A tall figure with navy armor ran down the halls on board the Ade'k'ra looking for the med bay on board the humongous vessel. He shook his head frantically and was about to give up when. . .
"Eliok, is that you?" Aru'Kar's voice called out.
"Aru'Kar, thank the heavens!" Eliok cried out gratefully. "I've been lost aboard this forsaken vessel for almost an hour! Is this the med bay?"
"Yes, if you look at the top of the door, it says so" Aru'Kar said, dully. He pointed to the top where the sign lit up in blue light.
"I don't have time to read your Yautja gibberish!" Eliok said, waving a hand. "Iliana told me she was having her little Kantra soon."
"I'm pretty sure the word is 'child', not 'little Kantra'" he sighed. "Iliana kept in touch with you after you guys left Earth?"
"Fun trip that was" Eliok grinned, remembering. "I ate so much that I hurled in about 4 different continents. Good times."
Aru'Kar wore the usual attire for males on board which consisted of a mesh shirt and a loincloth. However, his wrists and thighs carried concealed weapons in case of any problems or challenges. Eliok wore his usual navy attire while his black visor rested on top of his head. He had a black knapsack around his waist that looked almost like a messenger bag.
"She's a pretty decent being so I did" Eliok shrugged. "She helped me reach my goal of ridding the universe of Malkor and to eat in every food place popular to humankind."
"Why didn't you inform us that you were coming?" Aru'Kar asked, annoyed.
"And ruin my surprise?" he pointed out, then blinked. "Oh, because your people would've annihilated me? No problem, I spoke to that tall blue guy at the docking bay."
"Blue guy?" a deep voice called from the entrance. "Eliok, did you talk to Sau-Trul again? How are you still alive?!"
"Maybe he likes blue people" Eliok suggested, then grinned. "How have you been?"
Kantra's glare lessened after realizing that somehow after all these months, he had become Eliok's acquaintance. The being was oddly likeable despite his scary appearance and occupation. While on their trip to Earth, he'd been decent while outrageously humorous which Iliana enjoyed and Kantra felt aggravated. They had traveled to many places in which Eliok and Iliana had gone off to explore together while Kantra either tagged along or complained to Ani-De. His brother then threatened to inject him with a tranquilizer and he changed the topic to his mate's pregnancy.
"I welcome death" Kantra sighed and leaned against the wall. "These past months have been torture. Iliana has had insane mood swings and hunger issues. I've never seen a woman eat her own weight in food! And she's complained about her body's appearance nonstop despite she looks appealing. I can't wait for my child to be born!"
Luckily, Iliana had adopted their environment due to the child's needs but his clan hadn't made it easy. He had been challenged many times after returning from his trip but won each one but eventually, it got tiring. Leader Nak'Aru then threatened those onboard that touching them would become a death penalty. Things had quieted some since then.
"So where is she?" Eliok asked, curious. "I brought food. Earth food!"
"You went there again?!" Kantra exclaimed. "You practically ate a year's supply months ago."
Eliok just kept grinning his vampire grin. Sighing, Kantra said, "She's in labor and we're just waiting. Every time I go in there, she starts yelling and if she's upset, Ani-De's upset, and I do not want to die early."
"So she's by herself?" Eliok asked, feeling sorry for the poor female.
"My mother is with her, she is fine" Kantra informed.
"Get her off me!" a loud voice yelled.
The three males looked to the right to see Badru, now a new Young Blood, running down the large hallway. His face displayed anger and pain at the same time. Kantra spotted a green blob over Badru's brown shoulder and realized it was Kila. With her sharp teeth clamped over his shoulder and grinning joyfully.
"Don't just stare! Get her off!" he screeched and pulled at her.
Sighing, Kantra walked over to them to do his brotherly duties. Looking at the little one, he said, "Kila, release your brother. He's not tasty and you don't know where he's been. Besides, wouldn't you rather wait here for the baby to come?"
Thinking it over, Kila released her protesting brother from her strong jaws and hopped into Kantra's arms. Luckily, she'd taken a liking to him like Nak-De and clung to him happily. Badru was still her favorite chew toy, unfortunately.
"And you defeated a hard meat but can't pry her off?" Aru'Kar asked, hanging his head in shame. Then sighed, "Such a shame, Badru."
"If I hit her, Father will murder me" Badru pointed out. "She has this bizarre hold over him where she can do no wrong and everyone who gets hurt by her deserves it one way or another."
"She's cute, that's why" Kantra said, tickling her. Then to him, "You are not so cute."
"Mother thinks so!" he retorted.
"That's what mothers do" Aru'Kar laughed. "They nurture with words and items that make their offspring happy."
"As much as I want to see this, I'm going in to see Iliana" Eliok said, and went inside the med bay.
"He better hope she's in a good mood" Kantra said, chuckling.
"Stop crying, it's just your shoulder!" Aru'Kar scolded his brother. Then sighed, "Come on, I'll take you to get that disinfected."
Kantra watched both of them head inside and sighed. He finally realized why his parents called him Kantra.
"I'm going to need a lot of prayers to get through life" he sighed and decided to leave Iliana be until she gave birth. "Especially once this baby is here. Am I to forever be haunted with these crazy experiences?!"
"It's not normal to talk to the ceiling, Big Kantra" Kila said, eyes bright. "Unless it talks back?"
"I hate you!" Iliana yelled at Kantra. "This child practically destroyed my insides. You are not getting another baby from me for as long as I live!"
Then seconds later, "I'm so happy it's finally here! Our little one, Kantra! There were no problems, thank goodness. I'm so glad your brother and mother were here to help."
After that, "Where the hell were you, anyways?! I thought you'd be here to see him be born! What kind of father are you?! In my culture, most fathers stay with their spouse to see their firstborn! You're sleeping on the couch when I get home!"
"You think she's done yelling?" Aru'Kar asked Ani-De outside the room.
"No, it'd be best to wait a few minutes" Ani-De informed, changing his disposable medical shirt to a cleaner one. "Females tend to yell and throw things. Iliana is no different."
"Poor brother of mine" Aru'Kar said, faking pity. "I wonder if he'll be deaf."
"So where's the baby?" Eliok asked behind them. His experience was no better and he now sported two missing fangs. "I blacked out for a minute."
"My mother is preparing him" Ani-De said, fixing some medical supplies. "She's always been good with newborns and she wants her first grandson to get the best care, which is her."
"And you're not offended at being replaced?" Aru'Kar laughed.
"She threatened to kick me out of the med bay for two weeks and she has authority" Ani-De sighed and hung his head.
"So what's the pup's name?" Aru'Kar asked him.
"I can't name him, I don't know any yautja names!" Iliana protested. "We decided you would!"
"Females name the child!" Kantra shot back. "I suck at names, you said so yourself!"
"Stop yelling, it's not good for the baby!" she exclaimed and threw a bedpan at him.
"The baby's not here!" he snapped. "He's in another room! And you're the one doing the yelling!"
"Fine, let's be calm" Iliana sighed, laying down on her infirmary bed.
She was so glad to get that child out after many hours of labor. Human children were still big but a yautja child was even worse. For once, she wanted to sleep for an entire week without disturbances. She didn't know which had been worse, the pregnancy or the birth itself.
Finally, it's over, she thought. I could go for a strong drink right about now.
"Are you in any pain?" Kantra asked, sitting at her side and wiping sweat of her brow.
"No, Ani-De pumped me full of painkillers" she smiled happily.
"You were brave to go through with that birth, especially with your body" he said, softly. "I am glad you are safe as well as the baby. And before you get mad, I stayed outside so you wouldn't be mad if I stayed and possibly complicate things."
"I wanted you here, so then I could have taken out my pain on you" she said, smiling gently. "He looks like you, Kantra. Even has your eyes and stripes. He didn't get anything from me."
"I'm sure he did, it just hasn't developed in his skin yet" he assured her. "If not, then it doesn't mean anything. He'll always be a part of you by heart and I'm sure he'll be like you in spirit. Those that mean something to us are always a part of us in our minds and hearts, whether alive or not."
"I love you" she said, caressing his hand. After a bit, she said, "What about 'Kahet'? After your dear friend. Despite his tragedy, it brought you to me on Earth and you got justice for both of you. Like you said, remembering those who are dear will always remain with us until we ourselves die."
"Perfect name" he purred and caressed her pink cheek. "I will go see if I can bring him in."
"Good and Kantra?" she said, looking at him. "I will not be having another baby until this one's full grown."
"Ah!" Kantra protested but quieted at his mate's glare. "Yes, dear."
"Look at him! He's Mini Kantra" Eliok grinned and pointed. The baby reached for his finger but Kantra picked up his son from his crib to hold him instead.
"His name is Kahet and one day, he will follow the laws and teachings of the La'u-Yun clan like all before him" Kantra said to his small audience.
"Nice speech, now give me my baby" Iliana said, happily.
Kantra grumbled but complied with his mate's request. Iliana cuddled her bundle wrapped in blankets while Kantra sulked. Bai'Kar patted her son's shoulder soothingly and then sat down at Iliana's side. Eliok opened his bag and practically threw his burgers into the air.
"This calls for a celebration! Burgers for all!" he declared, happily. Then became grim, "Unfortunately, fries were not able to accompany this feast."
"Did you knock his brain out when you fought him on Earth?" Aru'Kar asked his brother.
"I don't know!" Kantra said, desperately.
"Oh! Burgers!" Iliana said, eagerly. "You're a savior, Eliok! You've no idea how bad I've been craving one."
"Breastfeeding first" Bai'Kar ordered. Iliana pouted but nodded. Seeing as the males were still there, she snapped, "Well? You may leave!"
The three males left but Kila and Ani-De stayed. Kila climbed onto her mother's lap and squealed happily at the baby. The little boy reached out his little green hand in which she laughed and let her finger get grasped by the small hand. Bai'Kar growled at Ani-De who was still in the room.
"I'm still a medic first, Mother" he stated.
"I'm sure she doesn't need you to teach her to breastfeed" she said, dismissing him. "I'm more than qualified to look over her for at least an hour. You have other patients, Ani-De."
"Yes, Mother" he sighed and left the room.
"Can you teach me to do that, Bai'Kar?" Iliana asked her, very impressed. "You cleared a room with just one order."
"Of course, my dear" she said, in her motherly way. "Women dominate society. Males may be the strength but we are the backbone in intelligence and breeding. That little pup will listen to your every order by the time he can crawl."
"Too bad it wasn't a girl, I could've played with her" Kila sighed.
"Everyone thought I'd have a baby girl, that's what they get for asking for one" Iliana laughed. "Maybe next time, they'll ask for a male."
In a meeting many floors overhead, Nak'Aru shuddered suddenly while in a meeting with Elder Lar'Ain and his other two advisors.
"What is wrong, Nak'Aru?" one of them asked.
"I don't know but I feel something horrible has happened" Nak'Aru said, a little unnerved. "I wish I could put my finger on it."
"Knowing you, you will, Nak'Aru" Elder Lar'Ain assured.
The Elder's com lit up and Lar'Ain opened the line.
"Elder Lar'Ain, this is Kantra" Nak'Aru recognized the happy voice. "You wanted to be informed when our family would get a new addition. Well, it's a boy."
"That is good news, Kantra" Lar'Ain congratulated. "Your father is actually with me right now. Any words, Nak'Aru?"
"Why did I ask for a girl?" Nak'Aru said, cursing himself. "I should have asked for a male so it would have been female instead."
"Nonsense, I am sure the new child will bring pride to our clan" Lar'Ain said, clasping Nak'Aru's shoulder joyfully.
I can only hope, Nak'Aru thought. Maybe I'll get another daughter in the near future.
"Bai'Kar, what is wrong?" Iliana asked, seeing the older woman shudder.
"I don't know" she said, shaking her head. Then stood up, "Wait a minute! It's Ani-De's heating system! I'm going to tell him to turn it up. I will not have my babies freezing in here."
She left in which Iliana and Kila laughed. Looking down, Iliana smiled into her son's green eyes and hoped their future would remain safe. Hearing a shuffle, Kantra poked his head inside.
"Is it clear?" Kantra questioned. "I lowered the heat in the room so mother would go yell at Ani-De and give me time to get in here."
Walking in quickly, he kissed her and ran his mandibles over her cheeks. Kissing her again, he said, "I love you, Iliana."
"You crazy man" Iliana laughed afterwards and kissed his cheek. "Look at him, Kantra. One day he'll turn rebellious like a teenager, hate us then love us, and probably endanger our lives with crazy schemes but . . .he'll always be our baby."
"As long as he doesn't do it across the galaxy like me" Kantra scoffed and then caressed her cheek with his. "If so, I don't care what you say, I'll spank him in front of the clan."
Thanks to all of my faithful readers after all these years! I wouldn't have done it if you hadn't kept picking at me. I'll probably make a sequel once I have a good plot, I have the characters created all ready for it though. For some reason, I just love Kantra's family and Eliok. I wish mine were like that.