“Good morning.” The Muse of Mischief said sleepily. She and Agent Brzko are early risers so it was unusual to hear from Lelelu before their coffee had kicked in and made them fully functional. “What’s wrong Lelelu?”

“Nothing’s wrong M. We received a message from Kiik and Bivoor, there’s activity in the hives on Myaad. The eggs are about to hatch.”

That woke M right up. “Really? Did we lose track of time or is it a little early?”

“It’s a little early, but Kiik said there’s nothing to worry about, the eggs all seem to be fine. There is no sign of aberidus.”

“OK, I guess we need to go to Myaad. Are you planning to go? Is Kiik already en route?”

“Yes, we’re both going to Myaad.” Zri said, popping into frame behind Lelelu.

She chuckles to herself. “OK Zri, who’s ship are you guys taking?”

“Mine.” Zri and Lelelu say simultaneously.

Now M wasn’t holding back. Laughing she said, “Oh OK both ships then. We’ll see you there. When will you arrive?”

“We should be there by tomorrow evening. Kiik said that she will arrive in a few hours.” Lelelu continues. “Do you think Emperor Bartala or Empress Nalau will want to be there?”

“I’ll call him but I doubt it. I don’t think they’re ready to travel with Wisssi yet, and I doubt if either of them would leave him with a nanny. You two be careful, I’ll see you on Myaad tomorrow.”

M closes her tablet and reaches for Brzko telepathically. “Hey Brzko, where are you at?”

He answers immediately. “Oh, good morning sleepy head. You’re finally awake.” He teases.

It’s not even light yet! Where are you?

In the garden, teaching Ferocity how to fly the hive drone. What’s up?

Lelelu called, the eggs are about to hatch on Myaad.

OK, we’ll wrap this up and get ready to go. Who all is going?

Lelelu and Zri are leaving today, and Kiik is already enroute. I’ll call Bartala and see if he wants to be there, but I doubt it.

“I doubt it too. He won’t want to leave Wisssi yet.” Brzko said out loud, after returning to the inside of their home.

“Hey, did you leave Ferocity to pick up your toys?”

Brzko laughs. “No, the drones are already put away. He’s getting his ship ready for Myaad.”

“Did you ever ask him about naming his ship? It seems weird to call a sentient being ‘his ship’, it seems like it should have a name.”

“It does have a name. It’s ‘Ferocity’s Ship’.” He said grinning.

“Funny.” M said, playfully punching him. “So when do you want to go to Myaad?”

“After breakfast.”

“OK, I’ll find out if Bartala wants to go while you cook breakfast.”

“Oh, I’m cooking?”

“Yep, it was your idea.”

Brzko went out to the kitchen to see what his options were for breakfast, while M went to her office. Sitting in front of the communication portal she initiated a call to Bartala. He picked up right away. The screen was filled with an image of him holding Wisssi up toward the camera.

“Say hi to your pesky Autuania Wisssi. Why do you think she’s calling us so early.”

M cleared her throat, pretending to be annoyed.

“I mean, good morning dear friend. What can do for you today?” Bartala said sarcastically.

“Did you hear about Myaad? The eggs are ready to hatch.”

“No! That’s excellent. So everything seems to be OK. There are no signs of aberidus?”

“No, no signs of it. They have developed a little early but so far the scans haven’t detected anything concerning. Are you interested in going, or would you rather stay home and play daddy?” She asked her oldest friend sarcastically.

“While traveling with you is always exciting – remember last time when the VReoria attempted to capture us – but I think I’ll pass this time. I’m not ready to leave Wisssi yet.”

“That’s what I figured but I wanted to…” There was a commotion to Bartala’s left, M couldn’t see what was happening.

He turned to someone else and said “OK, OK.” and then got up and moved out of sight. To M’s surprise Empress Nalau sat down in front of the communication portal.

“Good morning Muse of Mischief. It looks as though your new home agrees with you because you look lovely this morning.”

“Thank you Your Majesty.” They were not usually this formal, but M still reciprocated for Nalau using her full name.

“M, what if I wanted to go to Myaad with you?”

“I think the Myaads would be honored to have you there, and I think we could have some fun. Maybe even get into a little trouble.”

“Hey, don’t corrupt my wife! I know what your capable of M!” Bartala hollered from out of sight.

M and Nalau both laughed at his reaction. “I think he’s actually just concerned that I will tell you about some of the parties we went to when we were adolescents. There was this one party on Foskpruchu and…”

This time he physically butted into the conversation by pushing himself up next to his wife. “Hey! Stop that! Or I’ll tell Brzko about a few parties myself.”

“OK, OK deal.” M said, pretending to be insulted. In reality, neither of them had secrets from their partners. But they had spent so much time together as adolescents that they were like rival siblings, they couldn’t help teasing each other. “Now go away and let me plan a trip with your wife.” He obeyed.

“So Nalau, I know a full complement of palace guards is required for the Emperor, but as Empress how many escorts are you required to have? In other words, how many ships will be going to Myaad?”

“Actually for me, none are required because I’m not the actual heir. But it is strongly recommended that I not travel without at least one palace guard. And due to the way my husband is now gesticulating I will of course honor that suggestion.”

“Great. So with one or two of the palace guards you can get away with taking Bartala’s personal ship. If you leave today, you should get there tomorrow. Which is when Lelelu and Zri will arrive.”

“Oh perfect! This is going to be fun. I need to go pack. I’ll contact you when I leave Ploosnar.”

“OK, Nalau, take care.” M closed the communication and went to find Brzko.

“What’s for breakfast?” M asked as she walked into the kitchen, a little confused because she didn’t see any food.

“Shhhh.” Brzko said raising a finger to his lips. “You’ll make it fall.” Before she could say anything he turned and opened the oven door. He took out a perfect mushroom souffle.

“Wow! Is that made with niptdyn?”

“Of course! Grab some plates and meet me at the table.”

She gladly obliged. Niptdyn is a mushroom like fungus that grows on Drolla O0, and is  one of their favorite foods.

“I figured we should use the niptdyn before we leave so…”

“So you just whipped up a souffle!” M finished for him, digging in to the souffle.

Before he could answer, their earcom links came to life.

“Good  morning again.” It was Lelelu. “Hey I just heard from Ciic. M, do you have time to give her a call?”

“Yeah sure, is everything OK?”

“I think so. She’d like to be on Myaad when the eggs hatch. But she didn’t leave with Kiik, and if she leaves now, her ship can’t get her there in time.”

“OK, I’ll call her right after breakfast. Thanks Lelelu.” She turned to Brzko. “This is really good. You could make this again anytime. I’d help you clean up but, well, I have to go call the leader of Suus. You know how it is.” She said smiling as she got up from the table.

“Right. Hey have you noticed how complicated things are sometimes? It seems like we never just take a simple trip anymore.”

“Hmmm well let’s see…. Our core group is made up of a Dragon, a Trelod, a Gaznzulian, the Emperor and Empress of Ploosnar, and the leader of Suus. Huh? I can’t imagine why anything would ever be complicated.” She teased.

“Good point.” he conceded. “But I’d still like the two of us to go to Trella with Ferocity sometime soon.”

“I agree.”

Once again, seated at the communication portal, M initiated a call to Ciic. She answered immediately.

Thank you for calling Muse of Mischief. It is always a pleasure.” She projected.

Your welcome Ciic. What can I do for you?” She projected back, as they were both telepaths and not in mixed company, there was no need for M to speak. Ciic of course, could not speak. Suus do not have mouths.

I did not think that I could take the time to travel to Myaad, and to be there as the eggs hatch, so I sent Kiik. But now, as the time draws near, I feel I must go. But I don’t have a ship that can make it in time…

No worries Ciic. I can take you. When were you thinking of going? I understand Kiik is due to arrive tomorrow.

Tomorrow would be perfect. I will have access to Kiik’s ship for sustenance and rest once I’m there. And of course I can return with her.”

Will it be just you or does Muum want to come too?”

M, We don’t want to inconvenience you to that degree.”

I might have a way for you to go together. Ferocity has a ship with a jump drive. If he’s available, he may be able to get to Suus and then to Myaad in the same day. I’ll check with him.”

Ferocity?” Ciic slightly tilted her head, as tried to figure out who that was.

Oh right, you haven’t met him yet. Ferocity is Agent Brzko’s Dragon. They were recently bonded.

So it’s true? We thought it was just a rumor. Our database contains several entries about Dragons, but that was many generations is the past. With no new sightings we thought it may be folklore rather than fact. It would be an honor to meet him.”

Dragons were almost wiped out by the VReoria. Their population is beginning to recover. I suspect you will begin to hear more about them.

We would be honored to travel with him M.

OK, let me see if I can arrange it. I’ll be in touch soon.”

After closing the communication portal, M reached for Brzko and Ferocity with her mind. “Hey guys, I need to ask you something… where are you?

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