Dimar.org  

Dimar: Lost Waters
(you can order a paperback copy or ebook here)

Special Thanks to:
Clay Dreslough, Ian Smith, David 'Tae' Baxter, Eugene Arenhaus and Paul aka 'Draco'. :)

Table of Contents

Intro
Prolog

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 31
Chapter 32
Chapter 33

Glossary
Dimar terms
Arrallin terms

Map

 

 

Lost Waters - Chapter 7

     "It's been a month, Landry. What kind of techs did you bring on that hulk of yours?" Tara masked her annoyance behind a half-smile. The Dark Hope had to be not only ready to make a fast run back toward the jump gate to close it, but also to return and unload the last of the vital supplies to the rapidly evolving human and Arrallin colony. Landry's angular features tensed momentarily, and loosened into a toothy, sly grin. He's going to ask for something. I know that look.
      "Well, fearless leader, if I could be so bold as to borrow a tech or two from the more spaceworthy Singularity II, I can have this entire problem straightened in a matter of days. The majority of the engineering betas are on the Singularity II, whereas I got the dubious honor of carting the gate-crasher. Useful though it will be, that piece of equipment is doing nothing for this aging ship. I need staff, Tara, regardless of the risk."
      Landry scratched at his clean-shaven scalp, frowning as the stubble rasped under his roughened fingers. Turning, he tapped on a monitor behind him, outlining the cross section of the engineering bay of the ship. Red indicators showed a plethora of failing systems. "I've been over the engineering roster for the Singularity II. Kiralla, Malry, and Linaro, just those three, should be able to set my beta team straight and get us ready for the gate closing." He held up his hands imploringly.
      Tara caught her breath, and scrutinized Landry closely. Kiralla was the best engineer on the Singularity II, that was true, and was a logical choice for this assignment, but she was also the only unmated Alpha Arrallin female in the entire fleet. She was Rakal's only hope for founding a new hive in the next twenty years. On Landry's ship, she'd be dangerously isolated from members of the Arrallin Insurrection on the Singularity II. Landry was an independent operator brought in only because he had a gate crasher. Landry's participation in the mission had been ratified by a vote of five to four when the inner circle of the Insurrection team met to decide on how to deal with the gate, and tensions about him ran high in every meeting.
      Emotions struggled inside Tara, but she looked over the data file with a practiced nonchalance. She quelled a spike of fearsome jealousy for the beautiful, intelligent Kiralla, destined to take a place in history beside Rakal, but she knew her duty lay far beyond her personal wants and needs. Kiralla and Rakal were both desperately needed to give a wider genetic base to the new Hives. All of the Arrallin species may depend on the decision she made at this moment.
      Crushing all her personal feelings, she assessed Landry. He was a known 'furvert', preferring Arrallin furries for his passions over humans. He treated them like animals, or worse. Beta murders, especially ones related to sex, were rarely pursued by Earth authorities, but Landry had been brought to trial twice. To his credit, he was acquitted twice, but his violence was legendary among the Beta Brothels.
      Kiralla was, despite her beta disguise, a rare beauty. As an alpha she was naturally strong willed, even when acting her beta part. His purpose in requesting her transfer could be libidinous, as much as a request of necessity. Could he know that she was indeed an Alpha female, close to her season? How far did his obsession go, and how much information did he have? He had accepted a fairly low fee to take on the risky job of jumping through and crashing the gate. Members of the inner circle were wagering that he wouldn't in fact go through the gate, just close it down and return to join the colony as the proud leader of his own personal Arrallin harem, without the rules of earthly propriety to bind him. He had been lead to believe that they were all in this project to dodge criminal problems back on Earth, and as far as she knew, he had no idea that the ships carried three mated pairs, as well as the two unmated Arrallin Alphas, Kiralla and Rakal. They had all been carefully disguised.
      Tingles of sweat dripped down Tara's back as she returned Landry's awaiting gaze in the view screen. Consciously, she controlled her tone of voice, maintaining the distracted tone she had had all through their conversation. "Three's fine, Landry. The other ships are operating well Dark Hope is the biggest system failure risk, and it's just too important to leave to an inexperienced engineering crew. Be sure to get them back aboard the Singularity II as soon as the repairs are done, though. I want as many of the engineers down here to work on the colony, and the Arralla's Pride will be making the second shuttle run in two weeks. The weather down here is going to get really wet soon, and we need the best structures we can manage." She looked down, pretending to scrutinize a colony structure report with frustration.
      "Thank you, Tara. I'll have this ship as good as new in no time." His smug smile made a knot form in Tara's belly. "I don't envy you down there. Looks like a real jungle. I thought Gates City was bad." He laughed at his own weak joke, and Tara managed a completely contrived smile. "Landry out."
      His face faded away on the screen, a menacing visage as the shadows darkened and grew until the screen was a flat black. The screen faded in an instant, but to Tara, it felt like an hour. A feeling of foreboding, as strong as her combat instincts from Earth Command training, flooded into her, along with a sense of both danger and power, but not from above. It was from the east, where the troubled Mulkol Barryd lay. "Tara, you're getting soft in the head. The Telkans can take care of their own." She muttered and turned to look to the east, seeing for a fleeting instant a radiant orange glow across the hillside. Looking toward Ekal and Telka, the sky glowed a yellow-green along the tree line, brightest along the mountain pass that lead toward the regions to the north. As soon as the light had appeared, it vanished, leaving her with a momentary longing to head north.
      Tarrin, the psi from the Arralla's Pride, and Rakal strode up on their hind legs. "So, Tara, how goes operations up above?" Rakal rumbled in his deep alpha voice. He made no effort to disguise himself in actions, but maintained the black coat and thinned mane for safety.
      "Did you see that light? Did you hear those sounds just now?" Tara looked from Rakal and then to Tarrin and back, leaning against the communications console.
      "Um...no, Tara. When was the last time you slept?" Rakal's concern was plainly evident. "You're going to sleep NOW, Tara. You look like one of those floppy eared morraks the Dimar seem so fond of."
      Tarrin signaled Mason over, and he instantly surmised the situation. "Don't worry, Tar I'll wake you if anything interesting happens. I hear that the Dimar are finishing council talks to decide whether or not we will be welcomed here. I'll wake you as soon as the report comes back from the north." Mason picked up the duty roster and leafed through screen after screen. "No problem. This thing's so organized even Tarrin here could run the details, eh Tarrin?" He grinned good-naturedly to the beta Talent, who snorted with mock indignance.
      "Mason, Rakal I'm leaving things in your hands. I do need the rest." Tara shot a worried glance at the duty roster screen on the console, as Kiralla and the other engineers registered as transferred to the Dark Hope. "First, I want to let you all know that Landry requested three engineers to work on the Dark Hope. It's having significant engine problems and we need it ready to go as soon as that Dimar council gets out and decides whether or not we can stay. That gate crasher is key to the success of this operation. We wouldn't survive a day against an Earth Command contingent sent through the jump gate." Nervously she looked up at Rakal, who was already scanning the transfer logs.
      "Kiralla's gone over." His voice was monotone, but the fur along his neck rose to its full height. "Was there no way to avoid that?"
      "Not without giving Landry a possible hint that he was onto something. He's been prying around personnel records since the start and I didn't want to give him any sign that we might have Alphas aboard." Tara knew that her decision had been based on rational thought, and probably would have been the decision made by Mason, Tarrin, or any of the other Arrallin Insurrection leaders, but the guilt gnawed at the back of her mind.
      Rakal turned toward Tara, his eyes searching her face. Slowly, he nodded with agreement. "It's been fifteen years that we've been in hiding, and not one human, not even members of the Earth Command, have cracked our cover. Landry will not be a problem. You being a walking shadow of yourself that is a problem." His hackles lowered as he turned to guide Tara toward her tent.
      Tara smiled, almost shyly at Rakal as they walked toward her tent away from the crowd. In a hoarse whisper, she tried to explain. "Look, Rakal I...I didn't want to risk her, but if he suspected that she was...well, from what we know, he probably would have gone aboard and kidnapped her. You know of my species dark affinity for the young Alpha females..."
      Rakal interrupted quickly, wincing with pain. "Don't. I know...I know all too well. You would never jeopardize this movement or..."
      "Or your happiness, Rakal." Tara uttered with more emotion than she had wanted. She gazed into his face, studying the graceful lines of his muzzle, and the sheen of his jet black fur. His eyes, violet through the disguise coloring, were clouded with pity for her.
      With a flash of indignance, she turned and strode into her tent to get some much needed rest.
      It seemed that she had only just fallen asleep when Mason came charging in. "Word's back from the north, sir! You're not going to believe this."

The Tomb of the Unknown Editor: Thank you for all those pages of GREAT edits. I suck for losing your email. <:|   Dimar: Lost Waters is a public domain work of modern science fiction by Dee Dreslough. Please feel free to be inspired by it, draw pictures, write stories based on it, even republish the work as a whole...it belongs to everyone! www.Dimar.org