Aurora's World

By Michele Elaine Wilson © 2012

Sean was sitting in the window seat soaking up the warmth and enjoying the scent of flowers and the cool breeze. He was huge man, close to seven feet and 250 pounds, all of it muscle. His flame red hair was tousled and his beard in need of a trim but his sky blue eyes still twinkled. He moved slightly to be more comfortable. His arm was in a sling and tied close to his body to keep the injured shoulder from moving.

 Kira had the same red hair and blue eyes as her twin brother but she was tiny compared to him. While her brother went the route of a Bard she became a Healer like their mother. She smiled as she came upon her brother and sat down next to him. Her smile became a frown when a small brown and fawn colored head peeped out from the sling looking at her with definitely crossed blue eyes.

 “So how is your little demon doing?” she asked.

 “Ah, Sis,” Sean said, “How can you call my little sweetheart that?” Sean gently rubbed the little cat’s head.

 “Quite easily!” Kira replied. “It took the combined effort of Desiree, Danielle and Mother to get that cat to stop attacking and let us try and help you.”

 “She was just being protective of her Daddy,” Sean replied with a smile.

 “So does she have a name besides ‘little sweetheart’? I understand hellcat is still available,” Kira said.

 “Her name is Ling-Ling,” Sean answered. “And before you ask she was a gift. And before you ask some more yes you will get a chance to meet her.”

 “Her?” Kira said as her eyebrows rose. “Why don’t you tell me the full story?”

 “Okay this is a story of unexpected help,” Sean began.


Zhen is not a place many people are willing go to. The sun for this planet is close and violent with constant flares disturbing the atmosphere. The air chokes with sulfur infused clouds that lay like a blanket smothering the land. It is the type of land that the Dark One loves. Serpents abound in this land. The native inhabitants have mutated to live with the poisonous atmosphere and the arid conditions. There is very little rainfall and what rain there is comes down as acid rain. The plants are as mutated as the inhabitants and have roots that go down many thousands of feet in order to find sustenance. It is not a place that anyone would choose to visit.

 As you know the Dark One lost a lot of cannon fodder in that last battle and is on the lookout for new blood. Not that there is much blood in the Zhenites of course, they have a carbon form that allow them to survive in that foul land. When you live in a foul and dangerous land your personality starts to mirror your world.

 Dad has been sending us out to try and find a way of stopping the recruitment of more creatures into the Dark One’s army. We are mainly doing recons at this point but we are sending reports back that could lead to a more substantial intervention if necessary. We have been concentrating on the more desolate areas of the Universe. It is mainly us shape shifters who are going out as we can adapt to any sort of terrain we find.

 Sunset and I went to the edge of the Tau Galaxy to find this lovely spot. As you know we can manipulate the interfaces between the worlds but to get there we also had to cross the unreality of chaos. Not the most fun of trips I can assure you.  I found a cave where we could spend the night so as to replenish the energy spent in getting to Zhen.

 I had slipped away from the cave and was observing the natives. It turns out that the political reality of the place is that no one is really in control. They formed tribes and spend as much time trying to destroy each other as they do in trying to survive. It is a hardscrabble life at best and as is all too common their are those who would rather let someone else do the hard work and they just move in and take it away from them. I didn’t really observe any of the tribal chiefs whom I thought would make a good ally.



I was lying on my belly when I looked up and saw a snake poised to strike. I knew I had to stay still but I also heard something coming up behind me. It was then when I was trying to choose which was the most dangerous that I met her.

 “Don’t move!” the female voice instructed.

 A large red-gold dragon grabbed the snake by the neck and tossed it far away. A small female came flying over me and kicked the Zhenite warrior with such force that the rock head was smashed and the body crumbled to the ground.

 “Follow me,” the lady yelled and took off at a run.

 “Who are you?” I yelled back at her as I ran after her.

 “Later,” she replied, “just keep up.”

 She headed for the caves. All I could really tell was that she was a tiny thing dressed in red leather and chain mail and she was armed with at least two knives that I could see. Her blue-black hair was bound up. She looked like she could be little more then a child. She was certainly fast on her feet however and I noticed that the wingless dragon flew overhead. He looked very much like our Master Khigh but I had never seen him before. She followed the dragon to the foothills and started to climb. Suddenly the dragon disappeared as she headed for the opening of a cave.

 “Wait,” I yelled, “I have to retrieve my horse.”

 “Chung-Yeung will guide the horses,” she yelled back. “You need to follow me, Sean.”

 “How do you know my name?” I asked.

 “Later,” she yelled back and headed through the cave entrance.

 “Whose Chung-Yeung?” I yelled after her.

 I heard what I thought was a giggle and the reply, “Later.”



The cave was made out of rocks that had glowing red phosphorous growths covering them. There was enough light that I didn’t need to call upon the glow crystal in my sword. I had pulled my sword at the start of this little jaunt. It took all my breath to keep up with this mad dash through the caves but I knew it would not be a good idea to lose sight of this young lady. She certainly had a lot to explain. For one thing I had never seen her before. For a second thing her dragon was a total stranger. For the third, and in my mind the most important thing, was that the only one who knew where I was going was father and he certainly had said nothing about this little female warrior.

 If Princess Jade was aware of the thoughts of this large elf following her she didn’t let on. She knew he was the son of the White Mage and Queen Niri the High Queen of the Elves. The message to go get him came from her Grandfather and she never questioned him. Her mother was his favorite daughter and her father one of the Dragon Kings. Her Grandfather had betrothed her mother to the current Emperor in an Earth world called China. She had the title Princess from three different worlds and each title had a different sort of Princess.  Her task at hand was to lead this Elf Prince to her Grandfather.

 The two of us warriors ran through the cave system for close to an hour. We finally came out into a world that definitely was not Zhen. My large roan horse Sunset and a smaller white horse were munching on the grass. A large red-gold dragon was curled up watching the exit of the cave and patiently waiting for us to come out. The two of us collapsed on the ground and spent several minutes catching our breath.

 “Who are you?” I asked her as soon as I was able to talk without panting.

 “Jade,” she replied.

 “Okay that is a beautiful name,” I said patiently, “now who exactly are you, how did you find me, and how did you know my name?”

 “I am Princess Jade,” she replied, “and my Grandfather sent me and told me your name.”

I was beginning to realize that getting information from this young lady was not going to be easy. It didn’t help any that the dragon was chuckling.

 I sighed and asked, “Who is your Grandfather?”

 “Later,” she smiled and then said, “right now we need to get moving. The horses have rested enough so that we can ride. We will follow Chung-Yeung.”

 “Who is Chung-Yeung?” I asked trying to keep the irritation out of my voice.

 ## I am ##, the dragon replied telepathically.

 It was apparent I was not going to get any more information out of these two so I mounted Sunset and followed Princess Jade. I tried to see if I could figure anything else out about her. Her eyes were dark brown and definitely almond shaped and slanted. She looked similar to the Oriental people on the planet Earth. She was tiny but definitely not a young child. She was also not a full grown adult so I figured maybe her late teens. One thing I was sure of was that she was very beautiful and someone valued her very highly. It is extremely rare for a being to have a Dragon Guardian but this young lady definitely did. If you knew where to look you could see the glow where the dragon amulet resided on her wrist between the dragon’s appearances.

 I turned my attention to Chung-Yeung. Dragons, as you know, are fiercely independent creatures.  It would take someone very rare to convince one to spend its days as a Guardian. I thought again of the young lady he was guarding. I know that the gemstone jade is considered very valuable. It embodies the virtues of wisdom, justice, compassion, modesty and courage. It is renowned for its beauty as well as its hardness. Someone valued this young lady enough to call her Jade and this dragon was devoted to her.

 Unfortunately that was as far as I could get. Both the girl and the dragon were adept at warding off their thoughts. The one thing I could sense was that she was part elf not that it did me any good to know that. I couldn’t tell if she had a life-crystal or not. If she were related to us it was way back in the annuals of time.

 The two of us rode in silence. Jade was glad that I had enough sense to not question her further. Her orders had been to bring me and let her Grandfather handle the explanations. She had been afraid that I would continue to push. I have a reputation for going after information and tenaciously pursuing it until I learn what I want. I also have a reputation for temper. She didn’t have time to talk right now. These interfaces were extremely tricky and she wanted to get home without encountering any more trouble.

 I realized that we were traveling through chaos but a part of chaos that I had never encountered before. I let Jade do the manipulations since I had no idea where we were heading. I could only hope that she was not leading me into a trap. It was possible of course but the facts that she was part elf at least and accompanied by a dragon were in her favor.


It was a very long trip and by the time we arrived all of us were tired. An old woman raced up to Princess Jade and started fussing over her.

 “Oh my poor chick,” she exclaimed, “you must be exhausted.  I don’t know why they have to send you out on all these horrible journeys. I have a nice bath drawn for you and some supper. We must get you out of those clothes and into something more suitable for a Princess.”

 Jade smiled and patted the old woman on the shoulder. “It is all right Auntie. I like going on these missions. You know I always have Chung-Yeung guarding me. Now do we have someone to take care of Prince Sean?”

 I can tell you that I was shocked to hear her use my title. You know that I never use my title and here was this little stranger, who not only knew my name, but my title!

 Princess Jade looked over at me and smiled. “Don’t look so shocked. I know all about you. You will soon meet my Grandfather and he will explain everything.”

 A young man came up and bowed to me and asked me to follow him and assured me that my horse would be very well taken care of.

 Jade allowed her old nurse to fuss over her. The woman had raised her as her own. Her mother was often busy doing what she could to help Jade’s Grandfather out. It was her Grandfather who had appointed Auntie as Jade’s nurse. She was a small and wizened looking old lady when Jade had been born. No one really knew how old she was or where she came from. Everyone soon learned however to do exactly as she demanded when it came to taking care of her charge. Auntie would do anything to care for and protect her Princess.

 I followed the young man, who gave his name as Li, into a very ornate building. There were guards at every intersection. I noticed a great deal of artwork that depicted dragons. Li led me to a side room and knocked on the door. An elderly voice bid him to enter.

 “Grandfather,” Li said, “Jade has returned. This is Prince Sean.”

 I looked at the elderly man. He had the same brown almond-shaped eyes that I had noticed on Jade and Li and the rest of the people I had seen in this land. His hair was pure white and he appeared to be rather frail looking but I sensed an enormous power emanating from him.

 “Thank you Li,” the elderly man replied.

 Li bowed and left the room. The man and I looked at each other for a couple of moments without speaking.

 “Please sit and join me for some refreshment,” the man said. “I am Kwan-Lo although I go by many names. I am sure you have many questions. Sit sit. I’ll try and explain what is going on.”

 I sat down at a table that had many delicious looking dishes and were served on exquisite plates with cups of finest gold to hold the wine.

 “Please, I know it has been a long journey for you. Eat and drink your fill while I endeavor to explain what is going on,” Kwan-Lo said. “Some of the history you know but some of this will be new to you. I ask that you wait until I am finished before you speak.”

 This is the story he told.

 Back at the beginning, when the three immortals elves, unicorns, and dragons set out to explore the worlds that are part of the worlds of time, the elves scattered into many different directions. We were the most curious of the immortals. The unicorns for the most part stayed in the Mystic Lands. The dragons explored lands where there was a lot of commerce. You know that many dragons are traders. A certain section of the dragons, that the world of men call Eastern dragons, accompanied my ancestors. We are of elfin kind although our looks are different then most of our people. We traveled to place on a planet called Earth where a people known as Chinese were starting to establish a civilization. My father had the gift of far seeing and sensed that it was important that these people be protected. He sensed a great evil was about to arise and that these people would need to be guided so that this evil did not corrupt them.

 The evil came to be known as the Dark One. When the call came to the scattered groups of elves to return to the Mystic Lands to fight against this evil our group stayed where we were. We knew that these people would be capable of being a force that the Dark One would exploit if they were not protected. My father went to your Grandfather and explained his visions and it was decided that we would be better used as protectors there in China. Agents of the Dark One killed my father as he was returning here where we had established our home. I became the leader after his death. We made the decision to appear as gods to the Chinese and the people accepted us as such. They accepted our dragon friends as protectors. We were able to keep the people from the gaze of the Dark One but to do that we had to cut ourselves off completely from our kind. 

Our major ally was the Dragon Kings. These are beings that can be both dragon and men. My granddaughter Jade’s father is a Dragon King. You have noticed that she has a Guardian Dragon named Chung-Yeung. Because of her status as elf and dragon kind she is very special and the dragons make sure she is well protected. To answer the question you want to ask Jade is 17. She is extremely mature for her age and has a grasp of military tactics that is rare. I use her to help gather information because the Dark One still threatens worlds that we are associated with. As you know he is spreading his net farther and farther in an effort to try and get more minions to fight for him. Some of those worlds are in the part of the universe that we protect because we protect more then just China.

 One of the places we are linked to is called Aurora’s World. This is where you come in. Your father is acquainted with Aurora. She is in fact related to him. Her world faces multiple threats and she has asked help of your father and of us. I sought out you father and we agreed that it was time for our two people to be reunited. He told me where you were and I sent Jade to get you and bring you here.

 We had all heard of the “lost” elves of course. Now I was looking at the head of those elves. No wonder he radiated power.

 “What kind of problem is this Aurora’s World facing, Sir,” I asked.

 “They are a highly technological world,” the Emperor said, “and they have two suns that were split in a far distant time. Those suns are unstable and becoming more so. The suns split before the people came to the planet and it is only in recent time that they realized the suns are trying to reunite. Unfortunately if the suns collide it will cause an event that will destroy the planet. There is something on that planet that will prevent that from happening. There is also a faction there that is trying to undermine the discovery of this device and wants to see the planet destroyed.”

 “Why would people want their own planet destroyed?” I asked.

 “They aren’t from the planet,” Kwan-Lo said. “They are agents of the Dark One. He wants Aurora’s World destroyed because she has been an ally of your father. He is striking back at Aurora and your father.”

 “What is it you want me to do?” I asked.

 “I want you and Jade to go there and find the device that would allow the suns to merge peacefully. We, your father and I, also want you to discover who the traitors are and stop them from sabotaging the planet. We need to know who their contact is because whoever he or she is they are new to us. The Dark One has had to recruit new ‘heads’ and we want this one identified and if possible neutralized.”

 “I’m not all that familiar with technological societies, Sir,” I replied.

 “You are smart and adaptable according to your father,“ the Emperor said with a smile. “Besides Jade is familiar since she was my agent who originally got the information from Aurora’s World for me.”

 “How do we get to this place?” I asked.

 “You can go on horseback for most of the way,” Kwan-Lo replied. “Jade knows the way. There is a place very close where you can safely leave the horses. The interface from there into Aurora’s World is hidden. You and Jade will be able to make it in unnoticed. You can change into more appropriate clothes there.”

“I’m still unclear why you want me,” I said. “It looks like Jade has been there before and from what I’ve observed she can probably handle everything.”

 Kwan-Lo chuckled, “Yes she is a most self-sufficient little thing but we do need you there also. You are very good at spotting the Dark One’s agents. Jade has an idea where to find the device that will prevent the disaster but she is going to need protection. Her dragon would be too conspicuous on a technological world. He will materialize if necessary but I need her protected. I cannot afford to lose her, Sean. She is very precious.”

 “I take it as a technological world that shape shifting is out too,” I asked.

 “You two might have to use that talent but you will have to be very careful,” he replied. Seeing my surprised look he laughed and said, “Yes Jade is a shape shifter among other talents.”

 “She is a telepath,” I replied.

 “She is many things,” her grandfather replied. That was all he would say. I figured rather then press him I would discover what my young companion was as we went along.

 “When do you want us to start?” I asked.

 “In a couple of days,” Kwan-Lo replied. “We are waiting for a report from another agent. In the meantime relax and enjoy our hospitality.”


A couple of hours later I was walking in the garden when I met Jade again. She was dressed in a purple gown and was holding a brown and fawn colored cat.

“So what did you think of my grandfather?” Jade asked.

 “He appears frail but I have a feeling he could be a formidable opponent,” I replied.

 “I would suggest that you don’t take him on,” Jade laughed. “He may be old but he is still a fierce fighter. He was my first teacher in unarmed combat. He is still among the best there is.”

 “That is a pretty cat,” I told her. “What is its name?”

 “This is Ching-Ching. She has been my friend for a couple of years now,” Jade replied with a smile. “She is going to be a mother soon.”

 “She is an unusual color,” I said. “Very pretty with her blue eyes.”

 “I got her from my mother,” Jade replied. “She is from a planet called Earth. Do you know it?”

“Yes I do,” I replied. “I frequently go there but I have a feeling to a different part then you do.”

“I’ve just been to China,” Jade said. “My mother is one of the Emperor’s wives. Where have you been?”

 “I mainly go to a place called Ireland,” I told her.

 “Is it pretty there?” she asked.

 “It is very beautiful,” I replied. “I know some of the songs from there if you would like to hear them.”

 “I would like that very much,” she said with a smile. Looking at her I realized how young she really was but there was something about her that made her seem very ancient at the same time. There was a quality about her that reminded me of our sister Cassandra.


A couple of days later we were summoned by her Grandfather for a meeting. It was in the same room where I had first met him. You can imagine my surprise when we entered the room and I saw Brendan.

 “What are you doing here little brother?” I asked.

 Brendan smiled that cocky grin of his. “Well big brother,” he answered, “it seems Dad has been getting some disturbing reports from his cousin and sent me to liaise with her and find out what was going on. She in turn was in contact with Emperor Kwan-Lo here and so here I am.”

 Brendan turned to Jade and took her hand and kissed it. “How is my beautiful China Doll?” he asked.

 “I can still kick your butt,” Jade replied with a giggle.

 “Word of warning big brother,” Brendan said, “this little girl is lethal. She may look like a porcelain china doll but she is one of the best people to have around in a fight.” 

“I found that out,” I said, “when she kicked the head off of a Zhenite warrior.”

 “I take it you have some information for us,” Jade said, “that we can use on Aurora’s World.”

 “I was just about to ask Prince Brendan for his report,” the Emperor said.

 We sat down and Brendan made his report.

 The suns are getting more and more unstable. The force field they have trying to keep things in stasis is weakening with the strain. They have their best scientists working on it but ultimately they are going to have to deal with the fact that the suns need to reunite. No one really knows why the suns were split in the first place. The current inhabitants of Aurora’s World are not the original technological society. They have been unable to translate all of the writings of the original inhabitants. They understand enough that it was necessary to split the suns for a time and that in the future they would need to be reunited. They know that there is a device somewhere that would do this safely but there is no indication of where the device is.

In the last year there has been problems politically on the planet. There appears to be a new faction that has questioned the ruling of the world and the scientists. Since this is an artificially enhanced world the scientists who keep it together have traditionally been in charge. This new faction is questioning the right of scientists to rule and have caused a considerable amount of unrest among the population. There has been a definite attempt to sabotage the reputation of scientists. There is a cult who feels that nature is fighting back at the scientists who abused her. They believe that if the suns are allowed to collide then the new sun will purify the planet and the people who survive will be the ones who worship nature.

I have been there for a month now and it is clear that the “nature” ringleaders are not from this planet. It is also obvious that they are technologically advanced and know that they are spewing nonsense. I haven’t been able to track the main leader but I can give you the names of some of his followers. The leader is definitely male that I have been able to find out.

Aurora is besieged on all sides from people wanting her to act against the new faction, try and reign in some of the more strident scientists, discover what the ancients knew, etc. She will give you as much help as she can but she needs to be careful. There have been attempts on her life. If she is killed the planet will descend into chaos. She is the one who holds the place together. The planet’s original name was translated as Sea World but it has been called Aurora’s World for a long time because of her ability to keep the planet in stasis. She is an elf by the way and Dad’s cousin.


I looked over at Jade. She shook her head. “Chung-Yeung says he is going,” Jade said. “He says he will materialize whenever he feels I am threatened. He also says this is not negotiable.”

 The Emperor frowned, “This isn’t a world where dragons are known.”

 “Grandfather,” Jade replied, “we don’t control the dragons.”

 “I know,” Kwan-Lo sighed. “Prince Sean I will ask you to try and keep my granddaughter safe so that the dragon doesn’t have to appear.”

 “I’ll do my best,” I replied.

 Brendan answered all of our questions the best he could and the four of us drew up plans for Jade and I to try and help Aurora in settling the unrest and finding the key to reuniting the suns safely.

Brendan and I shared a room and we talked into the night catching each other up on the places we have been and what we have observed.

 “Sean,” Brendan said, “look I’ve worked with Jade before. Don’t under estimate her. She may only be 17 but she is more mature then anyone has a right to be at that age. She has been trained since infancy as a warrior and a diplomat. I’m not sure what all her powers are but she doesn’t follow the same conventions that we do. We usually have one major talent like our ability to shape shift. I suspect she has several major abilities that she isn’t telling us. I don’t know if it is because she is a Dragon King’s daughter or not. You know I do have some precog plus I checked with Cassie and she senses the same thing I do. Somehow this little Princess Jade is going to be vital if we are to defeat the Dark One. Keep her safe big brother.”

Two days later Jade and I set off towards Aurora’s World. I let her do the interfaces since I had no idea of where we were going. Her dragon accompanied us. I got the feeling that Chung-Yeung was not happy with this assignment for his ward. You know that Sunset doesn’t get nervous around anyone or anything but I got the distinct feeling that he was uneasy around this dragon.

 Jade took three days to get us to their destination. I could sense she was having very spirited discussions with her dragon. I couldn’t hear what they were saying of course since those two block better then anyone I have ever encountered. In the evenings I could tell she was trying to soothe the dragon and calm him down.

 We sat by a lake the night before arriving at Aurora’s World. The dragon had gone to feed.

 “What is bothering Chung-Yeung, Jade?” I asked.

 “He doesn’t like assignments where he can’t be there physically at all times,” she replied. “He doesn’t like Aurora’s World for that reason. He also has sensed a growing evil there. He doesn’t like it. He is very protective of me.”

 “Is it because you are a Dragon King’s daughter that he is with you?” I asked.

 “Not really,” Jade replied. “I’m not sure what the reason is that he was chosen to be my Guardian. He appeared at birth and told my Grandfather that it was decided among his people that he was going to be my Guardian. No one really knows why. Grandfather just accepted it and so has everyone else.”

 “Have you ever asked him why,” I asked.

 “He won’t say,” Jade replied.


 The next morning we stood on a hill looking over the spaceport at Aurora’s World. Jade had explained that a majority of the planet was water. There was only one land mass. We had made our camp in a cave and the horses were in an enclosed paddock on the other side of an interface. The cave was more of a home then anything else and Jade explained that she had discovered it and set up a camp there. It was well protected by wards. She had clothing there that she could don that would allow her to fit in with the denizens of this world and she had some clothing supplied for me as well.

 “I really don’t like all that technology,” Jade said. “They are so caught up in mechanical things that they no longer can appreciate the beauty of the earth and sea.”

 “There are other worlds like that,” I said. “It is sad really.”

 “We are quite a distance from where we need to be,” Jade said. “Let us rest here tonight and I’ll let you know what I have observed of this planet. It will help you to fit in better. There is a place where we can teleport to that will put us safely where we need to be to start out.” Jade talked of Aurora’s World and the people she had met there.


 The next morning dressed in garb that would allow us to fit in we teleported to a cove near the water. No one observed us as we made our way from there into the docks and then into the city proper. Jade had explained that there was only one major city here. There were a few outlying farming settlements but ships brought in most of the food and commerce. The planet was one of the few sources of a very rare mineral and they traded with that. Jade had explained that the mineral was made by the sea and was constantly being replenished so that there was no risk of the wealth drying up on the planet.

 That first day we tried to get a sense of the atmosphere of the place. We both could feel a tension that wasn’t healthy. The storm of the day before had gone to reveal a sky with two suns that looked angry. The angry sky seemed to reflect in the mood of the people. Jade brought us to a place she knew where we could safely stay in the city. The woman who ran the place seemed very happy to see Jade.

 “Mistress Constance this is my friend, Sean,” Jade said. “He is the brother of Brendan.”

 Mistress Constance was a very old lady but her back was still very erect. She looked me over carefully. “He doesn’t look much like Brendan,” she said. “There is something though that indicates they are related. Any friend of Jade is a friend of mine. I absolutely adore Brendan so you are doubly welcome.”

 “Brendan does have that effect on people,” I said with a smile.

 We sat around the dinner table and Mistress Constance filled us in on what had been happening since Jade was there last.

 I think you were here when Dax came. I’m sure he is working for someone outside the planet. He has become the main rabble-rouser. He is constantly on the channels arguing with the scientists. He obviously has scientific training but he uses that training to try and discredit science. He is a mesmeric speaker and people are starting to listen to him. The new earth people are quoting him frequently now. He made a foray into trying to discredit Aurora but that was more then the people would tolerate. You know how she is worshiped. I worry about her though. She has so much on her plate and I fear all of this discontent as well as the suns acting up may be more then her old body can bear. 

That evening we watched the channels as they were called and closely observed this Dax. He certainly had a way with words I’ll grant him that but there was something else about him that didn’t seem quite right.

“Do you think he might be projecting some sort of mind control,” Jade asked.

 “I suppose it is possible,” I replied, “but how would he be able to find the strength to reach that many people. That takes an enormous amount of energy.”

 “Could he be amplifying it through some sort of device?” Jade asked.

“I don’t know,” I replied. “What makes you think he is?”

 “That pendant her wears is awfully thick,” Jade said. “I was trying to focus on it and it gave me a headache like it was sending out some sort of signal to block me.”

 “So you think he may be a psychic?” I asked.

 “No, he isn’t,” Jade replied, “I can always tell when someone has psy powers.”

 “How?” I asked in surprise.

 “I don’t know,” she answered. “I have always been able to tell.”

 That was going to be a very useful talent as we were to discover.

The next morning we walked around the spaceport area. If people were coming in from the outside to be agitators then this is where we would discover evidence. I noticed that even though we were dressed like the people of the planet that looks were cast our way that were bordering on hostile. It suddenly dawned on me that no one really looked like Jade. She was tiny with raven hair and almond shaped brown eyes. The rest of the people were fair and on the tall side. No wonder Brendan fit in. 

“Jade,” I asked, “are their any others who look like you on this planet?”

 “Only outsiders,” she replied. “It is one of the reasons that Chung-Yeung hates this place.”

 We were walking towards the city proper when the first trouble arose. A couple of very tough looking men suddenly appeared in front of us.

 “You aren’t welcome her, girlie,” one of the toughs snarled.

 “Really?” Jade said with a smile. She pushed a button on her communicator and a hologram of a badge appeared. “This says I am.”

 “One of the old lady’s are you?” the other tough said and spit on the ground.

 “Whose Red here then?” the first man said turning towards me.

 “Her bodyguard,” I replied.

 “You think you are tough?” the second man said.

 “I know I am,” I said and grabbed the two of them and knocked their heads together. I had seen them reaching for some sort of weapon and decided a preemptive strike was called for.

 “That is new,” Jade said. “I have never known there to be violence like this before. We must get to Aurora and talk to her.”

 We managed to make it through to the government buildings without any more trouble but the atmosphere was very tense and I could tell that the possibility of violence was seething under the surface.


 Jade flashed her badge again and asked for an audience with Aurora. We were met by a very old lady who greeted Jade warmly. Jade introduced me as her friend and Brendan’s brother. Again our little brother’s name seemed to open more doors. We followed Aurora down a corridor to her office. I have never experienced such strong wards in my life.

 “Sit,” Aurora said. “We have much to discuss and not much time. I need to make a broadcast to my people in an hour.”

 Jade told her about the two toughs who had accosted us. Aurora didn’t seem surprised.

 “We are getting them in from the outer planets,” Aurora explained. “We are doing our best to round them up and deport them as fast as we can. They have been attacking scientists. Fortunately no one has died but I’m afraid it is only a matter of time. One of the scientists heard the mention of a name Draco. He is our opponent, Jade. He doesn’t reside here but is using minions to do his dirty work. Your brother, Brendan, is trying to trace him down, Sean. You both must be very careful.”

“I noticed a special hostility in the looks of some of the people directed towards Jade,” I said. “What is going on?”

“Jade is different from the other people here as I’m sure you’ve noticed,” Aurora replied. “The people know that their are outsiders causing problems and Jade is clearly an outsider. You are going to have to be very careful my dear. Have you considered changing your face?”

 “I have been advised not to,” Jade replied. “Brendan got a message that when I’m in human form that I should appear as myself. Something about a timeline that will collapse if I change my human appearance.”

 “Cassandra?” I asked.

 “I believe that is where he got the information from,” Jade replied. “It was seconded by your mother’s father.”

 Aurora rubbed her eyes. She was clearly fatigued. “Great,” she sighed. “That is all I need converging timelines to sort out.”

 “I don’t understand,” Jade said.

 “It looks like whatever is happening is not going linear like time should,” Aurora explained. “We have multiple timelines converging and what we do here will affect what ultimately will be our future. It can go so many ways that we are unable to sort out the variables. Something, or someone, and I suspect it is the Dark One, is meddling in the timelines for this place.”

 “I didn’t know he could do that,” I said.

 “He can’t to a large extent but when a place like this has an event horizon where a potential catastrophe is forth coming,” Aurora explained, “then there is a way to meddle in the timeline to make multiples appear and make it difficult to know what is real and what is a false projection. It is a result of all this technology I’m afraid.”

 “What do we need to do?” Jade asked.

 “I need you to discover where the device is that will unite the suns,” Aurora answered. “And what I need you to do young man is to make sure that she is safe. I know both of you are shape shifters and you will need that talent. Be careful though. There are too many spies around. There is no guarantee that Brendan will be able to find and neutralize this Draco in time. You are going to have to deal with his chief minion Dax yourself.”

 “Is Dax using some sort of mind control?” I asked.

 “We believe he might be,” Aurora answered, “but we have been unable to find the frequency he is broadcasting on. He has a strong block on his receiver.”

 “Can we get the pendant from him and destroy it?” Jade asked.

 Aurora smiled. “You are such a clever child. Dax has some very good bodyguards around him at all times in addition to a personal force field. If you think you can penetrate and get the pendant by all means do so.”

 We talked for a few minutes longer then Jade and I took our leave. She wanted to head back to the spaceport. There was someone there she wanted to see.

 We wandered through the spaceport until we came to the water’s edge. The spaceport had been built so that it was next to the water. Land was at a premium and it was helpful to have the ships take off and gather speed to make the light jump over water.

 It turned out that Jade wanted to meet with a dolphin. She told me he was the head of the dolphins. She introduced him as Kang Dae, which she later told me meant powerful. She and the dolphin spoke in the dolphin’s language. It turns out that another of Jade’s talents was the ability to speak to anything in their own language.

 As we were walking back towards the city center Jade explained what was going on.

 “Kang Dae’s people were here when the original inhabitants arrived and the suns were split,” Jade explained. “Something was going wrong with the sun and it had to be split. The people left a device to reunite the suns when the time came. Kang Dae has his people exploring the oceans to find this device. He knows it was put in the water but they aren’t sure where. The ancients were trying to keep the information from an evil as it was called. I believe that evil is probably the Dark One. I’ll be contacted when they find it but there is a lot of water to explore.”

 It was as we were returning to Mistress Constance’s house that the next attack came. This time there were almost a dozen people. Since I wasn’t in my normal clothes I didn’t have my sword with me so I set about with my fists. I soon discovered Jade had secreted knives in her outfit. Even with both of us fighting I knew it was going to be difficult because these were experienced fighters. A sudden explosion in the air brought Chung-Yeung into the fight. He was furious and in only a couple of moments he had dispatched the rest of the fighters. A shaken Jade grabbed me and we teleported back to the cave.

 “I have never seen him rip beings apart before,” Jade said in a shaky voice.

 ##It was necessary## Chung-Yeung told us. ##They had a poison in their mouths that if they bit you then you would die a most horrible death. These were not normal beings but enhanced evil. ##

 “I heard the name Dax mentioned by one of them,” I said.  “I think it is time that we tried to get more information on this man.”

 Jade changed into an outfit that included a gun. “I’m not taking any more chances,” she declared. “They know I’m an outsider so I will dress like one and have my weapons with me.”

 “You know how to use that gun?” I asked.

 “I am proficient in all weapons,” Jade declared. I wasn’t going to argue with her.

 We spent the afternoon frequenting places that I would normally not take a lady to but Jade was not going to be left outside. Chung-Yeung settled back into the amulet but I knew the instant there was any trouble he would materialize. We heard a lot of talk about Dax and a little about Draco. We heard one rumor that sent us towards the metal pyramids.

 “Sean,” Jade suddenly said, “I think it would be best if you change into a bird shape and investigate over by the warehouses. I’m sensing a great evil emanating from there. I’ll cover for you while you change.”

 Chung-Yeung suddenly appeared in front of us.

 ##Hurry## the dragon said ##I’ll protect her. ##


 I changed into eagle form as Jade and her dragon stood guard. Jade had given me the coordinates to where she sensed the evil. Flying over the back alley I saw a group on men surrounding Dax.

 “I’m telling you boss,” one of the toughs said, “I found them all ripped to pieces. There is something here that isn’t right.”

 “You are turning cowards on me,” Dax snarled. “You are paid well to do as I tell you. You know the Big One wants results not excuses. I want that girl and the bodyguard eliminated.”

 “Yeah,” sneered another of the toughs, “easy for you to say. You don’t have to face no demon. You are always nice and safe.”

 “I’ve told you before,” Dax said exasperatedly, “there is no such thing as demons. Now get going. I want her dead. I have my orders too.”

 I watched as the group of toughs went away grumbling to themselves. Dax watched them go. When he was alone he pushed a button on his pendant and a hologram appeared showing another man seated in a dark room.

 “The girl obviously brought her dragon, Master,” Dax said to the man.

 “Dragons can be killed too,” the man replied.

 “I have more people coming in including dragon hunters,” Dax said.

 “Good, time is of the essence,” the man replied. “We need to finish the business and get out of there.”

 I suddenly discovered the interface that was being used and sent a message to Brendan giving him the location of where Draco had to be.

 ##Thanks bro, ## Brendan said.

 The two men were too involved in their conversations to recognize the probe that I had sent and the information I had related to Brendan. As they signed off I saw my chance and swooped down and grabbed the pendant ripping it from Dax’s neck. I quickly teleported to the cave and sent a message to Jade to meet me there.

 “What have you got?” Jade asked as she entered the cave.

 I showed her the pendant.

 “We need to get rid of it,” she declared.

 Suddenly Brendan appeared next to us.

 “Well done big bro,” Brendan said with a smile. “Let me have the trinket. It will make it easier to try and get to Draco.”

 “Were you able to find him with the interface info I sent?” I asked.

 “Yeah,” Brendan said “but it isn’t going to be easy to get at him. This will help. Look I don’t want to rush you two but Cassie is seeing multiple lines where the sun explodes soon. You need to find that device.”

 “We have another problem,” I told the two of them. “Dax is bringing dragon hunters in to try and get Chung-Yeung. Draco also wants Jade killed.”

 “Why me?” Jade asked. “He shouldn’t even know who I am!”

 “There is a leak in Aurora’s office,” Brendan replied. “Somehow the information of who you are has gotten to the Dark One. He knows you are with her, Sean. He has ordered Draco to get you both. He wants you both dead in the worst possible way. You, Sean, because you have foiled his plans too many times. You, Jade, because you are a new threat to him and he fears you.”

 “I don’t understand?” Jade said. “How can I be a threat to him? I could see Grandfather as a threat but I’m just one of Grandfather’s agents.”

 Brendan gently caressed her face. “I don’t understand myself, little one,” he said. “Somehow though you are going to be a major threat to him.”

 “This is just getting too complicated,” Jade said softly. Brendan held her close and comforted her. I realized then just how young she was. I also realized that she was scared.

 The explosion caught us off guard. Rushing to the edge of the cliff we looked down at the city. There was smoke and fire coming from where the government offices were. All three of us were suddenly assaulted with the command to get down there. We recognized Aurora’s voice. Teleporting to the coordinates she sent us we found ourselves near twisted molten pieces of metal that were once machines. Aurora came over to us and indicated that we were to follow her. She was covered with soot and blood from a cut on her forehead.

 “What happened?” Brendan asked.

 “An explosive device set off early,” Aurora said. “The destruction would have been worse if it had been put where it was intended. At least I know who the spy in my office is now. He was blown to bits.”

 Aurora sat down heavily on a chair. Jade went to her and I found out that she did have a life crystal, a very ancient one. She used it to heal the cut on Aurora’s head. We could add Healer to her list of talents.

 “Thank you Princess,” Aurora said. “The rest can wait. Right now I need all three of you to get going. Something has happened to accelerate the suns. We need that device now and we need it installed. Dax is leading his toughs towards the main science center. Sean and Brendan, I need you over there to lead the defenses. Both of you know military tactics and can get my guards organized to defend the center. Jade, your dragon will just have to materialize and protect you. We have had a message from the dolphins that they have found what you are looking for.”

Brendan and I looked at each other.

 “Okay big bro,” Brendan said with a grin, “I guess I can fight back to back with you again.”

 “What about Draco?” I asked.

 “Oh I sent his coordinates to Dad,” Brendan said.

 Fortunately for us the guards were more then ceremonial. They actually knew how to fight. Brendan and I quickly looked over the science center and realized that we had the advantage since we could lock off the main area. We also had a place to put the useless at fighting scientists so that they were safe and more importantly not in our way. I was concerned about Jade but she had recovered from her fright and along with Chung-Yeung had teleported to a place on the coast where the dolphins were waiting for her.

 Before leaving Jade had done a sweep of the people in the science center along with Aurora. They had been able to identify those beings who were allied with Dax. With them safely under lock and key Brendan and I went to work setting up the defenses.

 We were looking at the vids showing the gang that Dax was sending to try and attack the science center. As was usual Dax made sure he was safe while sending his troops as cannon fodder.

 “A true son of the Dark One,” Brendan remarked. “He lets his troops get slaughtered while he hides and remains safe.”

 “An ugly mob he is sending however,” I replied.

 “I’ve seen uglier,” Brendan grinned.


 At the edge of the ocean Jade was met by Kang Dae and his agents. He told her they had found the device that was needed along with the instructions on how to use it. Jade shape shifted into mermaid form and followed the Kang Dae down to where the device was hidden. It needed human hands to free the device, which looked like an old-fashioned hourglass.

 Materializing back into human form Jade stood at the edge of the water.

 “Thank you,” she said. “If you can help to create a diversion I’ll try and get this device where it needs to be. We need to make sure no one observes me doing it.”

 ##We will be honored to help you my lady, ## Kang Dae replied.

 The dolphins made a great show of force chattering away and leaping high into the air and doing complicated maneuvers. The cameras of the science center were turned towards the dolphins as the scientists tried to figure out what they wanted. They could tell that the dolphins were trying to communicate something but they weren’t sure what. While the scientists were focused on the dolphins, Jade and her dragon headed for the sun.

 Of course Brendan and I found ourselves in the thick of the fight. We had both retrieved our swords; since that was the weapon we were most familiar with. We had maneuvered the enemy into a position where they were unable to use their automatic weapons without killing each other. The guards proved to be quite adept at hand-to-hand fighting when Brendan and I had to switch to knives. It was a dirty fight but the mercenaries were not inclined to put themselves in that much danger and the people of the planet were hopeless in a fight. We were able to keep the mob away from the main rooms where the machinery was installed that ran the planet. It turned out to be a rather easy fight to win.


 Dragons rarely allow humans to ride them. Chung-Yeung had always allowed Jade to ride him whenever she wished. From the time she was a tiny baby Jade loved to to be on dragon back. Chung-Yeung generated a force field around her that allowed her to breathe and to be warm and safe. She could not fall off. That force field came in handy as they sped towards the main sun. Since the dragon was a creature of fire he could get quite close to the sun without any damage. Jade was safe in his force field. The instructions on the device were to get to the main sun and turn the device on and throw it into the sun. The device would then generate the field to gently bring the other sun into its orbit and merge with it. It was a difficult maneuver but Jade managed to pull it off. The moment Jade threw it towards the sun Chung-Yeung teleported her to the safety of the cave.

 Jade stood at the cliff looking over the spaceport. Chung-Yeung lay by her side.

 I hope Sean and Brendan are okay,” she told her dragon.

 ##They are##, Chung Yeung replied.

The three elves had the best seats in the house as they watched the suns slowly move towards each other. Jade had told the men about the device and setting it off. They in turn told her about the battle. The announcement by Aurora to the entire planet that the crisis was averted thanks to the scientists and the suns would peacefully merge had taken the fight out of many of the people trying to get into the science center. The mercenaries had turned tail and run when they realized that they were no longer needed. After all they were in it for the money only. Aurora had promised amnesty to those who had opposed the government if they would surrender. Dax was nowhere to be found. An unauthorized ship had taken off during the troubles at the science center.

 “Did you find out why the suns were split, Jade?” Brendan asked.

 “An instability that needed to be burned out,” Jade replied. “Apparently the sun was too big and needed to be split so that the main sun had time to continue its reactions faster and overcome the instability. As soon as that happened the suns were supposed to be merged. The original scientists had to flee hiding the device that would do that. The suns would eventually reunite but the device was the only way to do that without an explosion that would devastate the planet. It was during the dark wars and they needed to make sure that the Dark One didn’t find the device. It was one of the reasons that Aurora came here. They had gotten a message to the Mystic Council to protect the place and Aurora had been to many technological worlds and she volunteered to come here.”

 “What happened to them?” I asked.

 “I don’t know but I fear they were all killed fighting the Dark One.” Jade said. “I can find no trace of them anywhere.”

 We traveled back to Jade’s home. It was there that I acquired my little sweetheart. Ching-Ching had given birth while Jade was gone and allowed Jade to give me one of the kittens.

 Brendan and I tried to trace Dax and Draco but they had been successful in eluding Dad’s agents. We were at a tavern for the night when the attack came. Out of nowhere I felt a sword thrust into my shoulder. Ling-Ling screamed and jumped onto the face of the attacker. Brendan went after the attacker who turned out to be Dax. It was quite a fight but Brendan prevailed. He got me here and he went after Draco. Dax had given a location for his Master before he died.

Kira looked at the kitten. “Okay,” she said, “I’ll forgive her this time.”

She gave her brother a kiss of the forehead.

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