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Earthbound

Earthbound

Book excerpt

Ricca had taught him to mindspeak, to build walls in the mind when privacy or contemplation was necessary, and how to direct his mind into that of others. Like Ricca, Llewellyn was unable to enter the minds of all the Earth beings they had encountered. He had assumed it was because of his youth or the fact that his abilities were less than a full-blooded Justine's. He realized that Ricca could not enter their minds when an innkeeper in the last town cheated them, nor could Ricca's mind command make the man repay them. Ricca's headache had been ferocious that evening, and Llewellyn smiled in remembrance.

He was to be marooned to complete the sentence given when he was but one and twenty. The Justines denied the possibility of a mutant being born to parents from different planets, but he existed. They did not allow the beings on the planets they controlled to believe or teach that mutants could exist. To rid themselves of a perplexing problem and a refutation of their biological teachings, the Justines condemned him to isolation. The last forty odd years had been a darkness. Thalians needed to touch, to hug, to bed another, and he had had nay!

Ricca had detested that a servant be entrusted with funds. Customs in this land decreed that gentlemen did not soil their hands with money. More funds could be manufactured on the Golden One if one knew the proper procedures. The spaceship, manned by four Krepyons, was on the dark side of the Earth's moon where the Earth's primitive telescopes would miss it. The Scout from the Golden One was carefully hidden not far from here. It was guarded by two Krepyons in case a curious passerby chanced upon it.

Llewellyn could book passage on a ship to the new lands if he had more of the currency and gold from the Golden One. If he tried to hire on as a sailor on one of the ships sailing for the Americas, he feared he would kill one of these Earth beings before they arrived. He'd seen some of the brutality the sailors endured during their travels on this planet. If the Scout were in his possession, he could fly to the place called America and find somewhere to hide it, but he would still be without funds in a strange land. There was also the chance the Kreppies would scan for the Scout and locate him. Even if he avoided them, he would die here. Without Ricca, the Kreppies were apt to kill him anyway. If the Golden One were his, there was always the possibility that he would live long enough to acquire the needed information from the knowledge crystals aboard the ship to return to his planet and complete his Mither's revenge on the Justines. His Mither had destroyed the Justine planet. He would destroy the Justine Refuge and Thalia would be free. All were dreams until he procured the Golden One.

Night was beginning when he approached the cave. A light mist was falling as it seemed to do most of the time in Ireland. A three-quarter moon vied with a cloud as to which would dominate the space and the cloud was winning. Llewellyn dug out the hand com from the valise. It was hidden within the elaborate compass. He swung back the cover to access the audio.

“I have been sent to retrieve the rest of the funds. Ricca tis resting for the eve.” It must have sounded plausible as the high sharp, quick speaking Kreppie named Aloyed answered.

“You are to wait outside. One of us will bring it to you.” The com went silent.

Within two minutes the voice was back. “Why did not the golden Ricca appear?”

“I told ye, he tis resting. The primitive thoughts of the populace wear on his mind.”

Again the com went dead. The bushes parted and the Kreppie appeared, glancing in all directions. He dared not let Earth beings see his greenish, brown facial skin with scales on his cheeks. He wore the usual tight fitting garb of a space being, but as a Krepyon, his uniform was light green.

“This is the last of the currency and gold we brought with us. Did the great one say if we should order more?”

“Aye, that he did as we have discovered nay trace of Toma.” Llewellyn reached out as if to take the proffered valise and instead grasped the Kreppie by the head and neck and twisted. Aloyed died without a sound.

Llewellyn plucked the weapon from the Kreppie's holster, lifted the inert body, and carried it back to the Scout. Quaten appeared in the doorway. “What is wrong?”

“Catch.” Llewellyn tossed the dead body to Quaten.

As Quaten staggered and fell, Llewellyn reached out and snatched the slight body towards him. A swift twist of the neck and the body of Quaten joined Aloyed's in the back of the Scout. Llewellyn retrieved the valise before he entered and sat in the navigator's seat.

He waited for an hour as darkness closed over the Earth before soaring upward. Most of the populace below slept at night and would not see the golden streak rising from Earth. Two of the Kreppies aboard the craft would also be sleeping for they worked in shifts. There was no way they would disappoint Ricca in caring for the Golden One. It was possible that three were sleeping as there was no danger from an Earth space vehicle.

Upon docking, he left the bodies inside the Scout and hurried to the lift. A faint bluish glow emanated from the curved walls and floor. He was surprised at the clacking noise the Earth shoes made on the metal flooring. Once in the lift he removed his shoes. Silence was essential as he had decided to take control of the Command Center first. The awake Kreppie or Kreppies would be there. If the Kreppies had been alert, they should know that someone had returned in the Scout, but no one had sent out a voice request.

It was as though the Gar his people named as Creator blessed his efforts. A surge of triumph went through Llewellyn as he entered the Command Center and saw the sleeping Kreppie hunched over the control panel. Revenge was sweet as he twisted another neck. That was for all the suffering the Kreppies had inflicted on Thalia and damage they had done to his Elder Lamar when they shrunk his right arm and took his seed. With a set face, Llewellyn marched down the hall towards the sleeping quarters. The bluish glow from the walls was dimmer here as though providing less light would simulate night. One of the Kreppies had boasted that his father died trying to prevent Llewellyn's Mither, LouElla, from escaping the asteroid. He had taken particular delight in making Llewellyn's existence miserable and bringing false allegations against him. Ricca had silenced him. A Justine knew when a Krepyon lied. None of the three rooms were locked. Llewellyn entered each room and performed the physical act of killing the others. He wrapped them in their blankets and grabbed three extra blankets before carrying them forward.

The body in the Command Center he wrapped in one of the blankets. He would need to clean in here, the rooms, and the Scout. He did nay care. He had time. Soon all six wrapped bodies floated outside to tumble downward and burn as they entered Earth's atmosphere.

Ricca had taught him to fly the Golden One within a gravitational orbit, but not the necessary math and system usage to chart starpaths. He was trapped until he acquired the knowledge to fly among the stars. He and the Golden One needed a haven where this violent planet would nay destroy it; a place that was quiet and away from prying eyes and curiosity seekers. He crisscrossed the planet letting the geological scanners probe underneath. Then he fled behind the moon while the data downloaded and he slept. When he awoke he would find the best areas and then begin the process of selecting one to bury the ship before beginning a new life. He realized it would take weeks, possibly longer to hide something as large as this craft. Creating a new life would take even longer.

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