A/N: Hey folks sorry for the long wait, but I hope to make it up with this 30 page chapter =) Once again sorry! I didn't mean to make ya'll wait this long.
Cross had just finished patrolling the west corridors with a few of her men. Trailing behind her and her team were two large Yautja. Earlier Cross had sent an unwilling Connor back to the Yautja Colony for some training, she was sure it was what Betanu had wanted. The patrol went smoothly, in Cross's eyes. She had been preparing for any sign of trouble, but other than the incident earlier at the docking area; tonight's patrol had been rather peaceful.
Despite the 'peace', Cross wasn't going to let her guard down.
The radio attached to her waist-belt beeped, alerting her of an incoming message. Signaling for her men to stop, Cross brought the radio toward her lips and answered, "This is Captain Cross."
The radio peeped in return, "Captain, you're needed in sector seven," a feminine voice reported.
She frowned into the radio. Sector seven was where the President's daughter was staying. "I'm on my way," she bit out before putting the radio away. "You men continue with the patrol and report to me of any problems."
The soldiers saluted her as she turned to leave. Following close behind her were Lar'ja and Halkrath. Walking ahead of the two, the Captain sped walk toward the elevator and press on the red button.
"You are agitated," Lar'ja observed the female through the visors of his mask.
She frowned, "I'm more annoyed then agitated, Lark."
The elevator's doors hummed open and Cross walked in with the two Yautja trailing behind her. "Have you ever had a female that annoyed you to no end?" she asked as she entered her code on the control panel before pressing in the number seven. "I'm pretty sure both human and Yautja have females like that."
Lar'ja trilled his amusement, "I take it you're being summoned by a female such as that."
"You're correct," she sighed and threw them both a cautious look. "Since you two are to accompany me, I don't want you to get irate from her words. She has a tendency to talk without thinking."
Lar'ja nodded his understanding while Halkrath's tusks twitched in irritation.
The elevator dinged and the doors slid open. Cross walked out first and made her way toward Lilia's quarters. Somehow, she wasn't at all surprise to be greeted by the platinum blonde standing outside the door with a furious scowl. Standing beside the doors were four of Lilia's guards. They saluted the Captain at her approach.
"Is there something you require, Miss?" Cross asked.
Lilia's scowl instantly disappeared at the sight of two enormous Yautjas standing behind the Captain.
With a gasps she stumbled backward into her quarters like a terrified rabbit. Her frightened blue eyes were glued on to the Yautja twins. Not wanting to cause the President's daughter any further distress, Cross went into the woman's quarters and shut the door behind her. Only at the sound of the door clicking shut did Lilia finally blink out of her frozen state.
"You-You're to escort me to dinner, Captain," she stammered, her eyes still wide with fright.
"You're to dine with the President tonight?"
"Of course not," she snapped impatiently, "I've been cooped up in this tacky room for hours, I wish to be taken somewhere nice for dinner."
Cross wanted to point out it had only been forty minutes since she had arrived with the President at the Colony.
"I can escort you to the civilian Colony if you like," Cross offered, although she was pretty sure of Lilia's answer.
"I will not eat there," she dismissed it with a wave of her hand, "Last time I ate there; the food was plain!"
Cross desperately held on to her patience, "The mess-hall then?"
Lilia's cool face screwed in distaste, "Oh God, military food is the worst!" she spat out. "Aren't there any French restaurant nearby or perhaps anything Italian?"
Cross's jaw clenched, "I apologize but we have nothing like that."
She whined, "You're supposed to see to my well-being, Captain!"
You're making it damn difficult for me, Cross thought angrily. "Miss Lilia-"
"I will not eat anything from here," she told her stubbornly, "You better find me something to my liking, Captain!"
Cross never liked the thought of hitting a girl in anger, it was one of the main thing her father had taught her during training. Sure Cross herself was a woman, but that didn't mean she disagree with her father's teaching. The first time Cross trained with another woman she had accidently broken the girl's arm. Guilt and remorse ate at her for weeks after the incident. Cross saw to it herself that the girl recovered to full health. After that, she made sure to always be careful when training with other females.
Unfortunately for Cross, Lilia was making it damn hard to hold on to those words.
"Lilia, you're being quite demanding," Cross told her calmly. "We're no longer children."
"It is your job to see to me just like you did all those years ago, Captain," she bit out the title sarcastically, "If you don't see to my demands, I will go to the General personally and tell him of your lack of accommodation. And we both know how much you hate to disappoint daddy dearest."
Cross stiffened at the girl's threat. Since the start of her training Cross had done everything within her power to make sure never to disappoint her father. All the hard training and work had all been for him. During her training, to see her father give her his nod of approval had been the most important to thing to Cross. And Lilia knew this to be her weakness.
"Now, be a good little soldier and fetch me something," Lilia smirked cruelly at Cross before opening the door behind the Captain. Cross allowed Lilia to push her out and sighed when the immature woman closed the door in her face.
Cross swore she saw red. It took every ounce of control not to pull out her pistol and start shooting at the door like a deranged lunatic. Even with two enormous aliens standing in front of her, it didn't change anything in the blonde's attitude. Cross was sure Lilia hadn't been this annoying during their teen years. She certainly didn't think she'd be able to hold back her anger the next time Lilia decided to mouth off.
Cross turned and walked down the corridor, it was best if she distanced herself away from Miss Lilia. Behind her both Lar'ja and Halkrath gave each other a cautious look before following close behind her.
"Your aggression level just peaked," Lar'ja chirped.
Swallowing down the urge to spew out childish curses, Cross didn't break her stride as she glanced over her shoulder at the twins with a murderous scowl. "I don't know what you're talking about," she snarled. "Are my eyes black?"
Lar'ja observed and shook his head.
"Challenge the female!" Halkrath barked out harshly, both brothers didn't need to see what went on behind the closed door. Everyone, including the ooman warriors, had heard the female's shrewd voice. "She disrespected you."
Cross merely shook her head and blew out a sigh, "I can't, she is the President's daughter."
Halkrath crossed his arms over his scarred chest with a snort, "Females from the royal bloodlines fight."
"Lilia isn't a Yautja and she doesn't challenge people to fight," the Captain explained wearily. "She's just a woman who is used to getting her way. And in spite of that she must be kept unharmed; I swore to the General I would keep an eye on her."
"I don't have time to see to the damn princess's food. I have more important things to do." said an irritated Cross. "I'll just have someone else take care of Lilia's needs. There's someone I need to talk to. I'll understand if you want to train or something."
Lar'ja shook his head, "No, our mission is to watch over you."
"We go too," Halkrath muttered disgruntledly.
Since all three Elders were at the gathering with High Elder Nrak'ytara and the ooman's leader, Vor'mekta was assigned to watch over the Clan at the request of his grandfather, Elder Bakuub. Though a task such as this was normally given to an Honored Warrior, his grandfather had deemed him fit for the job.
Vor'mekta had a strong feeling the reason behind Bakuub's decision was because he'd wanted all three Honored Warriors to stay close to the female. Even with Elder Nihkou'te occupied Bakuub was still cautious when it came to his hybrid offspring.
Leaning lazily against the far wall, Vor'mekta's black eyes observed everything and everyone. During this time of night all the young Yautjas were sparring in the training room. His tusks twitched their irritation at the boredom he felt as he watched on. The Clan contained mostly of Youngblood and Blooded, all still growing and learning. Though they had passed their Chiva and claimed a few ooman skulls, they still had a long way to go before achieving a higher status among the Clan. Some were content with where they were now while others pushed on to one day becoming an Elder. Vor'mekta's bored eyes continued scanning the large room until it settled on a rather particular youngster.
The only one off to the far end of the room was an albino Unblood.
Vor'mekta observed the Unblood as he cleaned and polished his combi-stick at the vacant table. His rather plain combi-stick and short wrist-blade were the only two weapons an Unblood was allowed to carry. Earlier, Vor'mekta had witnessed the Unblood victorious in his sparring matches. Two of his opponents he had pinned to the mat and the last one he defeated by locking him into a submission hold. His thick white skin and brown stripes were a dead giveaway during a hunt, but his speed and intelligence made up for it, Vor'mekta observed. Judging by the way the Unblood handled and cared for his weapon and his opponents, he would say the Unblood was ready for his Chiva. Actually, now that he thought about it, Vor'mekta was sure the Unblood, Connor, should have already participated in his Chiva a year ago.
Clicking his tusks in curiosity, the Arbitrator walked toward the Unblood and immediately noticed the stiffness in the younger Yautja's shoulders. Trilling his amusement, Vor'mekta halted in front of him with a tilt to the head.
Connor didn't bother to lift his eyes off his weapon when he addressed the Arbitrator, "Is there something you want?"
A gruff bark snapped Connor's head up, his red eyes wide at the scowling Enforcer.
"You're Yautja," barked an irritated Vor'mekta, "You will use the language of your ancestors!"
Though Connor wanted to lower his head in submission, his weariness with all these testosterone laden males were beginning to wear him down. Clicking his tusks tiredly, Connor decided it was best to put aside his impatience and merely lower his head.
"Apology, Arbitrator," Connor struggled with the words. "I meant no disrespect."
Vor'mekta's black eyes looked at the ill-mannered Unblood up and down, "It is obvious you prefer the ooman's tongue to our own. I even notice your own Sire speaking to you in the ooman's language."
Resuming his task in cleaning his combi-stick, Connor shrugged, "My-My Bearer raised me here."
"And your Sire took you to the Clan Ship," he pointed out, "You trained under him for some time. How is it you haven't learn to speak proper Yautja or, more importantly, gone to your Chiva."
"What's with the questions?" Connor snapped, his red eyes glowing their anger. "What is it that you want?"
Trilling his amusement at the Unblood's outburst, Vor'mekta didn't need Connor to translate what he'd just said. "Do you know who I am?"
Connor frown his confusion and said, "You're the Arbitrator."
"Do you know any of my bloodline?"
Connor's frown only deepened at Vor'mekta's words. Just where was he going with all these random questions? Deciding to play along, Connor shrugged, "Am I supposed to?"
"A pity you were never informed," Vor'mekta muttered to himself and then said out-loud, "R'ka… do you know him?"
Connor knew that to be the second name of the General. Darting a quick look over at a stoic Vor'mekta, Connor's frown only grew at the odd familiarity the older Yautja had with the General. Hell, their attitude almost seemed the same. His head tilting confusedly, Connor put aside his combi-stick and stood up from the bench. Eyeing the Arbitrator cautiously, Connor made his way around the table and, with hesitation, took a step toward him and inhaled his scent slowly through his mouth.
Detection, it was faint, but Connor's body stiffened at the familiar scent the Arbitrator carried. To be honest, the Unblood never really paid the older Yautja any attention; the only time Vor'mekta truly spoke to him was during the time of his punishment. Tusks clicking together thoughtfully, Connor knew both his mother and the General were related to Elder Bakuub and Elder Nihkou'te and Elders do tend to be the main prize during mating seasons- suddenly Connor's brow snapped forward at the possibility that the Arbitrator was related to the General and-
"You're rather slow for a Yautja," Vor'mekta commented dryly. "Maybe I should make it simple, R'ka is my brother."
Connor jolted as if his whole body had been struck by lightning. His tusks gasping like a fish out of water, the Unblood couldn't issue any words from his mouth.
Vor'mekta snarled, "You're truly ooman," it wasn't a question, but more of a statement. "Pathetic."
Connor's red eyes snapped angrily at the insult, "I see where the General inherited his rudeness."
Vor'mekta smirked, "R'ka has been giving you a hard time I see," he observed with a shake to the head, "Do not take it personally, Unblood, my bother has his reasons."
"Why are you approaching me now?" Connor struggled to form the Yautja's language, but desperately wanted to change the subject about the General, "What is it that you want?"
"Curiosity," Vor'mekta admitted with a lazy shrug.
His fists clenching and unclenching, Connor regarded the older warrior with obvious distrust. With Vor'mekta having blood ties with the General, it meant he was the offspring of Elder Nihkou'te, which also meant he might know the reason why Nihkou'te was so interested in his mother.
"Continue with your training, Unblood," the Arbitrator dismissed, snapping Connor out of his thought, "You will need it."
Connor scowled at the abrupt dismissal. His red eyes glowered as Vor'mekta turned his back on him and walked toward the sparring match up head. With a low curse, the Unblood made his way back toward the table to resume his previous task. But kept in mind once training was over with he'd approach the Arbitrator with the question.
The sparring match before Vor'mekta was intense as it was bloodied. The Blooded Warrior, Guan, had ruthlessly beaten his opponent to the ground. The other Yautjas surrounding the two fighters growled and barked their encouragement as the match continued on. Guan already had his opponent on the floor and was straddling him as he continued to pound his fist into his opponent's unprotected face. Vor'mekta was sure by the end of the night the concrete beneath the mat would have an indent impression of the loser's body.
"Enough!" one of the Youngblood growled before he pulled Guan off the unconscious Yautja.
With a snarl, Guan yanked his arm away from his hunting partner and flared his tusks in warning.
H'chak bared his own flaring tusks in challenge, "The match is over, stop!"
From afar, Vor'mekta observed the two young Yautjas with keen interest. The two had been together since their Chiva, and had been hunting partners ever since. Although Guan had reached the level of a Blooded, his longtime hunting partner, H'chak, had kept his status as a Youngblood. The reason behind his action was still unknown. It was a rare thing for the Arbitrator to witness the two at a disagreement. Guan, to Vor'mekta's recollection, had been with Nihkou'te since he'd been a pup. It was perhaps around the time when his youngest sibling, R'ka, left the Clan Ship. Vor'mekta never knew why his Sire adopted the silver and blue eyed Yautja, although he did have a theory that it involved R'ka somehow.
"Out of my way, H'chak," Guan snarled.
The Youngblood stood his ground, "You were beating Ni'tor as if he was the one who killed your pup!"
"I know who killed my pup, H'chak, don't ever bring it up," Guan barked. "It has nothing to do with him."
H'chak's brows drew together thoughtfully. "Are you so disgruntled over the female's rejection that you have to spar like a Badblood?" he barked his accusation at a growling Guan.
The urge to groan his misery was tempting, Vor'mekta was sure the female they were referring to was R'ka's pup.
"She is not the reason behind my anger!" Guan roared his denial, his silver and blue eyes blazing in anger.
H'chak snorted, "One would think."
Vor'mekta wasn't at all surprised when Guan tackled the Youngblood to the ground. With a shake of his head, the Arbitrator calmly approached the two brawling youngsters and harshly yanked them apart. Guan flew across the mat while H'chak landed on the opposite side. The other Yautjas were quick to back away from the older and more dominate male.
"Enough!" roared the Arbitrator, "You will not seek blood tonight, not while the High Elder is here making peace with the oomans!"
All Youngbloods and Blooded were quick to lower their heads in submission. Connor, still seated at the table, merely shook his head before he continued with his work.
Satisfied with their submission, Vor'mekta threw both H'chak and Guan a warning look, "You will behave until the High Elder leaves, if not, than I will castrate you both!" he then stabbed a finger in Guan's direction, "Do I make myself clear?"
The training room had gone dead silent, looking up from his task, Connor looked curiously at both Vor'mekta and Guan.
Guan glared challengingly at the older warrior, but wisely clamped his tusks shut. After a minute the Blooded was smart enough to nod his head.
Vor'mekta grunted his approval and motioned for the others to continue their sparring match.
H'chak was the first to stand. Shooting the Blooded a look of contempt, he stormed out of the training room before Guan got to his feet.
"Having trouble with your boyfriend?" an amused Connor called from across the room.
Guan looked over his shoulder at the Unblood's remark, but merely tilted his head confusedly at the unfamiliar word. Before he got the chance to reply, the training door's open and in walked Betanu. At his approach Guan's eyes glared spitefully at the one armed Yautja.
Betanu was a mere arm-length away when Guan opens his tusks, ready to mock the older warrior when suddenly a large fist connected with his face. The seven foot Yautja landed on the flat of his back with a loud thud.
Guan was down and out for the count.
The others around halted in their training, some chuckled their amusement while others shrugged before resuming where they left off.
Vor'mekta looked up from his wrist-computer to the Honored Warrior and then down at the unconscious Blooded. Guan was still breathing, bleeding from the mandibles yes, but unharmed. The only one who seemed shocked by this was Connor, the Unblood's lower tusks were sagging open.
"What did you do that for?" asked a bewildered Connor.
Betanu grunted at his pup's words but kept his eyes on the bright neon green blood that coated his closed fist. Without a word, Betanu turned and walk out of the training room.
"I heard his pup was defeated and killed by Elder Nihkou'te's hybrid pup," a Youngblood remarked to his sparring partner. "It happened in this Colony years ago."
"Is that why the Blooded is after him?" the other Yautja said chirped.
The Youngblood shrugged, "Perhaps."
"Col! Rahja!" Vor'mekta barked at the two gossiping young Yautjas.
The two Youngblood instantly stopped their sparring to give their undivided attention to the intimidating Arbitrator. Snarling deep in his throat, Vor'mekta lowered his eyes to their level and hissed though gritted fangs, "You will keep your tusks shut and never speak again of what you just said."
Col and Rahja were smart enough to nod their heads in agreement.
Satisfied with their cooperation Vor'mekta dismissed the two young Yautja. Looking around to make sure no one heard their conversation, the Arbitrator's black eyes landed on the albino Unblood. Luckily for him Connor had been busy fidgeting with his combi-stick to pay any attention to the ruckus, which meant he wouldn't be running to his surrogate Bearer with the information.
Vor'mekta left the training room deep in thought. The conversation Col and Rahja had conjured up the image of rain and blood. It has been years and yet Vor'mekta remembered the incident as though it just happened yesterday.
From across the chamber, Halkrath's gold eyes watched as the edgy female paced back and forth across the room. Standing beside him, his brother almost watched the female with almost worried eyes. Unknown to Lar'ja only Halkrath knew the true reason why the female was so stressed and it involved a certain mismatched eyed little bastard.
"What is wrong with her?" Lar'ja directed his question toward his stoic brother.
The bigger Yautja grunted, "Leave her be, she will be fine."
"He should be here by now," Cross muttered to herself, "What's taking him so long?"
Lar'ja was quick to comfort the female, "He assured me he will come as soon as possible."
Cross bit back a curse when she glanced down at her watch and noticed the time, "That was half an hour ago…" she looked over at the door uncertainly, "Maybe he changed his mind?"
"He will come," Lar'ja's confident tone lessened some of her worries. Wanting to take her mind off the upcoming meeting, Lar'ja decided to change the subject. "During the ceremony you went off with a few of your hunt-brothers."
At the unpleasant memory, Cross's brows drew together in irritation. "A small incident occurred during the meeting. It was taken care of."
Lar'ja gave a curious chirp, "What happened?"
"Well…since our guest is taking his sweet time getting here," the Captain sighed and threw the two Yautja a weary smile, "I might as well amuse you guys with my unexpected encounter."
Cross listened on as the General continued to translate the President's words to the High Elder. This was the moment of peace between the Yautjas and humans. Though in her gut, Cross knew the peace wouldn't last long, but that didn't mean they couldn't try, right?
And as much as she wanted to interrupt the historical moment and drag her father away for some questioning, she knew she couldn't. Her palms were practically sweating with anticipation. Perhaps he might know the answer or not, she just needed to hear the words from him. If Guan really was her brother, then why hadn't-
"Captain, we have a situation out in front," a male voice interrupted her.
Cross's thoughts had been so deep she hadn't realized Victor was standing in front of her with a weary frown. With a curt nod she motioned for Percy and Victor to follow her out. Before leaving, her eyes caught the General's and she knew by that knowing scowl he wanted her to handle the situation with care. The trio left the docking area without a backward glance.
Walking out into the chill air, Cross looked at the orange and pink swirl in the sky with a thoughtful frown. Strange, she hadn't realized night was approaching so fast.
"We want those disgusting monsters out of here!" an unknown male's shout of rage snapped her out of thought.
The 'little' situation turned out to be a group of enraged civilians standing outside of the docking area. A small group of soldiers stood in front of the protesting civilians, blocking them from entering the docking area. Cross was quick to count nine protestors, five men and four women.
The Captain cursed her rotten luck as she approached the small group with determined steps. She didn't know how long the President and High Elder were going to chat it up in there, but she didn't want them to witness this protest.
"You brought those things here to hunt us for sport!" a female protestor shouted the moment the Captain came in to view.
The Captain resisted the urge to rub her temple at the oncoming headache, "I would appreciate it if all would calmly turn around and walk back to the Colony," Cross patiently said over their constant yelling and cursing. "If you do not leave within five minutes I will be force to arrest you."
"It's freedom of speech you can't arrest us!" a male protestor argued angrily, "You brought those murderous monsters here to kill us!"
Cross shot the man a stern look, "When it comes to the safety of the President and High Elder, I am at liberty to protect them however I see fit."
At their constant shouts, Cross walked in between the wall of soldiers and stood in front of the furious protestors. "We're all adults here, shouting won't get us anywhere-"
"You're not even human, why should we listen to you!"
At the unknown girl's words, Cross felt her left eye twitch. The Captain's attention immediately fell on to the youngest member of the group. A young woman, perhaps in her early twenties with short brown hair and black eyes were glaring at the Captain. Although Cross wanted to snap back at the unknown girl, there was just something in her black eyes that stopped her words. A thoughtful frown marred her brows at the girl's familiar face.
"You look familiar, miss, do I know you?" Cross took a step toward the scowling girl.
The young woman smirked bitterly at the Captain, "Actually…I believe you knew my brother."
Cross felt her brows deepens at her words, "And who was your brother, miss?"
In a shriek of rage the bitter woman lunged herself at the Captain. Cross barely had time to blink as she caught the girl's striking arm and pinned it behind her back. Cursing and shouting, the woman continued to hurl threats at the Captain while she kicked and thrashed in the restraining hold. During the commotion, some of the protestors made a move to intervene, but the soldiers easily held them back.
Cross was careful not to put too much pressure on the hold. Despite the crazed woman's thrashing, Cross could easily feel how fragile the woman's wrist's bones were. Keeping a strong and yet careful hold on her the Captain brought her captive face down on the cold pavement as she brought out a pair of handcuffs from behind her waist-belt.
After the woman was cuffed, Cross rolled the snarling woman on her back before shooting the protestor an impatient glare. "Enough of this childish game," she shouted and gave every one a hard look, "Every one of you will go back to your home and stay there during the duration of the President's and High Elder's time here."
The woman underneath her didn't seem to comprehend her words unfortunately. "You killed my brother, you bitch!" she screamed, "I'll get you for this!"
Tearing her glaring eyes off the protestors, Cross turned her attention to the woman and felt her patience snap "And just who the hell is your brother!"
"Don't act like you don't know who my brother was!" she growled spitefully, "You trained him as your rookie before he transferred out of your squad. Because of you his life was ruined!"
The pounding in Cross's head increased painfully at the woman's scornful words. Resisting the urge to grab her head at the throbbing pain, Cross pushed aside the guilt crawling inside her gut before she stood up. The Captain didn't need to ask who the woman referred to as her brother. She could see it, by the tears swelling in her black eyes, just who her brother was.
Cross's eyes hardened at the unwanted memory bombarding inside her head. "Your brother, rookie Kyle Johnson, was executed for bringing in a hostile alien life-form to the Colony. He murdered one of the rookies and came close to killing me. I assure you his death was quick and painless."
Unlike the pain he'd caused Sonia, she thought bitterly.
Turning a deaf ear to the woman's constant rambling, Cross ordered the soldiers to escort the protestors back inside the Colony. The Captain stood back as one of the female soldiers hoisted the restrained woman up and led her in the direction of the others. The woman shot Cross a look of pure hatred before she disappeared through the door.
"You think she will try and cause more problems, Captain?" Percy asked, his eyes staring at his Captain with concern.
Cross could only shrug, "The girl is after revenge. I'm pretty sure it won't be the last I see of her."
Standing beside her, Victor grunted his agreement, "I'll be sure to keep an eye on her."
Cross nodded her gratitude at the Private, "I appreciate that. I don't want another incident with a Xenomorph while the President and High Elder are here."
Satisfied that the protestors were returning home, Cross was just getting ready to head back inside the docking area when the hair on her arms stood up. Without thinking twice, she whipped out her revolver and aimed it at the intruder standing at the entrance of the docking area. Percy was quick to follow his Captain's action and held out his own handgun at the enemy. Despite the setting sun, Cross's eyes adjusted to the dark and was quick to notice a shimmer of waves.
"Identify yourself!" she demanded.
Blue electric sparks danced over the towering figure before he manifested himself to them. Cross's eyes widened at the sight of the Arbitrator standing there, his body geared in his heavy armor and weapons. Despite the scarred mask he wore, Cross was sure he was scowling at her. Clearing her throat nervously, she withdrew her weapon and motioned for Percy to do the same.
Knowing the Arbitrator spoke no English, Cross could only lower her head in hope he took it as a sign of apology or submission, whichever way he wanted to look at it. Daring a glance up, she breathed in a sigh of relief at his slight nod. Straightening up, Cross made a move to walk past him but stopped when a large hand gripped her shoulder. Looking up over her shoulder at him, Cross suddenly wished she knew what went on her uncle's mind.
Percy's hand instantly went for the handle of his weapon, "Captain?" he questioned while keeping a guarded eye on the large Yautja towering over them.
At her Lieutenant's action, Cross quickly shook her head, "Hand off the gun, Lieutenant, this Yautja is actually a relative of mine."
At her abrupt words, Percy didn't bother to hide the shock in his eyes, "Excuse me?"
Cross took one glance at the unmoving Yautja and back at the Lieutenant, "We should head back," she said and gave a short nod toward the Arbitrator before walking toward the docking area.
Percy gave one last cautious look at the Yautja before running after her.
Taking in a deep breath, Cross halted in her pacing when she heard the door hiss open and then close. She glanced over her shoulder and ignored the knot in her stomach at the sight of the Arbitrator standing there. Since Vork had spent more time with Elder Nick then maybe he might know something about Guan.
The Captain nodded her head in his direction.
Vor'mekta returned her acknowledgement with one of his own. "You summoned me?"
Cross nodded. "Yes. There's something I wish to discuss with you," she indicated toward a vacant chair, "Please have a seat."
Vor'mekta declined with a shake of his head, "We must make this meeting fast, I have other duties I must attend to," he then gestured with his hand, "What is it that you wish to discuss?"
Again, Lar'ja translated the words to Cross.
Clearing her throat, Cross decided to go straight to the point, "Is Guan truly my father's son?"
Lar'ja would have translated if he hadn't been shock himself by the female's words. Even when he felt his two lower tusks sagged down, Lar'ja couldn't seem to force the words out of his throat.
Halkrath, on the other hand, noticed his brother's shameful display and decided to snap him out of him by giving him a quick jab to the stomach. Lar'ja grunted at the harsh impact and shot his brother a spiteful glare.
Upon hearing his nickname from the female, Lar'ja was quick to gather his wits and translated the words back to the Arbitrator. A heavy silence soon followed after the words left Lar'ja's mouth. The only reaction Cross could see from the Arbitrator was the clenching of his hands. Suddenly without warning, the older Yautja barked out something harsh toward Lar'ja, who in turn translated to Cross.
"The Arbitrator wishes to know where you heard those words."
Cross didn't hesitate, "From Elder Nick."
Lar'ja shook his head in amusement at female's chosen name for the Elder, "Elder Nihkou'te himself confessed to her."
His words only seem the fuel the fire in an already pissed off Arbitrator. With a loud enraged roar, Vor'mekta turns to leave the room. The door went flying open by the harsh impact of the Arbitrator's fist. Cross couldn't help but cringe at the sound as she watched the large Yautja storm out.
Before she could curse her disappointment the Arbitrator stomped back in and snarled, "You will leave this matter to me and I'll come back with the answer."
All Cross heard were growls and clicks as Vork spoke, but just as she was about to open her mouth the Arbitrator walked out once more.
"He will come back with the answer and wishes for you to leave everything to him," Lar'ja informed the scowling female.
Biting back a curse Cross nodded grudgingly. "I suppose…"
"Everything should go smoothly tonight," said a skeptical Percy while he stood beside his Captain in the towering headquarters that stood erected in the center of the courtyard. "But then again that's just me being hopeful."
Putting her troublesome thoughts aside, Cross turned her attention to a sulking Percy. "I'm sure no one will try anything stupid tonight."
Percy snorted his disbelief, "That's almost like asking the clouds to rain gold dust."
Cross couldn't help but chuckle at the picture he painted. Regrettably her amusement was short lived when a group of passing technicians shot her wary looks as they quickly walked past her. Their looks and soft spoken whispering didn't go unnoticed by a scowling Percy.
"I know I already told you this, Captain," Percy spoke loudly, not at all caring if the others heard him. "My loyalty to you won't change no matter what is in your blood."
To be honest Cross never knew what she'd done to earn such a loyalty from Percy. If anything his words warmed her and somehow eased some of the stress she had felt since the arrival of the Yautja.
With a small smile she put her hand on his shoulder and gave it a firm squeeze. "I know and I thank you for your words, Lieutenant."
Despite her easy smile, Percy's brown eyes held some worry at the thought of others shunning her because of their fear. "Though there are some who will protest against it, I'm sure."
Cross merely shrugged at his words, "Eh, there's nothing I can do about that. I can't stop others from feeling the way they do."
Without warning Cross nearly fell face forward when a large palm slapped her on the back. Grunting, she looked over her shoulder and frowned in irritation at Squad Leader Lucian standing there with a huge smile on his rugged face.
"That's right, Captain, we got your back if you need anything!" his booming voice assured her.
Standing beside him was Jason, the older man with the salt and pepper hair merely smiled at her to let her know he too agreed with Lucian one hundred percent.
Suppressing the urge to smile her gratitude at their unquestioning loyalty, Cross shrugged off Lucian's hand before shooting each man a stern look. "Don't you men have some corridors to be patrolling or something?"
The words barely left her lips when all three men burst into laughter. Frowning at their all too happy mood, Cross resisted the urge to roll her eyes in annoyance.
Percy, noticing the light blush across her cheeks, grinned playfully, "Aw, is our favorite Captain blushing?" he cooed playfully.
As quick as a cat, Percy was able to duck under the fist that flew at his head. Taking a hasty step back, he couldn't wipe the huge smile off his face at the Captain's scowling, yet blushing face. Before Cross could take another shot at him, she was suddenly hoisted in the air with a pair of muscular arms wrapped around her. Her feet dangled helplessly above the ground. Cursing at her thoughtlessness, she glanced over her shoulder and glared at a smirking Lucian.
"Is this any way to treat your Captain!" she cried in outrage. Although she should be furious with their childish behavior Cross couldn't help but be amused.
"Oh, nah, Captain, this is just how we treat misbehaving kids," Lucian gave a hearty laugh at her sour expression.
Blowing out a sigh of frustration, Cross snarled through clenched teeth, "You can put me down now."
Setting her back down on her feet, Lucian took a step back in fear she might retaliate. Luckily for him, the Captain merely straightened her coat and brushed the bangs back from her face.
Honestly what have she ever done to deserve these men's loyalties? The Captain thought amusedly.
"Excuse me, Captain, but there is someone here to see you."
The Captain snapped out of thought at the sound of the Lieutenant's voice. Taking her eyes off a grinning Lucian, she glanced over her shoulder and immediately took sight of the gray deadlocked Yautja standing there.
Recognizing the familiar gold armor and clan symbol, Cross lowered her head, "Elder Bakuub, is there something I can help you with?"
Percy and the two Squad Leaders were quick to follow in her example.
"I wish to speak with you in private," the older Yautja gestured for her to follow him.
With a quick word with her Lieutenant, Cross followed the Elder out of Headquarters. Neither spoke a word as they walked down the corridors, the Captain was sure whatever Bakuub had to say he must really want to say it in private. Could it somehow be regarding to the whole incident involving the General and Guan? And if so, did the Elder know about it all this time and fail to mention it?
Just the thought of it brought an oncoming headache to the confused Captain. Damn, who knew her life would revolve around so many secrets and lies ever since the Yautjas arrived?
"You're distracted tonight, young one," the Elder's rumbling voice brought her out of thought.
Taking in a deep breath and exhaling, Cross nodded, "There is much I wish to ask you."
"All in due time," he assured her with a small nod.
Elder Bakuub and Cross continued to walk until they were outside the courtyard of the Colony. Following close behind the Elder, Cross signaled the watch tower to open the gate when she realized Bakuub was heading toward it. At her signal the men standing post were quick to enter the code to the gate. Once the gate was open both she and the Elder slipped through the crack and the door closed behind with a loud bang. The two continued to walk into the forest that was on the outskirt of the Colony.
Curious as to where they were heading, Cross asked, "Elder Bakuub?"
Bakuub didn't need to ask what she meant by the tone in her voice, "Take a walk with me, Cross, the night is warm and your Earth's moon is full."
With her head tilt to the side, Cross look up and sighed at the tiny stars winking down at her. True to his word, the moon was indeed full and bright on the cloudless night and the night breeze was warm.
"It was a night like this when I met my ooman mate," he said as his purple eyes stared down at his bloodline. "Odd wouldn't you say, to meet your mate while hunting her and her hunt-brothers?"
Cross let loose a light chuckle, "I wouldn't say that," she said, brushing her fingertips against the bite mark on her neck. "May I ask you a question?"
The Elder nodded his consent.
"What drew you to her?" she asked, "Was it her scent?"
"In the beginning, yes, it was her scent," he acknowledged, "Later on, it was her feisty spirit which attracted me. She was stubborn, quick to attack and seemed to have a foolish notion that she could save everyone. She was hot-tempered like any other ooman, but she was brave and proud…and all I wanted was for her to be mine."
Cross couldn't prevent the smile from stretching her lips, "What's the deal with Yautja and their possessiveness?"
He gave a hearty chuckle, "Like any other male in the universe, it's only natural."
"Why are you so different?"
Her question seemed to startle the Elder, "What do you mean?"
Halting in her steps, Cross causally reached out and plucked a leaf off a near-by branch. "Why are you so different from the other Yautjas?"
Behind his bio-mask, his tusks lift into a grin, "You mean why do I think and feel the way I do?"
She nodded, "Of course."
"That story is for another time, young one," the Elder said, noticing the disappointment in her eyes, but merely resumed walking, "Come."
Dropping the leaf to the ground, Cross followed behind the Elder with a thoughtful frown.
"You're confused," he glanced over his shoulder at the Captain, "You wish to know the truth behind Nihkou'te's words."
Her eyes hardened, "He claims Guan is my father's son. Have you known all this time, Elder?"
Stopping in his track, the Elder turned to his bloodline and sighed, "I had my suspicion," he said cautiously, "But I did not think Nihkou'te would stoop as low as to this."
"But is it true?" she demanded. "Is Guan…my brother?"
To be honest Cross wouldn't know what to do if Guan really did turn out to be her brother. Should she be furious with her father for hiding such a secret or should she welcome Guan with open arms? Just the thought of him brought back the memory of when the young Yautja tried to make a move on her. Her mind as well as her body had reacted violently at the scent he'd emitted during their time alone. It was almost as if her body knew something was wrong and wanted, no needed to reject him.
The Elder huffed out a weary breath before sitting down on a near-by flat boulder. With his hand he gestured for Cross to come closer, she didn't hesitate. Standing in front of the Yautja Elder, the Captain waited anxiously for his answer. If she couldn't get the truth from her father's mouth than her great-great grandfather would have to do.
"Your Sire, Edwin, never mated with a Yautja female to my knowledge," he admitted, "Though there is no denying the familiar scent Guan carries."
Unwillingly, Cross's heart dropped at his words. "Of course," she muttered, her eyes darkening at the memory of Guan trying to press his attention on her. "My…uh-"
Noticing Cross's uneasiness, Bakuub reach out and laid a hand on her shoulder, "Go on, young one," the Elder urged softly. "Do not hide from me."
Nodding, Cross pushed down her childish nervousness by taking in a deep breath. "When Guan approached me with his intention to get closer …" her brow furrowed at the memory, "He released his musk, but my body rejected him. It felt like my gut instincts were screaming at me to run or, at least, hurt him in some way."
The Elder took in the information with an understanding nod, "It was a natural reaction from our females," he assured her, "A female would reject a male if she detects disease or some sickness lurking within him, though they can only scent it when the male releases his mating musk in her presence."
Cross's eyes widened at this, "So is Guan sick or-?"
Bakuub shook his head, "Yautja do not breed within their own blood. Your body acted out of instinct when it must've sensed a familiarity with Guan."
"So…it is true," Cross muttered bitterly as she felt her gut drop to the ground, "Guan is my brother."
"Does it trouble you, Cross?" the Elder asked, his brows drawing together worriedly. "Does having a Yautja brother bother you?"
"Of course not," she assured him quickly with a wave of her hand, "But my father told me himself he'd never mated with a Yautja female. Or any other female on board the Clan Ship," she added with hesitation.
"How can he be so sure?" Bakuub questioned, "Perhaps Edwin forgot something in his past?"
He sure as hell didn't seem like it, she thought. "Do-Do you think Elder Nick knows something we don't?"
Bakuub's tusks tightened in displeasure at the mention of his son, "Knowing my son, perhaps. Nihkou'te did not want to let your Sire go."
Cross's eyes widened in shock and disbelief at the Elder's words. Was her hearing damaged?
"Repeat that?" she didn't bother to hide the shock in her voice.
"My son would never admit it…but Nihkou'te did everything in his power to tie Edwin to the Clan Ship."
"You were there?" she asked, her eyes glowing with their curiosity, "Were you there during the fight between my father and Elder Nick?"
He nodded, "Nihkou'te was desperate to keep your Sire at his side."
She scoffed, "Why would he? I thought Elder Nick despised my father."
"Nihkou'te's Yautja blood and upbringing ruled over his human heart. He could not afford to look weak among the others. He was confused and angry, and used brute force to discipline his ooman pup to keep him." Bakuub hand dropped to his side in defeat, "I blame myself for Nihkou'te's upbringing."
"How so?" she asked, edging closer to him.
Detaching the hoses to his bio-mask, Bakuub took it off and laid it beside him. Only with his mask off could Cross see the heavy sadness in his eyes. "I did not keep my word to my mate," his tusks clicked their disappointment, "Her last words to me were for me to love him."
Cross's jaw clenched. "But you didn't love him, did you?"
He lowered his head in shame, his gray dreadlocks curtaining around him. To Cross it almost looked as though he was hiding from her. "I couldn't. When I looked at my pup all I saw was her and the reminded of how I could never hold her again."
"I see," she muttered.
"I was selfish and wallowed in my own self-pity," he gritted out the words as though it pained him to say it, "I avoided him and rarely spoke his name."
As much as Cross didn't want to think about it, she couldn't help but imagine a lonely Nick standing all by himself on the Clan Ship. No male figure for guidance and no mother to nurture him, it almost seemed as though Nick raised himself. Unfortunately she couldn't let herself wallow in her thoughts of her grandfather's childhood. Until then, she was going to have to wait until Hulk return with the information she needed.
Pressing himself up against the wall, Connor huffed irritably at the humans running past him. Although his instinct told him to simply knock the rude and ignorant humans aside, his rational side kept him in place. Besides if his mother caught him doing something such as that she'd surely give him the scolding of a lifetime. Watching the humans through hooded eyes, Connor couldn't understand why they were in such a rush. Sure the President and High Elder were here, but that didn't mean they had to run around like a brunch of chickens with their heads chopped off.
The six foot three Yautja gave a start at the sound of his name. Glancing over to his right, his eyes widened slightly at the sight of his mother standing there with Elder Bakuub beside her and behind them were the Yautja twins, Halkrath and Lar'ja.
Cross eyed her son up and down with an amused look on her face, "It almost looks as though you're trying to melt into the wall."
He grunted and waved carelessly at the bypassing humans, "I don't get why everyone's in such a rush."
"They're simply following order for tomorrow's feast," the Elder answered, his eyes following the hasty movement of the busy oomans. "The High Elder and your Earth leader wish to celebrate the treaty signing by throwing a feast in honor of our union."
"A feast?" Cross was not aware of a feast for tomorrow night.
At her questioningly look, the Elder said, "Edwin will announce it soon after the meeting between our two leaders."
Connor eyed the older Yautja curiously, "Why aren't you in the meeting with the others?"
Bakuub sighed a weary breath, "I had to see to other matters. Excuse me," the Elder gave a small nod to both Cross and Connor before walking away.
"I get the feeling he's hiding something." muttered a troubled Connor.
Cross kept her eyes on her great-great grandfather's retreating back until he was out of sight. "He has a lot on his mind, Connor," she assured him. "Was there somewhere you needed to go?"
Grudgingly Connor nodded, "I was supposed to meet up with Betanu in the training room."
Cross's eyes brighten at the thought, "It's been a while since I watched you train, I'll accompany you."
Despite his grumble, Connor was excited to have his mother watch him train. Indeed it had been a while since she sat back and watched him get his ass kicked by the sperm donor, he thought with dry amusement. To be honest he was surprised she had some time for him. Since the High Elder and President were here Connor had thought his mother might be too busy for him.
"Hey," Cross said casually as they strolled down the busy corridor with her two guards silently walking behind them, "There's something I need to tell you."
Connor grimaced; he was sure, judging by the tone in her voice that the new wasn't a good. "What is it?"
With a sigh of regret, Cross slapped her son on the shoulder firmly. "I'll tell you on the way there."
The meeting with the High Elder and the Earth's leader had gone more quickly than Nihkou'te thought it would. A feast tomorrow night was to be held in the honor of the peace signing that was going to happen in five days.
Five days and the peace between oomans and Yautjas will be official…
Nihkou'te scoffed at the notion. Peace, only an idiot would think there could be peace between Yautja and ooman.
Nihkou'te never broke from his stride when he answered, "What is it, Guan?"
The younger Yautja was quick to walk beside the Elder, "We must talk about-."
"And all in good time, Guan," Nihkou'te interjected impatiently. "But I am weary and wish to retire for the night."
Guan's fists clenched in anger when the Elder brushed past him and coolly continued on his way down toward his quarters. The younger Yautja's mismatched eyes glared spitefully at the Yautja he once considered a friend. Actually Elder Nihkou'te was the closest thing he had to a Sire. After all, he was the one to raise him since he was a mere suckling. No matter, after his encounter with Akira, he finally knew from her scent alone that she was his sister. It was no wonder every time he was near her he felt a familiar calmness. Unfortunately…blood related or no, it didn't stop his body from wanting her. Just the thought of having her made his blood boil in both rage and lust.
Unfortunately the thought of her also brought up the image of Betanu. Pauk, his lower tusks were still sore from the punch the Honored Warrior landed on him.
With a low growl, Guan followed his instinct and went after the female's scent.
Today's training should have been a breeze for Connor, especially since the training room was empty, all except for him, his mother and Betanu. The lesson today was merely in defense tactics and yet Connor was getting his ass kicked like there was no tomorrow.
He gave a loud grunt when he was forcefully slammed into the mat beneath him. Looking up Connor glared angrily at a smirking Betanu standing above him. Snarling out a curse, Connor hopped to his feet, swiping his claws at him. Betanu was quick to side-step away from his pup's deadly black talons.
"Come, pup, you can do better than that," Betanu taunted, his tusks curling in amusement.
Connor growled, "I'm distracted right now," he admitted grudgingly.
"Not always good to let your enemy know that, pup," Betanu advised him seriously.
The younger Yautja glowered at him, "Did you know?"
Betanu chirped, "Know what?"
Throwing his mother a cautious look at the far end of the sparring room, Connor lowered his voice and said, "That Guan could be her brother."
At the thought of Guan Betanu's eyes darkened in anger, "Yes…both Cross and Guan believe they're brother and sister."
Digging through his memory, Betanu knew from the beginning that there was something off with the silver and blue eye Yautja, but he would have never thought Guan would be related to his mate. During their confrontation, the scent both Guan and Cross gave off were indeed familiar. It definitely confirmed his suspicion that the two were blood related. Cross, Betanu was sure, had accepted it, but it was Guan who had him worried. It was not too long ago when he smelled Guan's mating musk on his female.
"Uh, Betanu, are you still in there?"
Betanu jerked out of thought and without a moment of hesitation grabbed the younger Yautja by his dreadlocks and tossed him across the mat. "Enough talk," the Honored Warrior growled, "Time to train, pup."
From across the training room, Cross stood with her back pressed against the wall as she observed Connor's attacks. True he was getting better with defending against any attacks his opponent threw at him, but he definitely needed improvement with his weapon skills. Watching him and his father spar together, Cross's lips curved into a warm smile. One day, she was sure, Connor would come to her with his head held high and brag about the many victories he'd won against all those who stood against him.
"Even with one arm your mate is still impressive," Lar'ja appeared beside her while his forest green eyes watched the match in front of him.
She grinned and against her will her memory flashed to the first night they mated. Just thinking about it was enough to make her body shiver, "Of course."
Beside her Lar'ja unhooked the bio-mask from his waist-belt and attached it to his face, "Careful there, Cross, you don't want to distract your mate," he warned before locking the mask to the hoses.
Halkrath merely grunted.
At his word Cross felt an unwanted blush spread across her cheeks. Damn Yautja and their sense of smell, she thought irritably. Although it always made her curious as to how Yautja were able to smell things when they had no nose.
From across the room Betanu's step halted a bit when a very familiar aroma invaded his senses. At this distraction it was enough for Connor to land a kick to the Honored Warrior's unprotected back. Betanu went face forward on the cold mat with an annoyed grunt. Above him Connor gave a loud victory roar.
Cross eyed the scene with guilt before looking away. "Sorry," she muttered apologetically.
"Do you truly think Vor'mekta will come back with the answer?"
She sighed heavily, "I know Guan's my brother, but I just need to know how."
Lar'ja nodded his understanding at the female's words, "Your Sire does not know?"
"Obviously not," she muttered darkly, "He already told me he'd never, uh, mated with a Yautja female."
"Interesting…I wonder how one who swore he'd never mated with a Yautja female sired a full blood Yautja pup," Lar'ja remarked dryly.
"I've been thinking about that for the past couple of hours," she assured him wryly.
From across the training room, Betanu brushed the dust off his shoulders as he approached his mate and the twins. "Lar'ja," Betanu greeted the other Honored Warrior with a nod and glared at Halkrath.
Looking behind Betanu, Cross winced as she watch Connor slowly wobble to his feet but only to fall back down. It was apparent Betanu retaliated hard after getting knocked down by Connor's lucky attack.
"Is he okay?" she asked Betanu worriedly.
"He'll be fine," he assured her.
Lar'ja grunted his disbelief, "I'll make sure the pup is functioning properly, Cross," he gestured for his brother to follow him.
Growling deep in his throat, Halkrath followed his brother.
Cross nodded her thanks as she watched Lar'ja and Halkrath walk toward a stumbling Connor. While her guards tended to a slightly dazed Connor, Cross's curious eyes wandered over to Betanu's severed arm.
"How's the arm?" she asked.
Betanu eyed his missing body part with little interest, "Its well I suppose," he shrugged and then turned his eyes toward her. "Thank you earlier for the distraction, mate."
She grinned mischievously, "Anytime."
Cautiously, Cross reached over and touched the black crust sealed over his severed arm. The texture was odd; it almost felt as though she was touching leather. At her soft touch Betanu's body jerked slightly. Cross's heart leaped in her throat at his reaction and quickly made a move to pull her hand back but only to have him hold her hand in place.
"Did I hurt you?" she asked worriedly.
He shook his head before he released his hold on her hand, "It tingles but it does not hurt me."
Cross released the breath she didn't realize she'd been holding in, "Good. For a second there I thought I did."
His chest rumbled in a chuckle, "You did not hurt me," he assured her again and then his voice grew low and serious, "There is something we must discuss."
Cross nodded at his tone, she was sure whatever he wanted to discuss involved Guan. "Sure. I already know what you're going to say."
His lower tusks flared in warning. "Guan is not to be trusted, brother or no. He was trained under the hand of Elder Nihkou'te himself."
She stiffened and scowled. "I know that. Even if he is my brother, I-I know he will always side with Nick."
Betanu was not at all convinced by her words, despite her cool attitude she had a soft heart. The Honored Warrior knew this and was determined to keep others from breaching through it. Oomans were fragile creatures and many weren't able to control their emotions. Guan would take advantage of this and use his brotherly persuasion to keep Cross within his reach, and that was what Betanu feared.
"Remember, his mating musk was on you not too long ago. Perhaps his opinion of you won't change despite blood," he warned grimly.
Just the thought of it made her shudder in disgust, "Don't worry, I'll-I'll stay away from him."
Betanu nodded and glanced over his shoulder at the others, "In the meantime, your guards Halkrath and Lar'ja will shadow your every movement."
Though it irked him to have Halkrath near his female, Betanu knew he had no other choice. Despite his obvious dislike of the Honored Warrior, Halkrath was a reliable guard for Cross. And for now, Betanu would have to use him to his advantage.
Her dark brow arched at his words, "And what of Connor?"
"The Unblood has been neglecting his training since returning to Earth," Betanu clicked his tusks in disapproval. "He will go straight to training and nothing else."
Cross nodded, "Okay. Since you got this covered I have to return to duty."
Cross turned to leave but instantly halted when she felt a small tugging on her hair. Glancing over her shoulder she felt her lips twitch at the sight of Betanu holding a lock of her hair in between his thumb and forefinger.
"Remember, mate," Betanu warned her, "You must not be alone with Guan."
"Was it successful?" Lar'ja asked.
"We will just have to wait and see," she shrugged in defeat. "If that fails, I'll just assign it to someone else," muttering something about troublesome woman, Cross turned on her heel and walked down the corridor. "From now on I'm just going to ignore her calls."
Her also happened to be Lilia.
Lar'ja made a move to follow the muttering female but a hand on his shoulder stopped him. Glancing over he frowned at his brother. "What is it?"
"I must speak with the female alone."
Lar'ja chuckled his tusks in amusement, "You barely speak the ooman's tongue, what do you have to say to the female that must be private?"
The hand on Lar'ja's shoulder tightened, causing Lar'ja's chuckling to come to a stop. With a low growl, Halkrath shook his head. "It is of importance I speak with her, brother."
Lar'ja's eyes hardened at his words, "Your infatuation with the female is becoming-"
"None of that," Halkrath snapped, his eyes glowered their irritation at his brother's accusation. "It is something she must know."
Flaring his tusks in frustration, the Honored Warrior eyed Halkrath wearily. Darting a quick look at the female's retreating back, he turned back to his brother and bit out, "Be quick, five minutes."
Halkrath nodded his head at his brother's words and went after the female. Cross had been rubbing the scar on the side of her head when she heard a low raspy growl from behind. She glanced over her shoulder and noticed Halkrath standing there.
She frowned her confusion when she noticed Lark was missing. "Where did Lark go?"
"Guan, no trust," Halkrath huffed out the foreign words, "Dangerous to-"
"Yes, yes, I know," Cross waved off his warning, "I heard the same speech from Betanu, I won't go near Guan until I get some answer."
"No-No!" the Honored Warrior growled, causing Cross to flinch at the thunderous sound, "Sire, female's Sire in danger."
Cross's heart stopped at the abrupt warning, taking a step toward him she demanded, "What are you talking about?"
"Guan after female's Sire."
Guan was after her father.
Could it be because Guan thought her father abandoned him? But it wasn't known know for sure if Guan really was related to them. Although she had to understand the anger and confusion he must've felt after all those years alone. But just because she understood didn't mean she would let him hurt her father. There was no way in hell she was going to stand aside and let Guan have his revenge.
"Did he tell you why?"
Halkrath shook his head.
Since she promised Betanu to stay away from Guan, she needed to find another way to keep an eye on him, but how? A sly smile curved her lips as she turned her eyes toward the eight foot Yautja in front of her. Halkrath stiffened when he noticed the female staring at him as though she'd just found a new prey.
"Hulk, I was wondering if you can do me a little favor."
Crossing his massive arms over his scarred chest, the Honored Warrior studied the smiling female with a distrustful frown. He didn't have to ask what brought on that mischievous glint in her eyes, "No, I watch over you."
It was Cross's turn to frown, "Fine, I guess I can understand that."
"Unblood," Halkrath chirped.
Cross didn't have to ask who he was referring to. "You want Connor to track Guan?"
She supposed she could ask Connor for a favor. After all, she was sure a mission like trailing Guan wouldn't be too dangerous for her son.
"WHERE IS HE!"
Cross nearly jumped out of her skin at the thunderous male voice. Halkrath was already in front of the startled female when he spotted an aggressive Guan storming his way towards them. Lar'ja, having heard the Yautja's roar already made his way toward his brother to take his side beside the female.
Cross looked from between her two guards and cautiously reached for her revolver hidden behind her coat. She was quick to notice droplet of blood trailing from Guan's tusks to his chest.
Ignoring the warning growl the two guards were emitting, the Blooded Warrior took a step forward. "Where's that fuck you call a mate!" Guan roared at the female.
Refusing to be intimidated by the snarling Yautja, Cross took in a shuddering breath and ignored the drop of sweat trailing down her neck. "Betanu isn't here."
"Coward!" Guan spat out, "You chose a coward for a mate, Akira!"
"Betanu isn't a coward!" Cross snapped, her own anger rising.
Silver and blue eyes glared challengingly at Cross. Guan's tusks twitched in bitter amusement at the fire in the female's eyes. With the back of his hand he wiped the blood from his aching tusks to scoff, "Snippy, are you, Akira?" Guan sneered, "Are you regretting your choice in a mate?"
Baring her teeth at him, she growled, "I have no regret so don't you dare insult Betanu in front of me!"
Guan made a move to edge in closer toward Akira when a sharp bark from Halkrath stopped him. Glaring his amusement at the older warrior, Guan returned his attention to the female. "Brother and sister shouldn't be fighting."
Cross stiffened, "We don't know for sure if it's true."
Trilling his tusks softly, Guan spread out his arms, "Would you embrace me if it were true? Would you welcome me with open arms?"
Cross's brows furrowed in distrust at his words, "It depends, there's something I want to know."
Guan dropped his arms to his side with a low irritated growl, "What?"
"Why are you after my father?"
At the mention of the General, Guan turned his eyes toward a scowling Halkrath. It would seem the Honored Warrior had informed the female of their conversation, Guan's eyes blazed in hatred. "Don't mention your Sire in front of me, Akira!"
Both Halkrath and Lar'ja growled a warning at the younger warrior's outburst.
"Why shouldn't I mention our father in front of you?" Cross taunted an irate Guan, "What has he done-"
Guan threw back his head and flared his mandibles in a monstrous roar. Before Cross had time to blink the Blooded Warrior was charging after her. Cross automatically whipped out her revolver but only to point it to the side when Halkrath brought the younger warrior down with ease. Restraining both his arms behind his back, Halkrath forced the smaller Yautja to the ground by pressing his knee to the center of his prisoner's back.
As much as Cross didn't want to use violence she knew her two guards would go to extreme measures to keep her safe. She stood back and watched Halkrath hold down a growling Guan. The moment Guan had rushed toward her, bits and pieces of images years ago flashed before her eyes. Images that showed a rainy scene with the ground soaked in blood. Blood that had once belonged to her men. It was the day she first faced off with a bloodlusting Yautja, who had been hell-bent on seeing her dead. It was the day she came close to dying. The scars she bore from that day burned in her memory and with a shuddering breath she shook her head free of the image.
"I should skin you alive, pup," Halkrath hissed.
Lar'ja growled his agreement.
Guan let loose a bitter chuckle, "The female wouldn't allow it even if you wanted to," he smirked at the startled look in the Honored Warrior's eyes, "Oomans are close to their bloodline, they will do anything to protect them."
Lar'ja hissed, "Hiding behind a female, are we, pup?"
Guan's eyes snapped at him, "You can challenge me to a last match and I'll accept it, but how would that make the female feel? Knowing that her long lost brother suddenly slipped through her fingers?"
Halkrath tightened his hold on the Blooded, "The female is not weak. She'll survive your death."
Guan snarled, "Oomans are fragile creatures with delicate emotion, are you willing to risk it?"
"To be rid of you, yes!" Halkrath barked.
"Halkrath," Lar'ja shot his brother a warning look, before looking over to the pale face of the female. "Blooded Warrior Guan, you will answer the female or my brother will break your tusk."
The thought of breaking the Blooded's tusk brought a dark smile to Halkrath.
Guan grunted, and turned his narrowing eyes toward Cross. "My anger for your Sire…does not concern you."
Cross scowled, "He's my father, and it does concerns me. Say what you will but I won't let you hurt him."
Cross watched on as Guan's silver and blue eyes darkened in only what she could describe as pure contempt. She was sure if Halkrath didn't have a hold on him Guan would have probably try something. Swallowing down the lump in her throat, Cross stood next to Lar'ja before asking, "Tell me, Guan."
Awkward silence filled the empty corridor, all except for the harsh breathing coming from Guan. Looking over at Halkrath, the older warrior merely shook his head, signaling to her the Blooded would not answer. Cross sighed her disappointment, making a move to turn around and leave and would have left if a sharp bark hadn't stopped her. Looking over her shoulder, her eyes widened slightly at the determination behind Guan's mismatched eyes.
"Have something to say, do we?" she muttered and made a move toward him, but addressed Halkrath, "Hulk, let him up."
The Honored Warrior shot the female a startled look before glaring at her, "No."
Lar'ja hissed, "Let the Blooded up, brother."
Halkrath let loose a sting of curses at their foolishness, but listened to his brother. Before the reluctant Honored Warrior let the Blooded up, the hold he had on him tightened, causing Guan to flinch at the bone bruising grip.
Leaning over the fallen Guan, Halkrath hissed, "Behave or I'll break every bone in your body."
Guan's eyes narrowed at the bigger Yautja, but gave a curt nod. Not convinced at his submission, Halkrath stood up and slammed Guan's face into the concrete floor. At the sound of cement breaking from the impact, Cross flinched. With a raspy chuckle, Halkrath stepped to the side and watched a wobbly Guan get to his feet with his hand cradling his injured mandibles.
Guan shot the older Yautja a look of disdain before turning his attention to Cross. Dropping his hand to his side, Guan said, "Your Sire took someone away from me."
Cross ignore the turning in her stomach and asked, "Who?"
"Years ago my pup came to this planet after his Chiva, he came here for his first ooman hunt," Guan's eyes glared at a frowning Cross, "His last known location was directed here at this Colony."
Cross listened on and felt a cold shiver go up her spine. The last Yautja incident to occur happened three and a half years ago…but it hadn't been her father who killed the lone Yautja.
"The only one strong enough to take on a Yautja would be your Sire," Guan hissed at her.
"You should honor your pup's death, Blooded Warrior Guan," Lar'ja advised the younger Yautja, "Lots of young warrior are eager to hunt on Earth after their Chiva. Your pup met a worthy opponent during his hunt."
"Revenge is the way of the Badbloods," Halkrath snarled, "Honor his death and honor the code."
"I will not!" Guan snapped, his tusks flaring in anger, "I will break R'ka and feed his rotting corpse to a hive of hard meats!"
Cross snapped out of thoughts at Guan's threatening words. She opened her mouth to warn him but only to clamp her mouth back shut. Her father hadn't been the one to kill Guan's son…the General had been away on a meeting with the Councilmen during that time and had left her in charge.
"If you wish to challenge the General to a last match then is it best to wait until the High Elder leaves," Lar'ja instructed the fuming Blooded.
His fists clenching and unclenching, Guan made a step toward the pale female only to sneer at her, "How does it feel, Akira, to know your Sire killed his own bloodline."
Cross's scowl darkened, "You're mistaken, Guan, my father never-"
Cross grunted when a hand was slapped over her mouth. Scowling, she looked up and felt her brows twitched at the sight of the Arbitrator standing there.
His black eyes were focused on Guan. "I'm sorry about your lost, may his honor and memory live on through you," Vor'mekta said, keeping a firm hold on the squirming female, "The female knows nothing of the incident years ago involving your pup. I advise you to leave her out of it."
Vor'mekta's eyes caught Halkrath's attention, "Honored Warrior Halkrath, escort Blooded Warrior Guan back to the Yautja compound."
Guan never got the chance to reply when Halkrath roughly grasped the back of his neck and hurled him in the opposite direction of the corridor. Cross watched with wide eyes as Halkrath led the younger Yautja away.
Once they were out of sight, Vor'mekta released his hold on the female to address Lar'ja, "Make sure the female doesn't release that information regarding Guan's deceased pup to him."
Lar'ja look from between a confused Cross to a hard eyed Vor'mekta. Knowing he was pushing the Arbitrator's button, Lar'ja asked, "Why?"
"Since you're one of her protectors then I will tell you," Vor'mekta said, staring at the female.
Frustrated with the whole language barrier, Cross demanded, "Lark, ask him what the hell-"
Cross's word came to a stop when her radio peeped. Biting back a curse, she unhooked it from her belt and brought it toward her mouth. "This is Captain Cross."
"Captain, its Lieutenant Percy," his voice come from the radio.
"What is it, Lieutenant?"
"The General has requested your presence in the conference room."
Cross scowled, "I'll be there in ten," putting the radio away, Cross nodded toward the both Lar'ja and Arbitrator. "Excuse me."
The two Yautjas watch the female walk down the corridor.
Vor'mekta sighed. "Years ago a Yautja came to hunt on this territory, the female was in charged back then. The Yautja who came here was Guan's pup."
Lar'ja's forest green eyes narrowed suspiciously at him, "How do you know this, Arbitrator?"
"That I cannot confirm with you," Vor'mekta continued to keep his eyes on the female's retreating back, "Long story short…it was the female, and not R'ka, who killed the Youngblood."
"Are-Are you certain?" Lar'ja didn't bother to hide his shock at the unexpected news.
Vor'mekta nodded, "Blooded Warrior Guan must not know about this. R'ka can easily challenge and defeat him, but I'm not so sure about the female."
Lar'ja held a fist over his armored chest and lowered his head in acknowledgment. "I will see to it the female comes to no harm."
"Good. You will not reveal to anyone of this. Be clear, it was R'ka who killed the Youngblood and not the female."
Lar'ja nodded once, "Understood."
A/n: Please Review