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Leonard a. Wronke Leonard a. Wronke
Recommendations: 23

Under the Double Star- Chapter Twenty-Three


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      For the first time that she could, clearly, remember, Perra's mind was her own.


     Perra attempted not to blink as the numbing effects of the CHTHNONIAN mind-link


started to weaken. Without a clear understanding why, Perra was grateful for the chance


to fight back to consciousness.


     Slightly moving her head, Perra surveyed the area where she lay. What she saw was


off to her right, the form of the captain, another multi-colored clothed female from


that ship that had bested her. Both of them were still in a state of unconsciousness.


     Perra moved her head the other way after hearing a rustling sound from that


direction. There were two Keths on her other side, one sitting, one leaning on a staff.


    There were other shapes, undistinguishable from her prone position. They would have


to wait to be identified after she was fully awake and mobile.


     Perra returned her vision back to the first area when she first awoke since there


was movement and a muttering coming from that area. It was this sight that allowed


Perra to return fully to consciousness.


    Before her wondering eyes, Perra saw, standing diagonally from her position, the


two figures she had previously saw as she was escaping from the "VIRAGO". It appeared


they were in the process of controlling another since they were manipulating their


right arms in a circular motion.


     The subject of their attention looked to be female of a race she didn't, readily,


know. A clue that she was not Sapen could be discerned by the fur that covered her


complete torso, as well as the five inch claws that this female seemed to be trying to


wield in her defense, because she was clicking them together. This female seemed to


be swaying from side to side.


     While these figures moved their arms, causing the fur-clad female to stop her


swaying then stand still, Perra could feel the paralysis of her own body fade.


     As Perra watched this interaction, she saw the female's eyes slide sideways into


her head, her mouth starting to form a scream. At the same time, Perra could feel total


sensation in her own body, once more.


     Perra relaxed as her own body strengthen, watched as the female started to shake


all over then witnessed as the female's fur started to fall off, first, in swatches,


then clumps.


     When full control of her senses, body were achieved, Perra seized the opportunity


to reek her vengeance upon the ones who had disfigured her. Perra allowed her rage to


wash over her. When she was at full outrage she struck.

     Perra used the distraction of the figures' attention upon the feline, she rose


from her supine position, tiptoed over towards the vaporous figures, whose backs were


towards her.


     It has been her intent to take her two, hidden blades, drive them into the backs


of her former tormenters.


     When Perra thought she was close enough, she pulled her blades free of their


sheaths, flipped them, both, into a overhand grip, then reared back her arms to strike.


     A'th'n returned to the physical world. All mind-links severed. The transition


from psychic to physical more turbulent than she had been prepared to endure.


     Her whole body quaked with the energy being released. The assault that ensued was


such that her face showed the turmoil that coursed through her.


     Thankful it was over in mere moments, A'th'n turned her attention back to Perra,


who she had recognized while she was in mind-link with F'lisa.


      A'th'n noticed Perra as the latter tiptoed up behind the two CHTHNONIANS that


were accosting F'lisa.


      Also, A'th'n  witnessed Perra's attempt and the failure of her misguided assault.


      As Perra was going to plunge, both, her blades into the CHTHNONIANS' backs, one


turned back, stared through Perra's soul, causing her to convulse in pain.


     Perra dropped both blades, noisily, upon the floor as she started to scream.


     The body-shaking that occurred was enough to cause rends to appear the length of


her tortured body.


     One of the CHTHNONIANS, who seemed more in command than the other, mind-spoke to


Perra, as she approached, blades drawn.


  " You are a foolish, young Sapen. Thinking that your puny assault would merit a


success. Your rage was your undoing. The hatred that you are projecting is a beacon to


a well-developed psyche.


     I understand why. You were, are feeling that you have been used to do that which


you had no choice.


     It would have been better for you if you had never left the ALLIA; stayed within


their calming influence. This would have been all true but, we, the Collective, needed


one to act as our agent in finding, then helping to destroy the Primae. It was your


misfortune to be chosen by our disfiguring you, twisting your psyche by manipulation


into thinking that your suffering was the Primae's doing.


     You are a failure. First, by not preventing a Keth's intervention in finding the


Primae's successor.


     Why do you think you were allowed to take control of that ship by our manipulation


of the crew's minds.


     Second, you allowed the Primae to complete her ritual of transference to another


host. One, totally aware, fresher, stronger, totally complete.


     This is why you are not an asset to us any longer. Your service to us is


ended."


     Violently, breaking the psyche connection, the CHTHNONIAN, then looked up at her


stress ridden face and began sucking her soul out of her body.


     The convulsions, the precursor to the total disintegration of Perra's body,


commenced.


     Perra attempted to keep a firm grip on her blades, but failed, causing her


to drop both blades as they clanged upon the ground.


    The echo of the blades being dropped was soon drowned out as Perra began to


scream as her body started to shake.


     Her flesh commenced to split open as the psychic pressure built ever more


intensely.


      The CHTHNONIAN never relinquished the assault; torturing her mercilessly.


      When it seemed that her disintegrating body could not take any more, Perra felt


her soul dying, relief came.


      Perra's last living sight was that of the cutlass that pierced her body, freeing


her to peaceful eternity.


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