Ferocity, Lelelu, and Xiix had gathered for a status update on the Myaads from Empress Nalau. She and her crew had just returned.

“Lelelu, you were correct about them wanting to have the Rogsaars begin exploring again. But they’re going to take a different approach this time.”

“How so?” Lelelu asked.

“Now that their communications equipment has been upgraded, they’re going to research before they go – in other words… they’ll be avoiding infantile places like Earth.”

“That’s probably a very good idea. Poor Rogs was there alone for so long.” Lelelu said. “How are the young Myaads, is there any sign of aberidus?”

“Healthy, there are no signs of the disease in the hives. They’ve decided to continue repopulating with a new method. They are incubating Bivoors, Dumeers, and Rogsaars all in one hive, and using the other hives to stagger their development.”

Interesting.” Xiix projected. “Is there still only one Queen per hive?”

“No, there are several now. They’re experimenting with rotating shifts. I think the shifts are a few weeks at a time. It seems like they’ve made great progress.”

“Do they need anything from us?” Lelelu asked.

“Yes, they’ve asked for help updating the Rogsaar ships that were recovered. I took the liberty of having a team of engineers from Ploosnar dispatched to Myaad. At this time I don’t think there’s anything else they need from us.”

“Excellent.” Lelelu said. “Ferocity, how was your trip to Dragona with Nguvu? You went for a type of ceremony with other young Dragons?”

Ferocity paused, looking down at the table while he gathered his thoughts. After a moment he looked back up and spoke. “Yes. When Dragons complete basic education the decision of what they will devote their lives to must be made. As you know, some of us are bonded, and some stay on Dragona to serve. The ceremony was for Dragons that aspire to be bonded. They will now leave Dragona, and live in seclusion as I did on Trella. But because Nguvu spent so many years in seclusion on the VReoria ship, she will not live in seclusion. This seemed to make her feel superior to the other Dragons.”

“Was there a problem?” Nalau asked.

“She was challenging her peers inappropriately, more specifically her male peers.”

“Oh, she was trying to establish that she’s just as fierce as the males?” Lelelu asked.

“Yes. How did you know?” Ferocity asked a little surprised.

Lelelu looked across the table at Nalau and they both smiled. “It’s a common trait in the females of species where the males are dominant.”

Ferocity didn’t know what to say so he just nodded his head.

Xiix helped them move on. “Will she be ready for bonding soon?”

“I am unsure,  Kwaii and I have discussed this many times. Because she was not raised as other Dragons, it is difficult to tell just how mature she is. In some ways her maturity far exceeds her age. But I am concerned about her temper.”

“Do you think she would be a danger to her bond?” Nalau asked.

“No. Absolutely not. But if anyone were to threaten her bond…” He paused, considering his words carefully. “…I suspect that she would use all available force to defeat them, rather than just enough force to handle the situation.”

“It sounds like she would benefit from training on Gaznzul.” Lelelu said.

This rendered Ferocity speechless for a moment. “A Dragon being taught self defense from Gaznzulians? She can breath fire and ice, and fly. I do not see what else they could teach her.”

“No, no, not self defense. I think what Lelelu is referring to is self discipline. They can help her learn self discipline.”

“I see your point and agree. It may be good for her, and unless anyone objects, I’d like her to accompany us on a few missions. I know it may seem early, but it might help to… humble her.”

Since she was not raised by Dragons, she is already on a different path than you, and the others like you have taken. She is one of a kind, tradition and rules may not apply to her.

“As always Xiix, you speak the truth with wisdom.”

“OK, moving on.” Nalau said. “Lelelu, do you have new challenges for us?” She asked.

“Of course. Have you heard of Jastea MJ?”

In the Xeiwynia galaxy?” Xiix projected.

“That’s right.”

The sun in one of the smaller solar systems is dying.

“That’s right. And it’s having some very profound effects on Jastea MJ.”

“Jastea MJ is still inhabited?” Ferocity asked.

“Yes, a small population remained after the main evacuations. They assumed that they had a few thousand years before the sun actually died. I guess it was a group of what they call ‘science seekers’ that thought they would gain valuable information by monitoring the death of the red giant.”

“How many beings are we talking about?” Nalau asked.

“Around three hundred. We probably can’t fit all of them on our ships, but that’s not the worst part.” She unrolled her tablet and brought up an image of the solar system. “Their sun has expanded into a red giant much faster than they anticipated. It’s about to consume Jastea MJ.”

When she saw the image Nalau took a deep breath and let it out loudly. Ferocity moaned. And there was a general feeling of dread emanating from Xiix as they looked at the image of Jastea MJ. It looked like the atmosphere was being pulled toward the red giant.

Lelelu looked up at her peers. “No one will risk getting near the red giant to rescue them. They’re all going to die.” She paused and let that sink in. “And… yes it’s their own fault. I mean they challenged what M calls Mother Nature and they lost, they made a mistake. So will we leave them to die because they made a bad decision?”

“No.” They all said, or projected in unison.

“Good. We need a plan. How can we transport three hundred Jasteas?”

“Is there time for a Gaznzulian transport to get there?” Nalau asked.

“Probably not, they don’t use jump drives.” Lelelu answered.

What is the final destination for the evacuees?” Xiis projected.

“The other inhabitants were relocated to Gcugrawa, not far from this solar system. I don’t know where they want to go, but I’m not sure it matters. The most important thing is that we get them off of a planet that’s about to be consumed by a red giant. And there’s another problem. I’m not sure if it’s solar flares or radiation, but communication with the surface seems to be intermittent at best.” Lelelu explained.

“Dragons.” Ferocity said. Everyone looked at him waiting for him to continue, to explain what he meant. “Dragons would be able to jump and get there almost instantly. Three hundred beings will fit in the cargo hold of a large transport ship.

“Dragona would be willing to help?” Nalau asked.

“Yes. The Great Assembly has agreed that it’s time for Dragona to end their seclusion. If no one objects I will contact them.”

“I don’t object but,” Nalau said “I’m concerned with the panic it may cause for Dragons to show up on the surface of Justea MJ. Most beings in the Universe aren’t sure Dragons are real.”

“Hmm I see your point.” Ferocity said. “Perhaps you, I and Xiix should appear first.” After seeing the look on Nalau’s face he revised his idea. “Or you could approach them first and explain to them that they have nothing to fear.”

“That could work.” She smiled at him. “When do we leave?”

“I’ll contact the Great Assembly on Dragona and have them meet us there. Lelelu will you be able to reach the Jasteas to tell them we’re on the way?”

She checked the current time. “Soon. They’re almost out of today’s communications blackout.”

“I think we should depart as soon as possible.  We could rendezvous with the Dragons here.” Ferocity zoomed in on a map of the solar system, drawing a circle with his finger around an area that was just beyond the reach of the red giant.

Nalau stood up. “My crew and I can be ready in less than an hour. We’ll meet you there.” As she manipulated her arm band to transport back to her ship Xiix also stood.


They both disappeared, heading to their ships to get ready for departure.

“Lelelu, do you need anything before I go?” Ferocity asked.

“No, thank you Ferocity. I’ll contact the Jasteas and tell them to expect you. Well, to expect evacuation.” She smiled at him.

He smiled and nodded, heading to the door.

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