A Huntress is Born, Lives, and Stalks Through My Fantasies…

Category Archives: Trueborn Warp and Weft Experimentation.

 It’s #WIPpet Wednesday again!

 The purpose of  K.L,Schwengel’s brainchild  is to encourage writers to move their WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date.

WIPpet Math:

Today is September 4, 2013.

  • For today’s offering, I’ve added the digits of the day, month, and year (9+4+2+0+1+3=20).
  • Then, I added one, because it fit, and in honor of my son’s birthday week. =)
  • You get 21 sentences today!

During August and September, I am focusing on editing the paired volumes,Chameleon’s Dish (Trueborn Weft series), and Bounded by a Nutshell (Trueborn Warp series).

Bounded by a Nutshell is my August WIP. It is a Star Trek fanfiction novel that tells the other side of Tisira’s story – her family’s search for her, after her sudden disappearance..

This week, we begin at the beginning, with the first scene, as written. In the midst of a conversation, Spock collapses, leaving Doctor McCoy to figure out why.

This rough-draft passage is lightly edited to remove obvious gaffes and for style. Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I have written an alternate version of this scene, which can be found here. It’s a spicier scene, and I’m not decided on which to use…likely, there will be elements of both in the next draft. Feel free to read both, and comment as you wish.


Spock stopped speaking, mid-word, his eyes glazed, and nearly fell into his chair, slumped over and far too pale.

“Spock?” Len asked, alarmed, and, when the Vulcan didn’t respond, “Spock!

Spock’s breath was coming in pained and infrequent gasps. Len grabbed at his scanner, not even taking the time to mute it. The Vulcan looked far past the point of caring.

There was no physical trauma – but his brainwave patterns showed some areas of highly chaotic activity, almost as though he had suddenly retreated into himself, searching for something.

“Tisira!” Spock shouted, and jerked upright, his eyes wide, wild, and unseeing.

McCoy gripped his shoulders. “What is it, Spock?”

Spock’s stare darted, then fixed desperately on him. His eyes hadn’t focused, yet, though, and he didn’t seem aware of much beyond whatever was going on in his mind….

He lurched to his feet. He finally fixed on Len. “Tisira is gone. From my mind. I must – find her.”

“Not like this, Spock. Not logical or efficient.Give yourself a minute.”

“Tisira may not have one.”

There we have it – a father who has suddenly lost his child. What will happen next?

No, I’m not telling you – not yet. There’ll be more, next week, and every Wednesday in September.

And now – release the comment hounds ! =)

Want more WIPpets? Click the cute little blue froggy to read what other #WIPpeteers are writing, or to join in yourself! We love new folks, around here!

It’s #WIPpet Wednesday again!

The purpose of  K.L,Schwengel’s brainchild  is to encourage writers to move their WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date.

WIPpet Math:

Today is July 31, 2013. (Don’t panic; the paragraphs are short!)

  • For Today’s offering, I’ve added the digits of the month, date, and year. (7+4+3+1+2+0+1+3=17).
  • Then I added 3 paragraphs, because this is my birthday week, and three is my favorite number. So, there’s a little gift for all my readers!

Throughout July, I offer my current NaNo effort, Trueborn Genesis WIPs, The Stars are Fire (Niaan), and Perchance to Dream (Spock),loosely based upon the26 flash fiction piecesI wrote for the2013 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

This week, we will begin at the beginning with my Star Trek fanfic, Perchance to Dream. I am so looking forward to exploring Spock’s childhood! =D

Finally, after sharing excerpts told from T’Pol and Amanda’s points of view, I get to the star of the novel – Spock, who is, at this time a child of seven.

Since this is the opening of his first scene, I’ll let the except do the talking.

Note: As with all of this month’s WIPpets, this one is NaNo-raw. I fixed a couple of obvious typos; nothing more.


I moved along at the base of the obsidian cliffs, keeping to the shadow, aware of the chance that a child alone upon the Forge in the light of T’Khut at her fullest would attract a sehlat or a le-matya.

Although, I thought, either might be preferable to the future Father had informed me of, this afternoon.

It was an illogical fantasy, and yet, here, alone in the desert, I did not care. I embraced it, allowed myself to imagine being shredded by a hungry sehlat, or poisoned, then devoured, by the fangs of a le-matya…

But I would not be alive, then, to enjoy the reprieve from the certainty that Father had delivered.

I was to be Promised to a girl named T’Pring, whom I had never met, and would not, until the day of our Promising, at Koon-ut-kal-if-fee, where we would be drawn again when the Burning came, and there was no choice but to mate.

It was the Vulcan way; and yet, something within me recoiled, urgently demanding that I not be so bound, with my mind locked to the mind of a girl I had never met. To consider mating with someone I did not know.

There was little logic in coming to the Forge to escape what I already knew was inevitable. I could bring no rational argument; only my certainty that I found the notion of arranged pairing repulsive and restrictive. But my emotion had never swayed Father to any action beyond more control, and surely it would not now.

I had lost my control, already, when he informed me. I had not held back my angry protests, and he had only responded that he would entertain only logical and controlled responses. My fury had built, triggered by the too-common sensation that I had been trapped in a life I could neither tolerate nor change. I had yelled, then screamed, and then the tears had come -the proof that I was not truly Vulcan, that I had never been enough, and never would be, to satisfy Sarek.

Once more, I wondered why he had married a human woman, and why, after doing so, he chose to have a child with her, to father a son forever tainted, forever inferior because he was half human.

I could not be what he wanted, and I could not resist his implacable will.

And so, when the tears marked me inadequate, yet again, and I knew the next command would be to control them, which I was utterly unable to do, in that moment, I had fled – fled Father’s office, past the kitchen where I could smell Mother’s plomik soup, and feel the pain of her silence, and into my own room, throwing myself down upon my bed as the door slipped closed behind me – both shelter, and trap.

I could not remain here. Either Mother would come, her human maternal instincts and emotions ruling her, wanting to help, but only being able to do so in a human way. I always longed to respond to these efforts, in the way I had when I was too small to know that it was one thing to be human, and another to be Vulcan – and that I was some as-yet unnamed third thing, neither one nor the other, able to pass as neither. My appearance marked me as not human, and my manner just as clearly proved me less than Vulcan.

I was an aberration, belonging nowhere.

I had waited until they were settled for the evening meal…Mother had come once to my door, to tell me the meal was ready, but I had not responded, and then had heard Father’s voice.

“Perhaps he is in meditation, to perfect his control.”

“Sarek. He’s not meditating. He’s seven years old, and you’ve just informed him that you are sentencing him to a lifetime commitment to someone he doesn’t even know yet. He’s angry with you, and it’s justified.”

“He will learn to control such emotions, and to meditate upon them until he finds a peaceful resolution.” Perhaps Mother did not know that I could hear them, but Father certainly did, and there was yet another directive in his words.

Had I told him that meditating had no effect on my emotions but to add restlessness to them, and a tendency for various parts of my body to itch in succession, he would have insisted that I was tending to the matter with “Insufficient effort and attention to achieve the desired goal.”

No, I could not say it. But that made it no less true.

Meditation only led to a deeper sense of being entrapped. The Forge, however, was solitude and sanctuary, and space enough to simply be myself, with no concern for how it would be perceived.

Come on – you know you wanna play, too!


There we have it – the very first twenty paragraphs of Spock’s story arc.

And now – release the comment hounds ! =)

Want more WIPpets? Click the cute little blue froggy to read what other #WIPpeteers are writing, or to join in yourself!

It’s #WIPpet Wednesday again!

The purpose of  K.L,Schwengel’s brainchild  is to encourage writers to move their WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date.


My WIPpet Math:

Today is July 24,2013.

  • Adding the month and the date (7+24=31) takes us to 31 sentences.
  • But that leaves us awkwardly in the midst of the interaction, so…
  • Adding the digits of the year (2+1+0+3=6), means that you get another 6sentences, for a total of 37 sentences.
  • And that takes us to the end of the conversation already in progress.

Throughout July’s CampNaNoWriMo, I am offering Niaan and Spock‘s childhoods, and how they came to be husband and wife, in the Trueborn Genesis WIPs, The Stars are Fire (Niaan), and Perchance to Dream (Spock).

These WIPS are based upon the26 flash fiction pieces I wrote for the2013 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

In this excerpt, Spock, a child of seven, has gone missing, following a heated dispute with his Vulcan father, Sarek. His human mother, Amanda, has been intensely worried for him, but Sarek maintains that he has gone to find the peace of solitude and meditation after the conflict. The situation between the spouses has grown increasingly tense, over a course of days. Amanda has retreated to her study, where she has begun having extremely vivid and strange dreams about their son.

As with all these posts, this is NaNo-raw. I corrected a few obvious typos, and nothing more.

The chime rang at her door, and she sighed and signaled it to slide open.

Sarek stood uncertainly in the doorway, studying her, his face wearing the carefully neutral expression that said that he was troubled.

“Have you had word?” she asked, breathlessly.

“Spock will return when he is ready. I have heard nothing, and I feel that he is alive, and in no significant danger.” A pause. “I did not come to speak of our son, my wife.”

The clue to why he had was in his tone and in his phrasing. Amanda had known it would come, and still didn’t know how she would respond. Curiously, she heard herself intone, “Indeed?” as neutrally as any Vulcan might.

“Indeed. It has been three nights since you have retired for the evening in our chamber.”

An edge of wanting – always, desire was the one emotion that could best him. She chose not to acknowledge it, or how it brought fragments of the dreams swirling around her. “Has it been? I haven’t been counting.”

She turned back to her reading – she had been too unsettled, really, but it was something to pretend a focus on. She had already lost her temper with him, and was determined not to do it again.

“It has been.” A longer pause; she wasn’t responding as he had hoped, or even as he had expected. Amanda could feel his discomfort, but did nothing to ease it. “Will you – retire with me, this evening, my wife.”

“No, I don’t think so.”

The silence was deep this time, and pregnant with his emotions. Oddly, they seemed only to numb her, and she was fascinated to realize that, right now, it was she who was more fully in control.

“May I inquire as to the reason?” His voice was tight now; he had been wanting her longer than he had been willing to admit.

“You may inquire, Sarek. My answer is that I am engaged and at peace in this space, and I see no immediate need to leave it. Sleep well, husband.”

In Vulcan etiquette, the last was a dismissal, and still he stood, for a long moment, and Amanda could feel the intensity of his stare on her back, willing her to turn and come to him. She almost did – and then she thought of Spock, and held. She would not take the chance of Sarek overhearing her dreams, or of sensing them when they touched in the night.

He sighed audibly, and said, “Sleep well, my wife.” And then he was gone.

After he left, she started shaking, and the tears came.

So, there we are…a WIPpet only a day old! Feel free to comment!


Walk right in, and pop up your own WIPpet!


Want more WIPpets? Click the cute little blue froggy to read what other #WIPpeteers are writing, or to join in yourself!

 It’s #WIPpet Wednesday again!

 The purpose of  K.L,Schwengel’s brainchild  is to encourage writers to move their WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts   related to the date.

WIPpet Math:

Today is July 17, 2013.

  • Today’s offering is the first seven paragraphs of the Prologue, for the month of July.

Throughout July, I offer my current NaNo effort, Trueborn Genesis WIPs, The Stars are Fire (Niaan), and Perchance to Dream (Spock), loosely based upon the 26 flash fiction pieces I wrote for the 2013 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

This week, we will begin at the beginning with my Star Trek fanfic, Perchance to Dream. I am so looking forward to exploring Spock’s childhood! =D

Today, meet T’Pol , the former Vulcan Science Officer of the Enterprise NX-01, who is grieving her recently deceased husband, and a treasured memory from three-quarters of a century ago, in Perchance to Dream, Book 1 in the Trueborn Warp series.

This piece is NaNo raw, so be warned!

T’Pol had come to the heat and isolation of Vulcan’s Forge to exorcise ghosts.

She knew, on an intellectual level, that the very concept was illogical. It was precisely the type of human impulse that still, after nearly two centuries of contact, made most Vulcans wary and untrusting of Earth and her inhabitants.

But then, there was a strong thread of humanity that resonated with T’Pol, and her life had been so interwoven with humans, over so many years, that she suspected that any effort to undo the twining might also undo her self…at the least, she would be far poorer of spirit without what she had experienced in her connections with the species.

And so, when Soval, her husband of 73 years, had died three months ago, after the requisite time spent with their children, and the tending to of their final joint affairs, she had declined all offers of companionship, employment, or travel, and taken herself instead to the Forge, to the one place where she felt there was space and solitude enough to explore all the thought and emotion that were within her, convoluted as one of the shells Trip had given her, so long ago, from the oceans that had been a part of his growing, and which he had fiercely loved.

Now, she walked, heedless of the power of the midday sun -as she had told Captain Archer upon these very sands, she had evolved on this world, suited to this place and this climate – and she caressed the nautilus shell. It was a thing, too, of sandy places, but also of saltwater and sea, an Earth thing transported through time and chance to Vulcan.

She’d lived decades on Earth, and longer amongst humans. It made her seem – different – to Vulcans, as did the effects of her long-ago experimentation with trellium. Her emotions had always been “close to the surface”, as her mother T’Les had diplomatically expressed it. Exposure to trellium had brought all that emotion pouring forth, uncontrolled and uncontrollable. She’d come to terms with it, somehow, over many years, and perhaps largely because she HAD lived with humans, who tended to accept her occasional emotional lapses with a matter-of-factness that helped her to learn to accept them, as well.

Soval had found them – “unsettling” had been his word – at times, but she had told him the reason behind them, and they had known one another during those years – and for a year prior, when she had served on his staff. He held the pain of her addiction and the consequences gently, and never expected her to be responsible for his discomfort. And their children, Janik and Sirla, had never known her else, so that their acceptance was total.

Come join in!


There we have it – the very first seven paragraphs of Perchance to Dream, only a day old, and already right here on your screen! Now, that’s fresh!

And now – release the comment hounds ! =)

Want more WIPpets? Click the cute little blue froggy to read what other #WIPpeteers are writing, or to join in yourself!


 It’s #WIPpet Wednesday again!

The purpose of  K.L,Schwengel’s brainchild  is to encourage writers to move their WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date.

WIPpet Math:

Today is July 10, 2013.

  • Today’s offering is from Scene 7, for the month of July. Today’s date is the 10th, which gives us ten paragraphs.

Throughout July, I offer my current NaNo effort, Trueborn Genesis WIPs, The Stars are Fire (Niaan), and Perchance to Dream (Spock), loosely based upon the 26 flash fiction piecesI wrote for the 2013 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Today, meet Vaara, the mute and mysterious child, who has committed a protective act that has had unintended and troubling consequences in The Stars are Fire, Book 1 in theTrueborn Weft fantasy series.

Next week, we will begin at the beginning with my Star Trek fanfic, Perchance to Dream. I am so looking forward to exploring Spock’s childhood! =D

Vaara scratched at the low door that led outside, but the tender did not come to open it, as she had not for a threeday now. She seemed not to notice Vaara, or her yearnings for the world beyond this chamber

This was a new variable, and one she didn’t understand. They had been meant to leave, a twoday since, and always, they had gone when the time to go had come. Vaara didn’t know how she knew when they were to go; she simply did, and had since she was first able to walk. She had never been wrong, before this.

But now the tender simply continued on with what she was doing – this breath, she was writing in the leather book she kept near to her sleeping nest, or the chairs that Vaara had no use for, when she sat there, which she did now. There was a cup of tea at her elbow.

She sipped, and wrote, sometimes staring off as though scenting, before the pen went back to scratching at the page in a way that pierced Vaara’s ears, and set up an ache between her eyes. Finally, it was enough so that she had to leave off the wolfshape and her scratchings – which, at any rate, seemed to be returning a null sum.

She went to her own place, then – she had moved, lately, from the far secluded corner, to the place where she could most easily scent the air than beat in hotly through the three narrow slat windows high up on either side wall of the chamber.

It helped with the sound to be in her natural form, as she could hear thrice as well in wolfshape, but not enough, and the headache had settled already, so that even the smells of the woman’s inks were beginning to make her guts twist in protest.

To shift her focus, she sampled the scents at the window – not as potent, by far, as they would be with her wolf’s nose, to be sure, but it helped her to soothe the stink of the inks, and gave her something to do that took her mind from the incessant scratching of quill tip on roughened paper.

But there was, again, nothing new in the scents, and no sign either of the huntbreaker. Eventually, Vaara settled to sleep, curled around the nagging ache of a belly emptier than she was used to – the tender had been counting the food carefully, she noticed -they were meant to have hunted, a twoday since, and to have fresh roasted meats and the roots, nuts, and berries to be found by foraging along the way, but, as they had not been outside, there was no fresh meat, and the supply of other things was dwindling – and the other woman, who brought other foods, strange breads, cheeses, and sweetings with her when she came – had not come since the day that she had lashed the tender,and Vaara had leapt for her, to stop her, and instead been pinned herself.

There had been something in that act, in her instinct to try to protect the woman from harm, that had altered nearly all of the equations that Vaara lived by, in ways large and small. She did not understand this; it seemed like such a small and natural act – she had seen, within the pack, many times, a similar leaping in to protect one who was in some danger. In those cases, all had, fairly soon, returned to the typical stream of variables and constants.

But, for them, here, in this chamber, it had changed much, and this was a thing that Vaara could not understand. Why had it been different, here? Was it that they were not in the huntlands, but in this chamber? Did it have to do with the other woman, the one with the lash, who had no smell of wildness whatever about her? Was it something in what Vaara herself had done, in her instinctive leap to protect the woman who had tended her as far back as her memory reached?

Walk right in!


There we have it – another ten paragraphs of The Stars are Fire, barely two days old, and already right here on your screen! Now, that’s service!

And now – release the comment hounds ! =)

Want more WIPpets? Click the cute little blue froggy to read what other #WIPpeteers are writing, or to join in yourself!


Disclaimer: If you do not enjoy stories with suggestive elements, this WIPpet is best passed by!

 It’s #WIPpet Wednesday again!

The purpose of  K.L,Schwengel’s brainchild  is to encourage writers to move their WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date.

WIPpet Math:

Today is July 3,2013.

  • Adding the digits of the month and date (7+3=10) gives us ten paragraphs.
  • Beginning at the beginning, I am sharing the first ten paragraphs of the Prologue.

Throughout July, I offer my current NaNo effort, Trueborn Genesis WIPs, The Stars are Fire (Niaan), and Perchance to Dream (Spock),loosely based upon 26 flash fiction pieces I wrote for the 2013 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

Today, we spy on Kaitiraan as she prepares for a visit from the Seer,Njyn, who has a prophecy to share, in the opening of The Stars are Fire, Book 1 in the Trueborn Weft fantasy series.

***Kaitiiraan made certain that she could see the looking-glass without turning her head, or seeming to shift her focus from the point above the chair cushion that the Seer’s face would soon be occupying. Satisfied, she nodded to the head serving-man, who went with silent grace, head bowed, to the table where the refreshments were laid our upon glazed porcelain dishes that were fine, but clearly not the finest she possessed.

Keeping still, she set to studying herself in the glass, and made minute shifts in the tightness of her spine, the lightness of her hand curled over the arm of the chair, revealing a flashing hint of her cut and polished stone rings, each finely and uniquely grained and shaped – one for each of her fingers.

She made certain that her face reflected the precise degree of hauteur she wished to project,in its every line, and that the shadow from the slatted windows and the afternooning sun would only touch her in ways that flattered, or intimidated, as she wished, playing with the light in her jade-hued and sunlight-tinted eyes. Not one raven hair was out of place in the elaborately woven and aryrtana strewn arrangement, and she nodded at her reflection – her own mother’s expression of satisfaction, too infrequently earned by the child she had been.

Only when all was perfect did she nod to the naked serving boy who had remained, kneeling, at her side, until needed. He was young,too young to have been selected for service, yet, and three degrees too obvious in his wanting to be chosen, now. Still, it did speak to her desirability that he wore his eagerness so clearly, and that was something that might prove useful.

He fairly leapt to the door, pulled the braided silk cord, and the sound of the cane chimes came through the lattice-willow panels in the doors before they were opened, from the other side, and the Seer stood in the space between.

She did not hurry, as such people never did, acting as though none but them kept time glasses, or had other matters to attend. Even for the Kai, no Seer would hurry – even when six of her sisters, already, decorated the Jewelled Walk. Mayhap, not even for a naked Huntleader.

This one – Njyn, she was named now, although that was as affected as the way in which she stood, hands folded behind her simple and flowing skirt of fine weave but in a brilliant grape dye, her chin lifted in a way that seemed almost like one of the Hunters…

Kaitiiraan felt a twitch growing in her left shin, and willed herself to stillness, as she had been well taught. Nothing to be done for the sudden wetness and ache that filled her center at the thought of naked Huntleaders, and what she had shared with them. Certainly, she could not shift her weight upon her seat now, and,truth,she didn’t know whether she would attempt to ease the tension, or add a delicious friction to it, if she did.

She swallowed as unobtrusively as she could, not looking directly at Njyn, whom she had known, long ago. Her stomach knotted as though it would sick up – she’d thought that by scheduling the meeting for a threeglass after nooning, she would be assured a more settled belly, but the queasiness had fooled her, tricksome as a naked Huntleader who first tempted, then denied, his yellow eyes saying with no need for words that, even here,in her very Keep,he was the Hunter, and she the Hunted.

Finally, Njyn came into the room. Kaitiiraan had had the head serving-man set the looking-glass so that she might observe both herself and the other woman, while Njyn’s view of her would require a craning of her neck around the heavy wooden framing.***

Come on – join the fun!


There we have it – the first ten paragraphs of The Stars are Fire, barely two days old, and already right here on your screen! Now, that’s service!

And now – release the comment hounds ! =)

Want more WIPpets? Click the cute little blue froggy to read what other #WIPpeteers are writing, or to join in yourself!


Curious? Click here!

The stars surrounded me, and Xanaas had built the cookfire nearest up to warm me. Pelts were piled high and fur sides in, all around me, mounded so high that I could barely see above them, and only my face could feel the chill of the spring night…

But I had the stars….and, I watched, feeling Kaivelt in them, and knew that he felt me, too, when his soul twined with joyous peace through mine…

I opened myself to every detail of the weather, the Pridekeep, the location of each and every star I could see in the sky, as a whirling picture, noting their colors, their brightness, the picture-patterns the Singers told the stories of, and which twinkled, for in his mind, as he drifted into sleep, dreaming for me the stars that had been moving – MOVING!, – said that such things were important….

I pulled in as much of the Huntthread as I could hold – open to me, to help in my healing, and made stronger by the arytana nectar and broth the healer spooned into me every minor moonslength….

Tacivaar felt what I was doing, and I felt his anger….but Xanaas stopped him from coming near, and insisted that he must leave me to what I was doing, which was as sima garo provided, and must therefore not be altered.

I knew the healer feared for my life, but I didn’t. I had Kaivelt’s strength, and my own, and the Pride. A I had never been stronger, in spirit.

~I am still here, my daughter. You have traveled far; far beyond my sphere. You know the greatness of what you call Everdeep, which is my home. I will help you to bring your Solemate here…but it will be to you to do the bringing….sima garo provides as it will, even for me.~

“How will you help?” I was growing sleepy, and my voice was almost a whisper, and thin, weak….but I feel as strong as Aletris, as Everdeep…..

~I will add my sense of place to yours, and to the thread that leads you to him. If he chooses to, he can follow that thread to you, if he has the strength and time enough for such a journey. He is a great distance, my daughter, and he doubts….~

I knew it true. Kaivelt was not like me, and he knew little enough of my ways. Sima garo was a truth he might come to, but he was ruled by a need for proof and logic. What he felt, he didn’t trust; emotions had undone him, before, and would do so again if he was not on his guard against them…

But, when he dreamed, when he allowed himself to feel, as he did now, in this space, he sought me, and, if his mind and his awareness of sima garo were clumsy in their reaching toward me, the fierceness of his desires and the way he wielded them was not.He was breathtaking, even in our dreaming…..and, of a sudden, I was wreathed in arytana, as I had been on that first night I had sensed him, and become one with him….

We were together, in furs, in the bower, but with enough open space above to watch the stars….

“There,” he whispered into my ear, his breath hot and soft, and smelling, still, to me, like the fruit he had eaten, the fruit that had first let him sense me, touch me…

He pointed up, straight up. I followed the path of his finger, and together we studied the sky. “It is the red star, there….almost, it cannot be seen, from here, but, if you learn its place, sometimes, in some seasons, as your world turns, you will see it, and you will know that I am there…..there, looking for you, here.”

We watched the sky, without talking, for a time. Then he said, “My star is at the zenith of your sky, in this place, and at this season, my own. If you can track its movement, perhaps we can use this to find your star in my sky, and I can begin to calculate the space between….”

His mind sank into a place I didn’t understand, a place filled with knowing as alien to me as the Hunt was to him. I smiled, because this was who he was, and I had no wish to change him. “You will have your Hunt, my fierce one, and I shall have mine. And, if sima garo provides, we will find each other.

And I looked up at the place in my sky he had called the zenith, and watched until his star passed out of sight, and I fell asleep with it, and my awareness of him, glowing redly in my soul…..

Curious? Check here!

I woke in starlight, and heard my breath hiss out as I realized I was aboard the shuttle that had been so much a part of my dreaming. Perhaps, then, I was dreaming. still….?

Niaan -!”

The cry rose within me, and broke from me – and I felt Mother and Father, rousing themselves from their own dreaming, readying themselves to meet my needs if they were able.

I was alone in their large bed, the sheets slipping cool against my sweaty skin, and ahnstav stirred within me. I shivered as I imagined Niaan, my own, once more wearing only the light of the stars, her skin glowing, tempting my fingers.

I trailed them in the air above her, feeling her, tracing the first hints of the promised curves that stirred my blood to sparking embers, and her eyes glowed, silvered blue, warm, sleepy, capturing me…

I dared to touch my fingertips to her lips, and she nipped and suckled – and then our bodies were straining to match instincts and desires they weren’t yet ready for – I could smell her arytana, as though I was back with her inside the woven-vine bower…

I stretched outward, and inward, at once, not certain how I was able to do this, only that I wanted nothing other than to be with her thus, forever, to be certain that she was truly more than my fevered dreamings…


A faint sighing whisper, like the call of an unseen silverbird through the thin air of the desert, and I stilled myself, afraid to breathe, almost, unless I lose the sense of her.

~~Always touching – ?~~

~~And always touched.~~

No, it was no dream. We touched, as Promised, with Everdeep no match for what breathed and pulsed between us, no matter how dimly perceived. No, she was not a dream. She was my reality.

I could feel her – could look directly to the point in the deep carpet of space – the one point that led to her…

I wanted that point, wanted to go where she was, this moment –

But it could not be now…

No, not now. The sense of her was fading, as wisps of steam upon the Forge. ~~But as soon as I am able to choose for myself, I will come for you, Niaan…~~

From far too far away, too far to reach, I felt the echoes of her answer. ~~I await you.~~

Then Mother and Father were with me, tending me without blocking my view of the stars, and, with their ministrations, reality shifted, and she was small and curled in the deeps of my soul….

But, when I fell back into sleep, later, after food, and drink, it was with the promise of the future held within me, and in the glow of the stars that would one day lead me to her…

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I stared up at the stars, Kaivelt’s Everdeep – I wanted to be there with him…

He was gone.

But yet, not.

He was that embracing darkness, waiting to embrace me. But I was too far away, in the Pridekeep.

Bring me outside.”

You are unwell, child.” Fear-scent so desperate it addled thought led me to Tacivaar, and Trinna. The Huntleader frowned. “You must remain here, quiet and still.

Behind them, though, was Xanaas the Healer who seemed always calm and willing to listen to children as to anyone else. Better to talk to him, than the Huntleader or Trinna.

I must go outside, Xanaas. He is there, and I must be with him”

He met my gaze steadily – like Kaivelt’s could be; as his sire’s. He nodded. “Yes, I understand.” He turned to the Huntleader and my Huntmother. “This is not a time to burden the child with the fullness of the Pride’s expectations upon her.”

I looked back to the stars, which held my link to my Solemate. I was too weak to move, so I watched the patch of sky, placing my faith in it, and in Xanaas, and in sima garo.

I don’t like it.”

Plainly said, Huntleader, but scarcely of import, against her need.”

I need Kaivelt, and the stars.”

Who is this Kaivelt who tries to rob her from us?”

He is my Solemate. We are our own, and not thine.”

Tacivaar strode to me, knelt, and took my hand without asking. His yellow eyes, robbed me of the stars, of the place I could most feel Kaivelt’s existence.

You have no Solemate. You are a child.”

Before I could argue – a foolish choice, with the Huntleader – Xanaas said, “She must be taken out, else she will choose the boy and die here.”

His clutch on my hand tightened; he blocked Xanaas’ view of me. I knew he could not cuff me, here, but he said, too softly for anyone but me to hear. “If you try any such thing, child, I will set the entire Hunthread upon you, and leave no chance that you will even look to the stars unless I allow it.”

Kaivelt and I surged together, strong, fierce, and hot –

Trinna pressed and rubbed herself against him, from behind. “Come to my furs, Huntleader, and leave the child to the Healer. There are ways to pass time that she is not yet ripened for…”

A frozen moment, and we waited – and then he growled deep in his throat, and their two bodies blended. and then they slipped away to the pleasures of Matehunt.

Xanaas knelt where Tacivaar had been. His eyes were dark and kind. “There is the sheltered ledge beyond the cookfires, Niaan. Will it suit your needs?”

I nodded as tears came; mine, and Kaivelt’s– tears of loss, and relief, and hope. Xanaas didn’t say anything more, but he lifted me, still in my nest of furs, and carried me to the ledge.

I will be within easy hearing. Call out if you have need of me.”

A gentle hand stroked my forehead, brushing back the hair that clung to it. “Attend to thy joining, now, and heal. All is as sima garo provides.”

And then he was gone, and I was left alone, where I could feel Kaivelt in Everdeep’s embrace.

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I stared, too long, knowing Mother and Father; still tangled in Niaan. She was the reality that made this seem a dream, unreal as the heat-shimmer on the Forge’s obsidian cliffs….cliffs that my mind insisted should be home to arytana vines rich in blooms that fed our dreaming, and our dancing…



“She exists in thy delirium alone, Spock. Thee hast been ill, and fevered.”

Father’s words swirled; they were difficult to catch hold of, and they made little sense, against memories of Niaan…

“I must see the stars. Niaan….”

“It is late morning, Spock. Rest. You’ll see the stars tonight. Now, sip this.”

I pushed at the drinking gourd. It spun from Mother’s hand, splitting upon the stone floor, precious water spilling out….I felt shame – even a child newly walking knew better.

The broken gourd woke me as nothing else had. I licked dry lips with a dry tongue.”I thirst, Mother.” My stomach made a loud rumbling sound.

“And hunger, too,” she said, smiling; face was wet with human tears. “Will you let me help you?”

I nodded, holding to the shreds of the dream. It was illogical, but I could not release Niaan. She was my own, and we had made the promises of bondmates to one another….and, somehow, it did not feel like a dream.

“I must see the stars.”

“Night will eventually come, my son.” Father’s voice was gentle; his face soft. Almost, I could feel the brush of his mind, assurance that I was not alone, and would not be.

Mother lifted another gourd to my lips. “Sip, only, Spock, to begin with. Then we will try some soup.”

I wanted to gulp; tried, now, to pull the gourd to me, to fill my emptiness. Mother pulled the gourd away when I had barely wet my lips. A whimper broke from me.

“Now. I must see the stars, NOW.

I knew only that I must see them, see Everdeep. It went deeper than my need for food, or even water. I must see the stars. I must be among them.

Mother gathered me to her, as she had when I was a baby. I had no strength to resist. There was something settling in her close coolness, the slow beat of her human heart beneath the cushion of her breast….

Father came to sit beside her. I was upon a sleeping couch; another had been placed parallel. His gaze compelled me – he was seeking to understand. “Why the stars, my son?”

“Because she is there…..I must see them. I must.” I sobbed like a child still young enough to be held so, one with no logic or will to resist impulses.

“Then you shall. You must be well enough to travel on the shuttle. To achieve that goal, you must eat, and drink, and rest quietly – the healing trance will help you to heal more quickly, and you may find your dreaming once more, within it.”

“I must see them NOW.”

“No.” I knew that tone. She would not relent, no matter my demands. She would tend me until she was satisfied, and only then would I have the stars. “You will drink, and eat, and, if you can, you will go into the trance. If not, then you will sleep.”

“When you awaken, my son, you shall have your stars.”

“I must wait?”

“Your death now would serve no logical purpose.”

I sipped the water Mother offered, fighting the urge to gulp, and then took the spoonfuls of plomik soup she fed me….Then, with Father’s guidance,I sank into the layers and levels of trance, that I might heal…

And there, waiting, was Niaan.

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