tagSci-Fi & FantasyBattle of the Star Beast Ch. 01

Battle of the Star Beast Ch. 01

bykittys_pet©

Looking up Sara watched as a smoking mass of metal hurdled down just over the hill. It was definitely going to land on her back forty. She turned Shadow and rode toward the hill just as she felt the tremor from the crash. What ever it was she wanted to make sure that the surrounding trees didn't catch fire. With the dry summer all they needed was one spark and the whole reclaimed forest would go up. Shadow balked at going up that hill, he just wanted to go home. No looking into strange things crashing in his pasture.

"Sorry boy, but we got to check this out. We'll go right back to the stable once I know everything is OK." Sara turned Shadow back up the hill with a pat on his neck.

As they came over the hill Sara saw something she had always believed in but had never seen. A spaceship. Dismounting Shadow she led him toward the downed vessel. Looking over the crashed vehicle she could see what must be the cockpit among the wreckage. The damage wasn't as bad as it could have been. She noticed that the canopy was beginning to move. Standing still holding Shadow's reins tight to keep him from moving, she held her breath, waiting for the top to pop. She let out a squeak when it did.

She could now see two arms clad in what looked like a normal pilots' flight suit. A dull brown in color. Next she saw a head come up as the pilot tried to move out of the cockpit. The head was encased in some type of helmet. The pilot dropped back into its seat with a muffled groaning sound. She waited to see if it would try again but nothing happened. When she couldn't stand it any longer she edged toward the ship. From a few feet away she could hear it moaning. She edged up to the side of the ship. Looking for a place to boost herself up she found what appeared to be a series of handholds. Just what she needed. She used them to lift herself up the side of the craft. Looking over the edge she saw that the pilot had removed his helmet. This was definitely a he, a human he, a very cute human he. What a human male was doing inside what looked to be a spaceship directly out of a SF movie intrigued her. He seemed to be semi-conscious. She leaned over to see how the guy was strapped in, if he was. He wasn't. "Good. Now, let's see. Lift," she thought to herself as she heaved him up over her shoulder with some effort. It was a good thing she got herself in shape. A few years ago she would have never been able to move a guy this size.

"Shadow, stand." Looking down she saw that Shadow had locked into position as commanded. Very carefully she turned back and lowered herself down the side of the craft, balancing with some difficulty. As she came level with Shadow's shoulder she eased the unconscious man onto his back. "Have to be very careful, Shad old buddy. I don't know how bad this guy is hurt." She slid up onto his back balancing the pilot so he wouldn't slip off.

The moans had stopped by the time Sara got back to the house. Worried now she had Shadow kneel and she slid the pilot off his back onto the ground. She quickly removed Shadow's tack and sent him out into the paddock with a whispered promise to rub him down when she was done with the stranger, all the while blessing the fact that he was a specially trained beast. Taking the horse blanket she rolled the man onto it and pulled him up the ramp she had installed for wheelchair access when she bought this place. Dragging him slowly she got him inside and finally onto the daybed in the living room.

Once she straightened out his limbs she sat back. Breathing deeply she entered into a light trance. In this trance she looked him over for any injuries. She found that his left lower leg was broken clear through. He had four broken ribs and a bad gash on his scalp. This last she probed farther. Yes, he has a concussion. Getting back up she went into the bathroom and got out what she would need to clean up his wounds. When she came back she noticed that he hadn't moved. "Got to be careful. That concussion may cause problems. Fix that first and keep him under until I fix the leg," she thought.

She cleaned up the blood covering his face and sat back. "O boy....is this guy is cute," she thought. He was fair skinned with blonde hair that waved past his face to his collar in the back. A straight nose, cleft chin and a hint of a smile lurking around the mouth. That mouth was seductive even on a face slack from unconsciousness. And he was compact. His height wasn't much more than her own 5'2". But his body was well developed under that jumpsuit. She could just take off that jumpsuit and enjoy but well she really should be working on his injuries. "Get your mind on what your doing, girl!" Came a voice in her head. A voice she thought she heard the last of six months ago.

Starting, she stopped contemplating the handsome man before her and sank into her healing trance. This ability she had discovered in herself four years ago. Soon he was no longer a very cute guy, now he was a series of lines of light with breaks and flares in them. It was the breaks she concentrated on. First she worked on the head. The tear neatly closed up leaving just a faint red line behind on his forehead. Next she eased the bruising around the brain. Once that was cared for she went on to the broken bones. Ribs first, then the leg. This all seemed to being going too easy. In the past she always had to ease her way around. Dealing with only one, maybe if she was lucky two injuries per healing session. This guy's body just grabbed hold of the healing force Sara poured into him and fed it right to the injuries. It was as if she was on super speed the task went so quickly. The only time she had done this well was under the guidance of her teacher, Derek. He had dumped energy into her as she worked. This time the energy came from all around her. As she was preparing to pull out something odd happened. She found herself held. She was living his memories.

Scenes from battles over alien worlds. A beautiful woman kissing him good-bye. Others of a tall, furry being and friends of some strange races. Mixes of fish and human. Things with bodies filled with stalks with eyes on the end. Worlds of rare beauty or hideously scarred by war. Training by a small wizened old man in using mind magic. So many images that she could not pull away. At the same time she felt her own memories being invaded. This she tried to fight as scene upon scene was played back. Her childhood. Her teenage years and worse yet.

She was forced to relive her life. She saw when she met Julian. Their dates. Their fights. Their lovemaking. Everything in their marriage. The birth of her twin daughters. Their first steps, their first words, and as she cried out in her mind, the accident. Every detail back clearly in her mind. Bigger and much worse than she remembered.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

This trip was to be the girls' first long trip. Driving from their home in the White mountains of New Hampshire to New York City along the back roads would be a full day of driving. That was a long day for two little ones to sit in a car, but Kitty and Carrie had always been good in the car. They were this time. Playing in the back with their twin stuffed zebras they couldn't have been better. It was a beautiful day. Sunny and cloudless. Warm and pleasant. She had just told Julian to look for a place to stop for lunch. The little ones were getting hungry. They wanted Daddy to stop at a burger place. Burger and fries. Their favorite meal. Well, they could have their burgers as soon as we found a town with a burger joint.

Sara was reading the map and noticed that the next town over should be big enough. If she remembered correctly Hadley had it's own small mall. Besides she did remember that this small town was next door to Amherst, and it boasted a branch of UMass and Amherst College. They just had to have a McD's in town. College kids always ate burgers. "Let's see honey, we're on route 202, we should turn right onto Rte. 9 and follow it into town."

Just as they started over the hill Sara looked back at the girls. "We'll be at the burger store soon babies."

"Mommy, can I have soda," asked Carrie.

"Mommy, I want a shake," said Kitty.

"Well," she paused and considered, "OK, you've been very good today," answered Sara. As she turned back to look at the road she saw a truck in the opposite lane and a sports car in their lane. Letting out a screech she braced herself against the dashboard as Julian tried to swerve to avoid the car. At the same time the sports car swerved. The only problem was they swerved in the same direction. Julian tried to correct but there was no room. On one side of the car was an eighteen wheeler, on the other a building and in front of him was the sportscar. There was nothing he could do. He slammed on the brakes and the car fishtailed. The sportscar slammed into their car. The world exploded into fragments. Glass everywhere. Screams, terror, and blood. Screeching metal. The car Sara's family was in was hit on the left side of the nose. The sportscar flipped up and onto the station wagon. Collapsing the driver's side.

The next thing Sara remembered was waking up in a hospital room covered with tubes and wires. Her body encased in plaster. For days she had drifted in and out of consciousness. When she finally stayed awake for more than a few minutes at a time she was told the terrible news. Her family, her perfect family was gone. Taken from her by a drunk college student. The driver only suffered a broken arm. He was a traffic risk before. This was the third time he had been in an accident while drinking. This was the first time his accident involved other people. It took the justice system only one month to put him away for five years. He would get out in two.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

With tears in her eyes Sara pulled herself out of the rapport with the stranger-not so much stranger now. She now knew his name was Jake, Jake Starfox. That was appropriate. He was that. Sara turned away from the now awake Jake to hide the tears her memory had brought up.

Jake opened his eyes to a vision. A beautiful woman's face surrounded by a cloud of soft amber hair. Eyes of a deep green looked down into his own. He blinked a few times trying to bring his scattered wits together. She turned away just as his mind clicked back on. What had just happened. His mind was filled with memories not his own. Could they belong to her. After a moment it settled down and he understood what had happened. The woman was a healer and somehow they got too deep and shared the others memories. He felt her sadness at having those memories returned to the forefront of her mind. He slowly sat up, moved behind her and put his arms around her to comfort her.

Sara felt him move behind her. She felt arms around her and a quiet voice in her ear. "I'm sorry," he whispered.

Sara pushed herself away from Jake's arms and turned on him. "What do you think you are doing! I don't even know you!"

"But you do," Jake replied softly sitting back. "You know more about me than even my mother does."

Sara looked at this strange man in her home. He was much more handsome awake. His eyes sparkled a deep blue and he had a dimple in his cheek when he smiled. A lopsided smile. She found that if she looked at him she started to relax. "OK," she conceded, as she moved to the chair. "We know each others' history. That doesn't mean I know you. What motivates you or what your dreams are."

"Well, that's true," he said thoughtfully. "I know your memories but not why you would help someone from 'outer space'."

"Ah...you caught that part huh. Well that is easy to explain. I've always read SF and fantasy and used to dream about meeting a spaceman. You fit the bill."

"Fit the bill?"

"You came crashing down in my back yard in a ship out of 'Battlestar Galactica', wearing a flight suit and a helmet. You either had to be from some movie being made nearby or outer space," Sara replied. "I know that there aren't any films being made in all of New England this month so you had to be from outer space."

"Okay, so you have had this great desire to help a lost 'starman'. Well here's one. Did you pick up names while you were in my mind?"

"Just yours. Did you?"

"No. Just the pictures, the emotions and the pain. You really loved them a lot."

"Yeah, I did. But we were talking about you. You really came from out there. Those creatures...are they people or are they, I don't know."

"Yes they're people. There are, let's see, over one hundred and fifty races in the alliance. Only about five of the races look like us. And yes before you ask I'm 'human' just like you. My scanners showed clearly before I crashed that this planet was inhabited by humans. Also you would not have been able to meld with me if I had been of any other race. The only other time I've ever melded with anyone was with my Telia."

"Your Telia?"

"Yes, you know your master. Trainer. Surely someone trained you in your abilities. Your too good a healer to have had no training what so ever."

"Go ahead and tell him, little one," said an old creaky voice in Sara's head causing her to jump.

Jake noticed as Sara started. Looking closely he noticed the tell-tale sign of inward turned eyes that meant she was mind-speaking to someone. He spoke softly, "Sara?"

"Um, Jake. I've just been told to explain about my abilities." Sara turned away from Jake. Taking a deep breath she started all in a rush. "You see after I lost my family I felt I had nothing to live for. I left the city and took my savings and the insurance money and bought this place up here in the mountains. I wanted to live alone, away from people. I wanted to be alone with my memories. At the time I thought that I could get over my pain here and if not I could always kill myself without anyone around to stop me. " Jake reached out to her, not sure if he wanted to stop the flow of the words or to stop the memory of the pain. Sara went on without seeing Jake's movement. "After over three months up here alone I finally went over the edge. I decided to do away with myself. I thought I should do it out under the trees. Away from manmade things. I brought a canteen and the entire bottle of painkillers the doctor gave me after I left the hospital. I went deep into the woods that bordered my property, the unclaimed land, and sat down under a huge old oak. Then I popped all the pills. Just as I was getting mellowed down to where I didn't hurt anywhere inside or out, it happened. At first I thought I was just hallucinating, I mean women just don't step out of solid trees, right?"

* ** * *

To be continued...

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