Disclaimer: This is a story of pure fiction. If you are not allowed to read this in whatever part of the world you are living, then try not to get caught, and legally you shouldn't be reading this. If you are not 18 or older then again, do not read. Lastly, this will contain gay sex between consenting people and if this offends you then click back and ask why you're on here in the first place.
This story is property of myself, the author, and may not be copied or used on other sites without my express permission. All characters are fictional.

All comments to monkurchakar@yahoo.com.au greatly appreciated

Chapter seventeen

Sonny snarled and then roared, enraged. He stood underneath the large Oak Heartwood Tree, within the Prey Citadel. The Avatar flowers had wilted before his eyes, and his panic had escalated as he heard, and felt, the death of Kiri's beast. The power that had refused to teleport him from the tree still kept him in its grip. His anger had then been directed at the tree, and bark had shattered beneath his punches. Leaves rained down upon him, but Sonny paid no heed, as he shouted and raged, unchecked.

It was like someone had stabbed a red-hot poker into his chest and ripped his heart out. The pain burned and twisted inside him, drawing him perilously close to going into berserker mode. His connection to Kiri was gone. The Prey remained in the distance, watching the fury of the Predator Prince. A chill travelled down their spines as they watched his strength and fury, while the entire tree shuddered under the onslaught. A loud popping sound reverberated in the clearing, and a black panther, as large as a horse, sauntered up to Sonny. It butted its head up against him, and he stopped punching the tree. He was panting and shaking, and reached out a hand to lay on the animal. The Prey watched as the Predator Prince wept into the fur of the beast, before it turned to mist and merged inside Sonny. He stood up. Hope and pleading spread across his face before he looked at the damage he had done to the tree. He closed his eyes and disappeared.

When Sonny opened his eyes, he stood outside a cave. His beast had assured him that Kiri was alive, even though they both had felt the death of Kiri's beast. But Sonny needed to see the proof for himself. He needed to touch Kiri's glowing skin, and hold that face in his hands before he would truly believe. There was a gaping hole where a piece of Kiri had lain, deep inside him. His whole body ached at the loss.

Before Sonny could take two steps toward the entrance, Kiri walked out from the cave. Sonny gasped. There was a faintly green tracery over his pale skin that had never been there before. It glittered in the fading sunlight, looking like the outlines of scales. Kiri's curly hair fell past his waist, and it seemed to move, as if alive. White, red, and gold strands shone in the evening sunlight. The eyes were also different. Red and gold lightning splashed across the silver orbs at intervals.

Sonny wanted to rush up and wrap Kiri in his arms, but the differences in his features made him hesitate. Kiri saw that, and looked at the ground, rejection evident on his face. His hair fell over his face, covering those eyes from view. Sonny's heart lurched at that sight. It was a familiar gesture, one that told him his Kiri was scared, and hiding from the world.

Sonny moved in, rumbling deep in his throat, and pulled Kiri into a tight embrace. He couldn't speak because of the ache in his throat. He thought he had lost his Kiri. He pushed that thought away. He buried his face into the side of Kiri's neck, and was relieved to know that beneath the differences, his Kiri still smelled the same. He gripped tighter, wishing that he could make Kiri part of him, knowing he would never leave his side.

Sonny sniffed deeper and pulled back with shock. Under Kiri's scent, there were subtle nuances that he hadn't picked up. Although it didn't detract from the scent that was all Kiri, the flavour was thicker, richer, and more potent than before. Gone was the smell of a child. Kiri had finally matured, and his scent represented his transition into manhood. Kiri looked up into the face that had been a cherished part of his memories. Sonny saw great sadness in those silver eyes, and he frowned, drawing him back into his embrace.

His hands trailed down the naked musculature of Kiri's back and he had to take a look. His cousin was no longer the skinny boy he had been. Muscles filled out his chest and arms, but the skin was a glossy white and still as beautiful to behold as he recalled. He trailed his hands over that body, walking around to slowly inspect this new Kiri.

Kiri remained still and kept his head lowered. Sonny frowned at this shy, reluctant Kiri. He tilted his head up and stared into those silver orbs. "What's wrong?" Sonny asked. Kiri could only stare into Sonny's golden eyes and his lips began to quiver. Tears trembled on the inside of his eyes, ready to tumble down his cheeks. Sonny, truly concerned, cupped his face. "Tell me." Kiri shook his head, his hair floating around him like a glossy curtain. "It can't be that bad," Sonny persisted. His expression turned bleak as he remembered that he could have lost Kiri. His grip tightened a little more on the Avatar's face.

He put his face close to Kiri's and rested their foreheads together; those silver eyes mesmerised him. "I thought I had lost you. Whatever you have to say can't be as bad as the thoughts that had been running inside my head," Sonny said gently.

Kiri uttered an incoherent sound before the tears flowed freely down his cheeks. Sonny sensed more, than saw a presence walk up behind the Avatar. Drawing Kiri away from the cave entrance, he snarled, and the tattoos on his arms began to swirl and move.

"No, beloved!" Kiri pleaded.

Out of the cave walked Falcon, the Prey Prince. Sonny's lip curled. He knew that face, for he had taken his image out of the Prey King's mind. The part that held the essence of the first Avatar resounded like a bell inside Sonny. He could see an ethereal bond linking the Prey Prince to Kiri, and the essence of the avatar within Sonny responded.

Falcon looked warily at Sonny, before his eyes went toward Kiri. He relaxed his body, and prepared to dash to the Avatar's side if things got tricky between Sonny and Kiri. He looked intensely at Kiri, noting the green tracery of scales upon his skin. Inside the cave, they weren't so noticeable, but now, for some reason, it made Falcons loins stir.

Sonny hadn't stopped watching Falcon. His eyes narrowed when he saw the look of longing on the Prey Prince's face. A kernel of jealousy flickered inside him, and he turned to look at Kiri. The Avatar refused to meet his stare, and that kernel became a steadily building fire. Black and red lightning flew through his eyes. Never taking his eyes off Falcon, Sonny crouched and spread his hands on the sand. The energy felt slightly different to Sonny's senses, almost resistant, but it gave up its secrets after a moment's hesitation. Kiri turned around and tried to rip the knowledge away from Sonny before he could learn it. But it was too late. The information turned Sonny's face dark with rage. The bottom of his stomach dropped out, falling into a pit of endless disappointment. His face pounded with the beat of his heart, and silence fell around him. False serenity covered the shock he felt. He stared at Kiri, his face showing his feelings of betrayal. His breath came out hard and fast; his chest felt tight and constricted. The beast inside Sonny roared for vengeance. Sonny turned his face towards Falcon, almost birdlike in its awkwardness.

With an almighty scream, Sonny rushed at Falcon. Claws were unsheathed under his fingers and black lightning danced upon them. Sonny went in for the kill. Falcon watched him come closer, his body loose and supple. Sonny lunged, but Falcon sidestepped and, faster than Sonny could see, he felt his face slam into the ground. His beast roared for dominance inside him, and Sonny lost the battle. The rage of the beast consumed him. He embraced that rage and channelled it into his body. The power of the Avatar filled his senses, churning with the rage he had built. He disappeared and then reappeared behind Falcon.

The Prey Prince sensed him and blocked his vicious lunge. He moved gracefully and carefully, ducking and weaving, blocking every attack that came his way. Sonny snarled, and his speed doubled. The earth shuddered as he pulled on the ley lines. The world held its breath as Sonny moved so fast he could not be seen by the naked eye.

Kiri was about to intervene, when Falcon mentally commanded him to stay away. Sonny wasn't himself anymore; he would more than likely slash at Kiri as well as Falcon, in the state he was in. Rationality was lost, and Kiri watched feral rage consume his beloved's features.

Falcon was holding his own, and Kiri knew he could do it indefinitely. But the longer Sonny stayed as he was, there was a greater risk that he would loose his humanity permanently. Sonny no longer had the anchor of the feminine within, to keep that feral rage at bay. Sonny also had a part of Killara within him and, uncontrolled as he was, it meant, that power could be used for ill. The Predator Prince was out to kill. There was no question in Kiri's or Falcon's minds.

Falcon choreographed the fight so that Kiri was out of range. Sonny hadn't let up on his attacks, and the fury and strength behind them was unrelenting. But Falcon had been tempered by none other than the Source of Masculine; he had endured much more than this. Falcon also reflected that, in Sonny's shoes, he wouldn't have acted any differently. His actions were entirely defensive.

Kiri watched the two combating. This had to stop. He curved his hands inwards and arched his elbows. Looking at the sand beneath him, he took a deep breath. The world breathed in with him. The ley lines pumped like blood vessels as he breathed out. He could literally feel the heart of the Earth pulsing inside his own chest. The life force of the Earth sang inside his head. From high overhead he could hear the distant stars and planets, like tinkling chimes. The Masculine poured into him, smothering his guilt under the power of necessity. There was a danger to the world, and Kiri couldn't afford to allow his emotions to cripple him. Masculine coated him with a balm of calm. Around him, the energy of the Feminine swirled in concert, building power.

Pulling it all into him, Kiri began to dance. The Oak Trees swayed and moved with the motion of his hips. The grass trembled and billowed, like ocean waves, as he raised his hands waist high. He began to sing, and his body shone with a kaleidoscope of colours. It burned beneath his skin, like a lantern giving off light.

The air felt like taffy around the two combatants. Sonny raged, but even he couldn't overcome the power of the True Avatar. Kiri danced, and swayed, and sang with such purity that it crashed through the feral rage Sonny was in. Falcon remained standing although even he, as the anchor to Feminine, was not entirely immune. The air slowed his movements, enough to make it a hindrance in a real fight. But Kiri wasn't finished. With a suddenness that had Falcon gasping, invisible chains wrapped tightly around his arms and legs. Both combatants turned and stared at Kiri as they crashed to the ground. His dance came to a graceful conclusion, and his lightning splashed eyes stared at the two Princes grimly. Sonny was panting and shaking with both physical and emotional pain. Exhaustion weighed him down. The feral rage had taken its toll on his body.

Kiri walked up to them, staring first at Falcon. "To the far West are the scouts for the World Eater, called Malasii. I want you to capture them. I need to study them. This will be your first test as my representative. You must also gain and ensure the trust of the Predators. Do whatever you have to, but I need results immediately." He twisted his hand and the chains broke around Falcon.

The Prey Prince looked at the bound Predator Prince, and sighed. There was a small part of him that jumped with glee at the sight. Kiri had set him free first, and as childish as it felt, Falcon assured himself that he was in favour. He looked towards the Avatar, and saw a frown marring his face. Falcon ducked his head. The Avatar knew. Were his innermost thoughts no longer his? His heart sank with that thought, but he straightened his shoulders and stared back. If this was true, then Kiri knew how he felt, and knew that Falcon would keep thinking these thoughts no matter how much censorship he received.

Falcon looked back at Sonny and examined him closely. The Predator Prince refused to look his way, but Falcon didn't need to see his face to do what was coming next. He closed his eyes and opened them once more. His green eyes shimmered before they began to fill with gold. It covered the whites first, and then the green faded, replaced by gold, and finally the iris disappeared all together.

Falcon scanned Sonny's architect design. He delved into Sonny's mind, only to feel the Prince's scream and rage at the intrusion. He skirted over his surface thoughts and retreated quickly before Sonny's ire reached the breaking point once more. Sonny snorted and turned towards Falcon. He screamed out his impotence and then turned his head very slowly towards Kiri.

The Avatar flinched at the look directed at him, but he refused to back down. Digging his nails into his palms, Kiri felt his skin break under the pressure. The pain helped Kiri, but his heart was beginning to bleed at the almost defeated look upon Sonny's face. "Be quick about it Falcon," Kiri said harshly.

Falcon, hearing the pain in Kiri's voice, nodded his head once. He marvelled quietly to himself at how much he had changed. Once upon a time, he would have demanded satisfaction by a magical duel if anyone had spoken to him in that manner. Satisfied that he had Sonny's architect design memorized, he closed his eyes, and shifted.

Kiri's heart pounded when Falcon's features changed into that of his beloved. Even the scent was his. Sonny watched the transformation with shock, and he screamed once more. "You have taken the one person who meant everything to me, and now you try and steal my identity!"

"Sonny..." Kiri pleaded.

"Don't talk to me, you treacherous whore!"

Kiri jerked. There was great anguish on his face. His body shook with emotion. He shuddered once, went still, and then raised his face. His expression was cool and calm. His shaking hands were the only indication of the pain he was in. "Please go, Falcon. Time is running out."

Falcon looked at the Avatar. His chest hurt, watching the pain slowly seep into Kiri's eyes. He looked resentfully at Sonny. The Predator Prince had Kiri's heart. Falcon would endure the pain the Masculine had wrung him through a hundred fold, just to have Kiri look at him with the same love he kept trying to give to Sonny.

"Be grateful, Prince Sonny," Falcon said. "The Avatar loves you. He loves you and only you." Falcon cursed himself. Why was he trying to help? He wasn't good at this kind of thing. He felt lame, even trying. But, if it meant, easing Kiri's pain, just by a fraction, then he would do it, even at the expense of his own pain. "There are others who would fill your shoes eagerly. And maybe, just maybe, the Avatar has his reasons. After all, you and I are only responsible for our people. He is responsible for the World. So ask yourself, what would you do to protect your people? And then multiply that by a hundred. You will then understand what Kiri has to do." With that, Falcon turned and disappeared.

Kiri flicked his hand and removed the wind chains around Sonny. The Prince remained prone, his face turned away from him. Kiri walked hesitantly toward Sonny. Staying back a few paces, he lowered himself to the ground and waited for Sonny to speak. The wind blew hot and dry across his skin as he waited. The silence stretched awkwardly between the two of them.

Kiri plucked up his courage and raised his hand to touch Sonny. "Don't!" Sonny said. Kiri's hand stopped instantly, and then lowered. "If you touch me, I'm afraid I will want to hurt you. And I am trying so hard right now not to do that."

Kiri searched for anything to help ease the pain but, in spite of all the knowledge he held within him, he wasn't equipped to deal with this. Up until a few months ago, he had never had a relationship of any kind, except with Sonny, and that had been something that needed to be kept secret from the clan. Understanding emotions the way he could was one thing, but trying to help ease them, was an entirely different thing. Taking a deep breath, Kiri moved closer to Sonny. Only inches separated them. His heart twisted, but he raised his hand and rested it on Sonny's back.

There was a blur, but Kiri let it happen. He was flipped onto his back, and pinned into the sand, with Sonny snarling above him. Sonny's fist came crashing down. Kiri closed his eyes, waiting for the impact. Sand flew at the side of his face, as Sonny continuously punched the ground beside him.

Kiri kept as still as possible while Sonny vented his frustration on the sand beneath. It lasted for over five minutes. Sweat was running down the sides of Sonny's face, dripping onto Kiri in place of the tears he refused to shed. He panted, and Kiri felt his hot breath against his chest.

Silver eyes looked up into golden ones. The beast also peered through Sonny's eyes, yearning for its mate. Kiri saw the beast and called to him, just beneath the surface of Sonny's mind. It rushed out of its metaphysical cave, and Kiri could feel its energy slide through Sonny like a sweet caress to his senses.

Sonny felt the sensation and shuddered. He gave Kiri a dark, possessive look. His mouth came crashing down on Kiri's. His teeth ground into Kiri's lips until he tasted blood. He pulled back and saw the look of surprise, apprehension, and a touch of desire on Kiri's face. That was all it took. He let the lust of the beast consume him, and it took over.

He snarled and pushed his tongue into Kiri's mouth, pushing it as far into the back of his throat as he could. Kiri groaned, nearly gagging, and thrust his tongue against the invader. Sonny snarled and pushed his hand up against Kiri's throat. "You are not to push your tongue against mine." He moved his face so close to the Avatar that he had trouble focusing. "When I shove my tongue into your mouth, you take it all." There was no gentleness and Kiri quivered with trepidation and lust.

Sonny could feel the sun bearing down on his back and yanked Kiri off the ground. He dragged him toward the shade of the cave. Yet, the beast roared its fury, as it could smell the indolent scent of sex on the air. Sonny's hands tightened on Kiri, and he closed his eyes and thought about the grassy mounds where they had made love for the first time.

Sonny felt dizzy as they disappeared and appeared on top of the green mounds. This was the place where Sonny had seen Kiri dance for the first time. It was also atop these mounds that their love had formed a bond, and the beginning of his initiation as Kiri's anchor.

The trees above gave shade to the two lovers. Sonny's cock was hard and ready. He pushed Kiri onto his knees and drew him towards his groin. Kiri opened his mouth and Sonny forced his cock deep, making Kiri gag. Sonny kept seeing Falcon in his mind's eye, doing this exact thing, and he snarled in frustration, pulling Kiri even deeper onto his cock. He was not a small man, and only a third of his length was inside Kiri's mouth, choking him.

Kiri had had enough. He bit down on Sonny, warning him to watch it. Sonny snarled at the feeling of teeth against his shaft. He let his hands rest at his side, however, as Kiri pulled up for air. He gasped for breath and glared at Sonny. The Predator Prince sneered. Seeing Kiri subjugated like this sent a dark thrill of pleasure through him.

Lightning flashed through Kiri's eyes. The power of anger filled his skin. He shoved against Sonny's abdomen, and watched dispassionately as Sonny went flying a few metres. The Predator Prince got back onto his feet and charged. Kiri let him come, but he wasn't going to sit still and allow any one to make him a victim. He had gone through far too much, to get to where he was, for that.

Sonny attacked, claws out, slicing through the air. Kiri dodged the attack and kicked Sonny's chest. The Prince went reeling, trying to gain his balance. He turned into a blur and went after Kiri, looking like nothing more than a shadow. Kiri parried, but he didn't want to truly hurt Sonny, so he gave only half hearted attempts.

One swipe got past his defence and Kiri went flying through the air. Sonny was on him before he even landed, slamming him into the earth. The wind got knocked out of him, and Sonny was kissing him again. This time, although it was still demanding, the aggression of teeth was gone. Kiri couldn't help but respond. He gave as good as he got, and Sonny rumbled his agreement, as Kiri's tongue swirled and teased his own; sucking and coaxing.

Sonny picked Kiri up and shoved him against one of the trees near the clearing. Kiri grunted at the impact, and deepened the kiss. Sonny bit the side of his lip almost drawing blood. Kiri groaned and clawed his hands down Sonny's back. The Prince lifted his face and moaned at the pleasure/pain. His cock was hard and ready, rubbing against Kiri's stomach.

The angle was wrong for penetration, and Sonny snarled in frustration. He moved away from the tree with Kiri clinging to him like a limpet. Falling to the ground, with Kiri beneath him, he got up and flipped Kiri over. The Avatar arched his back, and Sonny growled, pushing Kiri's head into the grass. Gathering saliva, he spat onto Kiri's winking rosebud. He roared when he saw how moist Kiri's ass was from Falcon's previous emissions and plunged his cock into the still tight sheath.

Kiri shuddered beneath him, and moaned at the sensation. Although Falcon was thicker, Sonny was so long Kiri was forced to arch his back to allow complete entry. Because of his length, Kiri was starting to feel a slight ache deep inside. Kiri hadn't realised how gentle Sonny had been in the past, until now. It excited him, knowing how much he was taking. Lust curled inside, spreading red, telling marks of arousal across his chest and neck. Sonny groaned and had to use a lot of strength in his hips and ass to hit bottom, within Kiri.

As if a switch had been hit, the rage within Sonny suddenly died. Buried so deep inside Kiri, a mixture of emotions churned in his chest. He looked down at the two pale mounds that had swallowed his cock, and he moaned. Kiri shuddered as he felt Sonny's cock twitch inside.

Sonny kissed Kiri's back. Lying over the prone body, he nibbled at Kiri's neck and ear lobes. He slid his hands beneath, and lightly pinched Kiri's nipples. The Avatar moaned and thrust back onto Sonny. The Prince gritted his teeth, and bit down on Kiri's neck. "Be still," he said. Kiri couldn't help but undulate his hips, and felt teeth dig deeper into his shoulder. He mewled and moaned at the sensation, trying to remain still, but his body was betraying him. "Oh God, Kiri, please, you're killing me."

Kiri half laughed, half moaned. "I can't help it, it's like my body craves yours..." he moaned louder as Sonny thrust into him, cutting off any coherent thought Kiri had.

"Don't forget that, either," Sonny whispered into his hair. He began to move slowly, in and out, punctuating each word with a deep thrust as he continued. "You, will, always, be, mine!" Kiri was breathless, and couldn't respond verbally, so he showed Sonny physically. He used his ass muscles and began squeezing rhythmically.

That was the last straw for Sonny. He pulled out of Kiri, and heard his beloved moan his displeasure. "Get on your back, now," he panted. Kiri wasn't fast enough for him, and the avatar found himself being flipped once more. "I want to fuck you hard, and see the look on your face while I do it," Sonny rumbled.

Lifting Kiri's legs up on his shoulders, he aimed at Kiri's ass and plunged in with one smooth motion. Kiri sighed blissfully. Sonny kissed the side of the Avatar's leg before he thrust hard. Kiri gasped and his eyes nearly rolled to the back of his head at the sensation. Sonny smashed against his prostate and he whimpered again.

The Predator Prince began long strokes, pulling out until the head rubbed against the ass muscles from the inside, before he plunged back in. He used the muscles in his back, hips and ass to plunge as hard as he possibly could. Sweat beaded over his and Kiri's bodies, and he revelled in the sensation of their bodies gliding over each other.

Kiri moved his hands down to Sonny's pumping ass and gripped firmly, before using his own strength to encourage Sonny to go faster. The Prince gave a feral smile, and complied. The sound of flesh slapping on flesh filled the clearing, louder than the groans and moans emanating from the two lovers.

Kiri's legs slipped from around Sonny's shoulders, under the onslaught, and he wrapped them firmly around the Prince's narrow waist. Using the heels of his feet, Kiri thrust and meshed his hips up to Sonny's. Power filled Sonny and he used it to increase his speed until he was a blur.

Kiri thrashed his head back and forth. He bit his lip and felt blood fill his mouth. The pleasure was on the borderline of pain, and he loved every minute of it. Grabbing Sonny's head, he kissed him, hard. His blood trickled into the Prince's mouth, and a bolt of electricity shot through the two of them. The power held a sharp edge of pleasure to it, and added to the lust the two lovers were already wallowing in.

The Beast inside Sonny licked its lips at the taste of blood and, lost in a haze of his own lust, he bit down on Kiri's lip harder, trying to draw more blood. Another surge of electrical energy surged through the two lovers, and they shouted in pleasure/pain. This time, the power had their lower bodies wedged together, unable to move, while still sending waves of pleasure shooting into them.

Kiri scratched down Sonny's back again, and he felt the warmth of sweat and blood trickle over his fingers. He raised his hand to his mouth and licked the blood off his hands. With that movement, one final blast of power shot into them, and they screamed at the sensation as it pulsed over and over through them. Kiri and Sonny cried in frustration, trying to reach the climax that was just out of reach, but they were still unable to move. The power travelling through the two of them pushed them close to the edge, over and over. But the power refused to let them peak. Just one more thrust or movement, and both knew they would come.

The amount of power inside the clearing grew. It was so thick; the two lovers found it hard to breathe. "Please, please, please," Kiri pleaded to the power that kept filling the clearing, his head thrashing from side to side. Sonny pushed his head into the side of Kiri's neck, and whimpered his own frustration. Pleasure splashed across their senses and, with a last drop of pleasure, the power in the clearing stopped building. Like the crash of waves, it rushed into the two bodies, and they were released from their paralysis.

Sonny shouted as his orgasm washed over him. He used short hard thrusts and shoved deep inside Kiri, bending him in half. Kiri coated his own face with semen as his body was bent in half by Sonny's powerful thrusts. The world spun on its axis, as the two felt the land disappear. They fell into a black abyss, screaming in fear and pleasure. The Masculine laughed, deep and sinister, as the darkness swallowed the two of them.

Illiana the Tigress watched through the liquid silver of her cage, as her captors went about inspecting the larger cage that they were in. The trees had interwoven above, and vines and saplings had filled in all the nooks and crannies. Even inside her cage, Illiana could sense immense power emanating from the trees and plants.

Her prison was large enough to hold all the predators and allow some room for pacing. In the far right corner, huddled the Predators under her command and the Priests. She had hoped that the Priests would help keep everyone's spirits up, but they had also sunk into depression. In the opposite corner, was a large hole for wastes. It had gotten pungent after two weeks, but there was no escaping it. Her sense of smell had almost deadened to the scent. They had a large bucket, made out of the same liquid as their prison, for water, and were fed raw meat once a day. It was barely enough to stave of the gnawing ache in their bellies. Their metabolism ate up the energy at a fast rate.

Although none of her people had been harmed too seriously, confinement had left them almost comatose. Predators hated confinement. Illiana had managed to stay alert, this long, because of what she felt growing inside her. She had been overjoyed to feel life stir within her womb. At first, it had puzzled and scared her, for she had not been in heat. It shouldn't have been possible. But her heart raced at the thought that it could be Prince Sonny's heir. Then it would plummet as she remembered Ash, the Lion, for she had also been dallying with him. She would be facing the two possible fathers, if they ever got back.

Shaking her head, she focussed back on her captors. The strange phenomenon of the encapsulating trees had pulled some of the predators out of their torpor. They looked around, desperate hope on their faces. But when no other predators came in after the shifting trees, they sank their heads back down and closed their eyes in defeat. Illiana had raged and sworn at them, trying to coax their tempers, but they had looked right through her. She tried once more, but was met with silence. She had tried attacking the silver cage, in hopes of denting it, but the silver liquid burned. She had the proof on her hands.

The Silver Aliens were interesting creatures. They had picked up their language in a matter of hours, and called themselves the Malasii. After casual inquiry from her, one of them had been quite eager to explain their endeavours. They talked about their Over-lord, called the World Eater. Their mission was to ensure that the planets they occupied had sufficient natural minerals and nutrients for the World Eater to absorb. She had laughed, mockingly, at the thought of some Over-lord mining the ground for nutrients. The Malasii, in their matter-of-fact-way, told her that the entire planet would be absorbed and, with it, everything living on it. Illiana hadn't been sure if it was scare tactics or the truth.

She had succinctly asked why her people had been saved, if what they said was truth. The Malasii had paused before speaking. "We have already scanned your physiology, and found that your bodies hold many of the nutrients our Overlord requires."

Illiana had gone cold at the thought, but she wasn't entirely convinced. There was something more; she just didn't know what it was, yet. Nevertheless, she vowed she would find some way to get out of here. Her unborn baby's life was at stake. But, the realization hit her that, if she managed to escape, there would be nowhere to hide if this great Overlord of these creatures did, in fact, come here. The Malasii had been very explicit in explaining the many planets that had been eaten whole. Now, with this new development of the Malasii being trapped as well, she began to ponder the truth of their words.

If this Overlord could eat entire planets, the predators would surely be like ants to this thing. Illiana narrowed her eyes and stared at these enigmatic creatures. There was more to it. For starters, she had watched as they surreptitiously attempted to break out of the plant prison with no success. They had changed shape and turned to liquid, but sparks had shot out, all over their liquid forms, as soon as they got near the trees. Illiana had smirked as she saw a few blasted into little gobbets of liquid from the attack . Even the tree cover above had the same effect. They weren't as all powerful as they appeared to be.

Heart pounding with the discovery, Illiana sat down and began to think about what she could learn about these aliens. Judging by the plant prison, something or someone was fighting back. That meant a possible rescue. Perhaps Prince Sonny had found something beneath Trobal forest, and this was his doing? With more thought, the idea began to take root. This was the last week of the supposed training, and Panther forest would be filled with all the Predator Clans, waiting for the next generation of Predators. When they didn't arrive back at the expected time, they would send out reinforcements also. And that didn't account for the fact that Prince Sonny was still out there, somewhere. She just had to bide her time until he did. Until the cavalry arrived, she would gain as much information as she could from the enemy.

Falcon walked into the group of milling Predators that Sonny had left behind, in his search for Kiri. They gasped at his sudden appearance, but relaxed. Falcon smiled inwardly. It was working; his disguise was flawless...so far. One of the Lions walked up to him. "What has happened? We woke up to the sounds of you in your panther form, screaming in pain. Then you disappeared..." the warrior stuttered to a halt at the look on Falcon's disguised face.

"We don't have time to discuss that at the moment. We need to go rescue our people, and I need to take these alien intruders to the Avatar. Everything else can wait until I get back." The warrior nodded his head, and went back to the group. "Predators into formation. We move out." Like a well-oiled machine, the predators silently got into the spearhead formation, set off at a steady pace, and glided through the trees.

By the way guys, I have a yahoo group where you can see all my writings. I'm a new author and haven't sent all my stories on there yet, and I also have another talented author (Lincard) sharing his stories too. I will be sending my chapters there first. So become a member and enjoy!


Thanks as always goes to Richard for his fine work in editing!