Hi all... many thanks for the wonderful reviews. Along the next update, read and enjoy.
Questions, nothing but questions; Lex's mind was circling, dipping in and out of a hazy fog of irritation as she tried to come to terms with the latest development in her life. Her heart was burdened, by something not freely chosen, one that threatened to swallow her hole and pull her down into this alien abyss she found herself in. As thoughts of surrender to this overwhelming experience were growing louder, a resistance grew equally in a vain attempt to secure and treasure her heritage, her humanity. A yearning for isolation, one that was only satisfied upon climbing some icy heap of rock in the middle of nowhere was already clasping her heart. A need to seek refuge, a need to seek the monotone processes of setting one step in front of the other with nobody around but yourself was clawing at her sub consciousness.
"What the hell am I doing here?" Lex questioned herself as she was floating on her back in the massive pool the Yautja matriarch and fellow female warriors were using. Her eyes staring straight up into the alien orange sky, drinking in the skyline, heart beating quickly to the rhythm of vibrating water as the Yautja surrounding her were conversing amongst each other, sharing tales of their latest hunting adventures and trophy kills.
"Finally," Lex thought as she was left alone to float in the water. "It only took them god knows how long to figure out that they couldn't float like I do in the water. And what the hell was up with them pestering me about Scar? I felt like I was back in high school and all my friends were asking how my date went, whether we kissed and how I would compare him to somebody else. From what I guessed, all of them should have been die-hard Amazons. The no-shit taking kind, going to pull your spine out or something along those lines for just looking at you the wrong way…that kind." Lex sighed and her body immediately sunk under the water as she closed her eyes. She surfaced muttering as she pulled her hair back, "I guess appearances can be misleading."
"Well that's enough water fun for me," Lex murmured as she looked at her wrinkled fingers, a sign of having been in the pool for too long.
She slowly swam towards one of the pool edges before pulling herself out of the water. The minute she stood outside the pool, a large fur was thrust into her hands by another hunched over Yautja, who had almost appeared out of thin air.
"Thank you," Lex said and wrapped the strange fur around her shoulders. Missing the slight widening of shocked eyes from the servant for her thanks, before hastily shuffling away, only to disappear behind one of the many statutes that surrounded the pool.
Eyeing a large tree that reminded her of a cross between a palm tree and an oak, Lex stood on the slabs of volcanic rock that ringed the pool, waiting for the majority of the water to cascade down her legs so she could walk into the obsidian colored sand and towards the tree for some much needed shade and rest.
"Do not fear for the female young one," the white Ancient rumbled as he watched Scar stare at the dark spot from which Lex had disappeared.
"I do not fear for her honorable one," Scar murmured without changing his vision.
"Interesting," the white Ancient trilled in amusement. "If you do not fear for her, how is it that you have yet to direct your vision from the spot of her disappearance?"
"I do not," Scar growled as a hint of irritation entered his voice. "It's… it's merely a coincidence."
"Ah," the Ancient replied knowingly. "Is that what the youth call it these days? Yes, quite interesting…"
Scar's head finally snapped abruptly around, eyes narrowed, and his mandibles spread in anger, "What is it that you insinuate honorable one?"
"He says," another Ancient growled in a spat as he stepped into Scar's personal space in provocation. "That you pawn after that female like a youngling does after their mother's milk."
"I do not," Scar growled in return and took another step closer so that their chests and faces were only millimeters apart. "That… that… that pyode amedha (soft meat) prevented me from gaining the ultimate honor" Scar spat in bitterness and anger. "I was entering Cetanu's halls, guided by Paya herself. I could have stood with honor in front of the Black Hunter and my forbearers, yet that thing… it tore me away, stole me away from my honor and my ancestors. I do NOT pawn after that thing."
"Then why didn't you perform ritual suicide?" the Ancient growled. "I tell you why, you are a coward and an undisciplined pup not deserving of the honor you have gained from your chiva."
Scar's vision snapped to red and he bellowed forth his rage and fury at the insult. Pushing the shoulder of the Ancient before him, he only waited for a split second for the return push of acceptance of his challenge. The second it came, Scar sprang into action and lashed out with his claws, raking across the exposed chest of the Ancient.
"How do you feel?" the matriarch asked as she stood over Lex and watched the petite woman rest in the shade.
"Honestly?" Lex asked as she tilted her head to look up. "Overwhelmed, lost, confused, scared… pick one or pick all, they all fit quite well."
The matriarch trilled in amusement. "Do not be ashamed to fear the unknown Alexa, your honor will protect and guide you. You are Yautja, change is part of our life, adaptation will make us stronger and will allow us to further earn honor."
"I don't think…"
"Do not think," the matriarch interrupted Lex. "Just do. Your instincts will guide you, the Yautja will guide you, I will guide you, but in the end, you need to guide yourself. A Warrior Sister is what you are, the Hunt will be your life and when the seasons are upon us, your honor will join the gene pool of the Yautja race."
"Woah… wait a damn minute!" Lex sputtered. "Why do you insist about me giving birth to… well to one of you? And what is this talk about seasons? What kind of seasons?"
The matriarch simply stared at Lex, mandibles twitching idly as if in deep thought. "Come Alexa, it is time for you to receive the symbols of a Huntress. It is time for you to receive your awu'asa (armor)."
"What the hell is wrong with this race," Lex shouted in surprised outrage at being ignored once more. "What is it with you people always telling, ordering, but never asking, let alone answering questions? Why is it you keep avoiding explaining all this mating stuff? I am a human for crying out loud, how do you even know I am compatible to… to… to your goddamn Hulks?"
"Come Alexa," the matriarch spoke over her shoulder as she had already turned to enter the pyramid from whence they came. "It is an interesting technique that you have," the matriarch continued in merry jest. "It is an unquestionable honor to mate and bear life. As females it is our duty to ensure our race continues strong and claiming that you do not like to mate…" the matriarch chuckled. "An intriguing strategy to keep unwanted suitors away, but it will not work. When the seasons arrive, all strategies disappear as the musk of the rut overcomes you. You need to prepare yourself in order to achieve great honor in bearing a pup."
Staring in open shock after the matriarch, Lex grumbled in annoyance and rose to her feet. "I give up, she can't be this dense, can she? Regardless, if she thinks that I will bend over for one of those… those things, she has another surprise coming her way."
Deciding to defy the matriarch as long as possible, Lex stared at the matriarch's back before finally relenting and following the matriarch still wrapped in the fur coverings that she had received from the hunchback.
Following the matriarch inside the pyramid, she kept her thoughts of outrage and confusion to herself. She only wanted to return to Scar and then beg for her return to Earth but she knew, that they would never let her go, not after what she had witnessed and experienced.
"Drop the fur," the matriarch ordered as they entered a brightly lit room.
Sighing, Lex obeyed and let the fur slip of her shoulders and let it pool on the floor around her feet. Stepping out, Lex faced the matriarch as both stood naked and studied one another. The sound of stone gently grinding over stone suddenly broke the silence and several deformed Yautja entered the chamber.
Lex's right eye twitched in sync with her left hand as she refrained from covering herself again as the deformed Yautja entered the room. Her eyes, however, tracked them all as they scurried around the room, activating hidden switches and levers. One of the males scurried towards her and quickly scooped the fur into his arm, only to disappear again.
"Why is it that I only see deformed Yautja serving you?"
"They are Aseigan ," the matriarch replied. "They have lost their honor through birth or injury and are made to serve."
"That's…" Lex paused as her nostrils flared in anger. "That's barbaric!"
"Is it barbaric to give them a purpose?" The matriarch trilled in question as she tilted her head to the side in the all too familiar gesture of curiosity.
"Of course it is," Lex growled but tried to keep her voice neutral. "Your technology is so advanced, I am sure your medical expertise could help most of them?"
"Perhaps," the matriarch clicked "Perhaps not. It has been like this for eons, why change something that is not broken?"
"Regardless," the matriarch continued nonchalant. "It is time to fit you with the symbol of your status. It is time for you to achieve your hunting mask and armor."
Lex's eyebrows rose, "No weapons?"
"Not yet Alexa," the matriarch replied in amusement. "First you need to learn how to use them before being allowed to earn them."
"Earn them? What do I have to do to earn them?"
"You will be given several tasks," the matriarch responded and stepped towards a wall stand that had retracted from the ceiling and fit snugly against the smooth stone walls. Fixed upon the stand were a selection of multiple types of masks, some smooth and aerodynamic with the look of it being organic, while others were grotesque imitations of what Lex could only describe as monsters. Those she easily guessed were mostly used for intimidation purposes.
"It is tradition that an Elder selects a mask that is a representation of the Hunter's inner being," the matriarch continued as her hands skimmed the surfaces of several masks. "However, I believe it is my duty that this honorable task befalls upon me, from one warrior sister to another."
"Will you also be the one giving me tasks in order to prove my worth for the different kinds of weapons?" Lex asked in curiosity as she studied the masks before her.
"Perhaps," the matriarch replied in deep thought. "Perhaps I will not."
"Uh, okay," Lex replied and couldn't help but wonder why she felt slightly disappointed.
"None of these masks suit you Alexa."
"If you say so," Lex mumbled quietly as she was staring at a mask that looked familiar, yet at the same time different.
"Ah, I see you have found an interesting one," the female Yautja trilled. "Yes, I almost picked that one for you, but alas, the moment I touched it, I knew it wasn't the proper one."
"I don't want to sound ignorant," Lex turned towards the matriarch. "But why is it so important to have this ideal mask?"
The matriarch blinked in confusion as she tilted her massive head to the sides. "Apart from the plasma caster, your awu'asa is the most sacred equipment. It is your life. It is a representation of your status and honor. Your mask is what makes you Yautja."
"I see," Lex offered politically.
"Come," the matriarch ordered suddenly. "I have an idea. Let us go to my personal weapon smith. I think we won't find anything among the vast selection that I have. We will simply create one that will suit you and your circumstances. It will be the first new design in over a generation; perhaps your arrival is a sign by Paya that a change is coming to the Yautja."
Lex quickly jogged after the matriarch as she left the room in long quick strides. "Yes," the matriarch growled softly. "It must be a sign."
Lex found herself standing in a massive building. The walls were lined with multiple forges; robotic arms hung from the ceiling or were fixed to massive columns and were zipping through the air dutifully performing their tasks. And right in the midst of it all, stood a lone Yautja warrior that looked nothing like anything Lex had ever seen before.
This male stood easily at the same height as the matriarch with muscles rippling across his every body part, clearly defined by the laborious work as a massive hammer beat a rhythmic staccato as it impacted the burning hot metal and anvil. The noise was deafening and Lex barely caught the soft affectionate clicking the matriarch used to greet the smith and halt his work.
"Honored Matriarch," the smith rumbled and fell to his knee as he bowed his head in deference. "How may this humble servant be of assistance?"
"Enough of this foolishness Lok'Tar," the matriarch growled with a hint of amusement. "You are an honorable warrior first, a smith second."
"As you command my matriarch," the smith now known as Lok'Tar replied cheekily and rose to his feet. His yellow red eyes drifted to Lex and his head tilted in curiosity. "And how may this humble warrior be of service to an honorable Sister Warrior?"
"We require your services," the matriarch started only to stop as Lok'Tar's eyes briefly flashed in excitement.
"Oh my matriarch," Lok'Tar started as he studied Lex. "You spoil this humble servant of yours with the most exciting and challenging requests."
The matriarch merely tilted her head in acknowledgement and turned to face Lex as she placed one of her clawed hands upon her shoulder. "Alexa requires a hunting mask and armor, one befitting her status of single Warrior Sister of the Singing Blade Clan and a representation of her hunting spirit."
"Intriguing," Lok'Tar muttered in concentration as Lex's face was suddenly held within his massive claws as they caressed every nook and cranny of her head. "A most honorable challenge my matriarch but please Sister Warrior Alexa, recount your tale of your chiva so that I may glimpse into your hunting spirit and if Paya so wishes, lead my claws to fashion what you require."
And Lex did as was requested. She told of how she was hired by the Wayland Corporation to lead an expedition into Antarctica. How the team was woefully unprepared for an adventure upon the frigid Bouvetøya Island. How the team discovered the perfectly duck hole that lead directly towards the steps of the pyramid; of the discovery of the sacrificial chambers and the sarcophagus with the Yautja energy casters. How they were hunted by Scar and his brothers, only to realize there was something more sinister lurking in the shadows of the maze-like construct, the black serpents that hunted all life and didn't distinguish between Yautja and Human. She spoke of her hunch and plan to return one of the plasma weapons to Scar, how she fought and killed the black serpents alongside her Yautja comrade, only to run for their lives in order to escape the timed detonation of Scar's forearm bomb.
In detail, Lex spoke of the cold air as she and Scar landed in the arctic snow, as they barely escaped the blast radius and concaving ice shelf. How the Queen had survived and tried to kill them. How they fought the towering alien, only for Scar to receive his lethal wound and how they sunk the Queen to the icy dark abyss of the Arctic Ocean.
Without halt, Lex continued her tale as she had done so many times before today. Her escape onto the Yautja ship and struggle to keep Scar alive, ultimately to think she failed as a hybrid serpent tried to escape Scar's chest cavity. How in her rage and anger she killed said hybrid, only to succumb to her wounds and pass out in the arms of the Elder Bakuub.
"And that's how I am now standing before you honorable Lok'Tar," Lex finally finished.
Lok'Tar's reply was a simple gesture, a single nod before he turned and disappeared between the many furnaces and forges. Reappearing moments later carrying a vast amount of metal ingots the size of Lex's palm, Lok'Tar could be seen as he tossed them into a smoldering pit.
"Oh he is excited," the matriarch mused in joy. "I haven't seen him like this in many cycles."
"Are you sure?" Lex questioned. "He didn't ask any questions, let alone said anything."
"Exactly," the Yautja leader spoke. "He is so excited, he forgot about his surroundings. He didn't ask because Paya must have shown him what he had to do to mold your armor and mask."
"That reminds me," Lex interrupted. "Lok'Tar mentioned it already but you just did too. Does he have a spiritual connection to Paya?"
"An interesting question," the matriarch clicked. "Some believe that to be the case, others' think he spent too much time near the fires."
"And what do you believe?"
"To me," the matriarch replied as her eyes watched in longing Lok'Tar work. "To me, he is simply magnificent."
"I see," Lex offered as she studied the matriarch's face intently. Her lips curled upwards in realization. "Payback's a bitch!" she thought in triumph at her discovery. "You know on earth, a woman would jump his bones and get it done with. Maybe I'll just show him myself my appreciation after he has completed his work. He is definitely a fine specimen for a Yautja."
For a few seconds it was silent between the two females and Lex was patiently waiting for the matriarch's reaction. However, the explosive outrage and denial Lex was aiming for never came. Instead the matriarch let lose a throaty bellow of laughter, "then perhaps, once mating season begins, you and I will be sister mates as well Alexa of Clan Singing Blades. I will look forward to your challenge of prime mate to the honorable Lok'Tar. Now let us leave Alexa, knowing Lok'Tar, he will still take some time to finish his work. Let us go to my personal physician to ensure you are healthy and prepared for your new life."
Lex stood gaping, "I… wh… uh… what the hell just happened? How did she turn this around on me?"
"A... a doctor?" Lex shockingly stammered. "Are there going to be any needles? I hate needles!"
"I hate needles!" Lex screamed inside her head. "I hate them! I hate them! I HATE needles!"
"It appears you are quite healthy," the doctor replied. "I fixed a few minor injuries that would have given you some problems, but those were still many cycles away from manifestation."
"What kind of problems?" Lex asked in concern.
"You had some build up in one of your main arteries as well as a few growths in your intestines." The doctor offered. "As I said, nothing complex."
"Growths? You mean cancer?"
The doctor tilted his head in curiosity and trilled a question. "I do not understand. Why do you speak of a harmless sea creature?"
"Sea creature?" Lex asked in puzzlement.
"Yes," the doctor replied equally puzzled. "They do live on your planet. Those little crunchy things that barely taste well, the ones with claws for well… claws."
"Cancer? Sea creatures? What the hell is he talking about?"
"I believe the honorable doctor is talking about crabs," the matriarch offered.
"Ah so that's what they are called these days." The doctor answered. "No wonder you were confused. It shouldn't surprise me that the meanings have changed. It has been many cycles when I last visited your planet."
"Of course," Lex said as she finally realized. "You were thinking of the Latin word for crabs."
"If I may ask," the doctor interjected. "What is cancer in terms for the medical field for you humans?"
"Cancer is, well it is a disease of having unchecked growths within your body. Humans distinguish between several types of cancer and have discovered a few cures if any, while others' remain lethal."
"As interesting as this discussion might be Elder," the matriarch interjected. "May I suggest you spent some time in downloading the human medical databases for all your information needs? I am more interested in knowing how Alexa of clan Singing Blades will cope with her changes?"
"C-changes? What changes?" Lex asked in shocked surprise and panicked. "What did you do to me?"
"We did nothing," the matriarch replied. The unspoken yet was however clearly implied. "Doctor?"
"In terms of fitness, Alexa is well above the normal standard for an Ooman (human). With a nightly inoculation, her body should become more resilient to diseases and injuries. I would suggest her daily injections continue until the moons circling Yautja prime have undergone their cycle of rebirth four times. At that point, further examination is required in order to improve her inoculation and hopefully reduce them to a few inoculations per cycle."
"What inoculations? What's in them and how long is it in human terms?" Lex interrupted in a panic.
"The rebirth of Yautja's moons consists of four earth months." The matriarch interjected helpfully but was still annoyed at the interruption.
"Wait that means… Sixteen months!" Lex almost shouted. "You want me to inject myself daily for sixteen months? Are you insane?"
"Of course not," the doctor bristled in agitation. "You would only be required to inject yourself at first. Once you receive your wrist computer, injections will be done automatically."
"Regardless," the matriarch interjected again. "How will the rut affect her once mating season begins?"
"I apologize matriarch," the doctor bowed his head. "I cannot be certain. Alexa could be affected like any Yautja or she could barely be affected at all. Only time will tell but I am certain that her genetic makeup will strengthen the Yautja and bring plenty of honor."
"Excellent," the matriarch responded. "Instruct Alexa in how to properly inject herself and prepare her dosage. Synthesize the necessary injections for her wrist computer. She will receive her own, once she passes the test of Acrytl (bird like creature that the ki'cti-pa - Combi-Stick is made from)."
"As you command my matriarch," the doctor replied and began to instruct Lex.
"Why me?" Lex asked herself for the countless time since she had left the matriarch's physician. Since the inoculation, Lex's veins felt like they were on fire. Her left wrist was still hurting and pulsing in pain from the injection. Feeling extremely hot, as if plagued by a high fever, symptoms of pain in her joints added to a growing discomfort. However, the most irritating change was the itch that was rapidly growing down her spine that was slowly tormenting her to insanity.
Luckily, to her immense pleasure, she finally stood surrounded by deformed and heavily injured Yautja that showcased an unimaginable variety of different furs and leather. Aseigan, as they were called, were flitting around as best they could in order to please the matriarch and surprisingly Lex herself.
"Honorable matriarch," Lex suddenly spoke up as she tested a snow white fur that was as soft as baby geese feathers. "Am I imagining things or do the Aseigan walk a little bit straighter ever since they started showcasing the furs and leather?"
The matriarch trilled in amusement as she watched the Aseigan carry themselves with more honor than they would normally do. "Indeed they do Alexa."
"Yes," Lex spoke to the Aseign that showcased the white fur she was fingering. "Thank you very much. I'd like some of these. Is it possible to have large ones? Large enough to cover myself head to toe?"
"Y-yes," the Aseigan replied roughly with a little fear as his eyes drifted towards the matriarch.
"Thank you again," Lex replied and turned towards the matriarch, missing the puff up of the Aseigan's chest in pride.
"Shall we?" Lex asked. "I believe I have found enough to satisfy my clothing needs."
"Enough?" The matriarch asked in amusement. "I would say you picked enough to last two lifetimes."
"Well," Lex replied a little miffed but couldn't refrain from holding back her own amusement. "One could never have enough clothing."
"Does this mean that you are satisfied Alexa?"
"Yes," she responded and looked down at the leather skirt and with some help of her own, the newly created leather bra that held and pushed her decent sized breasts up and secured them snugly. "The skirt is a little too short for my own taste," Lex offered as she fingered with the end, only to realize once again that it barely ended below her bum. "But in order to convince you to allow me to wear my bra instead of a simple leather strip to cover my nipples, I gladly take the shortened skirt."
"It is as short as my own," the matriarch replied as she studied the curious style of garment Lex was carrying to protect her breasts. "Perhaps I will have them create one of those… what did you call them? Bras?"
"Yes," Lex answered.
"Very well, I have decided to try out that piece of covering myself. I will have one ordered and delivered to my quarters."
"Will you inform me of your liking?"
"Of course Alexa. Now let us go and see whether Lok'Tar has finished with your armor and masks."
"Lead the way."
"Ah matriarch and the honorable Alexa as well," Lok'Tar boomed as the two females entered his abode. "I have finished, come… come quickly."
"It is strange to see a Yautja this excited," Lex murmured as she followed the matriarch. She watched Lok'Tar seem to bounce on the balls of his feet in giddy excitement as his eyes repeatedly switched back and forth between herself, the matriarch, and the table next to him.
"He certainly is behaving like a suckling that achieved his first trophy kill," the matriarch agreed in a multitude of clicks and chirps.
"Lok'Tar," the matriarch addressed the warrior and smith as they reached the massive Yautja. "I hope your work is to our satisfaction."
"Indeed my matriarch," Lok'Tar rumbled and stood once more composed. "All is as it should be."
"Very well, you may show us."
With a single nod, Lok'Tar turned to the table and pulled back the dark leather cloth, revealing a beautifully sculptured hunting mask that was a dark obsidian in color. The design was simply breathtaking. The light reflected of the mask giving it an almost liquid like appearance that resembled the kiande amedha (hart meat). It was smooth and yet equally rough – organic but also not. Its general shape was similar to Scar's mask but where the smooth mouth would have been; the black mask contained four mandibles and was an accurate depiction of a Yautja mouth. Lex's eyebrow rose in surprise and curiosity at the uniquely design and colored mask. A quick glance confirmed the matriarch's equally surprised curiosity. "This mask," Lok'Tar rumbled in an almost reverent tone, "Is perhaps my greatest creation."
"It is…" Lex thought for a fitting word but couldn't find one.
"Here," Lok'Tar gently took the mask in between his massive claws. "Step forward and try it on. I am unsure how sensitive your skin is but just in case, you might feel some discomfort as the mask will biologically bond with you. Do not worry, the mask will easily come off."
Lex nodded and gently took the mask from the Yautja's claws and was immediately surprised about its weight. At first glance, one might have suspected the mask to wear a few grams but in reality, the mask weighed barely anything – at most, Lex guessed, the weight of the mask was a few milligrams.
Trying it on, Lex was astonished at the perfect fit. The mask fit snugly over her face and she could feel the seams of the mask attach itself against her skin. A slight tingly sensation that wasn't all unpleasant signaled the mask bonding with her skin and creating a sealed environment within the mask. Peering out the black eye sockets, Lex was surprised once more as she was looking at a perfect field of vision. Her sight wasn't hindered the slightest and the experimental look around forced a muffled gasp as her surroundings lit up as objects were being outlined against the background, giving her a unique contoured like pattern.
"This is amazing," Lex replied and heard her own voice slightly garbled and muffled from the mask. She laughed, "Well that will take some time getting used to."
"How do I breathe in this thing?" Lex asked in curiosity and turned her head to look at the two Yautja. Her eyes widened as the two aliens were displayed in a multitude of heat blooms. "Woah! That is… wow."
"The mask will allow you to breathe normally," Lok'Tar replied with a chuckle. "It has sensors installed that detect the kind of atmosphere and if harmful, will seal completely. You will then receive the necessary oxygen through a filtration system that is also built into your mask but requires two tubes to be connected towards it in order to circulate your respiration, while also feed you with water if you so desire.
"Yes, I think I remember Scar pulling off two hoses from his mask as he went to mark himself. How come he was using it when the atmosphere wasn't harmful to him?"
"Most hunters' prefer to run the filtration system all the time in order to ensure it works properly," the matriarch interjected. "Better to use it than needing it, only to find out it's not working properly."
"Yeah," Lex agreed. "That actually makes sense. Is there a way to disable this vision? How can I make it so that I see in what I am used to?"
"Your mask comes with all the vision modes available, including your own light spectrum. Normally activating them is done by using the mandibles; however, since you lack mandibles, those functions had to be integrated into your wrist guard instead. You will be able to cycle through the different vision modes by using your computer terminal." Lok'Tar explained as he plucked said wrist guard of the table. "Now try it on," Lok'Tar said and held out the wrist guard. "I had to make it bigger and longer since you lack the necessary width on your underarm. It should give you added protection to your lower arms as it now should cover you wrist to elbow."
"Thank you," Lex answered with a hint of awe as she clicked the wrist guard around her forearm. Like before with the mask, a barely noticeable tingle spread over her skin as the contraption melded with her skin.
"And here is the other one," Lok'Tar replied. "As ordered by the matriarch, the dah'kte (wrist blades) are not included but can be easily added as soon as you have been giving permission to do so."
Clicking the other lower forearm protector over her right arm, Lex finally resembled a Yautja. Her thick black mane was flowing down her back as it was also prevented from falling over her face by the black mask she was wearing. Even though her armguards were attached, a warrior could tell that she had yet to receive her computer terminal and wrist blades. All that was missing now was the heating mesh and shoulder armor for her plasma cannon and also the female specific chest armor.
"And next," Lok'Tar grunted as he pulled out a wild and stiff looking contraption. "This is your armor to cover your mammary glands and left shoulder. It is uncommon but also not unheard of to have your right shoulder free of protection. In my vision, you wore this as you battled a kiande amedha queen in a frozen wasteland. You simply slip it over your head. Your plasma caster will attach itself to your left shoulder."
Lex gulped but nodded as she took the surprisingly nimble armoring and pulled it over her head like she would a sweater or shirt. Lex however quickly learned that her leather bra was in the way as she the metal armor tried several times to attach itself to her skin, only to fail. Sighing Lex pulled the armor over her head again and quickly discarded her bra.
Not wanting to stay uncovered, she quickly slipped the armor over her head again. Slipping her arms through the appropriate holes, she felt the armor snugly attaching itself to her upper body. Looking at her chest, she suddenly found the armor stopping just below her breasts. The flat chest armor had melded over her breasts, pushing them slightly up to give her a bigger bust and forming two globes in representation. She felt like she was wearing a sports bra that was several sizes too small, yet still felt comfortable. Her back or more specifically her shoulder blades were uncovered, which she quickly found out as the matriarch placed a reassuring hand on her back.
"Is it to your satisfaction Alexa?"
"Y-yes," Lex stammered. "I… I am sorry this is great. I never expected this, let alone could imagine wearing anything like this ever before. But I wonder why is my back suddenly not covered by the armor anymore when it clearly had covering for it?"
"That is because your mammary glands required the extra protection. The chest armor for females in general has an unprotected rear due to the need of extra material for the chest" Lok'Tar added.
"Then it is settled," the matriarch declared. "Warrior Sister Alexa of the Clan Singing Blades has officially joined our ranks. Now wear your awu'asa proudly. Attach your shin guards and sandals and let us rejoin the Council of Ancients."
"Thank you," Lex mumbled but continued an inner monologue. "I think."
Dressed in full battle regalia, Lex and the matriarch entered the chamber of Ancients. The matriarch appeared all powerful yet carried herself with a predatory grace that Lex had never seen before from Scar or the Elder Bakuub. The matriarch's words still ringed in her ears, "Alexa, we, Warrior Sisters, are the ones that rule the Yautja. We are more powerful, deadlier, more ferocious, and passionate than the males. We stand above them, they serve us, and more importantly, they will bow to our will. We are the live givers, avatars of Paya and slighting our honor will brand them Bad Bloods.
So Lex did as she was told, imagining being the ruler of all, straightening her shoulders, while looking ahead, imitating the matriarch before her as best she could. But Lex felt anything but in control. She was questioning everything and each step or reaction was calculated and weight repeatedly in order to ensure her survival. It wasn't even planned or deliberate, somewhere deep within her; primal instincts had awoken and directed her down a spiraling path towards embracing her new life.
She was thankful for that, knowing to trust her instincts, even her new found ones. That they had never led her astray but it still didn't keep her from panicking in fear from losing her humanity. She figured that her mind still hadn't properly realized her situation and was now only impatiently waiting for her mental breakdown.
"What is the meaning of this?" The matriarch growled angrily and tore Lex from her thoughts. "Why do I find one of my Ancients covered in fresh wounds? Why is it that an honorable warrior lays mangled at my feet, unconscious and barely breathing? Why is the smell of spilled blood so strong in these hallowed halls when my orders where to observe and study?" The matriarch thundered as her tresses rose from her back in a clear sign of anger.
"Silence!" the matriarch continued as one of the Ancients tried to speak. "I have come here to inform you of my ruling. I have come here to ask for your guidance. Yet all I find before me are old, decrepit, and bloodlust filled Yautja that act like uncivilized kiande amedha."
"Honored matriarch," the albino Ancient trilled. "We await your ruling."
A deep menacing growl echoed through the chamber, one originating from the matriarch herself. "Elder Bakuub see to your honored warrior and inform him of my displeasure in allowing himself become a breeder for the hard meats. Tell him that I expect him to train, he is not allowed to join the hunts until I deem him ready."
"As you command Grand Mother," the Elder bowed and lifted Scar's bloodied frame and turned to leave.
"Bakuub," the matriarch stopped him. "Have the item I made you prepare from the abomination be send to me. I will present it to Alexa myself. And one more thing," at this the matriarch stepped aside to reveal Lex standing behind her.
"I present to you Alexa, Warrior Sister of the Singing Blade Clan. The first and hopefully not the last for the Singing Blade Clan in over a century."
"You honor my clan Grand Mother," Bakuub bowed his head.
"It is not I that honors your clan," the matriarch replied. "The honor befalls upon Alexa, as it was her that passed the chiva willfully unprepared and under skilled."
"Alexa," Elder Bakuub turned towards her. "You honor me and my clan."
"Um… y-you're welcome," Lex stammered. "I-I just wanted to survive."
"Nevertheless," the matriarch interjected and dismissed the Elder Bakuub with a hand gesture. "You have brought great honor to your bearers and forbearers. Take pride in your achievement and take solace for you will need it."
"W-what?" Lex asked with wide eyes.
The matriarch looked at the assembled Ancients before her, "I will train you myself for it appears the Clans are incapable of following simple orders. How can I expect them to ensure that you receive proper training? Now come, when you are ready, you will be allowed to return to the Singing Blade Clan and join the Hunt."
And? How was it?