186 After Party

    The events of the past few days seemed to catch up with Nix all at once, he put his head down on his pillow for an instant and 3 hours disappeared. When he woke up his hud was buzzing with messages. He glanced through them quickly.

    [Whisper: Del Tali to Nix] I need to talk to you.  Could you meet me sometime very soon?

    "No... maybe in a week or two."

    [Whisper: Raine Xai to Nix] Could I schedule a meeting with you? I would like to know more about this Izzin Empire.

    "Er... I'm tempted to arrange to meet both of you at the same place and then not show up. Could be entertaining."

    [Whisper: Bula Feren to Nix] You bastard! Come to Phai City and meet me if you have any balls left!

    "The hell is Bula?"

    [Whisper: Kedric Red to Nix] Perhaps the death of someone you care about will get your attention.

    Nix scowled at the message "A threat? This I will answer."

    [Whisper: Nix to Kedric] Let's be clear, f*ck with me and I'll turn you, along with everyone you know into ash.

    [Whisper: Kedric to Nix] Isla'Fairbal at 1300 tomorrow.

    "Sweet... Now I know who to send the package to."

    Nix opened his bedroom door to the din of a party already in full swing.  The first person he saw was Bev, so he greeted her with a hug.  "I didn't know you liked parties frog legs."

    Bev poured him a mug of beer and offered him a smile. "Quit picking on me Stixx, one of us finished college and the other..."

    Nix didn't answer, she definitely had a point. "Going to appoint you as Territorial Governor of Loki Bev, you'll have to figure out and organize a local government.  Can you handle that?"

    Bev nodded, "I'd like something challenging that I can sink my teeth into.  Do we have a security force?  Rules are hard to enforce when everyone can kick your ass."

    "Fajii is sending a hundred of her Lamia Acolytes as security."

    "Do I need to cross the Escalade Bridge for that?" Bev had been briefed on everything concerning Inferno, Colonial, and Oasis.

    "Yes. What's your level at? You're a priority for the power level teams."

    "Currently level 33.  Nansu is already at 52!" At first, the power leveling was exciting to watch, but after hours in the Embassay it was starting to get tiresome.  "Maybe I should get a rifle."

    "I'll get you one." Nix downed his beer and refilled his mug. "My place normally looks a lot bigger, when there aren't 60 something people wandering around."

    "Oh, Shae is here by the way." Bev tried to keep a straight face.  "I saw her grab Hyai and Fajii before heading out the door."

    "Oh?  I didn't realize Shae would be able to show up."  Nix waved and headed towards the door.

    Semmi peeked in just as he left. "You tell him the three women are together?"

    Bev nodded.  "I did."

    Semmi's pretty face broke into a wide grin.  "Bet he looked nervous."

    Bev shook her head.  "Not a bit actually."


    Nix found them 10 minutes later, a small table had been set up next to his fishing spot.  A few plates of meat and fruit had been carefully laid out.  The three of them were sitting on the riverbank watching Ducky and Soup play in the river.

    Shae was wearing her favorite dress, her red tresses were braided and tied up nicely.  "Nix!"  She popped up and jumped into his arms, kissing him several times before letting go."

    Nix couldn't keep the stupid grin off his face, he hadn't been able to spend enough time with her lately.  "How did you manage to come here?"

    "We finished our training ahead of time, so Pheno cut us all loose." Shae gripped his hand and pulled him toward the bank.

    "Phase two is done?  Vooni's team is lagging behind you guys?"

    Shae nodded and pushed him into his fishing chair.  "There's no time constraint, Vooni likes to train at a slower pace. She's actually much stronger than the other trainers."

    Nix leaned back in his chair, all three women were watching him.  "You guys having fun?"

    Fajii nodded, the Aquarion female was the easiest to read.  "I am."

    Shae took a seat on the ground beside him.  "We've been talking a bit Nix."

    Hyai's lips were curved in a slight smile. "We've decided that this works nicely for each of us."

    Shae's slender fingers pinched his arm. "However... three is enough."

    Nix didn't bother to ask what 'this' was, instead he took a long drink of his beer. "I see... So Del Tali is out?"

    Shae nodded, "definitely."

    "Hmm, Raine Xai too?"

    Hyai's rich laugh was contagious." Now, you're just being cheeky."

    "Maybe so.  How'd they rope you into this?"

    The Inn Keeper was silent for a moment. "Since my husband died, I haven't really let myself care for anyone.  I wake up smiling every day now, been a while since that happened."

    Nix returned her smile. Hyai was the first person he really connected with in Colonial, her warmth reminded him of family.  "Sharl and Ronnie?"

    "No." Shae.

    "Nope." Fajii.

    "Absolutely not." Hyai seemed to give it some thought, "although I might give them a try."

    Nix finished off his beer.  "I guess there's no getting around it then."

    Fajii and Hyai left quietly after a quick goodbye, their sudden departure left Nix confused.  "Where are they going?"

    Shae slid onto his lap and wrapped her arms around his neck.  "I haven't been able to see you everyday Nix, those two are very thoughtful."

    Nix gripped her hips and pulled her against him, their lips touching in a lingering kiss.  "How long do you have?"

    Shae smiled against his mouth. "Two weeks."


    The pale Ain'Dhassi sat in silence on her Ice Throne. Glowing red eyes took in every detail of her reception hall.  "Kedric, did you send the message?"

    Kedric spoke from his knees.  "I did Mistress.  It seems to have made him angry rather than fearful."  The bald Ain'Dhassi shivered in terror, the stare of the Northern Ice Mistress tested his will.  He was scrawny and shriveled up like an old man, his red eyes were set deep in a narrow and sunken face.

    "You'll need your strength if you are to carry out my wishes.  I will allow you to feed." Morana gestured with one hand.

    A Su'Dhassi man clad in shackles walked away from the wall.  His darks eyes seemed distant and unfocused. He stopped in front of Kedric and tilted his head to one side.  There were dozens of puncture wounds on both sides of his neck.  He groaned slightly in pain but didn't make any other sound.

    Kedric stepped away from the Su'Dhassi a few minutes later, his shriveled body had changed completely.  He rippled with muscle and vitality, his red eyes seemed sharper when he resumed his kneeling position.  "Command me, Mistress."

    "I lost hundreds of blood slaves because Inferno backed the southern Ain'Dhassi bitch.  You will ensure that from now on, Inferno follows my wishes."

    Kedric stood slowly but kept his head bowed low. "And the parameters of this mission?"

    "Do whatever you need to do." The pale woman stood slowly, the red cloth she had draped around her shoulders slipped down her perfect skin to puddle beneath her feet.  She walked forward slowly, "I will send you on your way with proper motivation."
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