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  • “Help me” was so faint. He thought the others silent. There it was again, “Help me”. This time he pinpointed the direction and they headed, oh so slowly, to an outcropping of boulders. He leapt from Torr’s harness to the top of the pile. He instructed them to climb high and keep watch for the kidnappers while he located Kia. Once they were overhead, he sent his thoughts to Kia. She answered at once and was excited he had come. While escaping from her captors she had slid into a narrow groove between boulders and fallen into a deep pit. He had her keep thinking to him so he could locate her.

    “Are you hurt honey?” he thought as he finally reached her. She was crying as he held her in his arms “N-No, not hurt” she finally got out. He sent her image to Torr and told him to come get his daughter. He lifted her through the narrow slit to the top of the boulders. Torr was already there and had her folded into his chest. Torr looked at him and just nodded. He could see the tears welled up in his eyes.

    They quickly adjusted the homemade harness to hold Kia for the trip home. “You take Kia home with your friends. Have Angel make flying suits for two of my warriors and you make a harness for each of them. I will wait here until you all return. If I find the bodyguards, I will save at least one for you.” He gave Kia a final hug and motioned them off for home.

    After he watched them disappear, he did a quick inventory of his belongings: One backpack with food and water enough for a week; two laser pistols and his Samurai sword with harness; one black leather flying suit and goggles. It would have to be enough. He pulled his gear into a space between boulders and sat down to listen. Not with his ears; with his mind.

    His powers of thought communication had been increasing with each day. He closed his eyes and breathed in slowly and deeply. He lowered his heart rate as he expanded his thoughts. In a near trance like state he became aware of multiple thoughts. As they arrived, they first appeared as colors before transforming into thoughts. First a blue: “what shall we have for lunch?” from a nearby canyon. Then a red answering. He listened and watched the kaleidoscope in his head waiting to hear a voice he recognized.

    When it came it was closer than he wished. He shook his head and became alert drawing his sword in alarm. “Where is she?” the same voice that said “for now” was flying overhead. “She jumped off as we came over that group of boulders” said one of the other body guards “she slithered between them and slid down into a hole in the mountain. We couldn’t move them then and we won’t be able to move them now.” They sounded worried. “It was a stupid idea to try to kidnap her. There won’t be a place on the planet small enough for us to hide in. I heard the proclamation from the liege court. We are to be hunted to our deaths” the body guard thought to the others. The lead body guard thought back “Not if we have the princess for a hostage. That’s why we have to find her. She is our passport.”

    With that the body guard stuck his head down between the rocks and spotted him. He belched out a flame that was his last. With one stroke of his sword, the head fell at his feet. He had to drop and roll around to put the fire out on his clothes and hair. In pain he grabbed one of his laser pistols and caught another dragon before he could fly off. The other two were streaking in with their flamethrowers on high. He ducked under the body of their leader and watched as his backpack went up in flames. When the fire stopped he rolled out and looked for a target. It was like a scene from an aerial war movie. There were dragons diving on the two from all over the sky. He watched as they fell to their deaths. It was the last thing he saw before he passed out from the pain of his burns.

    He awoke lying on a large bed in a cave. There were two female dragons gently bathing his burns. They put some kind of magic elixir on the burns afterwards and the pain was gone. He thought his thanks to them and they giggled and backed out of the room. He wasn’t sure where he was, but he knew the four were dead and he was alive. Just then Torr’s father came into the room, ”So you are alive Human? And my granddaughter is with her father?”

    “Yes and Torr will not thank you for killing the last two. I promised him I would save at least one for him. I do thank you and your staff for tending to my burns and bringing me here” he thought to him. Torr’s father sat next to him and didn’t communicate for a moment. He just stared at him, up and down like he was observing some creature in a zoo. “And Kia, she is safe?” he finally asked.

    “She is safe and by now she is home in her bed. Torr will be back for me in the next few days. He has two dragon friends with him and they will have two of my warriors on their backs when they return. I will contact him when I sense he is close and tell him where I am.”

    Torr’s father looked at him for a long time before shaking his head. “I do not understand how you and my son could have become such friends. He was always such a loner.” He thought about his own past. He could have been described the same way back on Earth, and often was. An outsider; a loner with few close friends. Maybe that’s what they sensed in each other: two sides to the same coin. He told this to Torr’s father and he stopped him, “No matter why or how. I’m thankful you are his friend. You have fought at his side as a true warrior. You slew Kia’s captor with a single stroke and dropped a second one while still smoldering from the flames. I do not doubt that you would have gotten the other two had we not intervened. There is nothing in my kingdom you cannot have.” He was completely sincere in his offer. Torr’s father continued with “I only have one favor to ask of you. My son is angry with me. Please intercede on my behalf. I love him and need to reconcile before it is too late.”

    He looked at the dragon king and thought “Too late?” and then he saw it. He understood. The king looked at him and the knowledge passed without thought. He was dying…
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