Azure Planet Ch. 02byBatteriesNotIncluded©
*** This is a total plot chapter. Fair warning. The sexy stuff will come soon enough!***
The portals began opening just before light break. Jaegar, Addae, Valdon, and Garrick were on The Great Hunt together to find what had made it through. Once every five complete sun cycles the portals opened to their world. It was a fantastic, but dangerous time, for creatures not of their world could pass through the portal to them. They prayed to their gods at the onset of the hunt for blessings upon their people and safety for their tribes.
Most times, the gods favored them and left incredible treasures for them to find. Plants and food from the heavens were bestowed on them. Technology and knowledge were other gifts they were given. On occasion, beasts and other cognitive creatures, like themselves, from throughout the vastness of the heavens would be sent through. . They were prepared for whatever may come their way. Good or bad.
"Jaegar, it doesn't appear we are in the proper search area for the portals. Maybe your calculations were off?" his brother Addae remarked.
No, he was sure this was the right area. "Just keep searching the area. I'm sure something will turn up," Jaegar ordered.
Their search continued into the late morning. Garrick and Valdon searched the high areas while Jaegar and Addae searched low. They were just about to head back to the compound when Jaegar spotted a small alcove in the rock face a few strides from where he was. He saw the fading light of the portal opening. Just what they had been searching for!
Jaegar's piercing whistle sliced through the air and his clan quickly fell in behind him, weapons at ready. They slowly approached the alcove, fanning out into at ready position while he entered the alcove.
Jaegar's eyes slowly adjusted to the lack of light inside and they scanned the area. The light from the portal was now completely gone. At first, he saw nothing and wondered if this portal had been a dud. Would serve him right for not using the coordinates the Great Ones had given him and his warriors to seek.
He was about to call out to his brothers that there was nothing here when something caught his eye. Jaegar leveled his saber in the direction he'd noticed it and slowly approached. At first he couldn't believe his eyes. There appeared to be a hand just on the other side of a large stalagmite.
Jaegar's whistle pierced the air again. The clan barely fit inside the alcove as they filed in all together. All of their weapons were trained on the place where the hand rested. Jaegar peered around the stalagmite only to find a woman lying there unconscious. A strange mask with a long tube was covering her face and she was sparsely clad in a top barely covering her breasts. A strange loin cloth type bottom was wrapped around her hips. She appeared to be sleeping and didn't move when Jaegar nudge her with his foot. He would have sworn she was dead if he hadn't seen the slight rise and fall from her chest.
Gently, Valdon knelt down and removed the mask and tube from the woman's face. The warriors audibly gasped at the sight before them. She was the most stunning creature any of them had ever seen.
Garrick knelt and ran a finger down her face. Her skin was soft and warm. She smiled in her sleep and rubbed her cheek against his hand. He could feel his braes getting uncomfortably tight as an all consuming fire of desire blazed through him. From the looks on his brothers' faces their thoughts were in the same place. Addae picked the woman up from the ground and took outside. They needed to make it back to camp before it became to late. They all stared at the woman's unconscious form and all had a feeling this woman was going to mean a lot of trouble for the clan.
The first thing Lyra became aware of was the dull
ache in her head. It was the same feeling she'd get the morning after she'd had one too many drinks. She couldn't remember what had happened to her, but she began to wonder if the stress had finally caught up to her and she was still home in bed, having a fitful dream. It had to have been an excruciatingly vivid dream.
Bits of her memory began to piece together in focus. She was on vacation. She'd been snorkeling near the reef and had seen a glowing light. She remembered swimming towards it and then trying to swim away from it. There was a struggle and then she'd blacked out. Oh no! she thought, I'm dead. I must have drowned. Panic began to flood through her. She wasn't ready to die or to be dead if that were the case. She struggled to bring herself to consciousness. Her eyes fluttered open to the sight of a cloudless night sky. The wind was blowing softly through the trees, their branches dancing and swaying. She could see the stars twinkling happily down at her. A plume of smoke was drifting through the air from the fire blazing beside her.
She heard hushed voices speaking nearby and she turned her head to see who it was. There were three large men on the other side of the fire staring intently at her. A scream bubbled up in her throat, but the sound that passed through her lips was a mere squeak. Lyra jumped to her feet, backing away from the fire. Turning to run, she barreled straight into a rock hard chest. Another squeak passed through her lips, as the stranger's strong arms wrapped around her.
"Be still," Jaegar ordered, "we wish not to harm you."
Lyra looked up into a pair of bewitching blue-green eyes. They were the color of the ocean after the perfect summer storm. She stood entranced for a moment before the situation at hand hit her. Some giant strange men had her alone in the woods. She didn't know where she was or how she got here. She didn't know how to get back to the ship.
Lyra's fight or flight instinct kicked in and she struggled in earnest against the man. "Let me go, asshole! I refuse to end up one of those sad stories on the 10 'o clock news of the poor woman who gets kidnapped, raped, and killed while on vacation!" A line from one of her favorite movies crossed her mind "...If all else fails S.I.N.G. Solar Plexus, instep, nose, groin." She knew in the position she was in she couldn't get a shot at his gut and her head only came to his chin, so his nose was out. She could still go for the instep and groin. She raised her foot up and stomped down on her assailant's foot as hard as she could. Jaegar grunted, but his grip didn't budge. She swung her knee back, aimed at his groin and was poised to thrust it forward when her legs were swept up from behind. Another of the men must have gathered what she was about to do and thought to stop her. She continued struggling as she felt someone binding her legs, her arms soon following. Tears fell down her face as the fear set in. They set her on the ground next to the fire again and began to argue with one another.
The group spoke a litany of words that sounded like a mix of Spanish, French and English. There were a few words she didn't understand at all. They were wondering what they should do with her. Well that was good. They didn't already have a plan in mind. Maybe she could convince them to let her go.
"Por favor, por favor no me hagas daño. Déjame ir y te diré a nadie." she begged. She decided to try French "Je suis très riche et vous donnera beaucoup d'argent pour ma liberté." "Please, Please don't hurt me. Let me go and I'll tell no one. I am very rich and will give you lots of money for my freedom." Her pleas were met with strange looks.
"As you were told before, we do not wish to hurt you," Valdon said to her.
"You may speak in your own language. We can understand you." Addae admonished. She didn't believe there would be no harm. They may not want to kill her, but they would probably still rape her and then sell her into slavery. Anger began to fill her and it fueled her resolve to get out of here. She'd need to know more about her kidnappers to tell the authorities, though.
She looked up at the group of men. They didn't appear to be related except for they all had the same piercing blue green eyes. and asked "Who are you? And what do you want?"
"I am called Jaegar, of the Sol Warrior Tribe, of the clan Arcturus. These are my brother warriors. They are called Addae, Valdon, and Garrick." gesturing to each as he said their name. He placed a fist to the left side of his chest and bowed his head. The other men followed suit.
"Right...Well, Jaegar of the Sol Warrior Tribe, where the hell am I? Why are you holding me hostage?" She glared at the warriors hoping they'd think she was more tough than she really was. They looked more curious than worried about her.
"You are on Azure Planet. You came through one of the portals the gods open to our world. As for being a hostage, you are not. My brothers bound you because you were attacking me. I explained there was no need, but what's done is done." He squatted down next to her. "We can no longer chance you running from here. You could get hurt or eaten by any number of beasts. We will keep you bound until we reach the compound tomorrow and the Great Ones will then decide your fate." His tone suggested no more questions or arguments. The others nodded in agreement and began to settle down for the night.
Addae picked her up from where she was and set her on a small pallet. It looked like it would be an uncomfortable night on the ground, until Lyra laid down and felt all her muscles relax. You would have thought she was laying on the most luxurious bed in the world for how comfortable it was. All of her thoughts of escaping drifted away, as exhaustion set in. She'd been through a lot in the last few...had it been hours? Or days? Or years? The questions swirled through her mind as she fell into a comfortable, though fitful, sleep.
The gates to the compound swung open in greeting. It was late afternoon and the warrior tribes were returning from the Great Hunt with the spoils of their searches. Food, weapons medical supplies, gadgets and gizmos of unknown technology, exotic beasts and fowl, all we brought to the center of the compound and presented by each tribe to the Great Ones. The warriors were then gifted a portion of their spoils or were paid for them.
The brothers approached the Great Ones throne room with Lyra in tow. The men knelt down in front of the celestial beings inside. They were tall creatures, thin and blue. Black oval shaped eyes peered down at the group of warriors and their treasure. The Great Ones' essences exuded knowledge and authority.
Fist to chest Jaegar rose to his feet and addressed the beings. "Great Ones, we have brought back a woman from the portal we sought. To you, we bring her, for the honor of the Sol Tribe and the clan of Arcturus." He knelt again as the Great Ones spoke.
"Young Arcturus clan, you have honored your clan, your tribe, and your gods. Your reward awaits you. You may proceed." The Great Ones voices hissed through the air. The warriors stood, leaving the bound woman and left the room.
Lyra was left kneeling before the giant blue beings, trembling with shock and fear. They were unlike anything she had ever seen before. Exactly like the aliens in all those crazy movies back home. Aliens weren't real though. They couldn't be. She really must have lost her mind. She must be in a mental ward right now. What had happened to her?
"Silence your thoughts, young Lyra Minot. This is not a dream." a voice hissed. Lyra looked up at the beings in front of her. " You have passed through one of our portals into this world. The gods have seen fit to bring you to our planet for a greater purpose than that for which you were destined on your own. The people of earth were not fit to hold power and in their lust for riches and war, decimated the planet into nothingness. Of course, that won't happen for many earth years to come, but in the here and now has already occurred. Earthlings and other creatures continue to pass through our portals long after the planets are destroyed. They were placed many years in the past, in precise locations, for those who are destined to be here. "
Lyra shook her head. Her planet was gone. Her family and friends dead. All lost in the blink of an eye for her. It soothed her little, that in earth time, everyone was still living their lives oblivious of what would happen. Tears formed in her eyes as the thought of never seeing home again hit her. She didn't care what they did with her now. She didn't have much hope for a future.
"Why does she thinks these thoughts Brother Great One?" one of the voices remarked "Emotions of this magnitude are normal for a human female." came the reply. "Young Lyra Minot, you are to be given a choice. You may choose the clan you wish to join with. You will be a part of their family. Like a "wife" from your planet only more prized and revered. If you refuse to choose, the clans will fight for the honor to have you. Any blood shed that occurs will be on you for not choosing of your own accord. You will have two cycles of the moon to choose."
What? Lyra thought. Now I have to choose to marry a family of strangers? And if I don't someone could die fighting for me? She couldn't fathom someone dying because of her, no matter how upset she was with the prospect. She'd go along with their customs for the moment. If only to avoid someone else getting hurt.
"We are glad you are agreeable." a Great One approached her and touched the bindings on her arms and legs and they fell away. Rubbing her wrists Lyra checked for marks, but found none.
"First you will be allowed to bathe. Then you will take nourishment. More will be explained to you then." Lyra was lead to a door opposite of where the warriors had exited and found herself in the middle of a long hallway.
A short, pink creature approached her and said "Hello Mistress. My name is Quin'lyn. I am to be your personal attendant. I am most pleased to do your bidding." The creature beamed a smile up at her showing not one, but two rows of small sharp teeth. Quin'lyn grabbed her hand and lead her down the hall into what appeared to be a bathroom. She led Lyra to a small cubicle and asked her to disrobe.
Lyra did as she was asked and stood in the cubicle trying to cover her naked form. Quin'lyn noticed her discomfort and pushed a button on the wall. Instantly a force field flew up the front of the cubicle shielding everything from her neck down from view.
"Mistress," Quin'lyn spoke "if at any time you are uncomfortable or displeased, you have only to tell me and I will remedy it quickly. I have been an attendant for many sun cycles and have seen all forms of beings. You have no need for shyness with me."
Lyra couldn't help smiling at the little creature. "Thank you, Quin'lyn" she said to the creature.
Quin'lyn began tapping at the buttons on the wall. Hot, scented water began to spray Lyra from all directions. Slowly the tension began to ease from her muscles. The water felt like tiny little massagers all over her body. A cloth had been hung over the force field and she used it to scrub her entire body from head to toe. After rinsing herself off the water shut off and warm air began to blow all over, her body and hair quickly drying. A robe was hung over the force field, which she quickly donned, enjoying the soft feel of the material against her skin.
Quin'lyn was back at the wall pushing buttons and the wall that had covered her from view disappeared. Lyra stepped from the showering cubicle and across the room, as Quin'lyn led her through a curtain into a dressing room of sorts. A costume was hung on a hook on the wall. "This is what you are to wear." The costume was made of a bright blue sheer fabric that draped in such a way as to show her body off, but keep some of her secrets hidden. A pair of sandals made of soft white leather and laced with a gold would protect her feet. Quin'lyn helped her dress and lead her back into the bathroom area. Someone had set up a vanity in the middle of the room and it held all the implements for Quin'lyn to help her do her hair and make-up.
"I wouldn't even know where to begin with all of this." Lyra looked over the large variety of colors before her. "I usually settle for simplicity. Little eyeliner and mascara and pink gloss on my lips." Quin'lyn smiled her beaming smile.
"Then that is just what we will do. If you permit I will add a touch up here or there." Lyra nodded to the woman and Quin'lyn set to work.
When at last she was allowed to look into the mirror, she hardly recognized herself. Quin'lyn had kept the simplicity to her make up using soft browns for her eyes and a pretty pink for her lips. She'd also touched each of Lyra's cheeks with a dusky rose color. Lyra's face glowed and her blue eyes shown as bright as ever. Half of her hair was pinned up into a loose bun and the other hair hung down in a cascade of curls.
"Your reaction shows me you are pleased with my work. I assure you it is my greatest wish to please you." Quin'lyn turned and headed towards the bathroom entrance. "I will now take you for your nourishment. Follow me please, Mistress." Lyra stopped her before she went through the door.
"Please stop calling me Mistress. You can call me Lyra." A looked screwed up Quin'lyn's face.
"Where I come from the term Mistress is used as a sign of respect and affection. However, if this is not to your liking, I will simply call you Miss Lyra." Lyra continued to try to convince Quin'lyn to call her just 'Lyra', but the attendant wouldn't budge. "It just isn't done." she said. Lyra acquiesced for the moment, but knew eventually she would convince the attendant otherwise.
They arrived at a large empty dining room. Lyra was seated at one end of the table and Quin'lyn left to fetch her food. She sat waiting and thought on the choice she'd be making soon. She had to pick amongst a bunch if strangers she didn't know at all and choose a family. Plus, from the looks of her attire this wasn't going to be as simple as eenie meanie miney mo.
The attendant returned with a bowl of fresh fruit, some she recognized, some she did not, two fresh baked roll with butter, and a shallow dish filled with a simple stew of vegetables and meat.
As her eyes took in the food, her stomach began to growl and protest how long she had been staring at the tray. She couldn't remember the last time she had eaten a real meal. She'd had a tiny lunch on the island before going snorkeling, planning to have a nice dinner that night on the ship. The warriors had fed her some sort of dried meat and bread that morning before heading to the compound. It was long past time she ate. She'd know all too soon what was going to happen. With that thought, she picked up her spoon and tucked in to her meal.
The clan Arcturus stood in the courtyard with a number of other clans. Soon after receiving their rewards for the Great Hunt, they had been escorted here and told to await further orders. The anticipation in the air was palpable.
Addae stood to Jaegar's right. Valdon and Garrick to his left. They were having a quiet conversation amongst themselves.
"You know what usually happens after the hunt." Garrick's stated.
Jaegar smirked "A woman would be a nice addition to our clan."
"For more than one reason." Addae nudged Jaegar in the ribs.
"Going to the High Plains would be a great honor." Valdon stated with excitement.
Though none of them spoke of it, every warrior in that courtyard had one thing on their mind; the courtship ritual. It was a rite of passage to participate in the ritual and an honor to have a woman choose your clan to join. Having a woman in your clan was a sign that the gods found favor with your clan and tribe. The women of the planet were held in the highest regard. They were the life bringers to the planet.
When a clan had attained a certain level of honor and prestige they were moved to the high plains for two moon cycles where the ritual would take place. Their entire responsibility for that time was to focus on courting the women. Once the ritual was over the women would choose a clan to join and return home with them. The clan shared the woman who chose them and collectively took care of her. If a woman refused to join a clan, the clans were permitted to fight one another for her. The winning clan could claim the woman for their family.