To Be A Chakat: Apologies
By J P Astbury AKA Kit Silva
Chakat Goldfur, Garrek Redfox, Eudora Whitepaw, Chakat Forestwalker, Star Corps Exploration Ship James Cook, Star Corps, Chakona, and the Chakat name all copyright © 2001 B.Doove AKA Chakat Goldfur, and used with permission.
Voxxans copyright Brian 'Silverfox' Miller and used in the Chakat universe with permission.
Skunktaurs copyright Bob Reijns and used in the Chakat universe with permission.
All other characters copyright © 2001 J P Astbury AKA Kit Silva.
Any similarity to people/characters alive or deceased, companies, brands etc are purely coincidental. (Excluding those stated as copyright to B Doove, Brian 'Silverfox' Miller and Bob Reijns)
…Log On… Standard Date 2460… Current Reality Date 2334… Blacktyger… Isis… Bengal… Persian… Location… SSV Sutherland… Milky Way Galaxy… Outer Spiral Edge…
Bengal lowered hys body as hie stalked hys prey, a large bull wildebeest that had temporarily separated from the herd. Moving closer hie dropped even closer to the ground until hys entire underside was touching the dry grass beneath hym. Hie slowed down to a crawl in the foot high grass that now covered hym from the wildebeest's view drawing ever closer. Hie was barely ten feet away when a vulture flew over and startled the beast causing it to flee. Luckily for Bengal the wildebeest didn't know hie was there and so it fled directly towards hym. Hie leapt up as the wildebeest passed and quickly brought it down as hie clamped hys jaws on the unfortunate animal's throat. It didn't take long for the wildebeest to die and Bengal was able to release hys grip.
"Great. That was perfect, though I think y' got lucky when it ran towards y'," said Blacktyger as hie walked in through a door that magically appeared out of nowhere onto the simulation of the African savanna Bengal was practising on.
"Have you bin alterin' the sims again?" asked Bengal sternly as hie stood and looked at hys mother.
"No, it must have just been one of those one in a million things."
"Oh. Okay I believe you."
"Y' better had y' cheeky cub!"
Bengal looked away, "Aww don't call me that!"
"Why not. Y' might have the body and intelligence of a young adult but you're still only six. Plus since y' my cub I can call y' whatever the heck I want."
"Humpff, why don't y' treat Persian like me?"
"Because shi's developing slower that you are, and shi is better behaved than you are."
"Oh yeah! I forgot that," said Bengal as hie recalled the point.
"Y' getting' as bad as I am," said Blacktyger as hie wandered over to the carcass and looked it over.
"Have you figured out what's wrong with y' yet?"
"No, I just don't know. Even Sekhmet doesn't know, she's still trying to find out."
"Wow, after six years of trying to find out I bet it's really getting to y'."
"It is. Oh well, enough about that. I want y' to get another hour or so practisin'. I'll set the difficulty level to my level so y' can see how good y' really are."
"Oh great!" said Bengal happily, hie had always wanted to try the hybrid level ever since hie had changed from being a shi to a hie two years ago, "Are y' going to watch over me or can I try this alone?" hie asked.
"Sure, I've got something on my mind anyway, I'm not going t' leave the safeties off if whilst I'm not watchin' y' though," hie explained seriously.
"Yeah okay, I know."
Blacktyger nodded, "Good hunting," hie said as hie walked off back to the door, both hie and the door disappeared leaving Bengal alone to try hys luck at hunting at the most difficult level.
Blacktyger headed for the starboard main engine via the lift. Upon reaching the observation area, hie paused to look down into the plasma filled chamber below. Thinking back six and a half years hie recalled the moment hie and Garrek had almost been vaporised. 'There's somethin' else I missed,' hie thought, knowing hie shouldn't have missed something like the safeties being off line, 'On the bright side I did get a good adrenaline rush though,' hie thought on. Hie sighed and lent on the guardrail in front of hym, hanging hys head low. 'I never did apologise to them…' "Oh well…"
Hie looked back to the chamber and began to wonder if hie should go and apologies or not, despite any problems that might cause with the authorities. "Authorities suck…" hie said for no reason as hie whipped out a visor from hys pocket and slipped it on. Hie quickly accessed the ship's com systems and decided to see where the James Cook currently was. The computer pinpointed the James Cook's location on a stellar map showing it to be travelling at warp away from Earth.
"Hmm?" hie muttered as hie seriously considered whether to go or not, "… I think I'd better." 'Gods, why do I feel so guilty?' "Computer, find out where the James Cook is headin' and get us there before they arrive…"
"Okay, but they won't arrive for over two hours," stated the computer.
"I don't mind, just get us there now so we can wait for them, oh and leave the ship unphased."
Blacktyger removed hys visor and slipped it back into hys pocket before heading off to the hydroponics bay to find Isis and Persian.
As usual for movement about the Sutherland the trip didn't take much more than half a minute. Hie was soon walking into the hydroponics bay to find Isis, Persian and Moonlight playing with two skipping ropes in the centre of the arboretum's field. Isis and Moonlight were swinging the pair of large ropes and between them and Persian was happily skipping over the ropes as they swung around. Blacktyger rushed over and in a carefully timed leap leapt into between the ropes to join Persian as shi continued to skip.
"Hello father!" called Persian as shi continued to skip.
"Hey Kitty, how many are y' up to this time?" asked Blacktyger.
"Too many," said Moonlight.
"I lost count at three hundred and forty eight," said Isis.
"I'm up to nine hundred and twenty… now!" stated Persian, shi stopped hir skipping and the ropes came to a stop as Isis and Moonlight finished swinging them.
"Hey, why'd y' stop?" asked Blacktyger as hie stopped too.
"I only wanted to reach nine hundred and twenty today," came Persians simple reply. "I don't want to tire mommy and Moonlight out."
"Thanks, I think we both need the rest," said Moonlight gratefully.
"Likewise," said Isis as shi gathered up the ropes and tied them neatly up.
"So what brings you here?" asked Moonlight as shi lay down. Shi watched as Blacktyger was playfully attacked and pushed down onto hys back by Persian who climbed on top of hym with a little cubbish triumphant roar.
"Well, I just wanted to see how y' were handling but if I had known this terrifying Hykat was here I never would've come," said Blacktyger as hie grabbed Persian with hys hands and forepaws and pulled hir over sideways until shi was on the grass. "Ha, got ya!"
"No you don't," said Persian as shi wriggled free from hys grasp and jumped on hym again.
"Oh no! Help!" called Blacktyger in a fake pleading manor.
"I've got to put the ropes away, so I can't help," said Isis as shi casually walked away.
"I'd love to, but I can't be bothered," said Moonlight as shi watched the little Hybrid/Chakat pinning hir sire down.
"Eeek! Shi's got me!" called Blacktyger, "Noooo!"
Persian laughed and giggled at Blacktyger's silly cries as shi continued to hold hym down. "Say 'I'm a herm' and I'll let you go!"
"Go on, or I'll tickle you into submission!" threatened Persian.
"I ain't givin' up that easily!"
"Then you leave me no choice!" Persian began to tickle Blacktyger, utilising hir knowledge of where hie was most ticklish shi had hym in fits of hysterics in no time as shi used both hir hands and forepaws for greater effect.
"…I'm a herm! Ha ha ha… he he! I'm a herm! Ha ha…" managed Blacktyger through laughs. Persian reluctantly stopped tickling hir sire and hie managed to calm down fairly quickly. "Ohhh, heh heh, oh, don't do that again…" hie said as Persian released hym and hie rolled to hys feet.
"Ha, got ya!" said Persian, imitating Blacktyger.
"Y' can say that again," said Blacktyger as hie stretched hys body to get the tingling after sensation of the tickling out.
"Hykats win again," said Moonlight, "That's one hundred and three to your sixty eight Blacktyger, you're slipping."
"Well if Persian here wasn't so tough I might stand a chance. Besides shi cheats, shi always tickles me, and that's not fair!" said Blacktyger in hys defence. Hie gave the little six year old a loving scritch under hir chin getting a purr from the little taur in return. Unlike hir older 'brother' Bengal, Persian was developing at only a slightly increased rate to that of a true chakat and so shi was still young in body and mind.
"Purrrrrrr… I don't cheat… rrrrr…" said Persian through hir purring.
"That's for y' mother to decide," replied Blacktyger ending the scritch.
"I'll go and ask hir," said Persian, before running off after hir mother.
Moonlight stood and walked over to Blacktyger as hie watched hys daughter run off. "I wonder if our kitten will be like hir?" shi said softly as shi paused by hys side.
"Why shouldn't shi be?" replied Blacktyger, "Not worried that shi might turn out like Bengal are y'?"
"It wouldn't matter if shi did…"
"But if shi turned out like Persian shi'd be easier to handle?" finished Blacktyger for hir.
"No… no, nothing like that…"
"It doesn't matter, I shouldn't have said that in the first place," said Moonlight trying to get off the subject.
Blacktyger looked at hir and smiled, "I guess it was a bit of a surprise to find out that bein' half chakat can't turn y' against stuff like weapons and fight sims huh?"
"I didn't mean…" began Moonlight, shi realised that hie was right though and simply nodded.
"If it makes any difference, I'm sure that since shi has chakat as a mother shi'll learn that stuff's not good for hir."
"Shi will still be our kitten no matter what happens."
"Yeah, just don't worry about it for now. What ever happens is meant to be and we can't do anything about it."
Persian suddenly ran back over to them, "Father, can I use one of the rec rooms with Starburst and Mommy?" shi asked when shi got near enough.
"Yeah, use rec room C, Bengal's training in room B so don't disturb hym okay."
"Thank you Father," shi said before running off happily back to Isis.
"I forgot to ask, where are we now?" asked Moonlight as shi looked up to the huge hydroponics bay window.
"Y' spotted the leap huh? Well we're actually going to do something I should have done several years ago."
"And what is that?"
"Long story short, remember when I told y' why I'm stuck in this reality?"
"The explosion in the forward section of the main starboard engine?"
"Yeah, well I actually got some help from a Star Corps ship. I was feelin' a bit lonely with only Mau on board so I accepted some help off them for repairs. When the time came to go our separate ways I was still followin' orders t' keep the Sutherland a secret. Basically I wiped the crews memory of the incident, filled in the missing data for the time they spent helpin' me and packed em off as soon as I could…"
"And you've waited this long to apologise!" said Moonlight sternly, "I can't honestly believe you sometimes!"
"Hey, I feel guilty enough about it already, don't go wipin' it in," pleaded Blacktyger.
"Well just so long as you do apologise I suppose I can forgive you."
"Thanks, I really appreciate that," said Blacktyger happily.
"Oh I love it when y' get like this," said Blacktyger grinning broadly, "I've never said this before but when a chakat gets angry their bodies tense up just right to turn me on. You're no exception… Gods y're sexy!"
"Humpff!" said Moonlight before walking off indignantly. Secretly though shi was only putting it on for Blacktyger.
"Tense those hind quarters kitty! Whoo yeah!" called Blacktyger as hie watched hir walk away.
* * *
… Log on… Lieutenant Garrek Redfox … Chakat Eudora Whitepaw… Location… Chakona… Star Corps Base 223… Southern Hemisphere…
Garrek lay flat out on his back on his huge taur sized double bed. He had a lot of free time on his hands, so he wanted to rest up as much as he could before the inevitable call to duty. Since he was off duty he was able to do just that. His six year old daughter, Eudora, was at the com point in the corner of the bedroom searching for pictures of stars as shi wanted to draw a picture of one.
"Dad?" said Eudora.
"How do you spell supanova?"
"S U P E R N O V A," replied Garrek, hie sighed and though on the subject as Eudora typed in the word and continued hir search.
Minutes passed before the com suddenly gave an odd bleep. Garrek looked up and over at Eudora and the com point.
"Dad, where is the Andromida galaxy?"
"That's the closest galaxy to this one," replied Garrek, "Eudora, what was that bleep?" he asked.
"I don't know. It just bleeped when I typed in dying star and started to show pictures with Andromida galaxy typed on them," replied Eudora.
"Hmm? Let me see them," said Garrek as hie rolled off the bed and quickly made his way over. He stopped behind Eudora and looked over hir shoulder at the pictures. "I don't believe it," he muttered.
"What's wrong?" asked Eudora.
"Hmm? Nothing, I think? Could you show me the other pictures dear?"
Eudora happily complied and cycled slowly through the pictures until shi came to one showing an oddly familiar starship.
"The SSV Sutherland?" mused Garrek as he read the pictures name from the title bar at the top of the screen. "Let me just patch this through to the other com and then you can carry on okay?" he said to Eudora
"Okay," shi replied.
After quickly making his way to the com point in the lounge Garrek quickly patched the link through to it and sat down. 'Let's see where they came from,' he thought as he entered the properties box of the starship picture that was still showing. Tapping the touch screen over the 'origin' icon a smaller box appeared on screen below the picture. "The James Cook?" he said quietly, 'there's no date?' he thought on. He decided to check the active starship archive to find out more about the SSV Sutherland.
Half an hour later, with no success, he finally stumbled onto a lone entry in the permanent moorings orbiting Earth. 'Is that all? Not even a commission date?' he thought as he sat back and stared at the picture of the ship. 'I wonder if Goldfur knows anything?' he thought on. He was about to start writing a letter to hir but decided against it, instead he continued his search for the Sutherland.
* * *
Blacktyger wandered into the rec room Bengal was still training in only to find hym with hys arms crossed, sat staring at nothing over the expanse of the plain hie was still on. Blacktyger smiled as he realised that it meant only one thing. "Looks like someone needs t' practice more," hie said as hie walked over to hym.
"Oh shut up!" growled Bengal unhappily.
"Hey, don't worry about it," said Blacktyger understandingly, "Y' are only six don't forget. Hunting at the level you're at now is still better than even the best lion hunter on Solice."
"Hmmmphff, I suppose," replied Bengal, almost in a huff.
"Come on, snap out of it. Y' have a 'very' long life ahead of y' and there's no one out there that expects y' t' be the best straight from the start."
Bengal sighed and unfolded hys arms as hie turned to look at hys mother. "I wish I was a true hybrid, just like you," hie said sadly.
"Wow, that's a first. A male type wantin' t' be like hys mom. They'll never believe that one," joked Blacktyger.
"I was serious mom!" stated Bengal, "If I wasn't half chakat I'd be as good as you are by now, and not trailing behind by five years. I hate bein' half chakat," hie sulked.
"Hey! Never say that about yourself. Bein' half chakat should be an honour, you have the best of both worlds that way."
"I also have human blood running though my veins. I'm sure that isn't the best of both worlds is it?" said Bengal, knowing Blacktyger didn't like that particular fact.
"Don't you dare start mocking chakats Bengal," warned Blacktyger. "You can't choose what form you are born into, you just have to make do with it. Do you understand?" hie said seriously.
"Yes," replied Bengal simply, knowing when not to mess around in front of Blacktyger.
"Good. Don't worry about what y' are anymore. You'll adapt, quick enough," said Blacktyger calmly, "besides, what d' y' need to be the best for here anyway?"
"The same reason you do."
"Fair enough, but y' don't need t' be a hybrid t' do that y'know?"
"I know. I just can't wait for my first task. I want to be like Khaos and be unstoppable."
"When the time comes you will be, kitten. Just give y'self a few more years okay?"
"Yeah I will," sighed Bengal lightly. "And don't call me kitten," hie added playfully. As hie launched himself at Blacktyger, tackled hym to the ground and began to play fight with hym.
* * *
Log On… Captain William Lynch… Location… Star Corps Exploration Ship James Cook… Armarant System…
Lynch sat at his desk in his ready room as he looked over the long list of reports on a PADD given to him by his security officer. They were the usual lengthy reports that went into much more detail than was actually needed, still, it was less than a Starfleet standard report. "Why can't they just say everything's A-Okay and be done with it?" he grumbled as he played a quick game of one two miss a few and skipped a large paragraph.
The door chime rang and he looked up, "Come."
The door opened and his new first officer, Charlene Falkner, walked in. It was Falkner's first mission aboard the James Cook and she was still getting used to the ship and it's crew.
"Oh, hi Charlene. What can I do for you?" asked Lynch as he placed the PADD down on his desk.
"With respect Captain I'd prefer it if you called me commander while I'm on shift," replied Falkner. She was a she-wolf with a bit of an attitude, it didn't help much that Lynch was a wolf either, as her lupine pack instincts often got the better of her.
"Fair enough, Commander."
"Thank you, Sir."
"Mmm…" mumbled Lynch, "So what can I do for you?"
"I'd like to ask you for your opinion on my proposal," said Falkner.
"Oh, yes. I like the idea of meeting up with the Voxxan freighter to pick up supplies. We'll have to do double shifts for the next three days though. Are the crew up that?" asked Lynch.
"Yes Sir. I took the liberty of asking the crew before I came to see you and they seem fine with it. With your permission I'll contact the freighter and make our request known," replied Falkner.
"Fine, do that. I'll contact base and tell them what we're up to," said Lynch as he turned to his desktop com point. "Dismissed."
Falkner nodded, turned and left the room.
"Efficient. Hmm, I could get to like her," muttered Lynch, 'Then again I better had, I'm stuck with her for the next four years,' he thought on.
"Captain, we've arrived at our destination," came Ensign Cartwright's voice over the intercom.
"Understood," replied Lynch. He hauled himself out of his chair and walked out of his ready room and onto the bridge.
"Captain, there is an alien vessel off the port bow, it's hailing us," said Ensign Cartwright as he sat in his captain's chair.
"Were did it come from?" asked Lynch.
"Apparently it was already here when we arrived. It doesn't show up on sensors, we only realised it was there when it hailed us," replied Cartwright.
"Okay. Open a channel."
The view screen changed from the standard spacescape to a picture of Blacktyger.
"Hiya Captain. Long time no see, I betcha don't remember me," said Blacktyger quickly.
"I'm afraid I don't," replied Lynch.
"Good, I mean, oh too bad. Actually that's what I'm here about. Do you think we could talk privately, say in y' ready room or somewhere?"
"I'm not sure about a private talk but if you beam over we can talk," replied Lynch.
"Captain, with all due respect we don't know their intentions," protested Lynch's security officer.
"Lieutenant, I'll thank you not to question my judgement," said Lynch sternly, "I'm sorry about that Captain."
"Hey, no prob'. Actually I may as well say it here and now come to think about it. Six and a half years ago you and your crew were carrying out a survey of some planets when my ship and I appeared out of nowhere. Y' came over t' help in the repair of my ship and when it was time t' go I um, well because of where I'm from I had to follow orders and wipe y' crew's memory and y' ships data logs of the meetin' and fill the gaps in with what y' would've done if I hadn't appeared out of nowhere. So basically I'm here t' restore y' memories t' what really happened. And t' say, well… sorry."
Lynch thought about what Blacktyger had said. He got the feeling Blacktyger was being honest, but why would hie come back after six years had passed and not sooner. Lynch turned to his security officer; "Bring up the log on my chair PADD for that period." The lieutenant pressed a few keypads and reported that it was done. Lynch looked the log over briefly before turning back to the view screen. "If it's possible Captain, can you send me a copy of the logs you have for that time period?"
Lynch looked down at his PADD to find that it had been and he looked the other log over and quickly compared them. He looked back to the view screen. "I think I'll accept your request for a private talk. If you beam over now I'll get prepared."
"If y' go into y' ready room, I'll meet y' there. If that's okay?" replied Blacktyger.
"I'll meet you there then," said Lynch as he stood.
"Right," said Blacktyger before the view screen reverted back to the standard spacescape.
"Captain, I must ask that you take care. We can't be sure of hir intentions," said the lieutenant.
"I will, don't worry. Besides shi's a chakat, it won't be anything bad," replied Lynch before heading into his ready room.
The moment the door closed he spotted Blacktyger patiently waiting for him by his desk.
"Hiya again Captain. And before y' start I just want t' make this point, I'm a Hybrid, not a Chakat and I'm referred t' in the male herm sense… if there is such a thing? Oh yeah! And my name's Blacktyger, I hate being called Captain, it sucks."
Lynch couldn't help a brief smile at Blacktyger's odd accent. "I suppose you already know my name?" asked Lynch.
"Yeah, Captain William Lynch of the Star Corps Exploration Ship James T Cook err James Cook," he corrected himself, "Now there's too much ST for y'," hie added quietly.
Lynch smiled again. "You can call me William," he said and offered hym a hand. After a brief shake he moved to his desk and sat down behind it, Blacktyger followed him and squatted down on hys hind legs after moving a seat that was in the way. "So, what brings you here after six years Blacktyger. I don't mean to be rude, but it does seem like a long time."
"Yeah I know, sorry about that. Actually t' be honest I hadn't given it a single thought until about two and a half hours ago. Not that I mean any disrespect but, well um… Bein' honest I kinda put it t' the back of my mind on purpose. I don't know why I remembered it but when I did I decided I had t' come and apologise t' you and y' crew."
"I see, and I'm grateful for you for bothering to do this. I'm afraid that some of the crew have left since then so if you were planning to apologise to everyone at once your out of luck."
"Darn. Hmm, I think before we go any further I should restore your memory, if that's okay with y'?"
"Restore my memory? Do you mean you can actually do that?"
"Oh yeah, easy. Three sec's and y'll be done," replied Blacktyger casually, although before I do I'd better explain that when we originally met my name was Kit Silva and I looked a lot like a lion morph."
"You can change your form too? Impressive."
"I honestly wish I couldn't sometimes, I hate bein' a herm… some of the time…"
"Well, that's not really any of my business, however, I would like to accept your proposal to restore my memory to how it's supposed to be," said Lynch.
"Right, just lean forward a sec," said Blacktyger as hie lent forward slightly over the desk. Lynch did so and with a few precise thoughts Blacktyger restored his memory with out even touching him. Blacktyger sat Black pleased at how easy hie had made it seem. "You got the personal treatment, I think for the rest I'll just let my ship do it."
Lynch sat back too and sifted through the new thoughts and memories in his head for a few moments. "Thank you," he said simply.
"Y' welcome, and to make it all complete, for wiping your memory I am honestly sorry. Now then, I'll get the Sutherland to do the rest and then… well I'll go and find the others in the crew and restore their memories… Hmm? Is there anything I can do for y' while I'm here, say give y' some supplies or something?"
"Well, actually, if I recall correctly I asked you if we could exchange information since it was our first contact with your race. If you haven't already done that maybe we could trade?" asked Lynch.
"Cultural info eh? Well don't worry about trading I already have a lot of info that I've collected on your cultures and stuff so I'll just send the info on the cultures of my planet okay. Anything else y' need?"
We were about to contact a Voxxan cargo ship for supplies but if you have what we need we would be grateful if we could trade for it," explained Lynch.
"I've got anythin' and everythin' y' need, and what I don't I can rep' for y'," replied Blacktyger.
"Wonderful. Could you excuse me for a moment?" Blacktyger nodded, "Thank you," he turned to the intercom, "Lynch to Commander Falkner, have you sent that request to the Voxxans yet?" he asked.
"No sir, I was delayed," came her almost instant reply, "I'll send it now."
"Belay that order Commander. Could you bring a list of what we need to my ready room, I'll explain when you get here," said Lynch.
"Understood Captain, on my way, Falkner out."
"One minute," said Blacktyger.
"She'll be here in one minute on the dot," explained Blacktyger.
"Oh. Do you like to guess times like that?" asked Lynch.
"I like t' guess what people are goin' t' ask too and answer before they can ask the question. I'm very good at that, it's great t' see the faces of people when they realise what I've just done."
"I can imagine."
"Thrity seconds. God's a minute is such a long time and havin' lived 184 years I can seriously vouch for that!" said Blacktyger.
"Really? May I ask how long your people live for?" asked Lynch.
"Well, natural borns live anywhere from one hundred to a hundred and twenty max depending on species. My species however has the disgrace of being the 'only' created species… oh I'm sorry I don't mean to be rude…"
"I don't tend to think about it myself, go on," assured Lynch.
"Well, Hybrids, my species collective name, are the 'only' created species of anything on my planet. Because of that a few things happened during our design and well, we just don't know how long we're goin' t' live for. Our bodies seem t' continuously regenerate. It's been proposed that we are pretty much immortal, though we can be killed and we're certainly not gods or anythin' like that. Oh, here she comes," hie finished and turned to look at the door as it opened.
"Good timing," said Lynch as Falkner walked over with the list on a PADD she was carrying. "Commander, I'd like to introduce you to Blacktyger, Blacktyger this is Commander Falkner, my first officer," he said turning from Falkner to Blacktyger in turn.
"Hiya," said Blacktyger.
"Nice to meet you Marm," replied Falkner.
Blacktyger pulled a slightly horrified face, "Please don't call me that, I'd be grateful if y' refer t' me in the masculine herm sense, like you would Skunktaurs if that helps. And call me Blacktyger."
"Very well, Blacktyger."
"Right," said Lynch, "Is that the list?" he asked Falkner.
"Good, Blacktyger here has been kind enough to offer us hys services in acquiring what we need so if you can just hand hym the list you can go and inform the crew we won't need to do those double shifts now. Thank you, dismissed," explained Lynch.
"Very good Sir," said Falkner as she handed the list to Blacktyger before leaving as requested.
"Gee she must have a flag pole stuck up her butt, she's so… how can I put this without sounding rude…"
"Annoyingly to the point?" suggested Lynch.
Blacktyger sniggered, "Yeah, that's it."
"I'm still breaking her in, it's still only her first month with us so I can forgive her for now," explained Lynch.
"Oh well, in that case," said Blacktyger as hie looked the list over. "Right, well, I can do most of that within five minutes. Give me ten and I can have everythin' sorted and beamed over. I'll do the honours of restoring the rest of the crews memories and if you could, I suppose I'd better ask for a list of who's missing and where I can catch up with them, if you don't mind."
"Sure, I'll put a short list together of the things we can offer you in return for the goods we need too."
"Oh, don't bother, I don't need anything in return."
"Are you sure about that?"
"Yeah, the Sutherland is totally self contained, anythin' I need I can reproduce onboard," explained Blacktyger, "Bein' honest I could make an exact replica of this ship and everythin' aboard in, um… two years. Cool huh?"
"With technology like that I have to wonder why you accepted our help six years ago."
"I was lonely."
"Oh yes, I remember, you don't have a crew do you?"
"I didn't, no. I have a little crew now though mostly made up of my family. I met a couple of chakats, hence the chakat like form, and we kinda hit it off."
The conversation lasted longer than Blacktyger had hoped it would. They eventually ended it at 12:00 just in time for Moonlight to offer Lynch and his commanding officers a meal in one of the Sutherland's restaurants much to Blacktyger's annoyance. Time dragged on and they eventually parted ways after the transfer of goods, the refreshing of the crews memory and the most important thing a formal apology from Blacktyger to those who hie had affected six years ago.
* * *
Log On… Lieutenant Chakat Goldfur… Location… Star Corps Exploration Ship Conway… Hawking System… Orbiting 6th Planet…
Goldfur sat pondering a theory shi had come up with whilst checking over the Conway's warp drive. Shi had been at it ever since shi had come off duty an hour ago and was close to giving it a rest as shi hadn't been able to progress very far with hir ideas. Tapping on the PADD shi held with the stylus shi inadvertently started a little rhythm and hummed along. Unfortunately shi lost all concentration on hir ideas and decided there and then just to stop for the day.
"Hmm? Wonder how Garrek and Eudora are?" shi mused as shi realised the rhythm shi had been tapping was one of Garrek's favourite melodies that he liked to play on his flute. Shi placed the PADD down and stood before walking over to a picture of hir, Garrek and Eudora shi kept on a little shelf near the main door of hir little cabin. Shi picked it up, looked at hir mate and daughter and sighed happily. "Three month's and I'll see you two again," shi whispered happily to the picture. Fortunately they had only parted ways a few days ago but the Conway had been at full warp for most of that time so they were now over several galaxies apart. Being apart from Garrek and Eudora didn't bother Goldfur that much, but shi still wished they could meet up at night so shi could tell Eudora a bed time story and snuggle up with hir life mate. "Three months," shi sighed, slightly disappointedly as shi placed the picture carefully back down.
Shi walked over to the main door and left hir cabin as shi headed to the galley for some lunch and more importantly some company, as shi knew Chakats Steel and Lynx would be there. Shi was happy to find shi was right as shi found Steel and Lynx happily chatting away at their usual table in the middle of the galley seating area after entering the galley. Shi walked up to their table and greeted them both with a warm hug before joining them at the table.
"Anything interesting happen today Goldfur?" asked Lynx as shi stirred a cup of tea shi had just poured.
"Nothing really, just the usual tweaking and fiddling that I do. I did come up with a little theory, though I'm having a hard time progressing it," replied Goldfur.
"What's it about?" asked Steel.
"Plasma manifests. I think I know a way how to get a little more life out of them but it's hard going," Goldfur explained.
"Oh, well leave us biologist out of that, I haven't got much of a clue when it comes to plasma," said Steel.
"Yeah, sorry. I don't know much about that sort of thing either," said Lynx.
"Oh well, I suppose I can ask Paul for a little help later," sighed Goldfur.
"So, anything else happen?" asked Lynx.
"Nope. Like I said just the usual tweaking and fiddling. What about you two, anything new in the biology department?" asked Goldfur.
"Nah. Just the usual fuzzy microbes and gooey slimy stuff you always find on a planet with only basic life forms on it," replied Lynx.
"Not much action going on at all is there?" said Steel. "By the way, do you want a cup? I'm going to get a refill anyway so I can grab an extra cup whilst I'm up," shi offered as shi stood.
"Actually I came to get some lunch anyway so I'll grab my own, thanks for offering though," thanked Goldfur as shi stood.
"I'll guard the table then," said Lynx with a grin.
"Righty-O," said Steel as shi and Goldfur headed off for the Lunch bar.
* * *
It had been three hours since Blacktyger had left the James Cook. In that time hie had visited all but two of the other crewmembers that had been aboard the James Cook six years ago. Hie had taken hys time about it as hie figured if hie had waited six years hie didn't have to rush the apologies and was currently in a rec room with Persian, listening to hir play hir cub sized harp.
"Beautiful," congratulated Blacktyger as Persian ended the short piece shi was playing.
"Thank you father," replied Persian, "Do you think we could do a duet together?" shi asked hopefully.
"Would a harp and Violin sound right together?" replied Blacktyger.
"I asked the computer to play me some with just a harp and violin and it sounded okay if played right," explained Persian.
"Sure then. I'm glad y' getting' used t' askin' the computer thinks like that too."
"Thank you father."
"Right then. I've got a few things left t' do so if I leave y' t' find a suitable piece of music I'll start practicing with y' t'morrow, Okay?"
"See ya later," said Blacktyger as hie stood and trotted out of the room. Hie was soon on the bridge and was happy to find that it was empty as Schneider often sat at the com point listening into old radio transmissions that were still floating around in space. It seemed that today was an exception as he hadn't been anywhere near the bridge that day.
Squatting down on hys haunches behind the helm point hie looked down at the long curving panel that followed suit with the main screen and wrapped most of the way around hym. Tapping a few co-ordinates for Chakona into the course plotter hie set the Sutherland to auto as usual and began to stand.
"Good day," came an all too familiar voice from behind hym. Hie turned to find Sekhmet sitting on the small pile of cushions that served as the captain's chair.
"Hi Sekhmet. What can I do for y'?" hie said as hie walked up onto the upper section of the bridge and over to hys goddess, hie lay down in front of her with a happy smile on hys muzzle.
"I just wish to give you these for Garrek and Goldfur and of course little Eudora," replied Sekhmet, as she handed Blacktyger three palm sized leather bags.
"So that's why I decided t' do them last. Hmm, are these what I think they are?"
"So what makes them so special huh?" asked Blacktyger as hie took the three bags and looked in each one in turn.
"Do you honestly wish to know?"
"Yeah, go on tell us."
Sekhmet smiled at hys attitude toward her. She liked it when hie treated her as hie would any normal person. Like the rest of her kind she may have been considered a god, but they never wanted anything more than to be acknowledged. "Sadly I can not say exactly why, however I can offer a clue," she explained.
"Go on, let's hear it."
"Their lives are watched over."
Blacktyger stared at her blankly for a few moments, then blinked a few times and spoke. "Err, right, like you watch over me?"
"No. It is something much more."
"Blimey, must be too if it's more than you watch over me."
"There is something more but I can not give you a clue to that reason."
"Fair enough. So y' want me t' give them these then?" said Blacktyger motioning to the little leather bags hie still held in hys hand.
"Right, I'll sort out the Chakonan government and get on t' givin' these t' Garrek Redfox and Eudora Whitepaw, apologise t' Garrek. Then I'll zoom over t' the Conway and finish the job by sayin' soz t' Chakat Goldfur and I'll be done."
"Good. But you may wish to take Garrek and Eudora with you when you visit Goldfur."
"I have the feeling they would appreciate the gesture."
"Okay. I kinda like them two anyway. Hmm, wonder what Eudora's like?"
"Introduce hir to Persian. For the duration of the meeting they will enjoy each others company."
"I figured shi'd be about Persian's age," said Blacktyger. Sekhmet smiled in return and Blacktyger realized what was going to happen next. "See ya," hie said as she disappeared into thin air. 'Wish I could do that,' hie thought on as hie stood and walked over to the helm and sat down again.
* * *
Garrek and Eudora were at the park. Garrek sat reading a novel while Eudora played with several other chakat cubs. He paused from reading as he took a drink from a water bottle by his side. Looking over to where Eudora and the other cubs were playing he smiled, almost wishing he could become a cub again and join in. Of course there was no reason he should do that anyway, then again he just felt like taking it easy and so when back to his book.
It wasn't very long until another chakat cub wandered in to join Eudora and the others. Garrek didn't really notice as he continued to read. It wasn't until a football landed near him and rolled several feet before stopping that he bothered to move.
"Hiya," came a voice to his left. He looked round to find Blacktyger walking up to him.
"Oh hello, is that your soccer ball?" asked Garrek curiously.
"Soccer? Oh gods, y' not one of them are y?" asked Blacktyger disappointedly.
"One of what?" asked Garrek.
"Ah ferget it, it doesn't matter," replied Blacktyger, "I'm Blacktyger by the way."
"Garrek Redfox, pleased to meet you. I think?" greeted Garrek.
"Yeah I know. I came t' see y' actually."
"You came to see me? Why?" asked Garrek slightly confused.
After retrieving hys ball Blacktyger lay down near him, "Well, if y' think back t' six and a half years ago when y' were aboard the James Cook…"
"Do you know about the SSV Sutherland?" butted in Garrek to Blacktyger's surprise.
"Wow, you've have been busy haven't y'? How long ago did y' find the pics, and how long did it take y' t' figure out the dates?"
"Actually my daughter found the photos this morning whilst searching for pictures of stars," explained Garrek.
"You do work fast don't you?" said Blacktyger impressed. "Anyway, I have t' explain why y' don't know where they came from."
"Right, well. Back then we did meet up but unfortunately due t' a few regulations that for some reason or other I was sticking to I had t' wipe y' memory of it. So now, after a few moments of annoying regret I decided t' come and apologise, and well, here I am," explained Blacktyger.
"Oh. Umm… I think I see?"
"Yeah, well it doesn't matter if y' do or not, I'll give y' back y' proper memory and y'll understand fully… hopefully," explained Blacktyger.
"Err… well I suppose I can trust a chakat."
"Great, just one problem, I ain't a chakat. Don't worry though, this won't hurt one bit," said Blacktyger before staring Garrek in the eye for a brief second.
Garrek was instantly shocked to find he could remember his meeting with the Sutherland over six years ago. There were just two things that were still a mystery to him. He opened his mouth to ask, but Blacktyger answered before he could get even one word out.
"I'm telepathic, and I was Kit Silva, I can change my form y' see, somethin' I didn't tell y' last time I saw y'. Oh and I'm very good at guessing the questions someone is about t' ask if y' wonderin' about that," explained Blacktyger.
"Yeah, cool huh."
"Um, I suppose. Why did you change form though… and why didn't you guess my question then?" asked Garrek.
"Well, I changed my form because I met a really nice chakat and after shi found out that I'm sort of a herm shi kinda pushed me in t' learnin' more about it and I ended up like this. Oh and guessing questions ever ten seconds can get really boring."
"So you have a chakat as a mate too?"
"Yeah… hmm… let me guess, you and Chakat Goldfur huh?"
"Thanks, but it was the fact that Goldfur was up the duff that told me."
"Up the duff?" questioned Garrek.
"Shi was pregnant."
"Ah, I haven't heard that one before."
"It's an old one from around 2000. I'm really into that era of my home planet."
"Sort of, I'm from an alternate reality, or universe if you will. That's why I had orders t' wipe any memories from the people I meet from other realities. We can't have anyone knowing about us. Though now I'm stuck in this reality I don't suppose it matters anymore," explained Blacktyger.
"Is that why the Sutherland sustained damage?"
"Yeah. The special crystals, used t' 'jump' dimensions, in the starboard engine became unstable and vaporised causing the damage you, Goldfur and the others helped t' repair."
"I'm sorry for you, being stuck here and all. It must be hard not being able to go back home," said Garrek
"Don't be, I've got everythin' I need right here in this dimension… hmm, speaking of which, fancy a trip t' see Goldfur. I'm going hir way and you and y' daughter Eudora are welcome t' join us," offered Blacktyger.
"If I didn't know what your ship was capable of I'd have to decline. But I think in this case I would like to accept your offer. I have a free day today and Eudora's not in school."
"Great. Well, I'm ready when you and Eudora are. If there's anyone y' want t' tell where y' goin' t', and would believe y', tell them first okay."
"I'm happy to leave now. I don't have to report in but I suppose I had better tell someone that I'm leaving the planet first, that shouldn't last long though. I'll just ask Eudora what shi thinks." Turning to where Eudora was playing he called out for hir to come over. Shi came over with Persian who had joined in with the other cub just before Blacktyger had joined Garrek.
"You two getting' on?" Blacktyger asked Persian when both cub were only feet away.
"Yes father," came hir quick reply. Shi walked over to hym and sat down in front of hym. Eudora followed hir and sat with hir.
"Garrek, I'd like t' introduce Persian, my daughter," said Blacktyger.
"Nice to meet you Mr Garrek sir," said Persian as shi bowed hir head.
"Hello, Persian. It looks as if you've already made friends with Eudora," replied Garrek with a smile, he then turned to Blacktyger, "Blacktyger this is Eudora Whitepaw, my daughter."
Eudora stood and walked over. "Nice to meet you Chakat Blacktyger, My name is Eudora Whitepaw child of Goldfur and Garrek," shi said before giving hym a greeting hug.
"Hiya Eudora, nice ta meet ya, there's just one little thing you should know though, and that's that I'm not a chakat. I'm a hybrid," replied Blacktyger with a grin.
"But you look like a chakat?" questioned Eudora in a puzzled manor.
"That's 'cause y' haven't seen me from the back."
"What's different about your back?" asked Eudora curiously.
Blacktyger grinned sheepishly. "Err…" hie looked over to Garrek and caught a questioning gaze from him, "Um, well, y've seen y' dad from the back haven't y', well… I've got the same tackle as he has, that's all."
"Like fishing tackle?" asked Eudora.
Blacktyger's ears turned a light red in embarrassment, hie just couldn't find the words to explain. "Oh… forget I even brought it up… please," hie said quietly.
"Okay," replied Eudora.
Blacktyger sighed lightly in relief as Garrek asked Eudora about the trip. Persian stood and walked a little closer to hym. "Don't get embarrassed about those father, shi is half chakat like me and we chakats don't mind about talking about that," shi said.
"Yeah, yeah I know, but both of y' aren't really old enough for all that yet."
"I know father."
"Right then, in that case shut y' yap on the matter," said Blacktyger cheekily.
"Father!" growled Persian.
"Ah quit y' whinin'. Y' got a playmate for the day haven't y'?"
Before Persian could answer though Garrek spoke up.
"We'd be happy to join you Blacktyger," he said with a smile, "If you'll take us of course."
"Great. Let's go then," replied Blacktyger and with a snap of hys fingers they were all transported to the Sutherland's hydroponics bay.
"Wait! I have to tell someone…" began Garrek worriedly.
"If y' that worried I'll cover it for y'," butted in Blacktyger. "I'll make sure everythin's okay," hie continued as hie stood.
"Alright…" agreed Garrek as he stood too.
"Done. Besides y' won't be gone long enough t' be missed, and if someone wants t' contact y' I'll leave a booster receiver in orbit. No one'll be any the wiser," said Blacktyger before leading them to the bridge. After entering the flight plan in the helm they were off to the Hawking system to meet up with the Conway and more importantly, Goldfur.
* * *
Goldfur had just started hir shift in main engineering. Shi had been assigned the almost menial task of checking all systems to make sure they were in full working order. Though a very important task, it wasn't an overly taxing one, which made it oddly enough a well-liked duty with the engineering staff.
Shi had put hir theory aside as shi wanted to concentrate on the task at hand, but shi eventually drifted off full concentration and began to hum the same tune shi had been tapping earlier that day.
It was barely ten minutes later, as shi was checking over the warp core, that shi heard the familiar patter of a young taur cub behind hir. Curious as to who, or possibly what, it could be shi paused from hir work, turned and smiled broadly as shi saw Eudora rushing up to hir and Garrek, accompanied by Blacktyger, following at a walking pace behind hir.
"Mommie!" cried Eudora happily as Goldfur lowered hirself to hir level and gave hir a hug.
"Hello Eudora, how's my little chakat doing then?" asked Goldfur as they parted from the hug.
"I'm okay. I drew you a picture of a star," shi replied happily, "But I forgot it," shi added disappointedly.
"Oh well. That's something else besides you and Garrek to look forward to when I get back," said Goldfur cheerfully. Shi continued to stand up to full height as Garrek drew close and went on to give him a loving hug and lick kiss. "So what brings you out here? I thought you were stationed on Chakona," shi asked.
"Oh I am, but before we go any further don't you think we should get out of main engineering?" replied Garrek.
"I'd love to, but unfortunately…" began Goldfur, but Blacktyger butted in.
"Yo dude, don't worry about it. I've got everythin' sorted," hie said quickly.
"Oh, thank you. I think?"
"Don't mention it."
Garrek stepped back in. "Blacktyger here has offered us a few hours of free time onboard hys ship. Of course there is a reason, but hie'll explain that when we're over there," explained Garrek.
"Okay then. Let's go," agreed Goldfur.
"And away we go…" said Blacktyger as they were all instantly transported to the Sutherland's Hydroponics bay. "Welcome aboard Goldfur," hie continued as hie walked up to hir, "I'm basically here to apologise, so let me explain," and hie did as they headed over to a table that had been set up with refreshments. Isis and Moonlight were nearby and hie introduced them both, along with Persian as shi ran in from one of the doors to play with Eudora again. It didn't really take long for everything to be explained, and the last memory to be restored, and soon they were all lounging on taur sized sun chairs in the warmth of the Hawking star via the hydroponics bays huge window. The Sutherland had positioned itself facing the red giant so they could experience it's natural warmth as they bathed.
"It must be an exciting life living on a ship like this with no responsibilities to worry about," Goldfur thought out loud.
Blacktyger, who was resting on a sun chair to hir right turned hys head to the left and looked at hir. Hie opened hys mouth and was about to agree, but hie found hie couldn't. Hie had never really thought about it before, and the words 'no responsibilities' began to swarm around in hys head. Besides hys parental responsibilities Goldfur was right. Hie no longer had any, and it did seem like a good life hie was leading. Hie turned hys head back and sighed, hys lifelong wish to be a natural born returning to haunt hym. If hie had been a natural born hie would have long since passed away, but at least hie would have had to work for a living. "Yeah… I guess it is," hie replied unconvincingly.
Goldfur looked over to hym. "What's wrong?" shi asked as shi turned to hir right side and propped hir upper torso up with hir right arm.
"It doesn't matter. I don't want to drag y' in t' my life's sob stories. Don't worry about. I usually don't," replied Blacktyger in a more convincing manor.
"Well, if that's the way you want it," said Goldfur understandingly, as shi lay back down.
"Ta," replied Blacktyger simply.
The two hours seemed to last an eternity, but they eventually drew to their inevitable close. With only ten minutes left Blacktyger and Goldfur found themselves walking in the Arboretum down the single file path that lead to the centre of the little rainforest. They reached the centre and sat back on their haunches on either side of the little open area there.
"Y' know, I still don't know why I suddenly decided t' apologise… no disrespect or anythin' intended but… well, I've never really been able t' say sorry and really mean it," explained Blacktyger as hie looked down at a red flower growing near hys forepaws.
"Well, I can't blame you. You were only following orders weren't you? I would have done the same in those circumstances. I am still glad that you did decided to apologise though," replied Goldfur.
"Hmm…" sighed Blacktyger as hie lay down and moved a hand gently over the petals of the flower.
"Do you like gardening?" asked Goldfur casually as shi watched hym with the flower.
"Huh?" Blacktyger seemed to snap out of a daydream, hie quickly got back on track though, "…Oh, nah, I don't care for it. The computer usually tends to both the arboretum and hydroponics bay, when Isis or Starburst aren't in the mood or are away."
"That's a shame. Heh, my sister would love to see all this you know, a mini rainforest on a starship, now that is something," replied Goldfur.
"Shi a biologist?" asked Blacktyger.
"Yes and no. Shi actually works as a sort of forest ranger in Australia back on earth. Hir name suits hir well too in that respect, shi's called Forestwalker, by the way."
"Cool. Maybe I'll look hir up at some point," said Blacktyger as hie looked up from the flower and back to Goldfur. They both looked over to the path they had come by as they heard Garrek and Eudora approach. Soon they were both sat with Goldfur, and waited patiently as Blacktyger stood up and produced the three leather bags Sekhmet had given hym. "Right, well, I said there was somethin' I had to do before we left after I explained everythin' so… um, here," said Blacktyger awkwardly before handing one of the bags to each of the three taurs before hym.
They all opened their respective bags and took a look inside. Goldfur emptied the contents of hir into the palm of hir hand to get a clearer view and found a little pearl white pendant in the shape of a lioness's head with a cartouche on her forehead in gold leaf. The pendant hung on a golden neck chain which shi took hold of and allowed the pendant to dangle as shi looked at it further. Garrek and Eudora found exactly the same in their bags, with only the hieroglyphs in the cartouche being different.
"They're beautiful," began Goldfur, "but we really can't accept them."
"Y' don't have t' wear them or anythin', if that's the problem, just stick em in a safe place that's all," explained Blackyger.
"Oh, it's not that. It's just that…"
"Please accept them. They are a gift from myself," said Sekhmet as she suddenly appeared through the thick foliage.
"I don't mean to be rude but, who are you?" asked Goldfur as they all loked over to her.
"My name is Sekhmet, I am what you might call, a goddess. You have no need to fear me though, all I wish is for you to accept these gifts of your own free will," she explained in a serene tone.
"Aww Sekhmet. If y' were goin' t' show up why did y' give them t' me?" asked Blacktyger slightly miffed at her.
"I thought I might have other work, fortunately there was no need for it," replied Sekhmet, looking briefly at hym. She turned to look back at Goldfur, "Do you wish to accept them?" she asked, "I will not force you, and it will make little difference if you decide to keep them or not. I would like to add that I will not be offended if you do not wish to keep them."
"I'd be honoured to accept this from a goddess," replied Garrek.
"Thank you Mrs Sekhmet," said Eudora happily as shi tried to put the necklace on. Sekhmet had to smile at hir innocence.
"Well, in that case… I don't see why not," said Goldfur with a smile of hir own.
"Thank you," replied Sekhmet before vanishing into thin air.
Noting the looks on Goldfur's, Garrek's and Eudora's faces Blacktyger quickly spoke up. "She always does that, I think it's a tradition t' just pop in, say a few words and disappear like that," hie explained, "don't worry about it."
"Right," replied Goldfur, shi looked down at the pendant again, then to Blacktyger, "I don't suppose you know why she gave these to us do you?"
"Err, sort of. She mentioned somethin' about y' lives bein' watched over, but she didn't say who by. I think she just wants to help out whoever's watchin over y'… hmm? Oh yeah, better explain what they are," said Blacktyger. "Basically their kinda godlike com units, in a way. Y' ever get into a right jam, shi'll be happy t' pop up and offer y' a bit of advise if y' put y' necklace on and ask for her t' appear. That's why I said y' don't have t' wear them, if y' just put them aside y' don't ever have t' touch them again. She won't interfere in y' life she'll just offer y' a bit of advise and, well disappear. And the hieroglyphs spell your respective names," explained Blacktyger.
"Well, I think I speak for us all when I say we'll get on with our lives as normal. We will keep the offer in mind though," said Goldfur.
"The choice is entirely y'r own," replied Blacktyger. "Anyway, I suppose we'd better say our goodbye's. I'd like to apologies to both of you again for wiping your memories of the first time we met, and I promise not t' do it again should we meet up again."
"Thank you, Blacktyger, and thank you for bringing Garrek and Eudora along. That was a real treat. I'd like to thank you for that," shi said as hi stood and walked over to hym. Blacktyger knew what was coming, but hie couldn't argue. Over the six and a half year period of having two chakat mates hie had grown to almost like receiving hugs, hie still couldn't give them to anyone besides hys little family though. Readily accepting the Goldfur's thank you hug, hie had to admit there was something extra about Goldfur that hie had never noticed before Sekhmet had mentioned it. It was something very special, but whatever it was it wasn't going to let up its secrets. The feeling died down as they parted and Goldfur turned to Garrek and Eudora to say hir goodbyes to them before shi had to return to the Conway.
After transporting Goldfur back, Blacktyger returned Garrek and Eudora to Chakona. And after bidding farewell he plotted a course back to the outer spiral of the Milky way galaxy where it had been that morning. Returning to rec room B hie found Bengal, still in the African sim, smiling happily as hie stood over hys fallen prey.
"So y' did it huh?" said Blacktyger looking down at the large wildebeest carcass.
"Nearly, I just couldn't handle it at your level, so I downed it two levels lower and I was just able t' manage it," explained Bengal.
"Great. Y'll be as good as Khaos in no time," said Blacktyger proudly.
"Thanks mom. I couldn't be as good as you if y' hadn't been helpin' me," thanked Bengal.
"No prob, Bengal. Just remember that we're here t' protect our home planet no matter what and y'll be fine," replied Blacktyger.
"Thanks. I can't wait to start changin' into Spirit and bein' able t'do what I want."
"Reach for the stars kitten, just don't let Isis, Moonlight or Starburst know or we'll both be in trouble," said Blacktyger as hie began to walk off to the rec room door.
Bengal gave a playful growl and leapt after hys mother, "Don't call me kitten!" he growled playfully as hie talked him to the ground. They ended up in a mock fight again, laughing as they played and pinned each other down. They played into the night, when both eventually decided they needed a little rest, and so curled up together under the simulated stars of the African sim and drifted off into a peaceful sleep.
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