When the VReoria attempted to capture the Muse of Mischief and Agent Brzko on Trella, they had escaped; and instead, they captured the VReoria. As is the way of the VReoria, they activated their death glands and extinguished themselves before they could be interrogated. The Dragons arrived at Trella with the intent of obliterating the VReoria once and for all. After years of oppression and enslavement by the VReoria the Dragons found a weakness and overthrew them, taking Dragona back. That was long ago, and there were many Dragon casualties. After that, they secluded themselves, they needed time to recover from the decimation of war. But time has given them an opportunity to rebuild themselves – their home, their fleet, their lives. Now it is time for them to emerge from their seclusion, the Universe needed their help. And they are back with a vengeance.

Once M returned from providing a sample of her DNA to Kiik on Suus, the planning continued. The group had once again gathered in the dining room of the guest house on Misko.

“Hasira, you’re information was accurate. Our scanners are able to locate the VReoria ships using their energy signatures even when they’re cloaked. We’re going to continue scanning, to make sure we have them all.” Zri said.

“How many specimen ships have you found?” Hasira asked.

“Two, at least we think they may be specimen ships based on their size and the variety of life forms on board. Each one is escorted by two smaller ships.” Zri answered.

“Where are they, are they near each other?” Vustia asked.

“One is very close to us, it’s near Cazoova of course. But the other is in the Glion Galaxy.”

“Where in the Glion Galaxy is the other specimen ship Zri?” Hasira asked.

“Not far from the Black Sea Planet, and our scans indicate that there are Trelods on both ships. Two on the ship near Cazoova and one on the other. ” He answered, and then continued, “They know that the Muse of Mischief can open an aperture and transport herself if she’s conscious so they’ll need to subdue her immediately and keep her subdued. That means they either have to handle the exchange on one of their ships or very near it.”

“Hasira, do you think they will attempt the exchange on board a ship?” M asked.

“No. They are smart enough to know that you will have a plan in place to try and overtake them – to rush them when they drop their shields, they won’t risk it. We need to have ships close to theirs so that we can disable them when they drop their shields to transport to the exchange site.”

“How can we get close to them? If they see more than one ship coming near them they’ll know what we’re up to.” Vustia said.

“Dragon ships are able to cloak themselves. Zri, I need the exact coordinates so I can have our ships begin surrounding the VReoria.”

Zri slid his tablet across the table to Hasira. After looking at the coordinates he transmitted them telepathically to Dragona. Kwaai would take care of coordinating the Dragon fleet.

“OK, so the Dragons disable the ship’s shields, then what?” M asked.

Ferocity jumped in, “Agent Brzko will be with me near Cazoova. As soon as their shields are down he can board their ship and leave a transport receiver. That will allow our combined forces to board the ship. They can simultaneously work on keeping the shields down and subduing the VReoria. Zri, can you outfit the Ploosnarian, Trelod, and Suus ships with transporters?”

Instead of answering directly, Zri looked at ShyUst. “I’m on it.” ShyUst said and transported himself back to his ship to begin replicating and distributing transporters.

“What about the other ship?” Zri asked. “Do you have a plan for them?”

“Agent Brzko can only be in one place at a time, and we expect the Muse of Mischief to be busy with the exchange, so as soon as he leaves the transporter on the first VReoria ship we can jump to the second and follow the same process. By the time we get there, the Dragons will have their shields down and the combined fleet will be enroute or there.” Hasira said. “Unless there is another option that I’ve missed.”

“I don’t see a better option, does anyone else?” Zri asked. When no one said anything he continued. “Xiix, will you provide the combined fleet with their instructions? Divide them in  half and provide them with the coordinates where they are to rendezvous. ShyUst will contact them to provide the transporters. Each team should be led by the fastest ships. Make sure they understand the entire plan thus far.”

Xiix stood to leave the table, “It is my honor.” He headed for the door to take his shuttle back to his ship. Once his ship had a Gaznzulian transporter, and he had an individual transporter strapped to one of his arms, he’d be able to move between the surface and his ship instantly.

Once he had left, Empress Nalau questioned the group, “So what is the plan for rescuing the specimens? I understand our intent is to destroy the VReoria ships, but we cannot do that until we’ve rescued everyone. Hasira, Ferocity, what do you know about how they’re held?”

Hasira and Ferocity looked at each other for a second. Hasira focused on providing a visual image via telepathy. The image was horrid, and huge room filled with tubes, inside each tube was a being suspended in some sort of yellowish liquid.

Receiving the telepathic image was difficult for Empress Nalau, Zri, and Vustia as they weren’t used to telepathic communication.

Vustia seemed to recover first. “Ahhhh.” He sighed. “So they are alive? What is the substance in the tube?”

“Yes they are alive, technically. The tubes are filled with a status fluid. It prevents the flesh from aging or breaking down. Each being is fitted with an appropriate breathing tube. If they attempt to stop breathing then the function is performed for them. Some of these beings have probably been kept this way for lifetimes, they will be insane.”

“OH! This is just horrid. What… How…” Empress Nalau was shocked and frustrated beyond words.

The Muse of Mischief reached for her hand and quieted her. “Zri, can Gaznzul accomodate any of the beings that are damaged mentally and unable to adjust to freedom?”

“Yes M. We will make whatever accommodations they need. There’s a facility on Gaznzul where they can live the remainder of their days in peace.” Zri said. “Since our intent is to destroy all of the VReoria ships, we’ll need a team to transport them as quickly as possible and a ship, at each location, set up to care for them. Waaw, can the Suus handle that?”

Waaw nodded in affirmation.

This helped to calm Nalau. She was new to this work, it would take her some time build a tough exterior and help without taking the pain personally. After she recovered she moved them on, “When will the clone be ready M?”

M looked across the table to Waaw, assuming that she’d been in telepathic contact with Kiik. “It is ready now.

“So how do we keep the VReoria from seeing two Muse of Mischief’s? I assume they will monitor her arrival at the site of the exchange.” Vustia wondered.

The clone and the Muse of Mischief will be wearing cloaking shields. They will make it appear as though the Muse of Mischief’s life signs are coming from the clone, while keeping its lifesign hidden.” Waaw projected.

“Will you bring the clone here while we wait for the details of the exchange?” Vustia asked, looking at M.

“No. I’d rather not.” She answered. “I think it would be better to go from here to Suus, and then from Suus to the exchange site with the clone.”

“Good, I don’t think any of us really want to see the clone.” Brzko said.

Zri countered, “I’m a little curious about it. But it is a little… what’s that word you use M?”

“Creepy? Gross? Disgusting? Take your pick!” She said laughing, at least she could still laugh.

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