Preface

You know that there was a time long ago when we looked up at the heavens and they seemed endless. But now times have changed, to begin with we are no longer confined to just one planet, and the payment for this was that the skies that were once endless have changed to places that we can go, explore and live. Sometimes I wish skies were endless again. I think that the endless sea of stars found boundaries when we discovered space flight, and figured out how to build viable colonies on other planets.

After we had colonized all of the planets within our solar system, we began looking outward. As we looked outward the distances once again seemed endless. Then our scientists discovered cryogenics, and once again what before had seemed infinite, was now close at hand.

We have all agreed that cryogenics was the first fence that was put on the meadow of the universe. You would go to sleep, get frozen, travel to your destination, and then wake up not a day older, even though a hundred years could have passed from the night that you went to sleep and the morning that you woke up. It gave us a sense of immortality, or at least the illusion of having an endless amount of time. Cryogenics allowed all of us; humans, elves, dwarves, fairies and were-kind, to travel between the stars.

We discovered when we were still colonizing the planets in our own solar system that magic didn't work in the vast expanse of space, but it did work on other planets. For some reason, which neither our scientists nor magicians could discover, nor could our priests provide an explanation for, the forces of magic would not work beyond the embrace of a planet. But we accepted it and went on. We had three religions now; science, magic, and our faith in our gods. But we had lost our faith. There was a time of legends when the gods would talk to us and help us personally, but now that happened no more. Occasionally there were still miracles but they were few and far between. Sometimes it seemed as though our gods had been lost, or simply banished. But we did still believe, well some of us at least.

Then our scientists, as if almost sensing our despair and loss of faith, created a miracle. They called it the Rainbow Arc of Fire. And when they presented it to us we all knew why. The night that the scientists and colonizing companies sent the first colony ship with the new drive, the night sky above our homeworld lit up with a blazing rainbow streaking from horizon to horizon, which startled and amazed us all. Now we traveled on the light of a rainbow. Our lights spread throughout the universe, as we explored, and colonized new worlds. Cryogenics became a little bit cheaper, the colonies went out further, and the universe shrank a little more.

After a few years of sitting on their laurels, the scientists came up with another miracle. Magicians performed miracles everyday, maybe the scientists felt that they had to compete. Whatever the reason, they created better computers, which in turn gave us another world of perception to discover and explore. First they called it virtual reality, and then after a few improvements, they called it ultra-reality. This new reality provided new ways of looking at space and time, thus creating a new and better way of piloting our starships, and new ways of communicating.

Building upon this latest miracle, we or rather our society of scientists discovered faster-than-light travel. We then began to breach the realm of hyperspace, and we cut the waves of its surface as smoothly as a dolphin jumps between the waves of an ocean. Colonies went further, and more and more people set out for newer frontiers. But that was a time of peace and prosperity, historians have dubbed that time the Unified years. The years when we were all one people, but alas that time has been lost. And a new era begun.

And with the new era, came the War of the Stars. Great starships were built, designed only to destroy others, and they were armed to a fare-thee-well. Most of the dwarves and elves banded together, taking all of their engineering and magical expertise with them and forming a new empire. They called themselves the Ashken- Fei, and many fell beneath their mighty armadas. The were-kind stuck together in this battle for territory, with a name known only to themselves, building ships that changed shape as they, themselves did. The humans, having always been a peace loving, family oriented people, banded together and called themselves the Leishans. They stayed out of the fight as much as possible, protecting themselves only when fired upon. For the most part the other races left them alone, although occasionally one clan or another would try to take a human planet. Of the fairies, not much is known about what they did, other than a few unsubstantiated rumors that they provided espionage services for all of the races. Loss of life was felt by all of the people, and the loss was the terrible price of pride and prejudice.

The war went on for several thousand years. After all of this time, no one remembered what they war had been started over, only that they had always been fighting. Out of the darkness of this tragedy a guiding light appeared. This light came in the form of a child of all the races who traveled to the home worlds in a graceful white ship name the Lumia. After meeting with this great visionary, the leaders called an end to the battle, and Visha lead the races to a new era of peace and understanding. With this new peace the society of scientists finally reunited. With their reunion came another discovery, the gating system.

The gating system was a new engine that could open a door between two points and ignore the distance between. They called it the Visha Gate to honor the one who had opened a new door and led them to peace.

One of the other things that Visha had done away with was money.

Communication had become instant and in an attempt to do away with crime, Visha suggested that money be completely reduced to information.

Everyone's retinal pattern and handprint was scanned and logged in a computer. That computer was duplicated a million times by magic, and then each computer was placed on a planet and tied into the communications net. Crime went down but did not disappear. Space-Piracy took hold for there were many things that people did not trust to be sent through the gate.

Hunger was eliminated, as food was made plentiful both by magic and science. Guilds were created to train those who could use magic or had the gifts. The gifts are what we call empathy, telepathy, and such.

Visha disappeared and no one knows what happened to her.

Unfortunately without her to guide the people the peace that she created disappeared with her, and once again the spirit of war re-awoke with in the people, but not nearly as bad as before. Yet the universe cried out for something to be done, for her children once again needed a savior. And so she set out to do something about it. This is the story that we now begin.

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Chapter 1

The cryogenics complex loomed behind him casting its shadow over him as it had for most of his life. He stood watching the sun set on this world, the tenth that he had called home, for the last time. He watched the stars come out and, felt the hidden song which was the flow of magic, change with the rising of the moons. He felt old watching the sun set again. Even though he had the appearance of one who was twenty years old, he had been born over nine hundred and fifty years ago, nine hundred and seventy-two years to be exact.

His family had been shipping him from one branch to another, the only cousin without a home, whom everyone wanted to care for, at least for a little while. Each time his new family would find him too strange, too different, and ship him to another family, and always cryogenically. After all, it was the cheapest way to travel, and the easiest way for them to forget him. Yet, he was beginning to think that the personal cost was too high. Each time he lay down upon the cryobed, he lost touch with all that he knew, friends or lovers had and the universe drastically changed and just left him behind.

He had been born during the Great War, he knew that much. Not knowing his father or his mother he didn't have a clan that he belonged to, and yet the computers insisted that his family was enormous. He just didn't feel connected to them, or anyone else for that matter. He didn't even claim a last name, not wanting to claim a false one. Looking back at all the families that he had known and worlds that he had called home, he was reminded of an old saying; ignorance is bliss. He had begun to wish that his family had remained ignorant of him, perhaps then he could have experienced a little bliss. The bliss of having only one home, one planet, and of actually having friends and relationships. At best he was only able to have one night stands. He sighed and looked out at the horizon once again.

He watched the city lights come on as the last light from the sun faded into the darkness. He turned, pulled his black cloak, which identified him as one magically trained, about him and walked into the cryogenics complex, alone. No one ever saw him off, it seemed they were just anxious to forget that he existed and that he had ever been there at all. Not even Tron, and that hurt the most.

Tron was a young elf, only ninety-five, that he had been seeing for almost a year now, and he sighed as he remembered the night that they had said good-bye.

"Your leaving aren't you?" Tron asked.

"Yes, it seems that my family has gotten tired of me, again. They've found some where else to ship me to."

"And you can't get out of it." It was more of a statement than a question, but he answered anyway.

"You know that until I have subjectively experienced, twenty-five years of life that I have to accept these changes. I have to have a family sponsor me. Even though I am a mage, I can't work on my own until I have reached my majority. I'm lucky that they haven't decided to use my elven heritage against me and insist that my one-hundreth year was my majority. And I would be compelled to enforce it against myself if they ever do. You know that mages are forced by their soul- bound oaths to always tell the truth, and to obey and enforce the laws."

"I know." Tron said quietly, "But will you let me love you one more time before you have to leave?"

"I was hoping I would be able to--" Any more of his reply was cut off by Tron's deep kiss. Their tounges wrestling, each one of them devoting their entire being to this one kiss. Tron broke away and reached out to remove his lovers clothing. Tron stopped his lover as he reached out to help.

"I want to do this my way, I want it to be my gift to you, so let me do all the work." Tron said, as he smiled with his deep blue eyes and long raven hair spilling around his shoulders. Sensing his lover's need Tron quickly removed the impeding clothing and began tracing his lover's body with his tounge. Tron started at the neck nibbling ever so gently down the should bone savoring each taste and smell as he went.

The watcher shook himself from the memory and then began taking the steps that would doom him to loosing everything, once again.

Walking through the main hallway to the reception area he looked at the walls, filled with colorful advertisements, and shook his head as he passed the one that promised a blissful sleep undisturbed by dreams. Maybe that was true for most people but it wasn't true for him. Each time he had been put in cryosleep, each time that he could remember, he had dreamed. Once it had been a of book that had shattered, which made no sense, another had been of flying through the stars. Oh yes, he dreamed. The last three times he had dreamed of searching for a missing part of himself, and almost finding it but then loosing it again. Once and only once he dreamed of belonging to a family, that loved one another, had no secrets, and were never alone. It had been his favorite. But he had woken up and discovered that it had only been a dream, and one it seemed that would never come true for him. He sighed and walked deeper into the complex.

He passed a reflective surface and paused to look. He had pale skin, which was almost, but not quite translucent, and flaxen, shoulder length hair that had a slight wave to it. Strangest of all were his eyes, which were slitted like a cat's and bronze, and his ears, not quite pointed enough to be elven, but not quite round enough to be human. It all added up to a very mixed ancestry. People still weren't used to ones who were mixed, even three hundred years after the War of the Stars. He shook his head, turned away and kept going.

He walked into the reception area, which was as usual empty. A pleasant sounding voice came from over head, "Please step to the scanner for recognition and registration." He walked over to the row of scanners that lined the wall in front of the door. First he placed his hand on the scanner, even his hand was different, it had long hard finger nails which were curved like claws. The scanner beeped and he leaned forward to look into the optical scanner. A bright light momentarily blinded him and then the computer spoke "V'Rion. No listed last name. Please confirm."

"Confirmed."

"You have a pre-booked destination. You will arrive in fifty years. Please confirm."

"Confirmed."

"Please wait until an attendant comes for you."

Even the computers didn't want to talk to him it seemed. Oh, well. He was used to it, hurt by it, but used to it. His mind wandered back to Tron and their last night together.

V'Rion stiffened under Tron's lips and teeth, and his ten inch cock began to stir. Tron began nibling his way down V'Rion's pectorals and to his nipples licking both until they were hard. V'Rion's cock began to leak pre-cum as he got more and more excited.

"Oh, Gods of Heaven, Tron. I don't to leave you!" V'Rion cried out as he stiffened as Tron bit down on one of his nipples.

"And I don't want you to leave, but you must. But I wanted to show you how much I love you. So tonight you are going to fuck me, until I cum. Even if it takes all night."

V'Rion's eyes widened in surprise at this and the fact that Tron had started sucking on his cock with his warm velvety mouth. Tron had never let V'Rion fuck him, in fact Tron hadn't let anyone fuck him in his ninety-five years of life. V'Rion moaned as his orgasm began to get closer and closer as Tron worked on his cock. Peeling back the foreskin that covered the head Tron had started licking on the head. Engulfing it in his light moist grasp he began bobing up and down on it slowly once again enjoying the sweet musky cinnamon flavor that was V'Rion. He slowly went up and down on it until his face was buried in V'Rion's soft fur-like pubes. Then he started using his throat muscles to stimulate the head in soft pulses of pleasure.

Vrion stiffened as each wave of sensation brought him closer and closer to orgasm. Tron reached around and lightly stroked V'Rion's asshole, that brief silky touch was all it took for him to go over and begin shooting down Tron's throat.

The sound of heels on the floor broke V'Rion from his memory this time, he waited.

"V'Rion, uh there isn't a last name here the computer must have goofed."

V'Rion turned around, "No it hasn't goofed, I simply do not have a last name."

At his voice the attendant looked up at V'Rion's face and flinched slightly, V'Rion carefully hid his hands in his hands in his cloak, and did nothing but wait for the young elf to pull himself back together.

"Sorry, Magister V'Rion. If you would please come this way."

The attendant began to lead the way down the corridor. "So, you're traveling to Leishan space, to the planet Ferial, correct?"

"Yes, that is correct."

"And you realize that it will take you fifty years to get there right?"

"I have been informed of this, yes."

"Just making sure, you understand. We must make all of our clients aware of the conditions of their travel. Do you have any personal items that you wish to have packed with you?"

"No, I do not. I do have a question however."

"Please ask, I will do my best to answer."

"Have you found a way to put people under without them having dreams yet?"

"Dreams? It's not possible to dream under cyrosleep."

"Yet, for the last fifty times that I have traveled with your company, I have dreamed."

"Fifty times?" The attendant muttered softly as he began quickly read the information on the I-pad that he carried. But, that's impossible."

V'Rion reached out and grabbed the attendant, which caused him to drop the pad. V'Rion's claws were digging into the elf's wrist slightly. "And I am telling you that it is possible, for I have experienced it. Do you doubt the word of a mage? You know it is impossible for us to lie."

He wrenched his wrist out of V'Rion's grip, began to rub it and stepped back from him, "No, Magister, I am not doubting your word, its just that dreaming has never happened before. I assure you that I will let my supervisors know and they will look into it. Is there anyway that you could be mistaken?"

"None." V'Rion said in a tone that brooked no further discussion. The attendant lead him into a large room that had a large bed with a dome over it. The attendant went over to the computer terminal on the bed and prepped it. Then he turned to V'Rion and opened his mouth as if to speak but looked into his eyes and thought better about it and then quickly left the room.

V'Rion sighed again. He just couldn't understand people sometimes.

Knowing that he had frightened the young elf, he almost call him back to apologize, but thought better of it. The sooner that this was over the sooner his life would begin again. V'Rion undressed, folded his clothes and put them at the top of the bed. He pulled down the covers and then reached up to the computer, and activated the bed, solely by feel. As he lay down, the transparent steel canopy came down an enclosed him in, and he began to drift off to sleep. And once again, he dreamed.

Blackness was always around, broken only by bright flares of light. All colors of light. Some red, some blue, yet there was always black. It had been wandering space for nearly nine hundred and seventy five years now. Searching, always searching. It had been made for a purpose, a reason. It couldn't remember what that purpose was. Why, because a part of it was missing. And so it searched. Searched hyperspace, and real space. Distance meant nothing to it, it simply had to find what was missing. It scanned the space directly ahead of itself, there was a planet. It was a planet with three moons, air rich with the elements of oxygen and nitrogen. More oxygen than anything else. This planet was alive both with plant and animal life. It looked at the planet. Somehow out of the millions of other planets that it had seen and looked at this one was different. What it had been searching for had been there, but now it was gone. Yet the feel of what it had been looking for was still fresh. The bio-energy traces it had been following for all of this time were richer here. It reached out and began to look for what was missing, and found it in the realm of hyperspace. It opened a gate and jumped.

to be continued...

 

Sam Lea

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