Chapter One: Spewing Curve

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Cass gasped and I thought to her, “Not so much a wolf, but still a predator.”

I opened our mouth to comment on his new appearance and Kal shot us a warning look with an accompanying head jerk at the doors awaiting us. They seemed untended and lonely in their forbidding massiveness but then again, since Kal’s people could bend light, space, and time, there was always a small possibility a swarm of ninja aliens silently surrounded us at this very moment.

At that thought my sister rotated our head in a panoramic motion, stretching our neck muscles to their limits and making me wonder if our cranium could do a full turn like someone demon possessed. Not that I believed in demons. Real life had plenty enough evil without adding the supernatural into the mix. We knew that from experience; the spot on our chest still throbbed, tender from the invasion of the foreign instrument that had almost been our end.

Cassandra reached up a finger to press on the scar to the left of our heart as she picked up on my thoughts. We’d had a close call and death by screwdriver wasn’t exactly a pleasant way to go. Guilt sucked at my sister for our hand in our attacker’s death, not because she felt particularly bad for surviving, but because she’d felt a sense of triumph at his annihilation.

Placing a heavy fingered hand on our right shoulder, Kal ushered us forward. With his light field gone and his true self revealed our companion looked like a space cowboy from a hokey sci-fi film, mainly because of the brightly colored embroidered snap-front collared shirt he wore. His tan trench coat was stained in spots as if mud had splashed up from the ground over the years, creating a sea shell pattern of red and brown. The jeans he wore were faded and near busted through the knees. Plain black leather cowboy boots so timeworn they had molded to the boats he called feet finished off the ensemble.

In our head I started to hum a dirge and then it morphed into the wedding march as we walked ever closer to our final destination. Cassandra swatted at me mentally to hush but the inner band played on.

The embossed metal doors swung open when we were about ten feet away and a stronger reddish light leaked out in a line, then a bar and then a fully realized rectangle. A lone figure cut the bottom half of the illumination in two, adding legs to the base. Musical sounds erupted from the stranger’s backlit head we couldn’t understand.

Kal stiffened at our side and answered back in the same tongue. His grip tightened, digging into our collarbone.

Clipped hard tones shot back but Kal stayed calm, at least in his stance and voice. Our shoulder was beginning to beg for mercy though.

Two Axsian’s popped into sight on the left and right of us. Their garb, white vests over matching tunic shirts with loose pants, suggested an official status. The figure blocking the door stepped closer as they continued to address Kal in a rhythmic drone, which made me think they were quoting law. The words had a cadence of unoriginal speech.

Cassandra thought, “I don’t think we’re as welcome as Kal made it seem we would be. What do we do if they try and separate us from him?”

Much as it chafed to follow Kal’s barked directions—that would be the prudent thing to do. I thought back, “We watch, wait, and listen. If they try to split us up then we make it clear.”

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