Table of Contents
Lost Waters - Chapter 22
Tara kicked free of the pouch as Luuko
fell back against the stocks. Krallik spun, his eyes wide with the shock
of her sudden appearance, and let loose a startled bark. He galloped forward,
charging back toward her. She rolled off Luuko, clicked the actuator on
one of her grenades and flung it into Krallik's gaping maw. His jaws snapped
just inches from her head as she rolled under Luuko's limp foreleg for
protection. Krallik barreled on, skidding to a stop to turn just as the
grenade activated. The blast ripped through the chamber, shattering some
of the windows and damaging the stocks. The acolyte to the left, dazed,
struggled against his remaining restraints.
"So much for a stealthy entrance"
Tara yelled as she fired at the doors to the chamber. She knew she had
to seal them shut or they'd all be lost. The membranes shut protectively
against the plasma blasts.
Tara spun to see the Great Mother's tail
lashing from side to side. The blast had partially destroyed the dais,
and severed some of the tentacles. The Mulkol worked on, slowly working
the blade and barbs into the Great Mother's neck as she ripped away tendrils
with each slash of her bladed tail. She fired a few shots into the mass
of writhing whiteness in the center of the room, but each shot that struck
the Mulkol elicited a piercing shriek in the Great Mother. They must somehow
Tara charged forward, grabbing handfuls
of the tendrils near the Great Mother's tail. Hold on...Can I remove the
head tendrils safely without killing you, Great Mother? Tara gave up her
non-psi charade and reached out mentally, blinking against the despair
in the Great Mother's mind. It overshadowed even the pain in Tara's hands
- grabbing the tendrils stung like grabbing a Portuguese man-of-war but
she continued to grab more and more.
You...No, Leader Tara. I am lost, but I
will not be forgotten. Her shock at feeling Tara's mind echoed in Tara's
head, but quickly gave way to the firm resolve. She whipped up her tail
blade, jabbing it viciously into the Mulkol's throat. Each thrust of her
tail jabbed the blade deeper and deeper into the Mulkol's neck, and at
the same time elicited a high pitched shriek from the Great Mother. As
she killed him, she was killing herself. Two Barryds die tonight! Damn
you, Mulkol! Damn you!
No Great Mother! Telka must not die! The
acolytes still pinned in their restraints flailed madly against them.
Tara ran to them, firing at the heavy wood, blasting away at it bit by
No, Tara...there is not time. The acolyte
was right...noise in the hallway and outside the chamber was getting louder
as the remote audiences of Mulkol struggled to get into the room. Get
Luuko, Ditwer over there.. anyone...get them into the tendrils! Save the
Barryd! Do not let it fall into Mulkai hands...
A snot-barb landed squarely in the acolyte's
back and melted through his spine. He went limp just as Tara finished
freeing him from his stocks. The Mulkol were forcing their way through
the doors, firing snot-guns into the chamber.
Tara...come here, Tara... The Great Mother's
voice was barely audible in Tara's mind. She raced to her side, ripping
tendrils free from her tail. Blood gushed from the Mulkol's mouth as he
struggled to finish his work with the blade.
To think I wanted this to be painless for
you, Telka... The Mulkol's mind-voice was white with fury.
Fool! You have given me the advantage I
need to defeat you. Weak slaves, Mulkol? No better than animals? Her voice
jabbed viciously at the Mulkol's mind, and she punctuated each thought
with a jab from her tail. Tara, you must never let them know where they
came from. We are our own people. We must always believe that. You must
never let them be enslaved again... Her fierce words were the last thing
As the Mulkol's last bit of life blood
spilled out onto the dais, the Great Mother loosed her tail from his throat.
She swung around and dropped it on Tara, pinning her to the couch as the
tangle of tendrils engulfed the three forms.