tagSci-Fi & FantasyBattle of the Star Beast Ch. 05

Battle of the Star Beast Ch. 05


"We also apologize, Ms Milton. You know how the FBI is. From what I know of Agent Creline he hates being placed on UFO cases. He prefers to look for criminals and those people he believes are betraying the country." The Captain looked thoughtful for a moment. "His young partner is a good man and will probably go far if he can just get out from under his over watchful eye." He shrugged. "Now we really would like to check out the possible landing site, if you wouldn't mind. We are asking for your permission. Unlike the FBI, we find that being pleasant gets us much more than being surly. Also I would like to say that the Air Force tries to collect all space junk that comes down within U.S. territory. That is all we are really interested in. It helps us kept track of what is out there. If it turns out to be just a meteor we are willing to offer you a cash sum for the rock. They are worth a small amount of money."

"I am sorry gentlemen but I feel I have to decline to allow you to wander my property. I have horses that need to be looked after and they are skittish. If you were to spook them it could take days to gather and calm down. It is near breeding season and I don't need my mares being bothered by strange people. I also have other business to be looked after. After all I have been running a reclamation project here. Bringing back the natural environment isn't easy. I can't be escorting you around my land all day looking for some nonexistent 'meteor'. So unless you can tell me which of my fields this so called meteor came down in so I can clear out the stock I will have to ask you to leave."

The Lieutenant looked over at the Captain. "Sir, we should be able to pin point where the object came down almost to the square meter. If Ms Milton would just give me a few moments I can get the land maps from the car."

The Captain turned back to Sara. She shrugged. If Jake's ship could hide itself from sight and instruments there should be no problem with them looking at the field. It should look like there was nothing that had ever been wrong. Jake had said it would look like a large rock. No path of destruction. No scarring of the land. They would find nothing. She looked over at Jake. He gave her a short nod. He would led them out to the field to insure they didn't find anything unusual. Or maybe that they would find a very small meteor fragment. That would be the best thing. She was pretty sure that Jake could pick up her thoughts on that matter. The Lieutenant returned with rolled up maps under his arm.

Spreading them out on the table he quickly pinpointed the site they believed the meteor came down. It was in fact the exact site that the ship had come down on. This should be interesting. She leaned over and spoke to Jake in a whisper. "Do you think you could deal with this? I really do have to get the stock moved."

Jake smiled. "My lady, it would be a pleasure. I know exactly where they need to look." Turning to the men, "I believe what your looking for just might be there. When I was looking over Ms Milton's stock in the upper fields this morning I noticed they were a bit edgy and didn't really want to go into that field. I would be quite willing to lead you two gentlemen if Ms Milton says you may explore to that field."

The captain looked quite pleased. He had been sure that with a little politeness these people would cooperate. He had always used as much courtesy as he could. It felt like one of those perfect days to him. When he found out that the FBI was in on this find he was sure that his day was in the crapper but that idiot Creline had blown his chance. Now it looked like for the first time in years the Air Force would be the first one in on a space junk find. If he was really lucky it would be more than junk. Then he might pull his career out of the slump it had been in for the last ten years. Ever since the government shut down the UFO project. His sixth sense for finding things told him there was something here. He was glad that the young woman and her friends where cooperating. He looked them over quickly as Jones talked with the smaller man. He dismissed that young man. He was very ordinary looking to the Captain. He had many young men just like him working in research. Nothing different about him. The taller one though he rose flags in the captain's mind. He was just too perfect. He looked like some Hollywood star visiting the wilds of New England. Something was just off a step from what it should be. Maybe he would be lucky and get a chance to talk with him alone. He had always been good at getting information out of people without them knowing he was doing so. He caught the look the man was giving him just then. It was one of pure amusement. He looked at him full on and caught the salute the creature sent his way. How interesting? As if he knew what I was thinking. Definitely interesting. "Go with the young man, Jones. Please do as thorough a search as you can. You never know just how small the thing is now." Turning to Derek. "I'd like a few words with you, sir. If that wouldn't be a problem." He looked over at Sara. She looked toward Derek and he gave a faint nod. She agreed.

Jake and the lieutenant left the house and walked off to the field in question. The young lieutenant was full of excitement. It was his first trip in the field looking for space debris. He hoped it would be good just not something spectacular. He knew the fate of those who found things that the government didn't want found. A good size meteor would be nice. His studies in astronomy made him wish he could touch those beautiful stars. Too bad his eyesight wasn't good enough to get him his pilot's license. The man with him was very nice and filled him in on the beasts he could see standing in the fields to the left. He had always been slightly shy of large animals. They were so strange.

Jake smiled at the boy next to him. "Gods around us, was I ever that young?" he thought. "I don't think I ever chattered quite as much as this young man." Away from his Captain he was a fund of information about the project he was working on. Most of the things believed by the project leaders were way off. It seemed that they either believed they were alone in all of space or that life could only appear on a world like their own. Jake had been on worlds where he had to wear special suits to keep his body fluids from freezing solid or boiling away. Planets with gravity so strong that he could not even land. He had found people on all types of worlds. Peoples who all joined the Alliance of peace. They all had something unique to bring in. This place was no different. All beings had dreams.

They soon came to the edge of the field they had headed out for. It looked quiet and beautiful. Jake quickly tapped out a command, on a plain bracelet on his wrist, to his ship. It changed the field it sent out slightly. Now could be seen a small burned patch in the upper corner of the field. They walked over toward the burned mark. The lieutenant held out a small device before him as he walked. Jake was amused to see what must be a primitive radiation detection device. It was clicking away quietly. It shouldn't pick up anything more than what he wanted it to. They carefully went over the entire field, inch by inch. There wasn't much to find. After a few hours they finally came to the place he had the ship place a 'find'. The clicking got louder as they got closer to the edge of the burned mark. Just to be seen in the center was a small mass of cooling rock. It was obviously a small meteor. Just what the young lieutenant had wanted to find. He reached down to pick it up. His hand was grabbed by the young man by his side. "Be careful! It should still be quite hot. You could have suffered a bad burn."

Jake thanked him humbly. He knew that the rock in the hole was hot. He was just making sure the boy thought it was. Jones pulled out a small container and a pair of tongs. With the tongs he picked up the rock, which was the size of an orange, and placed it inside. Screwing on the cap he turned to walk back to the house. "Thank you for your help. This should bring some interest back at base. I've never seen one of this size and color before. I can't wait to get started on the study." He continued to babble all the way back to the house. Jake only had to make the appropriate noises of appreciation at intervals. It was very funny in it's own way.

Back at the house Captain Sherman was trying to pry something out of Derek. He wasn't doing very well. Sara watched for a while as Derek led the captain around in circles. She could feel his amusement at the oblique questions the captain used. He always answered the questions with another and led the captain back to his original question. Sara left him alone with the captain. She was sure he could handle himself. She had work to do. A few hours later she came back in and they were still at it.

He wasn't what the captain thought he was and he sent to Sara, *How long should I keep this up, love?*

*As long as you want. Just don't frustrate the man too much. You know the type. If you leave him with questions he'll just be back with more. I would really rather not deal too much with the Military.*

*All right. I'll just let him in on the joke.* With a hidden gestured he released the verbal spell that held the captain enthralled. With another he adjusted his emotional responses. "Captain, I think I should stop this."

The Captain looked startled. "What?"

"I've been having a bit of fun with you. You see I'm an actor. You have been helping me immensely with an upcoming role I have agreed to work at. I didn't mean to make you think I was more than I seem."

Captain Sherman looked confused for a moment then he caught on. With an embarrassed chuckle the captain realized that he had been verbally fencing with a master. "What role have I helped you with? If you can answer. I know how hush-hush Hollywood can be."

"Well, all I can tell you is that a certain 'local' writer has written another fantastic story about space aliens and monsters. I have been contracted to play the part of the highly respected Air Force Captain in charge of the project. I thought since we had one here with us I could just probe your responses and see how I should react. You are a fund of information for a person who knows how to study others."

"Why, thank you!" The captain wasn't sure whether to be pleased or outraged. Thanks to the subtle spell, he ended up pleased. When his lieutenant returned with the meteor he was pleased and they left soon after. Sara gave a huge sigh of relief as she saw their car drive off. It was now close to dinner time. The last twenty four hours had been very busy. She flopped down on the couch and patted either side for the men to take a seat.

"How did it go with the lieutenant, Jake?"

"Very well, thank you. He found just what he wanted. A small meteor of a type he had never seen. He bubbled all the way back here." He paused and looked over at Derek. "And how did it go with the Captain?"

Derek laughed. Sara giggled. It took a few minutes but they related the verbal battle that went on between Derek and the captain and how they had convinced him that Derek was an actor working on a part. In all the afternoon had been quite interesting. They had laid the suspicions of the military and hopefully routed the FBI. The attitude in the room was quite high. Sara was quite relaxed and she lay back against the cushions of the couch. Since it was a bed at times she was almost supine. The two men looked down at the woman between them and then at each other. There was a twinkle in both of their eyes. As one they pounced. Tickling Sara on both sides. She put up a valiant fight but she was out matched. Derek cheated by sending Jake the location of her most ticklish spots. This went on for a few minutes until she finally grabbed each by the hair and pulled. She lay gasping with a handsome head on each breast.

With labored breathing, she chuckled under her breath. It was great to be in a tickle fight after all these years. And to be in one with two such kissable males was even better. Before her mind caught up with her body she pulled their faces up and kissed each of them full on the lips. There was a quiet moment as what she did sunk into all three heads, then she gasped and blushed. The two men looked at each other and broke out into renewed laughter. It was just too good. They each competed to see who could give her the best or funniest kiss. Soon it got totally out of hand. Sara was just too embarrassed and broke free, running into her room and locking the door. Derek and Jake looked at each other sheepishly. They knew that they had pushed Sara too far finally. Derek looked closely at Jake. He hadn't planned on the contest they had. It had been fun though.

"So, how do you like our hostess?" He said laying back down. The elf seemed to lounge no matter the position he was in. The space man knew well that the questions posed by elfkin were layered. Derek could be asking if Jake thought she was a nice girl or how much had he enjoyed kissing her. Or even if he thought she was a possible bed mate. That final question was on Jake's mind but he certainly wasn't going to let the elf know. The ticklefest had let Jake in on the fact that this specimen of Elfin manhood had mind sending and a healthy appetite for female flesh. There even seemed to be a touch of possessiveness over this young woman. Jake wished he knew just how well Sara knew this elf.

"I think she is a prefect hostess. Good food and sleeping conditions. Entertainment and information on local customs." He smiled at that and pantomimed a punch at the elf. "The only thing I need that she hasn't provided is a way to repair my ship. I'm sure given time she could come up with it."

He got up off the couch and walked to the window. His mind was definitely not on leaving. It was on the woman in the next room. He wasn't due back for a while yet. He didn't even need to report in. He had a lot of leeway as a scout. He send in reports only if he found something and he only returned to base to pick up supplies. His commander had sent him out with a shove. Jake had gotten into a bit of trouble with the base commander's wife and daughter. With a chuckle he remembered the two ladies. Neither of the two sweet creatures knew that Jake was spending time with the other. Jake himself hadn't known until that last day that they were related. When they had got their heads together and talked they came to his base quarters and surprised him in his room. What a surprise! Finding two naked women in his room, then finding out they were mother and daughter and liked to do 'everything' together. What a day. It would have been listed as one of his best if their father and husband hadn't shown up to brief Jake on a special mission he was needed for. Jake sobered. That little meeting almost cost him his rank and privileges. The base commander wanted to put him in the front line fighting the Dark empire, preferably without a ship. Jake had done his time in the front lines. The war with the empire had been going on for more years than he had been alive. He was glad to have been assigned to the scouts and he would give up a lot to stay in them. He knew that he had better be sure to bring something important back with him this time or not come back. He got cut a lot of slack for being the best scout in the Rangers but he had pushed his luck one too many times. He stood in thought for a few more minutes not realizing he was broadcasting some of the tension of those thoughts.

Derek watched the spaceman and did his best not to dip into the thoughts racing through his mind. Derek was an accomplished mind reader and Jake's shields tended to slip when his emotions were involved. That was a habit that he should have been trained out of long ago. Well, it was just another reason for Derek to be here. These two young creatures needed training and tempering. He knew he could do it. He just hoped it would be fun. They certainly weren't going to have fun in just a few weeks from now. Derek decided that Jake had pondered his earlier conquests and mistakes long enough. "I doubt much that she could help you with that. She is a wonderful woman and a very pleasant hostess but she had little contact with contractors and the sellers of the goods you would need. She would have no idea where to start." He watched Jake's face for telltale reactions to being told he was trapped here. The spaceman pondered for a moment and then shrugged. Good so far, next thing. "So my new friend, care to tell me about the Great Out?"

Jake turned back toward the elf. "What do you want to know?"

"Everything, of course."

Pacing about the room Jake broke into the set speech he memorized as a young cadet. How the universe was large and very different. How there were many other races, most working together toward peace. It was a piece of pure propaganda and they both knew it. He wasn't sure why he was babbling this way to an elf. Surely this creature knew more than he was letting on. He stopped in mid speech and turned to face Derek. "Why am I telling you all this? I know that you have more information about what's out there than I do and I bet you have never even been on a space ship."

"Your right." He said with a smile.

Jake looked expectant then groaned after a moment. That comment could mean anything. That the elf knew everything that Jake could tell him or that he had never been on a space ship. "I'm right. OK, you tell me what I need to know."

"Why should I?" Derek returned. Now that was what Jake expected from an elf. He had met one during the years he lived with his master and he had never answered a question without another. Jake remembered the one bit of advice his master had given him on dealing with elves. Always be polite and direct. If you gave them an opening they would take it and confuse you. "O great wise one I am a bare student in what you have obviously had years of training in. I feel the danger coming toward this place. I know that one of your kind would only be here 'playing' if he had a purpose. I would fane that you tell said purpose to this unworthy one." With that he made a sweeping bow. It had been hard to keep a straight face. He had come to like Derek in the short time they had been together. It seemed very silly to use that bit of claptrap on him. He was just too earthy for the airy words just spoken. Derek just stared like Jake had just insulted him so he tried the direct route. "So you gonna tell me or am I gonna ask yon babe where your ticklish?"

Derek held up his hands. "No, not that! A fate worse than death! I'll tell, I'll tell." He sobered, "Jake just how much do you know about the Star Beast?"

Jake's head came up fast. "The Star Beast. You know of it?"

Derek nodded. "It is the reason we are all here. Sara, you and myself."

Jake paused. He hadn't thought that the rumor of the Star beast had gotten out. The name 'the Star Beast' had been given to the creature who controlled the Dark Empire by the Space Rangers. Not one person in ten million knew of it's existence. How had a being planet bound on a small insignificant planet on the edge of the galaxy known of it? "Derek, the Star Beast, is the leader of the Dark Empire. The Space Rangers have only known about it for about ten years now." Derek nodded for Jake to go on. Jake paced about the room as he spoke. "The Star Beast is a creature of unknown origin. It has control of a vast empire of creatures who believe entirely that they should rule the universe. All, down to the last being, believe that the universe was set up for their pleasure. They live for death, pain and destruction. In the past we have found the remains of planets that have been taken over by the forces of the Star Beast." He closed his eyes as he remembered the last place he had seen taken over by the Star Beast's creatures. Before he had gotten assigned as a scout.

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