RUBY QUEEN

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Ruby Queen

(Children of the Myth Machine)

Nature always finds a way to Survive…

Prologue

The Cinn group, one of the most powerful business organisations in the galaxy, want control of all the Children of Myth machines for their company Delve Mining.  Only the draoi ársa stand in their way.  The draoi ársa are intent on destroying all the Smide machines and ending the merciless cloning for the purpose of slavery.

For the Children of Myth the machines are their beginning.  And this is their story…

Commander Hank Richardson, Chief of The Military’s Galactic Children of Myth Bureau, has sent Terren Foe to the planet Terra Verte to help the Queen of Meiosis capture the slaver Thrain.  The commander’s wife, Natalie, has given Terren Foe a secret objective, one that could terminate his mission.

 

Ruby Queen

(Children of the Myth Machine)

I stood before the Queen of Meiosis, inside her thin-layered canvas tent, enthralled.  She was draped over the emerald green cushioning of the elegant throne chair with her chin resting leisurely in her right palm.  Her head tilted, so her long blonde hair partially shadowed her welcoming smile and sparkling, knowing green eyes.  I could just see a thin gold circlet with silver runes where her bangs split.  My right eye followed the path from her visible cleavage past the black lace that covered her solar plexus to where the dress opened around her abdomen.  I could only bare to glance at the radiance of the ruby set in her belly button before my gaze lowered to where the hem of her dressed ended half way down her strong, lithe thighs.  Embarrassed I bowed my head and stared at the ground.

“You are here to capture Thrain?” she asked in a noble voice full of charm.

“Yes,” I replied looking into her face, trying not to stare at the brilliant ruby in her bellybutton, as she adjusted her lithe body to a more upright position.

The Queen’s image so overwhelmed me I did not at first notice the muscular female guard to her right.  The guard’s keen grey eyes watched over me while her seductive lips stayed in the shape of a constant smirk.  Her raven hair knotted like a ship’s rope draped over her left shoulder so the fringes lead my right eye to a thin sapphire leather bra that barely covered her glistening bosom.  My right eye flicked up and saw her bemused grin.  I looked back down to the studded leather shorts that hardly concealed her powerful thighs and the thin black belt, from which a simple sheath held a scimitar.  Strapped to her left calf and sheathed in skin I saw a curved dagger with a simple globe-shaped pommel.  Unlike her Queen, she wore sandals with padded soles for speedy movement over any terrain.  I felt a brush of warm air as the tent’s flap opened behind me.  The Queen’s guard’s smirk turned into a beaming smile.  A massive presence moved behind me and to the left side of the Queen’s throne chair.

A bald man of powerful muscle nodded towards me.   Poking over his head I could just see a silver coloured pommel in the shape of a creature similar to a lion but with the horns of a bull.  I imagined the sword that rested against his broad back to be long and thick considering the criss-crossing straps across his bulging chest.  He wore a Roman skirt and I presumed a loin cloth underneath.  Belted to his left calf was an identical dagger to the female guard’s, but longer.

Turning her perfect head towards her left the Queen asked:  “Have you found Thrain’s lair, Tylo?”

“I have, Your Highness,” he replied in a deep voice as soft as distant thunder.  His brown eyes never left me as he spoke.  “In the cavern of the dead volcano, Rommell, he continues to sell the transgenetic clones to slave nations.”  I did not miss the anger in his voice at the mention of human clones mixed with different species.

“This is Terren Foe of the Galactic Children of Myth Bureau,” the Queen said staring at me with those dazzling eyes.  I could not speak while she looked at me, and she must have known it, for she smiled before turning her attention to Tylo.

“Your cyborg weapons will not work anywhere on our planet as slavers with similar parts have found out,” Tylo said as his eyes wandered over my half-human, half machine body with disdain.

“He is efficient with long sword, dagger, and cross-bow,” the Queen assured him.  She turned her attention back to me.  “You already know the Emerald Mountain does not allow for computerized devices to work on Terra Verte.  Will your body function on our world?”

“I was completely human once, Your Highness,” I said unable to withhold a semblance of sadness from my voice.  “The people Thrain buys his transgenic clones from before selling them for a higher price made me into a slave and…,” I had to gulp back the emotional pain in order to continue, “added machinery to make me more efficient.  Organic machinery seems to still work on your planet,” I continued, lifting my left artificial arm so she could see me clench and unclench my metal hand.

“Efficiently?” she asked raising her right eyebrow.

“No,” I replied, not looking at her but the slow unclenching of my left hand.  My mechanical left eye was useless here.  Normally I could see in infrared and zoom in and out on objects.  Only my right eye, my real eye, worked.  Nor could I smell.  The artificial sensors in my nostrils did not work on this planet.

The Queen sat up straight and my right eye immediately looked in her direction.  “Tylo,” she said to the massive male guard as she smiled at me, “please take Terren to his own tent while I attend to other matters.”  Tylo moved to the left out of my right eye’s peripheral.  I turned my head slightly and saw him put on a midnight blue robe.  “Meesha, this is the plan,” I heard the Queen say to her female guard as I followed the muscle bound form of Tylo through the flaps of the tent.

Outside the wind whipped sand against me but only my right side felt the sting.  I stared down at my teal coloured cargo pants, glad both of my legs were flesh and blood.  Across the desert sand I saw numerous cream coloured pentagon shaped tents of similar size organized in rows.  The infinitesimal yellow gold grains of the sand below my feet reminded me of the Queen, beautiful, entrancing, always shifting.

Men and women in full length midnight blue robes with brown scarves around their faces and red or green sashes around their waists herded long-necked creatures with curly white fur and cloven hooves.  Against the left thigh of every individual rested a cobalt blue-scaled sheath with a scimitar inside.  A large number had cross-bows wrapped in cloth strapped to their backs.  Some people were kneeling by pots eating with large wooden ladles.  The pots were all strategically placed against the east side of their tent to avoid the wind and the sand it carried.  “What do they use for fuel?” I asked as the right side of my face felt as if some invisible spectre were rubbing sandpaper against it.

“Dung,” I heard him say with a growl.  I couldn’t see him because he stood on my left side but my left ear worked, the only part on that side of my face that did.  “Your tent is this way,” he said walking ahead of me.  I looked at my metal hand, not quite useless, but nearly.  On any other planet I doubt he would have spoken to me in that tone.

I walked with my head turned slightly to the left so I had a more balanced peripheral vision.  We passed a number of pentagon tents with children of all ages playing outside with balls of wrapped rubber.  I saw none with noticeable animal traits.  To the west I caught a partial view of the glider I arrived in.  The roof of its ceramic fuselage reflected the brutal sun over the tops of a number of tents like a rising phoenix.

Meiosis is only one of a hundred countries on the world Terra Verte.  I was dropped from the spaceship, Inquisition, 120 km above Terra Verte’s surface.  The ceramic hull of the glider repelled the heat as I entered the atmosphere but to avoid burning up it took me two days of circling before I could land.  Leaving would not be so easy.  Inquisition would be returning in three weeks.  Two fuel tanks especially designed to attach to the glider would be parachuted to me with enough fuel to get me and Thrain off the planet.  But I would have to rely on my one eye to direct me since none of the computers would work until I passed through the atmosphere.

“This is your tent,” Tylo said opening the flap.

I stepped inside.  The carbon fibre box with all my equipment rested against the back wall.  A midnight blue robe with green sash and orange scarf lay folded on top.  Normally, the box was digitally locked.  I lifted the lid.  Everything was packed the way I remembered.  My trusty laser gun lay on top but it would be useless on this planet.  I took out my black canvas backpack.  Underneath I saw my crossbow with its laser sight, a long sword in a scarlet sheath, and other items.  I thought Hank Richardson, Chief of The Military’s Galactic Children of Myth Bureau, was joking when he first told me to practice with the barbaric weapons on the Inquisition using only my right eye and no laser sight.  I picked up the long sword the computer on the Inquisition had designed for me and slid it from its wooden sheath.  The sword’s ceramic hilt fit the length and weight of my right hand perfectly.  But I doubt I have the skill of Tylo or Meesha.  As for the Queen’s skills, rumours were that she was given life extensions at least a thousand years ago, but no one really knows.  Terra Verte was not the only world she was known on.  Some of the older terra formed planets claimed she had visited them.  The description of her perfect physique on these other worlds was the reason Chief Richardson’s wife Natalie spoke to me before I left.

 

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