Table of Contents
Lost Waters - Chapter 18
"Keep your eyes peeled...one of them's
an Alpha. The Boss will kill us if he gets through to him before they
mate." The speaker crackled, but the message was clear.
Rakal bristled at the intercepted radio
messages from the Landry's Arrallakeeni, now combing the ship for him
and his tiny invasion force. The little sugtrats knew that Kiralla was
an Arrallin female! They knew, and still, they'd give her up to that human!
Rakal padded forward, quickening his pace. If Landry had enough sway to
make Arrallakeeni heed him over a full-blood Arrallin, he was a force
to be reckoned with.
Rakal cautiously slipped around a twisted
bulkhead, avoiding the jagged points that could tear his pressure suit
and end his search quickly and painfully. Damning the loss of atmosphere
on the level, he rushed through a long corridor and into a still-functional
transport tube. "If I could just use my nose, I could find Kirralla
in an instant! This is going to take me forever."
He zipped on to the next level, relieved
to find that atmosphere was indeed intact here. The pull of the slightly
heavier gravity informed him that he had reached the outer edge of the
ship...and should be very close to the hold where Kiralla was trapped.
He pushed the image of Kiralla's sparkling green eyes from his mind, and
leapt across the wide hallway in a single leap, plasma rifle ready. Shots
rang out behind him, as the guards in the long corridor ran toward him.
Landing safely in the hallway across from the lift tube, he rushed for
the far door...just to find it opening as he reached it.
He made quick work of the first guard,
using the decorative plastic claws on his suit to separate the Arrallakeeni
and his throat. The claws weren't strong or sharp enough to rip his suit,
but when propelled by one angry full-blood Arrallin against fur and hide,
they did the job admirably. Using the corpse as a shield, Rakal traded
plasma fire with the second guard with less success, taking a hit to his
lower left leg. More guards clattered toward him from down the hall. Once
they rounded the corner, he'd be easy pickings. Frantic to finish off
the second guard and seal the door behind him, he flung the bleeding body
headlong into the guard and shot the last of his plasma into the locking
mechanism. The door closed with a sickly whoosh, sealing him in the chamber.
"I hope for your sake that Kiralla is beyond this doorway,"
Rakal growled as he leapt toward the stunned Arrallakeeni on his three
good legs, smacking him squarely in the head with his visor. The force
was enough to crack the shield, making visibility poor. He clicked the
throat latch and flung off the helmet as the Arrallakeeni made a grab
for his rifle.
Instinct upon smelling Kiralla's distinctive
odor seized Rakal. Struggling, he kept his wits, determined to finish
the guard. He clamped his jaw down on the guard's arm, snapping the bones.
Through bloody teeth, he spat, "I was saving this for your Landry!
With lightning motion, he clamped his jaws
onto the throat of the guard, closing off his windpipe. Digging into the
guard's soft underbelly, he gutted him with his right hindfoot, ignoring
the guard's attempts to scream. The bulky form went limp beneath him as
Rakal stumbled back from the corpse. Shock at his own cruelty stunned
him momentarily as the blood from his partially charred hind leg mingled
with that of the hapless guard. A second whiff of Kiralla's scent brought
his hackles up and dulled the pain in his leg and his mind. He had to
reach Kiralla before it was too late!
Working frantically to find the keycard
on the dead guard, Rakal could see the hallway guards burning holes through
the bulkhead with their rifles. It wouldn't take them long to burn a set
of perforations in the door and knock a hole through, if the plasma from
the shots didn't kill him first. "Where is it, damn you! WHERE IS
IT!!" He turned to face the entryway which was quickly becoming slag
as the guards worked on it, dodging flying shrapnel and red-hot plasma
as he tore the guard's gear apart.
The distinctive buzz and whoosh of the
door to the room beyond opening brought him up straight, and he spun to
face the new enemy. Taught muscles under a silkily-furred body slammed
against Rakal's ribs, and he fell hard against his bad leg. The scent
that rose up from the body on top of him was overwhelming, making him
immediately aware of the burning sensation growing inside of him, and
his need... The smell of her, the smell of blood, his own pain was almost
too much. He flung his attacker away, screaming out for Kiralla. He would
reach her, or die trying.
"You idiot! Has it been so long that
you don't recognize me when you see me!?" He sprang forward through
the doorway as the familiar voice, somehow deeper now, called him from
behind. The carnage inside the room was nothing like Rakal could imagine,
but Kiralla and Landry had been the only ones in this room.
"What in five hives did you do, Kir!?"
Rakal turned back toward the door, to find his assailant, Kiralla herself,
facing him in the doorway. Her tawny fur was drenched in blood, and it
coated her grinning muzzle.
"Do you like it? I call it 'Landryburgers'.
The little pervert had cameras set up all over the room...I got the whole
thing on film." She chuckled smugly. "Now let's get rid of our
party crashers at the door, eh?"
Her sidelong glance set Rakal's heart pounding,
and made him imminently aware that his pressure suit was too confining.
As she turned, swishing her long, graceful tail in the doorway, the scent
nearly bowled Rakal over. Like a kit, he toddled after her, shrugging
out of his suit.
"Kiralla...am I too late?" Rakal
bleated, desperate. Judging from the total carnage in the other room,
he knew that Kiralla may already be in the throws of mating psychosis.
If she had already passed her season without mating, she would soon die.
Her tone was gentle and reassuring. "No..no,
Rakal. You're just in time. I've got about another 20 minutes before I'll
be ready." Using her command voice, she ordered Rakal to the other
side of the door to await the guards. Rakal followed her every word, floating
on a cloud of elation. She had killed Landry, risked death, to mate with
The door burst open, and using the butt
of his rifle, he quickly knocked out the first guard as he poked his head
through. The second managed to get an ineffective shot off, but Kiralla
grabbed the rifle barrel, and pulled him into Rakal's range. Another quick
knock to the skull, and Kiralla and he were alone, save for the sounds
of the ship and the rasping breath of the two guards.
"C'mon...Landry has some nifty toys
we can use to keep these guys restrained." Kiralla giggled, striding
into the back room on two legs.
To Rakal, she was luminous. Her golden-brown
fur seemed to glow white in the dim flickering blue lights of the hold.
She came out, suggestively swinging the spiked chains and leg irons, a
scene that sent Rakal's heart rate through the roof. He licked his chops,
trying to wet his parched mouth. Embarrassed, he averted his eyes, resting
on his belly to obscure the physical results of his thoughts from her
view. This was Kiralla he was thinking about!
She laughed as she bound the two guards
and flipped a loop of the chain through a hook high on the wall. "Rakal...grow
up and give me a hand." She used the butt of an empty rifle to beat
the metal hook closed.
"Kiralla...if I hadn't saved you,
you would have died." Rakal chided her, furious that she would have
risked her life to avoid a first mating bond that she didn't approve.
He could have killed Landry and she could have chosen him as her second
mate, with the same results achieved.
She spun on him, her green eyes flashing.
"You saved ME? You SAVED me?" She paused, slamming the rifle
to the ground with a clatter. "When I had to jury-rig this ship to
stop before the gate, to blow turrets when it tried to fire on anything
with an Insurrection identification beacon, as well as locking off five
floors and sleep-gassing the rest of the crew...all FANATICALLY loyal
to Landry, to keep them from eating you alive?! You saved me, eh?"
She snarled, showing rows of sharp white teeth. "I wasn't planning
on dying...I was just planning on NOT mating with that good for nothing
whoreson Landry. One of these Arrallakeeni would have done me fine, babe...and
the option's still there if you've got a problem with my judgment!"
Rakal was taken aback, ashamed that he
had questioned her at all. He wondered if he had been in the same situation,
if he could have survived being bonded with a mate like Landry. He would
have chosen death.
She spun, refusing to face him. Her voice
cracked with emotion. "I know what being raped does to a human. I
can only guess what it would do to me. Landry wanted me as his slave,
to do...You don't know what he said...what he described! I couldn't survive
that. For twenty one years now I've suffered, letting other people make
my choices for me. This, this is my choice and only mine. On something
this important, I refuse to compromise." She sank to her haunches
and whined quietly, holding her face in her hands.
He padded over to her on three legs and
sat next to her, saying nothing, careful to keep his nose upwind from
her tail. Not knowing what else to do, he tried to comfort her by stroking
Her sobs subsided, and after a few minutes
she turned to him, her green eyes full of emotion. "I love you Rakal...I
have since that day on Arralla when we hid in the abandoned hives with
Rinnar and talked and talked. You're the one I want...you are my choice
for this mating, and for all to come. Know this, and trust this."
With that, she leaned over, clamping her jaws on his shoulder, easing
him back onto the floor. Her tail brushed up, encircling his muzzle with
heady female scents, and instinctively, he gently gripped her shoulder
with his jaws. His need for her burned within him, but he would wait until
she was ready. Finally, she pulled herself to him as their tails twined.
Kiralla had made her choice.