tagSci-Fi & FantasyChosen Mate Ch. 08

Chosen Mate Ch. 08


Harry's notes: hope you enjoy chapter 8. When you feel an unseen presence in the night sky, remember that it was born here. There is a summer poetry contest going on in the poetry feedback and discussion forum. Vote on all 5 semi final threads. One of them is mine.

Silas decided on the bar for his meeting with Harry. Even how he arrived would determine how likely he would survive life among the Shining People. Nowhere was safe, even here in the long held sanctuary of Backwater. The human seemed like an unnessary risk, a weak link in the chain that had held fast their survival for so long. Then there was Oldman.

Was Oldman somehow influencing Harry's decisions or was he what he seemed to be, a wanderer from beyond the Shining Paths that had been shipwrecked in a different reality.

Either way, his thoughts and emotions were unreadable at times; but there was no mistaking the alien orgasmic release of energy by the river when joining with the Princess and Harry to quicken the spawn above the pool beside River. Silas wondered at the abilities of that group; a wrinkle creased his forgettable face.

Sandra was refusing to co-operate with the daily reports on Harry and now Oldman. She had gone all moody and regal since the birth. Fucking Princesses, they were all a pain in the ass.

The rumble of the F-150 Harry drove sounded outside the door, giving him hope. He walked in the door. Immediately Oldman's thought engaged Silas, performing the ceremony of greeting. Silas placed a beer before Harry and began to talk.

"Glad you drove here instead of passing from the cavern. You must always be wary not to show up someplace without a clear trail behind you." He searched the humans eyes and thoughts.

Harry took a slow drink while looking at Silas. Even in the Great Hall he held the illusion of being human. He wondered why. Oldman informed him that he had held the illusion for so long it was ingrained.

Silas frowned as the question vanished from Harry's thought. His mind conveyed an image of his pale gold aura to them.

Harry nodded thoughtfully and took another drink. Silas began talking again before Harry descended into dreams.

"What you know about the Black Ones and their agents?"

"Agents?" Harry responded.

--Yeah Harry, like those two men in the in the canoe, Oldman informed him.

"Those were agents? That's why we left so fast? I really wanted a swim before we left too." Harry's expression changed to knit brow concentration as he and Oldman began communicating together silently. Silas rubbed away the frown on the illusion of his nondescript face. This was going to be more difficult than he imagined.

"Let's not get off track. I have little time to speak with you before your duties take you elsewhere. Forget the agents for the moment and tell me what you know about our greatest danger."

Harry thought about the dimly remembered conversations with Sandra last night. There was something about a cold heartless race, hidden among humanity; it was a blur within the drunken tour of Backwater as they popped back and forth between the burrows and the streets above while toasting the watch standers on duty. He searched Oldman's presence and received only a mental shrug. He had been as drunk on the emotions of the multitude last night as Harry was with drink.

"Not much," Harry said, then glanced around nervously as if one might appear at any moment. Silas sighed; if Harry confused the Formorians as much as him, then the probibility of his duplicity being known was low.

Harry's eyes flickered as he was summoned to service in the Great Hall. He straightened to find Silas eyes on his.

"I've got to go." Silas came around the bar, holding Harry's eyes, then grasping his hand tightly. His left hand held his arm above the elbow; he stared intently from inches away.

"If you have to go, the bush is there," he said, pointing with his chin at the mens room with a grin, then spoke within Harry's mind.

--Think of me before you return from below. Never pass without conformation. His eyes turned serious. Releasing Harry's arm he walked back around the bar, sat on his stool, and drew the illusion of a drunken barkeep around him once again.

Harry nodded without thought or word then entered the toilet and passed to the middle world where Gerry waited with his armor.


Harry and Oldman entered the chamber, immediately spying the floating shape that seemed to defy gravity; it was lit as if by a spotlight from the small hole centered above that illuminated it in the now covered pit of the second step. The white stone of that step currently looked to be a circle high above them, allowing light to pierce the shadows of the room. Rays from the sun high above the Great Hall spilled through the gap, splattered on the floor, then ran weakly upward to meet the light at the egress of the third step. Harry moved toward the craft in his armor, drawn in wonder.

It was if the drawings in his pad had suddenly become real. Its wings were thick, the same combined length as the body, and projected out so that the craft resembled a fat X. A hole was centered in the slanting nose of it; a small nozzle projected from the rear, three tail fins added stability there. It looked like a large glider; it was beautiful. The model that floated before him validated all his wild, what if's. It's creation was a priceless gift that pleased him. He dreamed of flying in one of its kind as his heart beat faster. His steps seemed quicker toward it.

--Nice work Harry.

--It is, isn't it. The stark white color was decaled with black emblems that, he assumed, were used as reference points. He thought that it would be fun to decorate it with a nice insect paint job. Oldman slapped Harry around the head, in playful jest, with an imaginary hand. His amused comments caused Harry to smile.

--Is there anything you will not paint? I can see the pulp rags now. 'WOMAN SEES GIANT INSECT'. Harry laughed with him as the image of the 'woman' ran screaming away in his mind.

Movement from the shadowed limits of illumination caught his eye, dismissed, as he advanced hungrily to the shape that hung like a leaf in space. Oldman noticed his awareness and spoke silently in his thoughts.

--Daniel and the council are there. Leonard approaches also. Harry looked to where Leonard, dressed in the glassine armor of the Fay, came striding to the edge of the undefined circumference of light; his ears and thoughts were pricked forward to them. The movement out of the darkness startled Harry; he would have reacted physically if not restrained by Oldman's tightened control. They continued to move to the object. Oldman swept the thought of the hill top images from Harry's mind and sought to calm him.

--Steady, said Oldman in a whisper that was ludicrous in its volume. No one could hear their thoughts when conversing if he did not desire it. The artifice was successful.

Harry examined the craft without disturbance as the council slowly approached, surrounding it in silent wonder; they were mostly Daniels brothers, he was told. He could see their acceptance of his position here among them and the house of Sandra's father, Lord Sand; their interest in the results of his annexation, and the implications to the Shining People were apparent on their faces; the fact that he was a human, mated to a Princess of the Fay, separated him socially, at least for the moment. Their arrival slightly disturbed the two-meter model as the vagrant force of the air of nearby passage moved it.

Daniel moved to Harry's side. While Harry absorbed details, he absorbed Harry's completely concentrated attention. His actions continued to disturb Daniel in many ways; the ability to center his thoughts on a single point of curiosity was the most puzzling. How could he exclude all else from his mind, leave only a question there, an interest, or a scrutiny? Where were all the random minutia that cluttered other men's thought? When he entered the chamber, eye enveloping the image that hung in the void, his awareness of the council and those in the room showed in his thoughts. Yet, Leonard's appearance out of the shadows had rippled the waters of his conscious. Yes, Harry was disturbing. At last, they exchanged glances. Daniel looked to where Leonard waited and thought.

--You may begin. Leonard gave a nod and started manipulating a small device in his hands. A running narrative began in their combined thoughts as he held a demonstrative briefing.

--This is a model of assorted sketches found in Har ri na's drawing pads. Basically, it is operated on the same principals as a blimp is. Lifting gasses are used to raise the craft instead of aerodynamic airfoils and thrust. However, when the two different conventional methods are combined, there are distinct advantages.

--First, this new design negates the large sail area of the blimp and allows maneuverability and speed, much the same as a coracle is different from a rowboat.

--Second, after achieving altitude it is theoretically possible to navigate the ocean of air, tacking through it as a sailing vessel uses the wind.

--Third, if propulsion is lost it will not crash to the ground.

--If you will observe the rear of the model you will see how the steering will be used. The nozzle moved left and right then up and down; it curled under itself to point toward the front. The nozzle was very flexible and able to move in a complete circle in every direction except the reversing position. ...This relative simple device allows it to reverse its thrust. The ability is very desirable at low speeds, but is of negligible use at high speeds. It is better to use the drag of the sail area, turned against the forward motion, to negate momentum.

The craft began to move slowly backward with small applications of power. The nozzle returned to its rearward facing position and pushed the craft back to the center, then reversed again, coming to a near stop.

Tiny puffs of air, and subtle use of the projecting spout of the steering, brought the model to eye level; it began rotating in the middle of the rapt vision of the council.

--If you will look in the opening that passes through it, you will see the fan prop that is pulley driven from the motor hidden below. The drag is decreased with the bulk of the motor removed from the propulsion tube. Further applications of the design could include simple gearing, increasing speed. The low center of gravity, just behind the wings, increases handling performance. Leonard paused as Daniel began asking a question, then nodded.

--Yes, Lord, it has a center of gravity in spite of floating; you could say that the craft hangs from the gasses that support it. There are sketches of something called, lateral and horizontal trim balls that can reallocate the center of gravity; they are not used on this model but will be used when and if full scale prototypes are created. He gave another nod and turned back to the model.

--This craft is capable of spinning horizontally on its own axis at dead stop. It began turning left in a flat spin, rotating faster, until it wavered like a top on a tables surface. Centrifugal force caused it to wobble and then move upward in a spiral as Leonard fought to bring it back into control. ...Sorry, too much spin.

--It is so sensitive to movement. There are no control surfaces in this model. We strove only to demonstrate the primary functions. It became steady again, beginning a circumnavigation of the room. Slowly, turning on its wings, it followed the walls as if they were a floor; completing its circle, it turned back to the center of the room becoming level again.

--It is very stable at speeds that do not exceed its environment. A prototype able to carry small teams would be an excellent way of insertion and extraction. The model moved toward the floor, touching down lightly. Rotating on its tail, it buzzed with high thrust, jumping overhead. The sound of its reversed thrust was equally loud. It descended downward again, turning slowly, and began to move about the group in short bursts of speed and location while pointing its nose at members.

--It has impressive applications as an observation platform, if fitted with cameras. It continued to move around the group, hovering by one then another, coming very close. It was near silent as it passed Harry.

--It represents a respectable leap forward if merely used as an assignation device. The image of a payload of plastique played in their combined minds. The craft moved away to the wall, where the design crew packed it in a wooden box; they began opening another.

Harry's thoughts spun in his head as the implications of that statement and the graphic image that accompanied it. The continued martial tone of the meeting caused him to examine the inhabitants of the room as they gathered in murmuring conversation. Their features were deadly serious. The festive air, that they displayed the night before, was gone. All was business now; and that business was lethal, calculated, and deadly.

--It seems as if we have handed the people a keen sword with a sharp point and the knowledge to use that weapon. Oldman implied in their private rapport.

--Yes, but does the sword parry or thrust? Harry asked, quietly and with deep reflection.

--This next model, Leonard began, as he was handed a new control device.

--Next model, Daniel's interrupted thoughts exclaimed; he turned from the conference of minds.

--Yes Lord, Ger ri na said to build the craft; there were three versions in Harry's books and hints of even more variations. Daniel turned back to the group for a moment. Thought buzzed briefly, then he turned. The Council spread about the room to see the next demonstration.

--Continue, Daniel told him, intent again on the briefing.

--Yes Lord, Leonard replied, and turned back to his crew; they released a new design into the air. It was shaped like a long cylinder, tapered sharply back at both ends. The forward part started at the opening of the tunnel, sloping back to the nozzle surrounded by four stabilizing fins that returned tapering to the front, giving an appearance to the craft that suggested a rocket or spearhead.

--This model is less inclined to be disturbed by windy conditions due to the decreased area of resistance of its leading surfaces that also make it quite fast. It began to circle the room widely over their heads in ever-increasing speed. Leonard struggled with the controls as it whirled about the chamber and eventually skittered against the walls, going into wild gyrations as he strove to bring it to equilibrium again and move in careful control.

--We will remove to the Great Hall to continue the demonstration with your permission Lord Sand. Leonard said, and then began moving up the ramp toward the third step with Daniels gestured acquiescence.

--As with the other craft, it will be an excellent observation platform and assignation device. They progressed above the ceiling of the pit into the Great Hall. Leonard followed the model as if were a dog on a leash; he continued the brief while they moved into the wide expanse of the hall.

--We anticipate several applications of this craft, in addition the previously stated ones. It inserted itself sedately into the limbs of one of the oaks, resting there held in their grasp. ...It can be parked in arboreal locations and extracted at leisure due to its shape. It zoomed from the tree and circled the hall, coming near again and descending to rest near the group. ...This ability, in concert with a retransmitted signal, would allow us to leap frog these devices into hostile areas with little vulnerability such as detection and interception of cellular transmissions. In addition, as referenced by the perching demonstration, they will be unlikely to be detected high in trees and even harder to retrieve if found.

--Will the council please move to the sides of the hall while a final demonstration of this model is prepared? Across the hall, Leonard's team were raising a man-sized protrusion from a carpet of moss. The Fay gathered around the edges of the hall, watching closely, as the team completed their project and hurried away. Leonard continued his narration as his crew cleared the target area.

--In larger sizes, it should be an excellent craft for rapid long-range deployment; supporting facilities, between destination and point of embarkation, would be needed as necessary and available.

Interest and questions interrupted him with this statement. Leonard waved them away with gestures of forbearance, explaining. ...We did not examine the logistics of such an operation. It was not in our venue of instruction. We only investigated capabilities and possibilities. There are those that are much more qualified to evaluate the needs of such preparation.

Murmurs of thought among the group were silenced by Daniel, who was stroking his beard in a thoughtful manner.

--Continue. Leonard lowered his head to Daniel.

--Yes my Lord. As before stated, once again it is a proficient assignation device. If you will observe the demonstration area closely, you will see how this simple method is accomplished. The model moved over them, pointing down range. The sound of the propeller inside the model rose in a bumblebee like buzzing as it flashed far across the floor and struck the pseudo figure, breaking both figure and craft violently.

--It is an adequate kinetic weapon if spent. The council drew about the simulated carnage; questions flew.

--Holy Shit! Oldman said in surprise, ...can you imagine getting hit by that?

--Terminal velocity is about 200 KPH on impact with this model and range. The speed will vary with size and distance to target, but the effect will be much the same, Leonard answered to a question. Harry had never envisioned his creation as a weapon. The references to its being an assignation device was disturbing, but this graphic representation of its capabilities shocked him.

--No my Lord it still has mass even though it floats. That mass is transferred to the target on impact. The dead weight of the craft is approximately one half kilo. No Lord, we are restricted to final determination of evolution by two variables that must be balanced. To elaborate, the craft will be designed for the desired payload or the payload will be adjusted to the final determination of the size of the craft. There are certain security issues that are related to the craft as size increases.


A hand interrupted Harry's contemplation of the damaged remains of craft and target. He turned, looking at Gerry in dazed thought as Leonard answered more disturbing questions.

--Does it work as you envisioned? Gerry asked quietly, looking interestedly into Harry's well comprehending thoughts of the more arcane capabilities of his creation.

--Far better, I want to be nowhere near the culmination of such a meeting. There are certain refinements that would be equally as lethal without loss of the vehicle. Gerry laughed out loud the began speaking within Harry's thoughts again.

--I'll take you to the courthouse to meet Sandra after you finish here. We will pick up Maddie at the station after you tie your legal life to Sandra. Then, it's off to Tunica for your honeymoon.

Daniel brought the meeting back to order as the light in the hall began to change with afternoons nearing approach.

--If we could examine the last model, Gentle Fay; then we will adjourn to discuss their applications and our alternatives to pending, ongoing, and future operations. Leonard, if you please.

--Operations? Oldman thought nervously. They were standing in the middle of a armed camp. He became silent as Leonard began again.

--This craft is very maneuverable as you will see. If you will please brighten your auras. A black shape became visible, drifting about the hall, moving transversely from side to side. At times, it was near the limits of Harry's human sight as it flew high above the tops of the oaks, then plunged rapidly to skim over the floor and back up again. Circling and descending over the group, it held above them for closer examination.

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