MUSE

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BEYOND THE DREAMS: Ardeth

 

©2014 RKB



BOOK ONE



CHAPTER ONE

 

The voyage was longer than any Vanessa had undertaken. She had been on edge during the waking part of her journey. The Council of Twelve had brought her to Ardeth to train in magic, not just any magic but glamoury. No one knew why they couldn't port her to the planet instead. Even though light years away, they still could bend space and time. She was puzzled by the incongruity. The trip took no longer than a year. She had been in stasis most of the time and was chemically aroused from sleep by a small injection automatically given in her crystal chamber.

 

“Ouch, I feel like someone hit me over the head and I’ve got something awful tasting in my mouth.” Vanessa was disoriented and spoke her thoughts out loud thinking no one would hear her. She looked around but didn’t see anyone else.

 

She wasn’t alone. She came with her assigned Triumvirate and two other females, three males, all with their own Triumvirates. Therefore, she had plenty of company. Five others were also trainees and eighteen who were techmeds and scientists, accompanied by a Progenitor and a crew of nine.

 

“Was that you Vanessa I just heard yelling.” She realized a male was speaking to her nearby and recognized his voice.

 

“Yes, Arlo it was me. Are you all right?”

 

“I’m well, only tired. We finally landed on Ardeth. Seems we didn’t wake up as quickly as the others. We appear to be the last to disembark from our group.”

 

Ardeth was one of the home planets of the Anunnaki or more familiarly called the Anunna. She honestly didn’t know what they called themselves. This is what she knew from Terra or Earth. One was the Akkadian word and the other Sumerian. They had returned to Earth at the renewal of the Great Walk. The reaction when they entered the labyrinth and walked into the arena was chaos. They timed their entrance just before the coronation proceeded. Everything came to a halt because no one, not even The Mater, knew they were arriving in Tír na nÓg. In fact, she had never seen an Annunaki or realized they knew of the existence of the Isles of Youth.

 

Everyone had been in awe of their arrival. They were extremely tall, near nine feet with long pale hair and luminescent blue eyes. One difference was very noticeable, gills on the side of the neck. Obviously the stories were true; they could breathe on land or under water.


“Don’t worry about it Arlo, at least we’re here and alive.” Vanessa sat up and smiled looking for an exit.


“I know you had your reservations but I’m glad you allowed our group to be apart of this flight.”

 

“I thought everyone would enjoy the adventure of going to a new world or at least us. Follow me.” She climbed out of her capsule anxious to leave the confinement. “Let’s see if we can find the others. I don’t like the fact everyone left us on this cruiser by ourselves. In fact, I’m a little disturbed by their lack of concern.”

 

“You’re not alone.” She heard a voice in the distance not recognizable. A young man walked into the cabin in uniform. “We thought you needed the sleep after such a long flight and didn’t try to force you to wake up. I have been here the whole time. I’m the flight coordinator. I’ll see you off the cruiser. This way please.”

 

Vanessa thought all the Anunnaki were like those who attended the Great Walk but she found out very soon she had been wrong. This group was referred to as Travelers. They were the smallest of their race. Their society was set up in a caste system but dissimilar to those found on Earth. The Anunnaki didn’t pigeon-hole each person specifically to a type. Some, and especially the shorter of their kind, were more suited to space and inter-dimensional travel. The planets they explored were similar to Earth. The inhabitants were much smaller in height to most average Anunnaki. This group was engineered to do the exploration. They found there was less intimidation when they arrived than when others more massive appeared. They'd learned this in the past and especially on Earth.


When she finally disembarked the stratocruiser, security guards were waiting for those arriving from Tír na nÓg.  She was amazed to see they stood around fifteen feet tall, towering over her. Later she was told the guard and the royalty on Ardeth were all around fifteen feet tall give or take a few inches. They weren’t lanky but in proportion to their size. Their overall size had contributed to the idea on Earth, when Sumer was in its golden years, they were gods. She wondered how they equated size with being a god. This was similar to those living in Hibernia thinking the Tuatha De’ Danann were gods due to their knowledge and size.


The Anunnaki were beautiful, elegant people. Vanessa was awed by them. Their grace and charm was quite evident and their science was far beyond their own tribes. They were not reptilian like some described. She thought it might be the amphibious connection being misinterpreted. Ancient drawings depicted them with the appearance of a lizard. She wasn't sure what the origin was for such caricatures of these people.


"Did you see how tall some of the Anunnaki are as we got off that ship?"


"Of course I did Arlo. How could you miss how striking and somewhat imposing they appear."


"I'm close to seven feet tall. Yet I feel like I'm not even five feet tall next to some of these males."


"You have to accept their size. They’re a tall race of people but not so much on this area of the planet. We’re much smaller but not to all of them of course. The Travelers are close to our size. What difference does it make?"


"None I guess, but it’s going to give me a crick in my neck having to look up all the time.” Arlo grinned at her, always the joker.


"True but I'm only six foot four, someone to pat on the head by their standards. They’re definitely not on my dating list." She looked back at Arlo and giggled, which was rare for Vanessa.


“Look, they want us to follow them. I think they’re planning on giving us some information about the planet and how long they want us to stay before they return us home. Of course this is a wild guess, because I haven’t any idea." Arlo was disturbed he lacked vital information but he didn’t want Vanessa to detect his fear.


Arlo turned and took Vanessa's hand and walked with her as if so doing it was some form of safety net for their fears. Arlo was actually part of her Triumvirate but not the Hexe Lord. She wasn't sure where he was or their other brother.

"There they are. I should have known Darren and Reece would be sitting in the front row." Arlo often referred to his brothers in this manner inferring they were both vain.


Vanessa smiled. She knew Reece would come to her assigned room or house, whatever they were going to give them when they were allowed to rest. She adored Reece even if he wasn't given the title of Hexen. Darren was the Hexe Lord of the three but it was a toss up really. Both of them had developed in that direction which was considered unusual. The Druids who trained them had noticed the phenomenon, but since Darren was first born, which Vanessa thought wasn't relevant, the greater task fell to Darren. She was known to spend intimate time with any one of them, she loved them all, although it was a slightly mistaken idea since she had never been intimate with Arlo. The one she fell in love with was Reece. They were natural born triplets all born from the same amniotic sac. The pregnancy was rare. Their personalities were different although certain quirks were similar in the three of them. For instance, food likes and dislikes.


Reece turned and saw them coming toward the row where they were seated. Arlo let Vanessa go first, knowing she would want to sit next to Reece and hold hands. They were like two lovesick teenagers but they were twenty-five and had both recently gone through the age extension like the other two.  They were young, healthy and sexually active, which was optimum for the trip or so they were told by The Mater. He knew this meant Vanessa was well fed. Like all of the court, Vanessa was an eros-type sumaire. As an adult, she could no longer live on physical food alone, but needed it from erotic encounters being a love and fertility goddess to some. This in no way meant anything like orgies or for the sake of lust. It was merely the way they fed.


"Did you notice how people keep staring at us?"


"Yes Arlo, but I think it's because we fit the physical profile of typical Tuatha De’. There has been a lot of mixing within the tribes over the centuries so we’re more diverse. We came from a straight tribal line and all have the copper colored hair and green eyes. I'm not sure if some of these people understand our connection but in time they will.


“Good morning everyone, I’m glad to see all of you here.” A particularly striking Anunna had entered the room. They had found out they preferred to be called by the Sumerian name as a culture. “I’m sure you’re wondering why you understand our language so easily. I can assure you we’re not speaking English or Irish or any Earth languages or Terra in our earliest visits. While you were in stasis on your trip to our planet Ardeth, you had a small translation device implanted in your bodies. You will now understand most Earth languages and all of our dialects. Whatever language you speak indigenously we will understand as well. Please don’t be disturbed because the device is tiny and will do you no harm other than make our encounters easier as far as language interpretation. My name is Ethos.”


“I have a question about the translators. Are these devices you placed inside us going to be permanent?” Arlo wasn’t happy about the revelation.


“I don’t think I caught your name young man.” Ethos was perturbed by his insolence.


“My name is Arlo and I want to know if the translators can be removed when we leave the planet?”


“If it’s your wish but I think after you’ve been here awhile you’ll see how indispensible they will become. In addition, in a variety of locations with people who speak in a different language than your own.”


Arlo sat down in his chair. He had a hunch Ethos was avoiding his question by being patronizing.


“We understand our height disparity may disconcert you or disturbed you. I can only say it’s nothing to worry about. Some of you are well over seven feet tall and we do have castes that are much shorter than I am. You should be able to interact with them easily. This is why on our visits to Earth many thought we were gods due to our accelerated knowledge in the area of science and technology, our dress, mannerisms, ability to swim under water for lengthy periods of time and more importantly, our height. We will do everything we can to make your stay an enjoyable one. Are there any other questions?”


“Yes, and my name is Reece. When will trips to the outer planets or some of the other universes be available to us?”


“I don’t know all the details at this time because I haven’t received confirmation on all the excursions. I’ll tell you when I know but I’m aware of a trip tomorrow to Andros, which is the closest of our other planets in this galaxy. You may sign up for the trip after this session is finished. It’s a lovely place with an abundance of water in the form of oceans, lakes, streams and waterfalls. Our civilization thinks of it as a resort area so we plan trips there for relaxation purposes. You don’t have to take a cruiser. We have bio-porters that will take you in a few seconds.”


“I’d like to ask a question.” Vanessa stood and introduced herself.


“Continue.”  Ethos was exasperated but knew he was there to answer any questions but theirs seemed inane to him.


“Will we be receiving anything on the customs and ways people interact culturally? I wouldn’t want to insult anyone because I was unaware.”


Someone she didn’t recognize asked whether they would get a full tour of Ardeth.


“Some of our customs will be mentioned in the film we’re about to show you. We also have booklets you can take which go into more detail. You can obtain one when you leave to go back to your domiciles. They’re by the exits. As to the question just asked, the purpose of our film is to give you a good look at our planet. Unfortunately, we are not prepared at this time to give a full physical tour of Ardeth. Now if you will sit back in your seats this will be quite a ride. Something you may not have ever experienced anywhere.”


The lights went out but there was no screen. How were they going to show them a film, Vanessa wondered? She had noticed they had seat belts. One wall opened, the wall ahead of them. They were flying over the countryside being shown valleys, mountain ranges, rivers, lakes and oceans. The sensation was surreal yet as if seeing the planet first hand. The numerous large cities were similar to those in Tir and glittered in the sunlight. She wondered if they had assisted the Tuatha De’ in creating Tir. It was a question for a later time. They found they were in a country called Daros and the main city that regulated the country was Ryslin. Everything had odd names but Vanessa was trying to remember each one to orient with the planet.


The first tier of the Anunna lived in Ryslin. They dealt with laws and all scientific and medical management, very similar to governments on Earth except there were no factions. They were of one mind in everything or so they were being told. The city was beautiful from what they saw and the people dressed in colorful clothing that looked almost luminescent. She assumed it was some sort of clothing fad and hoped she could purchase or receive similar clothing to take back with her.


Reece reached over and tapped Vanessa on the arm. “Are you doing all right on this thrill ride tour?”


She was touched by his concern and smiled. “Yes it’s really interesting and no worse than my first experiences with porting. Ethos is looking at us. I think we’d better stop talking.”


The tallest of all their people lived in Daros and the bulk of them in Ryslin. Most towered at about fifteen feet tall. The buildings were massive and she knew if she visited within the heart of Ryslin she would feel out of her element and overwhelmed by the size of everything. She was already in the city but had been kept somewhat isolated while they were being instructed.


There were centers, almost substations that were set up in every major city dealing with science, magic, manufacturing, health and welfare, fitness and pleasurable pastimes to mention a few. They had telekinetic powers and they watched a game with balls which were being propelled by the use of their mind. Crowds were watching so it was definitely a spectator sport. When it came to a closing, the narrator said they would be returning to learn about the other planets in their chain. Ardeth was the center of their galaxy in the universe where Earth existed. They belonged to something called the Planetary Concordia but didn’t explain its nature. The lights came up and they were ushered out of the room. Reece took booklets as they left for all of them. . He wondered how they were going to read them but something connected to the translators must also work on written material because he found he could read them easily.  Each individual along with their Triumvirate were to share a domicile


“Look at this place, it’s huge. We have five full bedroom suites. I wonder why they supplied us with a fifth sleeping space.”


“I was told to accommodate guests Vanessa.”


“Yes that would be obvious, but guests?  Why would we be having guests here Arlo?  We’re strangers to this place.”


“I haven’t a remote idea. I do know they have centralized pools, nightclubs, can you believe that, and gaming rooms. They have electronic interactive games. There are shops of all types and they use electronic script to purchase everything.”


“How are we supposed to pay for anything? I didn’t bring money of course,” said Darren.


“The Council already agreed to our need for funds and paid into their banking system before we even arrived. They were quite generous and while we are here every so often we get more, sort of an allowance. We have kitchens but there is a communal room as well. The food is not free. We have to pay for it all.  They have something similar to markets and the food products are somewhat like ours, but they don’t eat flesh of any sort. I’ve tasted some of their foods and they’re really quite good. They have some unusual drinks, some of them fizzy and something resembling ice cream as well. This is going to be a very interesting experience.”


“Arlo, don’t tell me the whole planet is vegetarian?” Reece was not happy by the idea of no meat.

 

“I understand different areas on the planet eat other items and some do eat animal flesh such as beef, chicken, pork and various fowl. They also have fish from the lakes and oceans. Not much different than back home. This country doesn’t eat any of these things. Okay, I’m done with my lecture.” Arlo grinned, self satisfied with all the information he had imparted.

 

“Who told you all this information?” Vanessa was aware Arlo liked to gloat now and then but had he told them absolute fact or rumor? They never really knew unless through practical experience where he was concerned.

 

“I went outside the cruiser before you woke up and got friendly with one of the security guards, although they don’t go by that name, and he told me. I came back inside to check on you Vanessa when you woke up.”

 

Vanessa looked at him and shook her head.

 

“Arlo is there any particular reason they don’t eat meat in this region?” Darren was the practical one but sometimes his constant questions became annoying. He often went too far becoming overbearing.


“My understanding is it’s for spiritual reasons. Ryslin is the spiritual center of Daros. I wouldn’t call it a religious belief system. Spiritual as I stated is the best description. Please don’t ask me what they believe because quite honestly I have no idea. I can tell you they do believe in a higher power and they try to commune with it in some way.”


“Why don’t we check out the shops?” Vanessa wanted to lighten the situation by exploring their surroundings.


“Let’s wait awhile before we leave to check this place out. Reece had other things on his mind at the moment which didn’t include shopping.


“This cabinet must be something like a refrigerator.” Darren opened the door. Inside he found it was filled with food, Earth food.


“How do you think they managed to stock things we like from home?”


“I have no idea, but remember they’re magical people or so we’ve been told. Why question where everything comes from? We should be appreciative they were kind enough to provide it to us.” Reece was getting disgusted with Darren’s constant blathering and left the room.


“They’re beautiful people. Only the judges and some of the very ancient sages look anything like Sumerian depictions I have seen. They’re dark in coloring yet everyone I have come in contact with recently is not.”


“I’m sure like any culture Arlo, they change with the times and are diverse. I have seen the long hair but not the long beards or curls at the side of their heads, nothing similar or even anyone with dark hair.”  Vanessa realized they hadn’t seen much of the planet yet so anything they had to say was conjecture.


“You won’t I doubt except in the temple or legal forum, but I don’t think that’s really important. We know from experience most of our knowledge about this culture is made up of misinformation.” Darren was always the pessimist.


“Yeah, I’ve seen articles that really condemn the idea  they came from space and I can see why considering the most prevalent views about them are totally wrong. Unfortunately the fact they came from the stars is exactly correct.”


“What do you expect Arlo? Those on Earth don’t believe there’s anyone living in outer space. They’re in denial,” Vanessa was becoming bored with the conversation and wanted to leave.


“Much of the rest is made up concerning where they came from and how. It’s kind of pathetic when you think about it given so many scholars have spent so much time trying to decipher cuneiform and epic stories and poems. Some of the names were titles and many were given the titles over time. Others are individual names but they can’t seem to sort it all out. Oh well, I’m not going to go on about it. I think we should go see what shops they have in this area.”

“I agree Arlo. I’m anxious to go exploring. Is Reece coming with us?”


Reece stuck his head out of the hall doorway. “Yes, of course. Give me a minute please. I have a couple of things I need to do before we leave. I’ll be right back.” He disappeared again down the hallway.


“I’m going to change Arlo so I’ll be back in a few as well.”


Vanessa came out of her room and started to walk down the hallway just as Reece came out of the bathroom. They collided and Vanessa started to laugh. Reece smiled, grabbed her, swung her around and kissed her.


“I’ve wanted to do that all day long.”


“Me too but I don’t know how long a day is here or if they even refer to them as days.” Vanessa smiled looking up into his eyes.


“My understanding is the light and dark are about the same as Tir.  There is day and twilight but it does get darker There are a number of differences between their various planets too. If they take us into another dimension I have no idea what we’ll find but they did assure me we won’t find bug people or anything of that sort.” He grinned hoping to get a laugh from her and he did.


“All inhabited planets have humanoids or so they say. They originated from a different universe in the first place.”


“How do you know all of this information? I’m positive you’ve never visited Ardeth in the past.”


“I read a few pages out of those booklets I took.” 


“Reece, let’s beg off and let Darren and Arlo go out. I’d rather stay here alone with you.”


“We have plenty of time for that. You know we have to give you a feeding when we return which means you must spend time with Darren.” He took her hand and motioned for her to follow him.


“All right, but I won’t let you forget you wanted to go shopping instead of being alone with me.”


“I hope you’re kidding because you should know that’s far from the truth.”


“I’m just giving you a playful nudge. You should know I’m teasing. Come on let’s go.” She reached out and took Reece’s hand.


They entered a courtyard. The out-of-doors looked like dusk on Earth. They could see three moons overhead of different sizes and the sky looked slightly blue. There was no sign of a setting sun. There were benches and fountains all around with beds of flowering plants they didn’t recognize. They turned and walked down a corridor where they could see other people. When they came into the open again, they were in a place that could only be described as a shopping mall. The whole area was enormous and there were three floors, one below and one above them.


All of them recognized clothing stores and they recognized small markets, jewelry and everyday items that were similar to those on Earth and in Tir. There was an odd assortment of strange gadgets completely unknown to them, but they weren’t going to ask their nature until a later time. The point of their walk was to look around and nothing more; take everything in. The reaction was similar to being brought to Tír na nÓg for the first time and having difficulty relating to a lot of things they saw. There was no doubt they would adjust, they had in the past but Ardeth was very different from both Earth and Tir. Why were they chosen to travel to this planet so far out in the universe was a thought playing over and over again in their minds? None of them were expressing theses thoughts out loud to each other.


Arlo spied an eatery and motioned for them to go inside. He was hungry and wanted to eat. None of them were ready to try and fix any of the food they had in what the Anunna were calling their domicile.


A young lady came to the table where they were sitting and asked if they would like to order. Looking at each other, Darren spoke up and explained they had just arrived and didn’t know much about the food and if she would bring something she thought they might like. He mentioned where they were from.


She smiled and introduced herself. “My name is Maila and I have just the thing for all of you. We have an assortment of drinks. Those listed on the menu are fruit juices and may be similar to ones you already know but have different names. This list is drinks that are bubbly.”


“Would the last you mention be what we call a soda on Earth?” Vanessa hoped something on the menu would be familiar.


“I’m unable to do a comparison to what you eat or drink in the place you mentioned because I’ve never tasted what you’re calling a soda to my knowledge. We are educated in school on other locations but not eating habits specifically. I’m sure everything must seem very strange to you but I’ll make some choices I’m sure you’ll like.”


Maila left the table and came back a couple of minutes later with four glasses filled with liquid.


“We drink blue and I’m sure you do where you live. It’s something every species we are aware of has to ingest.”


“Yes, we call this water and many other names in various languages. Thank you.” Finally something familiar thought Vanessa.


“Wonderful, I’ll be back with your food shortly and I’ll bring some of our bubbling drinks for you to try.”


Ethos walked through the door. Out of courtesy, they motioned for him to join them. All the tables and chairs were oversized but they weren’t so high they couldn’t reach the tables. The chairs could be elevated up and down.


“I’m happy to see you wanted to try some of our local foods. They aren’t much different than what is served in a lot of places on Earth. When you go to one of the other countries, you’ll be able to eat meat if you choose. We have beef and pork and many items you’re use to eating.”

“We’re fine with your local dishes with or without meat, said Reece. “I look forward to trying something new. How did you know we eat meat?”


“We introduced cattle and pigs to Earth, brought them with us. We have cheeses and milk and other foods familiar to you. This country is devoted to An. We try to keep our bodies pure, which means none of us eat flesh. I’m terribly sorry if you are use to other types of food but we’ll do the best we can to give you enjoyable meals.”


“If it’s good, I’ll eat it regardless of lack of meat content.”

Ethos smiled at Arlo’s response. “It looks like our server is on her way with food for you. I’ll order when you’re served.”


Maila sat down a bowl that was definitely salad. Most of the greens were relatively similar. The main course was in individual casserole dishes and steaming hot. The aroma was mouth watering.


“These are the sauces we put over our greens.  The dish I brought you has grains and cheeses we make from a vegetable that has juice extracted and tastes similar to what you know as milk from cows so I’ve been told. There are root vegetables that give it body and others flavor. I hope you enjoy your meal. I’ll be back with drinks. We eat fruit or fruit ices to close our meals.”


“Thank you Maila, I’m sure we’ll enjoy everything you have served us.” Vanessa was picky but didn’t want to offend Maila by rejecting anything.


“Would you like to order Ethos?”


“Yes Maila I’ll have the same as you served the others.”


Maila left and came back with water or blue as she called it and their drinks. They appeared to be sodas and they all smiled.


“Does everyone know you Ethos?”


“Not everyone knows me of course Vanessa, but I eat here often and I know Maila.”


Maila returned with food for Ethos and Vanessa assumed some sort of fruit juice. It was red in color and had what she recognized as pineapple on the side of the glass.


Maila turned to Arlo noticing he had finished everything. She smiled realizing if it was food this human would eat whatever she served him. “Would you like another helping of your main course. We serve all you can eat for one price.”


“A lot of places we’ve dined have similar offers on Earth.” Darren smiled trying to be friendly.


Arlo told her he would like more. Maila took his empty dishes and left. A few minutes later she returned with another casserole and Arlo dived in. They all looked at each other and laughed. Ethos was amused.


“I’d suggest you buy some clothing. You’ve probably noticed we are color coded in the way we dress. I don’t know how to explain it but when people look at you they will know you are students by the color of your clothing. Your color is yellow. You’ll find a variety of styles in our stores. The style is of no importance, only the color.”


“Thank you for the detailed information Ethos.”


“It’s my job to teach you our customs Vanessa, so you can better assimilate into our society while you’re here. If you choose to wear the clothing you brought with you, you may do so while in you’re domicile. No one will get into trouble if you forget but it is proper manners to wear the clothing I’m suggesting. Some may become annoyed if you disregard our customs and take it as an insult which I can’t control.


“Can we find proper clothing in this area or do we need to go further into the city?” Darren didn’t want to comply but resigned himself to the inevitable.


“There are a variety of shops in this sector where you can buy what you need. There are various shades of this color and styles to choose from.  The stores are always open, well one or the other at all times.”


“We wouldn’t have known. Some things are very similar in this city and others foreign but it’s reminiscent of Earth. People eat a variety of foods using various utensils. Have clothing that is geared to their culture. We understand.” Darren was speaking the truth, he was always candid but it didn’t mean he agreed with Ethos.


Reece was listening intently but wasn’t smiling. Something was bothering him but Vanessa was sure he’d tell her when they got back to the domicile.


“There are eight living spaces arranged around the shopping areas. Everyone else lives in the dwelling center in this city. The domiciles in this area are for visitors. We have them close to shopping and markets because of unfamiliarity with our culture, habits, foods, and dress. I’m sure you understand what I’m saying.”


“Yes and it’s a very nice you’re this considerate to those visiting your country."


“It’s for ease in transitioning into our society Vanessa while you’re in Ryslin. Tomorrow I’ll go into the reason you’re here more in depth. Now I think we should enjoy our meals and relax.”


“Of course and the food is tasty.” She was almost finished with her portions, but slightly overwhelmed by all the information imparted. She wondered if Ethos had an agenda for showing up suddenly and joining them.


Arlo rose and told Ethos they were going to leave and shop for yellow clothing after they paid for their meals. He wished them well and they left.


“Did it have to be yellow?” Vanessa grimaced, thinking about the color. “I hate yellow!”


“He said there were different shades Vanessa. Before you go on one of your rants, can we go into one of the shops and see what choices they have which are appropriate for that color?”


“Yes Darren, but a girl has to look her best in a place full of strangers you know.” Vanessa smiled and poked Darren in the side for needling her.


“Come on kiddies, let’s shop.” Reece smiled at their antics. He knew how much Darren loved Vanessa, and common with the Hexen, but he disapproved of the situation regardless.


Reece observed Vanessa’s relationship with Darren was more like brother and sister. Yet he was the one who was assigned to actually be the conduit to feed her. He knew she loved them all but she was in a more romantic relationship with him than her Hexen which was a first everyone in Tir had stated.


“Don’t walk so fast Arlo. He didn’t say we had to run all the way there you know.”


“Sorry Van, but I want to get this over with. You know how I hate to shop for clothing or actually shop at all.”


Reece was still distracted. His thoughts were on Vanessa. He had shrugged off his position in the Triumvirate even though he knew he had the ability to act as a Hexen as well. They didn’t often get sick. It was virtually unknown after the change but every so often one or another of the tribesmen experienced an exception to the rule. They didn’t know why. Even though rare, they thought it was based in the emotions and the breakdown caused illness. It was a territory yet unexplained. He had been feeling strange and hoped he wasn’t going to get sick. After all, wouldn’t it be ironic if he was the one getting sick and on a strange planet in another galaxy? He pushed the thoughts out of his mind.


“Here we go. This shop specializes in everything yellow. How strange this place looks. I wonder if everyone on the planet is assigned a color to identify their station in life?”


“It’s not relevant Arlo. Our goal is to fit into society on Ardeth and at the moment Daros and more specifically Ryslin. If they want us to be recognizable by our status, then that’s what we’re going to do.”


Arlo ignored Darren’s comment because he knew arguing with him would get him nowhere.  Darren was opinionated and nothing anyone had to say in return usually impacted him in any way.


“Does this translator work for oral and written language?  I know the shop is painted yellow on the storefront but I can’t read what is written at the entrance.”


“I don’t know Reece. I knew when I saw the store.” Arlo was becoming angry by all the probing questions aimed at him. Why did they assume he would know all the answers?


They walked into the store. Pleasant music was playing but not in a style they recognized. An attractive young lady approached them. She was wearing green and about ten feet tall.


“Hello, my name is Kyrie. Can I help you find anything specific?”

“Yes, said Vanessa. “We’re visiting students. We were told by our instructor we needed to wear yellow clothing to identify our status while staying in Ryslin. Could you show us the color range and styles most appropriate for all of us?”


“It would be my pleasure. Everyone in Ryslin wears yellow to show in some way they are students or at least academics; teachers, scientists and other such closely related areas of study. You can wear very light shades of yellow to dark browns. Brown is not identified separately but included with this color range. We should have everything you need in this shop. You’re free to look around and pick out what appeals to you. If you see anything you might like to try on I’ll be more than happy to be of further assistance.”


Once they started looking at the clothing they found they were very modern and similar to fashion on Earth. The only difference was the color range. Vanessa picked out a few things; boots and shoes, a large tote for books and supplies, a shoulder bag for her electronic cards and other female gear. Her Triumvirate had their arms full and they all came to the check out counter about the same time causing them all to laugh. They paid for their items and turned to go back to their domicile. They were tired and wanted to sleep. Besides, they had to give Vanessa a feeding and hoped the energy they had collected would be sufficient. They really didn’t know being on another planet.


Once they returned, each of them went to their rooms to put their new acquisitions away. Vanessa wondered how any Anunna could fit into the clothing they bought when Darren entered her room.


“I can answer your question. Ethos more or less told us this area is for guests. I suspect they shop in other places appropriate to their size. Not all of them are double our size in height. You remember those who traveled with us were not. They would be able to shop in these stores is my gut hunch. I don’t think it matters. The three of us linked before I came into your room so I could feed you.  Are you ready for me Vanessa?”


“Give me about five minutes. Why don’t you wait on the bed for me?”


There was a shower fixture in her bath, she took her clothing off and turned it on. The water flowing down her body relaxed her. Stepping out of the stream she turned the water off and took a towel. When she walked into the bedroom, Darren was waiting with his clothing neatly piled on the chair by the bed. He was already excited. Darren’s face was flushed and she sat on the side of the bed and embraced him. He pulled her down and started to kiss her. Even though it was pleasurable she didn’t feel the same about him as she did Reece. She knew this was her feeding style like all females of the court or related.


She pulled him up into a sitting position and placed her hands at the nape of his neck and the energy flowed into her as they coalesced. She didn’t need anything done to her with the stones these days so it was a relatively rote infusion of energy. She loved the sensual gratification she derived from it but regardless she had a preference.


“I know you’d rather be with Reece than me and the next time, I’ll oblige you by letting him try to feed you. His hair is the proper length and I’ve been told he has the ability.”


“Darren I’m sorry if I’ve hurt your feelings but you should know, or be able to detect, I love you but I’m in love with Reece. I can’t help how I feel. Since I have these desires I would prefer to be fed directly by him only because we are both in love with each other. The attachment is deeper but doesn’t mean I don’t care for you and Arlo. You are my Triumvirate and I can’t help but love you all.”


Darren looked at her and opened the door and left. He forgot his clothing and after Vanessa put on sleepwear she left her room to find Darren. She knocked on his door and he opened it still in the nude.


“You forgot these.” She handed him his clothing.

“I guess I did.” He reached for his clothes and thanked her shutting his door. She noticed he reacted to her presence. He couldn’t hide it and most likely why he closed the door quickly.


They four of them had no barriers relating to gender. They often wore no clothing given their situation. They all took it for granted it wasn’t always necessary. They usually went swimming and napped often because of the energy transference between them.


She wondered as she walked back to her room how Arlo felt because she had never made love with him. Maybe it was an avenue she would go down. If she slept with all of them hopefully the jealousy would stop and the number of feedings she would need. She was a sensual love and fertility goddess and fed on energy relating to the need required. Still, she desired Reece for other reasons than feeding. She routinely interacted with Darren who obviously had developed feelings for her. She’d been blind to his desires. Some of her kind got beyond the physical side of things but for her, nothing had changed. They all looked a lot alike but there were distinct differences whether slight to others and especially in personality.


She turned toward Arlo’s bedroom and knocked on the door. He opened it surprised to see her.


“Aren’t you going to invite me in?”


Vanessa dropped her robe. She could tell he had reacted just like Darren but she also realized most men would to the sight of a naked woman. What she wanted to know ran deeper.


“Arlo, you have seen me undressed many times. You have made no attempt to be intimate with me. Is that how you feel, uninterested? You’re as attractive as your brothers and almost any woman would find you desirable. I have seen them stare at you in Tir. Yet you act as if you have no interest in me even though part of my Triumvirate. I had to know why.”


“Vanessa you know very well you’re beautiful beyond words. Every inch of your body is perfect from top to bottom. Any man who saw you as you are before me now would become aroused and seek to make love to you. It isn’t because you’re nude because I have seen you unclothed many times. How can I, the last one you have shown any interest, lower myself to the position of a beggar for your affection?”


She walked over to where Arlo was standing and removed his clothing. It was evident he wanted her. She was going to sleep with him so he could at least fulfill this one desire. She could pickup on his thoughts and he had been keeping himself from thinking about her, wanting her. Now she would give him what was his due. The relationship of a Triumvirate with their chosen one was always difficult but with her type emotionally charged.


Taking his hand she led him to the bed and started to push him down on the pillow. For awhile, he looked at her and let her do what she wanted to him. When he could take no more he flipped her over so she was lying beneath him and entered her. He was rhythmic but urgent. He was kissing her and running his hands over her body. There was a difference from the other two. The reaction was wild abandon. He realized she was lost in the moment. Not knowing what to think about their encounter, he decided not to analyze her behavior. They relaxed beside each other for a few minutes but the interval didn’t last long. He took her by surprise but again the way he moved and touched her was unlike anything she had experienced with Darren or Reece. She hadn’t expected to react to him so intensely. She grabbed his hair from the back and pulled him down to kiss her. The response was overwhelming and she found herself kissing him passionately.


When they separated she looked at Arlo not knowing if she should say anything about their situation. She realized if she didn’t he might not recover like other Triumvirate members in the past who internalized their emotions. “Why didn’t you tell me you loved me like that?”


“Why should I?  I didn’t see any point in it. Even though I look much like my brothers I was considered the clown as if I had no feelings but every male Triumvirate is in love with the goddess they feed. Why would I be any different? Your ambrosia is intoxicating. You leak the fluid that entices men and with one taste, it drives most of us wild. I have tasted you now and I want more and more of you but I know how to keep my distance.”


“Put your hand here and follow my instructions. When I tell you, I want you to drink. The fluid released will calm your urges.”


Arlo responded without question. He didn’t feel any different afterward but she assured him he would. Her fluids could excite or calm depending on which ones were tasted. Ambrosia was intoxicating as he mentioned but what could she do? It was apart of who and what she was.  She had been told her Triumvirate would be vulnerable to her and the warning had been correct.


“I love you Vanessa, just as much as Reece or Darren, but I know you favor Reece. I was told by The Mater what would happen and it was predictable but they didn’t know why. There would be one who would be more than just someone to feed you. I accepted what I was told and decided to deal with it in my own way.”


Vanessa got up and walked over to Arlo. He was standing near the bathroom door after he left the bed. “Let’s take a shower and get cleaned up and I’ll go back to my room afterward.”


She followed him and they got inside the chamber together. She didn’t know what else to call it because it wasn’t squared off like those on Earth or even some of the unusual showers she had seen in Tir. As the water began to run down her body and his, she looked up into Arlo’s eyes and rose to her tiptoes and started to kiss him. She didn’t know what prompted her to say it but she did. “I love you too Arlo.” Leaving the shower, she whisked up a towel, opened and closed his bedroom door going down the hall and into her own room.

 

 

CHAPTER TWO

 

Darren walked to Vanessa’s room and knocked on her door, he didn’t get a response. He opened her door a crack and peeked inside. She wasn’t in her bed. She must be showering he thought. He’d check back in five minutes. He was dressed in his new clothing and ready to leave. 

 

Arlo walked into the kitchen ready to leave as well. One by one they entered the room. Reece was mono chromatic in all brown attire but casually dressed with a jacket and book bag similar to Darren’s.

 

Vanessa showed up with her hair pinned up in a tan slack set. They looked at each other and remembered she didn’t like yellow so this was her best shot at complying with Ethos’ request. She had the shoulder bag she purchased and the tote for books. Her boots were similar to what Arlo was wearing. She looked perfectly dressed for class. They had all learned years ago not to fight against what was requested of them.

 

“Why are all of you staring at me?”

 

“Your pants outfit is very becoming to you Vanessa,” said Darren.

 

“Yes,” said Arlo, “it compliments your body well.”


The pants were long and cinched. The top was open in the back with a tie across her back and halter neck. The lady recommended it to her because the weather was warm and it was acceptable for class. It came with a tunic jacket to match.

 

“Don’t stand there and drool guys. You’ve all seen me with much less.”

 

“Yes, but somehow when you’re dressed provocatively, you’re even more beautiful. Forgive us for staring. We were warned before we were assigned to you that you would be stunning. Even so, it still amazes all of us how much we underestimated the extent. We’re still adjusting to the reality of your beauty and feminine attraction.”

 

“You think so do you Reece?” Vanessa was starting to blush which broke the embarrassment they all felt. They looked at each other and laughed.

 

Darren always played the part of the leader and moved the conversation to what he thought was more important. “Come on we need to leave or we’ll be late. I don’t know what the consequence for being tardy is in this sector, country, and planet, whatever.”

 

They seized their various bags and went into the corridor. The door automatically locked and they headed for the auditorium where the classes were being held. Ethos had told them they would be serving breakfast prior to the lecture.

 

The room was filled with new people and some of them were not from Earth or Tir but they were humanoid. The differences were subtle. There were those with slightly pointed ears and some with unusual colors of hair which could have been dyed and a fashion statement from where they hailed. None of them knew the answers to the questions floating around in their thoughts. They hoped Ethos would elaborate on the students today. Maybe have each one of them stand and tell their names and where they lived. They seated themselves and waited for Ethos to begin. Instead servers came into the room and placed plates in front of them filled with what appeared to be a type fruit and glasses of chilled water.

 

Arlo started to eat almost immediately and seemed to be enjoying himself. The rest of them took his lead and began to eat the fruit which was surprisingly good. They returned with a hot dish containing grains and vegetables which was also delicious. They refilled their water glasses and when they were done brought them each two small pastries filled with fruit.

 

Ethos walked to the stage. He was about to start his lecture or impart important information beforehand. “We hope you enjoyed your first meal of the day. It’s now time to begin. You may finish while I speak. Most of you have been told you were brought here to train in the magical arts, namely glamoury. This is not the name the Anunna use for our version of magic. So that’s not what we are teaching you. Others of you have been told something else but Tartecon is what you are going to be taught. It’s a combination of spells, telepathic nuances and shape shifting. When I use the word shape shifting I don’t mean physically. I mean the practice of affecting the mind to project a false image to others. It’s very similar to what some of our guests actually call glamoury, but it is a practice entailing much more. This is why some of the planets you come from have a false idea of our appearance but I assure you what you are seeing on Ardeth is not a blinded vision.”

 

A young lady walked into the room dressed in green similar to the woman in the clothing store. They must be those who perform a service thought Vanessa. She was sure of it and was going to ask someone soon to salve her curiosity.

 

“All those planning to go to Andros today will need to follow Audra to the bio-porters. You will be schooled later in what we present this morning. There will be private classes tomorrow on today’s lecture for those who take this excursion.”

“That’s us,” said Reece. “I signed all of us up for the trip. Get your things and follow me.”

 

Audra led everyone out of the room and outside their sector into another building. They were accompanied by another of the goddesses and her Triumvirate, soon joined by others from various places they had not been privy to knowing.

 

“If you will follow Gorla, which is the man entering the room, he’ll put each of you into one of our bio-porters. It’ll be a matter of seconds and you’ll arrive at a docking area and be processed for the visit. Badges will be assigned to you and your electronic money vouchers will be good in Andros as well if you choose to make purchases. We wish you a good journey. You will be returned by twilight.”

 

The four of them were put into what could only be described as a capsule and told to hang onto their belongings tightly. They pressed a lever and before they could blink they were being unbuckled and taken out.


“Welcome to Andros.” A different young lady around ten feet tall greeted them. She was extremely beautiful. There were no other words to describe her. She was dressed in a dark shade of pink and wearing what could only be described as a dress.

 

“I’m your liaison for your trip. My name is Nyla Bingaurela. I am the daughter of the commander of the second tier. If you will follow me I’ll be taking you on a guided tour. You will be given a sheet to fill out with your choices of what to do today. These choices are limited I’m afraid since you are considered dignitaries and here to merely learn about the planet. Like your planets, I’m sure you must go through certain background checks and have papers guaranteeing your identity when you travel outside  your own countries. Since you just arrived, we have to rely on the information we received from Ardeth on your behalf. Therefore, we issued a limited excursion pass for today. Please attach the badges I will give you to your clothing in plain sight.”

 

“You’re in the city of Tsandria in the province of Corthen. We are a Confederation of Nations who serve to make this planet a place for relaxation and retreat. There are distinct countries with different customs and activities. I’m sure you will enjoy what they have to offer or be informed of their existence and nature. Since we cater to relaxation you will not be introduced to any sporting activities. Much of what we do on Andros is based on sensory perceptions and expansion of consciousness through sight, touch and sound. This includes swimming, dancing, singing and going to the spas which are prevalent on this planet. We hope when you return to Ardeth the experience will leave a lasting impression.”

 

“First we’ll take you to the Sensorium. You will be pampered and refreshed. We’ll make all your senses interactive with what you see not to mention a thorough massage that will release all tensions and fear. You’ll love this spa. It’s our most elite. Those who are from the area of Earth will experience everything with your Triumvirates. We have been apprised this is the most effective way for you to go through the spa. If this describes your grouping please step forward.”

 

There was only one other goddess on the trip and she stepped forward along with Vanessa. Each Triumvirate stood behind.

“If you will follow me, we’ll get started.  The rest of you please wait until other guides arrive.”

 

She took them out of the room and out a door to a large building directly opposite. Inside they were asked to step on what she called the Tram. It took them to the other side of a huge complex. They stepped off and entered a room where a young woman was waiting for them.

 

“This is Duva and she’s going to take you on a mental journey through your senses together. I’ll return when you finish your session.”

 

They noticed Duva was wearing green, another sign of a service oriented occupation.

 

“First I’m going to issue you locks for the cubicles where you’re to place all your personal items. You’ll each have one. Remove all jewelry or anything else metal on your body. It may be necessary for you to let your hair down miss. Please remove your shoes. It’s not necessary to disrobe. If you noticed there is a place to slide your EPC at the bottom of the lock. I’ll set up the connection to the lock if you’ll please give me your cards.”

 

She led them into a side room where there was a long row of lockers and showed them how to stow their personal items and attach the locks.  The process was simple and when finished she escorted them back into the other room. They didn’t know what it was called.

 

“I have four tables set up. They’re not hard like the average massage table because that isn’t what we do in this room.  As you can see, there is one in the front. I would like your Hexen to get on that table stomach down. The goddess is to get on the middle table and your other two on whichever table suits them on either side. I’m going to  tie-back your hair.”


Vanessa was slightly disturbed she didn’t allow her to tie back her own hair but she acquiesced.

 

“Introductions would be appropriate at this point.”

 

Vanessa spoke first. “My Hexen is Darren and the one on the right of me is Reece and on the left is Arlo. They’re all brothers born on the same day. We call them triplets. My name is Vanessa, Princess of the Court, and many other irrelevant titles.” She smiled at the young woman and continued. “All of us are twenty-five in Earth years.”

 

“Yes, I understand the way age is counted on your planet. I have visited Earth once. Thank you for the information it will be very useful and I can address you each by name.”

 

“Will we be sleeping?” asked Vanessa.

 

“No you’ll be in a state of altered consciousness but I have been told it enhances the experience if you close your eyes. I leave the decision to the individual. In your case, you should decide as a group to close or keep open your eyes. If one plans to close their eyes it’s best all of you make that choice.”

 

“I know for myself I would rather have my eyes closed. How do the rest of you feel?”

 

Nothing ever changed with Darren. He was always trying to be the one who led the way when a decision had to be made. They all agreed to close their eyes.

 

“Now I’m going to link the four of you together by connecting these rods between you and placing this electrode to the back of your head at your neck level. Please put your feet in the center of the table and not spread apart. Lower your heads so they rest on the built in pillow at the top of your table and relax.”

 

Vanessa felt scared. This was a new experience and she never adapted well to them. She decided to give into the situation reluctantly but never said anything aloud.

 

“You’ll hear music through the headsets I placed on each of you. Light is going to change in the room and even though your eyes are closed you’ll sense it. The energy will flow from one to the other of you and you should drift off into dreams of your own making. You will interact with each other in this alternate state of reality.”


Vanessa found herself riding a horse along a trail by a river. The scenery was lovely and there were two moons in the sky. She definitely wasn’t on Earth. A clearing was coming up and she saw an area that would be good to stop and soak up the beauty of the countryside. She dismounted and let her horse graze. Her clothes were something similar to an old-fashioned riding habit, as much as she knew about them, which was virtually nothing. There was a pack on the back of her horse and she opened it to see what was inside. She found a blanket and a lot of food carefully packed. She took it down and laid it beside a tree spreading out her blanket beneath in the cooling shade. She wasn’t ready for food, just relaxation.

 

She heard another horse approaching by the sound of hoof beats. In the distance, a familiar voice said hello.

 

“Reece, how did you know where to find me?”

 

“I didn’t know. I suddenly found myself riding a horse down this path and there you were sitting under a tree. I think you brought me here.”

 

“Where is everybody else? I don’t see your brothers following behind you.”

 

“I can’t answer your question. I don’t even know how I got here. Maybe you should think about that question and come up with an answer of your own.”

 

They both turned as they saw Arlo and Darren ride up. They dismounted and walked over to where Reece was standing.

 

“What are we doing here?” said Arlo.

 

“There’s something very odd about all of this. Although I like horses, I’ve never been riding and I sure as hell wouldn’t plan a picnic. It’s not my style,” said Vanessa.

 

“My suggestion is to link together and return to the room.”

 

“A good idea Darren but maybe we could simply open our eyes.”

 

“How do you propose we sense our eyes Arlo? We agreed to keep them closed?”

 

“Since this is a first Vanessa, maybe the same way we do anything together. We telepathically link and will it to happen,” said Reece.

 

“Let’s give it a try.” Vanessa was willing to try anything even if it didn’t work.

 

Each took the hand of the other until a link was created. They had done this many times in feeding situations. Sometimes one or the other of them had a problem and they used this method to get a clearer picture, for healing and many other reasons. It had always worked as the best way for them to solve any problem as a group.

 

First Vanessa lifted her head and looked around and one by one the others followed. Much to Vanessa’s horror, she realized they were all bandaged around their necks. Not a bandage really, she didn’t know what it was.

 

“What have you done?” Darren screamed at the men in the room with them. Duva was nowhere to be seen, but three men were with them garbed in what they thought was medical attire.

 

Vanessa got off the table as did each one of her Triumvirate. She raised her arm to pull off whatever it was covering her neck.

 

“I wouldn’t do that right now. It’s premature for any of you to remove the covering yet.” Still unidentified one of the men spoke to them.

 

“Who are you people?” Reece got off his table and walked toward them.

 

“My name is Braila and I’m senior in charge. We aren’t sure what your words are for what we do. Asu is the word we know or physicians. Are either of these familiar to you?”

 

“Yes we understand the last.” Darren had an ominous tone in his voice they all recognized. The three physicians shuddered slightly.

 

“What have you done?” Reece repeated his question in a booming voice. He also advanced toward the men.

 

“Come, we’re getting out of this place, going back to Ardeth and then home on the first cruiser off the planet.” Darren never liked to be kept in the dark or deceived.

 

Vanessa turned with an angry look on her face. It was the only time any of the three had seen that particular look.

 

“Stop Darren, this is my decision. Who made you dictator of  us all? You’re not in charge, don’t you understand? You are my Hexen but I’m in charge and I mean to find out immediately what they have done to us and why. Do you all understand?” Vanessa was asserting her place in the group and would not take any of Darren’s guff.

 

Reece looked over at Darren and saw his face was turning red. He was about to do something he knew Darren would regret. He placed his hand on his shoulder and whispered, “Not now Darren.”

 

“I think you owe us an explanation. I’d like to hear your excuses now. Who gave you permission to do anything to the four of us? More importantly did you do something to the other princess who accompanied us to Andros?” Vanessa wanted answers and wasn’t going to accept their hedging.

 

“We’ll call the Consul Assembly. The answer you’re seeking can’t be imparted by us. It is forbidden. If you’ll relax, one of us will send for their Envoy specifically representing you while you are visiting Andros.” Braila turned and left the room followed by the other two.

 

“Vanessa was it necessary for you to humiliate me in front of these males?”

 

“No Darren it wasn’t my intention. You over-stepped your authority. Just because you were chosen as the Hexe Lord of my Triumvirate does not in any way single you out as the person in charge.”

 

“Vanessa, you need to measure your words.” Reece and his brothers knew their place but she didn’t have to insult Darren in public.

 

“No Reece, I recognized his body language and he was about to use magic on the three of them. Then what would we have done so far from home?  Violence is not the answer to this situation if we ever want to see Tír na nÓg or for that matter Earth again.”

 

“We have the ability and training to protect ourselves but we never use it except in self defense. No one on Tir is violent by nature. I can’t speak so kindly of Earth.” said Arlo.

“Did you recognize the other princess? I did,” said Darren. “There’s no way she won’t protect herself and she doesn’t need magic in all situations. I don’t think they researched the background of Tir inhabitants and the capabilities of any princess before they brought us to Ardeth.”

 

“You’re completely wrong about your assumptions.” A beautiful female entered the room. “I’m Envoy Shaena. I represent your best interests on Ardeth and Andros. Your backgrounds have thoroughly been examined. That’s why we chose you.”

 

“Chose us? Why, for what?” Darren spoke out of turn again and Vanessa held onto her composure even though she wanted to scold him.

 

Vanessa held up her palm to him as if to tell him to wait and not speak again.

 

“We know Vanessa and Maeve are adept at many disciplines and why they were chosen. Also, we know all the Triumvirates are royal in nature making them a good choice as well. You are the best of your kind at the moment. Those centuries old, even though young in appearance, wouldn’t be as adaptable. Therefore, all of you moved to the top of our list. I’m also from Tír na nÓg.”

 

“Would you please explain what they have done to us and why?”

 

“I would be more than happy to give you a briefing Vanessa. I told them back on Tir they should inform you of the truth. The Council of Twelve felt you wouldn’t comply so they took the choice out of your hands.”

 

“They had no right to experiment on us.”

 

“No they didn’t Vanessa.” Another young woman walked into the room.

 

“My name is Maeve and you bet I agree with all of you. I don’t like being manipulated, never have and this situation is an insult to our intelligence. I know I can’t speak for this Triumvirate group but I sure as hell can speak for myself and my Triumvirate.”

 

“All of you must remain calm. Gather in this room and I will send someone to take you to a Tram and you can come to my dwelling and have midday meal. I’ll explain everything in detail at that time.”

 

Shaena left as Maeve’s Triumvirate entered the room looking angry.

 

“I guess I should introduce you to my Triumvirate. Hey you gets a little old.” Maeve grinned hoping to release some of the tension in the room.

 

“This is Carey, Hoyt and my Hexen who walked into the room last, Torin. Now it’s your turn if you don’t mind.”

 

“Standing to my far left is my Hexen, Darren. Beside him is Reece and on my other side is Arlo. We’re all happy to meet you. Do you know why we’re here, any inkling?”

 

“I’m afraid not and if they don’t hurry I don’t know how long I can keep these guys from taking matters into their own hands. They don’t like the subterfuge and misrepresentation of why they brought us here.”

 

“Whatever the reason, they did something to all of us without our permission.” Vanessa was furious but also scared at the same time. What had they done to all of them?

 

Reece noticed Maeve’s Hexen eyeing Vanessa. He wasn’t happy about it but kept quiet. He realized there was another time to warn him off if he tried anything more than staring. Now was not the time.

 

A young man returned stating he was a guide and asked all of them to follow him. They walked down hallways they didn’t recognize and finally came to a Tram which they were told to ride. Shaena would be waiting or an aide at their arrival point.

 

Vanessa saw Maeve kiss each one of her Triumvirate assuring them everything would be fine. She noticed she lingered with Torin. He was exceptionally good looking and she suspected he was the single of the group and the other two twins. It wasn’t relevant but something she noticed.

 

Reece took Vanessa’s hand as they came close to their departure point. Shaena was waiting along with a young man he assumed must be an aide and was definitely Anunna.

 

“I’m glad you arrived safely. I was beginning to worry because your arrival took longer than I had expected. Have you all become acquainted?”

 

They nodded their heads and waited for her to say more.

 

“If you would follow me this way, our meals are being served. I’ll explain the reason we brought you here while we eat. An afterthought, our food will not vary from traditional food served in Daros. The general excursion is sponsored by that country.”

 

They were all seated around a large banquet style table. Plates with steaming food and bowls with greens were sitting beside them. There was a pitcher of water and others of juice. They looked around the dwelling and noticed it wasn’t much different than what they were calling their domicile in Ryslin. It wasn’t long before they realized there was one major difference when in walked The Mater.

 

 

CHAPTER THREE

 

 

The shock of seeing The Mater in Andros took awhile to wear off. Most of them stared in disbelief and a few belonging to the respective Triumvirates looked mad. They kept their tongues waiting for either Vanessa or Maeve to comment.

 

“I guess someone has to say something. What were you thinking Mater? You blindsided us. We all believed we were going to enjoy a trip and be educated about the Anunna and where they’re now living; the chosen ones, what a joke!”

 

The Mater had to smile at Maeve’s outburst. She had always been rather outspoken in a tolerable way.

 

“Yes, I guess we did overstep our authority somewhat, but we did it because we knew we would have difficulty getting all of you to agree to our proposal.”

 

“That explanation is supposed to excuse you from taking us here for ulterior motives and letting strangers do medical procedures on us without our permission? You literally hijacked us to these planets. That’s not acceptable. I want to leave and take my Triumvirate with me back to Tir. I wish to express my grievances with the Council of Twelve.”

“I understand your anger Maeve but listen to what I have to tell you first before you attempt to leave.”

 

“There’s something I’d like to know as well. How did you get here so quickly or have you been on either of these planets the whole time?”

 

“No Vanessa, I just arrived and it looks like just in time to stop all of you from doing something you might regret for a very long time.”

 

The Mater realized Vanessa’s presence on the planets was tenuous since she was a very adept witch of the old school; a high priestess. Not of the New Age creations, but of the traditions which had scared most of Europe. She was not a worshipper of any Christian demons or their god. This was not her belief but she was someone to be reckoned with if she actually felt she was in a position she needed to defend herself. Not even the Druids would be a match for her. They knew this when they sent her but took the chance anyway. The fact she had magical prowess might be to their advantage and her healing abilities were exceptional.

 

“Please be more direct, no more skirting the issue. Tell us why we were really brought here and why you lied to us.”

 

“We didn’t lie to any of you Maeve. The fact we didn’t tell you everything was not to harm you. We couldn’t take the chance you would object. People’s lives depend on you.”

 

“Fine, then get to the point and tell us the reason you chose us and why you sent us out this far away from home.” Vanessa was losing her patience and she realized what could happen if she went over the edge. She wondered if they had any idea.

 

“You were selected out of numerous candidates. The Twelve believed it would be better to send our princesses with their Triumvirates. We wanted teams to work together and we thought Triumvirate groupings were the best choice. The connection between Triumvirates and their charges are extremely close and the telepathic development between them is well documented. This was a deciding factor.”

 

“Right, I think we all figured that out. Please Mater get to the crux of this situation. If my responses seem rude to you it can’t be helped because of the ruse you played on us.”

 

“I’m getting to it Maeve. Please be patient. I’m sure you have heard of cities beneath the oceans of Earth. Scientists and other interested parties scoff at the idea and consider it myth. Unfortunately it’s not myth.”

 

“You’re telling us there are people on Earth living under the ocean in cities created long ago?”

 

“Yes Arlo and the Anunna built them with the help of early man they engineered. They’re not subservient to the Anunna but helped in many capacities because they were created on the planet. The main group left due to cataclysm, a huge flood.”

 

“You see, their original home planet was gone. They ended up on Earth. The Anunna had been there a long time so rumors of them coming from the stars were thought to be fantasy. They couldn’t get these people out of the cities and thought they were dead until recently. The Tuatha De’ actually discovered their presence, but we can’t go down to the depths where the cities are located and they’re all around the Earth. We needed to create teams of those born on Earth we could help adapt to pressure and swim with no encumbrances. When I say depths I don’t mean areas like the Mariana Trench. They aren’t living in those extremes, but enough everyone will need some training to make the dives possible.”

 

“What did you do to us Mater?” Darren wanted an explanation concerning what had been done to them and he wanted it before the history lesson.

 

“We gave you gills. The Anunna have them but they’re generally covered by their clothing. I’m sure you didn’t notice even though most knew. Many can’t dive to the levels required because they have been away from Earth too long. They decided it best to work with others who were born on Earth or had lived there since a baby. Normally you couldn’t reach these depths. The scientists have worked out a way where you will be able to manage being that deep in the ocean. This will be your only operation. The cities need to be repaired so they can bring them to the surface. Once this is done the Anunna will take over and get everyone out. They no longer need these colonies on Earth.”


“Do they even know what it’s like above the water, or people exist in numbers and there’s a thriving civilization on the lands above?”

 

“No Torin, they believe man was inundated by the flood. They’ve been living in these cities for generations. The Anunna can’t communicate with them anymore to let them know. Most believed at first they were fine living in the oceans of Earth, but after so long these cities are becoming uninhabitable. They need to get all of their people and humans out soon.”


“How do they know if they can’t communicate with their people any longer?”


“Hoyt, isn’t it obvious? They’re telepathic and the Tuatha De’ were asked to send divers down and we did. Not to a depth they could interact with our divers but enough they could see the cities below. We couldn’t communicate with them but we could pick up on their inner communications and arrived at this conclusion. They no longer are able to bring the cities to the surface. Not a one of them. We need to fix their propulsion units which are on the outside of the cities. They don’t venture outside after so many years. They believe they will die and most likely would after so long. There’s no doubt we have to bring them to the surface slowly or they will die anyway. I doubt they have any workable decompression chambers.”

 

“Don’t you have a better idea than this one? Couldn’t we bring down decompression chambers they can enter by attaching them to the city and then fix what you’re suggesting? Then you could have them bring their cities to the surface. Hopefully no one will notice above.”

 

“The possibility is being explored Darren, we came up with the same idea but the Anunna scientists are still working on the plan. They don’t want to endanger their people or ours. We have other options which may mean we merely put them into conveyances we already have for underwater travel and leave the cities below.”

 

“It’s a little late. They endangered us by not giving us a choice. I can live with the gills if there’s no way to reverse the process but give us the rest of the day to get together and see if all of us agree to do this for you and the Anunna.”


“Yes, of course we will Maeve.”


“I want to know how these cities remained undetected with the modern devices they have in 2052. There are satellites and imaging cameras everywhere?” Reece was having a difficult time believing what The Mater was telling them.


“I’ve been told they have a way to cloak themselves, what the source might be was never fully divulged to me. Our main concern is bringing the cities to the surface or the people themselves. You can ask all these questions if you must know the details at another time. There’s a serious decision to be made and quickly.”

 

“The problem holding me back is how this all came down. I can tell you I’m still livid about being brought here under false pretences.”

 

“All right Maeve and the rest of you, I get it. I do understand your frustration and your anger. You can have today but we must know your answer at twilight so we can prepare. The training you will need is going to take time. I’ll return in approximately eight hours as they measure on Earth.”

 

“Follow Shaena’s aide, Bresco. He’ll show you where your sleeping quarters are and the communal room for eating, reading or watching some of the movies we brought from Earth. Everything is geared for your convenience. They set up a cold keeper in the rooms, as well, similar to the ones on Ardeth, and stocked it with food we also brought from Earth.  Please fix and eat everything in the communal room assigned to you or your sleeping area. Only in these areas,  are you free to eat anything you like including meat. There’s an instruction booklet just inside.”

 

“Instruction booklets everywhere and frankly I’m sick of reading them. Are we nothing more than children? I realize they don’t want an incident that would scandalize their general populace. Regardless, this is all a little over the top and I’m starting to get offended. What about our customs, our feelings? This is bullshit!”

 

The Mater recognized Maeve was at her limit and others were getting to the same point as well.  She was concerned but the project was far more important than their feelings.

 

“We understand you think this is unfair. It’s only in your mind. You’re visiting a foreign country on a planet in another galaxy. They want everyone aware of their customs. They’ve provided some history, so you can assimilate while you’re visiting. It’s only natural they wouldn’t want people coming here and disrupting their way of life.”

 

“All of us understand this concept but on the other hand they need to realize our values, our way of life is important as well. As a visitor to these planets and one that has been brought here by a lie, I expect them to cater somewhat to our needs, our ways.”

 

“They have done this Vanessa, made every effort to accommodate you and provide some familiarity to the life you know. For instance, they’ve providing food from Earth in your eating area. You’ve been allowed to wear your own clothing within the boundaries of your living quarters. No one else on these planets are afforded so much leeway to stray from their laws.  They have a very strict code of ethics that covers every level of life. Whatever is written in ancient Earth history is just that. Like every culture over time, many practices were stopped and they evolved. I could spend more time giving you these long winded answers short of a lecture. Instead, I’m going to leave to give you time to decide if you’ll help in this endeavor.”

 

The Mater rose and left the room with everyone still upset. Bresco entered and asked them to follow him to their individual living quarters. Everyone was shown to their own sleeping areas and Vanessa was the last. Bresco lingered showing Vanessa some of the amenities of their bedrooms. He showed her how the showers worked and how she could contact the other rooms individually. He also pointed out the cold cabinet she had in her room with snacks and drinks especially for the individual occupant.

 

“I’m impressed by the lengths they have gone to please us given the circumstances. Bresco, be honest. Do you think we should help bring the cities to the surface of Earth? What are your true feelings as an Anunnaki or Anunna, whichever you prefer.”

 

“My personal choice is the earlier name, Anunna, but individually call me Bree. Most people customarily call me by my nickname rather than Bresco. The project they are asking you to implement is debatable. I believe it will be very dangerous going down into the deep oceans on Earth to get these people to the surface. I can tell you my viewpoint, but in the end, it’s your decision to make and not mine.”

 

Vanessa studied the young man. He didn’t look much older than she was and he was stunning. At eight feet tall, she knew he was a Traveler without even asking. His hair was long and had been twisted in places to hold it back. The color was not white or red but a color resembling light beige. She had no other way of describing it. He wore long pants, boots and a tunic style top that had a V-neckline and buttoned down the front in blue.

 

“I’m afraid you’re unnerving me by staring at me so intently.”  Bresco shifted his body slightly embarrassed.

 

Vanessa started to laugh because it was an odd statement for one who had been staring at her the whole time since they had first met.

 

“Why are you laughing Princess Vanessa?”

 

“I found your comment amusing since you have been looking me up and down for quite awhile now. What do you really want Bree?”

 

“You’re a very beautiful specimen of human and I would like to know you better in a more intimate way.”

 

“I’m not completely human Bree, I’m Tuatha De’, but if I understand what you’re saying to me, you have my permission. Understand my answer is purely out of curiosity and nothing more. If my comment doesn’t offend you, then as I stated we can try.”

 

“Thank you for the honor of becoming one together.”

“Are Anunna usually this direct about intimacy?”

 

“We consider it good manners to ask the female first rather than take them. Don’t your males do the same?”

 

“Yes but in a different way. They’re a little more subtle about it in most cases.”

 

“I merely want to admire you. Is that not allowed in your culture? Many on this planet would gladly be with me. I’m not as tall as most but I am an elite of the Traveler caste and my height is appropriate for the service I perform.”

 

“You don’t need to explain yourself to me Bree. I understand what you want. It’s not a foreign request to me due to the nature of what I am.”

 

“The beauty you possess Princess Vanessa is beyond most of the women in my caste. I’m overwhelmed and thankful for the honor you have given me. Your behaviors are foreign to me. Most of what I am experiencing with you is considered unclean in my culture.”

 

“You are with someone from another planet who grew up on Earth. That’s not our custom. While you’re with me I will do what is my nature.”

 

“Fine, there are no laws against it.”

 

“I thought you told me you wanted to become one.”

 

“Yes but our way is different and more mental in nature, telepathic. We never join physically as you are suggesting. This action is also considered unclean in our society.”

 

“Our society approves and this is one of the ways we make children through making love. It’s one of the most common ways of describing what we are about to do. Follow my lead.”

 

“I’ve never felt anything like this Vanessa. I’m especially fond of what you told me was kissing.”

 

“You are surprised but pleased?”  Vanessa sighed because she knew her life would be filled with requests like his. Some she was determined to deny regardless of her nature.

 

“What do you think? I’m sure you could tell by my reaction. I had read of this in our books but thought it made up and a myth. Men and women don’t interact in this manner among the Anunna at least those that live in this galaxy. Our children are born outside the woman’s body. We do telepathically link with the opposite gender privately. I have known no other way but I have to say I enjoy your way very much.

 

“I’m a fertility goddess and this action is healthful for me. I’m invigorated afterward, but I don’t do this with just any male, I’m selective. I have my Triumvirate and they feed me with the energy that is derived by this action. I would rather not say anything further about my private life but I assume I have given you enough information to understand why I have three males with me.”

 

“I should be leaving. I’ve taken up much of your time. Know I am very fond of you and will return to see you if I’m able. I must depart for now.” Bresco turned exiting the room.

 

Vanessa took a thorough shower and got dressed. Opening her bedroom door she walked into the hall to look for their communal room. The room was three doors down on the left. She entered and Maeve stood up.

 

“We’ve been waiting for you for sometime. What took you so long?”

 

“I wanted to clean up and change first if you don’t mind. I’m sorry I kept you waiting Maeve.”

 

“Now you’re finally here I think it’s imperative we make some decisions right away. They aren’t giving us much time for discussion.”

 

Darren had ideas of why she took so long and Reece knew but was not going to reveal this to anyone. It was his secret and he definitely didn’t approve.

 

“Does anyone have anything to say about what they want us to do?” Vanessa had misgivings about the viability of the task.

 

“I’d like to know how dangerous this will be for all of us. I’m for bringing them up if we can. We can die if we are seriously injured.” Carey had been quiet through most of the discussion until now.

 

“This could be very dangerous and I think I’m the most informed on the subject at hand. I’m a certified diver on Earth. I have gone cave diving many times which is very dangerous. There will be hazards, but if they can suit us properly since we now have gills and train us appropriately, I think we can easily accomplish what they are asking of us. I assume I was picked because of my diving knowledge.” Maeve knew she was setting herself up for leadership responsibility but they needed to know she was not a novice.

 

“I know this is a very old-fashioned idea but it will work all the same. I’ll pass out small slips of paper and we can all vote. Whatever the outcome we need to stand behind the tally. Are we in agreement?” It was obvious Arlo was becoming impatient with all the talk.

 

“Since no one has objected, I’ll help Arlo find paper and pencils or pens for voting.” Darren got up and started opening drawers.

 

They found paper, pencils, and scissors in a drawer. Vanessa found a bowl in an upper cabinet. They were set. Each one put their vote into the bowl. Maeve was to open and count them. They all watched anxiously to hear the outcome of their vote. Maeve looked up ready to give them the numbers.

 

“Six wrote yes and two no. I guess we’re decided. The majority wants to attempt this project. I’m sorry two of you don’t but you’re outnumbered by those who do. It was a fair vote. We need to contact The Mater.”

 

“No you don’t, I’m already here.” She was standing in the doorway. “I’m delighted most of you are willing to help these people. They’re virtually trapped under the ocean and if we don’t get them out soon, they’ll all die. There are literally thousands in the deep.”

 

“What about everyone else you brought here, are they also in agreement?”

 

“Yes Hoyt, there was no hesitation on their part.”

 

“Where are we going to take them?” Reece always wanted the details.

 

“Some will most likely go to Mag Mell, others will go to Tir and a few back to Earth if they so choose after we bring them up to date. The Anunna will be handling their people and will take those who wish to go back to Ardeth and some to the outlying planets. Any who want to stay will be spread among the islands of Tir and the other places I mentioned. I hope that answers any lingering questions.”

 

“Yes, thank you.” Darren was quick to answer cutting off Reece who glared at him.

 

“We’re going to give you time to let this entirely sink in. You have three days to rest and relax and then we have to begin intense training.


CHAPTER FOUR

 

They were staying in Andros for awhile they were told. Most of the training would be on that planet.

 

Vanessa had asked The Mater to see if she could arrange for everyone to get together for some sort of function. She wanted to meet everyone who was going to be involved with bringing up the cities and their inhabitants. Maeve was for the idea and so were the Triumvirates. They thought all of them would be better able to work together if they knew each other. They had found out there were fifteen cities they would be bringing to the surface over a period of six months. They weren’t in such a state of jeopardy they couldn’t be spaced out but they would let the Anunna choose which ones they deemed most urgent.

 

“Are all of you ready yet?” Vanessa entered the living area looking around to see if they were all there.

 

“Yes, I’m ready to go now.”  Arlo was the last one to enter the room.

 

“They told us to meet in the Common but I’m not sure where that’s located. See, here’s the note they delivered to our domicile.” Darren placed it on the table nearby. “You know I hate the word domicile. It sounds so artificial. I’d rather say living quarters than domicile and this one isn’t as nice as the one they gave us in Ryslin.”

 

“Don’t split hairs Darren. Why should we care what word is used?  We know what they mean and I don’t want them insulted by complaining about which words they choose to describe things to us on this planet. Besides if you listened carefully they aren’t saying domicile on Andros.”

 

“You’re right as always Vanessa, but it makes everything strange to me and unwelcoming.”

 

“Well it’s not like you’re visiting another country on Earth. We’re light years away from home and even Tír na nÓg, All these things are to be expected even if slightly irritating at times.” Arlo hated the way Darren constantly complained.

 

Reece was about to add his viewpoint when there was a knock on the door. Standing outside the door was Bresco.

 

“If you will all follow me, I’ll lead you to the Common.”

 

None of them spoke to Bresco. They followed him out the door. Each one went through corridors and across walkways until they came to a spacious grassy area fitted with casual tables and chairs and a pool nearby. They all halted and stared because it was bigger than what they called an Olympic sized pool on Earth.

 

“How large do you think that pool is Reece?”

 

“I don’t know Vanessa, but looking at it I’d say about three times the size of any pool I’ve ever seen. My guess is they want us to go swimming.  I see they’re cooking in a pit but I’m not sure their name for cooking in a hole in the ground”

 

“Whatever they’re doing, it smells wonderful.” Arlo wanted to watch how they were cooking the food.

 

“Yeah, I guess so.” Darren walked closer to the pool. He was disgusted with Arlo’s constant preoccupation with food.

 

“I see everyone has found the Common.” Vanessa looked around to see if she recognized most present. “There are the other two princesses with their Triumvirates. They’re children of other princesses along with some of their sons and their Triumvirates. I’ve heard about Andrew the male sitting by the tree. He’s an accomplished Olympic diver. The other is from Gorias and his name is Draven, after his father. What he does is absolutely amazing.”

 

“How do you know about all of these people Van?”

 

“She and I are a lot alike Reece.” A voice could be heard coming from behind Reece.  “We both listen when people are talking.”

 

“Nice to see you again, Maeve.”

 

“Thank you Arlo.”  Maeve smiled at his recognition of her.

 

Torin walked over and took Maeve’s hand as if telling the others he had staked his claim. Maeve squeezed his hand and grinned knowingly.

 

“How’s it going?” Reece finally spoke after being cut off by Arlo.

 

“If we were back on Earth or even Tir, I could answer that question easily but here, I haven’t the faintest.”  Torin cocked his head and smiled. He had a slight accent Reece hadn’t noticed when they met briefly at the spa. The reason would be revealed later he was sure but now his focus was on his apparent motives toward Vanessa.

 

As if Maeve had read his mind, and most likely had picked up his thoughts she responded. “If you didn’t know, Torin and his brothers are from Falias and were raised in Cornwall.

 

“Yes, we’re guardians of the Lia Fail; the Stone of Destiny.” Carey was proud of their position on Falias.

 

“I thought the stone was a myth among our people?”

 

“Oh it’s no myth Darren.” Hoyt had just walked up behind Torin. “We have no more High Kings crowned at Tara, so it was removed to Tír na nÓg and more specifically back to Falias. I can tell you no more than that. We work with the Weavers of Gorias.”

 

Carey walked up excited ready to spill some newfound gossip. “Did you hear the news?”

 

“It would help if we knew what news you were talking about instead of making us try to read your thoughts like hocus pocus magic.”

 

Carey glared at Darren but remained calm. He didn’t want to cause any squabbling. He knew he wasn’t going to like Darren and Darren had just cinched that idea.

 

“Be patient, I just heard from The Mater that Morgan and his twin sister will be arriving very soon.”

 

“I didn’t realize he had a twin sister. No one ever mentions her to my knowledge.”

 

“That’s right Vanessa and they like it that way.”

 

“You’ve met them Carey?”

 

“No, I haven’t Vanessa. I’ve seen them from a distance and heard many amusing stories about how they fooled people into thinking there was only a daughter born of a certain King. He deliberately never mentioned his son. Therefore, he never turns up in legend. He had plans for him and it worked well because most incidents where they talk of the Morrigan, it was Morgan using his magic and Myrna helping him. That’s why when you read the myths they’re not sure of the names. They would sometimes see them together as two women but never in battle as a man and a woman. How they got a third female involved is beyond me but our people have a penchant for three, so it’s not surprising.”

 

“When will he be here? I’ve always wanted to meet him.” Maeve smiled at Carey knowing he had a desire for the spotlight.


“I don’t know, they didn’t specify exactly when but soon.”

 

“You’ll know when he gets here. I’ve read about him and I’ve seen drawings of him in Tir. He’s one of the most handsome men I have ever seen even if it was only a drawing. Women fawn over him and he takes it in his stride, so I have heard. He has been called cold but if he favors you he’s devoted. I’ve never heard of or seen any drawings of a sister so I’m curious to see her. They’re ancients so I wonder what they want them to do because they’re not going to put them into jeopardy.” Vanessa had wondered if he was a real person or myth for a long time.

 

“He just arrived and walking up behind you Vanessa. He’s heard of you as well. If you will turn around I’ll introduce you to Morgan and Myrna.” Vanessa hadn’t realized The Mater had returned and slowly turned around.

 

When she saw the man approaching her mouth dropped open. His sister grinned and held out her hand while Vanessa stood awestruck. Vanessa shook Myrna’s hand and stared at Morgan without wavering. He often had this affect on females.

 

Maeve was giggling at Vanessa’s response. She was right, the man was definitely more than hot.  He was smoking hot.

 

Morgan stepped up and took Vanessa’s hand after his sister had released it. His touch sent a shiver through her body and she noticed he slightly glowed. She didn’t know if it was perceptible to everyone else but she knew what she saw and also what it meant.

 

“I’m happy to meet you Mr. Fitch.” She looked down at the ground slightly blushing.

 

This amused and attracted Morgan to her. He wanted to spend time with Vanessa. He didn’t recognize the other female but she was very attractive as well. He liked women in fact he loved them but he was cautious and very particular. He knew he wanted to get to know this witch well. He knew of her and her wiles and especially her magic which was unparalleled according to his Druid friends.


Maeve was glad she had worn her pads. Since her ambrosia had started to flow she would leak when she was excited and Morgan excited her and she was aware he knew.

 

“Who is this young lady?” Morgan walked over to Maeve.

 

“My name is Maeve and I’m honored to make your acquaintance, the both of you. This is my Hexen, Torin and the other two members of my Triumvirate, Hoyt and Carey.”

 

Maeve knew Torin was aware of what was going to happen between Morgan and Vanessa. She could feel him. He didn’t want it happening to her.


The Mater turned to address Maeve. “We have three other surprises particularly for you Maeve. One of them is Bowen because of his skill as a diver, Logan and Cleena.”

 

“Oh you didn’t bring them all here?” She showed her excitement immediately.

 

“We thought we should bring your other Hexen to Ardeth. We didn’t bring your entire Triumvirate, just Logan. Most of the princesses have only one Triumvirate but in your case, you have two. You needed two and you got two but the other two members stayed behind to work with Bowen and Cleena on healing projects. Now they have completed their work,  these three arrived to assist us.”

 

Reece, Darren and Arlo looked at each other surprised. No one had told them she had another Triumvirate and before they met her. What next thought Reece. He wondered how her present Triumvirate would feel about this revelation.

 

“Did they arrive with Morgan and his sister?” asked Darren.

 

“Yes, but they’re still in processing. You can see them in awhile. The food is ready and I wouldn’t want to offend anyone talking in our own gathering instead of sitting down at the tables they’ve provided for us. Come along, you can talk while we’re eating.” The Mater could feel the emotions and misgivings of various people in their group. She was disturbed by it but would let it pass.

 

Vanessa couldn’t believe what she heard, two Triumvirates for one person. She must have very special needs thought Vanessa.

 

“That she does.” Torin grinned and turned to follow the others.

 

Morgan was still standing next to Vanessa. His interest was keen and he stood next to her watching the others head for the banquet tables. Vanessa was unique and he wanted to get to know her in a number of ways.

 

“Shall we follow the crowd?” Morgan extended his hand to her.

 

“I’m not sure. I think I’ll go back to my room and rest. I’m suddenly very tired.”

 

“Will your Triumvirate be coming as well?”


“No, not unless I make the request and I have no intention of spoiling the day for them. They like getting to know other people and Arlo likes to eat new foods.”

 

“Then may I accompany you and spend some time getting to know you?”

 

“Yes of course you may.” Vanessa could muster nothing further. She took his hand, a bundle of nerves. “Follow me.” Vanessa paused not sure of the right direction to go.

 

Bresco stepped up when he overheard the conversation. “Let me show you back to Vanessa’s sleeping quarters. I fear you will get lost.”

 

“Okay lad, you take the lead.”  Morgan was annoyed but thought it best to forego any displays of temperament.

 

Darren watched as Vanessa left with Morgan. They knew any objections they might have would go unheard. The man was famous, if not infamous. Nothing they could say or do would deter him from what he wanted. They would remain and let it play out. Darren was disturbed but would keep it to himself. After all, Vanessa was not their possession. He was surprised to hear Maeve had another Triumvirate, something unheard of as far as he was concerned. The idea there might be a second hidden from them as well infuriated him.

 

Reece watched Vanessa leaving with Morgan. He was jealous but he was determined to keep it to himself. What he didn’t know is Torin and Bresco felt the same way. Arlo was resigned and was using the food to salve his fury. She was the Great Witch, Sinistra and Morgan wasn’t the first male to be fascinated by her beauty and reputation that far exceeded the truth. She had never been cruel or evil. People had feared her out of superstition. Vanessa had been her grandmother’s name and she took the name to stop all the fuss over her and ultimately fear of so many needlessly.

 

Morgan had heard Vanessa’s magic was no match for any other person living or dead. She was gifted and she used her magic for good unlike the stories told about her. He wondered if he had met his match.


“Get those thoughts right out of your head Mr. Fitch. I will not take part in a magical tourney for your satisfaction.”

 

“So you can read my thoughts. I guess I had better watch what I’m thinking.” He was amused by her words.

 

“Here we are.” Bresco pointed to a door straight ahead. “Enjoy your time together.” He turned and left in a hurry. Even he had heard of Morgan Fitch. He was totally out of his league.

 

“If you’d like to stay for awhile, we have another bedroom and you’re more than welcome to rest and relax before returning to your own. It’s not as luxurious as our place on Ardeth but all the sleeping quarters are adequate.”

 

“Thank you because quite frankly I don’t know where they’ve assigned us to stay. I just got here and I find it different is all I will say.”


“You and your sister came alone all this way with Maeve’s people?”

“No, not exactly but that’s left best for another time. My interest is in you. Tell me about yourself if you don’t mind. I must say you are a lovely example of an Asynjur goddess. We have another among the princesses of our northern tribes. I noticed the characteristics.”


“Then you know my magic is older than the Celtic view of witchcraft. We don’t technically call it witchcraft in the old language. It’s Seidr. Essentially it’s all the same more or less. I know many aspects of magic due to my travels, but that was many years ago.”

 

“Did you ever live in Vingolf?”

 

“Yes I did for awhile but a very long time ago, centuries, yet I’m not considered an ancient like you Morgan. It was a holy place where we tended to those slain in battle. Technically I’m Vanir and I prefer not to talk about it further if you don’t mind.”

 

“I apologize if I have made you uncomfortable about your past. We all have baggage and must deal with it as best we can. We can’t as I understand it, turn back time to that degree.”

 

“Yes, you’re correct to some extent.”

 

She wanted to change the subject and asked him if he was hungry. He followed her into their cooking area and she opened their refrigerator and showed him all the Earth food that had been left for them, similar to their domicile in Ryslin.

 

“I didn’t know how far they had gone to make you feel comfortable. I see they have allowed you eggs and cheese. That’s a real concession for them given their spiritual beliefs. I’m a pretty good cook. Would you like an omelet? It won’t take me long to whip them up and I see there’s fresh fruit and drinks as well. Why don’t you check for bread and toast us some to go along with our omelets if you don’t mind.”

 

“Leave it to me.” Vanessa smiled relieved the subject had changed. She was fascinated by his domesticity. She had no idea he was so handy in the kitchen or whatever they called their cooking areas but it was a kitchen to her. Rummaging through the cupboards and drawers she found the bread and sliced it for them. She turned the oven on to toast the bread, set the table for them and waited for Morgan to finish cooking their omelets. They smelled delicious.

 

“Bring the plates over here so I can put the omelets onto them. One is ready and the other will follow shortly.”

 

They ate and only furtively looked at each other. She wondered why he had stopped asking her questions, but chalked it off to hunger.

 

“I’m listening to your thoughts, those that I can decipher. You’re very unhappy and not attuned to anything going on in Ardeth or Andros. What has brought you to such a sad state? You’re beauty is staggering and your knowledge on a par far above most I have ever met. Why do you fight the desires I know you harbor for me?”

 

“I’m afraid of being vulnerable, hurt and I’m not discounting anything I’ve been told in Ardeth or here. It’s a lot for me to accept. Much of what I was told I thought was myth, was taught as myth my whole life. Now I find it to be reality and even much more complex than a fairy story. As for you, I’m fighting nothing. I was waiting to see what your motives were for coming here with me. You’re obviously at least in appearance every woman’s desire in a man. I don’t know your personality, will or needs to be able to judge you as a person. I’m sorry but I’m unable to do that at a glance.”

 

“Since the first time I heard of you and saw your picture I’ve wanted to meet you. I thought there could never be anyone special in my life. I guess I should clarify that. I have loved but not the kind of love where I would ask someone to take vows with me. You know the type most women describe with fireworks.” He looked at her grinning. “I have been attracted, obsessed and thoroughly satisfied by many over the years, but never once did I think of staying with any one of them as a husband. I recently have had second thoughts and I had to know if I was right. Therefore, I came to Ardeth and now Andros for several reasons and one of them was to see you.”

 

“I’ve heard stories about you my whole life. I thought you were a teenage girl’s fantasy. You were talked about but I never saw you in Tir at any time. You are idolized above most of the gods. Yet many still believe you to be a woman that disguised herself as a man.”

 

Morgan began to laugh.  “Dear I disguised myself as a woman and not a man. You have it turned around. My sister and I fooled the foe in battle. Part of that ability is why they asked me to come to Ardeth. They want me to teach the skill and see who can pick it up naturally. I’m very telepathic and I can project myself out of my body with very little problem. My sister is my guardian in that respect so  nothing happens to me while I’m in another state of consciousness.”

 

“I see and me?”

 

“Do you desire to lie with me? Please don’t be coy, this isn’t a joke or a trick question. Tell me the truth.”

 

“Yes Morgan I do, but you scare me. You’re so attractive, muscular and intimidating.”

 

“I’m just a man my dear and nothing more. I was one of the first of our kind to be created along with my sister. I guess they had certain ideas about our looks. Many men feel the same about my sister and why she is taking vows with an Anunna Traveler. They fell in love a few months ago and he came back to Ardeth with us and I came here for you among other things.”

 

“Does The Mater know your desires?”


“Yes, I had long talks with her about you and she decided I should come and see how you felt about the idea. I know we just met but you are intuitive enough to make the right decisions. If you are going to love me, you will know once we become one. This is what we are both about excepting Maeve of course who is at the top of the list for that title. She can’t help she is enamored with the idea of intimacy and love. That’s who she is but one thing is for sure, she dearly loves the man she took vows with and would never betray him with another.”

 

“What do you mean Morgan?  Maeve has many lovers.”

 

“Yes and so does her husband and that isn’t my meaning. There is a difference between that and breaking her vows. Do you understand?  He comes first in her life above all others. Those who have taken the route of immortality live long lives barring accidents. You know the rest Vanessa and some of us have lived over very long periods of time. We have loved many and especially our Triumvirates if we have them. This is not relevant to what I’m asking you.”

 

“Yes I know but if I say yes to you. I will hurt a number of people I love.”


“I understand you love all of your Triumvirate and probably others but that will not change anything. Answer this question. Do you want to take vows with any one of them?”

 

“One I have more recently but when I thought about it I knew I was swept up in the feelings he harbored for me.”

 

“Then let’s see what happens between us because I’m very serious about what I’m saying to you. I want you to take vows with me. I love you Vanessa.”


“I don’t understand. How can you say these things when we just met?”

 

“You know how, you can read my thoughts, my emotions and who I am. Let’s not pretend this isn’t fact. I can read you as well and I know if there is any such thing as love at first sight, we fit the bill. You’re Triumvirate knows this only too well. They knew when we laid eyes on each other and they’re still at the Common bereaved. They’ll move past that feeling once they understand their individual relationships with you will not change and the Anunna standing outside your door that loves you too. Go let Bresco into the room please.”

 

Vanessa got up and went to the door and before he could scurry far enough away she called out his name. He turned and she saw tears on his cheeks. She hadn’t realized Anunna men were so emotional but it still impacted her deeply.

 

“Come back Bresco, Morgan would like to speak to you.”

 

Bresco hesitated but since Vanessa had made the request to return to her room he turned around. He decided to hear what Morgan had to say to him.

 

“Come inside and sit with us Bresco. I want to talk to you about the situation going on with Vanessa and myself.”

 

Vanessa took his hand and guided him to the sofa. He sat down and looked at her with sad eyes.

 

“Nothing we decide will affect your relationship with Vanessa. The only barrier is forming a family with her. I don’t believe the idea had crossed your mind. You desire a family with a certain person who lives near you in Ryslin. I understand the concept and so does Vanessa. We enjoy many loves due to our unusually long life spans. Don’t worry Vanessa will no longer want to see you because of me. You won’t have to take a number and stand in line either.” Morgan grinned trying to reassure him.


Bresco smiled and started to laugh. “I wasn’t sure how you approached relationships with many others. Here we have many loves and it is acceptable but on your planet I was never told how you dealt with your long lives. Thank you for taking the time to tell me. I’m very much in love with Vanessa but I have already chosen one to be my mate. I wasn’t sure you would understand since you are of another species we created long ago.”

 

“Now you know. I hope my words calmed your fears. We don’t have family breakups because we honor our vows and keep our other loves separate.”

 

Bresco rose to his feet. “I need to be going, I’ve delayed here far too long.”

 

“I’ll walk you out.” Vanessa closed the door behind them and rose on her tiptoes kissing Bresco. “I love you too, you should know that. Don’t be silly. You’re the only Anunna I have chosen to be with intimately and the only one I desire of your kind. Don’t forget what I’m telling you. We both have our own duties and loves and that will never interfere with our own relationship. Right now, I’m spending time with Morgan and it’s important to me.”


“I understand and am satisfied I won’t be kept separate from you until you leave this place. When you do I will be saddened for a long time.”

 

“Don’t worry about all of that right now. We’ll work it out. Go now and get back to work before it’s noticed you have disappeared from your duties.”

 

“Yes, you’re right. I’ll be leaving to go back to Ardeth soon Vanessa. If I leave prior to your departure I won’t forget you and will find you when you return. Bresco kissed her hand and left. Vanessa re-entered her living area.

 

“Bresco is a very young man. Were you aware he was just out of his teens as we call it on Earth?”

 

“No I was unaware, but he is a delightful person and very interesting given the differences in our customs. I care for him very much. I find him exciting and very exotic.”

 

“Our species, as he referred to us, are very open to love. It isn’t the type that binds where we would choose to take vows with everyone we love. We feel it deep enough that it can be called love and it’s tied to our sexuality. Every so often someone comes into our lives that are different and those are the people we tie the knot with as they say on Earth. I’m aware you already know all of this so I’ll stop making a case for myself.”

 

Morgan got up from the sofa and walked over to Vanessa who was still standing just inside the room. She didn’t move while he put his arms around her. He bent down and kissed her and they began to glow together. Is this love she wondered?

 

The kiss was like no other she had experienced, but then the thought came into her mind often with new loves. She didn’t want to stop kissing him. She wanted him to see her, all of her without any pretense. He lifted her head and said clearly, “No, I don’t want this to be about sex. I realize ultimately it will be in the end but as for now, I want to enjoy your company but kissing, I’m for that.”

 

Vanessa giggled and kissed him again. They spent quite awhile with each other engaged in kissing. He made her feel younger than she had in years. His desires could be felt through his kiss. It was overwhelming and joining was not needed to convey his inner desires. She knew she would take vows with him. There was no other answer for how she behaved in his presence and she liked the man. He made her react in a way she never had with anyone. He respected her as a person and not just a woman. His thoughts conveyed it to her, but she wanted to enjoy the beginning of a love she had waited for her whole life. She would have never guessed it would be this man, one that every young woman of Tir dreamed about but didn’t believe existed.

 

Vanessa jumped up and spun around the room chanting something he didn’t understand. He watched her in awe knowing it had to do with being happy and thankful but much beyond that he wasn’t certain. He laughed at her exuberance and stood up catching her in his arms spinning her around. He sat her down and reached into his pocket and took out a tiny box. He opened it and inside was a ring.

 

“This is the crest of my tribe. Please wear it on your right hand ring finger. The ring is a promise we will take vows. When we do, it will be moved to your left hand along with another band. Will you marry me Vanessa?”

 

Very quietly she replied yes.

 

Morgan couldn’t contain his emotions and yelled out. Vanessa laughed as he placed the ring on her finger. It was time they returned to the Common.

 

“Let’s go swimming to reduce the flame we have created between us. I want to save it for the right time.”

 

Morgan was a romantic and the revelation only made her desire him more. He was right, they would wait. Others they loved would make the wait well worth while. Once they slept with each other, the desire for others would wane for a period of time and they didn’t want to hurt anyone. They could resolve it by taking a long wedding trip.

 

 

CHAPTER FIVE

 

 

Morgan and Vanessa left to get their hair put into caps and change into bathing suits being provided. They were going to spend time with others for awhile. They weren’t children and didn’t need to be with each other googly-eyed.

 

Reece walked over to Vanessa curious about her long absence. “You were gone a long time. I see a lot happened. Did you promise to take vows with Morgan?”

 

“Yes Reece I did, but it has no bearing on the way I feel about you or your brothers. I love you all and you know it to be fact. If you don’t believe me, believe this.” Vanessa pulled him close in front of everyone and kissed him deeply.  Morgan was watching and smiled. He knew what she was doing. Reece looked stricken when they separated.

 

“You would make me look the fool in front of all these people who saw you leave and then return with Morgan wearing a ring on your finger? Damn you Vanessa.” He turned and left the Common.


Vanessa stood still, plainly in shock watching Reece leave with Darren and Arlo close behind. Reece had never been unkind to her and never used foul language toward her. She didn’t know if she would forgive him for what he had publicly said to her. She would talk to The Mater. She wanted Reece removed from her rest area until she was ready to talk to him.

 

“That can be arranged.” The Mater knew Vanessa was deeply wounded but so was Reece. “We’ll reassign him another room somewhere else in this sector until both of you cool down. You shouldn’t have kissed him in public after he felt slighted by you. He’s in love with you dear and maybe you didn’t think he wanted vows with you. I know he did because he told me but you chose Morgan, a man you just met over him. How do you expect him to feel? Granted he wasn’t the right choice but nonetheless it doesn’t change the fact he’s devastated. He’ll come around when he realizes your relationship with him is solid and for life and nothing can change that, even a husband.”

 

Morgan walked up to her and took her hand. “I’m sorry this happened. I should have known but I didn’t think they would take it so personally. They are your Triumvirate and it isn’t unknown but most don’t take vows with their charge. My gut feeling is they all wanted vows with you so this is going to get messy I’m afraid. I won’t interfere in any way Vanessa. Do what you think is best and I’ll support you. Perhaps my sister can help you and Maeve if she’s willing.”

 

Vanessa stood motionless in shock and then burst into tears. Morgan put his arms around her to comfort her which brought attention to their relationship. No one had ever seen Morgan act this way with a woman in public. He had finally fallen in love enough he didn’t care if people knew.

She turned again to The Mater. “I think it’s best if you remove my entire Triumvirate. I’ll be fine for quite awhile. They’ve fed me well. I can’t deal with their insecurities right now. I want to be alone for a few hours and then please send them one by one back to my room, Reece first and I don’t care if he wants to see me. He will return and talk to me or he’ll wish he had.”

 

Vanessa headed toward the direction of her quarters. Bresco followed at a distance wanting to be sure she found her way back but knowing to stay out of her private affairs. She stood in her doorway and no one was there.

 

Bresco quietly stepped behind her and spoke when she was aware of him. “I escorted them out to another rest area. They weren’t happy about it but didn’t resist. Reece looked abject and I think he’s sorry he spoke to you the way he did. He told me he loves you very much and was jealous. Reece realizes why you kissed him the way you did but not at the time. He knows he was wrong but he was hurt. He blurted out his feelings before thinking how it would impact you publicly.”

 

“I don’t care what anyone thinks and I never have.  He could have said something harsher than he did with a lot more expletives. I could sense his thoughts and it was those thoughts that hurt, not his public outburst. I can’t believe he told you all of this in such a short time.”

“Yes, Vanessa he did and he’s willing to make a public apology if you will forgive him.”

 

“Thank you Bresco, you’re a dear friend. I’d like to be alone for awhile. Reece really hurt me and I have to find some way to forgive him and right now, I’m not willing.”

 

Vanessa went into her room and threw herself on her bed in tears. She had to find out if this was all about sexual desire or love. The fact she was the type of goddess needing direct contact with males was sometimes hard to bear. She was going to try and limit that side of her life if it was at all possible. She was designed this way but she had other interests in her life beyond sleeping with every attractive man that came along. This didn’t of course include those presently in her life but there could be legion if she didn’t curb her lust. There were two more outside of her Triumvirate, Morgan and Bresco. She would have to fulfill her desires she knew or she would become ill. Not like others got ill with runny noses and the like but weak. Then she would try to keep her interests status quo. Her life seemed prurient in nature but there were other females in Tir who had problems with this aspect of their lives. The moral rules on Earth didn’t apply to them because it wasn’t about morals. It was their fate, what they were as sentient beings.

 

There was a noise in her room. Vanessa turned over and saw Reece standing near her bed.

 

“I didn’t send for you yet.” Her voice was cold and it bruised him.

 

“I know but I have something to say to you that can’t wait.”

 

“I don’t want to hear anything you have to say now or ever Reece.”

 

“Yes you do Van and for once come down out of that stubborn area you go into and listen to what someone else has to say.”


Vanessa was furious by now but kept quiet before she said something that could never be repaired.

 

“The three of us talked and found out all of us wanted to take vows with you, a choice you wouldn’t have realistically been able to make or the Triumvirate would be broken. It would be the first time in centuries anything of this sort ever happened. You have made the best choice in my opinion. When you kissed me outside I was humiliated. Everyone knew you had left with Morgan and why.”

“I left because he said he wanted to talk to me privately and that was the only reason. I can’t say I wasn’t overwhelmed by him. He’s talked about by females from teen to adult. He’s a legend. Every young woman dreams about him as I did when I was younger but I thought he was a myth or long dead.”

 

“Obviously he is very much alive. We knew when we saw him looking at you the way he did any dream of exclusivity with you was over. It hurt and it hurt deeply but it was only idle imaginings I guess. We are all out classed by him. The two of you look like you belong together and you have much more in common with him than we have with you other than feedings and friendship. I wanted you to know I wish you the best and I love you with all my heart, even if that sounds a little trite. I mean what I say Vanessa. Don’t shut me out, I couldn’t handle it if you did. I’m sorry for what I said to you in front of everybody. They all knew it wasn’t a reflection on you and that I was jealous. I still am to a degree but I’ll get over it in time. Whew that’s a lot of talking for me, a lecture almost.”

 

Vanessa stood up and looked at him saying nothing. She removed her clothing and then his. They got on the bed and proceeded to make love. In the excitement of their love making all the memories, love and enduring friendship she shared with Reece returned. He was home, he was life, he was feeding her. She grabbed his hair at the nape and they both began to glow as the energy flowed into her. She would always love him and she hoped now he realized it.

 

“Let’s shower Reece and I think you should go into your bedroom and relax. Each one of the others will be returning soon. You know the interaction will be similar but know you are all unique to me. I hope we can get past this and return to a more normal life and the task which is the reason we were summoned to Ardeth in the first place.”

 

Reece shook his head in the affirmative and followed her to the shower. He got out shortly, took a towel, and went to his room. Vanessa dried off and dressed. She went to her room and picked up Reece’s clothing and put them in the wash area.  No sooner had she returned to her room, Darren entered. He looked sullen and she wasn’t quite sure how to tackle him.

 

“Sit down beside my bed Darren.”

 

“I prefer to stand right now.”

 

“I don’t know what to say to you. I have always felt you were the gentlest of the three, most easily hurt and you hid behind a façade of indifference. I guess I did favor Reece and I still do to be perfectly frank but it was because you always were cold to me.”

 

Darren looked surprised by what she was saying. Stood and looked at her for a moment and then hesitantly spoke. “You don’t understand how much I love you. I wasn’t supposed to love you that way. I’m part of your Triumvirate. I couldn’t rationalize the fact you would spend time intimately with many men and would eventually find one with whom you would take vows. Sometimes it is with a Hexen but it’s rare we all know. You have found someone almost immediately and he is one of the most revered of our ancients. That’s a hard blow to take. I was unrealistic anyway but I kept myself distanced so I wouldn’t have to deal with loss.” A tear rolled down his cheek.


“Oh my god, I can’t believe what I’m hearing from you. I didn’t know Darren. I just felt pushed away emotionally. She got up and put her arms around him. “You will always be in my life. You don’t need to be jealous. Granted we will not form a family in the way you were thinking but the four of us for all intents and purposes are a family and will remain together as long as I live. She kissed him hoping it conveyed what she was telling him. “You need some rest. I had no idea how you really felt and that my bonding with Morgan would hurt you this much. I’m really sorry Darren and I do love you.”


Darren walked to her bedroom door and turned toward her. “I love you too Sinistra.”

 

She was surprised he knew her real name because she had never spoken of it but yet, he knew. Her door opened shortly afterward and a voice she recognized caused her to turn and look. “Can I come inside?”

 

“Of course Arlo, come in. Please sit beside me on the bed. I’m going to turn on the television. I’d like you to watch it with me. I think there are some snacks stuffed into the night table. I don’t know what they are but I’m sure they taste fine. I need something to crunch. I didn’t eat as you know but had an omelet here with Morgan and that was all.”

 

“I’ll go get us some drinks and be right back.”

 

He was back in a couple of minutes carrying a few things with him. Some were desserts and others drinks.

 

“Did you know there’s a refrigerated unit in each bedroom?”

 

“No and if they mentioned it I missed that part.  Where is it?” 

 

“I would guess this is it.” He opened a small door to the right of her bed. “Voila, I found it and it has goodies inside we missed.” He put what he’d brought except a couple of drinks into the unit and went back to the bed.

 

Vanessa was surfing down the list of movies they had loaded for them.

 

“See anything interesting Arlo?”

 

“Nope, you pick one and I’ll watch.”


“I have a better idea.” She sat down her drink as he sat his down on the table beside the bed. The room glowed. Awhile later she picked a movie and they settled into an evening of movies, snacks and drinks. The third movie wasn’t half way over before she had fallen asleep. Arlo covered her and left the room.

 

All of them slept well beyond the Twilight. They never knew when the days or time periods passed, but Bresco always knew and he was very careful to see they got up at the appropriate times.

 

What is that racket she thought. Vanessa sat up in bed and said, “Come in.”

 

Arlo opened the door tentatively. “Bresco is at the door saying we need to dress for training. They’re waiting for us. He went by each of our rooms outside and knocked on our doors. There’s one thing I can say in favor of Ardeth, our bedrooms aren’t outside like we are part of a storage unit. Anyway, hurry Vanessa we’ll be waiting for you in this miniscule living area.”

 

Getting up out of bed she hurried into the bathroom waving at the guys as she passed by and showered, combed her hair to the back and put in a clip. She put on a slight amount of makeup and got dressed. Today she would wear pants, boots and a pale yellow tunic blouse. She loved tunics and generally wore them for casual events. They were lucky Ethos had their clothing brought over from Ardeth. Grabbing her other gear she came out to see her Triumvirate still waiting for her by the door. She grinned and they left with Bresco.

 

Bresco led them to the same type of room Ethos had used for his lectures in Tsandria. He was there but sitting down. The Mater was speaking as they arrived. She looked up when she saw them come into the room. “There you are. We were thinking you got lost in the city somewhere.”

 

“No, we’re not use to the change in time yet. I’m sorry we’re late. You can blame me because my Triumvirate woke me as soon as they knew we were late. I’m not sure how soon we will adjust to the difference but Bresco has been patiently trying to help us make our commitments. It’s thanks to him we’re here now.”

 

“Ethos, please thank Bresco for being so diligent. It’s difficult to adjust to many time changes and especially on a planet that’s foreign in nature. We appreciate his help. I see he’s not presently in the room.” The Mater looked around again but didn’t see him.

 

“No he has daily tasks he must complete. What he did for Vanessa and her Triumvirate was on his own time. He’s a very caring young Anunna. There’s no doubt in my mind he will see they are up in a timely manner now that he knows them well. He has become very fond of them all.”

 

“Fond of Vanessa he means.” Arlo spoke in a whisper but Vanessa heard him. She nudged him with her elbow and he smiled. He looked at her as if to say he was only speaking the truth.

 

“As I was saying, today we’re going to have Morgan and Vanessa attempt dream traveling. It goes by many names, out of body trips, spirit journeys and others depending on the culture. Did you bring your distaff with you Vanessa?”

 

“Yes as a matter of fact I brought it with me today. Some authorities will state we wove spells into our families clothing and that’s true to a lesser degree. We did not have covens but we sometimes had assistants and they were female even though there were men who practiced the art, they normally dressed as female. It was considered unmanly for a male to be involved with Seidr. There are many names used to describe those that did but as Christianity grew all of us were called witches. I’m not technically a witch. I practiced Seidr and Spa. ”

 

“Why don’t you bring it up front and show everyone,” said The Mater.

 

Vanessa got up holding a long cloth bag that tied in a few places along its length. She opened it up and took out a distaff and a staff that was slightly longer.

 

“Over the years I learned the art of Galdr and runic magic which was more specifically male magical practices but I was stubborn and had a thirst for knowledge. As in any Northern magic, there were always those of the opposite gender that learned magical practices attributed to the other gender and so it goes down through history. My father taught me some of the more male oriented magic.”

 

“What is Galdr?” asked Bowen?”

 

“Galdr is the use of notes. More or less the singing of magical songs where as women more generally chanted. Morgan heard some of that last night.” She smiled not wishing to reveal anything more about her encounter with Morgan. “I call myself a Seidr-Crafter. It could loosely be called glamoury because the basis of the magic is illusion. Very often it is thought of as deceiving of the sight. It can bring on forgetfulness, misinterpretation, and all the things the Tuatha De’ are so good at doing.”

 

“You mentioned something called Spa?” asked someone she didn’t recognize.

 

“Yes, spáe-craft and it deals with wyrd and prophecy. I’m called a Spakona among other names, and wyrd is the word for fate which is disseminated by the Norns. We lay down the law on how things will be coming from wyrd. In other words, we’re clairvoyant if that explains it more succinctly. Often female practitioners are called a prophetess or in some places a Sybil. I have been called both over time including witch. I have learned many things but my explanations don’t always jibe with the so-called authorities. There are too many recreationists around that have sort of perverted the old ways. Mater, I hope you will take over now. I hadn’t expected to give a lecture.”

 

“I’m sorry my dear but the information you were telling us was very interesting or so I thought. This is why I didn’t ask you stop until you were ready.  Yes, I’ll continue.”

 

“Morgan and Vanessa will trance and try to journey to one of the cities and see what their situation is if they can. It’s just an idea we thought we would try. These two have a history of tremendous magical powers. Myrna will watch over them as they move out of this galaxy to the Milky Way and into the ocean of Terra or Earth for those who don’t recognize the other name.”

 

Vanessa put her distaff back into the carrying bag and took her staff. She sat down in a soft reclining chair they had arranged side by side. She held her staff in her left hand and held onto Morgan’s hand with her right. This was to keep them together while they journeyed.

 

Vanessa requested a scarf be tied around their eyes. They didn’t want any outside disturbances to bother them and they had ear plugs placed in their ears. They would be able to see and hear once they were traveling through other senses. Vanessa began to tap her staff against the floor and as she did the tip of the staff began to glow and the room was bathed in revolving, multi-colored light. The rays of light encompassed them like a cocoon and they were very still. Myrna began to talk to them directing them psychically. They could hear her aloud but both Morgan and Vanessa could hear her within. Through her psychic link she could relate back what Morgan and Vanessa were seeing.

 

“They have bridged the galaxies and are approaching Earth. Soon they will be descending into the ocean near the location you requested. Give them a few minutes to orient themselves. The ocean is dark and they have to create torches for sight in the depths they have reached. I can see it, there are lights in the distance and a huge domed city lies just ahead. I had no idea how large it would be. They seem to be oblivious to their approach which is probably good in this case.”

 

“We have passed through the dome but we can’t be seen. No one has noticed us enter. I would have thought their might be some who were psychically adept, but so far no one is responding to us. The place is massive and people are dressed similar to Ardeth in various colors but they’re very old fashioned. It’s amazing and they refer to their home as the Federation of Ur. That’s interesting I must say.  They believe they are the only ones dwelling on Terra and that it’s a planet encompassed by water. There is nothing but where they live. A ceremony is being held and both Morgan and Vanessa are watching. It’s barbaric! The place is over populated and they’re putting them asleep and then jettisoning them out of the dome to their deaths. We’re returning now and they have many things to tell you they’ve observed. I stopped watching when I saw what they were doing. I have nothing further to tell you. I will let them speak when they arrive.”

 

Everyone was very quiet waiting for them to come out of their trance state. Suddenly Vanessa was tapping her staff again and whatever it was that she created around them was beginning to dissipate. When the colors had receded into the staff they heard Vanessa say, “Please remove our blindfolds.”

 

Myrna took the blindfolds off and Morgan and Vanessa took out their ear plugs. They both looked like they were in a state of shock by what they had witnessed. The first thing he said was, “We need to get these people to the surface without delay. Their society is turning bestial. They’re killing their own people and mostly the humans that live with them. It’s overcrowded and the amount of oxygen their equipment will make is not enough because of the growth of population. They grow food and raise animals but there’s not enough space in their city to accommodate enough food for all at this time. The major problem is not their propulsion units they seem to be fine. Their misguided beliefs are the problem. They believe they are the only ones left on the Earth and even if they surfaced they wouldn’t be able to survive much better above. They would be vulnerable to rough seas. The only good thing would be more oxygen but they aren’t even sure as to the oxygen level above the ocean. They have created a lot of superstitious hype over the centuries. We’re going to need full sized Anunna of the old school to accompany us or they won’t listen and it could get very dangerous.”

 

“Vanessa, do you have anything else to add?” The Mater was clearly shaken by the sound of her voice.

 

“No, Morgan covered it very well. They need to be brought to the surface as soon as possible.  My advice is to escalate the training and get below and bring them up before they can do anything about it and the ancients of Ardeth need to enter this city and convince them they must leave. As I understand, you have finished two other Aquamariners and several Stratocruisers so there shouldn’t be a problem with these people except fear. The only ones with weapons are the Anunna elite guard.  If you can overcome them I think the rest will listen and we can get them out. You need to form a plan and as soon as possible. I worry about what we will find in the other cities.”

“I’m not sure I want to know.” Morgan was in shock by what he had witnessed. He had fought in battles but never witnessed anything like what was happening in the city they had just visited. “We need to bring them up almost simultaneously. If we are prepared and run into problems with the propulsion systems we can deal with each case as we find them. They have been under the ocean in these cities for far too long. If it had been up to me and I had known about them I could have checked for life as I did today with Vanessa. I don’t think anyone meant any harm and they truly believed these cities had been wiped out but someone at some time should have checked. If we have to we will suspend every person on the planet to get them out. That’s my opinion.”

 

“That’s quite an opinion.” The Mater was surprised by his emotional reaction considering it was Morgan speaking. “Your thoughts are very heartfelt and passionate. All right, you’re all dismissed. I have to speak to the government of Ardeth about what you have seen and see what they wish to do about the situation. We will reconvene the same time tomorrow in this room.”

 

The Mater got up and left the room with Ethos following behind. He looked very disturbed by what he had heard.

 

 

CHAPTER SIX

 

Morgan and Vanessa made it back to her quarters. Her Triumvirate wanted them to spend some time together due to the ordeal they had experienced. They all left with Myrna for their assigned rooms and would stay there until the day returned. It was now twilight and they were both exhausted.

 

She went to her room and he went to the guest room. The Mater was having food delivered to them in about an hour. She understood what they did sapped a lot of energy from the both of them. His Hexen, which was actually female, and Reece would be arriving soon to make sure they were fed appropriately. Normally neither of them would need a feeding but the fact they had gone on a spirit journey required they be replenished. A nice meal couldn’t hurt as well. They both spent a long time in the shower. Water was rejuvenating to their species.

 

Morgan heard a familiar voice as she got into the shower with him. “What’s this I hear about another feeding?” Her words were playful but he was not reacting as usual.

 

“Kel, I’m glad you’re here. I’m exhausted and extremely upset by what I saw today. Please don’t question me, just feed me honey.”

 

Morgan lifted her up and entered her. While they were in a state of frenzy, he kissed her remembering her sweetness and how much he cared for her. He took hold of her hair and the energy was passed to him. They came together as was usual for them.

 

“Please stay and sleep with me Kelly. I want the warmth of a familiar body next to mine.”

 

“I’m sorry Morgan. I can’t stay. I was told by The Mater to feed you and return to the rest area with Myrna. I’m not going to disobey.”

 

“All right, thank you, I’ll see you again most likely tomorrow when twilight returns at least I hope.”

 

“Sleep well Morgan.” She left the room not wanting to go.

 

Reece was waiting for Kelly outside. They had just met and had hit it off well. She was very pretty and not what he had expected a Hexen to be at all. She was the first female he had met with the title but it was Morgan so it was appropriate.

 

Vanessa was feeling better after Reece had left. She missed Morgan and wished he was with her but it was best they both slept alone. She turned off her light, shut the automatic blinds and went to sleep. Neither of them heard the knock when the food was delivered. They sat it all inside on the table and left.

 

Morgan woke up first and put away all the food that had been sitting out for awhile because none of it was hot.

 

This time Vanessa was up and ready to go when Bresco arrived to show Morgan and Vanessa back to the lecture hall. The Mater was seated and Ethos was up front along with two full sized Anunna she had never seen before and they were Herculean. Ethos introduced them as Etana and Ibbi-Sin.

 

“My name as Ethos has told you is Ibbi-Sin but I’m not the one you’ll find in your history books. He’s long dead but the name is a tradition in my family. I do have a vested interest in these people because I’m the one who arranged to get everyone together here on Ardeth and now Andros. I didn’t make an appearance at first because I thought my size might give you pause and you would reconsider being apart of this perilous undertaking. I’ll be accompanying you on this journey along with my cousin who sits here beside me. We are adept swimmers and divers. We have made many journeys to Earth over the years. Unlike what you have been told we do have colonies topside on Earth. You call them Basque. There are others who go by different names but these people are the most significant and within their kind they know their origins. It is handed down orally in each family and never spoken of outside of family units. This is why they are so closely related to some of the Irish and definitely the Tuatha De’.”

 

“Thank you Ibbi-Sin,” said Ethos.


“The two males you just met, are part of our governing body. You can see they are much darker than I am, hair and coloring. They wear the beards of their caste. Only the oldest of our kind still wear beards and only our spiritual leaders wear three curls alongside their face. These males will be more recognizable to the people in our underwater cities and may be the best chance to get them out. One thing we didn’t tell you is besides the propulsion units there is a regulator outside which is a control box that will let you into the city. Be very careful how quickly you enter.  If you can get close enough without them becoming aware of your presence, you can go inside and overpower the guards. I’m afraid you will need to do this. I know the capabilities of the Tuatha De’, so it shouldn’t be that difficult. They have ultrasonic weapons so take heed.”

 

“They would use them on us asked someone in the hall?”

 

“I’m afraid I can’t answer your question. I really don’t know but they might if they believe you are all water demons or some other superstitious creature. This is why we want these two to go along and why you will be wearing our old type of suits for deep water swimming and diving.  They are the reason we were thought to be reptilian by many and even now by people who have seen the art left behind depicting the Anunnaki. Many wore their suits routinely and spent a lot of time doing research in the ocean and visiting these cities unbeknownst to the inhabitants of Sumer.”

 

Ethos turned as two Anunna were wheeling in a cart filled with what Vanessa thought was a form of wetsuit. They must be what he had meant. The appearance of the suits was similar to drawings she had seen. They were covered in what looked like scales.

 

“Now, I’ll show you how they appear when they’re on the body. I sent Bresco to put one of them on and he should be here any time.”

 

Bresco entered the room shortly afterward and many of them gasped. The suit made him look like a standing reptile if you didn’t pay close attention. His gills were exposed and his face but no other part of the body. Vanessa thought his feet would be exposed but they also brought other pieces that went with the suits.


“All of you will have small re-breathers with you and a compact oxygen tank just in case any of you panic. We won’t send you into the ocean without any form of backup. Your training will only be rudimentary at best and why we have chosen skilled swimmers and divers.”

                                 
“Tomorrow when you return to the lecture hall, I want everyone dressed and ready for a dive. You’ll be separated into two groups, experienced and novice. I realize the Tuatha De’ are experienced swimmers but diving isn’t a given as with some of the Anunna. All of you need a brush up on your skills to be safe. Maeve is going to be assigned as a lead along with Bowen. They have the professional edge as far as deep diving goes. Now, enjoy yourselves, lunch is being served. We will reconvene in two hours. We have a clock on the wall that registers time as you know it on Earth for your convenience.”

 

Ethos got up along with the other two Anunna and left. Servers began to enter the room with food. Reece noticed Vanessa was sitting alone. He stood up motioning to Darren and Arlo to follow and sat down beside her.

 

“We miss you,” said Arlo. “We should all be together and I think you know this. I may be speaking for myself but I doubt that. I’m more than someone who is involved with you on a very intimate level. The fact we are all so close to you makes us a family even if we are three of the opposite sex. We desire you all the time of course but our feelings run much deeper than that. We’re a family unit and we all, including you Vanessa, take care of each other. I know I don’t want to be tossed aside. I’m not well and it’s unusual for Tuatha De’ to get ill. I know it’s an illness of the psyche. What it comes down to is I can’t live without you Vanessa. Close proximity to you makes all of us happy and healthy. Can you understand our concerns?”

“Yes, I understand all too well. I don’t know if Morgan can father children but I do know each one of you can. I have decided to have children with each of you.”

 

“You plan to what?” Darren looked shocked.

 

“Yes, I have spoken to our Progenitor and it can be arranged. My eggs will be fertilized by each one of you and a child will be born. I don’t plan to directly birth them but there is basically no difference. If I take vows with Morgan and he can have children I will then have children through normal childbirth. I at least owe him the experience and myself. I have no fear. Our advances are such a women rarely dies in childbirth anymore. More and more of our women are getting away from the scientific side of birth toward the natural way the great power gave us. In our case, it was the Anunna. They’re method was genetic engineering so essentially we are still offspring of an unknown ultimate force who created even the Anunna in the beginning, whenever that might have been.”

 

“Do you believe all of this Vanessa?” Maeve had been listening and couldn’t resist asking.

 

“Yes Maeve as far as I can believe in something I have never seen. I have had glimpses magically but I want children with my Triumvirate and I will not be the only princess to have done this. I love them and they love me and it is a legacy I will leave them to make us truly a family beyond our feeding activities.”

 

“Do you think Morgan can impregnate you?”

 

“I think he can. He has a child with his Hexen. I’m aware of it because I read his thoughts. It’s a beautiful boy named Robin. I’m telepathically gifted beyond anyone’s imaginings. I don’t flaunt my skill and yes, I’m sure he knows and I’m also sure he doesn’t want this gossiped about. I don’t want to have to make everyone forgetful of what I have told them.” Vanessa grinned at her knowing her revelation was unexpected.

 

“It won’t go beyond me I can assure you. Your Triumvirate isn’t full of gossip. They don’t speak of your private life whatsoever.”


Vanessa looked at her Triumvirate and smiled. “None of this is going to happen until we return home. I wanted them to know my plans and if they object, any one of them, I will respect their decision.”

 

“Have you tasted the juice they poured for us? It’s fantastic.” Arlo was aware Vanessa wanted the subject changed.

 

“Thank you,” Vanessa mouthed to Arlo which wasn’t perceptible to the others. Much to her amazement Arlo leaned over and kissed her. Smiling she began eat, they all began to eat.

 

Morgan had been eavesdropping. No one realized how telepathic he was because of all the rumors, tales, and innuendos that had floated around about him. He could be exacting and why some didn’t like hearing he was coming for a visit, mainly Triumvirate relatives who knew him well. He was fair though and many situations like this one he found humorous. He could see how kind and caring Vanessa was and yes, he too knew her real name. She was not as portrayed in folklore.

 

Bresco stepped up to the podium and started to speak. “As the time winds down for Ethos to return I wanted to make it clear to all here, I am the Regent for all the Travelers. This is my station and why I wear blue. If you have any questions, concerns or needs in regard to the Traveler caste, I’m the person you must see. Thank you all for your attention.” He left the podium and took a chair.

 

“Now that’s a revelation,” said Reece to Vanessa. “I wonder how many more they have in store for us over the rest of the day.”

 

Vanessa was quiet. Not that it mattered really but she was miffed that Bresco hadn’t told her. Maybe he thought it would make a difference if she knew he was someone of note on the planets but he should have known. How would he know what she thought? Now she was arguing with herself. She smiled and continued to eat. It was silly for her to care what his title, job or anything else denoted. They were just people when they were together and she cared for him. He was a very special addition to her life.

 

Morgan walked by and leaned down. “Don’t look so glum. Many things have happened to you in the short time you’ve been in this room today. You needn’t worry about me. I will support any choices you make Vanessa. Remember I love you.” He didn’t give her time for a response but continued to his own table.

 

“Wow.” Maeve heard everything sitting directly across from Vanessa. “You’ve found a man just like my Danny. He’s a keeper Vanessa. Don’t let that one get away whatever you do. I believe him when he says he loves you. You can see it in his eyes and manner. You’re one lucky lady, not meaning any insult to anyone else in your life. Everyone has their place and it’s a good place I might add.”

 

Vanessa lowered her lashes and started to blush. She wasn’t use to so much attention especially by a man so well known to the Tribes. She was honored Maeve would say these words to her but didn’t know how to respond.

 

“Don’t worry honey, you don’t need to say a thing.” Maeve looked at her grinning. “Your red face says it all. I guess we have to get back to business, Ethos is headed for the podium.”

 

Vanessa sighed in relief. The less said about her private life the better.

 

Darren noticed how uncomfortable she had become when Maeve chimed in her two cents but he couldn’t help but admire her sharp wit.  She was very straight forward and said what she thought even if not welcomed at the time. He liked her.

 

“Quit daydreaming about Morgan.”

 

“Oh shut up Reece.” Vanessa smiled at him and winked.

“Ethos wants us to go through the door to the left of him and get fitted to go swimming. They have to, again, help us on with caps. There are times I’d like to chop off my hair but of course that’s out of the question.”

 

“I have long hair too Reece or didn’t you notice. It’s for our own safety.”

 

When they were all in their suits they were taken to the Common to swim. No one else, no other team was there but theirs.

 

“Please do these breathing exercises we have laid out for you on these pages we are handing out for a few minutes. Then enter the pool at the deepest end and go to the bottom. We have Travelers who will dive in with you stationed around the pool. We want you to try and breathe under water. Don’t be frightened because all of you are very capable. When you surface, get out and lower yourselves to your knees and lean forward releasing any excess water in your lungs. Everything else will be absorbed into your body. On a side note, I would suggest when you go home you have your own pools converted to salt water. River and lake water is fine and salt water. High chemical content where you swim is passable if you don’t stay in the water more than a couple of hours and drink a lot of pure water and shower. We realize the chemicals are to eliminate germs but it can harm those with gills. So be careful and swim in these places only for short periods.”

 

“I’d like Vanessa, Bowen, Darren and Myrna to get into the pool please.”

 

Vanessa dove in head first into the pool and went straight for the bottom as she had been directed. The water was cold to simulate how it would feel in the ocean but not quite as cold because they weren’t wearing their wet suits. She was frightened but she let out her breath and was shocked, she could actually breathe in the water. That’s what they told her and she thought she believed what he had told them but still she was amazed.

 

She saw Bresco nodding to her. He had dived in along with the others. She knew it was because she was in the water. Myrna swam over to her and nodded as well. All were doing well and Bresco motioned it was time to surface. She got out and went down on her knees to let the water drain from her lungs. There wasn’t much and she coughed a couple of times but otherwise she was fine.

 

Cleena, Torin, Arlo and Morgan were instructed to dive next. They came up shortly after seemingly fine. 

 

“Wow that was so cool.” Arlo often had emotional outbursts. They all laughed because Arlo was so endearing.

 

“Maeve, Carey, Hoyt and Reece would you please enter the water now,” instructed Ethos.

 

Maeve dove in just as Vanessa had done. When she started to breath she wished she’d had the capacity when she had gone cave diving. She would have been able to go much deeper and with less fear.

 

“Well that was fun. I don’t think any of us will have much trouble in the ocean as far as swimming. I believe our main problem will be fear created in the underwater habitats. Fear of the unknown. Can we wear some sort of protection under our wet suits?”

 

“Yes Maeve, it’s all part of the plan but we need to practice acting as an underwater team. The others are training in another pool and we’re having all of you go the first day because essentially you’re much more prepared given your backgrounds. Please, we don’t want any heroes. Do the job and bring everyone back safely. You’re dismissed for the rest of this day. The science team is going to train now, you know the techmeds and engineers you brought along that might be needed down below. I’ll see you tomorrow at eight your time.”

 

Morgan walked up to Vanessa and touched her arm. “I’d like to spend time with you during the twilight. Can you arrange to go with me? They have given me my own quarters on the other side of this sector.”

 

Reece spoke up before either of them could try to cut him off. “Of course she can go with you. We can find our way back to our sleeping area. We’re having some of our team over for awhile so you two can go if Vanessa is willing.”

 

Vanessa lifted her hand and waved goodbye and slid her other hand in Morgan’s, turned and left with him. Reece sighed and headed with the others toward what they were now calling home.

 

Morgan opened his door and found Kelly, Cailin and Jamie watching television. He walked over and turned it off.

 

“What are the three of you doing here?”

 

“I thought this is where we were supposed to be,” said one of the females.

 

“No, no you’re staying with Myrna in another part of this sector. Vanessa if you will wait right here I’ll take them over to Myrna’s.”

 

He was back quickly and Vanessa couldn’t help giggling. “Did you run all the way over and back?”

 

Morgan grinned at the absurdity but wouldn’t say it to her directly. ”No, the other residence is only four doors down.”

 

He took her hands and pulled her to a standing position although it was easily accomplished since she wasn’t fighting him.

 

“Enough of this waiting game. I was definitely wrong.” He picked her up in his arms and carried her into the primary bedroom set up especially for him since he was so tall.

 

“This room is astounding. Are you actually royalty Morgan?”

 

“Yes I am but it’s inconsequential.”

 

“No wonder all the women are giggly when you come around. Looks, accomplishments and breeding would make any tribal woman enamored of you.

 

“You think our tribeswomen are so superficial?”

 

“Yes in most cases I do. I have seen and heard it many times. They talk of you like a god.”

 

“I am a god, a god anxious to have his way with you.”

 

“That’s utter nonsense Morgan.” She was trying not to laugh.

 

“When you get to know me better, you’ll take those words back. Come here woman, I want you.”


“You have to catch me first,” She ran behind a chair which wasn’t much protection.

 

“No I’m not playing childhood games with you. If you want me as much as I do you then get your ass over here.”

 

Vanessa burst out laughing. She walked over and initiated a kiss catching him off guard.

 

“You’re a wily one aren’t you? In the United States, they’d call you a bitch but if I call you that I mean you’re very sexy and appealing to a male and I’m the male that wants you. No more of these games.”

 

He started to undress her and she was saying very softly no but he pretended he didn’t hear her and disrobed her shedding his clothing quickly.

 

“Were you seriously saying no to me?”

 

“Oh no, of course not” She was stifling her laughter.

 

“Let’s sit and watch television. I haven’t looked through the list of movies to see what they’ve provided for us.”

 

“What are you doing?  Don’t you find me desirable?”

 

“Maybe,” He was still looking through the list of movies.

 

She sat down on the bed and began to cry.

 

“Oh stop that female caterwauling.” He turned, pushed her back on the bed and had his way with her. She gasped because she felt so filled.

 

“Of course you’re desirable to me, more than desirable but no woman is going to tease me ever.”

 

“I did, just now.”

 

“Yes you did and you paid for it didn’t you?”

 

“I guess so,” She acted very contrite, but realized she had power over him.

 

“Fun is fun Vanessa but we have never made love and I wanted it to be special and you spoiled that somewhat with your childish antics. I realize now you were afraid of my reaction when we did make love. You shouldn’t worry about such silly things. Don’t you know how astoundingly beautiful you are, all of the goddesses are? You’re perfect in your own way but only certain men will be attracted to you. Although Maeve is gorgeous, my interest lies only with you. The only other female I’m sleeping with at the moment is my Hexen Kelly. If I were to sleep with Maeve our only attachment would be lust.”

 

“Which one was your Hexen?”

 

“The one with the braided copper colored hair is Kelly. Her sister and brother are twins and they have lighter colored hair.”

 

“I thought as much. If looks could kill as the old cliché goes, I would have dropped dead right then and there.”

 

“Yes, Kelly can be a little intense from time to time.”

 

“Intense? I would say more in the area of vengeful. She hopes something happens to me when I dive. The woman is totally, head over heals, obsessively in love with you or hadn’t you noticed?”

 

“Yes, I noticed but she’ll get over it. She met Reece.”

 

“She what?”

 

“She met Reece and they’re attracted to each other and I can bet they are in her room or his doing the big nasty.”

 

“Keeping up with Earth slang are we now?”

 

“I get around. Enough of this.” He started kissing her and reinserting himself in the place he felt he belonged. She screamed as the pleasure increased and finally released throughout her body. She was literally shaking when he was done.

 

“Again,” she said softly.

 

“An insatiable woman, I love it. I’ll oblige you.”

 

She was getting use to the way he moved and moved in rhythm with him. He was very experienced and she enjoyed their time together. She wanted more but he wanted to take it slowly and if truth be known, so did she. His body was so perfect. The only word she could think to describe him. No wonder many Tuatha De’ women talked about him in hush-hush tones. Some even said they had seen him naked and went on and on about how they wanted to touch him, be with him, sleep with him until she had been sick of hearing about him. She thought it was just fantasy that the women had made up.

 

She watched him trying to sleep but she knew he was very much awake. He wanted to see what she would do next. He was intrigued by her worldliness coupled with her naïveté. Instead, she turned the other direction and fell asleep.

 

Well I’ll be damned he thought. That was a first. He smiled to himself and thought she was going to make him a good wife.

 

Vanessa woke up to light snoring. He had finally gone to sleep but he was still excited. He must be dreaming about her or someone else. His dreams were sacrosanct as far as she was concerned even though she was capable of entering them she would not.

 

Morgan roused and turned over. “No my body works like this. I have a strong libido.  We don’t suffer pain, just desire. Damn, I hadn’t noticed how clinical that sounds until now.”

 

He had tasted her ambrosia.  She would have to show him how to calm himself and she did.

 

“Now that’s a double whammy.” He sat up shaking his head. “Thank you, I’m no longer feeling the urge to merge.”

 

“You must spend a lot of time on Earth because you say a lot of funny things. Maybe that’s why you go unseen so much.”

 

“Yes, I’ve picked up some phrases here and there and I go on archeological digs off and on with my cousin Callum. I’m gone into the middle of nowhere for months on end.”

 

“Do you like being alone like that?”

 

“There are people around and Kelly visits me. I’m not as promiscuous as people claim, but then they wouldn’t have anything to talk about. We are what we are Vanessa. How can you be different? You’re a love goddess. Men are attracted to you just by the smell of your ambrosia if you are producing. The difference with our people is we don’t exploit each other. Are you afraid of what we’re going to have to do in a couple of days? You know I won’t let anything happen to you don’t you?”

 

“I know you’ll try and yes I’m terrified because these people are so out of touch with reality it’s scary. We’ll be breaching their home and they won’t understand why at first and could become very hostile.”

 

“Yes but we need to concentrate on the mission and not what could possibly happen. If you do you’ll work yourself up to a state that will impair your good judgment. Yes, they will still be primitive but maybe not. We don’t know until we go there and bring them to the surface.”

 

“What if they fight against us?”

 

“If they do we’ll stop them. It’s as simple as that. We’re the best of the best Vanessa and they’ll be no match for us especially with the Anunna we have going along. Have no more fear we’ll be successful.”

 

“You’re right but I’m still wary.”

 

“I’m going back to sleep. We have a few more hours before we need to get up. Move close to me. The feeling of your body next to mine is comforting and relaxing. I love you Vanessa.” He closed his eyes and went to sleep almost immediately.


CHAPTER SEVEN

 

Vanessa woke up and found Morgan had left the room. She went out to look for him. The sound of singing was coming from the kitchen. Sure enough Morgan was standing in front of the stove with a towel wrapped around his waist, otherwise naked cooking. She had to cover her mouth to stifle her laughter. He was wearing a headset and singing to something he could hear from an audio player and dancing slightly to the music all the while he was cooking.

 

“Ehem, said Vanessa quietly.

 

He turned smiling at her. “Good morning honey. I guess I should have said nice to see your up because I haven’t any idea whether its day or twilight or anything else. I got hungry so I came out here.”

 

“What are you cooking Morgan?”

 

“Hell if I know. I found it in the refrigerator.  It looked okay so I thought I would heat it up and eat some. You want some too? There’s enough for the both of us.”

Morgan stopped suddenly pulling the head gear out of his ears. He literally ran down the hall. It wasn’t long before he came back fully dressed.

 

“I have to go Vanessa but I’ll be back to explain in awhile. It’s an emergency, I’m sorry.” He bolted out the door.

 

Morgan entered where his sister had been staying. “What’s wrong, what’s happened?”

 

“Robin fell while he was rock climbing in Colorado. He’s seriously hurt Morgan.” Kelly who had come out into the hallway broke down as she told him what had happened.
Morgan held her while she started to cry. “Our son might die.” She could hardly speak through tears.

 

“He’ll be arriving any minute Kelly. I can hear him talking to me. We have excellent healers including The Mater. He’ll heal and be fine. I’ll return in a few minutes. Hang on because they’re coming to get you right now. Robin needs you nearby.”

 

Morgan walked back into his sleeping quarters where Vanessa was sitting patiently waiting for him. She didn’t know what had happened but she knew it was something serious by the look on his face.

 

“I’m sorry I left so quickly but my son, Robin, took a fall from the face of a cliff he was climbing in Colorado. He was on a trip with friends. They just brought him into the med building. Do you have any healing skills?”


“Yes you know without asking. You know my real name. Take me to him and be sure Maeve, Bowen and Cleena are there.”

 

“This way.” Bresco had gotten word of what had happened. “Your techmeds should be there checking his condition now.”

 

When Morgan arrived Robin had his eyes open and appeared to be feeling no pain.

 

“Father,” he said to Morgan.

 

He rushed over to him and took his hand. “I can’t really hug you right now. Are you in any pain?”

 

“No, not really, but I can’t feel my legs. Why can’t I feel my legs?”

 

“I don’t know son but don’t worry. You’ll be fine.”


He saw Kelly and motioned for her to step outside.

 

“I don’t need a med to tell me he’s injured badly. His back is broken and he has internal injuries. He’s bleeding inside Kelly.  Are Maeve, Bowen and Cleena here?”

 

“I haven’t seen them why?”

 

“We need them here now.” Morgan looked stricken and was having a hard time keeping it together. Robin was his only living child.

 

“I brought them with me Morgan.” The Mater had just arrived outside of Robin’s room.

 

“Can you heal him Vanessa?”

 

“Yes, with the help of The Mater, Bowen, Cleena and Maeve. It will take all of us working together. Everyone must leave the room except the five of us and that includes you Morgan. Did you bring my staff Bresco?”

 

“Yes, I found it right where you told me it would be.” said He handed it to Vanessa.

 

“Please be quiet and sit some place nearby. Those I requested please enter the room with me.”

 

The five of them entered Robin’s room. His face showed fear but Vanessa tried to calm him. “My name is Vanessa and we’re here to make you feel better. Do you understand?”

 

“Yes, but I’m scared. Am I going to die?”

 

“No, have no fears we’re all healers and some of the best Robin. Now close your eyes and listen to my voice.” Vanessa guided him into sleep.


“You know how to position yourself at the shoulders and the solar plexus. Cleena I need you to start keening and stop the internal bleeding. I’ll take care of the rest. Do you all acknowledge?”

 

Yes they all said.

 

“Once I start singing and chanting I cannot under any circumstances be disturbed until I’m finished or he could die. Don’t talk, don’t move and focus on your own task please. All right Cleena you may begin.”

 

As Cleena began to keen, Vanessa raised her staff and started tapping it against the floor. She moved slowly around Robin’s bed singing and then chanting but even with the translators it wasn’t clear what she was saying. She manifested the energy similar to the spirit journey with Morgan. A cocoon shaped membrane encircled Robin and all who were close to him. He began to glow as the healing energy from each person entered his body. Vanessa raised her staff and a beam of light struck Robin and passed through to his spine area and flowed down his legs. She raised her staff again and hit the floor with it and the light disappeared.

 

Robin was rousing and called for his mother. There was a knock on the door and Vanessa turned to The Mater. “You can let Kelly and Morgan into the room. He’ll be fine now. Thank you all for the help tonight. Without your assistance I wouldn’t have had enough energy to heal him.”

“Do you need a feeding?” The Mater was concerned about her energy level.


“Yes, but it can wait until later. I can’t participate today in the training. I’m exhausted. I need to go back to my sleeping quarters and rest. Please excuse me.”

 

Vanessa left the room and started to slump against the wall. Bresco caught her and picked her up, carrying her home. He took her to her room and took off her clothing putting the covers over her. “Rest dear one, I sent for Torin. He will feed you. He has wanted the honor since he laid eyes upon you.”


“You did that for me?”

 

“Yes of course Vanessa, like all the other men in your life. I have the same feelings. I’m more reserved in nature. Even though Torin is the Hexen of Maeve’s secondary Triumvirate, he is older and more powerful than Logan. He can collect energy on his own without the others. It isn’t as large an amount but sufficient. He’ll be arriving any minute. I’ll leave the door open for him. I must leave Vanessa. What you did for Morgan’s son was very impressive and very kind.”

 

“How did you get this much personal information about everyone Bresco?”


“I have dossiers on each visitor, including you. I know your true identity Vanessa. You are exactly as they describe, very beautiful, powerful and your kindness knows no bounds. It’s a pleasure to have been able to spend time with you.”

 

“Oh don’t go soft on me now Bresco. You’re going to make me get all teary-eyed.”

 

Bresco smiled and announced Torin had arrived and he would be leaving. He left the room as Torin entered.

 

Torin removed his clothing and pulled back the covers from Vanessa’s body. She looked black and blue as if she had been beaten. He’d never seen anything like it. He rubbed his hands together and focused his energy to be directed to her body and ran his hands just above her skin from top to bottom.

 

“Please be gentle with me Torin because I really went way too far this time and I may faint.”

 

“I’ll be very gentle with you Vanessa. I must enter your body to release the energy you need. It won’t take much time. I’m already so excited being this near you that I will release the energy very quickly and you should feel somewhat renewed. If you’re able to tolerate a second time I will be able to release more energy because I’ll have locked on to your energy signature.”

 

“Please hurry Torin I’m barely here now.” Vanessa pleaded with him but she needn’t have. He could perceive her weakness as if it was his own.


Morgan flung open the door. “What’s going on here?”

“I’m about to feed Vanessa.”

 

“I’ll feed her. You can leave now.”

 

“No sir, I can’t leave and you can’t feed her. You’ll kill her if you try.”


“So you say. How do you come to that conclusion? You’re but a mere Hexen. I know you desire her and I’m fine with that but not now.”

 

“Yes now is exactly right. I’m not a Hexen but have the powers to fulfill that role. I was acting as one for Maeve’s benefit but Logan is here and she doesn’t need me. He is a Hexen but I’m a Prince of the Court and of the Vanir like Vanessa. I’m a Rune Wizard and I’m her best chance to get past what she has sacrificed of herself for the love of you Morgan. Now please go and let me finish or she’ll go into a coma.”

 

“You’re a what?” Morgan was in shock.”


“You heard me and you know what that means. My magic is more powerful than yours and I’m an integral part in this project even though they haven’t told you. Please, you need to leave. Kiss her if you must and then let me finish. Go now so I can heal her.”

 

Morgan turned and left the room.

 

Torin continued and very slowly and gently entered her. Vanessa gasped, she could barely move but she was trying. The room was filled with light. Torin threw the runes he’d brought to her room into the air and they were suspended above them. They tumbled and spun above their heads. Torin started to kiss Vanessa and she responded in kind. As he gently kissed her and ran his hands along her body, he began to move faster. He wanted to make sure he avoided her ambrosia if it was still flowing. He could smell it at the last gathering and he could smell it now but it didn’t have the affect on him it did other men. It was pleasant but didn’t compel him to take a taste.

 

The magic began to subside and Vanessa looked better. She opened her eyes and said, “I need more. Please get my Triumvirate now. They need to feed me at this point. I know who you are and if you had only revealed yourself to me a day sooner my life would be less complicated.”

 

“You’re right but you were to find me and I thought that would happen. I could do nothing because of the spell upon me. I realize this sounds like a story off of the pages of a fairytale but I can assure you it’s true nonetheless. I must remain with you or I’ll perish. We are two parts of one. We were consecrated together by the Vanir gods long ago Sinistra. Our relationship has a sacred purpose and maybe it was for me to heal you, I don’t know. I’ll be your companion and not your husband and I can live with that.”

 

“I know who you are and your real name as well but Torin is an excellent choice and what I will always call you. Yes, you’ll live with me when I return home and be part of my family unit. I hope Morgan will understand because if we are separated now, we both will die regardless of their longevity treatments. Although you do know we don’t have to be together every minute of every day. You may find a mate, someone to have a family. I don’t believe we were destined for that purpose.”

 

“The door opened and Darren came inside. I’m feeding you this time. Can you get up for a moment? There’s a man who loves you and is beside himself sitting in the living area. I think you need to speak to him before we do this. I also ask that Torin remain outside this room while we are engaged.”


“I will leave but I have one more thing to do before you can feed her. She’s not like you Darren and I must set her humors in order, but first she can speak to Morgan. Don’t take too long Vanessa. It’s important I finish what I started.”

 

Vanessa stood and put on her robe and left the room with Darren. Morgan wasn’t sitting, he was pacing the room. She walked into his arms.

 

“What you did for my son was miraculous. I have strong magical skills but your healing ability is beyond anything I have every witnessed. I will forever be indebted to you for saving him.”

 

“There’s no need for these words, I love you and would have done it regardless if asked. He’s a sweet boy. You must know Torin goes back into antiquity and I am connected to him in a way that can’t be broken. When I leave, he will return with my Triumvirate.”

 

“Why, I don’t understand?”

 

“We were magically consecrated to each other by the Norns. It’s not surprising I had a life and death incident happen that brought him to me. We don’t have to be living in the same place specifically but we need to be nearby each other now that what was ordained has almost passed. If we separate now, we most assuredly will die. No longevity treatment can stop that from happening. We will grow old and die. We are Vanir and our customs may seem odd to you Morgan but Torin is with me for the rest of our lives. Just as your son Robin is with you even though he is not of my flesh.”

 

“I thought Torin grew up in Cornwall?”

 

“I was placed with a family in Cornwall by the Druids when I was separated from Vanessa. I was young but not a baby. Carey and Hoyt are not my biological brothers but they take the same place in my life and why we could work together to feed Maeve. We were a last minute solution for her since they needed me specifically. She doesn’t know and she’s very dear to me.”

 

Morgan shook his head. “We’re going to have a complicated life but an interesting one. Whatever you need I can accept, because nothing is ever going to happen to you as long as I’m around. You are the woman that fulfills me. You are the one I want and have always needed. I accept anything that comes along Van. Now go finish whatever it is you need to do. I’m going to see my son and I’ll return later.”

 

Morgan bent down and gently kissed Vanessa and left.

 

“Darren, will you wait here? I’ll have Torin get you when it’s time.”

 

“Fine, I don’t understand a damn thing anyway. I’ll remain right here until I’m needed.”

 

“Maybe you could get us some food because by the time we finish I’m going to be really hungry. All of these feedings and magical manipulations are making me hungry.”

 

“Shut the door Torin and let’s proceed. This is wearing thin on those that love me.”

 

“I know the response you want to make Torin, it’s not necessary because I know your thoughts and you know mine. I’m getting weak. I think we need to do this thing.”

 

“Lie back on the bed and I’ll prepare you for your feeding with Darren. He is primary Hexen Vanessa. The choice they made for you was correct. Reece can feed you too whenever you like but he doesn’t have the abilities of Darren. Don’t ask me how I know because you know that answer. Now we begin again.”

 

Torin opened the door to allow Darren to enter. He was fully dressed and told him he was leaving to go back to his quarters with Maeve but they would be seeing him soon and often.

 

Darren entered Vanessa’s bedroom. “You know you scared all of us shitless don’t you? I’m not so sure I can keep going on your roller coaster ride Vanessa.”

 

“I had to heal Morgan’s son Darren. He would have been paralyzed and died in a few months if I didn’t. Would you have me do less if it was your child?”

 

Darren looked down at the floor and shook his head no.

 

“You’re either an incredibly brave woman or a very stupid one but I take the first guess. It’s aggravating regardless. If you would have died I couldn’t…”

 

“Shush.” Vanessa put her fingers against his lips. “I know Darren, I know but that didn’t happen so feed me now. Always remember they called me the great and sometimes grand witch. I’ve got skills.”

 

Darren grinned, bent down and started kissing her. She moaned and put her arms around his neck. He took his time because he was so emotionally wrought. When the energy passed into her his stone appeared in his hand and he began to chant touching her forehead, her heart area and her solar plexus. She’d never seen him do this before and was interested but not that much. He was the Hexen and knew best. That would be her new philosophy. He rolled over, put his arms around her and the covers came up as if by magic.

 

Darren woke up startled by a sound he heard in the other room. He got up pulling on his pants and went out to see where it was originating.

 

“Did I wake you? I’m sorry,” said Kelly. “I wanted to leave something for Vanessa for what she did for my son. It’s a little token offering of food. I’m sorry if I was too noisy.”

 

“Don’t worry about it. I wasn’t deeply asleep. I was worried about Vanessa. She almost died today.”

 

“Who let you in here?”

 

“Bresco helped me bring the food. I hope you both enjoy it but I have a question. I thought Vanessa was an immortal, sumaire of the old school type and couldn’t die.”

 

“There isn’t anyone who could really qualify as an immortal. If you live centuries people say you are immortal but any one of us can die of certain things. For instance, an accident or being murdered and in Vanessa’s case a total depletion of her bio-energy causing death. It’s no different than if someone smothered her to death. We very definitely are not impervious to dying and all will some way or another over time. Some of us have been very lucky and why we live in family groups. We protect each other.”

 

“I’m due for the longevity treatment very soon. Thank you, no one ever explained it to me that detailed. I need to go to my quarters and see to my son. I believe Morgan will be returning soon. He has been frantic but won’t let anyone see that side of him. I know because of our attunement. Don’t fuss over him, because he’ll be offended but let him decide for himself how his feelings will play out. Don’t keep him from Vanessa.”

 

“You’re very intuitive. It’s a good skill to have. Don’t worry everything is fine now and I’m going to leave as soon as Morgan shows up at least to my room. I live here actually.”

 

“Yes of course. Well enjoy the food.” Kelly opened the door, turned and smiled and then left quietly.

 

“Darren,” he heard Vanessa call from the bedroom and then she screamed. He hurried into the room and saw Vanessa passed out on the bed. Morgan walked in behind him.

 

“What’s wrong with her Darren?” Morgan was scared and Darren could hear it in his voice.

 

“She hasn’t absorbed enough energy. Something is interfering but I don’t know what that is. Please get Torin and bring him here fast.”

 

Morgan opened the door and Torin was outside. “I heard you Darren and I heard Vanessa as well. I brought my staff.”

 

“This is what we’re going to do. Gather all the other Triumvirates here and anyone else who is able to transfer energy. The only person that can store that much energy is Torin by the use of his staff. Then we’ll all leave them alone for awhile and let him feed her and anything else magically he thinks is necessary. He is of her blood.”

 

“All right, I’m summoning them. I don’t have to leave to bring them here.”

 

“One more thing, we need only males Morgan. She needs a large infusion of male sexual energy.”

 

“I want to help,” said a voice behind them from the doorway. Bresco was standing just outside the room waiting for a response. “I’m able to transfer the type of energy you need.”

 

They motioned him to sit and as he did one after another entered the room.

 

“This is what we need to do. We must join hands with each other and raise the energy. Focus on Vanessa. Torin will gather it all in his staff and that energy will pass through him and into her. Hopefully this time she’ll be fully healed.” Darren knew what needed to be done but no one understood how.

 

“Are you a Druid Torin?” asked Arlo.

 

“No Arlo, I’m a Rune Wizard.”

 

“Oh I see.” Arlo was still completely baffled.

 

“Okay let’s get this done. We don’t have too long. While I’m with Vanessa have them bring in a full bathtub and fill it with warm salt water. Some of the problem isn’t just a depletion of energy. She is rejecting her gills. I can fix that problem too but once I enter that room, everyone must stay out. I’ll open the door for help getting her into the main bathroom and the bathtub. Do you comprehend what I’m telling you?”

 

Everyone nodded and formed a circle around him joining hands. The room vibrated with the amount of energy being expended. They watched as it entered his staff and the globe at the top began to glow and hum. He broke their chain and opened the door to Vanessa’s room. What happened in that room no one ever knew but whatever it was, it was astounding. They could hear Torin singing words they didn’t understand and could see light flashing under her door. Suddenly everything was quiet and the door was flung open by Torin.

 

“Take her Morgan and put her in the bath. Thanks go to all of you, but you need to leave now.”

 

A few began to object, but they saw the look on Torin’s face, turned and exited the room.

 

Torin entered the bathroom and saw Morgan had placed her in the water and put a sheet across the top to her neck. Torin knew she didn’t want to be exposed to everyone. He had taken care of that detail by dismissing all who had come to help Vanessa. The numbers willing to save her impressed him.

 

“Morgan I’m worn out and can do no more. I’m leaving you with Vanessa. I know you love her and will see she’s safely put in bed. Watch the Earth clock they have placed in the living area and in two hours time, take her out of the bath. She should revive. Help her dry off and place her back in bed. I’ll be back in half a days time and see if she’s well enough to at least resume her training if only listening to the lectures and observing for the moment. If it wasn’t for a number of factors in her favor, she would be dead right now. She will recuperate very quickly all Vanir do and especially one who has been given longevity treatments. I’ll be back later.”

 

Morgan brought the clock into the bathroom and sat beside her holding her hand. He never dreamed that what she did for his son could be life threatening. He looked up and saw The Mater in the doorway.

 

“How are you Morgan?”

 

“I can’t say I’ve been worse because this time it wouldn’t be true. Why would she sacrifice herself like this?”

 

“You don’t know?”

 

“I guess I don’t. I’m baffled by what she’s done and thankful.”

 

“I thought you were a very perceptive man. You’re extremely telepathic but you have no empathy it would seem. This woman would give her life for you. She has dreamed of you her whole life. You are essentially her fairytale Prince Charming. She didn’t think you were real. Now she knows better. She idolizes you and now I’ll not speak of any of this overly sentimental gibberish. You must know this so quit second guessing everything and accept what is right before you. She’ll survive and be none the worse for the experience but for once in your long life look into the face of love Morgan and not desire. I see everything is going well. I’m leaving now and will see you at the next training session.”

 

Morgan fell asleep in the chair. He’d been through an ordeal as well. The guilt he felt for Vanessa’s condition was overwhelming.

 

“Morgan,” said Vanessa. “Morgan, are you all right?”

 

“What, what?” he sputtered and fell off his chair.

 

Vanessa tried to stifle her laughter but she couldn’t stop laughing at the sight of Morgan sprawled on the bathroom floor. Morgan looked up at her, grinned and started laughing too. It felt good to be laughing instead of worrying.

 

 

CHAPTER EIGHT

 

Vanessa’s Triumvirate had returned to their rooms and were peacefully sleeping now they knew she was better. Bresco came by and told Reece to alert everyone that classes were cancelled until the next day interval. There had been so many upheavals the day prior they were going to let everyone take a break. He would return when the classes resumed.

 

She woke up and saw Morgan sleeping beside her. He looked exhausted and haggard. He’d gone through a lot in a few short hours. I almost died she thought to herself. It seemed so long ago even if only a matter of hours. One thing she did know was she was starved. Someone was in the kitchen because the light was on.

 

“Who’s in the kitchen?”

 

“It’s me,” said Arlo.  “Should you be up right now? Sit down Vanessa. I’ll fix you something if you’re hungry.”

 

“I’d like to say I feel fine, a pat answer, but I don’t. What I’m feeling is strange, lightheaded and sore. Other than that I have no answers for you. I’m plainly hungry right now. I need to recuperate as fast as I can. I’m committed to this project and want to get started as soon as possible to bring people out of a situation that’s untenable.”

 

Vanessa was eating scrambled eggs when Morgan wandered out of her bedroom.

 

“Got anymore for me?” He knew Arlo was a good cook because many talked about his skills. He yawned waiting for him to answer.

 

“As a matter of fact I do. There’s fruit salad and toast on the table. I don’t know what you want to drink. You’ll have to get your own. I’m going to sit down and eat mine before it gets cold. Help yourself to what’s left on the heating unit.”

 

“I’m going back to bed. Let me know when it’s time to get up for training.” Vanessa was committed and nothing would stop her from being apart of the planned project.

 

“They cancelled classes for today. Everyone’s going by the Earth clocks so the next will be many hours from now. Rest and recuperate. If I know Bresco he won’t let us oversleep.”

 

“Okay, I’ll see you when I get up again. Thanks for the information and the food Arlo.”

 

Vanessa walked back to her room and shut the door crawling back into bed and was out almost immediately.

 

“Do you think she’s all right Arlo?”

 

“I don’t know if all right is the best description but she’s better. Sleep is the best thing for her right now. What I’m feeling from her is like being kicked in the gut by a bull.”

 

“How would you know how that would feel Arlo?”

 

“It was the best analogy I could think of to keep from saying she felt like she was hit by a Mack truck. I didn’t want to sound cliché even though it’s a good description.”

 

Morgan laughed and shook his head. “Thanks for the food. I guess I’ll get some more rest myself. See you when I see you Arlo.”

 

They both slept for hours but Morgan finally got up, showered and left to visit his son. He told Darren to tell Vanessa if she woke up he’d be back in a few hours.

 

She was having a restless sleep. The city they visited was on her mind. She traveled beneath the sea and was walking down the corridors of the undersea city. There were children playing but mostly those she thought were Anunna. They had dark hair and varied colored clothing. The differences weren’t as striking as on Ardeth and Andros.

 

Men were talking in the distance. She could hear them saying something about oxygenators. One said,
“We have to get the other two working. What they’re going to do to our children and our old ones in five days time is going to cause a revolt. We have no weapons and the guards will kill us all if we try to intervene.”

 

Vanessa followed the sound of the voices and found herself in a room that appeared to be for maintenance. The room was filled with gigantic metal tubes. All of them were running except two of them as she had overheard. She wasn’t sure what she could do while in a journey but she was going to try. What she had heard the men saying was shocking. Putting her hands up against one of the devices she concentrated trying to see if she could decipher why it wasn’t working. Something had, a wire, she didn’t know the correct name, but it had come loose deep inside. She was weak and being pulled back to her body.

 

Once she realized she was in her body it caused her to awaken. Quickly moving to her bedroom door she opened it and looked to see if anyone was in the living area. She wanted to cry when she realized she was alone. The obvious was sitting down and concentrating on both Morgan and Torin to come to her quarters. She got up and went back in her room to get dressed.

 

Both Torin and Morgan came bursting in her room. Even though she was annoyed by the intrusion into her bedroom without being invited, she had to laugh.


“Calm down boys, there’s nothing wrong with me, but there’s something urgent I need to tell the both of you. I need help. Morgan you have a good telepathic link to The Mater, call her in here. She needs to hear what I have to say. Go sit down in the living area while I finish dressing please.”

 

When Vanessa walked back out into the living area, Morgan and Torin were sitting down as she’d left them and The Mater was sitting in a chair.

 

“What has you in a tizzy Vanessa?” asked The Mater.

 

“First I want everyone here to know I am outwardly twenty-five true, but I didn’t get the longevity treatment recently. I want my Triumvirate to know that as well. I didn’t have a Triumvirate for hundreds of years but over time it became necessary or so my guardian felt and I now have one. No more secrets but I still want to go by Vanessa which is my right.”

 

“Understood Vanessa. Continue, because I know that can’t be why you called us to your quarters.”

 

“You’re correct.” She went on to relate what she had seen and heard and what she wanted to do to remedy an immediate problem.

 

“Are you strong enough to do what you’re suggesting?” Morgan was concerned she would overdue again.

 

“Yes, of course I am and even if I wasn’t I’d try anyway. A lot of lives depend on us. Then we need to get finished at least with rudimentary training and get this city up out of the depths of the ocean. There’s no way to know what they might do next.”

 

“We need my sister to monitor us, all four of us if The Mater is willing to attempt this journey with us.”

 

“Yes of course. I can’t see much difference in healing as opposed to fixing.”

 

“I’m coming too.” Bresco had just entering the room. “I have more understanding of Anunna technology than you do.”

 

“Were you eavesdropping Bree?”  

 

“No, I’m never too far away from you Vanessa. I was worried about your health. Sorry but I overheard you telepathically.”

 

“Have you taken spirit journeys in the past?”

 

“Yes, I’m very familiar with spirit walking.”

 

“We need to go into the communal room to do this. We can close and lock the doors and have Bresco inform everyone we need about two Earth hours to complete our task. He doesn’t need to go into detail. If you could do that now however the word will pass quickly and should get us a step ahead.”

 

“That’s simple enough Mater. Didn’t any of you look at your comm system in the room?” Bresco opened a small door and said, “See all these numbers coordinate to each of the quarters. The button on the bottom will reach them simultaneously. I think it better if The Mater makes an announcement.”

 

The Mater got up and pushed the master button and asked that no one approach the communal room until she made an all clear announcement. There was going to be a very private conference in the room and they could not be disturbed.

 

“I think Darren should be involved too. He can assist Myrna. It never hurts to have a back up. I have found Darren has many more abilities than he has let on.” Vanessa knew he was concealing something but she hesitated to ask.

 

Darren walked through the side door rubbing his eyes heading toward the bathroom.

 

“Was someone talking about me?”

 

“Yes, it was me. Do what you need to do and come back out here as soon as possible. I’ll explain very briefly what we are planning on doing.”

 

“Okay Vanessa.  He continued down the hallway a bit groggy opening the bathroom door.

 

The intercom buzzed and The Mater pushed the button and they heard Myrna’s voice telling them she was in the communal room after Morgan had sent a message to her. She would wait until they arrived.

 

Darren came out of the bathroom and Vanessa got up, took his hand and almost drug him out of their quarters. On the way, she told him quickly what they were planning. He agreed he should be there.

 

“Let’s pull five of the chairs from the gaming tables into a circle. That way we can recline as well as be able to join hands, said Torin. “Be sure the doors are locked Myrna and look for something we can use for blindfolds. Maybe they have something we can put in our ears.”

 

“I can get into the utility room. They open it up when people swim in the pool outside.” 

 

Bresco walked over to a door on the far side of the room and opened it with a key he had on a cord. He came back holding ear plugs and Myrna had found small towels in the drawers in the food preparation area.

 

“I see both Torin and Vanessa have staffs. Is it necessary to use them this time?”

 

“Yes Myrna. It’s old school I know, but it puts up a better protection than either you or Darren can provide so indulge us. This is what both Torin and I are used to doing.”  Vanessa didn’t like to be questions when it dealt with magical practices. “Torin needs to be opposite me so the energy we raise will be uniform and take us quickly to the city.”

 

“Those of you sitting next to me and next to Torin will need to hold onto our left arms because we will be holding our staff in that hand. There will be no difference in the contact as long as you’re touching bare skin. Is everyone ready?”

 

Everyone replied yes almost in unison.

 

“Please blindfold us Darren and gently put the ear plugs in everyone’s ears Myrna. Be sure they are secure and then turn off the lights. We could do all of this without this preparation but it helps us make longer journeys and we may need the extra time it will provide us. You won’t see Torin or I holding a staff when we get to the city but they will be with us. Instead you will see us holding our hand up instead if necessary. They don’t physically appear in this state of consciousness.”

 

Torin was first to start tapping his staff and Vanessa followed suit almost as if in a round. Light started emitting from each staff and Myrna talked them under. They could see the city beneath them and changed course to enter the dome. Once inside they followed Vanessa while she took them to the maintenance room.

 

They all put their hands on the tubes to see if they could identify the problem. One was a loose wire as Vanessa remembered and the other merely corrosion. Bresco wondered why they weren’t able to fix the problems easily but these Anunna and the humans they had with them had been living in this city for hundreds of years and may have forgotten many things their ancestors once knew. He didn’t know but found it odd all the same.

 

“We need to visualize the changes that need to be made and make them materialize in reality.” Bresco knew exactly how to proceed. Torin and Morgan took care of fixing the wiring and The Mater and Vanessa tackled the corrosion in the second tube. It would take a lot of visualization and magic. Bresco supervised and told them what was necessary. When they stood back and watched their progress both of the machines were working like the others in the room. They were satisfied with their work and glad there hadn’t been any intrusions. Bluntly they were lucky.

 

“We need to leave the city as soon as possible. I detect someone coming this way.” Bresco didn’t want to take any chance they would be aware of their presence. The group concentrated and flew up through the dome and headed back to their bodies. They could hear Myrna’s voice in the distance guiding them back. Darren removed the blindfolds as the tapping of Torin and Vanessa’s staffs stopped. Everyone pulled out their earplugs and looked around.

 

Morgan spoke up concerned. “Didn’t that seem a little too easy to all of you?”

 

“Yes and why I was also concerned. Something isn’t right but I don’t have any idea what is wrong. It’s an uncanny feeling I developed while we were there. These were slight problems. I wonder if someone in that city wanted them left malfunctioning for some sort of agenda.” Bresco was sure he was right.


“You’re right Vanessa. They need to be brought out of the ocean as soon as is possible. There’s something sinister going on in that city-state.”  Bresco had sensed it.

 

“I believe he’s absolutely right. These machines that are integral to their lives were virtually unattended and the problems were minor. Why hadn’t they fixed them?” Torin was also suspicious.

 

“The only solution I have to all of this is to move the timeframe up and make the dive. I’ll talk to Ethos and the others and see if we can leave at weeks end. I think we all deserve rest. I’ll contact you through the comm system. Right now I have to give the all clear to everyone. You can return to your quarters,” The Mater was distressed but chose not to admit it to the others.

 

“I believe something is wrong, very wrong like you suspect Torin. I didn’t live in that time when the cities were created but I knew there were groups among our kind that hated the humans. I don’t know if the idea they are inferior, or descended from apes, has lived on in this city by those in power. You won’t find that attitude among the Anunna in this day and age but we weren’t and others on Earth so magnanimous and evolved in viewpoints at that time when the cities were built. These people have been isolated. If they consider them inferior then that might account for why the majority of those being killed are human. These are not Sumerian descendants, but Anunna.”  Bresco hoped they would understand what he was telling them.

 

“The Sumerians and the Adamas were the same species. My ancestors only enhanced their strength and stamina. We were trying to perfect what already existed. This made the others hate them because we tended to favor them and they willingly helped us. They were not our slaves although I think some abused them. It’s only rumor and innuendo to me because it was long before I came into being.”

 

“All of this is ancient history. We need to quit trying to second guess these people and get the hell down there and do something. There will most likely be violence and we need to be prepared. Their mentality probably hasn’t changed much over the generations since they consented to live under the sea. No more debates and what ifs, let’s make this about doing.” Darren was done trying to analyze the situation.

 

“You’re correct Darren and I’ll talk to the others and we’ll come up with a strategy in the next couple of days. Training is over in my opinion. We know the hazards and now it’s about implementing a good plan. I’ll be contacting all of you soon.”  The Mater quickly left the room.

 

“Why did you call these humans Adamas Bresco?

 

“This is a complicated issue Darren but generally speaking, the Sumerians wanted to differentiate themselves from them because they looked down on them and certain of the Anunna did as well. They had to have something to call them because they didn’t want them to be thought of as equal. Yet the word means invincible in ancient Greek. They were stronger, bigger and very attractive people. They felt slighted by them, which wasn’t a rational conclusion.”

 

“Not meaning to change the subject, but is anyone else hungry? Vanessa and I are going to get something to eat in the Communal dining room or whatever they are calling it now. Between the two planets, I’ve lost track of the names of everything. All those who want to eat, follow us.” Vanessa followed Morgan out of the room

 

“I have to leave but I’ll see all of you again when they call for us.” Bresco left the room soon after Morgan and Vanessa.

 

“I guess that leaves the five of us and I’m starved. I smell food that direction. He pointed down the hall while watching Bresco turn and head the other direction.

 

“Oh no, not another Arlo.” Everyone looked at him and laughed because Darren was always such a cynic.

 

“If you mean I’m a connoisseur of food you’d be right. Don’t you like to eat Darren or do you just sit and watch others and complain?”

 

“Since when are honest observations complaining?  I’m very detailed and I know what I see and hear and I’m not afraid to say something out loud when I believe someone is being a bore.”

 

“Well then I guess a round of bowing and scraping is in order. ‘All hail King Darren’.” 

 

Morgan’s face was starting to turn red and Myrna knew what that meant. “Oh look, they have all you can eat today. Why don’t we all go over there and take a look. Hopefully we can find something palatable to eat.”

 

Morgan knew what she was doing and dropped the subject taking Vanessa’s hand and going to get food, anything hot and filling. Darren sat at the table angry and alone.

 

Vanessa turned and saw the look on Darren’s face. He was feeling sorry for himself. She knew the look and had seen it often. He was one of those people who simply had no social skills and would blurt out whatever they were thinking regardless of the consequences. In some ways, she felt sorry for him. Someone had to put him in his place because the word tact was not in his vocabulary.

 

 

CHAPTER NINE

 

Vanessa was happy for a few house of reprieve to recuperate from the ordeal she had gone through. She had just met Morgan but it seemed a lifetime ago. Her thoughts were out-dated and reminiscent of school girl fantasy. There was no denying what was obvious. Yet he reacted the same way to her. The phenomenon was not unknown to her species.  No one could explain it and they had stopped trying. Those close to her would accept the inevitable even if they were not happy about the union. The less she thought about the negatives the faster she could move on to what was important; saving men, women and children stranded under the oceans of Earth.

 

She wanted or rather needed to feel water running down her body. The shower was a few yards down the hall and even though weak she could easily make it to the bathroom.  The expended energy of the healing and the out of body activity had damaged her health. Longevity didn’t mean forever which was something most forgot. The flowing water would help heal the energy breakage in her field. She knew this innately.

 

Her towel almost wrapped around her twice.  Slowly she walked down the hall, took off her towel and placed it on the chair nearby. She slipped under her covers and fell deeply asleep. Vanessa didn’t hear the person who tiptoed into her room and slipped in bed with her. He was afraid to leave her alone as he worried something would happen to her and didn’t want to leave her side.

 

A noise in her bedroom roused Vanessa. She set up and saw Morgan standing at the end of her bed.

 

“Why is Arlo here?  Did you ask him to come in case you got sick again?”

 

“What are you talking about Morgan?”

 

“That guy sleeping beside you?”

 

Vanessa turned and slowly slid out of the bed and walked around to the other side.

 

“Arlo, wake up.  What are you doing in my bed?”

 

“What, oh, I wanted to be nearby in case you needed help.”

 

“I understand but in my bed with me without asking first?  Don’t you think that’s over doing the idea of close?”

 

“Although this is amusing to me, you have three hours before we leave for Earth.  The stratocruiser is here and being loaded with supplies.”

 

“Morgan, could you be less clinical?  You don’t know Arlo well. He has an emotional link to me and is very perceptive. Give him a break please. He is a member of my Triumvirate remember?”

 

“Vanessa, I don’t know what to say.  First my son almost dies, you almost die and everything is out of control.  I’m an orderly man and I don’t do well with out of control. Therefore, I’m going back to my quarters and get ready to leave. You do whatever it is you do with your Triumvirate.” Morgan turned in a huff and left.

 

“Don’t worry about him Van, he’ll get over being put in his place or he’d better. You’re quite a woman and I think he knows but I would rethink what you say to him when others can overhear especially if they’re male. You just humiliated him in front of me. Sorry to say, he won’t forget, at least for awhile.”

 

“I understand Arlo but if he wants to take vows with me he has to respect certain boundaries.  He will not be allowed to involve himself with anyone in my Triumvirate. I’m hoping the three of you become friends with Morgan but as far as the relationship we have, it’s not his concern.”

 

“I hope this incident doesn’t interfere with our rescue attempts on Earth.”

 

“Arlo, Morgan is an ancient. He might be annoyed but I realize we have to sit down and have a discussion about both of our Triumvirates and what part they are going to play in both of our lives.”

 

“Handle it as you see best.  I have to go to my room and get ready to leave.”

 

“Arlo, tell the others to pack the backpacks we bought on Ardeth. We need to pack light. They should be sufficient for our needs. Meet me in three hours at the docking area. I need to get my things together as well so I’ll see you then.”

 

Arlo nodded and left the room. He wasn’t sure Darren and Reece would comply so easily but he hoped. He would play on their sympathy so there were no tantrums. They would want to see Vanessa before they left for the cruiser, but there was no time.

 

Vanessa put on her backpack and carried other supplies she wanted to take with her, mainly both of her staffs, and other magical items just in case. She entered the lift to the docking area at the top of the building. When she stepped out she could see everyone waiting in the distance. Much to her surprise, it included her Triumvirate and Morgan was talking to them.  She was wary. Her Triumvirate was a problem she didn’t want to tackle right now. When she got closer she realized they were laughing.

 

“There you are Vanessa.  We were beginning to get worried about you.”

 

“Forgive me Mater but I had a few extra items I needed to bring with me and not much time to gather them together.”

 

“Not to worry. I was teasing. All of us knew your packing would take longer. Your Triumvirate and Torin explained to us. Now you are here, we should take seats inside and get ready to leave. You will find out why I arrived in less time than all of you did.  They didn’t want to go into dynamic drive for a number of reasons on your journey, but now we have no choice. We will arrive on Earth in twenty-four hours. In the meantime, get plenty of rest while we travel.”

 

Vanessa sat with Morgan. His Triumvirate was seated in front of them and hers were behind. Maeve and her Triumvirate were across from them and everyone else sat in various seats behind. The Mater had her own space in the back of the ship. They attached their belts and the stratocruiser left slowly from the docking area. They accelerated and went into dynamic drive once out of the gravity of Andros. Vanessa squeezed Morgan’s hand and he squeezed hers in return but they said nothing to each other. They were going on a monumental adventure and one that was perilous not only for those they wished to save but for themselves as well.

 

A young Anunna female worked her way through the passengers. When she reached Vanessa and Morgan, she handed them menus.

 

“Please choose what you want to eat from this menu. We must keep everything simple on this flight. We want to be prepared for the two days you will be aboard the Morbeus. I’ll return shortly to collect all the menus.  Your morning meal has already been ordered and everyone will be served the same.  This is for all meals that follow. My name is Hadria if you should need anything. There’s a button on the side of each of the seats.”

 

The morning meals were passed out and like most everyone on the flight, Vanessa reclined her seat and tried to sleep. Morgan had gone to see The Mater. She didn’t know why but guessed it dealt with his son since both he and Kelly were on the trip to Earth and his son was still with the medical team on Andros.

 

An announcement was made over the loudspeakers.  They were going out of dynamic drive and would be entering Earth’s atmosphere shortly. They wanted everyone to be aware because the transition would be slightly jarring. They would be landing soon Vanessa realized and prepared herself for the last leg of the trip. Morgan had returned and was putting his seatbelt on.

 

“Everything all right Morgan?”

 

“Yes, I was conferring with The Mater on a number of issues and I believe most of them have been put to rest. Mainly, I wanted to know how my son was doing.  He’s recovering well from his accident. Knowing he is recovering, set my mind at ease.”

 

The ship started to gyrate and Vanessa grabbed Morgan’s hand. He smiled liking the fact she felt safety in proximity to him. He wanted to keep her safe always. There was no other person he had met quite like her.

 

The ship leveled out and they could see their entry into Earth’s atmosphere clearly out the side windows.  Vanessa had never seen Earth quite like she was now and it was thrilling. She was already asleep in her capsule when she left for Ardeth. She had missed the spectacle. As they descended to the docking area, she prepared herself for disembarking.

 

They entered a lift and went down to ground level.  The building had a glass front and they could see the ocean from the conference room they had entered. It wouldn’t be long thought Vanessa. She wasn’t scared but invigorated at the thought of rescuing the people from the cities below and stopping the culling that was going on in at least one of them, maybe more.

 

The Mater stepped up and walked behind the podium at the front of the room. “Well that wasn’t too bad was it?” She smiled and looked around the room.  “We won’t be diving today but early in the morning.  The Anunna dignitaries and I feel you need to rest and acclimate yourself to Earth. You’ve been gone for weeks. You will be shown to rooms and we ask you return in thirty minutes.  Midday meal will be served at that time. This is an all-purpose room so we will do many things together here. You’re now excused.”

 

The building was many stories high situated on a small island in the Pacific. There were two other Stratocruisers sent to other places Vanessa assumed very similar. They would be connecting with them soon.  The first city would be a major obstacle but the population was only a few hundred. It was felt they didn’t need a whole crew of divers to help bring up this city a few miles out. This would give the others more time to make plans and scout the area.

 

Morgan had gone to talk to The Mater and just returned.  They would be sharing a room and all the Triumvirates would have their own multi bedroom suites. She knew what would come first.  All the sumaire must be fed by their Hexen and that would be that night before they retired. They wanted their energy levels to be full bore. They were told the evening meal would be prime rib as well. She had a smile on her face having been without a meat meal for so long.  She believed in treating animals humanely but she did eat meat and needed it in her diet for optimum health along with her feedings. Regardless, she had those days she craved her veggies along with dairy products. She didn’t know why but it calmed her. She figured it must have to do with their essence. They believed every living thing had sentience and they shared it with those who ate them. By products had certain values they hadn’t taken the time to analyze and took it for granted on some level it was healthful for them. Like any other humanlike being they still had to wear sunscreen and protect themselves from being bit by insects.  In that, they were no different.  They lived longer and had a few extra abilities others didn’t have.

 

“Come along with me Vanessa.”

 

Vanessa looked up and saw Morgan standing beside her. She knit her brows and looked confused.

 

“I know where our rooms are located and I think we should get settled before dinner rolls around. Tomorrow will be a harrowing day.  They’re sending the bots down as we speak to find the best way to enter the city.  We’ll look at the shots in the morning, as for now, we need to rest. I’ll be visiting my Triumvirate for awhile and Darren will be visiting you later today.  I was relieved to hear this city wasn’t so far down they needed go through decompression before they reached the surface.  They will be put into chambers here for awhile to be on the safe side. There will be three Aquamariner subs sent down and they’ll rise slowly bringing everyone to the surface. If you’ve never seen one of these subs I must tell you, they’re gigantic.”

 

“Okay, I’ll follow you to our room.  I have some other questions on my mind.  We can talk there for awhile. I’m not tired, just anxious at the moment.”

 

Their room was utilitarian as she expected but comfortable. They had provided for all their needs.

 

“Is there a pool in this building Morgan?”

 

“Yes, I believe it’s two floors above us.”

 

“Great, I’m going swimming. Would you like to come along?”

 

“Don’t you think we’ll be swimming enough tomorrow?”

 

“No, we’re on a mission to save people from death and in salt water.  I want to swim for relaxation. If you don’t want to come along I won’t be angry. It’s your choice Morgan. I’m going to change into a bathing suit.”

 

“He wasn’t use to a woman arguing with him.  She was so independent he didn’t know if he liked her being willful ways. He’d go along with her because he wanted to spend as much time with her as he could. He wasn’t sharing her with all the other males right now.”

 

Vanessa sensed she was pushing Morgan to his limit. He tended to be egotistical to a degree and not use to a strong woman. She would tone it down a bit and pay him flattery and attention. The jealousy he exhibited was amusing her, but clearly emasculating to him. She wondered how his son, Robin, was doing but hesitated to ask him given the serious circumstances behind the reason they were on Earth. She put on her suit and pinned up her hair. They would probably supply towels so she didn’t take one.

 

Morgan was sitting on the sofa when she entered the living area. He got up and opened the door, ready to go for a swim.