Goddess of Life
The Xandra - Book Three
A thousand years have passed since Commander Beringer and the Genaar fled into the bowels of the alien space station. When they awaken, they find the tower where Captain Cunningham and other Xandra-Humans had lived, deserted. The Xandra-plant and all the pseudo-humans have been dead for centuries.
Commander Beringer takes a small team down to Nu-Eden, the alien female soldier Starmote, Lt. Wang, and John Lambert on a mission to find out what happened in the thousand years they’ve spent in cryogenic suspension.
Great changes have taken place on Nu-Eden. When the Xandra discovered that her creations could not propagate on their own, she decided to let the remaining humans live, because she needed the human men to mate with the female Xandra-born to create new offspring.
Humans have flourished on Nu-Eden. Most of the True-Humans hate the creatures of the Xandra.
The Commander and his team rescue a group of Xandra-born Humans from slavers and promise to accompany them to the City. On their journey, they join up with a farmer’s family, who is also on its way to the City of the Xandra. They stop to spend the night at the Ballard Farm, only to find out that raiders, who are still occupying the house, have murdered the family. They overcome the raiders with the help of Starmote and execute them.
Viran, a barbarian from one of the islands in the north, is the Great Mother’s ‘Chosen One’. She has him rescued from certain death by recruiting the services of John Lambert and his shuttle. Two mysterious women, Mirtin and Vienne, are also among the rescued.
Naomi, a Shadow-Angel, has visited Commander Beringer.
The morning air smelled fresh and cool. Strange, how things never seemed as foreboding and gloomy in daylight.
Commander Beringer looked into the cloudless sky, half-expecting to see the shape of a winged girl against the rising alien sun. Scratching his neck, where Naomi bit him to suck his blood, he attempted to recall the feel of her naked body against his, wanted to remember the heat of her alien vagina. However, the harder he tried the more the events of the night seemed to recede, only fragments remained.
The memory of another naked body proved stronger. Thrusting breasts, gleaming red in the light of the moon, blotted out the ghostly memory of the vampire-girl.
She invaded his mind, taunted him.
Her nude body glistened with droplets of water as she rose out of the lake. When he reached out for her, she laughed, turned and ran away. He watched the play of her plump buttocks, reached out…
“Commander, are you alright?”
His eyes flew open, staring unfocused for a second before they fell on Starmote who rode beside him. “I’m fine,” he said, shaking his head to clear his mind.
“You are bleeding from your neck again,” Starmote said, reached over to wipe the blood away. Then she brought out her little device and held it against the blood on her finger. “Traces of the same venomous substance in your blood, as I suspected.” She looked at him with curiosity. “Tell me what you did last night.”
“I went for a walk, then I went swimming with you,” he answered.
“What happened on that walk?”
“What makes you think anything happened?”
Starmote pocketed her device, glanced at him. “There are two puncture wounds on your neck, Commander, identical to the ones you had yesterday morning. Unless you inflicted those wounds yourself, something or someone did. What happened?”
Beringer stared at the thick black mane of the horse he rode. The face of a girl with black skin and short black hair appeared in front of his eyes, needle-thin fangs gleamed in her open mouth. Then the vision was gone.
“Naomi,” he whispered, “her name is Naomi.”
“Who is she?”
“I’m not sure,” he said. “She sucked my blood.”
“A vampire-entity.” Starmote said. “They appear at night to drain their victims of their blood. There is usually a joining of bodies involved.”
“They only exist in our legends,” Beringer said.
“Not only in yours. Ours, too.” Starmote removed the device from her pocket again, adjusted some settings, then she leaned over and pressed it against Beringer’s neck.
He flinched involuntarily from the sting.
“We call those creatures Soul-eaters, most of them are considered evil. They give you great pleasure while devouring your very soul.” Starmote gave Beringer a sharp look. “Tell me, did you have sexual intercourse with that creature?”
Whatever she had injected into him seemed to have cleared Beringer’s mind. “I don’t remember much, but I think so. I don’t believe she is evil, though.”
“Maybe not. She will seek you out again, and again, and again. Your body will become weaker with every encounter. She will come until she has taken your last drop of blood. She can’t help it--that is her nature. I suggest tonight you don’t wander around by yourself. Stay with someone.”
Beringer grinned. “With you?”
She didn’t smile. “If you wish.”
He watched her ride toward the front of the wagon train, an attractive figure on her horse. He twisted his body to look back at the riders behind him. They had eleven more horses, enough to give everyone a mount, but some of the Xandra-born women still preferred to walk.
Quirma Ballard, her son Brico, and her daughter Helgie, had joined the caravan. Although wounded badly, Brico would survive. Quirma’s husband, Holger Ballard, and a couple of their sons, already went to the City to deliver the harvest, wagons full of wool. The Ballards were raising sheep-like animals.
One of the Xandra-born saw Beringer looking back. She waived, dug her naked heels into her horse’s flanks and let it catch up with Beringer.
Her green eyes shone brightly under long dark lashes as she smiled at him. “I missed you last night,” she said. Staring at his neck, she gasped. “You were visited by a Shadow-Angel. Did she collect your seed?”
Surprised by her horrified look, he answered, “I believe so.”
“Did you drink from her nectar?”
“You mean did I suck her breasts?”
She nodded. “That is what I mean?”
Shaking his head, he said, “I don’t remember. I don’t think so.”
“That is good. Would it be otherwise your soul surely would have been lost.” Reyna leaned over, touched his hand. “Tonight you must lie with me, drink from my nectar. That will wipe out what she injected into you. You will be safe.” She smiled at him and pulled at the reins to slow down her mount.
Beringer chuckled. He just received the second invitation this morning. Starmote’s had been more subtle than Reyna’s, but nevertheless, he had read Starmote correctly, he was certain.
It promised to be a good day.
The three wagons ahead of him rumbled over the packed dirt road. As long as it didn’t rain, there would be no problem. The sky had cleared and it didn’t look like rain in the near future. They were back on the winding road that ran parallel to the river. There were steep cliffs on this side of the river, since the land had increasingly been rising. The river had widened. On the other side lay a flat valley, surrounded by a deep forest. In the distance ahead of them Beringer could see the tall trees of another forest. The lush prairie grass had given way to a shorter, more sparsely growing variety. Small rocks and boulders were strewn across the landscape.
The wagons creaked as the horses strained against their yokes, trying to pull the heavy load up the incline. One of the riders fell back. Berringer recognized Aran, the young man he first spok to when encountering Esram’s family. He smiled at Beringer, let his horse fall in beside him. “My father is a little worried,” Aran said. “Robar hasn’t come back yet. Father sent him ahead early this morning to scout out the forest. He should have been back by now.”
“Maybe he’s taking a little nap while waiting for us to catch up,” Beringer suggested. “Or maybe he got lost.”
Aran shook his head. “Not Robar. He is the best. He can find his way back in the dark. Besides, he took two of the hounds with him.”
“Anything I can do?”
Aran smiled. “Father wonders if maybe you, with your strange weapon, could ride up front with him, just in case we encounter some difficulties. There could be bandits ahead.”
“Those trees would be a good spot for an ambush,” Beringer agreed.