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ShardanaJase heads to his hideout only to find it locked. Althea has to reboot the system in order to get control of the door code. As he waits for her to finish, or for Shardana to find him, he confesses his love for her.

“If I don’t, I wanted you to know that.”

Raising her eyes from the console, she smiled at him. “I love you too, Jase. And we’ll get you out.”

The quavering cry was much closer than he’d anticipated. Shardana could move rapidly even in the dark. Her sense of smell led her, her eyes able to see details even in the dim shadows of night.

“God, please hurry!”

The console beeped, lights flashed. The air started moving as the system woke once more. Hands dashing over the console, Althea reset code after code. This had to be done in sequence. The doors were about halfway down the list.


“I’m trying!”

The cry came again, less than a mile away. Shardana could cover that distance in less than two minutes. Jase turned, his back to the sliding panel, wanting to face her when she attacked.

“She’s coming,” he whispered. “I can smell her.”

“One more minute.”

“I don’t have a minute, Thea.”


Shardana leaped at him like a panther, claws extended, slashing at the air. One of her talons laid open his cheek. Only the door opening behind him saved him from further injury. He fell backward as she attacked once more. Her claws hissed in the air above him.

“You will not leave me!” she screamed, her psy-call augmenting her words. “You’re mine! You will give me a child!”

Jase kicked her in the midsection, knocking her back a step. “Now!” He commanded as the Icthyuman female staggered back.

The door hissed shut. Shardana pounded on the other side, screaming loudly in frustration. The plastisteel door was harder than stone.

Althea locked the door, resetting the code. Jase lay on the floor, gasping and bleeding. When she’d finished, Althea rushed to his side, stanching the blood on his cheek with her hand. Jase took her face in his hands, drawing her to him. Without a word, he kissed her hard and deep, expressing his gratitude in the best way he could.

Pounding on the inner door heralded Lawson’s arrival. Althea looked up at it, grinning.

“He won’t get through. I locked him out of everything. The system shutdown gave me full control.”

“We can’t go out, he’ll get us in the hallway,” Jase said, glancing at the door.

“The authorities should be here soon. I made sure your message went through. They’ll arrest him and we’ll be free.”

“That could take ages.”

“I know,” Althea replied, unbuttoning her lab coat. “What shall we do with ourselves until help arrives?”

Jase grinned. “I’m sure we can think of something….”


© 2015 Dellani Oakes


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