In the Beginning

By: Blue

Summary: How the story of Mel and Cole really starts. Mel appears not at all. Cole is still Daggon, and his entire universe is about to change.

Rating: PG … although it does deal with the murders of Daggon's wife and child, there's nothing too graphic.

Disclaimer: I don't own them, but, hey, just as soon as that deal with Zin goes through…

Spoilers: Pilot ep & "Cloud 9" … minor, minor one for "Back Into the Breach"

Feedback: Better than Fek-Maln. Always welcomed and much appreciated so please, feed me, feed me!!! And let me know if you'd like to see more fics about Cole's past as Daggon.

Author's Note: Okay, so I'm sure Cirronians don't measure time in minutes or weeks or years, or distances in terms of miles, so let's just pretend that I got a conversion-table from Cole. Oh, and before you say anything about the mag-tubes, shuttle-station, space-port, etc., bear in mind that even Cirronians must get around somehow, lol… I did my best to keep them from acting as humans do (sarcasm, nodding for agreement, laughing, crying, etc.…) without making them seem not human and to try to paint an interesting (and I think/hope accurate) picture of life on Cirron. It was no easy task. So, how'd I manage? Too goofy? Too human? Not human enough?

In the Beginning

The Cirronian was glad to set foot on native soil again. It may only have been a few days, but Daggon had grown to miss all things Cirronian in that short time. It was like that more and more. As a younger man, he had craved travel and adventure and had eagerly jumped at every opportunity to visit foreign soil. He had even enjoyed his first visit to Enix, in spite of the snow and ice that covered 80% of its surface. And the opportunity to study different cultures, to have new stories to tell his students… There was nothing about travel that he had disliked, in spite of the fact that the jump to sub-space gave him such severe vertigo and left his mind working so poorly that he generally spent the rest of the trip in sick-bay.

Once he had met Nallia, begun courting the amazing young artist, the appeal of travel had worn thin. He still enjoyed the opportunity to experience new places and cultures, to have stories to tell her and his students, to buy her pretty or amusing objects that simply could not be had on Cirron. But his thoughts would turn back to Cirron, to Nallia, more and more frequently. So he had traveled less and less, especially after they had married.

Once Ashi had been borne to Nallia, he had stopped traveling altogether… at least until he had become a Tracker. Even then, he had traveled only when absolutely necessary, bringing Ashi and Nallia with him more often than not. He was miserable without them, so he would arrange for them to be conveniently visiting whatever planet his work had taken him to, spending all of his free time with them.

It was not always possible, though, as on this occasion. This newest case had simply been too dangerous. He had not wanted them anywhere near Varda until the killer, Remel was his name, had been captured. Once Remel had been captured, Daggon had eagerly booked the next space-flight back to Cirron, only pausing long enough to buy gifts for Ashi and Nallia. He always brought them gifts when he returned, to soften the blow of separation for them and as a tangible gesture of his love, something to remind them of him on his next trip off-world.

The only upside of this latest trip to Varda had been that it afforded him the opportunity to visit Doctor Zin and his family, which meant that he would have first-hand news of them for Nallia. He glowed at the thought of Nallia's reaction to the news that Etala's pregnancy was progressing perfectly, and that she was expecting not only his second child, but his third at the same time. She would be thrilled.

Etala and Nallia had always gotten on quite well, even if they had fallen out of contact in recent months. The bubbly Cirronian and the brooding Vardian were strange friends, as different as could be except for their joint interest in Anthropology. They could spend hours talking about this or that ancient custom. Daggon and Zin were the same, as different as day and night except for a handful of like academic interests. In spite of this, and in spite of the distaste most Cirronians had for the Vardian people and the active dislike most Vardians had for the Cirronians, the two families were the best of friends, had been for many years.

Daggon's walk through space-dock's Security Checkpoint was cursory at best. The guards knew him by name and title and afforded him the respect he was due, not even bothering with the normal questions about his travels. Not that getting onto Cirron was ever difficult, really. Whether you were Cirronian or not, whether you had a valid reason to be on Cirron or not, unless you were a wanted criminal, no one was really willing to try to regulate your traffic onto and off of the planet. Even wanted criminals were not much looked for. After all, Cirron had extradition treaties with every other planet in the Migar Alliance, so what was the point of fleeing there? Or, for that matter, of trying to keep criminals out? They would simply be apprehended, shipped back to their own planet for trial, and, if found guilty, sent on to Sar-Top.

As he walked through the port, swinging his bag and singing a Cirronian lullaby to himself, he was greeted cheerfully by acquaintances and stranger alike. Everyone knew that Daggon had just had a hand in apprehending a dangerous killer. Now, if only that killer's equally murderous brother could be brought to justice as quickly. No doubt Daggon would be called off-planet to help find him as well in a day or two.

For some reason, whenever Daggon thought of this other Vardian, this… Rhee, it made him feel very strange, the sensations not unlike that evoked by a jump into sub-space. So he conscientiously avoided thinking about the other Vardian and turned his attention instead to his impending reunion with Ashi and Nallia. His glow brightened as he contemplated that. They were to have met him at the port tomorrow, but he had managed to get back a day early. He would be able to surprise them.

No doubt Ashi would start squealing like an injured Nodulian and Nallia would go quite dim with surprise. Then Ashi would settle down and Nallia would recover her normal glow. Then he could give them their presents and hold Ashi in his arms as she went on and on about how her Daddy was the biggest, strongest, bravest Cirronian in the entire Migar system. And after Ashi had been bundled off to her meditation-chamber for the daily meditations that all growing Cirronians required, it would be just Nallia and Daggon… It would be wonderful.

"What did you get her this time, Daggon?" a cheerful voice inquired, another Cirronian falling into step next to him.

"Hello, Kallissa," he greeted the other Tracker. "What news?" he asked absently.

"None as impressive as yours, Daggon," she replied lightly. "And how did you find Varda?"

"With a star-chart," he joked. "Like everyone else."

Kallissa flickered, amused. "I see."

"Unseasonably cold for this time of year," he replied with a good-natured glow to show that the temperature was of minor importance. "But Remel was taken quickly, so I can not complain. Much," he added after a brief pause.

Kallissa flickered again and they walked in silence for a few more minutes, passing shops and food-concession and many, many people of all different species, all of the things that combined to make a space-port a space-port and not a shuttle-station or shopping-complex.

"Are you quite well, Daggon?" she asked with concern obvious in her tone and features. "You seem rather more dim than usual…"

"A combination of cold and fatigue, I should imagine." Daggon flickered to show that it was unimportant. He let out a relieved exclamation as they left the port and stepped out onto the hillside. A blast of warm air, after the relative coolness of the port, was refreshing to both. "This is all that I needed," he assured her, gesturing around him.

The sun was refracting off the atmosphere more strongly than usual, he noted, and they spent several minutes regarding the resulting phenomenon. It was most visible at higher altitudes like this one. The prism of constantly shifting colors was incredibly lovely at any altitude or intensity, but it was more amazing at times and altitudes such as these. It was a sight that would never fail to warm his heart. It reminded him of Ashi's perfect little life-force, one that was already growing to resemble that of her mother.

Kallissa watched as well, as moved by the beauty as Daggon. How could any Cirronian fail to be rendered speechless by it?

"What did you get her?" Kallissa asked for a second time as the phenomenon became less stunning and finally faded altogether, replaced by Migar's normal, red light.

"Ashi or Nallia?"

"Why, your lucky wife, of course." Her glow was downright inviting as she spoke.

Daggon glowed brightly from embarrassment. It was no secret that Kallissa would have preferred it if Daggon had married her instead of Nallia, and many people, including the two of them and Nallia, joked about it frequently. There was no ill-will or hurt feelings in the matter, and no one took the teasing seriously, not Daggon, not Kallissa, certainly not Nallia.

It might have been different if Kallissa had not found a mate with whom she was perfectly happy. Pains would have been taken to avoid mention of the subject around her. However since she was happy and it was all in fun, there was no harm to be had in the teasing. Kallissa was as in love Daggon as she was with Nallia at this point. The two were quite content with their close friendship. There was simply no reason for more.

"One of those musical instruments that everyone on Enix seems to be playing these days," he told her happily. Nallia was a true artist. She could do things with light and sound that made the occasional displays in the skies of Cirron seem bland and colorless. Or perhaps he was simply biased in that regard. Either way, most of Daggon's gifts for her reflected this preference.

"Those glass affairs?" Kallissa asked.

Daggon made a sound of agreement and pulled it from his bag, unwrapping it. Holding it in one hand, he lightly ran a single, slender finger over its surface, producing a hauntingly beautiful sound that turned heads. He played a few more notes, approving, before satisfying himself with it. He rewrapped it with great care before returning it to his bag.

"Of course, Nallia will do far better with it, I'm sure."

Kallissa held her tongue. Nallia was good enough with sound, but color was her real strong-suit. Now Daggon… he had a way with sound. With training, he could have been among Migar's great. As it was, he had never received that training, so the beauty in the sounds he produced was the same as the beauty of an unpolished gemstone. The beauty and value were there if you knew what to look for, but you had to know. Kallissa, whose parents had both been musicians did know. He had the potential to be the best, and it pained her that he never would be. The Migar Alliance was being deprived of so much beauty.

Still, he had been a fine teacher, shaping young minds into mature ones, teaching young life-forces what it really meant to be Cirronian, instilling a love of music and art and learning into the next generation. At that, he had been the best. And as a Tracker, dedicated to the point of fanaticism, he was also among the finest. Daggon was simply one of those who was the first at anything he did, simply because he was too stubborn and focused to be anything else. These traits did not always make for the best artists, not if aptitude was lacking, but Daggon had that, too. He could have been a living legend. Kallissa mourned her people's loss, even if she was happy that the Migar Alliance had such a Tracker protecting its people.

"You can play it together," Kallissa suggested. "I'm told that Enixians do, sometimes."

Daggon considered this. "Perhaps, yes."

He glowed at her, approving the suggestion. He admired her for a few moments, as Cirronians always did, male or female. She was the epitome of Cirronian grace and beauty, her limbs long and slender, her features delicate, her glow strong without being overpowering. Only her eyes were wrong. They were pale, like no other Cirronian eyes Daggon had ever seen. Several years in the future, he would be struck by the resemblance of these eyes to those of a human woman who called herself Mel. As it was, he was only struck by their uniqueness. Some might have called it Kallissa's one flaw, but Daggon had always considered the unusual eyes to only accentuate her loveliness.

Kallissa was not particularly put off by his scrutiny. It was a common occurrence. Cirronians enjoyed looking at beautiful things, including other Cirronians. Her appearance being something she had little control over, she felt neither pride nor vanity in her beauty. It simply was. She regarded him frankly in return, reflecting that his sort of beauty was harder to accomplish and should have received more notice than it did.

Daggon was not attractive for a Cirronian. He was not slender enough, his features were too pronounced, and in spite of his long fingers, his arms were short. His eyes were a nondescript brown, not unlike those of 90% of the Cirronian population. There was something in his glow, too, that detracted from his general beauty. Still, Kallissa and Nallia were not the only two women to have loved him, for while his appearance was not pleasing, his life-force was beautiful beyond words.

If Kallissa was everything that made a Cirronian lovely physically, Daggon had all of the mental and emotional traits that made a Cirronian beautiful. He was the perfect man: kind, considerate, compassionate, keen, firm in what he believed, gentle, tender, humble, proud, intelligent… They were traits that it had taken him a lot of work to cultivate, and he had not done it for any other reason than because it was what it meant to be a Cirronian.

"Ashi, what did you get Ashi?" Kallissa asked eagerly after a few moments.

Daggon showed her the small, brightly-colored sphere. "It's a game that Vardian children use to improve their problem-solving skills," he explained. "The problems grow progressively more difficult as the child improves, so it's always one step ahead of them. Even I had trouble after the first few rounds," he admitted, amused. "I had to reset it, or Ashi would be lost."

Kallissa flickered her approval of the choice. "Ashi will love it. And Nallia will love the instrument."

Daggon glowed his agreement. "You were going to tell me if there has been any news?" he asked.

She shrugged her shoulders in what was, for Cirronians, an affirmation of a stated fact. "Yes, will you drink with me?" she offered. "We can discuss it."

"Another time. I want to see my family again." He rested one hand over his chest where his life-force resided. "It is empty. I must have back my Heart and the Heart of my Heart."

"Then I'll walk you home," Kallissa offered.

Daggon accepted the offer in silence, simply making an affirmative gesture as they started down the hill-side. "Cirron is unseasonably cold as well," he noted as they walked.

"All the planets are, I'm told," Kallissa informed him. "Migar is going through one of its cold-burns."

Daggon made an irritated sound. "The last thing I need is another fifty years in this cold."

"It was worse yesterday," Kallissa said unhappily.

"A shame."

"Yes." They walked in silence. "We may both be called on again in a few days," she said finally.

"Bad news?"

"Yes. I had a transmission. They don't think Rhee is on Varda any more. People are afraid, Daggon."

"They should be. This Rhee is dangerous."

"Yes, I know. But if he is not on Varda… what if he were to find his way to Cirron?" she asked, her glow dimming.

Daggon gently touched her throat by way of reassurance. She had just been delivered of a child. The newborn was at home with her father now, and she was clearly distressed to think that her child and husband might be in danger. He could hardly blame her. Thinking of Nallia and Ashi at Rhee's mercy was distressing to say the least.

"What would he be doing on Cirron?" Daggon asked reasonably, using the same tone that he would have used as a teacher to comfort one of his students.

Kallissa flickered softly, chagrined by her own silliness. "You're right, Daggon, as you usually are. A Vardian could not hide here as easily as he could on Varda or some vacation-spot like Orsus. They will probably find him hiding away on Varda in a few day's time."

"One may hope," Daggon agreed.

They stopped as they reached the tube-station, where pneumatic tubes ran passenger-cars all over the city. They read the schedule on the wall together in silence.

"It looks as if we part ways here," Kallissa informed him, seeing that different tubes would bring them each to their respective homes. "You have a wonderful evening at home with your family, Daggon."

"Yes. I plan on enjoying our time together while I can." Daggon's glow was a strange mixture of light and darkness as he spoke.

"Is it true that you will not be a member of the Tracker Corps for much longer, Daggon?" Kallissa asked quietly, keeping her eyes fixed on the schedule.

"News travels fast, I see. Nallia and I have decided that it would be better for me to reclaim my old place at the Academy. I… hand in my resignation at the end of the work-cycle."

Kallissa did not bother to hide her dimness. "You will be missed at the Field Office."

"When is the last time I have spent more than five minutes at the Field Office?" he asked, bitterly amused. "They have me traveling constantly. I grow so weary of this life, Kallissa. I want to settle down and take a more active hand in Ashi's upbringing."

"It is a good reason, but you will be missed. Paperwork is so much more diverting with you in the next cubicle singing to yourself."

"I sing loudly enough to be heard?" he asked, startled.

Kallissa gave a bright flash of amused exasperation. "Yes. And we all agree that you've missed your calling."

"Life with Nallia must be rubbing off on me," he told her, glancing at the wall-chronometer. "You need to get home. Taurin will be due for a feeding soon."

"Oh, you're right. I hadn't noticed the time."

"I suspected not. It was good to see you. My love to Casein, and give Taurin's throat a caress for me."

"Yes. I will. And you give Nallia and Ashi my love as well." With a little bob of her head, Kallissa stepped into the thronging crowds and made her way towards her tube.

Daggon watched her vanish into the crowd before returning his attention to the schedule and wondering if it would not be faster and easier to take an air-shuttle. Shift-change was soon, and the mag-tubes were always more crowded between-shift. He would have trouble finding room for himself, let alone his bag. Not wanting to risk damaging Nallia's gift, he settled on the air-shuttle and climbed into the mag-tube to the shuttle-station.

Three seconds and ten miles later, he was at the shuttle-station. The shuttles were slower than the tubes, but typically less crowded, and they made more stops, so there would be less distance to walk. Which was just as well since Daggon was still dizzy from sub-space. A scrolling wall-display next to a large computerized map told which shuttles ran where and when. It had been long enough since Daggon had taken a shuttle that he wanted to double-check and make sure he got the right stop instead of one several blocks in either direction. Besides, he was given to understand that the run-schedule had recently been completely reworked.

He regarded the map for a moment before reaching up and tapping his sector. The map obediently zoomed in on that grid, and he further magnified it, entering the co-ords for his home. He glowed more brightly, pleased with his luck. The new, expanded run-schedule meant that the shuttle could drop him less than three minutes from his home. He fished a credit-chip out of his bag and walked to the appropriate cashier, changing it and getting a shuttle-voucher.

Since he still had a few minutes before the shuttle left, he stopped at a food-concession and bought a simply lunch of pre-packed energy-supplements. He had not been able to eat on the space-trip, was honestly not sure how much he would be up to eating now, but thought it best to try. If Kallissa had noticed that he seemed more dim than usual, Nallia certainly would. Popping the small globes into his mouth and crunching as he walked, he made his way to the appropriate terminal.

Since the terminal catered to about ten different shuttles, he was not surprised to find it crowded. A quick look around told him that finding a seat would be difficult, but as the wait was not a long one, that hardly mattered. He leaned against a wall and finished his supplements, savoring the bitter-sweet flavoring that had been added. They were not the most popular of flavors, but they were his favorite. In his mind, the bitter made the sweet seem more sweet. He knew most people said those about the sour-sweet ones, but he had never seen that.

"Hey, look who's returned, victorious, from the depths of space!"

Daggon could not help but flicker his amusement. "Varda hardly qualifies as the 'far reaches' of anything, Somi," he said mildly. "Hello, Somi."

The young Cirronian returned the greeting cheerfully, adding, "Good work, Daggon."

"How was work?" Daggon asked the history teacher who had once been student, had later become a colleague, and remained a close friend. "Did you hear the news?"

"It's true then?" Somi asked, impressed.

Daggon shrugged an affirmation. "It is. I resign at the end of this work-cycle and am going to try to get back my job at the Academy."

"That mean I have to give up your chair in the Teacher's Lounge?" he teased, his eyes sparkling.

It was an old joke. Daggon had always had a favorite chair, and the others had joked that he defended it as fiercely as a mother Enixian defends her offspring. Of course, it was more falsehood than anything. Daggon had enjoyed that particular chair, but mostly because it was large enough to comfortably accommodate his bulky frame and most of the other seats in the lounge had not. But he had also been more than willing to give it up whenever there was no room and someone else wanted a seat.

"If you left an imprint in it," Daggon warned, amused. Slipping back into his old life at the Academy would be like going home. It would be wonderful.

Somi flickered. "I suppose, then, that I should take the shuttle back to the Academy and try to beat the dent out," he said with mock concern, turning.

Flashing brightly enough to be seen all over the terminal, Daggon placed a restraining hand on Somi's shoulder. "You, whelp, are in trouble," he announced in a low voice, the threat entirely ruined by his continued flashing. It was hard to sound imposing when you were so visibly amused.

"Hmm… For some reason, Professor Daggon, that fails to intimidate me even a little bit."

They stood in comfortable silence for a few more minutes until the shuttle arrived. Boarding, they found seats next to each other.

"Why don't you invite your wife and sons over for a gathering on the next rest-day?" Daggon suggested. "You know how much Ashi loves the boys, and Nallia would like to see Brenna again as well, I'm sure."

"It sounds fun, but be warned that the boys will expect a full recounting of your apprehension of Remel."

Daggon could not help but be amused. "Very well, then. Call me after you've discussed it with Dross and we can settle on a time."

"Will do, Professor Kedriss."

"You don't have to call me that any more," Daggon reminded him mildly.

Daggon's last work-cycle as a teacher had been Somi's first, and it had taken him the better part of the season to convince him that, really, it was okay to call him 'Daggon'. Somi still occasionally lapsed back into that habit even though Daggon was no longer a teacher, but a neighbor and friend.

"Sorry, Daggon. Old habits. The boys say you can't teach an old Cirronian new tricks."

"What would any of you know about 'old Cirronians'?" Daggon asked, amused. Although Ashi was not much older than Somi's boys, Daggon was many years older than Somi.

"Well, we live two doors down from one," Somi joked.

"That you do," Daggon agreed. "It will be good to go back into teaching."

"I would think so. I understand why you joined the Tracker Corps, and I do appreciate it, Daggon, but I couldn't do it. All that time away from Brenna and the boys…"

"Which is why I'm returning to teaching. It's going to be nice to have more time for Nallia and Ashi. I'm not complaining about my time as a Tracker, but I'll be glad to leave the Corps behind me once and for all."

"Makes sense. Ah, our stop."

The two men rose and left the shuttle, not really paying much attention to the commotion around them until they reached the exit. Then they stopped to wonder why so many people were looking out their windows and whispering to each other.

"The street's been cordoned off!" Daggon explained, frowning. His street had been cordoned off. "Somi, why did they do this?"

"Wasn't like this when I left for work."

Daggon dimmed, deep in thought for a moment. Extracting his Identity Badge, he grabbed Somi's shoulder and walked to the man at the barricade. "Kedriss Daggon, Tracker Corps. What has happened?"

"You live in their neighborhood, Tracker Kedriss?" the man at the blockade asked.

"I do." Daggon was getting nervous. "Noes Somi, my neighbor. Let us through."

"Of course, sir."

"What has happened?" Daggon asked as they crossed the barricade.

"I don't think anyone outside the Corps knows yet. We just have orders to keep the streets clear."

"Go straight home, Somi," Daggon ordered, starting for his own house. "I'll call when I know anything."

"Thanks, Daggon." Somi turned and hurried towards his house, hoping everyone was okay.

Daggon walked towards his house, looking for a Tracker to ask for an explanation. But, just as there were no civilians on the street, there also did not seem to be any Trackers about. It was so strange. Not really thinking, he fished his presents out of his bag as he walked, exactly as he always would. It was probably nothing serious, a power-line down or something inconsequential like that. He would call the Field-Office when he got home.

His glow dimmed as he became aware of activity in and around his own house. He turned his head in time to see his neighbor Tel staring out her window at him, her glow not just dim but absent. Realizing that whatever was wrong was something serious indeed, he broken into a run, wanting to be sure that Nallia and Ashi were not scared by whatever had upset Tel. Fighting his way past a Tracker who tried to stop him, he forced his way into the house.

"Nallia!" he howled when he saw her.

The presents that he had kept a hold of as he ran slid from his hands, the Enixian musical instrument shattering, the toy activating and letting out a series of beeps and tones. He was not aware of either sound. His entire universe was filled with the sight of the woman lying on the ground before him in an unnatural posture. There was no glow, not even dimness, just darkness. Glass broke, biting into the bottoms of his feet as he walked, but he did not even notice the pain.

Broken glass, his mind told him, but he still did not register the pain. Consciously, he was not even aware that the instrument had broken. Shattered. Like my hopes and dreams. Destroyed in a heartbeat, like our sense of complacency Gone… like Nallia. Nallia? My beautiful, talented Nallia! Why is she on the floor? She should be making food for Ashi now! A growing girl needs food! What will I tell her? How do I explain why she'll never see her mother again. She'll think that Nallia has left us. She has left us. No, I don't believe it! It's impossible!

"Nallia," he groaned, sinking to his knees and pulled her into his arms. "Wake up, Nallia," he pled, resting his hand over her heart and releasing energy. "You can't be dead. I need you. Ashi needs you," he continued to plead, still releasing energy into her still form. "Ashi?" he looked up abruptly, never loosening his grip on Nallia or slowing the transfer of energy. "Where is she?" he demanded. And then he saw it, a tiny form, shrouded in Nallia's favorite blue table-cloth. "No!" he screamed as though he could bring them back to him through volume alone.

"Daggon," a gentle voice said. A half-dozen hands pulled him away from his wife's body and into another room.

"No," he whispered, rocking himself. "No, no, no, no…" He looked up and into pale eyes. "Kallissa… this is… it's a joke, right? A sick joke?"

"I got the call on my way home, Daggon."

"You? Why not me?" he demanded.

"I don't think anyone realized that it was your family until I got here. I should have called, but I was in too much shock…" She reached for his throat. "Daggon…"

He pulled away, pulling his knees against his chin, wrapping his arms around his legs, and rocking himself. "No. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no… please no," he groaned, unable to find other words.

Finally, realizing that the words were not enough, never would be, he emitted a low wail. It grew in tone and pitch until there was no one in the neighborhood who could not hear the keening. Kallissa watched his glow go dim, his eyes fill with darkness, her soul screaming in sympathy for his.

"I'm so sorry," she whispered, knowing that it was nothing, but needing to express it. She reached for his throat again, but when he jerked away again, she did not make a third attempt.

The keening stopped as abruptly as if someone had thrown a switch. He looked up at Kallissa, a grim, angry expression on his face.

"Who?" he growled, producing his Collector.

Kallissa did not answer immediately. As hard as this was on her, she could only imagine how difficult it must be for him. "Rhee," she whispered, bowing her head.

Daggon was staggered by the implications. It could be no coincidence that, less than a day after Remel's capture, Rhee had slain his family. This was revenge, retribution.

"Did he escape?" Daggon asked in a low voice.

"We're searching for him now. Cirron is under a planet-wide lockdown, Daggon. We will find him."

"I need to talk to Tracker in Charge Welyn," he whispered.

"Daggon, he is not going to let you take part in this Track."

"I know. I need to talk to him."

"I'll get him." Kallissa turned to leave, but felt reluctant to leave him alone with his grief. He needed to be with others right now, not alone.

"I'll be fine," Daggon assured her.

Kallissa nodded slowly. "We will catch him."

"I know you will." Daggon nodded and watched her go. "Which is why I need to talk to him," he whispered after she had left.

He pulled a piece of broken glass out of the bottom of his foot. It should have hurt. He would have welcomed the pain. Anything but this horrible numbness and consuming anger. Shattered, like his dreams. Dreams for a peaceful retirement and a return to teaching, more children to raise with Nallia, giving Ashi to her mate… All gone. All because of a single man.

Rhee would be caught very soon, he knew. How he had gotten onto the planet in the first place was no mystery. No one had paid attention to one traveler out of the hundreds of thousands who came and went through various Cirronian space-ports every day. Well, now they would be looking, and it was hard for a Vardian to hide on a planet full of Cirronians. One scan from a Sniffer and it would be all over. It would take hours, less even. Rhee would be captured. And he would be tried and sent to Sar-Top.

And Daggon fully intended to follow.

The End

So, what do you think? Does it suck? Do you like it? Would you like to see more about Cole's past? Let me know!!! Hope you liked it.