As Stars, Like Miriad Drops In The Night...

By Daniel Greywolf Charne

Dedication

I would like to dedicate this story to the following people who with their help, either knowingly or unknowingly, contributed to this work.

Firstly, to my fiancee Cassandra Kitsune Foxx, who not only let me use her system, but also supported me in writing this. Not to mention putting up with me not going to bed before 6am in the morning while writing it.

Secondly to my friends on IRC. Rockyr, Fangs, Keershang, Gordy, Andibunny, Caysho, Whisper, LunaWlf, Nyte,Flare, jewel{BH}, and others whose nicks I can't remember but you know who you are. These fursons were the unwitting sounding board for my ideas.

Thirdly, to Antony, who also helped with my ideas, even though he didn't know it at the time.

Fourthly, to Bernard Doove, AKA Chakat Goldfur, for inventing Chakats, and for letting me use one in this story, which in no way is linked in with "Forest Tales". For those who don't know what Chakats are and still don't after reading this story, or want to learn more about them here comes a shameless plug for a friend..... http://www.furry.org.au/chakat/

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Introduction

It is foolish to believe, as we have done so in the past, that human-kind exists on this spinning ball of mud and nowhere else in the Universe, or that this reality is the only one that exists. I decided to explore the possibilities of both these ideas and I combined them into this story.

What you, the reader, will find inside here is a story based on three major premises. Firstly, we are not alone. Secondly, that we have been, and will continue to be, visited by representitives of these races, and finally that they will be totally different from what we expect.

I hope you enjoy reading this story as much as I did in writing it.

Also Chakats are © 1998 Bernard Doove and he has graciously given his permission for me to use one of them in this story. He also writes a series of stories revolving around the Chakats called "Forest Tales." This story is NOT part of that series.

Daniel Greywolf Charne

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Chapter One: The Cycle Begins

As I sit here, floating through space. I can hardly believe that everything that has happened has come to pass. That Earth had been contacted, not by one single race, but by an entire civilisation of Galactic races. They not only thought that it was time that contact happened, but they had also been wondering why we hadn't contacted them, and not the other way around.

I suppose before we go to much further I should introduce myself. My name is Doctor Simon T. Wilson, the T in my name stands for Telmar, and I was an Xeno-biologist / Astrophysicist attached to the SETI team that made contact that cold December dawn in the desert of New-Mexico with the representitives of the GalEx Confederation.

You will aready know by now, if you watched the reports on TV or saw the newsfeeds on the Internet or listened to the radio or read a newspaper, that GalEx stands for Galactic Explorers and they found us before we had a chance to send more than a few probes outside our solar system. The representitives were of not bipedal as we first hoped, but quadrupedal. Yes, you will remember no doubt our startled faces when the three of them left their ship and walked up to us, shook our hands and announced that they were here to initiate a first contact situation with us.

I can still recall the conversation word for word.

"Greetings in the name of the GalEx Confederation, my name is Captain Jonas Gravouk," the male foxtaur, todtaur, had said, he then pointed to the female, "this is my mate, and second officer of the ship, Lt-Commander Shama Gravouk, and finally but not leastly," he then pointed to the feline member of the group, a hermaph as we later found out, " my other mate, Council Member Chakat Blackclaw."

He was a magnificant specimen. A six foot tall foxtaur, with jet black fur and a silver blaze that ran right down the centre of his face, neck, chest and underbody. He had silver ear-tips, a silver mane running down his neck and upper back, and silver tail tip. He spoke with a voice of authority and it was easy to see why he was in command. His mates were no less lovely. The female foxtaur, or vixetaur, was a deep russet red with white markings that made her look like the perfect representative of her race, she had a bust measurement of at least a 44DD and she soon proved to have a quick wit and a sense of humour that could make anyone around her bubble with joy. The Chakat was as lovely a creature as you could want. Shi, as that was how I was told to address hir, was a panther coloured being with green eyes and, like Shama and Jonas, had an outlook on life that showed the love and affection these three held for each other. Shi spoke to us as soon as the introductions had been made.

"Gentlebeings," shi announced in her beautifully melodic voice, " we have travelled far to meet with you and to offer you membership in the GalEx Confederation. We do not offer this to you lightly, but after much careful study and debate. We believe that your race is ready to take your next step and become what your drive and exploring minds demand you become. We know that your President and other world leaders are watching this, and we ask to meet with them in thirty of your days at a place and time of your choosing to discuss this."

With these words they all turned and headed back towards their ship. I don't know why I did it or what came over me to say it, but this is what I did.

"STOP!!!!" I called out at the top of my lungs, and when they did so and turned around, I moved up to them, stood in front of them and bowed, which they returned with looks of joy on their faces. " I wish to ask a couple of questions if I may?"

They all looked at one another and then they turned to me, smiled and nodded.

"We would be happy to answer your questions." Jonas said. " In a way, I have been expecting someone to ask some. Very well, follow us inside and we can sit down in comfort and talk."

With that he, and the others, turned and walked up the ramp. I followed at a subdued pace behind them. At the top of the ramp I entered a large opening, I supposed it had to be large to accomodate their large frames, and I entered a world that seemed like a magic cave straight out of the Arabian Nights with a healthy dash of Star Trek thrown in. Inside the ship was like a cave of pure delight and wonder for me as a scientist. I couldn't understand anything there but the basics.

As I stood inside the door, frozen in rapture, I felt something gently touch me and lead me towards the front of the ship. When I looked I saw it was Shama's arm. She was smiling at me with her whole attitude, not just with those green eyes, and gently helping me.

"Jonas said you might be a little overcome by all of this," she said as she gestured with her other arm, "so I said I would wait for you and bring you to them when the shock had worn off." She giggled then, and I found myself chuckling as well.

When I entered the main cabin I found, to my delight and shock, that it was built in the style of a modern home. Three large couches were placed in a half moon shape up one end. On two of these Jonas and Blackclaw rested on their sides, with their upper bodies comfortably resting on the uprights. Shama showed me to a normal, but highly comfortable seat, before resting on the third couch in the same way as the other two.

Jonas looked at me, his eyes seemed to bore right into me, but even this was non-hostile, before he spoke.

"Let us begin. What did you want to ask us?"

I cleared my throat before I began. "Well, just a few questions, I firstly wanted to know, what is your relationship, and what does it mean that you have two mates?"

They all smiled at this. He cleared his throat.

"Hmmmmm. Ok, the tough one first. Well, to answer your question will take a little bit of explanation. Our races met a long time ago, about the time your Egyptians first started to build Temples to their Gods. We met purely by accident, and we are ashamed to say it, the first meeting ended in one ship from either side firing on the other." He hung his head in shame at this simple statement, and I could see from the expression of the others that the statement he made held great pain for them all, especially for Jonas. How much pain I was soon to find out.

"You see, I was the Captain of the ship that fired. I personally ordered the ship to fire on the Chakat lead ship, the 'Grrrrkkt', I was responsible for the deaths of......" At this point he trailed off, and I could see tears running from his eyes.

"Thirty-five Chakats were on that ship, and yes, Jonas is over six thousand years old by your standards. He was the loser in the genetic game of chance." Blackclaw said. "He will live for another three to four thousand years before he will die. You see, sometimes, a freak gene comes to the fore and the poor creature who has it ends up with it, ends up living for around nine thousand years. We are not super beings by no measure. Jonas will live to see us gone, our children, grand-children and so on gone. Don't wish for this, pity him, but don't wish to be him." She got up off hir couch, as did Shama, and both kneeled beside him. They wrapped their arms around him and held him gently until his tears dried and he could continue.

"You will have to excuse us, you see we only learned your language a short time ago and we are apt to make mistakes every now and again. Now where was I? Oh yes." He sat back and wiped his eyes before he continued.

"Well, after the dust had settled from that, and that took a long time, we set about doing what was needed to repair the damage. The first thing we did was set up embassies on each of our planets to keep the lines of communications open. Then things sort of went from there. In the end, it was a great surprise to many when I took a Chakat as a mate. You see, for a long while there I was called the 'Butcher of Chakona'. I was an outcast, I couldn't even venture down the street without my own people throwing insults, or worse, at me. I even went into space for around three thousand years. After a time I went back to Chakona. I thought that I would be treated with scorn and hatred for the thing I had done. I wasn't, they accepted me, they cared for me, and they made me feel loved again. Even after I had committed the ultimate sin against any Chakat, if not the entire race."

He turned sadly to Blackclaw, who with a look of loving and care, nodded sadly and turned to me with tears in her eyes that matched Jonas's in sadness. "You see, the ship he shot at contained not just adults, but five cubs as well. In our society cubs are protected above all. Jonas thought that we, as a race, would seek to kill him for this. Indeed for a time he was the most loathed figure in our history. Then we saw him for what he truely was, not a cub killing monster, but a kind gentle soul who was ashamed of what he had done. We saw in his eyes the pain he felt, and while he was in my village, many times we were awaken by him screaming out in pain and shame over that incident. One night he told the elders what he had seen, and when he had realised that the ship contained cubs. You see Simon, after the ship split open, Jonas witnessed the five cubs being sucked out of the rupture in the side of the ship, kicking and silently screaming as their life-force was suck from them in the silent depths of space, before the ship, and they, exploded into fragments and white hot vapour."

As you can imagine, this revelation shocked me greatly. I was in the presence of a murderer, or at the least a killer. My face must have shown what I was thinking because when he continued it was with such a contrite maner that I knew he felt deep shame over what he had done. He expressed it not only in the way he spoke, but also with his entire body language.

"So you can see, I was treated not as a cub-killer, like I deserved, but as a sick being in need of help and rest. A soul in troubled pain. This is something a Chakat can not ignore. So they set about nursing me back to health. I stayed there for over three thousand years. It took me, hmmmm, around one thousand years before I could function as a useful member of society again. Towards the end of that time one of the Chakat's who was nursing me, hir name was Swifttail, and I formed a close relationship. We gradually fell in love. Shi went from being a friend, to being a lover, to being a mate and finally to being the mother to my cubs. We spent many happy years together, until shi died. After that I took a Chakat mate after each one previous had died. I have buried six mates in that time, and I wouldn't have had it any other way. Chakats have taught me to love again. They have shown me not to be afraid of losing anyone. They have shown me also how to find happiness in what you have, because you don't know how long you are going to have it. By the way, Shama is not a pure breed foxtaur, she is a decendant of mine from Swifttail's first cubs with me, but Blackclaw is a pure Chakat. Now such mixed matings as ours are not the normal course of things. It is not frowned upon, but it is not too widely accepted. We have found it works very well in our case, but it is not for everyone. But the old saying 'love is where you find it,' comes into play here I think."

With these words I saw him turn to her and smile. The look that passed between them was of such intense love, and understanding, that I felt for sure that even if they had of been the two most ugliest creatures in the Universe, they would have still loved each other.

We talked on for many hours, Me asking various questions about many things, like where they were from, why they were here, and others. Finally after what seemed like only half an hour, Blackclaw turned to me, hir gorgeous eyes seemed to radiate joy and happiness.

"Now gentlebeings, I think it's time we all ate. Afterall it's dark outside, and my stomach is starting to rumble." Shi giggled as shi said this and I looked outside through one of the various windows and saw that shi had spoken the truth. It was indeed darkening quickly.

I must have looked shocked, because when I turned back, all three of them where grinning at me. I could feel the almost overwhelming desire for food hit my stomach and brain like a sledge hammer. I was hungry and there was no doubting it. I vigorously nodded my head, but deep down inside I hoped I wasn't the main course.

Blackclaw, and Shama, rose and both of them headed off towards the rear of the ship. For what seemed like only five or ten minutes Jonas and I talked. While we were talking a delicious group of aromas wafted towards us and my mouth began to water at the thought of the tastes that went with them.

Soon Jonas stood and smiling at me motioned for me to move off and head back into the ship. We found the "girls" in what I at first took for a lounge room, I soon found out the error of my assumption.

"This," said Jonas, "is our eating room, we sit here on these," he pointed to a series of couches like the ones I had seen them seated on in the main cabin, "and here's one for you." He pointed to a fourth one which formed a semi-circle with the others. I sank greatfully into it just as Blackclaw and Shama returned with a covered dish in each hand.

They set one dish each in front of Jonas and myself before they themselves settled on the other couches.

As I sat there, I noticed something strange. Jonas began to growl something in a language I couldn't understand, but I knew what he was saying so I kept quiet until after he had finished and we all started to eat.

The meal was lavish. There was four kinds of meats covered in rich gravy, and at least six kinds of vegetables. I didn't know what they were, but the entire meal was fit for a king. I could only finish three quarters of it before I became too full to eat another thing.

Jonas looked shocked at how little, compared to them, I had eaten. When I explained why, he simply smiled and nodded.

He looked at me strangely after the meal was finished. I took it as perhaps I had done something wrong, and when I pointed this out to him, he quite quickly denounced it.

"No, " he said with a smile, "you've done nothing wrong, quite the contrary. You had enough decency to keep quiet during my speech, even if you didn't know what it was, and for that I thank you. You see, before every meal I make it a habit of mine to recite the names of the dead Chakats and to commend their souls to the Goddess for protection and so that they may never find want for their spiritual bodies."

We talking for many hours, after the meal, it soon became apparent that these beings were used to a longer day than we were. I was told later that aboard their main ship they lived to a twenty-eight hour day. I must have yawned, or something like it, because Jonas stood up and smiled down at me.

"You're tired, and so are we. Let's continue this tomorrow."

With these simple words the first day with this strange group drew to an end, but with the promise of more to come.

When I arrived back with the group outside I was asked many questions, most of which I couldn't answer, and then I was allowed to sleep. I must have slept for atleast fourteen hours. When I awoke it was to be told that Jonas had been asking for me for the last three hours. I dressed and ate a hurried breakfast before I left and entered the ship again.

As I rejoined them I noticed they seem quite excited, almost like children going to their first circus, and I wondered what was going on. I didn't have long to wait before Jonas informed me as to what was happening. It seemed that, while I was asleep, the world leaders had given permission for our friends to fly their ship to the agreed meeting place. A place called Alice Springs in central Australia. So with much anticipation the ship was being prepared to transport the four of us there.

I was shocked, and I must admit secretly proud, that I was being included in this meeting. I thought I am not the one for this, and when I pointed this out to Jonas his reply stumped me for a few moments.

"Why not? I told them that if you were not present their would be no meeting. You see we have made you your planet's Ambassador to the GalEx Confederation and as such you have the right to attend this meeting." He then smiled at me before continuing. "Mr. Ambassador. Besides, how will we know who is who without you there? Also," he then turned deeply serious, "we trust you, and our trust is something we don't give to anybody my friend."

He moved forward and placed a hand on my shoulder, I could see the truth of what he had said in his eyes, and he stared me in the face for what seemed like forever before breaking eye contact and turning away.

I didn't know what to say, I must have sat there for a while holding my breath. I didn't want to believe it. I had just been handed my world on a platter by these beings. He called me friend. I didn't know why but I did feel friendship towards them. It was a strange feeling, these beings had come from God know's where, they weren't even of my race, and yet I felt friendship towards them. I guess it was the blind trust they showed me, or was it something else? Could I see a little of myself in them? Only time would tell.


This is the end of Part 1

To contact the author, email to Dan Charne.

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