Authors notes: BOOYAH! I'm sure this is some sort of milestone (kilometrestone?). This story is now, longer, larger and more throbbing than Cold Wind II. And finally in this part, I am going to do something that I'm sure everyone has known must have been coming for so long now. Overdose of innuendo, I know, I know.

Again I offer my sincerest thanks to my editor, Richard - the poor bugger having to soldier through thousands of lines fixing up my abominable grammar and spelling. If there was a literary purple heart medal, I would have sent him one by now.

Fair warning, there is quite a long scene of an adult nature in this part. I'd like to apologize to anyone who finds that it detracts from the story in any way. Forgive me.

Last minute plug: a fellow author and friend (Monkur) has graciously allowed me to share some space on his Yahoo group. You can discuss the stories with either of the authors there should you choose. Both myself and Monkur would very much love to hear from you guys, and share our thoughts on various aspects to our different stories.

Taniwha - Part 09

   When Flows-Like-Water came to, after being struck by the powerful transmission from the dying Observer on board the Arbiter battleship, the first thing he saw was the young Vanguard warrior, Invokes-The-Storm. He was pointing a shock-lance mere centimetres from his face. The end of the weapon was sizzling ominously with what was undoubtedly a full charge. Obscuring-Darkness was crouched in a defensive posture behind the warrior, pointing a datapad in his direction, and obviously scanning him. "What? Was it something I said?" Neither of the two Vanguard smiled. Not even a little bit.

   "If you so much as move, I will stab you in the face with this shock-lance," Invokes-The-Storm snarled angrily.

   The sudden realization hit Flows-Like-Water, when he noticed that the 'scales' on his face were a fizzing golden-brown colour. He looked down at the exposed parts of his body and saw that the amorphous Silicon particles making up his real body had partially reverted back to their normal state while he was out, completely wrecking his disguise. With a thought, they snapped back into their disguised state again. He knew that it would not fool the two Vanguard for a moment, but it might put them more at ease.

   "What in the name of the Ancestors are you?" the warrior demanded, a trace of nervousness creeping into his voice

   Flows-Like-Water sighed. "Please believe me, when I say that I mean you no harm. If you will let me up, I will explain everything." When Invokes-The-Storm showed no signs of wavering with the shock-lance, the Observer mentally shrugged and sat up anyway.

   True to his word, Invokes-The-Storm jabbed the shock-lance at the unknown alien's face and discharged it. Flows-Like-Water flinched slightly, but didn't appear to be otherwize hurt by the weapon. He knocked it from the shocked warrior's talons as he got to his feet. "Was that really necessary? Do not worry. I mean what I said before; I am not here to hurt you."

   When the two Vanguard made a move to run to the forward section of the shuttle, Flows-Like-Water flowed quickly, blocking their path. The two, now frightened, Vanguard stumbled to a halt, then backed away from him. "Please, I would prefer to talk to you both. Alone, at least for the moment. You may have noticed," the Observer noted with a small ironic smile, "that I am not Vanguard."

   "You are an Observer, are you not?"

   Flows-Like-Water snapped his jaw shut at Obscuring-Darkness. "Yes, yes I am. I was not aware that any Vanguard had seen an Observer before. How did you know I was not an Arbiter, or another kind of alien?"

   Obscuring-Darkness' eyes betrayed him, as he reflexively glanced at his datapad, but remained silent.

   Flows-Like-Water interrogated the device remotely using one of his race's many abilities. "Hrrr, yes. I understand now. Silicon - very clever, young engineer. That was a mistake on our part many thousands of years ago. My ancestors were not as... reticent with information then, as they are now."

   "Why are you here, Observer? What do you want with us?"

   "So much for the pleasantries, I see. Well, you can still call me 'Flows-Like-Water', if you wish. My real name means much the same thing, anyway." He stretched out all four of his arms and yawned widely, before dropping them back to his sides. "Such versatile bodies you have. Delightful. Yes, my mission. You were not supposed to know about that at all. Unfortunately it looks like events are starting to catch up with us, 'blowing my cover', as the humans put it so well."

   The two Vanguard continued to stare at the Observer with wide open eyes.

   "Alright. I have both good news, and bad news. Which would you like to hear first?"

   Hesitating slightly, Invokes-The-Storm shared a confused look with Obscuring-Darkness. "What is this 'bad news' of which you speak?"

   "Bad news first? You are a pessimist, my friend. Very well. I regret to inform you that your homeworld of Tau-Ceti has fallen to a sustained assault by an Arbiter attack fleet."

   Vanguard lack the ability to blush - or turn pale. Their fine scales cover every bit of surface skin, and their physiology works differently, anyway. Despite this, however, they still manage to display emotional cues that another Vanguard can easily pick up on. As the news of the destruction of their home world sank in, even someone from a completely different species would have been hard-pressed not to recognize the horror and despair on these two young Vanguard's faces.

   "Were there any survivors?" Obscuring-Darkness asked, reeling from the impact of the news.

   "A few thousand, plus however many are serving on other Vanguard vessels in this galactic sector. Again, I am sorry."

   "Sorry? Sorry?! Words are cheap, Observer! Why did your kind not stop this atrocity?" Fury quickly replaced sadness, as Invokes-The-Storm confronted the Observer, stabbing the alien repeatedly with the shock-lance, despite its earlier apparent ineffectiveness. Flows-Like-Water winced with each jab, backing away with his arms raised up in front of him. "Your species had the ability, and the technology to stop the slaughter of millions of innocents! Yet you stood by and did nothing?! Ancestors curse you, Observer - curse you and all your selfish kind!"

   Rangi didn't even notice the two soldiers go. He was too busy tending to the unconscious Vanguard's wounds. He tried to rip off the tattered remains of the skinsuit but, despite being badly damaged, the resiliant material refused to be torn. Casting around, he spotted an old box-cutter sitting on top of a dusty pallet of boxes. He also spotted quite a few cobwebs strung between the shelves by hopeful spiders. Recalling some of his Kuia's teachings, he walked around, carefully harvesting as much of the gossamer material as he could.

   Sitting beside Blue-Scale, he started hacking at the warrior's skinsuit with the box-cutter. The balky, blood-soaked material was still difficult to slice through, but eventually he managed to carefully peel most of it off.

   The flimsy camoflage netting was hopeless, so Rangi had a quick hunt around on the shelves until he found what he'd been looking for. Several large boxes of inexpensive, single-ply toilet paper, and a battered toolkit. 'Single-ply? Those cheap army bastards... And those poor army boys!' he thought to himself. Dragging the box and toolkit back to the netting, he grabbed several rolls and started gently wiping off as much of the blood as he could, being careful not to aggravate the wounds any further.

   It was a lot worse than he expected. It didn't look like the bullets had penetrated very far into the dense, hard muscle underneath the warrior's scales, but there were so many of them.

   Clambering up, until he was face to snout with Blue-Scale, Rangi spent a couple of minutes gently running his hands over the warrior's craggy features while concentrating hard. There was no response to his touch, however Blue-Scale's breathing was getting noticably more shallow and ragged. "Don't quit on me, bro," he whispered into the warrior's ear. "You looked after me. Now it's my turn." Making a mental note to thank Kuia for her teachings if he ever made it out of this, he set to work. While he was no medic, he was quite handy with tools due to his training as a mechanic.

   Slipping a fresh blade into the box-cutter, and grabbing a pair of needle-nosed pliers from the toolkit, Rangi gripped them firmly and leaned over Blue-Scale's neck, looking closely at the wound. The bullet was only a couple of centimetres below the surface of the scales.

   He grabbed a wad of clean toilet paper, to mop up the blood, and started trying to pry the bullet out. A couple of minutes later, he was able to finally tease the lump of metal out of the wound with the pliers. Once the bullet had been removed, he carefully covered the wound with some of the cobwebs he'd gathered. The stringy, silken material stuck fast to the wound, completely halting the bleeding. Rangi found himself wishing he had access to some of the herbs that Kuia had taught him to use for healing.

   Sitting back, Rangi put the tools down and sighed, throwing the slug of metal over his shoulder. "Whew... One down." He wasn't sure how long it took to get the rest of the wounds cleared out, and covered in cobwebs, but it seemed like hours to him. After he removed the last bullet, Rangi got up to stretch his legs. He'd been so distracted, he hadn't noticed the absence of Antonio and Vasya. After looking around for a couple of minutes, he did notice they'd taken the dismembered arm with them.

   Alarmed by this, he ran over to the door, pushing and pulling at it, but it wouldn't budge. He slapped his hand on the palm-scanner, but it just flashed red and buzzed angrily at him.

   "Stink! Those miserable fucking bastards!" Rangi cursed under his breath, barely resisting the temptation to deal the door a mighty kick. Stomping back over to the netting, he looked at his 'patient'. Immediately, he realized that something was wrong - the warrior had stopped breathing. Panicking, he jumped up beside Blue-Scale and put his ear to the warrior's chest. He couldn't make out a heartbeat, but then he didn't even know where the heart or hearts would be or if the reptiles even had hearts.

   "Come on buddy, Breathe!" he cried out in desperation, pressing both hands down on Blue-Scales chest like he'd seen people do on those medical drama shows on the telly. Repeating the movement several times, he bent down to check for a heartbeat. Still nothing. "Don't you fucking die on me, Taniwha! Don't you fucking dare! "

   Oblivious to the hot tears streaming down his face, Rangi kept on with the pseudo-CPR until, eventually exhausted, he collapsed onto Blue-Scales blood-smeared chest, sobbing.

   Several minutes later, the flow of tears had finally halted, and he sat up, staring sadly at Blue-Scale's face. The warrior's long black tongue was hanging loosely from the side of his mouth. The sight almost threatened to bring on a fresh batch of tears, but Rangi managed to stifle them with difficulty. Gently prying open the warrior's mouth, he pushed the tongue back inside, then clamped the jaw shut, trying to at least give the Vanguard some dignity in death.

   Using some scraps of material from the camoflage netting, he set about removing the dried human blood from the warrior's horns and face. He noticed that the blood around the tusks was already gone. He smiled sadly, wondering if Blue-Scale had found the taste to his liking.

   Rangi lay down facing Blue-Scale, lying in the crook of the warrior's arm, his head beside that of the warrior. Reaching an arm across Blue-Scale's chest, mindless of the drying blood. He spoke softly, despite knowing the warrior could no longer hear him. "I'm so sorry, bro. I'm so sorry." He lay there, the occasional tear still trickling down his cheeks, staring at Blue-Scale's face, until exhaustion claimed him and he drifted off to sleep.

   Blocker brought the shuttle down to hover near a large wooden structure set in among a stand of tall trees. The structure was large enough to house the shuttle with a bit of room to spare and, judging by the state of disrepair it was in, was one that hadn't been used for quite some time.

   Invokes-The-Storm, Obscuring-Darkness, and a few other Vanguard jumped down from the airlock to the ground, their muscular legs flexing to absorb the slight impact of landing. Fanning out, they approached the large sliding doors of the decrepit building. Straining in a co-ordinated fashion, they managed to get one of the doors open, but the other wasn't giving in to their efforts.

   "Take it out," Obscuring-Darkness said, nodding to a couple of young warriors, who clambered up the stuck-fast door like oversized spider-monkeys. They dug their talons deep into the wood for support.

   The door groaned loudly, under the weight of their solid Vanguard bodies, but held fast. One of the warriors held out an arm toward Obscuring-Darkness. Throwing a shock-lance up to the warrior, the engineer watched, impressed, as the warrior used the weapon as a crude electic-arc cutter to chop through a rusted track. He had half-expected the warrior to use the butt of the weapon to just hammer away at it.

   As if reading his mind, Invokes-The-Storm turned, the fleeting moonlight glinting in his eyes, as he snapped his jaw at Obscuring-Darkness. "Hrrr... Warriors may not be as intelligent as engineers, but they are not as stupid as some think them to be."

   Leaping off, the two warriors hit the ground, and rolled clear, as the door came crashing to the ground, throwing up a cloud of dust. Backing away, Invokes-The-Storm signalled to Blocker, who had been watching him through the shuttle's front viewport, waiting for his signal.

   With a deft flick of a talon on the controls, Blocker nudged the wallowing shuttle through the opening and into the darkness of the building. The others, gatherered outside, listened nervously as loud crashing and splintering noises issued from inside, as the shuttle crushed various bits of wooden and metallic debris. Soon, they heard the singularity generators powering down as the shuttle settled to the floor.

   It wasn't long before all the remaining Vanguard were milling around in the moonlight, like a pack of unlikely dinosaurs looking expectantly toward their pack-leader.

   Steeling himself, Invokes-The-Storm confronted the survivors, noting that Flows-Like-Water was conspicuous by his absence. "I am not the pack-leader that Blaze-For-Eternity was. We came to this planet hoping to find allies to aid us in our battle against the Arbiters. We now know that our enemies have followed us here." Invokes-The-Storm lifted his head briefly, and stared at the planet's solitary moon. "Now we are few in number, facing an uncertain future," he continued softly.

   Invokes-The-Storm looked around at the survivors listening to his quiet words in respectful silence. His gaze settled on Obscuring-Darkness, who stared back at him encouragingly.

   "It has been difficult, and I know you are tired. And afraid. Hrrr... I am ashamed to admit that I, too, am tired and afraid. But that is the truth." There was a surprized murmuring from the other Vanguard when he said this. Vanguard pack-leaders were not known for admitting any sort of weakness.

   "Swaying-Tail sacrificed herself with honor, in the recent skirmish with the humans." Invokes-The-Storm picked out Blocker in the group, and acknowledged the engineer's loss by exposing his neck as a show of respect. "We are also missing Blue-Scale. However, we have picked up a weak transponder signal from his translation disk, not far from this location. You may wonder why I speak of numbers, as if they are important. It is simple: There is strength in numbers, and I will be cursed by the Ancestors before I let that number get any smaller, HRRR! "

   Splaying out his talons and crouching down into a combat stance, Invokes-The-Storm glared at each of the Vanguard in turn, daring them to look away. "I may not be the pack-leader that Blaze-For-Eternity was, but, I promise you I will fight for each of you just as hard!" he roared, his talons blurring as they slashed through the air.

   There was an answering roar of approval from the gathered survivors. Obscuring-Darkness smiled at him in the moonlight.

   Standing tall again, Invokes-The-Storm waited until the noise died down before continuing. "We go tonight to claim back Blue-Scale, be he alive or dead. And I will tolerate no interference from the humans in this! Remember that, while they are not the allies we hoped for, they are not our enemy, either. We are honorable warriors, not animals," he cautioned the agitated warriors. "We leave shortly; be prepared."

   The milling Vanguard split up into smaller groups, talking excitedly amongst themselves. Obscuring-Darkness waited until Invokes-The-Storm was alone, before approaching. "You are a worthy pack-leader, despite your words saying otherwize. These warriors will follow you into the heart of a sun without hesitation, if you command it. Even I can see that."

   Eyes shining in the darkness, Invokes-The-Storm pulled the unresisting engineer into a tight embrace, nuzzling at Obscuring-Darkness' neck with his muzzle. "Were it not for you, lover..." he rumbled, softly. "You are shaking! What is wrong?" he pulled his head back and looked into Obscuring-Darkness' eyes, concern flooding through him.

   "You did not tell them about the destruction of Tau-Ceti. They deserve to know."

   "And they will. But now is not the time. Things are desperate enough, as it is. And it would raise too many questions." He took a step back, and looked out over the surviving Vanguard, ready and waiting for his next move

   "Hrrr, I suppose it would. But I do not understand why we are protecting that... Observer," Obscuring-Darkness almost spat the word out.

   "It may prove useful in the future. Besides, I have the impression it may be just as stuck here as we are," Invokes-The-Storm hissed with grim satisfaction. "Time grows short. I should go."

   "Very well. Just..."


   "I..." Obscuring-Darkness hesitated, hands raised halfway toward his lover. Lowering them again, he continued softly. "It is not important."

   Invokes-The-Storm blinked slowly, before gently gripping Obscuring-Darkness' head with his two forward hands and licking the engineer's snout affectionately. A minute later, he reluctantly stepped back, snapping his jaw softly. "I think I understand." Invokes-The-Storm turned away, and lumbered toward an overgrown farm track. "Vanguard! Hear me!" he roared, holding his shock-lance above his head. "We go to claim our own. May the revered Ancestors guide and protect us. HRRR! "

   The remaining medics and engineers watched, with mixed emotions, as the warriors loped down the track, shortly disappearing from view into the night.

   "And may the Ancestors bring you back to me," Obscuring-Darkness rumbled quietly, unheard by the others.

   "Sir, there's something you need to see."

   "Dammit, man, we've got more important things to worry about with that fucking killer lizard on the loose!"

Captain George Hardy roughly pushed aside the young soldier as he went striding toward the detention block, followed by a squad of heavily armed marines.

   "The solider swallowed nervously, but continued his dogged persuit. "But Sir, this comes from the highest levels of your Central Command. They've coded it as White-One-Ultra priority, sir!"

   Captain Hardy came to a sudden halt, spinning around and glaring at the soldier. The marines also stopped, alternating curious looks at the soldier and the Captain. They were still unsure about whether or not the Captain had been joking, when he had given them a short briefing, about some sort of alien running amok on the small base.

   Regarding the local Army forces with distain, the Marines were still put out at having been rushed away from their more cushy job of guarding the US embassy in the captial city. They eagerly waited for the Captain to tear this runt a new asshole.

   "You're sure?"

   "Yessir. They were most insistant that you were told about the priority."

   Torn, Captain Hardy chewed over his options for a few moments before giving his orders. "I want you men to split up into small groups. Grab some of the local boys, and search the perimeter. I want to know the moment you find any sign of the creature, or where it's gone."

   When the alarm had first been raised, he'd sent a squad into the detention block. But it looked like the Vanguard had already gone, along with the kid. Two US Intelligence agents, and two marines, were dead, apparently torn apart by the creature. Captain Hardy considered it highly likely that they'd already made a break for it, through a fence or something. Unfortunately, he only had limited resources of his own, and the New Zealand Army was balking at being ordered around by the Americans.

   "Alright. Lead on, son," he said gruffly to the young solider waiting for his response.

   Captain Hardy was led to the Communications centre, an uninspiring concrete block building, and ushered inside. Dismissing the soldier, he was surprized to see Lieutenant Irenei Putin, commander of the destroyed Russian Federation ship they had flown, standing beside a computer terminal. The Lieutenant nodded gravely at him, and pointed at the screen.

   "This just came through from your Central Command, Captain."

   Looking at the screen, all Captain Hardy could see were some unfocused and fuzzy white blobs on a dark background. Tapping on the keyboard, Lieutenant Putin flipped through several pictures, all very similar, with differently spaced fuzzy white blobs on dark backgrounds.

   "I haven't got time to look at some fucking slideshow, Lieutenant! In case you haven't heard, the lizard has got loose and killed some of our men!"

   "You need to make time, Captain," Lieutenant Putin said, grimly. "This more important than escaped Vanguard prisoner. This involves Vanguard prisoner."

   Sighing with irritation, Captain Hardy looked back at the pictures. "Christ, you Russkies can be cryptic at times. OK, so what am I looking at?"

   "These pictures taken by Russian deep-space telescope -"

   "The Antipov Array," Captain Hardy interrupted. "Oh, don't look so surprized, Lieutenant. We know all about the various bits of junk you guys have in orbit."

   "Da, quite. Anyway, these pictures show densely packed comets in Neptune space. Total of 38, moving very quickly -"

   "So? Look, Lieutenant, I'm sure they'll be very pretty and everything. But we've got more important things to worry about, if you hadn't noticed?"

   Lieutenant Putin glared at Captain Hardy, angry at being interrupted yet again. Spotting a small bowl of fresh fruit nearby, he reached over and grabbed a ripe kiwifruit off the top, and placed it down on the desk. He waited until it stopped wobbling, then clenched his fist and brought it down hard, smashing the kiwifruit flat. The bright green insides splattered up the side of the monitor, and across one leg of Captain Hardy's uniform.

   "What the fuck are you playing at, man?" the American spluttered, wiping the mushy green pulp from his leg, and staring wide-eyed at the Russian.

   "That," Lieutenant Putin said succinctly, "is Earth. After one comet hit at final velocity."

   "What?" Captain Hardy asked in a hollow voice, the fruity mess on his leg abruptly forgotten.

   "38 comets. They will hit Earth at 30% speed of light. Unsure why they send so many, when one enough." he shrugged stoically. "They want to make sure of destruction, da?"

   Captain Hardy's face flushed red with fury. "Those filthy, lying snakes -"

   Lieutenant Putin cut him off. "Nyet! Not Vanguard. Intelligence suggests this not their doing. Vanguard gain nothing by destroying Earth. They came seeking help. They would not risk jeopardizing alliance like that. It not make sense, da?"

   Staring silently at the display, Captain Hardy seemed at a loss for words. Finally, breaking the silence, he pulled out the chair from behind the desk and sat down with a sigh. He was suddenly feeling very tired. The stress and activity of the past few days was bearing down heavily on him, and he realized it had been quite some time since he'd had any proper sleep. "Arbiters?"

   "Da, most likely."

   "So. How long do we have?"

   Despite his annoyance at the Captain's behavior, Lieutenant Putin felt sorry for the man. His expression softened a little, and he leaned back against the desk, facing the Captain. "Assuming predictions are correct, 23 months." He held up a hand to stop the Captain from interrupting. "I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, 'plenty time to send up nuclear weapons. Blow them to bits.' I am correct, da?"

   Looking like a little boy caught red-handed with his hand in the cookie-jar, Captain Hardy nodded. "Yeah, actually I was."

   "That has already been considered. Some comets are 40 kilometre in diameter, some larger. To put in perspective for you. Asteroid that kill dinosaurs? It was 10 kilometre in diameter. And it travel much slower."

   "Jesus! But if these things are comets, they're just dirty snowballs, aren't they? A few nuke's would melt 'em or smash 'em up."

   "Would you rather be shot in face with shotgun? Or rifle? Smarter minds than you or I are working on problem." Lieutenant Putin shook his head and shrugged. "Little you or I can do about comets. So they have new orders for us." He handed a print-out to Captain Hardy who read it over quickly, his eyebrows moving further down his face, the further down the page he read.

   "Fat fucking chance of that happening," he muttered, darkly.

   The sun sparkled on the water of the bay, as the small dinghy rocked from the gentle swell of the incoming tide. Lying in the bottom of the small craft, Rangi brought his arm up and laid it across his face, to shield himself from glare of the warm sunlight. When he was younger, he often rowed out into the middle of the bay on calm days, to just lie in the sun and enjoy the undulating swell rocking him to sleep. The small fishing line, given to him by his dad, stayed tucked away, under the seats, unused.

   His dad had often wondered why Rangi came home empty-handed at the end of the day, but usually just smiled indulgently at his son, ruffling up his hair affectionately. Rangi never wanted to spoil the calm serenity of his time on the water by actually catching anything... And besides, he felt a strange kind of affinity with the creatures of the sea, and could never bring himself to kill them, even to eat.

   The rocking started getting a bit rougher, and Rangi could hear a faint rumbling, as if a distant storm was approaching - but there was no danger from the sensations. Feeling something warm and wet sliding down his face, he found himself feeling quite comforted by it. He felt his arm being removed from his face, but the sun was no longer glaring. The warm, wet feeling started moving over the rest of his face, trailing down his forehead and over his lips, and then further down onto his neck.

   Sighing with contentment, he cracked open a now moist eyelid, and found himself staring straight into a face that was at once both alien and familiar to him. The images from his childhood immediately evaporated, as the Vanguard warrior continued to vigorously lick his face with his big, black, forked tongue, all the while making the deep rumbling purr Rangi remembered from the first time he 'met' the reptile.

   "How...? You were... dead!" Rangi croaked, reaching up to touch Blue-Scale's face tentatively, as if not quite believing it was real.

   "Hrrr, not dead, was..." Making a peculiar noise that the translation disk seemed unable to recognize, Blue-Scale looked unblinkingly at Rangi with a rather intense expression on his reptilian features. The warrior turned his head slightly and looked down at the cobweb covered bullet wounds, then back at Rangi again. "This was you." It was not a question; it was a statement.

   "Ahh, yeah. But when you stopped breathing, I thought -"

   Rangi was interrupted by the warrior's tongue being enthusiastically applied against his face again. Unable to help himself, he started laughing, ineffectually pushing against Blue-Scale's snout and trying to halt the affectionate, slobbery Vanguard assault on his face.

   He won a brief respite when the warrior pulled his head back and cocked it at an angle, looking at him curiously. "Your eyes are leaking salty water, Little-One. Are you sad?"

   "I'm not sad, you silly bugger! Sometimes we cry when happy. I thought I... We..." Rangi stopped speaking and shook his head, relieved tears flowing down his cheeks. 'Screw it! ' he thought to himself. "I thought I had lost you."

   "This one is weakened, but no longer dying. Little-One protected this one! Little-One likes this one?"

   Rangi smiled at the warrior, placing both hands on his snout and pulling him in close. Planting a kiss on the end of Blue-Scale's snout, he nodded. "Yes, your Little-One likes you. Now, before you lick what's left of my face off, let's have a squiz at your injuries. I didn't have any antiseptic..." Rangi's voice trailed off, as he leaned over to have a look at the bullet wounds.

   The cobwebs had all but completely flaked off, coated in black flecks of dried Vanguard blood. Underneath the tattered scraps of spider-silk, the wounds had completely closed up and the pale grey skin underneath the scales had closed over the holes, with only a small amount ofscar-tissue visible.

   "What the fuck...?" Rangi breathed, tears forgotten, alternating his wide-eyed gaze between Blue-Scale's face and what was left of the wounds. He reached out and ran his fingertips lightly over the wounds, before looking at his own injuries. They didn't look any different from the last time he had bothered to look at them. "Whoa, you guys heal fast."

   Blue-Scale closed his eyes for a moment, thinking hard. "Not this quickly. Not by ourselves. Little-One is a medic?"

   "Nah, bro. I'm a satanic mechanic. I fix cars, not people. Kuia - my Nanna, did teach me a few tricks, though." Rangi stopped and looked at the warrior thoughtfully for a minute. Blue-Scale stared right back at him, silently. "I wonder... You wanna try something?"


   Wriggling out of the warrior's arms, he tried to straddle Blue-Scale's waist at its narrowest point, just above the warrior's hips. Precariously perched, he leaned forward and grasped the warrior's snout again, staring deep into his enigmatic black eyes. "I want you to lie back and relax. If it starts to hurt, let me know immediately, Okay?"

   "Very well. This one trusts his Little-One."

   "Sweet as, bro. This is called Miri Miri. It's a special kinda massage my Nanna taught me. 'Sposed to be good for what ails ya."

   Reaching out, Rangi closed his eyes and started running his hands over the warrior's body. He pressed firmly against the scales where there were no wounds, but paused above each of the wounds as he passed over them, lightening his touch until his fingers were barely brushing against them. Kuia's teachings seemed crystal clear in his head, and he started humming softly, unconsciously, intuitively stopping above each wound, despite the fact that his eyes were closed.

   A couple of minutes into the Miri Miri, Blue-Scale again started his deep-chested rumbling purr. Noticing the vibrations first, Rangi smiled, continuing. Raising each of the warrior's arms in turn, he ran his hands along them, the warrior spreading them out for easy access. As he massaged the muscles and tendons on the warrior's hands and taloned fingers, the purring noise became quite audible.

   He was startled out of his almost trance-like state, several minutes later, feeling something coiled around his body. It was Blue-Scale's tail, curling up and wrapping itself lightly around his torso.

   "Hrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr... Do not stop, Little-One..." Blue-Scale huffed softly at him.

   "You like, big guy?" Rangi asked, with a dreamy smile on his face. Despite a slight tiredness in his arms, he was finding the experience almost as relaxing as the warrior obviously was.


   Gently dismounting from Blue-Scale's waist, Rangi peeled the warrior's tail from around his body. Raising his head, the warrior stopped purring and looked down at him, almost reproachfully if Rangi read the expression correctly. He realized, with a slight feeling of surprize, that he was suddenly finding the big reptile's mood easy to read. Shaking his head slightly, he figured there were still a lot of questions to ask regarding some of Kuia's teachings. She had told him that he would find himself attuning himself to the Miri Miri recipient. But, with something that wasn't even human?

   "Chill out, Taniwha. I need to work on your legs next," he said softly. Satisfied, Blue-Scale lowered his head, closed his eyes and started purring again.

   Kneeling near the edge of the pile of camoflage netting, Rangi reached out both hands, and using the balls of his thumbs, started kneading the muscles and tendons on one of the warrior's large taloned feet. The scales there were quite rough against his skin, unlike those found elsewhere on the warrior's body. Fascinated, he studied the foot closely. Three large toes with impressively sharp talons and another rear talon, poking out from the heel. Formiddable weapons, indeed.

   As he moved to the other foot, Rangi found himself sporting a rock-hard erection straining at the crotch of his torn and stained board-shorts. "Down boy," he growled at himself, under his breath, somewhat disconcerted.


   "Nothing, bro. Just relax. You still enjoying this?"

   "Hrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr..." was all the answer Rangi needed to hear.

   Moving his hands slowly up Blue-Scale's left leg, Rangi again found the warrior's tail loosely twining around his body, almost as if with a mind of its own. As it brushed against his hard cock, he found his mind wandering, distracting him slightly. When the tip waved almost hypnotically in front of his face, he instinctively leaned forward, sucking it into his mouth, and gently nibbling at it.

   When Blue-Scale's purring stuttered, he looked up. Blue-Scale had his head tilted back and looked like he was panting, all four of his arms spread out and laid flat against the netting, his chest rising and falling. "You OK, bro?"

   "Hrrr, yes, hrrr!"

   Moving his hands up and down Blue-Scale's thigh, he glanced up and saw the warrior's cock-sheath starting to bulge. Fascinated, he continued to knead the massive corded thigh muscles, running his hands closer to Blue-Scale's belly. At the same time he ducked his head forward and again grabbed hold of the warrior's tail in his mouth.

   Quickly switching to the other leg, he worked his way up the bulging muscles of the thigh toward where he could see Blue-Scale's cock. It was now poking out, well clear of the sheath, and starting to ooze copious amounts of a viscous clear liquid. Still sucking on the end of the warrior's tail, he rubbed his thumbs over the warrior's tailhole which twitched, eliciting an excited hiss from the reptile.

   Somewhere in the back of his mind, a rational voice was screaming at him that what he was doing was utter madness. But Rangi shut it out. It had no part to play in what was happening. He found himself between Blue-Scale's well muscled thighs, arms stretched out in front of him on either side of the young Vanguard warrior's gently throbbing cock. It was almost as if he were worshipping the reptilian warrior - which, in a way, he realized he was.

   Almost with a will of their own, Rangi's hands moved together, running up the bulging sheath, then onto the slippery exposed cock itself. Blue-Scale groaned, his breathing and purring becoming more irregular. The talons of his hands dug into the netting and he arched his back slightly, thrusting his stomach and chest upwards.

   Releasing the tip of the warrior's tail from his mouth, Rangi leaned forward until his entire upper body was above Blue-Scale's belly, his head above Blue-Scale's gently oozing cock. The only thing the boy could smell was a slight, musky but pleasant, scent coming from the gently swaying member. The cock was larger than anything Rangi had ever seen before, almost the length of his forearm, and the pale-grey meat moved seductively in front of his face.

   There was no going back now. Blue-Scale writhed around, muscles rippling on his stomach and chest, as Rangi lowered his mouth onto the warrior's aching cock. Taloned toes curling as the muscles in his massively muscled thighs clenched, Blue-Scale hissed like an overheated pressure-cooker. The boy ran his tongue up and down the length of his cock, stopping occasionally to engulf the head, and licking around with his tongue.

   His arms reaching up on either side of Blue-Scale's spasming abdominal muscles, Rangi ran his fingernails across the scales, pulling himself closer to the warrior. Releasing the cock-head from his mouth, he looked up at Blue-Scale's face. "You want this?"

   "HRRR... COME UP HERE," the warrior growled loudly, in a tone that Rangi dared not disobey.

   As he pulled himself up toward the warrior's head, Rangi dragged his chest and stomach across the large cock, leaving a glistening, slippery trail all the way along his body from neck to stomach. As he got closer, he found himself being gripped firmly, but gently, by the warrior's forward arms. The rear arms proceeded to pull his board shorts and boxer-briefs down his thighs, and off.

   Blue-Scale stared into Rangi's face intently, his tail snaking up one of the boy's thighs, twining around and slithering across the sensitive, smooth skin between his legs. "This one desires this. But my Little-One has to want it also," he rumbled in a deep, almost subsonic tone. His tail continued to move around, rubbing against Rangi's rock-hard cock, before sliding back and slowly parting the boy's asscheeks, spreading them slightly and sliding between them. The scales were smooth and cool against Rangi's quivering sphincter.

   "Oh god, yeah... I want this..." Rangi moaned, body aflame with feelings he had no intention of ignoring this time around. He mercilessly shut down the tiny, rational voice in his mind screaming warnings about what he was about to do.

   "My life is yours, my soul bare..."

   Rangi was instantly aware that what Blue-Scale had said meant a great deal to the warrior. It sounded like some sort of pledge, or oath. He also realized it implied some sort of commitment. "I understand, and accept," he replied, starting straight back at Blue-Scale.

   Reaching down, he placed his hands around Blue-Scale's horns and pulled gently. The warrior took the hint and lowered him slightly until they were nose to snout. Parting his lips slightly he kissed the warrior. Responding instinctively, Blue-Scale slid a few centimetres of his tongue into Rangi's mouth, wrestling with the boy's own.

   Gently lowering, then releasing Rangi, Blue-Scale again closed his eyes and felt the boy make his way down his body, running his hands over the bulging muscles of his chest and stomach. Hissing with long buried lust, he felt Rangi arrange himself between his thighs. Lowering his arms again, his talons dug into the netting and held on, the large muscles bunching up with the tension of what was to come.

   Again, he felt the boy's delicious mouth engulf the end of his cock, running his teeth across it, sending tremors running throughout his entire body.

   Rangi swallowed the massive cock as deeply as he could, using his throat muscles to milk the thick shaft. The slippery pre-cum helped it to slide deep into his gullet. He repeated the movement several times, while stroking the base of the warrior's cock with his hands, where it emerged from the sheath. The pre-cum kept flowing, dripping from the corners of his mouth, as he moved up and down on Blue-Scale's cock.

   He felt the warrior's tail slip between his asscheeks again, only this time the tip of it hesitated and started nudging insistantly against his ring. Reaching up, Rangi quickly gathered a handful of saliva and pre-cum, then reached back, slicking up the end of the tail and the area around his ring with copious amounts of the stuff.

   "More mouth, hrrr!" the warrior hissed.

   Hearing the need in Blue-Scale's real voice, before the translator disk spoke, Rangi impaled his face on the warrior's raging hard-on. At the same time, the warrior pushed the tip of his tail deep into Rangi's ass, causing the boy to cry out. Well, he would have if his mouth wasn't full of dripping Vanguard cock.

   Blue-Scale brought his knees together, trapping his Little-One between his well-muscled thighs, but making sure not to crush him. Pushing the end of his tail inside the boy a little deeper with every thrust, he made sure to move it around in an effort to loosen him up. He was hoping that his Little-One would want to mate with him.

   Rangi moaned, as much as he was able, around the huge cock he was desperately trying to swallow. The warrior fucked his ass with the end of his tail, like some sort of machine. Thankfully, the warrior didn't seem to mind his teeth, as the large girth of the cock made it impossible for him to cover them with his lips, like he did with the tricks he was normally used to blowing. Saliva and Vanguard pre-cum were plastered all over his face, and pooling onto the warrior's muscle-ripped belly.

   With virtually no warning, other than a muffled roar and the tail being driven even deeper into the boy's ass, Blue-Scale blew his first load deep into Rangi's throat, choking the boy on thick, hot, Vanguard cum.

   Rangi desperately tried to push himself off the jerking cock. It felt like the jet of cum was threatening to blow out the back of his throat from the force of it. Swallowing for his life, coughing and snorting, he fought for breath, and his eyes watered uncontrollably. At the same moment, the warrior had jammed what felt like his entire tail followed by a complete leg - taloned foot and all - into his ass.

   Eventually, he managed to pull off the still throbbing weapon, gobs of cum spilling from his mouth, and down the sides of his face. Belatedly, Rangi realized that, at some stage during the past few minutes, he had also ejaculated - but hadn't even felt it. The way his cock was still painfully stiff, though, it seemed it hardly believed the fact either. He felt the warrior's tail withdraw from his throbbing ass.

   All he could taste was alien lizard jizz, although the taste wasn't actually unpleasant. His jaw aching and sore, Rangi blinked to clear his eyes and looked up to see Blue-Scale staring at him through what looked vaguely like unfocused eyes.

   Spreading his legs and releasing his talons from the netting, Blue-Scale curled forward until he could reach the boy's face with his tongue. "My Little-One... You are beautiful."

   Laughing, Rangi doubted that very much. An image of what he probaby looked like flitted briefly through his mind. Mussed up black hair, face covered in a sticky mixure of saliva, pre-cum and Vanguard cum. Painfully erect cock dripping a mixture of his own pre-cum and cum. "Yeah, real pretty, bro. Hey, you almost drowned me!" He laughed at the look of concern on Blue-Scale's face. "Nah, it's all good. But I gotta give my mouth a rest - never thought I'd hear myself say that."

   "Hrrr, you are not hurt?"

   Rangi lay face down on the netting beside Blue-Scale, resting his chin on his folded arms and closing his eyes. "No, but I'll say one thing for sure: Size queen's eat your heart out! " Giggling at his own wittiness, he felt Blue-Scale move around on the netting. Suddenly, he felt the warrior move into position above and behind him. He opened his eyes and craned his head around, surprized. "What are you doing?"

   "This one wishes to mate with his Little-One."

   "Mate? Wait, what?!"

   Blue-Scale didn't wait for an answer, but leaned down and ran his tongue between Rangi's asscheeks, and across his twitching ring. Rangi tried to get up, but was prevented from doing so when Blue-Scale gently held him down with one arm. He carefully tucked his talons out of the way, so as not to hurt the boy. The warrior proceeded to give him a rim-job to end all rim-jobs with his long, black tongue.

   Wriggling and groaning, Rangi bit into his forearm in an effort not to cry out from the pleasure, as he was expertly tongue-fucked by the warrior. Eventually he managed to grunt out a question as he dry-humped the netting beneath him. "By mate, you mean fuck, right?"

   "Yes, that is correct, Little-One. Does this pleasure you?" Blue-Scale asked, pausing for a few moments.

   "Ooooh, now there's a stupid question," Rangi groaned in reply.

   Blue-Scale stopped the tongue action and moved forward over his Little-One, lowering himself. He slipped his pre-cum oozing cock between the boy's asscheeks. "Are you prepared, Little-One?"

   "More lube? Please?" Rangi whimpered.

   Slipping his cock back and forth, Blue-Scale slathered the slippery pre-cum all over his Little-One's ass. Scooping up some of the remaining cum still dripping down his stomach, he also spread some of that around with one of his hands. Leaning forward, the warrior nuzzled the back of Rangi's neck, purring and licking. Adjusting his hips slightly, he started applying more pressure with his cock against his Little-One's ring.

   While Rangi was no virgin, he could still count on one hand the number of times he'd been fucked by another guy - and certainly not by anything approaching the size of the meaty weapon with which the Vanguard was prodding him. Remembering some of the tip's he'd read about, he pushed like he was trying to take a dump, and felt his ring start to give as the warrior pushed against him. His howl echoed around the dimly lit storage room, as the massive Vanguard cock sank into him.

   Pausing briefly, Blue-Scale reached out and gripped Rangi's shoulders firmly, and hissed into his ear. "Do you wish this one to stop?"

   "N-No," Rangi spat out through gritted teeth, his eyes squeezed painfully shut. "I want you... to distract... me!"

   "Hrrr, very well, brave Little-One." Blue-Scale twisted his head around and opened his jaw wide, clamping it firmly, but gently around Rangi's neck. The tips of his tusks lightly pressed against Rangi's windpipe, making the boy gasp and open his eyes in shock. Feeling the tight pressure against his cock relaxing slightly, the warrior bucked forward, thrusting deeper inside his Little-One. He was now half-buried inside the boy.

   Unable to scream from the pressure on his throat, Rangi just hissed loudly, as it felt like the warrior was splitting him in two. But he did find himself being distracted by the feel of Blue-Scale's teeth around his neck, digging slightly into his skin. This was accompanied by the Vanguard's tongue slithering around his face, and slipping between his open lips.

   Huffing like a steam-engine, Blue-Scale started pumping his cock in and out in small, controlled movements, sinking into the boy even further with each stroke. His grip around Little-One's neck with his jaw, and the taloned hands grasping at his shoulders, stopped his Little-One from squirming away from him as he fucked the incredibly tight ass clamped around his aching cock.

   Blue-Scale was overjoyed... He was finally becoming one with his Little-One.

   Rangi found himself huffing in synch with the warrior, feeling the warm, wet breath against the back of his neck, while the warrior slathered the inside of his mouth with saliva from his thrashing tongue. It still felt like he was being impaled on something the size of an oil drum, but the splitting pain had dulled slightly to more of an overstretched ache. The realization that the warrior still wasn't fully inside him tempered the intense lust he was beginning to feel.

   "So tight, Little-One, so warm... Hrrr!" Blue-Scale jabbed his hips forward again, sinking further in. Picking up the pace, the warrior held Rangi firmly in hands and jaw, thrusting harder. Pulling slightly further out with each thrust, he drove back in, feeling his Little-One buck underneath him, grunting with each thrust.

   He realized that if he were to lose control and try to mate like he would with another Vanguard, he would end up seriously hurting, or even killing his precious Little-One. So Blue-Scale restrained himself. But his Little-One was so tight, and made such intriguing noises as he was being plowed.

   Rangi completely lost track of time. His entire world was filled with tongue, tusk, and huge, pile-driving thrusts from the reptilian warrior's massive cock - knocking the breath out of him each time the warrior sank into him. All the while he was gripped in a cocoon of hard, writhing muscle, the warriors chest and stomach hard against his back. Without even touching himself, he felt his own cock let go, again.

   Suddenly, Blue-Scale stopped, still buried most of the way inside the boy. He opened his jaw and withdrew his tongue from Little-One's mouth. He rose up, sitting back on his haunches. He pulled Little-One upright with him, swivelling him around until they were stomach to stomach.

   Sighing with temporary relief, Rangi groaned as the warrior turned him around, feeling the massive Vanguard cock deep in his ass move as he rotated.

   "Little-One not hurt? We continue, yes?"

   Unable to speak, Rangi just nodded. Vanguard saliva was dripping down his chin, his own cum down his cock, and streams of Vanguard pre-cum down the insides of his thighs. Reaching up, he hooked his hands over the tops of the warrior's forward arm shoulders. He then started moving himself up and down, fucking himself on the engorged cock that was stretching his ring to its limits.

   "Hrrr, just relax, Little-One. Let this one do the work," Blue-Scale hissed, one set of arms gripping his shoulders firmly, the other his hips.

   An almost obscene slurping noise came from Rangi's ass as he was bounced up and down on the young warrior's throbbing weapon. The pace slowly sped up, pre-cum still finding spots to ooze out, slicking up the massive shaft as it impaled him. Rangi's cock, which had gone limp, was now starting to come back to life again as it was rubbed between his stomach and that of the warrior's.

   Again, almost without warning, Blue-Scale's cock exploded, this time deep inside his Little-One's ass, as he bred the gasping human.

   Rangi shouted out from pain when the warrior jammed him down hard onto his cock, bottoming out. He felt a strange pressure deep within his bowels as the warrior unloaded inside him. Thick Vanguard cum came spurting out of his ass, around the warrior's cock as the pressure inside him couldn't be contained.

   Blue-Scale slowly collapsed backwards with a contented rumble, pulling Rangi over with him. He was completely ignoring the pain, as his Little-One lay on top of several of the healing bullet wounds.

   Moaning, Rangi dragged himself foward, feeling every centimetre of the warrior's massive cock as he slowly pulled his ass off of it. What felt like several litres of mixed cum and pre-cum flowed in small rivulets from his stretched and abused hole. Finally free, he collapsed onto the webbing beside the warrior, breathing heavily.

   Turning his head, Blue-Scale looked at his Little-One's sweat and saliva covered face. "You have made this one very happy, Little-One. You have given me a gift that no one else, not even another Vanguard, ever has."

   Rangi, who had started jacking off his own, somewhat chafed, cock with one hand while massaging his raw, swollen ring with the fingertips of the other, stared back at the warrior blankly. "What... What do you mean?" he managed to croak out.

   "Hrrr, you are this one's first."

   "You were a virgin? "

   Blue-Scale puzzled over the word for a minute before snapping his jaw shut. "Indeed. What we did means a lot to this one, Little-One."

   Rangi laughed, before grunting as he blew a third, and final load from his cock, the small amount of cum dripping down the outside of his hand. "The fuck of a lifetime, from a virgin space lizard with a cock-of-doom. This has been some crazy week, bro."

End of Part 09