A Long Twilight Journey

Chapter 4

By: Athirne

Okay, I feel like I have to warn you that this chapter contains two sex scenes. If you don’t like it, tough. I have decided to re-write this chapter from the original version because that one was not very well done. I am going for some resemblance of consistency despite knowing very well that is not an obtainable goal. That and the original was lost when my pen drive died.

If you don’t like this chapter I suggest you don’t read the next one. It will be the darkest and most violent to date. But more on that later...

FYI: POV is Jason’s.


It was morning already… past the usual time I got up. While it was nice to sleep, this would mean I would be out of my routine now. Routines were nice, orderly, definite, and mostly predictable.

I got out of bed and stood up wearing only my shorts. It was then when the voices hit me. Small whispers in my mind just babbling incoherently. All had one thing in common: they were unsure of what was to happen... all but one. The only time I was not with them was when I was with my love. Shi would protect me from them. Hir very presence distracted me from the voices as they were drowned out by hir psychic link with me.

Making my way into the small (for my mate) bathroom, I looked into the mirror and tried my best to focus. As usual the face that met me was not too happy. Unfortunately this meant that I had overslept. I took off my boxers... how very odd. Usually I would have found them in tangled sheets. Softstride must be losing hir touch. I moved into the taur-sized shower; note I did not say Chakat-size. How shi wishes that it was big enough for the both of us.

For those of you that don’t know, about 60% of the showers on a starship tend to use water instead of sonic waves to clean people. Now, all the command staff have their own showers, but the “grunts” will use one of the shower rooms. This is a war ship after all. However back to the water and sonic issue. You see sonic is not the best way to clean fur, so they had to make water showers available to morphs and many of the aliens. However sonic showers are best for humans and those morphs that don’t have as much fur as some others. Star Fleet decided that due to the constantly changing assignments on some military ships, they would have wash rooms instead of having to also sub assign past bipeds and taurs (among the other requests).

Now that you have that background, let me make one thing perfectly clear: despite all of our improvements in construction, science, space travel, etcetera, we still have turny buttons in the shower. And as we all know turny buttons lie. Now it is turn-turn-turn for hot, and turn-turn-turn for cold. But I am only interested in between here…. And here… one millionth of a degree between fantastically hot and fucking freezing.

So I then go in and proceeded to become a safe breaker, or at least assume that position trying to get the temperature right. It is at this moment I must inform you that each water equipped shower has its own water source which is recycled. Slight problem is that after the water is recycled it is allowed to cool until the next use. Luckily this usually works because you tend to be there regularly at specific times so the computer has time to heat up the water to a proper temperature. However, I would take this time to remember that I overslept.

My eyes went wide and I assumed the second position in a shower… as far away from the stream of water as possible. “Ahhh! Fuck its cold!”

Upon entrance to the mess hall, I noticed that I was the only one in there. Night shift was already in bed and it was between meals for the day shift. I walked over to one of the replicators and ordered a nice breakfast. Eggs, sausage, orange juice, and I don't know what the other thing was. You would think that over the years, military food would have shown great improvements. Unfortunately they appear to include some unknown… thing just to remind you where you are.

Now for the toast. There is one slight problem with replicated toast: it's not quite as toasted as one ever wants. Hence we have what some would call a toaster oven. For those of you have used one, it also has a turny button. I set it on “3” and waited a few minutes… it came out “2” toast. Hardly done. So then I put it back in on “4” and it came out as “5” toast. Completely burnt, not good. Next I got a new piece of bread and stuck it back in on “3”. When it said “done” I didn’t even look at it as it went straight back in. I kept one eye on it so that the toast would not burn while I went back to the replicator to get a bit of jam. I took my eye off of it for only a second or two and I could smell something burning. Quickly running back to the toaster I opened it up to see some more “5” toast. Cursing slightly I threw the burnt pieces of toast into the replicator to disintegrate as I moved on.

I sat down to eat and indulged in some good music. Sigur Rós playing "Svefn-g-englar" piped in. Ah there much better. I then downed the meal besides the unidentifiable substance and set the song to repeat. Must have spent a good quarter hour just listening to that one song. After which I turned it off, set the tray and put the leftover food back into the replicator and watched it disintegrate.

Who should I visit next? It was only ten hundred hours and it was another three hours until lunch. Perhaps I shall drop in on Skuks. I got up and ended the music on the way out of the mess.

The door opened and I walked inside. Hys office was filled with pictures of family and friends. The occasional memento was scattered here and there. A low desk with a Skunktaur behind it was in one corner with sitting mats and chairs around it. Skuks sat up and offered me a seat with a gesture.

"So what brings you around today? I see that the captain gave you today off."

I sat down in a chair and looked at hym. Hy was in hys male phase and hence did not have the bust he did yesterday. I could also see the paw print noting his telepathic abilities. However there was something different about hym today. I could almost see something around hys head. Hy did not have the band around hys head… it was more like a light. I tried closing my eyes and noticed I could still sense it.

"Yes, shi delivered an ultimatum in a note this morning. And I am here to talk." I could see a slight change in the shape of the light. I could see it more clearly now, it was not quite light either. It looked more like what those stain glass windows in Christian churches. Sometimes the depictions of Jesus would have an odd combination of colors and geometric patterns that would depict a light or energy around his head. Another thing was that the whispers in the back of my head became louder the closer I examined it.

"That's good to hear, I hope you are getting plenty of rest on your day off. Also what would you like to talk about?" came hys reply.

Another shift in the light. However this time a small tendril of energy snaked out and moved its way towards me. It's not real, I tried to convince myself. "It's about the captain and a bit of unfinished business we had a few months ago." It was then that I found out about them. I already knew they were old friends. However it was then that I learnt they loved each other. On some level I could easily deal with this, yet some part of me did not want to accept it. For some irrational reason part of my mind must have seen it as losing hir. My parents did their best to implement the chakat extended family but still some part of me saw that as… unusual.

I could see hys face go neutral before a cautious grin spread across hys muzzle. "well?"

The tendril was probing the surface of my mind; I could feel it now. Looking and probing. Either this was a hallucination or I was sensing hym try to scan my mind passively. For some odd reason I had always been able to sense when a telepath was taking a peek inside. Granted any non-telepath can sense when they are scanned, but that requires years of training. I am able to do it instinctively. The chakat parents who adopted me were shocked to find out that I could tell when they were gauging my feelings. The only larger surprise was when I was able to block their intrusions. I never did learn how I did it. I just do instinctively. Yet every time I tried to sense their emotions, I couldn't. "Softstride wants a cub. I'm not able to give hir one. You two seem to care for each other but you are both reluctant to become mates because of me." Immediately I could feel hys probing stop. If it wasn't for the fur on hys face I would suspect hy just went white as a sheet. "You two have only gone so far as to share beds together in times that you need… relief. After all I do realize that I am not able to help hir with all of hir needs."

Hy was nervous. I could clearly see it in hys body language. However it was hy who spoke next.

"You want us to become mates?"


"And for me to impregnate hir?"


A smile came upon hys muzzle and hy was about to hug me before I gestured for hym to stop.

"However I will need to ask you to do something for me." Again a look of dread replaced hys joy. "You know that I have a large hole in my memory from before I was found by Star Fleet. They said that it was from being in stasis for months at a time at a young age. However it was not that the memories were gone… they were chemically blocked. The reasons I have always been against you mating Soft are not just because I have been afraid of losing hir like I lost my parents… a memory so traumatic that it is impossible to block, but also because I fear your kind." Hy stared at me inquisitively and shifted uneasily. "You see, when they found me, they discovered the memories were not coming to the surface. So they used Skunktaur telepath talents to try to get the information out. One after another tried deep scans. Sometimes it went hours at a time. I was only a kid being mentally assaulted for two months by Skunktaurs because Star Fleet was obsessed with trying to get any information that could help with their little secret war. Can you imagine having to go through that as a child? Someone poking and prodding your mind for hour after hour. I went through some of the best psi talents alive at the time and not one was able to break the block. They gave up and placed me with a chakat family. Add a bit of time and here I am."

Hy was almost shaking now. I moved closer to hym and sat on the edge of hys desk. I reached and placed my fingers on the paw print on hys chest. "Scan me."

All was going according to my plan. I would get what I wanted while making both my mate and Skuks happy. Quite honestly I don’t know if I will ever learn to love hym; whenever I see hym I have to beat down the urge to hide.

Now it is time to go back to my room and see if Softstride is there. I rounded the corridor and opened the door to find the room in organized chaos, just like I left it. My uniforms and hir spares were laying about, a testimony to the chaos of the mission. I think the only person who actually understands this is that Athirne person.

It would be a few more hours before Softstride showed up. I moved myself under the covers and began to nap. That was until the door opened and a kamikaze Chakat pinned me under the sheets.

I meeped while shi gave my face a quick tongue bath. “Shouldn’t you be somewhere else?” I asked.

“Rose chased me off of the bridge, since I am in my female phase she decided it would be best to make sure the captain had an extended lunch break,” shi replied with a wink.

I took that moment to meep again. Shi responded with a giggle while shi pulled off hir uniform. Smiling at me shi moved hir muzzle down to kiss my lips. Since I was pinned against the bed all I could do was kiss back.

“How about you letting me get ready?” I asked.

After a few seconds of pouting shi got off of me and allowed my retreat. Shi never did like fooling around with all the clothing humans wore. I moved into the bathroom and finished the preparations and came out again, this time only wearing a robe.

“Take it off!” shi cheered. Perhaps shi wasn’t losing hir touch after all.

I decided to comply with hir request before I pounced onto hir. This time shi was the one to let out a meep while I landed on hir lower body and moved up enough to nuzzle hir breasts. There was a deep rumble through hir body as shi purred.

“go ahead.” shi urged.

Smiling up at hir, I took a tit into my mouth and began to nurse on it. Shi always did enjoy giving me some of hir milkwater. After drinking a mouthful, shi pulled me up to kiss me again. I returned the kiss and stroked the side of hir head.

Slowly I moved my way down to hir sheath before giving it a few experimental strokes. Soft shuddered and let out a soft moan as hir sheath began to swell.

Now I find it ironic how my fellow humans get so anal (no pun intended) about sex. The great irony is that about 80% or more of humans are actually bisexual. Most just tend to suppress any concept of it as society often views it as wrong despite it being very natural for sexual beings. Being raised by chakats has actually made me far more open than most humans. Granted, it did screw up my sexual identity some from trying to mimic a bunch of herm felitaurs.

I stroked hir sheath a bit more as hir hidden member began to work its way out of its hiding place. However shi moved hir head to look at me and gave me a look that read 'that is not why you are down there'.

After giving hir a reassuring smile I moved a hand down to rub gently over hir fem sex. When shi let out a gasp and a slight shudder, it was then that I realized how wet shi was. I am quite amazed that shi worked up until now, or for that matter hir state did not create a scene. Hir scent after all was quite strong.

Moving a few fingers around hir slit I began to ask hir how everything was going. This naturally got me a glare and a strained response. I always knew that I could basically get anything out of my mate at this time. Shi would never get what shi wanted without telling me what I wanted to hear first. This may not be the way shi would like it but afterwords shi has always said it was well worth the annoyance.

“Our chakat mage has been doing a bit of poking around. I have noticed shi does not sleep as much as shi should though. Lets see... Rose is happy you are gone for they day so you... oh how was it she put it... ah yes, were no longer the spectre at her banquet.”

I giggled at hir comment and rewarded hir for that information by moving my finger down a bit and hitting a pressure point. Shi shuddered in gratitude and tried to arch hir back a bit. People are so easy to manipulate; you just need to know their pressure points.

Once shi came down from that sensation I moved up to lay on top of hir lower body lightly. I could feel hir hard erection against my belly as I wrapped my arms around hir before entering hir.

It was a few hours later I opened my eyes and noted a furry breast occupying about half of my vision. I grinned and looked at the chrono: it was about half an hour until my love had to go back on duty. I moved my head onto hir breasts and sighed. Some people say chakats have great built-in headrests. I say they have great built-in pillows.

Not too shabby if you ask me. About an hour nap next to my love after an hour and a half of yiffy fun. I still have yet to learn who is spoiling who in this relationship though.

Then I looked down and noticed hir sheath again and I got an idea. I moved myself down and rested my head on hir sheath. Promptly Softstride started to awaken and look down at me. I smiled back and gave a little wave. Shi gave a chuckle in response.

“Comfy?” shi asked.

“Surprisingly, yes,” I replied.

“Well, I suppose I should take a shower and then we can get something quick to eat,” shi replied with a sigh.

Softstride slowly rolled onto hir side and moved hir tail to stroke my cheek. I hated this part. The shower was too small for us to share it at the same time, so we had to part for a while. To this day I find being alone as both a blessing and a curse. On one hand I want my space, on the other I don't want to be away from the people I care about.

Shi gave me a smile and made hir way to the bathroom with hir tail held high. Letting my head fall back against the bed, I began to wonder how my meeting with Skuks would be. I let my mind drift off to think of what will soon be when shi came back out from the shower. Hir fur was still slightly damp and I looked at the chrono again: it had been fifteen minutes since shi had entered.

“Doesn't look like we have enough time to eat,” I stated.

Shi sighed and lowered hir eyes a bit. I knew that look, that is the 'what if he was a chakat' look. I don't need to be a telepath to know what shi is always thinking. Chakats can be read like a book, you just need to know a little bit about them and how to read their body language.

“Well I should go back to work now,” shi began.

“I know, I suppose I should go back to doing nothing,” I replied.

With that said, we embraced and shi left to go back to whatever shi was doing before. I took this time to get dressed.

I went into a small corner of the room and hit a hidden pressure plate. The wall moved aside as I looked into the hole. Every military space craft for the past few hundred years had a hidden area in the captain's quarters for storage of emergency fire arms. In fact the the first officer had one also.

Reaching behind the two energy weapons, I grabbed onto a small vile. This object I knew. Ambrosia: it expands one’s mind. It enhances the parts of the mind that are responsible for ESP abilities. It will make a non-telepath a temporary one, and raise the abilities of one with the talent considerably higher.

There is no way Skuks can get past the defenses in my mind... at least not without some inside help.

I arrived at hys room shortly thereafter. It was quite interesting the effects of ambrosia; it is much like going through a pshycotic episode. You also get a migraine for a few hours while your brain adjusts to its new state. What was it that the Star Fleet doctor who first made ambrosia artificially said? Ah yes, perhaps it is needed for our brains to evolve into a neutral state. Madness and genius walking as the same.

However I must admit the clarity of everything has increased dramatically. My vision appears clearer than I have ever experienced. I would assume that my brain is, for lack of a better term, overclocked. This however brings up the question of exactly how long one can operate like this. After all it is like driving a PTV extremely fast. Your mind is working at such amazing speeds that eventually you just... crash.

The door opened, leading inside to the sight of Skuks. Hy was just as before except this time hy seemed a little bit more professional in hys stance and body language.

I took a few steps inside and allowed the door to close behind me.

“Are you ready?” I asked.

“At least as ready as I will ever be,” hy replied. “you can take a seat wherever you like and get comfy.”

I saw a nice-looking chair to my left and did my best to move next to it and take a seat without making my current state too obvious. The stained glass look around hys head that symbolized hys talent was still there, only clearer and more intricate then before. I wonder if this is how telepaths see each other or if the ambrosia and my former life as a mage's child has made me more sensitive to these things.

It was then that hy made hys move and began to try to look at my thoughts. I did my best to stay still. The scan that hy was performing was actually a bit calming. The tendrils my mind had interpreted as stroking my mind calmly. Normally I would not be able to see the other one making a connection with my mind.

Hy gave me a smile and I braced myself for the pain. For some odd reason a non-telepath has hardly any defenses, yet I do have defenses. Star Fleet was fascinated that I could resist some of the most powerful telepaths they had. For some reason when my defenses were triggered, my mind would blank and hence make it so the telepath would actually have to fight to gain control. You see a telepath can't actually extract the thoughts or memories from someone's mind. They can only see what the mind chooses to show. This is actually the same with an empath. The goal of the two, traditionally by using their talents, is to force those memories or thoughts to the surface so they could view them. Basically telepathy and some empathic abilities are actually the end result of a rough combination of their obvious talents and a form of mind control.

Then it came. It felt more like being poked with a million small needles, or at least that is how it was interpreted. I did my best to try to fight my mind’s automatic response.

One of the real concerns I have is a counter that Star Fleet learned I had when they were interrogating me. It's called sparking, and will literally shut down a telepath for at least a short while. A bit of feedback is sent through the connection. The problem with this is that it will trigger the telepath's own defenses and will cause their mind to respond accordingly. With only the connection they made, their own talent literally attacks itself.

Collapsing my own defenses is challenging. Softstride knows this. Shi was surprised when we first met and discovered that hir empathic talent was useless with me. A human that could actually resist any form of ESP to the degree I did was unheard of.

I could feel my mind becoming blank. A small spark in the back of my mind began to form. Quickly I redirected it towards my own defenses. I might have screamed from the pain... I'm not sure.

Skuks stopped the assault for a second before diving back in and stimulating the area of my brain that controls memories.

Somewhere.... I was somewhere but I don't remember. I was in my memories.

I was perhaps twelve. It was a cold and dark room. A steel table upon which I was seated was in the middle. I was surrounded by perhaps two dozen Skunktaurs, all of them telepaths; all of them probing my mind’s defenses. One tried to slip in but collapsed a few seconds later. I remember this; I was in unspeakable pain. My mind was being torn apart but yet I resisted.

Another morph entered the room... some form of feline, perhaps a tiger. I don't know it was hard to see. So much pain. She said to stop resisting the Skunktaurs and everything will be all right. They would take care of me for the rest of my life. They just wanted to know what I knew. But I would not allow them. I don't know why but I simply could not. All I remember was her name... and she had on a Star Fleet uniform.

It was perhaps three years latter. I was in a school on Chakona... I remember I had escaped Star Fleet. I looked over to the back of the room and I saw a Chakat. I was only fifteen yet I had already found the only thing I could love about life. I found out hir name was Softstride. In all of the pain of my life; the scans, losing my parents, the arguments at home... shi was the bright light in my life that kept me holding on to life.

Suddenly I was five. I was on a ship with my biological parents. I had only seen this in my dreams before. Mother was doing some form of excersises. She would stand on one leg then move her body slightly. I don't know how she did it but then there was a steak of her image and she was about twenty meters away in under a second. I wanted her to teach me... but she died before my lessons had completed.

I was three... A young Athirne had come up to my family. We were ready to leave for this primitive civilization called the Stellar Federation. Our job was to see and hear what we could... to see the cradle of humanity. We were to find out if they had grown out of their rage and if the order could return. Athirne was the only mage to ever go to Earth before we left. He told us everything we needed to know about morphs, politics, and money. But he was hiding something... perhaps he knew what would happen. More likely he was thinking about a creature called a chakat that he had found so interesting.

Skuks was just staring at me. Hy had seen everything and more. Slowly I could feel the memories coming back to me. In the back of my mind I could feel something awakening.

“Are you alright?” hy asked concerned.

Something was wrong and hy knew it. I could feel my mind slowly going faster. Everything became sharper. I could suddenly see things before that I couldn't. The clarity of my senses was increasing. I sense myself collapsing on the floor but I could not feel it.

Skuks suddenly was at my side and asking if I should call for medical. It was then that I realized what was happening. My mage tech was awakening.

My mind that was once a cloud of thoughts now began to arrange itself. I began to love the order. No longer did I feel like my mind being overwhelmed by thoughts and concerns. It was pure clarity.

Rising back to my feet, I gave Skuks a hug. Never before had I allowed a Skunktaur to touch me before or be touched by one. No longer did I feel threatened by them. Hy could not harm me even if hy wanted. My tech sung with joy.

After an hour of telling Skuks lies and half-truths, I was finally free of hys questioning. Hy is not ready for it yet, my tech told me. Before I left the room, I told hym to be at my quarters in two hours so we could surprise my soon to be lucky chakat.

I left hym to corner another chakat. Deirdre had to be confronted. I know that my tech is only that level of a toddler, but perhaps that is enough to find out the answers to my questions. I do not fear my confrontation with Deirdre. If anything, I am mentally hir peer and psychicly hir superior. Shi may have tech as advanced as my own, not yet old enough to get hir acolyte or full mage upgrades, but then again neither did I. Mages had long ago engineered themselves to be able to live in space and any environment. We make all other morphs look like the proverbial one-trick pony. Soon I will relearn my body and master it. And then once I do, I could help my mate.

Nothing will ever change that. I love hir and would do anything for hir. The tech is a tool that I can use to make everything hirs. Nothing can stop me. In this mission there is one enemy, the Sheavens. They pose the greatest threat to the Stellar Federation than any others before. They are lumbering giants that will crush everything they see as unworthy of sharing their universe. They wipe out entire systems, and even the Borg fear them.

The tech tells me all about them. They are the abomination the Technomages were made to exterminate. The first mistake that must be destroyed. Then the order can move on to the second abomination. The mistake made to take care of the first, only to find they feared the greater power. Now the mages are the third creation and we fear becoming an abomination too. We are death incarnate and the protectors of Polara. I fear nothing as it is only an illusion. There is nothing greater then the ecstasy of victory.

My tech sang loud with the fury of the universe, and I marched to meet with the only other person on this ship who the tech sang to.

A few minutes later I entered the mess to see the young chakat eating some replicated food. Shi was all alone save for me. The room had been deserted as everyone was sleeping or on duty. In a few hours that would change.

Deirdre was a very odd chakat. Shi didn't like to be around large numbers of people. So very much like hir full mage father. Control over hirself and the others around hir was the goal. However shi was far from cold. Shi smiled quite a bit, unlike hir emotionless father. Also shi showed much more care about those around hir. None of that however could hide how troubled shi was though.

I sat down next to hir, knowing very well shi knew as soon as I entered. Hir tech warned hir of another like hir entering the room.

“So, the blocks are gone,” shi stated.

“Yes,” was my reply.

Shi stopped eating and looked at me as if for the first time ever. “Does your tech speak to you once again?”

I could feel the calming nature of the tech in the back of my mind. “yes,” came my reply. It was becoming agitated by the questions. I could feel it become aggressive and thus so did I.

“How long has it been awake?” came hir next question.

“An hour or two. Does it really matter?”

“Part of the tech is like a leash. You must learn to command it and join with it. Clearly it is trying to control you to express its programed will. Once you go beyond its control, then there will be hope for you.”

The tech became more agitated. I almost left but I had question I must have answered. “It's not just a tool, is it?”

Shi let out a sigh and looked down to hir meal. “It has most likely already told you what it knows. The tech is actually alive and its own being. However it is still just an extension of you. Its will is little more then how the Polaris deities programed it. They needed protectors for the species they looked over, as the first two failed they wanted to insure that we would not become like those former ones. But to answer your question, it is a weapon and a leash. Granted that we have been able to learn from it and make it our own, although it takes time.” Shi looked up at me and smiled. “In a few months, I will become my father's Acolyte and thus become his apprentice. He will teach me some of the secrets of our technology. Alas you may never be able to receive upgraded tech like I soon will. It must live in the confines of your own body, it never being able to bloom and control that of the universe around you. Your life will be extended, your mind will open, but you can never use it to control and dominate.”

“But I must know one thing... can the tech be used to breed across species?” I asked.

“No,” shi replied. “However I suggest you go back to your quarters and prepare for tonight. If what I have heard is true, then you will have a busy night indeed.”

Deirdre gave me a wink before getting up and disposing of hir dishes. I took that moment to retreat. Suddenly I was relieved that I would not be expected to be a mage. The agitation was gone and I felt at peace. I am not sure why but I never wanted to rejoin the order, and now I know that even if I did so, I could never give Softstride what shi wanted.

To be continued.

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