The Halcyon Myth – Chapter Eight

“That’s insane,” Charles said slowly, staring at the couple. “You’re insane.”

“Not anymore,” Cilla replied with a sad smile. “Everything we’ve said is true. All the monsters and the people that fight them.”

“You’re telling us that you two used to be vampires, Harris is over 2000 years old, and my youngest crew member is the reincarnated soul of your sire?”


He dropped his head into his hands, sighing softly as Erna rubbed his back. “Don’t tell me you believe them?” he asked his mate.

“What they’ve said fits the tales I heard growing up,” the First Mate answered. “It’s hard to digest, but I believe they’re telling the truth.”

Charles lifted his head and met Cilla’s eyes. “Why are you telling us this now? Or at all?”

The woman glanced away and bit at her lower lip. “I am a Seer. It’s one of the few things that carried over from our past lives. Back then, I had a vision of a possible future, one I had to prevent at all costs. It is what made us seek death and leave Xander alone for all these centuries.” She looked at him, weariness in her gaze. “I Saw a future of everything dying, all life, all species, because someone managed to resurrect the vampire lines.”

“What do you mean?”

“Vampires died out as a species,” William answered. “Being among the stars changed humanity too much for us. It started before our deaths, but we had Xander to help us when it got bad. There are a few old ones left, those who can go long periods of time, or adapt well, that still roam, but on the whole, vampires are extinct. And someone is attempting to bring them back.”


“That’s were it gets confusing,” Cilla admitted. “All I’ve ever seen is a hawk, Xander, a boy, a vial of something, and a shadowed figure.”

“That’s vague,” Erna muttered.

Cilla smiled wryly. “Try it from this side.” She sighed. “I know this is a lot to take in, but so far everything has gone like in my vision.”

The Captain stared at her. “What does all this mean for Tai?”

“Part of him may be Angel,” William said softly, “but he’s still his own person and can make his own choices.”

“Do you think Harris will-”

Cilla cut him off. “Xander has given up. He will probably avoid Tai if he finds out about their connection. If anything happens it will have to be from Tai’s end.”

Charles nodded. “Should I let him know?”

“No,” Erna answered before either of the Pratts could. “It’ll be better if he finds out on his own. Tai’s a smart boy, it won’t take long.”


When two of the four lifesigns left the bridge, Sal sent a ping over the comms to let the Captain know she wanted to talk to him. Normally, she would have just headed up there, but she wasn’t willing to leave Tai alone. There were too many unanswered questions floating around, and too many players.

“Sal?” the Captain inquired when he noticed Tai’s unconscious form.

“It was for the best,” Sal remarked. “Information, sir?”

“Oh, I got a lot of that,” he sighed, slumping against one of the beds. “More than I can believe.”


“What do you know about vampires, Sal? Seriously.”

Violet skin darkened as her emotions fluctuated then settled. She locked gazes with her captain. “A lot.”

“How much is a lot, Sal? I need to know what I was just told isn’t some joke,” the Captain ground out.

“When your race first came to the stars, vampires and other creatures followed,” Sal said slowly. “We watched. We noticed that things were changing.”

“Vampires were dying out,” he added.

Sal nodded. “Humans changed too much. The stars do that. They change species for better survival. But vampires weren’t an adaptable species as a whole, and they faded away.”

“From what the Pratts just told us, someone is trying to change us.”

A shiver of fear worked its way up Sal’s spine. “Someone is trying to revive the vampires?” She guided the dark skinned man to the chairs on the far side of the room. “Tell me everything, please.”

As he relayed all the information that the Pratts had given him, Sal glanced at Tai. So young to be caught up in such a mess. True Champions had faded out before even the vampires, but it looked like they would be rediscovered soon.



Previous – Next

The Halcyon Myth – Chapter Seven

Charles disconnected the call with his sister, sighing harshly at the cryptic words she had given him. As much as he loved Cairo, he hated what the induction into the family secrets had done to her. The normally open, bright girl had been replaced with a quiet, secretive woman that spoke more in riddles than plain talk. But someone had to learn the secrets and he had already taken to the pleasures of the stars.

“Anything?” Erna asked, dropping a quick kiss on his head before sitting in the empty chair beside Charles.

“Nothing clear until I mentioned the names of our passengers.”

“Oh? And?” his Mate prompted when he didn’t continue.

“She said to trust the Pratts,” Charles said in confusion. “I’m still not sure how she got me to tell her their names, by the way.”

“That’s Cairo for you,” Erna grinned. “What she say about our mystery man, Harris?”

“Her exact words were, ‘The White Knight walks a darkened path, shadowed by deeds not his own. Before he can claim what he has been waiting for, the universe must once again test his worth.’ Then she prattled on something about kittens and angels with new wings before telling me Mom sends her regards for us and hanging up,” he finished, making a face. “I really love her, but I don’t get her sometimes.”

“The White Knight, huh, I’ve heard that before.”

“Where?” Charles asked, turning to look full at his Mate. Erna’s eyes were closed as he tried to remember, and it gave Charles the chance to just watch his lover sitting still — at least for a moment — in peace. “Well?”

Dark green eyes glared at him before softening. “Old tales, mostly from Earth. My grandmother used to tell them to use when we were little. There’d be monsters, and little girls that fought them and the White Knight always standing by their side, helping them.”

“She’d be right,” a voice noted from the doorway. Both men looked over at the couple standing there, noting the tension in the slim frames, like electricity running through a live wire. “But there’s a lot to the stories your grandmother never knew. A lot only a few people were privy to; that only three people now know,” Cilla Pratt said softly.

The Pratts stepped into the Control Room — which Charles was certain had been locked — and let the door close behind them. William led his wife to one of the far seats and stood behind her, both looked at the Captain and his First Mate steadily; his eyes blue like the electricity Charles had already compared him too; hers a soft blue. Both were focused intently.

“I take it you guys are two of those who do know,” Erna stated, glaring a them.

“Yes,” Cilla replied evenly. “And it’s a lot more complicated than you would believe.”

“Tell us,” Charles instructed, sending a brief message to Sal to keep an eye on things before turning to look fully at the couple. “I want to know what’s going on and why one of my family is currently in the medbay still unable to focus completely.”


A shiver of fear and uncertainty etched its way up Sal’s back. She looked around the medbay, not noticing anything out of place. Tai was still asleep; aided by a sedative that she had administered. The young man’s face was furrowed despite the drug running through his system and she started singing softly, hoping to easy his dreams some. As he relaxed, she glanced quickly at the security cameras. The storage bay was fine, and the halls were clear. She checked lifesigns and scowled when she noted there were four signs in the Control Room. She knew two were the Captain and First Mate. A check to the passenger deck showed only two lifesigns in the assigned quarters. That meant the Pratts were in the Control Room. A moment later a message came through from the captain tell her he would be out of contact for a bit and to take over. She scowled again. This wasn’t good. This had all the earmarks of being really bad.


The quiet whisper brought her attention back to the young man on the bed. Tai had woken partially and was looking around the room with confused eyes. She smiled and moved closer to him, stroking a hand through his short hair.

“Are you feeling better?” she asked quietly as she helped him sit up a bit. She took in the pallor of his skin and the way his eyes seemed to lose focus every other second. He obviously wasn’t better, but with males it was better to ask; they could be so touchy about somethings.

“Dizzy,” he replied faintly, leaning against her arm. “What happened? I don’t remember much.”

“You met the Captain’s surprise passenger and passed out,” she informed him, a teasing smile on her face despite her worry. “Was he that good looking to you?”

“Ha ha,” he groaned, rubbing a hand over his face. “I don’t remember him. Just snatches of a really weird dream.”

“Do you remember waking up the first time and talking to me?” she questioned with worry. He had been aware, or so she thought, for their earlier conversation.

“No, nothing,” he paused. “I remember Captain coming back and heading down to brief him, after that it’s all a blank.”

“A blank with weird dreams,” she added softly.

“Yeah,” he agreed. She watched him shiver slightly. “They were like memories, but they weren’t mine. I was someone else. I had different thoughts, different feelings, but still -”

“Tai?” Sal brushed a hand over his head, sending waves of calm emotions gently to him. There was something about those dreams, something important and she needed him calm and focused to find out what.

“I wasn’t me,” he began, fear in his voice, “but it was. Does that makes sense?” He didn’t wait for her to answer before he plowed on. “I wasn’t me, but I was. Some part of whoever I was in the dream was still, at heart, me. Or at soul. No, that makes less sense.”

She stopped him before he could go off on more of a tangent. “What do you remember of the dreams?”

He took a deep breath then let it out slowly and nodded. “There was a man; he had one eye, dark hair. But there are glimpses of earlier memories of him, with two eyes, always laughing. We were together.” A blush coloured his face and Sal fought down a grin. “He-he killed me, but he wasn’t himself when he did it. Shoved something in my heart.”

“Something?” she asked, keeping her voice quiet to avoid startling him out of his thoughts.

“Something wooden; a stake,” he said flatly. “I fell to dust. Why did I become dust?”

Foreboding hit her and Sal reached out and grabbed a hypospray with a sedative before Tai could freak out, lowering him back down to the bed as it took effect. Wooden stake and falling to dust meant vampires, but they had not been seen in centuries. Vampires had died off as a species when the humans in space began to evolve to fit their new environments. These changes meant that vampires could not feed properly off them and without an adequate food source, they all just faded away.

Tai was far to young to remember vampires. Only a select few family kept the old tales alive, just in case. But she knew that Tai’s planet and people were not among those few. So how would her little brother know about vampires? How could he dream that he was one? She stopped as the thought hit her and look at his sleeping form with pity.

The only way was if he was a reborn soul. Among her people’s beliefs, souls were only reborn if they had something left to finish. So what did Tai have left to do? And how was their unexpected passenger involved? And why, oh why, did she have a feeling the some of the others on the ship were neck deep in it too?



Previous Next

The Halcyon Myth – Chapter Six

There was a warm chuckle just over his shoulder as a large, rough hand smooth down his back. He arched into the touch, pressing up into each caress.

“You’re just like a cat,” his lover remarked, still petting him.

“How’s that?” he asked sleepily.

“For one, you’re purring.”

“Hmm, I’m content. How else?”

“You’re moving like a cat being pet.”

“That’s because you’re petting me,” he replied. “Not the first time a vampire has been compared to a cat.”

“Not the last either, I bet.”




“Why me?”

“Why not you?”

“I’m not her, either of them. I’m not like them.”

“A grá, I don’t want you to be like them. I want you to be you. The silly, sometimes foolish you that I love.”

“You love me?”

“I’m head over heels in love with you and I always will be.”





Goo dripped from his lover’s dark hair, glowing almost violently. He couldn’t help but laugh at the disgusted look that he recieved. A wicked twinkle shone from the dark eye and a moment later a handful of gooey demon guts flew across the room to land on his chest.


“That’s what you get for laughing!”


His lover shrugged and smirked. “It seemed like good idea at the time.”

“Run, lover, run.”



The heat of the body beneath his stole his unneeded breath away. He pressed his lips to the golden shoulder, tasting sweat and need and wanton lust. Soft moans and sharp cries filled his ears as they moved together, their rhythm slow and deep. Long legs wrapped around his waist, holding him closer as short nails raked down his back. He licked a path up the arched neck, feeling previous claiming marks under his tongue.


The utter need in the whispered word drove him the last step and he bit down on the tender flesh letting the pleasure-laced blood fill his mouth. Dragging his tongue over the marks, he sealed them and bit again in another spot, listening as his lover shouted as his pleasure overwhelmed him. Moments later he let his own climax hit, burying teeth and cock deep into the welcoming body.

“Love you.”

“I love you too.”




He knew he should be feeling the physical pain, but it was eclipsed but the total emotion injury. The dark eye that stared at him was cold, not the usual warm whiskey colour. The full lips were a thin line and the normally happy man was nearly glaring at him. He couldn’t understand what was going on. He thought they were happy. Life-well, unlife-was going well so this didn’t make any sense.

His lover pulled the stake back and a slimy smile slid over his mouth before the stake slammed home. He tried to gasp out a question, a word, anything but there was no air. And as his body started to fade away to dust he noticed the lack of life in his lover’s eye. This wasn’t his Xander. Something else wore his love’s body; something that used Xander to murder him.

‘I love you,’ he mouthed as disappeared in a cloud of ashes.



“Tai, wake up!” Sal’s voice was sharp, driving into his brain like a spike.

Tai tried to open his eyes, struggled to make it back to the waking world. Distantly he could hear the Captain talking to Erna, their voices low and hushed. He tried to remember if he’d had another episode, but this didn’t feel like the normal aftereffects. This was different; new and stronger than anything he had ever felt before.

“Come on, Tai, that’s a good boy,” Sal murmured encouragingly as he finally opened his eyes.

“Sal? What happened?”

“I don’t know,” she admitted, curling an arm below his shoulders to help him sit up. “Something about that passenger.”

Tai suddenly remembered the one-eyed man and random images from his dreams flickered through his mind before fading away. There was something strange going on and he was going to get to the bottom of it.



Previous Next

The Halcyon Myth – Chapter Five

Sal glanced quickly at the curled up form in the chair beside her. It hadn’t taken long for the stress of the day to overcome poor Tai, and the boy had slipped into an uneasy sleep in the second pilot’s chair. She kept an eye on him, worried as he flinched and moaned softly. It wasn’t a nice dream by any means. She wondered if she should risk quick look into his mind, but dismissed the idea. The Captain would be back any minute and she didn’t want to get caught using her gift in a way that Charles Pryce found unsavoury. Not that she generally did, but the Captain had odd ideas about those with mind-gifts. Another soft moan broke from Tai’s lips and Sal had to do something. She carded her fingers through Tai’s soft dark hair and let a tiny bit of power sink into the sleeping boy, sending him to a more peaceful rest. It was the only thing she could think of doing that would help at all.

The long-range scanner beeped, showing an incoming ship and she smiled when the friendly comm signal came through. The Captain was back. They could finally get on with their trip and hopefully the nagging feeling of something going wrong would fade.

“Are you sure this is where we’re supposed to be?” William asked his wife as they settled into the small cabin they had been directed to.

“Yes,” Cilla said again. “Things are clearer now,” she reminded him.

“Who are we here for?”

“Our lost brother, the one who hurts so much, and our not-forgotten father.”

“It’s time, then?” William’s eyes lit up with happiness.

“It won’t be easy,” she cautioned him, “but yes. Or did you not recognize the boy?”

He blinked at her. “Really? Talk about an age difference.”

“Really, Spike, that’s what you get stuck on?!” Cilla’s blue eyes snapped with anger. “Forget the fact that Xander has spent all these years alone.”

“Sorry, luv,” William murmured, taking his wife into his arms. “Just trying to lighten the mood.”

“The mood will always be heavy,” Cilla sighed, “like old world silk. We’re watching the fabric of the universe being woven in front of us, and just maybe we’ll have a chance to alter the pattern.”


“Bad things are coming,” she whispered, huddling in his arms as the remembered horror of insanity brushed across her mind. “The stars scream like they did so long ago. It hurts.”

“Shh, luv,” the blond man crooned, rocking her gently. “We’ll get through this, you’ll see.”

Xander held the rucksack on his lap, his fingers running idly over the rough fabric. Something about the bag had caught his attention in a way that few things did. Thankfully, his curiosity had long ago been burned away, or else he would have been tempted to open the bag and see what exactly Mrs. Steinberg had him transporting. To avoid any risk, he put the bag on the empty seat to the side. One last task and he would be free. One last task. And this time neither of the Steinbergs would manage to trick him into another. He had learned his lesson this time: no one was to be trusted. He had watched Glori Steinberg, nee Evans, grow from a child and had though he knew the woman, but she had proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was just as unscrupulous as her husband and any good qualities had been shorn away. A moment of anger burned through Xander before he managed to shove it back down. It was no use getting angry anymore.

It hurt, like the time Masen accidentally poured acid on his arm. Tai stifled the scream that bubbled up and huddled down into the seat. He could see the worried look that Sal gave him, but he couldn’t explain what was wrong. It was like the other episodes, but different as well. The was stronger, more harsh than the wave of emotions and sensations he normally received.

“Captain just sent the docking codes,” Sal told him.

Nodding,Tai took several deep breaths and sat up. With quick hands, he sent back the correct docking sequence and sat back. “I’ll go down and meet them.”

“Sure, tell Captain that everything went according to plan.”

“Even the spoilt brat down in the guest quarters?” Tai asked teasingly.

“Of course,” the violet-hued woman laughed. “We always plan for spoilt brats, especially after we got you.”

He mimed a smack at her, glad she was ignoring the latest episode. He jogged down the ‘Hawk corridors on quiet feet, reaching the far side docking bay in short time. The shuttle had just finished slotting into its spot and the bulkhead doors had just opened as he reached them. Moments later, the Captain and Erna were exiting the shuttle with a dark haired man walking not far behind them. Curious, Tai moved to get a closer look at the man and gasped as he met the single dark eye. It was worse than any of his episodes and he was grateful when his mind overloaded and consciousness left him.

When the slight boy had slipped into the shuttle bay, Xander had been prepared to ignore him. He had no plans to befriend anyone on this trip, especially not young, impressionable and possibly hero-worshipping boys. That was the last thing he need. He hadn’t been prepared to meet the young man’s golden brown eyes. He really hadn’t been prepared for the strange feeling of familiarity to rush through him moments before the beautiful eyes rolled up into the boy’s head and the slight form slumped to the deck.

The First Mate was at the boy’s side almost as he hit the ground, checking vitals. “He’s out, Captain.”

“Another one?”

“I’m not sure,” Erna said, sliding a glance over to Xander. “I think it might be something else.”

“Get him to the med lab, I’ll meet you there after I get Harris sorted.”

“I’ll let Sal know.”

“Tell her to set the heading. She knows where we’re going.”

Erna nodded and easily lifted the small man, heading off. Xander looked over at Captain Pryce, seeing the worry in the dark eyes. “My room?”

If his lack of concern for the boy bothered Pryce, the man didn’t let it show. His eyes went back to the hard look that Xander had come to associate with the man in the short hours he had known him.

“This way,” Pryce said, leading him through the ship’s halls. “I’ll put you with the rest of the paying transports.”

“Doesn’t matter to me,” Xander admitted. “As long as it has a bed.”

Pryce snorted. “A bed and food if you want it. Dinner will be soon. The mess is one deck up and to the left. If you don’t eat with us, then you have to fend for yourself later. Just clean up any messes you make.”

Xander nodded as he walked into the room that Pryce had pointed at. “Sure thing.”

“All the players are here,” Cilla said softly. “The pattern is started.”



Previous Next

The Halcyon Myth – Chapter Four

Sal smiled slightly as Tai slumped down in a seat next to her. The young man’s eyes were dark with exhaustion and he leaned over to rest against her arm.

“That bad?” she asked softly.

“I got everyone settled into rooms,” he replied. “The Pratts seem to be old hands at this. They already know about the harnesses if we have to do a liftoff.”

“The others?”

“Miss Evans is fine. She had me show her how the harness worked and then said she was going to nap and asked to be wakened for dinner. The kid though, he didn’t listen to anything I had to say,” Tai groused. “I think we’re going to have to watch him to make sure he doesn’t have an accident.”

“That bad?” she echoed her earlier question.

“He’s a spoiled brat,” was the flat answer. “He didn’t want to carry his own bags. He thought it was unfair that I helped the ladies off the shuttle and not him. I was obviously an uncouth, uneducated space monkey that would never amount to anything but more space junk.”

“Ouch,” Sal murmured. “Captain is going to hate him.”

“Yep, like crazy.”

“Did you tell him you’re actually the son of a Lord?”

“Nope. I really don’t care what he thinks,” Tai told her seriously. “Like I said, he’s a brat. The Pratts were nice. Mrs. Pratt stared down the brat’s mother. And Miss Evans seems to be sweet.”

“She young and cute?”

“Ah, no,” Tai grinned. “She’s about sixty, but still pretty.”

“So no chance of an indiscreet affair?”

“Remember she’s not my type, Sal,” Tai laughed. She giggled with him. “Is Captain due back soon?”

“Within the hour,” Sal said with a nod. “Seems he picked up a passenger.”

“I thought it was a straight cargo run.”

“The Steinbergs decided that they want someone to take their package to its destination personally.”

Tai made a face. “I hate when they do that. Why does Captain still do business with them?”

“Because they’re good customers despite the fact that they always seem to change their minds at every turn,” she smiled suddenly. “Though he did say something about charging them an extra fee for every time they change something.”

“Oh, that’s good,” Tai laughed. “They’re going to hate that.”

“Yes, well maybe that will change their ways.”

They shared a look. “Doubtful.”

A cool hand slid over his back, tracing the new tattoo. He shivered, arching into the touch, eliciting a sensual chuckle from his lover.

“Like that?”


“Want more?”

“Always,” he whispered, rolling over to meet dark eyes.

“So you shall have.”


“I’m sorry. So sorry.”

“I know.”

“I didn’t mean to-“

“Shh, I don’t blame you, a grá*. I love you.”

“I love you too. Forever.”

“Forever. You will find me. I know you will.”

A quick glance to the side showed Charles in complete concentration, his attention fixed on the flight path of the shuttle. Erna smiled at the distracted frown on his Mate’s face. They were almost back at the ‘Hawk and would soon be on their way.

“Something wrong?” he asked finally, breaking the silence that had surrounded them for hours.

“Yeah,” Charles sighed. “Something about our passenger.”

“Other than the Steinbergs being assholes again?” Erna joked.

Charles glared at him. “Yes, other than that. There’s something familiar about him. Something I should remember.”

“Okay,” Erna said slowly. “His name?”

“Maybe. I’m not sure.”

“Well, when we get back to the ‘Hawk you should call Cairo, see if she knows.”

There was a moment of quiet then a soft exhalation. “Yeah, you’re right. But I hate asking her for information. She lords it over me for years after.”

“That’s what sisters are for,” Erna pointed out.

“Shut up, love,” Charles said, throwing a fake punch. “You check on our guest in the last little bit?”

“Yeah, he’s still asleep.”

“Huh, most people don’t fall asleep that easily in the presence of strangers.”

“Unless they have nothing to fear,” Erna reminded him.

“True. You’re right. I’ll contact Cairo. The lack of fear, the familiarity, all of it says something strange is going on and I want to know before I risk the crew and the ‘Hawk.”

*my love


Previous Next

The Halcyon Myth – Chapter Three

How many words and worlds must we cross before we find that last bit of love and life that we search for? How far can we run before our own personal demons catch up and make us pay for the sins of our past?

Tai ignored the high-pitched chatter of the woman behind him as she scolded, chided and reminded her son of everything he was and wasn’t supposed to do on this trip. The shrill woman had been mollified by the Captain, but Tai still had to deal with her as he waited for the rest of the passengers to arrive. How he wished that she had been the last of their living cargo!

“How’s it going, Tai?” Sal asked, her face suddenly appearing on the screen in front of him.

Only time and experience kept him from jumping out of the pilot’s chair. Somehow, Sal was always capable of bypassing any and all security measures on comm. Systems. She could tap into just about any system, no matter how new it was. Captain had only smiled the first time she shocked Tai with that trick and said it was one of the reasons he kept her aboard. Tai had only been with them for about a week and was too overcome with awe and hero-worship to even think about asking what the Captain’s other reasons were. He doubted, even then, that Sal was playing Captain’s Whore, but the ways of those who travelled the stars were new to him and he couldn’t be certain.

“It’s not too bad,” he shrugged. “One’s on, one’s being loaded and I’m just waiting for the other two.”

“Hmm, records show they’re together,” she raised an eyebrow. “Husband and wife probably out for a romantic trip.”

“On the ’Hawk?” Tai was sceptical. “Don’t get me wrong, I love the ’Hawk, but she’s not exactly a pleasure cruiser.”

“No, she’s not,” the alien woman agreed. “But they could but the thrill seeking, slumming sort, and our lovely Starhawk is perfect for those type.”

A chime from the hatch pre-empted anything he could think of to reply to that. Making a face at Sal, he reached over a toggled a switch. “Pilot d’Nontic, how can I help you?”

“Good-day, Pilot, I am Cilla Pratt. I believe you have us on your passenger list?” The softly accented female voice floated through the comm system.

Sal did a quick look at the list then nodded at Tai. “I’ll be right down to help you load your luggage.”

“Have fun,” Sal shouted behind him as he headed down to the loading doors. He shot a crude gesture over his shoulder and her laughter followed him down.

Thankfully, the shuttle was small and the trip to the hold was fairly quick. Not so lucky for him, the overprotective, rude mother was leaving the shuttle just as Tai was coming down the ramp and the latest passengers were coming inside. She looked over the man and woman, snorting in contempt. It was more than likely the commonness of the couple’s clothing that set the woman off. Neither of them were dressed richly, instead their clothing was suitable to time aboard a ship where the temperature could drop to near freezing easily. The mother had dressed her son in the thin, light silk that was common on the planet side and Tai had already sent a message to Sal to put extra blankets in the boy’s room.

This is what my son will be travelling with?” The scorn in her voice was nearly another person in the small space and Tai desperate thought of some way to diffuse the situation before it became bad for the ’Hawk.

The new woman, Cilla Pratt, only smiled at the mother, a wicked light dancing in her dark eyes. “You should be careful who you insult, you just may end up saying something to the wrong person.”

The mother snorted again. “You are the wrong person, in every way.”

Cilla Pratt smiled again, this time a small, feral expression that made the rude woman back up a step. Tai waited for something to be said, but the silence just dragged on until the mother finally shuddered and hurried off. Confused, Tai looked at the couple and noted that Cilla’s smiled had gone back to something soft and sweet. She linked her arm with the man at her side, her husband but the look of it, and nodded at Tai to lead the way into the shuttle.

“I apologize for that,” Tai said as he grabbed the small bags.

“No need for that,” the man said, finally speaking. “There are those like her every where you go.”

His accent was like his wife’s, a strange sound that made Tai wonder where their home planet was. Sometimes the Captain had a similar accent but not quite the same. It started him wondering about the Captain’s background, not something he was brave enough to ask about.

It was short work to get the Pratts aboard and strapped in and Tai was glad that he could finally leave planet side and return back to the ’Hawk. He hated piloting and he hated dealing with passengers. He’d rather let Erna and the Captain take care of them. A quick check made sure that everyone was strapped in and ready for liftoff. Nodding to himself, Tai headed back to the cockpit and started up the pre-launch sequence. Once everything was green lighted, he hit the button for open comms.

“This is Pilot d’Nontic, and we are just about ready for liftoff. The trip to the Starhawk will take three hours, local time and we will arrive just in time for supper. We liftoff in 3, 2, 1-”

The comms shut off as he hit the throttle and took the shuttle up into the atmosphere. The familiar pressure squished him back against the seat and he wondered just how the passengers were handling it. He didn’t know if any of them had travelled off planet before, but he wondered if he should have warned them about the pressure. He shrugged as the pressure levelled off. Too late now.

Xander ignored the Captain and First Mate when they set down on the second planet. He didn’t really care what they had to pick up or drop off. All he cared about was finishing the errand he had so he no longer had to deal with the Steinbergs. He had been dealing with different factions of the family for longer than he wanted to remember and they all were the same: greed, selfish and vain. The whole family was focused on only raising themselves up to look the best in society, even at the cost of the rest of the family.

“It’ll be a few more minutes before liftoff,” the First Mate said, appearing suddenly by Xander’s side.

He just blinked at the man and shrugged. “I’m in no hurry. You know when Mrs. Steinberg wants the piece delivered.”

“True,” Erna nodded. “It’ll take us about five hours to get back to the ’Hawk. Do you need anything before we leave?”

Xander thought about it for a moment then shook his head. “No, I’m good for now.”

“We’ll get back to the ship just after supper, but I’m sure we can find something for you if you’re hungry them.”

Xander smiled his thanks and turned back to his thoughts, thoroughly dismissing the First Mate. He didn’t want to play friendly. Being friendly only got him pain in the long run. No, he was tired of making connections with people only to lose them. No matter how long he had with anyone, losing them always seemed to come too soon and Xander had realized that he couldn’t take that anymore. The heartache was killing him slowly, and though he may long for death on occasion, that wasn’t the way he wanted to go. Keeping to himself was the best policy.

It wasn’t long before Captain Pryce called the warning for liftoff over the comms, and then the shuttle was launching into space, pushing Xander back into the seat. He let his eyes slide closed and let his mind and heart drift. He would drop off Mrs. Steinberg’s package and be gone, off to somewhere remote to be alone. No more watching and waiting for everyone around him to succumb to age and death. No more love and losing. Just him for the rest of eternity.


Previous Next

The Halcyon Myth – Chapter Two

Charles Pryce had been the owner and captain of the Starhawk for over fifteen years. Before becoming captain, he had sailed the stars under his father’s tutelage, learning the ins and outs of the shipping, trading and moving business. He loved the ‘Hawk, lived for the endless starry night and he relied on Erna Sanjoia as his First Mate. Of course, Erna was more that First Mate; he was lover, life and Mate. Still, when Erna said that there was a problem, Pryce knew without a doubt, there was a real problem. This problem had him standing before a dark haired man with a single dark and torment filled eye.

“Did Mrs. Steinberg say why she wanted you to take the package personally?” Pryce asked the man, Harris. “I mean no disrespect, but it seems like a slight to the ‘Hawk and like we can’t be trusted.”

“I know,” Harris agreed with a slight nod. “I’m not sure what’s being Steinberg’s need for the personal transport, but she’s paying me, and you, to get this,” he hefted the bag over his shoulder, “to its destination.”

Pryce stared at Harris for a moment wondering if there was something that the man wasn’t saying, but there was only honesty and a sense of exhaustion lingering around the tall figure. Finally, the Captain nodded and gestured for Erna to take Harris onto the shuttle. He watched the two men walk away and wondered about the sense of foreboding that drifted down around him. Something was going to happen, something that dealt with Steinberg’s errand boy. Sighing, Pryce headed to grab the update cargo list and checked to make sure everything was on board. It wouldn’t do to leave something planet side once they hit the sky.


Tai’s hands clenched on the controls as he guided the small shuttle down to the surface of the planet. He hated piloting the shuttle. He hated piloting period and thankfully, there was little call for him to have to suffer through it. As the shuttle settled down lightly on the ground, he release the controls and breathed a sigh of relief. He didn’t fool himself though, it was only a matter of hours before he would be taking the shuttle back up to the ship. Shaking off that thought, he finished the landing lockdown and popped open the hatch. The first passenger would be arriving any moment and it was best to be prepared. Often the passengers were assholes, acting as if they were the emperors and queens of the universe.

The notification chime came a bit earlier than Tai expected and he was glad he had prepped most of the shuttle before leaving the ‘Hawk. Denying himself a groan, he answered the call, plastering on a neutral, pleasant face.

“Tai d’Nontic of the Starhawk,” he chirped in greeting.

“Are you the captain?” a haughty looking woman on the other end asked.

“No, I am one of the pilots and crew,” Tai answered truthfully. Being captain was not something he wanted, ever.

“I want to speak to the captain before I allow my son on to the ship,” she sneered.

“Captain Pryce is not currently with me, but if you want to wait I can see about patching you through to him,” Tai said diplomatically.

“Fine,” she snapped. “Do be quick about it.”

Tai gave her a vague smile and switched to the channel he knew he would find Sal lurking. It took a moment before Sal answered his comm call, but soon she was smiling sharp toothed at him.

“Tai,” she greeted laughingly. “Something wrong already?”

He made a face at her. “Passenger, well, actually the mother of a passenger. She wants to talk to Captain before letting her son on board.”

Sal made a face back and said something probably rude in the musical sound that was her native language. Blue eyes narrowed as she went about patching through to the Captain’s shuttle. As they waited for someone there to pick up, Sal amused both of them by idly wondering just why the woman wanted to speak to the Captain. Tai’s favourite was that the mysterious son was truly the Captain’s love child. He snickered as she continued on, her guesses becoming more and more outrageous until Tai was laughing almost too hard to breathe.

“What is it, Sal?” Erna asked from the new image on the screen.

“Tai wants you,” the main pilot said, pointing an accusing finger at the young man.

“Hey, it’s not my fault,” Tai protest. He grimaced. “Customer here wants to speak to the Captain before she allows her son on board.”

“Speak to him about what?”

“She didn’t say and I really didn’t want to ask,” replied Tai honestly.

“Fine,” Erna sighed. “I’ll get him.”

Sal and Tai exchanged a look as the First Mate disappeared from the screen. It wasn’t like Erna to be short with them. And the look on his face had been one of stress, something else that was very different. Something has obviously happened on their trip to upset the normally jovial man. It was only a moment before the dark face of the Captain filled the screen, his eyes questioning as he looked at them.

“Patch through the customer,” he said softly.

Tai nodded and connected the two calls, ignoring the woman’s shrill complaints about the length of her wait. He only have listened as she questioned the Captain about the safety features on the ship and if the ‘Hawk was really reliable. The questions upset him and he could tell it was making the Captain angry, but there was nothing for it. Hopefully the son wasn’t like the mother. Soon the woman hung up and the Captain met Tai’s eyes with a small smile.

“Always one like her,” the older man told Tai. “You get used to it.”

“Everything settled, then?”

“Good to go,” the Captain nodded. “Her son will be boarding within the hour, so be ready.”

“Already set,” Tai grinned. “Got most of the stuff done while still on the ‘Hawk.”

“I see Erna’s rubbing off on you.”

“No, he’s too busy rubbing off on you,” Tai giggled.

The Captain shook his head. “Get back to work.” His side of screen went dark and Tai grinned at Sal. The beautiful alien only smirked before disconnecting her end.

“No one likes my jokes,” Tai mock sighed to himself as he went back to work.



Xander let his eyes drift close as he listened to the distant sounds of cargo being loaded. It was a familiar and somewhat comforting sound, floating on the air and wrapping him in a cocoon of comfort. It was only at times like this, when he let his mind forget about the past that he had any measure of peace. But it was a fragile, false peace that quickly disappeared. Even now, that peace was broken by a slight cough. Opening his eyes, Xander met the gaze of the First Mate.

“We have one more stop before heading back to the ‘Hawk,” Sanjoia told him quietly. “We’ll be heading over there soon.”

He nodded his acknowledgement and watched as the man walked away. There was something about the Captain and the First Mate that seemed familiar, but no matter how hard he tried he couldn’t place it. He filled the thought away for another time. He would be on the Starhawk for two months before he hit his destination, there was time to think about it during the long trip.

There were only moments before the shuttle shuddered and rose into the sky. Xander had strapped in when he sat down and now just let the feeling of take-off flow through him. It had surprised him that the rough sensation bothered people. He rather liked it. The pressure, the strain gave the hint that maybe this would be the end, that his suffering would finally be over. The first flight he ever took had been rough, but after that he welcomed it. A brief respite.


Pryce glimpsed back at the only passenger on the shuttle and noted that he didn’t seem bothered but the feeling of take-off. A small smile actually drifted over the strange man’s face. He shared a look with his Mate, who only shrugged and upped the throttle. He really wasn’t certain what to make of Harris. He wasn’t the normal errand boy that Steinberg used. His look, his manner, everything about him screamed he was something more than a courier, but here he was playing that role.

He shivered and pushed the thought away. He still had a job to do, but he’d ask Sal her opinion once she met Harris. The blue-haired alien always had strange insights into the people she met. You didn’t always want to know what she saw, but it was almost always helpful.


Previous Next

The Halcyon Myth – Chapter One

The air was hot, the sun beating down on them relentlessly. Tai swiped a hand over his face, wiping away the accumlation of sweat that just popped back up. It had never occured to him that other planets could get this hot. Intellecutlally, he knew, he had read about the climates on other planets while in school, but books do nothing to prepare for reality. The cool, calm weather of his home was months in the past and since then Tai had survived a snowstorm, two hurricanes (and wasn’t that fun to learn about), and now this hot hellhole. And he had no one to blame except himself and the strange feeling of guilt and grief that seemed to flow out of the cosmos and surround him occasionally.

Sighing, he trudged along behind the Cruiser’s captain, listening to the man communicate with the first mate still on the ship. The two men were talking about the upcoming trade that those on the planet’s surface was heading toward. Their cargo followed behind them on three strange creatures that humped backs and long necks. Tai didn’t like the smelly creatues which was unfortunate snce his task was to watch over the cargo and the beasts. As he walked along a surge of pain and grief enveloped him, nearly driving him to his knees. He stumbled, catching himself on the harness of the nearest beast, causing the animal to make a low moaning sound. The captain looked back at the noise and hurried back, grabbing Tai around the waist and helping him stay standing.

“So soon?” the older man asked, letting Tai lean against him. “They are coming closer together.”

Tai nodded. When he signed on to the Cruiser, he thought it would be prudent to inform the captain about his strange affliction, just in case something happened at an inopportune moment. At first he thought the older man would deny his commision but both the Captian and the First Mate just smiled and brought him on, helping him through the episodes.

“I think I might be getting close,” Tai whispered, sagging as the feelings left him.

“Close to what?”

“What or who,” the young man sighed. “I don’t know.” He found the strength to stand on his own, smiling his thanks at his captain and friend. “I don’t know what I’m heading toward, but I’m definitely getting closer.”

“Maybe we’ll search after we finish this trade,” the captain said, smiling down at Tai before starting back in the direction of the settlement they were deading toward.

Tai smiled ruefully and followed, prompting the beasts into moving again.

He was tired, body aching and mind numb. He had been wandering again, not willing to tie himself to anyone or anything, just drifting through space like some lost creature. The simple act of living had begun to drag on him and there was no end in sight. Life had become so painful that he had even stopped looking for Angel. Helian, Master of the House Aureli, had to have known that Angel would never be found. He had only given into to Spike’s plea to make the pain worse. After all, why go for the kill when you can go for the hurt.

“Everything going well, Tai?” Erna, the First Mate, asked, stopping the young man walking up the ramp.

“I’m fine,” Tai answered with smile. “As I told Captain, I think whatever is calling to me is getting closer.”

“Really?” Erna said with shock. He blinked and then grinned. “Do you know what it is yet?”

Tai shook his head. “Not yet, but I’m starting to think it’s someone not something.”

“Someone?” Erna’s grin turned to a leer. “I wonder…”

“Perv,” Tai laughed, slipping past the older man.

“Captain likes me this way,” the First Mate said over his shoulder.

Shaking his head, Tai headed to his bunk. Now that their trading was over he was at loose ends until they lifted off again. As he walked through the halls to his bunk he could hear Sal, the Navigation Officer singing as she plotted their next course.

It’s dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew, Where danger is double and leasures are few, Where the rain never falls and the sun never shines It’s dark as a dungeon way down in the mine,” she sang, her voice soft and sweet, echoing down the corridors.

Tai didn’t know where Sal had learned all the old Earth songs, but she sang them often, ringing through the halls. There were songs of mines and coal, of love and life, of death and decay, all sung sweetly. The singing had worried him at first, until Erna had explained that Sal sang to keep herself focused while she worked. When he asked her about it, she had smiled widely at him, eyes shining and said her mind like to wander.

Slipping into his bunkroom, Tai stripped off his sweat drenched clothing and jumped into the sonic shower, letting the waves of energy sweep sweat and dirt from his skin. Standing beneath the waves of blue and red, he thought about how strong his episode had been. He had never felt the emotions that strongly before. When the shower shut off he left the small shower stall and walked naked toward the bed, flopping down on the flat surface. Lying there he thought back, considering all the episodes. Over the years they seemed to waver in strength, which had led him to the original thought that who or whatever was responsible for them was always on the move. Now, he was closer than he had ever been to finally find the cause and all he could feel was waves of fear.

With a sigh, Tai flipped over and forced himself into slumber.

“Hey, Deadboy.”


“Buffy’s upstairs.”

“I’m not here to see her, Xander.”

“Well, Giles is in his office, Willow’s out with Kennedy and Spike took Dawn to the movies.”

“Not here to see any of them either.”

“Who you here for then?”


The shrill scream of the take off alarm jerked Tai out of his sleep. He stumbled out of his bed and into the harness on the wall, strapping him self in and hitting the button to let the bridge know he was ready. Moments later the now familiar feel of the ship leaving the surface of the planet plastered him to the wall, only the harness keeping him from falling to a heap on the floor. Letting the pressure flow through him, Tai did the deep breathing techniques Erna had taught him to deal with take off. Most planet born people hated the feel of take off, leaving travel through space to those born in there. The captains of ships had the tendency to hire only from space born since they were used to the feeling and were less likely to quit after their first take off. That fact had made it harder for Tai to hire on to a Cruiser. Planet born, on the small side and his episodes all conspired to keep him from reaching space. Thankfully he was a genius, knew over forty languages and could rewire just about anything. Captain and Erna took that into account when they smiled, nodded and signed Tai’s hire slip.

“Hey, Tai, we need you on deck,” Erna’s voice echoed over the comms as they pulled out of take off and the ship settled into flight.

“On my way,” he acknowledged, slapping the release on his harness. He landed in a painful lump on the floor and grunted as he forced himself to his feet and then into clothing. Not that anyone cared if he walked around the ship naked. Captain and Erna were bonded and had been for longer than Tai had been alive and Sal’s species was asexual. Still, when he did forget clothing, Erna always made some comment that had Tai blushing and running back to his bunkroom to get dressed.

The trek to the bridge went fairly quickly as Tai took all the shortcuts he had found over the months on the ship. Pausing to catch his breath, he pushed the sensor to open the door, slipping in almost unobserved as Captain and Erna argued about something.

“Sir?” Tai said quietly, breaking the bonded pair out of their quarrel.

“Ah, Tai, we’re heading to pick up some new cargo and a few paying transfers,” the Captain said, smiling at the young man. “We need you to head down to the next planet surface and collect the transfers.”

“Me, take the shuttle down and pick up people?” Tai squeaked. “You do remember I don’t pilot the shuttle very well, right?”

“You pilot fine,” Sal said quietly from the navigation console. “You just need to relax a bit.”

Tai snorted. “I can’t relax when I’m piloting. It makes me nervous.”

“You’ll do fine,” Captain assured him. “Besides, I need Erna with me to pick up the cargo a planet over and people don’t react well to Sal.”

Tai glanced at Sal with her too large eyes, fairly violet skin and bright blue hair. ‘Don’t react well’ was an understatement. “Fine, do we have coordinates and info?”

“All being sent to the shuttle. You have until 0500 ship’s time to get ready.”

Waving a hand, Tai trudged back to his room. He hated piloting and thankfully he wasn’t made to get behind the controls for the shuttle, or the ship, very often. Back in his room, he sat on his bed and groaned, he hated this so much. Most of the time he only piloted the shuttle to pick up cargo, never living beings, and really never people. He really wished that he was going with Captain to pick up the cargo instead of picking up people. Piloting the shuttle with passengers wasn’t going to endear him to said passengers. This could possibly loose money for the ship.

Lying back, he tried to sleep and ignore the anxiousness filling him.

Checking his ticket, Xander sighed and looked for the ship named on ticket. After a few minutes he found a small shuttle with the name of the ship stencilled on the side. Slinging his back over his shoulder, Xander approached the rear hatch, looking for the pilot.

“Hello,” a deep voice said from the darker interior.

“Hi,” Xander replied, forcing a smile on his face.

“Are you from Steinberg’s,” a tall man asked as he walked down the ramp.

“Yes. I am Xander, and the cargo’s right here,” Xander pointed to the bag on his shoulder. “There’s been a change of plan though.”


“Mrs. Steinberg has asked me to accompany the cargo to its destination,” he said quietly, holding up a hand when the man would have objected. “It is not against the ‘Hawk or any of the crew. Mrs. Steinberg would just rather have someone she knows handling the cargo.”

“Captain isn’t going to like this,” the tall man muttered. “I’m Erna Sanjoia, the First Mate on the StarHawk. Captain Pryce will be with us shortly and I’ll let the two of you work this out.”

“I have a direct line to the Steinberg’s if the Captain would like to use it to clarify the situation,” Xander offered.

Erna sighed and shrugged. “He just might take you up on that. For now, head inside and out of this star-damned weather.”

Nodding, Xander shook off a much dust as he could and headed inside the shuttle, taking a seat near the middle. From his vantage point he could see Erna supervising the loading of some other cargo onto the small shuttle and he could also see when the captain walked up. The man looked vaguely familiar but Xander couldn’t place the face. Heaving a sigh, he pushed to his feet and went to talk with the captain. If Captain Pryce aborted the contract it would be up to Xander to find a new ship to take him and the bag on his shoulder to their destination.


Previous Next

The Halcyon Myth – Prologue

He carefully laid the last shovelful of dirt over the grave, patting it down gently. Sitting on the ground, he blinked back tears as he stared at the headstone. Beloved was all it said and for him it spoke more than anything. His little love had been beloved, had been the center of his universe, but he knew it wouldn’t last. It never lasted. Everyone was always stolen from him.

“Is there a reason you’re sitting here, mister?” asked the cracking voice of a boy hitting that stage in life.

“Saying goodnight to a friend,” he answered, leaning forward to brush his lips against the marble. He looked at the youth standing beside him. A typical small planet young man, tall and thin with a shock of startling red hair. But everything else about him was the same worlds over.

“Goodnight, mister? Don’t you mean goodbye?”

“I never say goodbye,” he replied truthfully, rising to his feet. “I believe that we will see people again, some day.”

“Mama believes that too,” the young man nodded sagely. He looked over intently. “Are you done now? I don’t mean to rush you but grandpapa died a few days back and it’s time to bury him now.”

“I’m done,” he sighed, grabbing the shovel. “Do you need any help?”

“No,” the youth shook his head. “We’ve got it covered. You can stay if you want. The preacher can say a few words for your friend too.”

He smiled sadly. “No, but thank you anyway. I think I need to head on my way.”

“Okay, mister. But if you need anything, you stop by, okay?”

A small laugh escaped him. “My friend would have liked you. I’ll remember than. Goodnight.”

“Goodb-night to you too, mister.”

“You know your crime?”


“And you do not object?”

“There is nothing to object to.”

“Are you certain?”


“You understand we will punish you to the further extent of our power? It will be like nothing you have faced before.”

“I understand.”

“I am sorry to have to do this. I, Helian, Master of the House Aureli, find Alexander Lavelle Harris, Consort of Angelus, Master of the House Aurelius, Childe of the House Aureli, guilty of the death of his Mate and Master. Consort, your prison is to walk through this world all alone.”

“I object!”

“To what exactly, Childe William?”

“Yeah his crime is horrible, but you’re sentencing him to an eternity of pain! Even the PTB gave Angel a reprieve.”

“Yes, you are correct. Thank you for pointing that out. The sentence is laid and I cannot change it now, but I can amend it. Therefore, you will walk this world, this lifetime alone until you re-find the other half of your bond.”

“Thank you, Master Helian.”

“Do not thank me, young one. You may never find him again.”

“I know, but at least I’ll have the chance to try.”


Xander watched the stars slip by sadly. It had been just over two thousand years since that night. Two thousand years watching friends and family die as he drifted. First Giles and Dawn to a car crash, then Willow while she was saving a bunch of junior slayers. Faith died in a berserker rage after seeing Robin fall during a battle. Surprisingly, Buffy was the only one of the mortals to live to old age, dying surrounded by child, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

When human finally made it to space travel, Spike and Dru had gone with him to the stars, the pain of Earth too much for any of them to bear. It had been exactly nine hundred and seventy two days when they decided to watch the sun rise on an Earth like planet, the brilliant and deadly rays killing them almost instantly. They never told him why, just gone wrapped in each other’s arms. Since their death, Xander had made friends and gathered family, descendants of those he once loved, and since then he had watched each leave him.

He wasn’t giving up hope. He would find Angel, even if he had to travel to the final moment of the universe to do so. He would find his love, his heart, his soul and maybe, just maybe, he’d also find some peace.

Tai looked up from his school books as the overwhelming feeling of grief hit him again. Since he had turned sixteen he had been feeling like something was missing, distant from him but reaching out. Each time he almost touched that something, someone, he would feel a complete sense of loss and pain. It wouldn’t be long before he could apply for a Cruiser to search to whatever was waiting out there for him. And maybe he’d help that someone find peace.