Chapter 34 The Sign of the Rose
“I have the information that will stop the war on Ashtarma. Don’t you have any mercy?” I turn to Yasen.
His eyes grow big and he enters my mind, hurting me in the process again.
No, they don’t care about the bloodbath on Astharma! They think if Kallitris did it to them, the least they can do is let his people suffer. Nice going.
“This woman is over 35% sian. She is the first successful cross in his whole human experiment. Leot seems to love her a lot on this image! If you lead us to her we will take her genes to cross with ours, then maybe we can get back in Leot’s good graces.” His voice in my head is filled with intense longing.
“I don’t know where she is… As far as I know she never left the Earth, let alone met Leot. Maybe this image is from the future?” I whisper, exhausted from the pressure he subjects me to.
I get very weak, and sit by the stone, sliding down its smooth cold surface.
Suddenly feeling very tired, I close my eyes. This is it. So much for saving Kallitris’s life. I love him, I want to be with him, but others are at stake now. If I don’t figure out how to get back to Ashtarma, Blisps will be wiped out. And why? For a misunderstanding Asmadis knows nothing about!
What I feel next is totally unexpected and unbelievably painful. Something is burning through my shirt on the left side of my chest. I scream, open my eyes and see Yasen’s face right in front of me. His skin is way more pale than I noticed earlier. He is so close to me that his black hair tickles my cheeks.
I bring my hand to where it hurts, and my fingers are wet. I look at them, and they are bloody.
Yasen smiles and shows me the medallion he had on his neck this whole time.
“I branded you with my sign. You gave yourself to me for the life of your worthless lover. I let you go for now to finish your business on Ashtarma, but I will only release you fully once you take us to your mother. Or your mother to us.”
“You did what now?” My head is fuzzy, and all I can hear is “let you go to Ashtarma”. These words fill my heart with joy I haven’t felt for a long time, and the rest is irrelevant.
“Remember that you are mine.” Yasen whispers and kisses me on the lips. His kiss is long and passionate.
This makes me even more dizzy. I’m shocked to immediately realize his saliva contains a massive amount of Leot’s neurotoxin. It enters my blood stream within seconds, and I know that Yasen knows. He grins, and gets up.
“I will teleport you to your ship. It’s right above the shield. They haven’t left yet.”
Thrilled by the drug, and jittery, I try to get up, holding on to the stone. As I glance at it one more time, I catch a glimpse of the same image again. But this time Leozarit looks directly at me and gives me a smile.
Next second I find myself on my ship, sitting on the floor in the hall, hurting, shivering. I force myself to get up and walk to the bridge. There I find Kallitris and Iris hugging each other. It is shocking, because I know how Iris hates sheirer.
But Kallitris in his white lacy shirt is too blazing hot to resist. He is caressing Iris’s body and face, and the ends of his wings flutter with pleasure. What a delightful sight! Well, I mean, I understand. The guys possibly believe they’ll never see me again. Besides, I’d rather see them hugging than feuding.
Iris looks up, blushes, and exclaims something inaudible, pointing at me. They both run up. Immaul is watching us with a worried look. He knows how seriously I’m stuck. Not that I doubted.
“We must fly back to Ashtarma right away!” I say.
“How did you get out?” Kallitris grabs me, and starts kissing all over. He sure is very charming. I missed him terribly, and I do not regret for a second about the price I paid to see him alive.
“What’s this?” Iris touches a wound on my chest to the left.
“Let’s get to business. I have important information to deliver to both the Blisps and the Koms!”
Sheirer’s captivating eyes study me, then the wound. He says nothing. I think he knows.
On the way to Ashtarma I receive a message from Yasen that chills me to the bone. It feels like my own thought, just not my words. It reads: “I think I found your mother.” On one hand it means that he is going to release me. On the other – what is he ever going to do to her if he finds her?!
I decide to fly to Blisperada first, as they need my help the most. I do not hesitate getting there on my own ship. I’m not afraid to get bombed, and I don’t have any time to get into one of sheirer’s destroyers. Now I know why he calls them that, by the way.
Indeed, Blisperada needs all the help it can get. The city of hills that greeted me the first time is almost unrecognizable due to bombing. I land on a narrow strip of land between two half-destroyed hills.
Kallitris has already sent a message to Asmadis to come to Arileot14. Although there is still plenty of mistrust between them, my presence makes it easier on Blisps to greet Kallitris on their territory. Asmadis comes in, and throws himself in my embrace. His high crest is shaking there and back as he is crying in my shoulder.
“Tensartis! Why are they doing it to us?!... I’m so happy you came back!” He whispers.
“I’m here to disperse the mystic legend around the disappearance of your people at the settlement. You do not know it, but the leaders of Blisps at that time thought it was the Koms who committed the abduction. But it wasn’t them. It was Leot.”
Everyone looks at me in an absolute shock. Especially Kallitris, who knew the story about the Blisps who disappeared in the woods near his house. Iris watches me, but listensto Immaul who is filling him on the situation.
Eva is the only one who nods in agreement. She is aware of Leot’s practices more than everyone. He is known for stealing creatures for his purposes. Only he calls it “taking specimens for genetic material”.
“So the leaders of Blisps ordered ten kribers from Komkaran kidnapped and hidden somewhere in Blisperada. The Koms looked for their people, did not find them. They did not know anything about what happened, until they discovered, that Blisps were behind the kidnappings. So they started another round of war, thinking that you guys darn well knew why.”
“Unbelievable….” Mutters Asmadis.
“Once we find the hostages and release them, the Koms will have no more reason to attack Blisperada.” I add and have a sick feeling of something unavoidable coming my way.
“I need you to fly to Earth.” I hear in my mind.
‘Why do I detect a transmission from Crumbling Rose?” Eva says suddenly, looking suspiciously at Kallitris.
“I… I did not receive anything.” He stammers. His reaction is funny, knowing how powerful he is and that Eva is just a clump of energy. But he sure is afraid of her after she found a way to turn him in to Leot.
She had to say it, right? She could not just keep her ghostly mouth shut. She gave me away just like that. I turn around and walk away as far as I can from everyone. Asmadis is watching me leave with an expression of despair.
“Yeah, and by the way” I stop and look at Asmadis “Your husband is not dead. He is on Andromeda, held by Leot.”
‘Ohhh…” Kriber begins to cry, probably with joy.
I’ve got to go. Yasen is here. I don’t have to look for him for a long time. He is waiting for me in the corridor by a door to one of the rooms.
“I will give you directions as to the location of the human female we believe is your mother.” Ederi emanates the feeling that he is in control of everything. I do not like that at all.
I stretch my hand and it goes right through him. He comes closer to me. He looks menacing and possessive.
“You are not here in person. So you are a hologram. It’s impossible to do from another galaxy.” I state, and I have no idea why it is important.