Myths of Avalon

A Krisle Tale...

Author: Nu-klear <nu_klear[at]>

Summary: Time to share some tales of the past

Feedback: Yes please my muse is starving to death

Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners including mine.

Chapter 1

"That crystal doesn't belong to you; put it back right now!" Daniel Jackson blinked at Merlin's annoyed tone and changed directions. He had been looking for Sam but this sounded like something he should check out.

"Nuh-uh, Kwisle twade... Weave pretty when take shiny pretty."

Intrigued and surprised by the unknown child-like voice after weeks on Avalon, Daniel stepped around the corner where the voices were coming from and blinked at the sight of Merlin arguing with something that looked like the semi-anthropomorphic love child of the Geicko Gecko and a Velociraptor, carrying what looked like a crystal he had seen Sam replacing in one of the Hammerheads.

"Yes I know," Merlin sighed and shook his head. The AE sounded more than a little put-out when he continued, "And I agree it's a very pretty flower but I'm afraid that I can't let you have ..."

The reptile turned away ignoring the glaring hologram for the moment as it became aware of the newcomer. "Hewwo, who you?"

"Um, hi, I'm Daniel..." Daniel said, not sure how to react to the talking lizard that had Merlin so worked up, if he had been human Daniel would have been worrying about him having a stroke or heart attack.

"Da... Dan..." The Krisle's face scrunched up as it tried to repeat the human's name "Dan-D'anal?"

"No!" Daniel choked as images of the ribbing Jack would give him if he ever heard him called that. "My name is Daniel or Danny..."

"Da-Danel... Danny." The Krisle repeated then smiled brightly when the archeologist nodded that it had gotten it right. "Danel, know where Kwisle find Gwen?"

"Ah, who is this...?" Daniel asked as he turned and gave Merlin a questioning look. "...Gwen?"

"I Kwisle!" The little being stated proudly then cocked its head at the archeologist in curious disbelief. "How you no know who Gwen is?"

"That is a Krisle; that is the best I can do as I'm afraid the names used by its species are outside of the hearing range of humans..." Merlin shook his head and sighed "'Gwen' is the name they use when referring to Dragan..."

"Gwen?" Daniel said his amusement clear in his voice. "Dragan's name is Gwen..."

"That would be Gren, as in Grenith of the Dale or Grendel if you prefer..." Dragan said from behind him, smirking as Daniel jumped in surprise. Even though he was slightly buzzed he hadn't been terribly surprised when Merlin had informed him that Krisle had shown up on Avalon looking for him, only that it had taken them this long to find him. Looking down at the excitement on the little creature's face Dragan smiled and shook his head. "What took you so long?"

The Krisle crossed its arms across its chest and gave him an indignant expression. "How Kwisle supposed to find Gwen if no know where look?"

"You weren't supposed to find me," Dragan said pointedly. "You were supposed to stay where you were so if things went south my people could take you guys to safety. And what are you doing with that crystal?"

"Kwisle find a shiny pretty." The Krisle's face light up as it held up the crystal to show it off as it beamed with pride.

At which point Merlin interjected himself into the conversation. "Dragan, if you would, please get the command crystal back from your... friend."

Dragan shrugged and smiled down at the Krisle. "I'll give you two shiny pretties if you put that one back..."

"Weely?!" The Krisle said excitedly. When Dragan nodded it raced away returning a moment later carrying a beautiful orchid and gave the hologram a questioning look. "K, I keep fouwer?"

"Yes, yes," Merlin said with an exasperated tone, "just don't touch anything else..."

"'Kay," The Krisle smiled as it clutched the flower's stem to its chest. "Tank you."

"Um," Daniel wavered slightly under Dragan's gaze before he steadied himself and continued. "I was wondering if I could talk to you and your friend so I could learn about the... Krisle was it?"

"You want to learn about the Krisle? You do realize that if they start to like you, you'll never get rid of them?" Dragan smiled at Daniel's shrug put his hand between the younger man's shoulder blades and guided him towards a lounge he had temporarily claimed as his own. "Fine with me, let's get more comfortable and we can tell you a few stories..."

"So Dragan, when you came up behind me earlier I could have sworn I heard you said your name was Grendel...?" Receiving a nod of acknowledgement, Daniel let himself be led as he formulated how to ask his next question without offending or antagonizing the mercenary. "It's just that Grendel is the name of a monster in a rather famous legend."

"Don't mention that piece of crap to me. The few bits of it that are actually true have been mangled to the point of bordering on the ridiculous!" Dragan growled then rolled his eyes and threw himself into a chair with a sigh "As for Herot, the people there got exactly what they deserved... and that's all I'm going to tell you about that. Now, you wanted to know about the Krisle. Well, I guess this would be as good a place to start as any..."

"Careful... no know if twaps yet." The Krisle said as the door closed, and looked at the group of warriors with which it had been sent.

"Well then, lizard," one of the younger warriors hissed at the small being, "I guess you should get your sneak-thief butt in gear and find out, hadn't you?"

Suppressing a hiss of its own and the urge to put a hole through the man's lower extremities with its weapon, the Krisle started down the hall examining every inch of the walls, ceiling and floor with every one of its senses as closely as possible without risking setting off any potential booby traps.

"Would you hurry it up, Liz...?" Sgt. Kemil was cut off as the small being spun around, it's sickle bladed spear a blur. The blue-haired warrior, who would have still been a student if not for the losses incurred during the fall of Atlantis, blinked in confusion as he looked down. His brown eyes slowly followed the cut that now ran from the top of his boot to the tip of its toe where he could feel the blade still resting between his big and second toe.

"No call Kwisle, Lizard!" The Krisle snarled loud enough for all the warriors present to hear, pointedly ignoring the weapons they were now all pointing at him. "Lizard is dumb an'mal! No think! No soul! Have cold blood! Kwisle have soul, have warm blood, and not dumb! Even if Kwisle have to talk like is dumb so stupid deaf Hoomans can tell what Kwisle say! So Kwisle not Lizard; call Kwisle lizard, or thief, again and Kwisle cut more than boot!"

"Kwisle job get you inside without set off twap or 'larm," The Krisle yanked the spear out of the warrior's boot; with a flick of its wrist the Krisle's spear folded back into itself so it would fit into the sheath on the pack strapped to its chest. That, other than some armor on its tail, was the only thing the Krisle was wearing. "Kwisle going fast as Kwisle can and keep Hooman safe! So stop insulting Kwisle."

"Sein, Kemil, is there a problem?" Lt. Remia, a veteran Kine of over 2,000 years, the six foot tall middle-aged man with slightly graying hair had been on leave when the three cities were destroyed. He growled crossly as he moved up beside the point man and scout. He really didn't need the members of his team fighting amongst themselves while inside hostile territory. And given how difficult it had been to find a Krisle willing to go on this mission, their having become significantly more than skittish of leaving their communal groups after losing more than half their population when the three cities fell, he really didn't need anyone tempting it to regret going with them.

This mission was hard enough without that kind of stress, not with their intel being little more than rumors of a self-styled warlord gathering an army to try and capitalize on the chaos caused by the fall to carve himself a empire.

Normally, it would have been ignored; since the destruction of Atlantis and its sister cities dozens of such rumors came to light every day. But those in charge had caught wind of the fact that some of the rumors hinted that the warlord had found one of the Rune weapons that had gone missing with the fall of Atlantis. So of course his team got ordered to go in, officially to take care of the situation with the warlord. But going by what wasn't said their real target was to verify the existence of said Rune weapon and retrieve if it was genuine.

So, with nothing but rumors to go on, thanks to the communications net's destruction making remote recon all but none existent, the Lt. had turned to the next best chance of his men getting in undetected. While not a race that he would have normally taken with him on any mission, the Krisle's natural talents made them the perfect scout when going in almost, if not completely, blind.

"No, Kwisle is fine, no twaps yet; but begin think Kwisle stay home next time." The Krisle said as it went back to checking for booby traps.

"What did you do?" The look Lt. Remia sent the young warrior when he shrugged caused Kemil to cringe at the lecture he knew he was going to receive once this was over. Especially once his superior officer found out he didn't know exactly what had caused the little guy to flip out on him.

"Wait." the Krisle said as it stopped, inspecting something on the floor. Picking up a dead bug the Krisle threw it down the hall; it flew about two feet before it hit something with a crackle of energy before falling to the ground smoking.

"Oh great, any ideas how to get past..." Private Trienli, a five foot tall dark-haired peace officer who had volunteered to join up with the remains of the Kine after a group of bandits managed to overrun her village about two years after the fall, glanced down and blinked her green eyes in surprise as she began looking around worriedly. "Hey, where'd the Krisle go?"

"There..." Lt. Remia nodded down the hall on the other side of the shield, where what was obviously a Krisle's tail could be clearly seen hanging out of an opened control panel.

"How the hell..."

"He's a Krisle," Remia snorted and shook his head as there was a flicker of light across the shield. A moment later the Krisle pulled itself out of the panel and slowly started to make its way back to them, pausing only to mark the placement of something it wanted them to avoid. "There's never been anything built that could keep one of them out of somewhere they want to go... one of the things that make them some of the best salvagers in the history."

"Even with their ability to get past security systems, if they're just salvagers isn't a bit dangerous to bring one along on this mission?" Sgt. Kemil asked as he tried to wait patiently for the Krisle to give them the all-clear to continue down the hall.

Before the Lieutenant could answer a door farther down the hall opened and a pair of Drakin demons stepped out, thuggish humanoids with bearlike heads that ended in owlish beaks and scales that could double as plate armor. Their surprised eyes looked at the unexpected group of armed warriors.

For a spilt second neither side moved, then one of demons charged the warriors as the other dove through the door they had just exited.

Cursing, Remia left half of his team of six to make quick but quiet work of the demon that had charged them and took the rest towards the door, hoping to catch the other demon before it could alert the entire base to their presence.

Glancing around the corner of the door, Kemil blinked in surprise at the sight of the other demon lying face down on the floor, pools of its blood slowly spreading from both the stump where its foot should have been and the hole in the side of its neck. Standing on the dead demon's back, the Krisle was staring at the broken blade of its spear with a severely put-out expression.


The Krisle blinked at the question and closed it eyes for a second, listening for anything within its range of hearing. Coming up with nothing close enough to be on this floor it nodded. "Cwear."

Ignoring the disgusted sounds from the approaching warriors the Krisle stuck its arm into the demon's neck and began digging around. A moment later it pulled the rest of the blade out and after wiping both pieces of the blade off on the demon, opened its pack, pulled out an intact exact duplicate of the now folded broken spear and placed the broken one into the pack.

"What the hell did it want the broken piece for...?"

"Kwisle know Fa'lur," the Krisle said glancing up at the warriors with what could only be a smirk. "Will fix for Kwisle if make right trade. Kwisle ready go now."

"Fine, whatever, you two hide the bodies..." the Lieutenant pointed at a couple of the warriors that looked a little too stunned for his tastes, then pointed at one of the others and motioned towards the bend at the end of the hallway. "Go keep an eye out for anything unfriendly coming from that way until they're done."

"Krisle go look for more twaps." The Krisle started for the hallway but was brought up short when Remia put his leg in it path.

"You're going to stay right here until we're ready to go with you." The Lieutenant glared down at the Krisle disapprovingly. "You might be able to fight but you're also the best shot we have of getting to our objective and back out before the whole place finds out we're here. Am I clear?"

"Yes." The Krisle said, not sure if it should be upset over Remia's belief that it needed them to protect it.

The Krisle ignored the sounds of the warriors fighting the vault guards as it worked at getting past the vault door blocking them from their objective. Finally the Krisle snorted and dove into the wall beside the door, which rippled like water. A moment later there was a series of clicking sounds and the vault door slowly slid open with a loud grating sound, causing a couple of the guards to turn and stare at it in surprise. It was the last mistake they ever made, as with the sudden shift in odds the warriors were able to take out the rest of the guards rather quickly.

A quick set of hand movements from Remia had Kemil and Trienli moving to cover the hall that led to the vault, pulling weapons from their packs that, while having more range and firepower than what they had been using till now, were loud enough they were bound to attract someone's attention if they were forced to use them.

Remia cautiously leaned into the vault, his eyes instantly falling on a sword hanging on the wall as if it was a trophy being proudly displayed. It didn't look like one of the Rune weapons, although he had to admit that he hadn't seen even half of them. He could tell from where he stood that there was an aura of power around the blade; he would have to inspect it closer to know for sure if it was a Rune weapon or not, but either way it was too powerful to leave in the hands of unfriendlies.

Quickly searching the room for the Krisle the lieutenant frowned at the sight of the Krisle digging through a trunk that appeared to be full of coins, gems and the occasional odd piece of tech from Atlantis. "Hey, Sein, you want to get back to work?"

The Krisle's head popped up out of the trunk, liquid black eyes blinked at him a moment before the Krisle hopped from the truck, sticking something into the pack on its chest before scampering up the wall like a gecko to the weapon. After a quick inspection the Krisle motioned the lieutenant back and after he was clear of the door pushed the weapon off posts it was hanging on, letting it fall to the floor.

Remia grimaced at both the harsh treatment of a possible Rune weapon and the noise it had made hitting the floor, only to curse as a metal grating dropped from the ceiling blocking the entry to the vault. Senses enhanced to the breaking point the lieutenant listened, expecting to hear alarms and the stomp of the guards' feet; instead all he heard was the sound of metal scraping across stone.

"What in the hell is going on?" Sgt. Kemil finally broke the silence, giving voice to what everyone on the team were all thinking. "Why wouldn't they have an alarm on this thing?"

"I don't know," Remia growled, resisting the temptation of braining the child for tempting fate by saying something like that, "but I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth. Sein, would you hurry it up? We haven't got all day."

"Kwisle going fast as can, sword heavy!" The Krisle snapped as it dragged the sword across the floor to the grating that blocked the vault's entrance and then worked it through the space between the bars. "No worry, alarm no go off. Kwisle break before open door."

"And you couldn't have mentioned that before..." Trienli groused from where she was still covering the entrance as Lt. Remia picked up the sword the Krisle was dragging and began inspecting it closely. "I swear I lost ten years off my life when that grate dropped, little one."

"Sorry, no know matter." the Krisle shrugged as it made its way over to the far side of the room and began inspecting part of the wall and floor intently.

Remia scowled slightly as he studied the weapon, while pretending to ignore the prattle of his team. The sword appeared to be a variation of the hand and a half bastard sword, known as a Khopesh although it held tones of other cultures. While he was now absolutely sure it definitely wasn't a Rune weapon, the sword still had great power in it; the magic was wild, unfocused and had more than a little bit of a feral panicky feel to it but still could be dangerous if left in unfriendly hands.

"Okay, time to go people..." Muttering curses, the lieutenant stalked over to Private Trienli and attached the sword to her pack. "We don't have the equipment for a full out engagement against a superior force of we'll just have to bring the whole place down around their ears. Set the charges and make sure to leave us plenty of time to get out."

The sudden sound of stone scraping against stone seemed especially loud as it erupted from the far side of the vault's antechamber. The warriors spun away from the explosives they were setting towards the noise. Weapons came up to cover whatever was the cause of the noise, only to find the Krisle hanging from a torch beside a section of wall that was receding to reveal a hidden passageway of stairs leading down.

"Kwisle find fast way out!" The Krisle stated as it looked at the warriors with a very disgruntled expression for a moment. "Why hoomans wait for? First say need get out quick... Kwisle find fast way out, now hoomans stand like statues. Krisle never understand cwazy hoomans!"

Lt. Remia cautiously approached the passageway, eyeing both it and the Krisle suspiciously. Knowing that Krisle never betrayed people they worked with was all well and good but that didn't mean that they never did things that would put them at risk, either because they forgot something that wouldn't hurt them was dangerous to the people they were working with, or accepted advice from the wrong people. "How did you know that was there?"

"Where else door be?" The Krisle said that as if it was the most obvious thing in the world as it looked at Remia with a confused expression.

Remia studied the Krisle and the passageway for a moment before addressing the Krisle again. "You're sure this leads out of here?"

The Krisle rolled its eyes before nodding at the lieutenant. "Yes, Kwisle check for open door. Kwisle just need find how open so look while you talk, talk, talk..."

The Krisle said opening and closing it hand in the classic yap, yap gesture... then yelped as its other hand lost its grip and it fell. Hitting the ground the Krisle rolled to lessen the impact and found itself tumbling down the first few steps of the hidden stairway. A second later the Krisle's head popped back over the step and frowned at the lieutenant as it stood up and shook its body like a dog to get rid of most of the dust now covering it. "Kwisle alright, but Kwisle need bath now so hoomans hurry..."

"You've got to be kidding me..." Sgt. Kemil muttered, shaking his head as the lieutenant just waved him to take point, but cautiously started into passage as ordered. "Lead the way Liz... Krisle, but please try not to set anything off without warning us this time."

"'Kay... Kwisle try." The Krisle said in a huff as it shook its head and then started down the stairs muttering about how crazy humans are as it watched for anything it would need to warn the humans about.

Lt. Remia turned and watched the fireball from the exploding fortress with a sense of satisfaction mixed with dread; they had made it out in a fraction of the time it had taken for the warriors to get to the vault. Upon exiting the building the Krisle had stopped and demanded to be paid immediately as it had gotten them in and out per their agreement. Two small rubies and a half hour later, they were over halfway to the site of the cloaked transport they had requisitioned for this mission.

The higher-ups in what was left of the government were going to skin him alive for using those explosives and the veteran Kine didn't even want to think about what they were going to say about endangering one of the few pilots and vehicles available to them on this mission and then not bring back a Rune weapon. Never mind that they were the ones that ordered him on the mission and insisted he use the transport.

"Let get a move on, people." Shaking his head the lieutenant snapped out the order bringing his team's minds back to the task at hand: getting to the transport and out of the area before any possible survivors of that explosion got their act together enough to start looking for whoever just blew up their base. Looking around Remia did a quick head count and just kept himself from swearing out loud as he hit his transmitter. "Did anyone happen to see where Sein went?"

"It's about a hundred and fifty meters from my position, approximately three hundred meters down the trail from you," Kemil radioed from his place on point. "It seems to have run into another Krisle and they seem to be having some kind of verbal disagreement... can't hear what they're arguing over."

"Okay, hold your position and keep an eye on him until we get there." Remia scowled as he turned to the rest of his team. "Seeing as our scout has out-distanced us by quite a bit, we're gonna double-time until we've caught up..." the lieutenant growled the last part out through clinched teeth. "Unless you want to find out how much grief you'd get from the guys guarding the transport for being beaten back by a Krisle."

A few minutes later found Remia's team kneeling beside their point man as Sgt. Kemil pointed out the location of the Krisle to Lieutenant Remia. The lieutenant watched the very animated conversation for a while and quickly found himself wishing he had the ability to even hear most of the Krisle's language. The unknown Krisle was pointing down the trail in their direction and then waving its finger at Sein in a scolding manner while jabbering at him, most of which the lieutenant was sure was outside his hearing range, to which Sein was shaking his head so hard that his tail waving back and forth was the only thing allowing him to keep his balance.

With a series of hand motions Lieutenant Remia had his team take up defensive positions along the game trail they had been following as they leapfrogged their way towards the Krisle's position.

They had covered half the distance between them and their scout when Sein turned and started making frantic shooing motions. "Stop, hoomans no come. Go back!"

Remia froze in mid-step and glanced over at his men who all gave him the clear signal before eyeing the pair of Krisle critically. He decided he had to be missing something for Sein to be this frantic and he needed to know what it was.

"What's wrong Sein...?" The Lt lowered his foot to the ground and paled as something on the trail gave slightly under his foot.

"Too late...!" The unknown Krisle said as it looked up at Remia with a devilish grin then dove behind a small boulder beside the trail.

"HIDE!" Sein shrieked with a horrified expression before taking a running dive under a fallen log as the world vanished for the warriors in wave of thunder and pain.

Dragan blinked as his slightly fuzzy mind caught up to exactly how close he was to saying stuff that would be better all around not to speak of. "Damn, but I'm a motor mouth today..."

"I think I might have something to add to the conversation." Merlin said as he appeared beside the two men, causing Daniel to jump. The Krisle sitting in the archeologist's lap looked at the AI curiously, earning a mildly irritated glare from the slightly inebriated Dragan.

"What?" Daniel asked with a look of confusion on his face.

"The rest of the story of course..." Merlin smiled slightly at the look of curiosity on Daniel's face and flat out smirked at the way Dragan rolled his eyes, shook his head and snorted into his fireweed wine.

Lt. Remia slowly opened his eyes as he woke to the familiar hum of the transport's engines; lifting himself onto his elbows much to the protest of the medic that had just noticed he had returned to consciousness, the lieutenant looked around the passenger compartment and felt his stomach clench when a head count of the people laid out on stretchers around him came up short. Turning to SIC the Lt. growled out the most important of the questions running through his head as the medic attempted to get him to lie back on the stretcher. "How bad are they? What happened? Where are Private Trienli and Sein? How did we get back to the transport?"

"When you set off that explosion I sent a couple of men to investigate. When they radioed back with the situation I had the pilot move the transport to your location. Then a couple of the men used the stretchers to load you all on the transport. The Krisle is around here somewhere, dang thing nearly took the medic's foot off before we convinced it we were on your side..." the man Remia had left with half his team to guard the transport reported with a smirk that disappeared as he continued. "There wasn't any sign of Private Trienli... we searched the entire immediate area around the explosion and didn't find any sign of her so I assumed she was lost in whatever cluster-fuck caused you to decide to blow that place."

"No, damn it! She was with us when that fucking bomb blew; she had to be there... turn this thing around." Lt Remia began to try to get to his feet as the medic began to get a bit more forceful in his attempt to get him to lie back down. Growling, the Lieutenant glared at his SIC, "We can't leave her behind!"

"We can't go back, sir." His second in command shook his head with a pained expression. "A sizable force was approaching the area as we took off; if she was back there it's too late by now."

"No weave behind..." a small voice caused the Lt to look down in surprise. Curled up under the edge of his stretcher Sein looked up at the officer with an expression of misery. "Please no take Kwisle red shiny pwetties. Kwisle twy stop Gwen take nice lady but Gwaud say Kwisle not able to protect hoomans if Kwisle follow Gwen. So Kwisle have stay, keep sleeping hoomans safe."

"So someone took her, and you couldn't follow them because we would have been vulnerable." Lt. Remia looked down at the little being for a moment as he sorted out exactly what it had just told him. "You knew their names; do you know where we can find them?"

The Krisle shook its head and whimpered. "No know where Gwaud and Gwen are, think move around lots. But Kwisle know Gwen no hurt lady or let lady get hurt... Gwaud promise."

"That's very reassuring..." Remia growled through clenched teeth as he finally let the medic lay him back on the stretcher. "Tell me what you do know about this Gwen and Graud?"

"Gwen protect Gwaud; Gwaud young, been way from Kwisle too long so Kwisle think he go little funny in head but good Kwisle still." Sein licked its eyes as it thought about how to tell them about the pair. "Gwen stwange, say Kine bad tell Kwisle no go near Kine or they hurt Kwisle... Gwen help Gwaud survive after fall then start twy help west of Kwisle when Kwisle find Gwaud. Gwen very stwange hooman that no like any hoomans; mad, mad, mad at Kine but like and twy help Kwisle... Gwen'dal very stwange hooman."

"Grendel, huh? We'll have to keep an ear out for anything about this guy from now on..." Remia shook his head and shrugged at the look his SIC was giving him. "We're really going to give this guy a little lesson about kidnapping our people."

Avalon 18 months later

Lt. Remia sat with his back against a tree as he looked out over the rippling waters of the bay, enjoying the first down time his team had had since the disastrous mission to recover a Rune weapon that didn't exist. He had kept an ear out for any word of this Grendel character, for a while holding out hope of rescuing the abducted member of his team, but after the first half a year had passed without their forces being contacted with a ransom demand or even a single word about the missing private he had accepted that she was probably dead or worse. Since then he had been all over the planet trying to keep the tenuous peace by putting out the small fires, hopefully before they had a chance to spread too far.

"Hey, LT..."

"What part of 'I don't want to be disturbed unless it's important' didn't you understand?" Remia turned and glared at the grinning form of Sgt. Kemil. "And I know it's not important because they would have called me on my foldcom..."

"A transport from one of the Tactical Stations just arrived; I think you're gonna want to see this for yourself..." Kemil said, his grin widening into an expression that had once meant a particularly nasty practical joke was under way but had been absent for some time.

Shaking his head Remia got to his feet and followed the junior officer to the hidden entrance of the base. Inwardly the Lieutenant ideally wondered how the Kine had fallen so far as to be using places like that as headquarters. The Infantry Tactical Stations were built during the early years of Atlantis, their equipment kept up to date out of little more than tradition, never meant to be used. They were basically bolt holes, small emergency bases containing small armories, medical supplies, medical facilities that were only a step up from field hospitals and the most basic of command centers. They were meant as a place that a local garrison and population could fall back to if for some reason something went FUBAR to the point that they needed somewhere to hold out until the Kine arrived.

Now, due to the shortage of pilots for their transports, they were being used to as bases of operation for the remaining Kine field teams on earth to cut down on response times as the few surviving higher-ups scrambled in an attempt to contact the rest of their forces, while trying to keep order now that their command and support structure had been destroyed, In effect, not only had the fall cut the head off their proverbial snake, but had disemboweled it as well.

< Funny how much more appealing that statement is when applied to the other guy... > Remia thought, stepping into the center of the transport rings. As the flash of light faded and the rings rose back into the ceiling he became aware of a small gathering of people around the entrance to the command center. "What's going on here?"

"The Krisle brought an MIA into the Pacific Infantry Station; they're being held in one of the briefing rooms until Intel can spare an officer to debrief them..." One of the warriors standing nearby shrugged. "The lizards lucked out; it looked like they had been on the losing end of a small war, so after the medic cleared the MIA as not having any unpleasant surprises on them, they had the little guys taken to the medical bay for a once-over to make sure they're healthy enough, or at least still around, to be debriefed when intelligence is done with the MIA."

< Which given the current status of things meant that whoever Sein's pack brought in this time is going to be locked up in there for days if not weeks... unless I go in there and do the debriefing myself. > Remia looked over at his point man and growled under his breath at the smirking expression the young man was giving him even as he started towards the command center.

The crowd at the entrance parted in deference to his rank, allowing him to enter the CC. Making his way over to the officer on watch Remia looked over his shoulder at the display on the console. "They having any luck finding someone to debrief the MIA yet?"

"No, sir, I didn't know they were looking..." The officer said as he glanced up at the Kine. He shook his head with a confused expression but before he could say anything more Merlin appeared on the main monitor.

"The Commander indicated that he felt you might want to handle the de-briefing yourself." The AI informed him matter-of-factly before looking at him pointedly. "Should I begin looking for another to conduct the debriefing?"

< Looks like the techs finally got a hyperspace comm system cobbled together... Am I really that predictable? > Remia internally grimaced at that prospect. He grabbed the Data pad the officer of the watch handed him which contained the information on the MIA and in which he was to notes on the debriefing. "No, I'll take care of it."

Skimming the preliminary report on the MIA Remia walked into the briefing room. Hearing the door close behind him the Lt glanced at other person in the room and blinked. Sitting at attention on the other side of the briefing desk, wearing a uniform that had an impressive amount of cuts and tears in it, was Private Trienli.

Trienli smiled slightly at the sight of her CO. "Good to see you again, sir."

"Likewise," Remia said as he shook off his shock and nodded at her. "Now you've been through enough debriefings to know to how this is works..."

A few hours later Remia looked up from the Data pad as Private Trienli's summary of the events since their last mission together reached the point where the Krisle found her and led her to one of their patrols and nodded. "Okay, that about takes care of that... there will be more questions later. But as it stands, baring them finding anything funny in your medical exams, you should be cleared to return to duty in a few days..."

Lieutenant Remia trailed off as an unfamiliar noise came from the side of the room, and blinked as the private stood up and without asking left the briefing table. Turning to keep her in sight he spotted something moving in a bundle of blankets against the wall. A moment later Trienli knelt down beside the bundle, blocking the lieutenant's view as she did something while making cooing noises.

When the private stood up a moment later it was only years of experience that kept Remia's jaw closed when he saw the infant cradled in her arms; unfortunately those years of experience couldn't stop him from saying the first question to jump into his mind out loud. "Where did that come from?"

"Where do you think?!" Private Trienli snapped as she threw an impertinent glare at her superior officer.

"You neglected to mention being assaulted in your debriefing..." Remia met her heated look with one of steel. "So, was it that guy Grendel that forced..."

"Yes, it was Grendel; however, there wasn't any force involved..." Trienli held his gaze a moment longer as her face began to flush and then the private looked away with a very embarrassed expression as she muttered, "or at least none on his part."

"Say what?" Remia asked incredulously, sure that he heard must not have heard her correctly. "Would you please expand on your last comment?

"No, I would not..." Trienli tone was firm as looked down at the baby and smiled. "All I'm required to say is that there was no rape involved, so that is all I will say! What I do with my body, so long as it doesn't harm anyone else, is no one's business but my own."

"Very well," Remia didn't like it but nodded anyway, knowing that the final results of her exams would show whether she was telling the truth. "You will be confined to quarters until the medics have prepared for your exams and under guard until the results are finalized. Do you have any questions?"

The private didn't even look up from the child as she shook her head.

"Very well then, I guess we're finished." Remia stood from the table and nodded to the former member of his team. "I'll go arrange for a couple of guards to take you to your quarters."

"Thank you, sir..."

"No problem, it should only take a couple of moments," the LT said as he turned and started for the door. He stopped just short of the door when he heard Trienli begin to speak and unconsciously enhanced his hearing as her voice was so low he doubted even she could hear herself speak while her tone clearly indicated she wasn't even aware she was speaking out loud.

"How did Grendel expect me to react to being told that, after three months of following him around with my arms restrained, I had been free to go from the moment I regained consciousness and that the only reason my arms were still restrained was that every time he had tried to take them off so he could leave I would wake up and start kicking the hell out of him? What exactly was I supposed to think was going on after waking up that first time after the explosion only to have him walk over naked and cut the ropes around my ankle?! I admit I may have been a bit disbelieving and rude when he told I wasn't a hostage or prisoner and flat out accusing when he told me he had never had any intentions of raping me but still I think he went a little overboard with, 'I hate to break it to you but you're nowhere near good looking enough for me to even consider something like that! Hell, it took me two weeks to realize you were female!'" Trienli leaned down and gently kissed the infant on the forehead, a small smile coming to her lips. "Guess I showed him, didn't I, my little Beowulf?"

Remia blinked in disbelief at what he had just heard, trying to fit it into what he knew of the young woman for several seconds before shaking his head in defeat. For once the Lieutenant was glad that from this point on it was up to the shrinks and medics whether she went back to duty or not, 'cause he wasn't sure he could make that call at the moment. He stepped out of the room to assign guards to escort the Private and her child to their room and stand watch over her.


Daniel jumped at the sudden noise in the quiet room and spun towards it to find Dragan slumped in his chair, eyes closed, and the remains of his glass lying in the puddle of fireweed wine beside him. Daniel opened his mouth, intent on finding out what had happened when he was beaten to the punch by an unexpected source.

Leaping from the archeologist's lap onto Dragan's chest the Krisle began frantically checking him for injury or disease; finding none the small being spun around and glared up at the AI. "What happen Gwen?!"

"Don't worry he's fine... he just fainted." Merlin smiled amused by the Krisle's antics. "If I had to guess why, I'd say he just realized approximately how much of the human population he's related to. And that after all the things he went through trying to erase all traces of him having ever been human he hadn't even been aware of the one progeny he had created that, given time, would spread across the face of the planet..."

The End


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