Saturday, December 1, 2012

Rabbo Tales II, Chapter 9

New Arrivals
 It had been over three months since Bastet had gone to where the village was to be built for Angus and the others and the village was now almost reaching completion.
 Bastet stood in the almost completed village square waiting for Merwyn to make his way up from where the harbor would be. As she stood waiting she looked to the sky with her eyes closed and watched the old star ship make its way towards the moon where is would start its decent towards the third planet. She had looked closely at the occupants of the ship and was surprised by her reaction to a young man on the ship. She had listened to find out what his name was and when she had heard it she became worried as she had dreamed the name “Yhva” the last night she had spent with Athena.
 “There is something not right with that young man” Bastet mused to herself as she returned to her body and opened her eyes.
 Merwyn came walking into the village square and looked around. He shook his head sadly before he came walking over to Bastet followed by Rabbo.
 Rabbo sprinted over to Bastet and leaped up into her arms and started to kiss her nose and cheeks.
 “Oh my you are happy to see me again in person” said Bastet as she finally got the crazy rabbit under control.
 “I missed you” said Rabbo.
 “I missed you too. But this heat and your winter coat can’t be a good mix. Let’s go into the shade out of this heat” said Bastet.
 “Yes it is rather warm” said Merwyn. “I am just glad that Athena stayed behind. Or she would have striped down to nothing as she so loves the heat”.
 Once they were seated under the veranda of the administration building on the south side of the square Bastet explained why she had asked Merwyn to come.
 “It’s like this” started Bastet. “The dam windmill and the solar panels won’t work right. I can’t get the converter to power anything and every time try I get shocked. I know you have your cottage set up and if I recall right from what Athena told me it took you less than a day to get it set up right”
 “Ok let’s look at the power grid and see if you have everything right. But first a few simple questions” said Merwyn.
 “Ok. But I know your simple questions are never simple” laughed Bastet.
 “These are trust me. How many house do you have wired. How many houses have plumbing? I mean hot and cold water plus sewage” said Merwyn smiling.
 “Oh my that is a first. Really simple questions. All the houses have plumbing. But only the fourteen of those have or will have working electricity. In other words just the houses of our people will be wired. Well are wired. Just that they are not working” said Bastet sounding a little confused.
 “Ok did you lay them in the ceramic pipes in told you too” asked Merwyn.
 Bastet just nodded and looked at Merwyn.
 “Ok where is the inlet from the windmill and the solar panels”.
 Bastet got up and pointed towards a small hill that had been hidden from view by the administration building. She then started too walked towards it followed reluctantly by Rabbo.
 “Stay here Bastet as Rabbo will follow you and the heat will make him sick with all that dam fur he has”.
 Rabbo and Bastet both sat back down in the shade again while Merwyn closed his eyes and stepped out of his body into the astral plain to have a look at the solar panels and the windmill.
 “While Merwyn checks things out Rabbo how is Helena” asked Bastet.
 “She is doing good. She came to visit with Diana just before we left. Depending on the weather and how she is feeling she comes to visit a lot. Merwyn sometimes goes to spend a couple of days with her now and then. But mostly she comes and visits us and will stay a couple of days. And always with Diana and she so loves to visit as she gets time to play with Wenna and Merryn as well as mischief and my grand children. Soft eyes so loves Diana”.
 “That’s great. It’s about time he started to get over Isis. Helena is good for him” smiled Bastet.
 “And Athena spends some of her nights with them both. I kind of get lonely at nights sleeping on my window sill when she is not there. But I told her and now she comes to bed in her bedroom. Ok sometimes it’s just before the sun comes up but she does come to her bed” said Rabbo thoughtfully.
 “She is showing yet” asked Bastet.
 “Is who showing” asked Rabbo.
 “Is Athena pregnant” asked Bastet with alarm creeping into her voice.
 “Not that I know of” said Rabbo. “Oh is Helena showing. In what way do you mean showing”?
 “Is her stomach getting rounder and bigger” asked Bastet smiling at Rabbo’s confusion.
 “Yes she has a nice little round bump. What Athena calls her baby bump” said Rabbo.
 Bastet got up and walked into the administration building and Rabbo followed along behind her noticing that the first room was huge with a fireplace and nothing more.
 They walked though into a room that was off to one side and Rabbo saw a desk with lots of papers on it. He looked around the room and saw a couch in one corner with Solee the captain of Bastet’s ship curled up a sleep.
 Solee had captained the ship that had picked up Merwyn and Rabbo from Athens. Her son who was training to sail his own ship had helped Rabbo when they were hit by a small storm that had made Rabbo so unwell that he had stayed in his little bunk that Solee had made for him.
 Bastet looked over at Solee and sat down at her desk and looked at a pile of paper as if it was a poisonous snake.
 “I hate this part of building a new settlement” said Bastet on the general telepathic mode so as not to wake the sleeping Solee.
 “Why” asked Rabbo in the same mode.
 “All the paperwork. Reports of how the building is going. Reports on how much food we will need for next week. How much raw material we still need. Oh this is a good one” Bastet picked up a sheet of paper and read it and smiled. 
 “What is it” asked Rabbo.
 “It’s a report on how much copper and tin has been mined. Far more than I thought and with much more ease than I had hoped. But it will mean that Solee will be off again to sell the ore” said Bastet sadly.
 “Why she only just got here” said Rabbo again getting confused.
 “The ore will help to pay some of the cost of this settlement Rabbo. The money has to be recovered somehow. Merwyn has taught you economics has he not”?
 “No I don’t even know what the word means” said Rabbo.
 Bastet smiled and looked down at something that was on her desk. She picked the object up and quickly slipped it in her pocket before she stood back up and took one long last look at Solee before she walked out of the room.
 “Let me show you around a little Rabbo as Merwyn seems to be taking his time”.
Rabbo and Bastet walked though the other downstairs rooms stopping in a kitchen that was in the back of the building.
 Rabbo saw a bowl sitting on the counter and with a huge leap jumped up onto the counter and hopped over to the bowl.
 The bowl was clean so Rabbo picked it up hopped over to the sink and filled it full of water before he started to drink.
 Once the bowl was empty Rabbo refilled in and drunk the water more slowly than he had the first bowl full of water.
 “Oh Rabbo I am so sorry. That was so rude of me. I did not think and I forgot that with that much fur you would get hot and thirsty” said Bastet.
 “That’s ok” said Rabbo as he sipped on the water. “You are not covered in fur and you can sweat were as I can’t. Why would you think about me being hot and thirsty? After all you are human and not a rabbit”.
 “I should know better” Bastet and with that she turned herself in a lioness and sat on the floor and looked at Rabbo and then at her toga that had fallen off as she had transformed herself into a lioness.
 Solee walked into the kitchen area still half a sleep ignored the lion sitting on the floor found herself a mug and filled it with water before turning around stepping over the lion and left the kitchen.
 “I think she is still half a sleep” said Rabbo.
 “No she is totally a sleep. She does that even when we are at sea. She will do things automatically. When we go back to my office she will be back on the couch asleep” said Bastet.
 Bastet turned herself back into her human self picked up her toga and slipped it back on. Then she reached over picked up Rabbo who held on to his half drunk bowl of water and headed towards her office.
 As she reached her office Merwyn walked in not looking happy.
 “Found your problem. First the wire is not coated so they are all touching. Secondly you have water in the system so you have to dig it up were the water is getting in and fix that. After you do that we can get the windmill and solar panels up and running” said Merwyn.
 “So what are we going to cover the wire with” asked Bastet hating the idea of pulling all the wire out of the tubes.
 “Let me handle that while you pull all the wire. And I mean all of it” said Merwyn.
 For the next couple of days Bastet had her whole work crew and some of the locals digging up the wire and fixing the leaking pipe.
 Merwyn had found something that would work as a covering for the wire as well as a lining for the piping that would house the wire once in was set back in place.
 At the end of the third day all the piping with the wire was back in place. But that was not the end as all the wiring in the fourteen houses had to be pulled and coated. And that would take about a week of hard work that would be done mostly by Bastet Merwyn and Rabbo.
 Rabbo’s digging skills had come in handy when the piping was being pulled up. Bastet told Rabbo were to dig and he went to work. But on the first day Rabbo had gotten so hot that he had made himself sick so that Merwyn had soaked him in a tub of cool water to cool him down.
 After that Rabbo worked in the shade and with a fine mist of water being sprayed on him to keep him cool. Plus Merwyn had told him that he could work for an hour and then he had to rest for an hour. Seeing as Rabbo could dig as fast as four people could the rest breaks gave the others a chance to catch up.
 The main issue for Bastet was time and how soon Angus and the others would be arriving and in what state.
 On the fourth morning Bastet figured that they had maybe a week and half and if they were lucky two weeks before Angus and the others arrived.
 This made Bastet go into a frenzy the likes Merwyn and Rabbo had never seen before and while it was stressful on Bastet, Merwyn and Rabbo thought it was so funny to watch.
 As Merwyn pointed out to Rabbo it was as funny as watching Rabbo chase his tail.
 But in the end Merwyn spoke to Bastet and explained that it was better to have just a few houses ready instead of having all of them only half done.
 “Don’t forget they have been in a ship for three and half months and before that they were living underground and on Sirius at the end they more than likely did not have any power and very little water. So fourteen living in two or three houses will be nothing” Merwyn stated to Bastet.
 So when nine days later Angus hailed Merwyn to let him know that they were in orbit and that they would need a landing beacon to home in on Bastet was happy that they had four houses ready instead of the three that Merwyn thought they would have.
 Angus and Bladud sat in the main control room going though the final checks before they started the descent into the atmosphere.
 “Remember to keep an eye on that temperature gauge as if we start to over heat we will all cook to death so fast that you won’t have time to pull the potatoes out of the oven” said Bladud. “And I do hope they have potatoes here. I could kill for a good baked potato with fresh butter”.
 “How can you think of food at a time like this” said Angus still not use to how Bladud handled stress.
 “Look if I think about the fact that if I make one mistake I kill all of us I would have a break down and we would all be dead. Thinking of food helps me relax. Hell right now give me a choice of a sexy woman and a baked potato and I’ll take the potato but only if it has fresh butter” laughed Bladud.
 “Ok let’s run down though the entry checks again and this time it’s not a drill but for real” said Angus as he strapped himself into the captain’s chairs.
 “Engines online” said Bladud
 “Check” said Angus.
 “Breaking system online” said Bladud
 “Check” said Angus.
 And so the final live check went for an hour and half as they got closer and closer to the point of no return.
 “Breaking alarm system online but not working” said Bladud
 “Check” said Angus as he finished the final item on the check list.
 Angus reached over threw the breaking alarm system switch knowing full well that it would do nothing. But he had to throw the switch or the ship would not be able to start its descent as the alarm was linked to the thrusters.
 The ship started to rock and shake as the thruster pushed the ship slowly into the right orbit line for its final descent into the atmosphere.
 A red light flashed on Bladud control panel and he reached over and flicked a switch.
 “We have entered the flight path and homing beacon is online and targeting is activated” said Bladud trying hard to sound as if it was something he had done thousands of times before instead of only three times before.
 “We have you Alpha Tango Charlie 259” said Merwyn's voice though the ground link radio.
 “Roger that ground control. Good to hear your voice in person General” said Angus.
 “Thank you captain. Always knew you would make a good officer. Turn to green 125 down angle five degrees” said Merwyn sounding so calm that Angus had to smile remembering a time when Merwyn was a regiment commander and called in an air strike on his position that was being over run.
 Merwyn's voice had the same indifference that it had that day as if he was just giving a weather report and not calling in an air strike that would kill him or guiding a huge space ship.
 “Roger turning to green 125 down angle five degrees” said Angus.
 “Turning to green 125 down angle five degrees” said Bladud. “Throttle at fifty percent”.
 “I repeat turn to green 125” said Merwyn's voice coming though the speakers.
 “We are turning to green 125” said Bladud.
 “Umm I’m not sure” said Angus. “I am getting a double reading on the radar almost as if we are getting two signals. And that can’t be right”?
 “Let me check the navigation computer” said Bladud.
 Bladud looked at the navigation computer then at the radar before reaching back and pulling the overhead monitor down and checking the information on that.
 “Angus we have a problem. Something is feeding wrong data into the radar and navigation computer” said Bladud “it’s almost like its trying to take over the ship”.
 “General we have a problem. Our navigator system is on the fritz. We will have to go around again while we fix it” said Angus.
 “Roger that Alpha Tango Charlie 259” said Merwyn.
 “Let me know when you are ready to try again” said Angus.
 “If we do that we won’t have the fuel to land” said Bladud trying to keep the worried sound out of his voice.
 “Is there something you can do” asked Angus.
 “A crash hot pilot could do it on manual. I’m not a crash hot pilot. But give me a second and I might have an idea” said Bladud.
 “Well think fast” said Angus.
 “As we are still in free fall let me power down and switch off the navigator computer. The manual said that once the computer starts back up I am to hit it hard to get the crystals vibrating. That should help fix the problem. But it’s almost like someone is overriding the controls. And they only way that could happen is if they had a full control center and a beacon that can encrypt and override the navigation computer. The only way we can land this ship where we want it is to take full control and fly her in manually and as I said I’ve never done that” said Bladud.
 “Have you done it in training? Well you must of or you would not of got your engineering certification” said Angus.
 “Once and a few times in a ship simulation” said Bladud.
 There was a loud pounding on the cabin door and Angus reached over throw the entry switch to let the person banging on the door enter.
 Standing weakly in the door was Yhva. “Its Ra he is trying to crash us into Merwyn's cottage”.
 “How do you know” asked Angus.
 “I was watching him and the others with him. They have a full command center” said Yhva.
 “Ok we have no other option but to do this on manual” said Angus.
 “Merwyn we are switching to manual as we think Ra is trying to take control of the ship” said Angus.
 “Roger that. I have just had that relayed to me by Bastet. I will guide you in by voice” said Merwyn in the same unworried voice.
 “Yhva return to the main cabin and lock the main hatch. Tell the others that we have everything under control but it’s going to get bumpy” said Angus.
 Angus turned to Bladud once Yhva had left and looked at him and smiled weakly.
 “I just hope our luck holds”
 “Don’t worry I have a plan” said Bladud.
 “I hope you do” said Angus.
 Angus reached over and pressed the open microphone button “Ok Merwyn this is what we are going to do. You are going to guide us in by voice. You will have to tell us speed, angle and flight path as we will be totally on manual”.     
 “Roger that Alpha Tango Charlie 259. Turn until I tell you to stop. Turn left until I tell you to stop” said Merwyn's calm voice.
 “Turning left” said Bladud.
 Slowly the nose of the ship turned until they could make out the coast line. Then suddenly a bright beam of white light shot skyward.
 “You should see a white beam of light. Bastet has sent up a plasma beacon. Aim for that and I will give you up or down angle in a moment” said Merwyn.
 “That’s clever” said Bladud.
 “Very cleaver” added Angus.
 “I will explain later” said Merwyn. Now bring your nose up to zero. Then once you are at zero bring it up seventeen degrees”.
 “Roger bringing the nose up to zero” said Angus.
 “Nose at zero” said Bladud a few moments later. “Pulling nose up to seventeen degrees”.
 The minutes ticked by as the ship sunk lower and lower into the planets atmosphere. Sudden the breaking alarm system started to blare out thought the whole ship.
 “Fine time for that to start working. I think just shit my pants” said Bladud wiggling in his seat. “Yeap and that does not feel good at all”
 “Yeah I did to” said Angus relived that he was not the only one to soil himself.
 Merwyn's voice drifted though the cabin “We will have clean underwear waiting for you down here. Now throttle down until I tell you to stop”.
 For the next ninety minutes Merwyn guided them down.
 Bladud turned to Angus “This is where it’s going to get really fun”.
 “It’s not fun already” said Angus.
 “I am about to do something that I did not warn you about” said Bladud as he reached back and pulled a huge red level that was marked “Emergency eject”.
 Suddenly there was a huge bang and the whole cabin and cargo area dropped way from the main ship.
 Angus felt the ship drop and as he looked out of the side window he saw the huge ship sudden lift upwards with all its jets firing at once.
 “What did you just do” said Angus and Merwyn at the same time.
 “This escape pod will land with us in it on target. I just could not hold the ship any longer” said Bladud as he fell forward.
 Angus looked over and saw blood around the arms of the engineer’s flight suit. Angus unbelted himself but the gravitational force stopped him from moving out of his seat to Bladud.
 “Merwyn I think he’s dead” said Angus in shock.
 “Roger that. You are two minutes out from landing. Warn the passengers to brace for landing”.
 Angus just sat in his seat looking at Bladud who was now very pale.
 “Warn the passengers Sergeant Macbow that’s an order” Merwyn said in his command voice.
 “All passengers brace for landing” said Angus on the overhead system. He switched the overhead system off “Thank you general I’ve not frozen like that in centuries”.
 One minute and forty five seconds later the escape pod touched down so gentle that Angus was not even sure that they had landed let alone come to a stop. He was not even aware of anything other than Bladud sitting next to him slumped over the control yoke with blood dripping to the floor.
 “Dam it Rabbo you have to wait until the hull cools or until they open the hatch” said Merwyn's voice coming though the speakers on the flight deck.
 Weakly Angus reached up threw the switch for the overhead to the cargo bay “Everyone ok back there”.
 “Yes we are all ok just Aerten has passed out when we heard that loud explosion. Everything ok up there” said Yhva.
 “Bladud is dead but I am alive” said Angus.
 Angus weakly slide over to Bladud and pulled him back and was about to cradle him when Bladud opened his eyes.
 “I am rather hard to kill. Even if I try to do it myself. But I think both arms are broken and I know I have dislocated both arms too, sorry I need to get back to lala land” and with that Bladud closed his eyes again.
 “Sergeant Macbow throw open the hatches at once” said Merwyn's voice coming though the speakers.
 Angus stood up and pulled the emergency exit level and heard the sound of doors opening and a ramp rumbling down to the ground. Angus sat down next to the unconscious Bladud and closed his eyes.
 Merwyn stood look down at Angus who Bastet had brought to her private bedroom and laid him in her bed.
 “He looks a lot older than you Merwyn” said Bastet. “Far older than the hundred and fifty years between him and you”.
 “That’s not surprising really he had had a tough life” Merwyn said thoughtfully. “He’s been an oath keeper and a solider all his life. He’s not use to giving orders. Rather taking orders and acting upon them”.
 “But still it should not of beaten his body up that much. Why he looks at lest five hundred years older” said Bastet.
 “You have not changed much Bastet. Still lacking in social skills I see” said Angus opening his eyes weakly. “How’s Bladud”?
 “Pretty messed up if you ask me Angus” said Merwyn being truth. “You know me I have always told you the truth”.
 “Yes one of your less charming attributes” said Angus smiling even weaker than before.
 “Merwyn he needs rest” said Bastet
 “I will go and check on Bladud. Those breaks are nasty and he lost a lot of blood. Just I am glad you are a first rate healer” said Merwyn as he walked out of the bedroom.
 “You have no idea how close he was to dieing” said Bastet talking to Merwyn’s back.
 As Merwyn left he almost tripped over Rabbo who was sitting in the doorway listen to Merwyn and Bastet talk.
 “Hello Rabbo what are you doing” said Merwyn.
 “Just listening and waiting to meet the famous Angus” said Rabbo.
 “He’s resting now it might be a good idea to wait until Bastet tells you its ok to see him” said Merwyn. “Tell you what come with me and let’s check on Bladud and see how he is doing. The blood transfusion should be done by now. I am just glad that Brighid is the same blood type as Bladud”.
 Rabbo and Merwyn walked down the hallways before heading down the stairs to where a temporary medical center had been set up for Bladud, Aerten and the others.
 Most were sitting around talking but Brighid sat holding Bladud’s hand while he slept. His arms had splints on them which to all the Sirians was old fashioned and out of date and somewhat barbaric. But they had to admit that life had to become much simpler than they had been use to both on Sirius and on the fourth planet. And they were all very thankful to Bladud and Angus for getting them all safely to the third planet.
 Merwyn walked in followed by Rabbo.
 A tall slim young woman stood up and bowed to Merwyn.
 “I am Erin. On behalf of my colleagues and myself I want to thank you and your ground crew for helping us land. Even with the skill of Angus and Bladud we could not of made it without you” said Erin.
 “I like her. And I like how she thanks us” said Rabbo on the general telepathic mode.
 Erin looked around. “Where is this Rabbo? I have heard his voice and I have yet to meet him. I would like to thank him and the rest of the ground crew if that’s possible”?
 “Thank you” said Rabbo.
 Erin looked around for what she thought would be a human male. But she could only see Merwyn and a rabbit in the room.
 “Is it normal to bring pets into a medical area? Or is there some reason or custom to bring a rabbit in here” asked Erin.
 Rabbo hopped over to Erin stood up on his hind legs and looked at her. Then he sat back down looked around and then hopped out of the room.
 “Don’t tell her that I am a rabbit” Rabbo said on Merwyn’s private telepathic mode.
 “Are you about to have some fun dear rabbit” said Merwyn in the same mode?
 “Yeap” answered Rabbo.
 “So where is this Rabbo” asked Erin again.
 “He should be along in a few” said Merwyn.
 “But I just heard his voice in this room” said Erin looking around.
 Just then Bastet walked in and looked around. She walked over to Bladud took his pulse and temperature. She then turned to Brighid and smiled before she turned to look at Merwyn.
 As Bastet turned she winked at Merwyn and sat down next to Yhva who was talking to one of the other Sirians.
 “You must be Yhva” said Bastet smiling.
 “Yes I am. We only met briefly but I am so honored to met the famed Bastet the youngest person to ever graduate with full honors from the medical institute of Albayand. Graduating at twenty years old is a wonderful achievement” said Yhva.
 “Why thank you. It was nothing really I found the school very easy really” said Bastet blushing.
 “You are so lucky. I found school very hard and I would never of aspired to the level you did. I was just happy to graduate. And such rare beauty too even with the face of a cat somehow it makes you more beautiful” said Yhva.
 Merwyn who had walked over chuckled. “You won’t get anywhere with Bastet” said Merwyn as he placed his hand on her shoulder.
 “Oh” said Yhva looking up at Merwyn. “You two are bonded”?
 “No” said Bastet smiling and still blushing “I am not into men. I stick with my own gender”.
 Yhva laughed and looked up at Merwyn. “That is a pity. But still if you ever feel then need to walk on the other side I am sure that you could have the pick of any man you want. With beauty that glows from within like yours it is our lose”.
 Just then Rabbo hopped in wearing a small white lab coat and carrying a clipboard. He hopped up to Erin stood on his hind legs “Please sit I need to give you a full medical check before we let you and the others out among the rest of the general population around here”.
 Erin was so shocked she sat down and looked at Rabbo in his lab coat and carrying his clipboard.
 Rabbo hopped over to a near by chair. He placed the clipboard on the chair and pushed the chair over next to Erin. He then hopped up on the chair and stood up on his hind legs.
 “Let me check your ears and eyes first” said Rabbo.
 Rabbo pulled Erin’s hair to one side and looked in her ear. Then he asked Erin to turn her head so that he could look in her other ear. Then Rabbo checked her eyes before he asked her to open her mouth.
 Each time he had finished checking her ears, eyes and mouth he wrote something down on his clipboard.
 Then Rabbo asked her to hold out her hands and he took her pulse. Lastly he asked her to stand up.
 Once she was standing up he had her crouch down stand back up, touch her toes and lastly had her put her arms out straight and to bend her arms at the elbow bring her middle finger to her nose.
 Merwyn and Bastet looked the other way while Rabbo went and checked the rest of the Sirians following the same procedure that he had done with Erin.
 Once Rabbo was done he hopped over to a table that had a chair and climbed on the table stood on his hind legs.
 “You all fail” said Rabbo.
 All the new arriving Sirians looked at Rabbo totally shocked. But before any of them could say anything Rabbo started to speak again.
 “Worst looking bunch of rabbits I have ever seen. I would not let them trust their eyes and ears. They don’t know a genetically engineered rabbit when they see one”.
 Merwyn and Bastet who could not contain themselves any longer started to laugh hard.
 “Rabbo you are terrible tease” said Bastet laughing almost uncontrollable.
 “You you you are Rabbo” said Erin stuttering.
 “Yeap that’s me. Just don’t let yourselves make the same mistake Bastet did when she met me for the first time or I will pee in your drink” snickered Rabbo.
 Rabbo hopped down off the table and sat down on the chair. He looked around at all the Sirians and smiled.
 Erin still had a bemused look on her face while the other Sirians started to laugh and gather around Rabbo.
 “You are very smart for a rabbit and who did this to you” asked Hestia a short slender redheaded woman who knelt at eye level with Rabbo.
 “It has to be the work of Bastet” said Aerten as she waddled over to Rabbo.
 “It has a name” said Rabbo looking up at Aerten.
 “Oh I am sorry” said Aerten.
 “And he has about six abilities. Plus he can talk telepathically. So don’t make the same mistake I did or he will pee in your drinks” said Bastet smiling.
 “He did not pee in your wine” said Merwyn looking over at Bastet.
 “I am not sure about that” replied Bastet. Then adding privately on Merwyn’s telepathic mode. “Let them think he might. That way they will be nicer to Rabbo until they get to know him and love him as we do”.
 Rabbo greeted the nine Sirian woman and the two Sirian men that were in the room before he hopped down from his chair and hopped off outside.
 The sun was just starting to sink into the ocean as Rabbo got outside and looked around. He hopped over to a large square block and sat down to think and to watch the sun set over the ocean.
 He still had not got use to watching the sun setting into sea and it struck him as strange and somehow it did not look right as he was use to seeing the sun go down though the trees. He still almost half expected the sun to steam as it sunk into the water but it did not. 
 Merwyn came walking up behind Rabbo and sat down next to him on the block and together they watched the sun set.
 “You know Rabbo I don’t think they know what to make of you. After all you are not a normal rabbit and you are more like us then we ourselves are. In some ways you are what we Sirians should have been. Not what we became” said Merwyn thoughtfully.
 “Why’s that. I just thought I was being me and telling them they way I am. Playful but not to be messed with” said Rabbo wincing inside as he knew that he had just given Merwyn an opening for a long monolog.
 “It’s because you tell it as it is. You don’t judge and you take everyone as they are and let them tell lies about themselves. Maybe we could learn a lot from you” said Merwyn.
 “Learn from me. How? I still have a lot to learn myself. I still need to understand people and I want to learn more about this planet too” said Rabbo turning to look up at Merwyn.
 “Lets just watch the last of the sunset and not spoil the moment that we are sharing”.
 As the last of the sun sunk below the horizon and the stars started to come out Bastet came walking out and sat down next to Rabbo so that he was between her and Merwyn. She reached down and slid her hand up and down Rabbo’s fur.
 “They are eating now. I had to leave as they are eating like people that have not had good food in so long. Its kind of disgusting in away” Bastet said sadly.
 “Have you set up quarters for them” asked Rabbo.
 “Yes I have. I am putting all the women in two buildings and the two men Yhva and Breasal will share a house. But I am keeping Aerten in the medical room with Bladud as while she seems ok I am worried that all that time in space in an old ship might have done harm to her unborn children” said Bastet. “We don’t know how good the shielding on the ship was and I was hoping to have a look when they landed in it. But oh well I can’t so I will have to probe her tomorrow when she is relaxed”.
 “What about Angus” said Merwyn?
 “Oh I will let him sleep in my bed tonight and as he is their leader at the moment I think he should have a house to himself. Beside Solee has taken a liking to him” said Bastet with a shy smile on her face.
 “You are match making again Bastet” said Merwyn laughing.
 “Why do you say he is their leader for the moment” asked Rabbo.
 “I am not match making Merwyn. Just Solee has been sitting next to him since we left and she made the comment that she would like to be there when he wakes up” said Bastet as she turned to answer Rabbo. “Just a feeling and the way the others are acting towards Yhva”.
 “I think he is a very nice young man Bastet. Just because he was flirting with you does not mean that he is up to something” said Merwyn smiling. “Beside you are a very beautiful woman indeed once you get past your cat face”.
 “Hey I can’t help that. You try spending ten years as a lioness and not have problems” said Bastet and little defensively.
 “Sorry” said Merwyn. “Rabbo see what I mean. We should be more like you” 
 “What do you mean” said Bastet.
 “Well I was explaining to Rabbo how he is more like we as a race should have been. You know taking people as they are and not judging” said Merwyn.
 “Oh yes I totally agree with that Merwyn” said Bastet looking up at the night sky.
 For a while none of them spoke each lost in their own thoughts as the sky got darker and the stars shone brighter.
 “You picked a good spot here Merwyn” said Bastet.
 Just then one of Bastet’s builders came walking up from the half built harbor carrying a bucket of fresh fish.
 “My lady I brought you some fish from our fishing boat”.
 Bastet turned and looked at the builder “Knock that off just because Merwyn and Rabbo are here does not mean you have to get all formal”.
 “Its not Rabbo and Merwyn that has me acting all formal. It’s the others. They look like those to the south that forced us from our home” said the builder.
 “Really! What makes you get so worried? Have they mistreated you or been rude to you. If they have I want to know and we will put a stop to that at once. If they start to play act gods I will be so upset. I don’t know what I will do” said Bastet getting a little red in the face.
 “Oh they have done nothing. Its just well when we had to leave it was well just that they are from the same place and Ra and the others treated you and us so badly” said the builder.
 “I know and I won’t let that happen here. Beside once they are set up they are on their own other than trading with us” said Bastet.
 “Well you going to take this bloody fish or am I going to stand here all night” said the builder.
 Bastet laughed and stood up and took the bucket of fish and walked off towards the main offices and where her kitchen was.
 The builder sat down in the spot that Bastet had just left and reached down and stroked Rabbo’s fur.
 Rabbo turned and looked at the builder.
 “Oh sorry” said the builder “I just could not help myself. My son has a pet rabbit and well I am sorry”.
 “That’s ok” said Rabbo. “I like having my fur stroked. It feels nice and in this heat it helps a little”.
 The builder turned and looked at Rabbo. “I still can’t get over how smart you are and that you talk”.
 “That’s ok I am use to it. Beside you are who you are and that I like” Rabbo paused and thought for a moment. “You miss your son don’t you”?
 “Yes we have been here over three months and well it’s the longest I have been away from him and his mother. I do miss them a lot”.
 The builder pulled his hand away and Rabbo turned and looked up at him.
 “Hey don’t stop I like being stroked and as I said it helps with this horrible heat” said Rabbo.
 “Heat” laughed the builder. “Where I was born this would be a cool spring night. I am not use to the cold we have where we live now. I am no more use to it than you are to what you call this cool night. Heat indeed”.
 Rabbo laughed “I guess its all relative. Where Merwyn and I came from there is still snow on the ground and I have my winter coat on. But thankfully I am shedding. Hmm when I get back I might feel the cold”.
 “Well I think its time we went inside as I think Bastet is cooking dinner as I smell fish” said Merwyn.
 Merwyn stood up and without looking back headed towards the light that was coming from the main administration building that Bastet was using as her office and home.
 Rabbo turned to the builder “Would you join us. You can have my share of the fish”.
 “I would like that” said the builder.
 Together the builder and Rabbo hopped off following Merwyn into the building.
 The sun shining into Rabbo’s eyes woke him up from a future dream. As he laid there trying to remember the details he could hear Merwyn, Bastet's and Angus talking in the next room. And despite what Merwyn had told him about it being rude to listen in Rabbo listened to what they were talking about.  
 “I don’t agree” said Merwyn.
 “I have known Yhva far longer than you Merwyn and I know the young man is up to something. Trust me. Lexsan did not trust him” said Angus.
 “I agree. For all his manners and how charming he is there is something about him other than his raw power that he is hiding” said Bastet.
 “I don’t agree. But I do think he is worth watching” said Merwyn. “Do either of you have any idea what he is up too”?
 “No I don’t” said Angus.
 “Me either” answered Bastet.
 “Ok we just keep an eye on him then” said Merwyn.
 “Agreed” said Bastet and Angus.
 “Hey Rabbo you can come in. You know how I feel about you listening in” said Merwyn.
 Rabbo hopped into Bastet's bedroom that Angus had slept in and hopped up onto the bed and looked at Angus.
 “So this is the famed talking rabbit I have been hearing so much about” said Angus offering his hand for Rabbo to shake.
 Rabbo took Angus hand and shook it with such vigor that Angus in the end had to pull his hand away.
 “And you are the famous Angus Macbow hero. It is my honor and pleasure to talk to you at last” said Rabbo bowing to Angus.
 “I don’t know about being famous or a hero. But yes I am Angus Macbow. But you are a most amazing little fellow from what I hear. Brighid told me that you pulled a funny prank yesterday that most thought very funny. I say most. It seems Erin did not think it was funny at all. But then she has had a very rough life indeed” said Angus looking at Rabbo.
 “I brought breakfast Angus” said Solee standing in the doorway. “I heard how much you love fish and I found some in the cooler that was left over from last night. And I know you would want some fish”
 Solee walked across the room with a tray full of cooked fish, fresh fruit and vegetable that had been cooked in garlic and fresh butter. On one side of the tray was a loaf of bread that was still cooling and a knob of butter. Solee placed the tray on the bedside table and filled a plate with food for Angus.
 “I brought extra for everyone and I have fresh carrots tops and carrots for you Rabbo” said Solee looking at Rabbo.
 Solee turned and looked at Angus as Angus ate his breakfast.
 “Do you feel well enough to meet with the rest of us” asked Solee trying to keep a worried tone out of her voice.
 “I feel much rested sweetheart” said Angus reaching over and taking Solee’s hand. “So well rested in fact, that I would like to get out of bed after I have finished this wonderful breakfast. But before I do that I have a very important question. How is Bladud? Is he ok and will he heal” said Angus with a worried tone in his voice.
 “I think he will be fine” said Bastet “In fact I should go and check on him”.
 Bastet got up and looked at Angus as he held the hand of Solee and walked out of the room heading down to the medical area that had been set up.
 It was mid day and the meeting of the new arrivals had gone well and most had offered to help set up the homes they would be living.
 As they sat in the dinning hall of the main administration building a group of men walked in and walked over to Bastet and spoke with her for a few minutes.
 Bastet turned and looked at the group of Sirians as they sat around the table and waves Angus over.
 Angus walked over holding the hand of Solee and walked up to Bastet.
 “I take it that these gentleman are the local leaders of the village just the other side of the bay” said Angus.
 “Yes they are and they want to ask you something” said Bastet. “I will act as translator as they don’t speak Sirian”.
 “Thank you” said Angus.
 Angus turned and looked at the group of twelve men “would you gentleman care to join us at the table and share our food”.
 Bastet turned and translated what Angus had said. She then turned back to Angus and said “they would be delighted to join you at the table and to ask you some questions and to put a proposal to you”.
 For the next five hours Angus and the other Sirians learnt that the village on the other side of the bay had a population problem and that they were willing to let some of their people move to the Sirian village and that they could work together to help each other.
 The village elders from across the bay asked that in return they wanted to learn how to make better homes with the same running water system that was being used in the Sirian village. Plus they wanted to know how they too could have lighting such as the Sirian village used at night.
 Bastet worked hard as the translator and at the end of the five hours she had dark circles under her eyes and her eyes where starting to get blood shot.
 But an arrangement had been made and the details worked out that the two villages would work together and help each other.
 “That went better than I hoped” said Bastet to Merwyn on his private telepathic mode.
 “Yes I noticed. But are you ok” said Merwyn in the same mode.
 “I am ok. Just tired and a little sad. I think I have lost my Solee to Angus” Bastet said with a sad tired tone in her voice.
 Just then Solee came walking out from the kitchen with four of her crew from her ship. Each of them carried a tray of food which they placed on a table against the wall.
 She turned and spoke first in the language of the locals then in Sirian. Each time she said the same thing in each of their languages.
 “There is food for all please share and enjoy. May the joining of the two villages benefit each village and may those that watch over us bless us and keep us safe”.
 Solee then walked over to Angus sat in his lap and whispered in his ear.
 “Bastet I want to ask you something” said Angus on Bastet’s private telepathic mode.
 “Yes she can stay here with you” said Bastet answering before Angus had even asked her a question.
 “That’s not the question. But thank you. Besides it’s not up to me or you where Solee goes or does. It’s up to her only. No my question is do you have room for an old solider in your village”?
 “Oh well yes. Angus there will always be room for you at my village” said Bastet rather confused. “But why do you want to leave here”?
 “I never wanted to be leader of this group. I am just happy being one of the group and being leader is so hard. It’s always she said he said and it goes on and on. They need to find their own path and beside your Solee looks so much like my late bond mate I just can’t help myself and my desire to stay here with this group is not that strong” said Angus sadly.
 “I never met your bond mate. But I have heard a little about her from Merwyn and she sounds like Solee in some ways. But they need a leader here Angus” said Bastet.
 “They have one Bastet. And that is another reason I must leave this group. If you noticed Yhva did most of the talking and he is the one that set up the deal of our two villages. All I did was agree and nod and make a few suggestions” said Angus.
 “I did not notice I was too busy translating but now you mention it you are right” said Bastet. “Have you told Merwyn that you want to leave here”?
 “No I have not but I don’t think he will mind
 “I think you better tell him” said Bastet. “Now as for Solee she is her own woman and well I won’t get in the way”.
 “That won’t be an issue. My late bond mate liked both and I never stopped her when she would go off and spend time with another woman. Solee is free in the same way with me. If she wants you I will not stand in the way” said Angus.
 “Thank you” said Bastet.

Click on Mark Crocker  for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

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