acting on what I felt best for our people."
"Yes, and this is evident that your judgement can not be relied upon."
Zo'or turned sharply to face his accusor. "The Synod does not agree with your sentiments, or else you would have been named Synod leader."
"A foolish decision that can be rectified."
Smirking, Zo'or did a sideways glance at Da'an. "Are you saying the Synod are fools?"
Narrowing his eyes, Da'an stood face to face with Zo'or. "Do not attempt to twist my words. You will be held accountable for this, Zo'or. In two Earth hours, I have scheduled a meeting of the Synod, they will hear of your crimes. There they will finally see what I have known for some time, and you will be made to stand for all you have done." He turned and left the bridge as Zo'or stared out the virtual glass.
"We shall see, Da'an." With-out changing his position, Zo'or spoke. "Agent Sandoval, take a shuttle and find the Jaridian. If you can not bring it back alive, terminate it."
"Yes, Zo'or. And what of Captain Marquette and Major Kincaid?"
"I shall leave that act to your discretion."
"Of course, Zo'or." He gave the Taelon salute then left the bridge.
Zo'or waited until he was gone before allowing the energy blush. A look of concern appeared over his facade as it returned.
With some trepidation, Lili followed the strangely acting Jaridian down a long shaft deeper in to the heart of the ship. Every so often he would turn back and smile at her. That in itself was grounds to have the alien commited, but it was not the action, but the smile itself that unnerved her. He kept giving her the big goofy grins trade mark of one Liam Kincaid.
"So what should I call you, hey you, or Jaridian number one just doesn't ring true."
"My name is Keloren."
"Well, Keloren, how far until we reach the core?"
He tilted his head a little as he paused mid step. "Ahead there is a drop in the floor that leads to the greeting chamber. One of us must enact the proper sequence and then the chamber will open upon the core. Inside there is the spherical core of the ship. We talk to it, and we get its knowledge."
"I don't want its knowledge, I want off this ship."
"Whatever. Just keep going, it's not much further." He started walking again ignoring Lili as she followed.
Lili began to wonder if it had been smart to follow the enemy in to the middle of an unknown ship. As she moved forward, something brushed against her drying pant leg. Years of finely honed instincts had her pistol out and the thing in a hundred pieces before she could think. Ducking down, she narrowly avoided the large figure as it jumped over her tackling Keloren.
She aimed her gun at the two figures as they wrestled. Keloren and the smaller being evenly matched for strength, but the smaller being was more agile and soon had him thrown against the wall. Turning midnight blue eyes on Lili, Liam charged forward. He stopped when she fired at his feet.
Lili took in his pale skin, wild eyes, and ragged appearance. His wrist were bleeding from where he had rubbed them raw removing the binding ropes. "Liam, just calm down." He flinched when she whispered his name. He tried to charge again, but she shot at his feet again. "Liam, we can talk about this..." He roared as he rushed again, this time ignoring the energy blast at his feet. However, before he could reach her, an energy blast hit him from behind sending him colliding with her.
As she eased out from his body, Keloren came up to them with eyes wide. "What was that? Why did he attack us?"
"It is exactly as I feared." When Keloren appeared to be more confused she took his hand and forced him to help her lift the young man in to a sitting position. "Liam has taken on the agressive sides of your two personality. There will be no reasoning with him until balance has been restored. If you are any indication, it will happen with time. We just have to make sure he doesn't kill us in the mean while. What I don't understand is if how come he had gone feral, did he know to distract me with whatever that was?" She pointed to the debris of metal on the floor.
"I have no idea, we had no such device when the ship brought us here."
"Movement in the shadows." Lili whispered. "There was movement in the shadows when I was chasing you through the ship. Do you think he might have caught one of them?"
"Why distract you with it then, why not take you out first? As the weaker target, you would have been the prime choice."
"Not to humans."
"But as we both know, he is far from human." Keloren shrugged at Lili's expression. "I do not know why, but I do know that time is running out. If we are to reach the core while I still know what to do, I suggest we get moving again."
"What about Liam? He could wake up."
"There is nothing we can do until he does, that is unless you are willing to harm him." She shook her head no. "Then we must leave him be, he is unconscious for now. Let us not worry about it and move faster."
Gently setting Liam down, she stood and joined Keloren in running towards the drop. When they were almost there, they heard the groans of Liam waking up. It was a mad dash to the drop after that. Once at the hole, Keloren grabbed the rope hanging down in to the hole and slid down. Just as Lili grabbed the rope and started to slide down, a shaquarava blast singed her hair and she let go. Luckily, Keloren caught her as she fell.
"Oh my hero, put me down and get that damn door open before he figures out how to get down here."
Keloren dropped her and stepped over her growling form towards the door. A key pad was lit up as the only sorce of illumination in the room. He pressed a few buttons and a light shown on the door. The handle was a twist type of wheel, when he turned it, a bright light filled the room and the door opened. Scanning his body, the light focused all energy on him and sent him flying back against the wall.
"Access forbidden!" A voice boomed as the light sought out Lili.
She scooted back from the light, as it came towards her direction. Noises from above distracted her as a body fell through the hole in the ceiling. Liam landed on his feet, teeth bared and shaquarava active. He growled at her until the light locked on him. Turning he fired on the beam, it exploded taking the door with it.
"Access forbidden!" Another beam shot out through the gaping hole in the wall.
Liam deflected this with his hands and fired on it too.
Lili could only watch in shock as he charged in and blasted all to hell. The words access forbidden being chanted as it tried to stop the intruder. After a large blast, lights came on all around her and started to flash.
"Warning, core damage has caused an over load in systems. Breech eminent, all must flee ship."
All the world around her shook as she stood. Another blast from the core and Liam was thrown back through the hole he had created.
Dumping the energy cannon in the lit up core, she used the strap to tie Liam's hands to the rope. They had to get out of there if they wanted to live. She climbed the rope back up in to the tunnel and brought it up with Liam attached to the bottom. Ignoring his half conscious groans of pain, she dragged him back the way they had come.
On the ledge she had first caught up to them, she found the bodies of several dozen machines shaped like armadillos. "So this is where you got the energy from."
"Lili," Liam groaned her name.
"Did I just do that?"
"I don't know, what do you think you did, and do you think you can walk?"
He nodded as she helped him stand. "I think I just destroyed the heart of an alien ship after draining the caretakers of all their energy like an atavus."
"Then yes, you did."
"'kay, just checkin." They slid down the wall back in to the one way hallway. "and Lili?"
"Yes, Liam, what is it? We don't have a lot of time before this ship blows."
"Next time, you take the shuttle."
She started laughing as they limped back to the pool. "Well if you had told me before hand who you had joined with, none of this would have happened."
"Keloren, the Jaridian." He coughed out.
"Dead, or soon will be."
"No, I mean I..."
"Oh, I know that! And we are going to have a serious talk about that when we get home. That's if the shuttles are working."
At the pool, she let him slide in to the water. When he started to growl at her, she didn't know if it was because of the water, or his mind had yet to finish coming back. She decided it was the water when he released a high pitched squeal as a dark cloth floated against his back.
"Oh don't be such a big baby, Liam, it is just a jacket." She pulled it out and handed it to him. "Yours to be precise. Now put it on and let's go."
He complied shakily as his nerves had yet to settle down, the being in the water didn't help. As they made their way to the other side, several machine bodies floated across the water's surface as the ripples from their movements reached them. "Jesus Lili, it looks like the after math of a slaughter."
"So, you are not the only one they squicked, hurry up!"
Complying, he picked up his pace and bounded through the water after her. Once on the other side, he started to settle down, pulling the soaked jacket closer. Loud sirens started to blare as they headed back through the entrance to the cat walks of the docking bay. "Which way, Lili?"
"My shuttle, the other is set to self distruct if any one tries to activate the ID drives and we don't have time to over ride it." Not waiting for a reply, she dragged him by the hand through the maze of ships to her shuttle. At her shuttle, she shoved him in to the back and brought the holographic display online. "The systems are dangerously low on power, but operational. We barely have enough energy to get back to Earth with the ID drives."
"What about conventional drives when we get out of ID space?"
"Not enough, I will enter the cooridinates for somewhere to land softly cause once we come out of ID space, that is it. We will be completely out of power and if we do that in space, we will be sucked out in to a vaccume when the virtual glass fails. We have no choice but to crash on Earth. So hang on to your hat, here goes nothing." She activated the ID drive while they were still docked, sheering part of the docking clamps with them.
Keloren awoke in the Taelon shuttle as it drifted in space. The last of his personality returned, he cried out in anger. How had he been so weak as to align himself with the Human? It was that hybrid! He had done something to him. For a moment he sat there thinking on how he was going to get his revenge now, when he realized he was no longer on the alien vessel, or in its inner chamber.
He had survived. The last thing he remembered was the white beam of light locking on him, as it cried out in the Earth language. He felt his body shut down as it touched him and sent his remains flying. Something had revived him and saved him. Wait, there was something more. A bright white figure standing over him, healing his wounds, restoring him to life. It had flushed green-blue like the hybrid, and the next thing he was on the shuttle.
He checked the spatial coordinates.
Home! He was home!
Activating the controls, he opened a channel to Jaridia. The face that appeared was unknown to him, how long had he been gone?
"Who are you?"
"I am Keloren, Nul of Fal hal-ot. Who am I speaking with?"
"I am High Commander Vorgeac of the Jaridian fleets, Nul Keloren. What have you to report?"
Keloren's smirk lit up his face. "I have in my possession a Taelon shuttle."
"I captured a Taelon conspirator after my escape from aboard their mother ship. We were captured by an alien vessel, a Kimera ship." He delighted in the wide eyed stare of Vorgeac. "Unfortunately I am unaware of what happened to the ship, or my prisoner due to the fact I was ambushed by another member of his species."
"You were defeated by a lowly..."
"Human. And no, I was not. My captive was no ordinary Human, but a hybrid. The Taelons have succeeded!" Vorgeac's eyes widened again. "An accident occurred and the Hybrid's mentality destabilized. He attacked both his own rescuer, and me before I knocked him unconscious. I was killed and later resurrected by the ship before I awoke in the shuttle."
"Why did it kill you?"
"As it is well known that Kimera do not kill, I believe it was flawed and when it saw this, corrected the mistake."
"Very good, you will report more on this when you return, but before you return, what was the name of this Human and this Hybrid?"
Keloren tried, but was unable to come up with a name. "I do not know I did not ask."
"It matters not, we will find out once we get your shuttle's ID technology."
Keloren nodded as he brought online the holographic display. "Entering ID space, now..."
The transmission ended.
Sandoval watched as the alien ship exploded. Giving a disappointed sigh through his nose, he snapped shut his pocket watch. The ID points he picked up had disappeared before he could get a lock on the coordinates they were heading to. He knew one was Taelon, but the other was almost Taelon, but not. In anger, he ordered the pilot to set an auto pilot for home.
The young man complied without question. Before he knew what was happening, the skrill had already spread the his molecules through out the cabin.
Another pilot dead, but if Keloren had done as he said, he would be receiving a communication from the Jaridian High Command. That is if the bumbling fool alien had not screwed that up too.
Both Lili and Liam cried out as the shuttle free fell in to the swamp from a hundred feet above taking out trees along the way. When they had stopped falling, Liam had started puking, and Lili congratulating herself on not dying. It was another fifteen minutes and two global calls later before the Taelon shuttles could be heard exiting ID space over head.
Ignoring the pain in his back, Liam climbed out of the shuttle. The burns from the energy had appeared while waiting for the shuttles to come. A large palm print covered the lower half of his spine where the Jaridian had flooded him with the core energy. He let himself fall out of the shuttle in to the cool water below to sooth the pain. While floating, he observed the shuttle as it laid on its stern.
The drives were shot, damaged from the landing, other wise it was in perfect condition. They should be able to salvage the entire shuttle. All he wanted to do was float in the cool waters for the rest of his life, but something about swamps niggled at the back of his mind. When something slimy rubbed against his back, he yelled one word. "Snakes!"
Lili had to sedate him with her field kit before he exposed his abilities to the swarming FBI agents and rescue personnel. All of which included striking him against the head when the drug didn't have any effect. He went down like a hot rock, she only hoped that he didn't remember when he woke up, he still owed her for the kidnapping.
Da'an watched as Sandoval gave his report. Some how he knew the implant was not telling the whole truth, but it did not matter. The Synod's mind had been made up before the meeting had taken place, all this was just a formality. He had his protector back alive, and that was the true source of information.
What Captain Marquette knew, he would gather from Liam after he had been rested. As for the hybrid's memories, he could afford to be patient. After all, Zo'or might have gotten away with this, but the seeds of doubt were still there. So he gave in to the urge, and a subtle smile appeared on his features.
Lili stood over the sleeping figure, her hand reaching out to flick a lock of hair from his forehead. He had given her quite a scare today when he was abducted. Who knew that he was so precious to her? Looking down on his peaceful face under her hand, she suddenly wanted a baby of her own. It had been a long time since she thought about having one. She wasn't getting any younger, and her life was dangerous enough that she might not get another chance.
"He is precious, isn't he?"
Jumping, she turned to face the smiling Dr. Park. Rubbing at the back of her neck with the hand that had previously been on his forehead, she gave a nervous smile. "Kinda, it is hard to remember sometimes, that he is an innocent in all of this."
"Liam may be many things, but innocent is not one of them. This was his choice." She walked into the room closer to the bed he lay upon. Touching his hand, Dr. Melissa Park, clutched her chest with the other. A single tear slid down her cheek. "I feel partially responsible for his choice, I should never have allowed him the chance. If he had been mine..." She let his hand go and looked up startled at the one on her shoulder.
"Did you ever want kids?"
Melissa nodded at Lili's question. "Once, I wanted them, but my husband didn't. When he died, all my dreams of a family went with him. I haven't thought about it until just now."
"Strange, the things that you think of in a crises." Lili whispered as the quiet beeping of the heart monitor continued to fill the room.
A day, seven doctors, twenty-four hours of observation, burn cream, and a bandage to the head, later, Liam entered his apartment. He couldn't recall almost any of what had happened on the alien ship. His last memory was of the Jaridian taking food from his mouth and then forcing him to eat. Something's had come during dreams, but had faded when he woke up screaming. It would be a while before he remembered they had said.
That was the best he could hope for.
The lights in his apartment were low, and there was soothing music playing. Figuring Augur was there, he smiled and walked in to the living room. There he removed his clothes that Lili had to get for him before he would even considering leaving Dr. Park's lab.
Clad in only his boxers, he sank down on his couch with a sigh. The smell of food cooking filled his nose with delightful aromas. "What are you cooking that smells so good, Augur?"
As the kitchen door creaked open, something rubbed against his leg. He leaned forward and picked up the gray and black striped tabby. "What are you doing here? Aren't you just the most precocious thing?"
"Well thanks, nice to know I am appreciated."
Liam stood, holding the cat to his chest. "You're not Augur."
"And you're not dressed."
"What do you want, Mr. Doors?" Liam ignored the amused smirk as he slid the cat down to cover his boxers.
"It's Joshua, and I thought I could cook you dinner. I heard you had been abducted by aliens, and I wanted to apologize for our last meeting, so I figured why not kill two Taelons with one stone."
Seemingly convinced, Liam held up the cat. "What's with the fur ball?"
"I heard your type of people bonded with cats." An amused look graced his warm features.
"What type is that?" He watched as Joshua crossed the room to pick up his clothes, fold them, and held them out to him.
"In the twentieth century, you were referred to as abductees."
"How did you find out, the public was never informed, I was only gone for three hours." When the cat started to protest being miss held, he brought her back to his chest, scratching her ears.
"Oh please, I am the son of Johnathan Doors." Sighing, he tossed the ignored clothes on to the couch.
Liam nodded in agreement of the logic. "But that still doesn't explain why you are here to apologize, bringing me gifts, and cooking me dinner. After all, you are a Doors, too."
"Oh yeah, throw it in my face why don't ya." Joshua smirked at the trace of a smile on Liam's face. "I may be the son of Johnathan, but I am not his clone. I was being an ass hole and got fresh with you and I am sorry. Forgive me?" He looked up at Liam through lowered eyebrows with a pout.
Appearing to think, Liam stared back at him. "What are you cooking?"
"Spaghetti, you'll love it."
"Jar, can, or scratch?"
"What is this, the Spanish Inquisition." At the pointed stare, he rolled his eyes. "I used canned tomatoes, but the rest is from scratch." As an after thought, "oh and I bought the spaghetti in a box, so sorry, my bad."
"You are forgiven."
"Good, now go get ready, dinner is almost ready." Liam gave him a confused look. "You can't eat in your boxers, you might as well sit nude if you intend to do that."
"You would like that wouldn't you?" Setting down the cat, he gave it a final rub down and turned to go. "Oh, and keep your hands off my pussy. I don't let guys do any petting until the third date."
Joshua could only watch in shock as Liam sauntered in to the bed room. What in hell had he been thinking, and where had this tease been hiding? From what his sources said, this kind of behavior from the companion agent would have them calling the men in white coats. Swallowing hard, he adjusted his pants and carefully walked back to tend dinner.