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This chapter, and all following chapters, are the original 1st draft chapters from Destiny's Edge. The places, names, and events contained within these chapters are somewhat different than those found in the finished novel.
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The conversation did have an effect on Jev's state of arousal, though not completely. As much as he would have liked, there was no hiding the fact that he was attracted to Kiyel. Finally Jev decided that he had to get the examination over with, and without any further protest, he began to strip off his clothes.
First he removed the coat he took from the abandoned home, followed by his shirt. Next he removed his shoes and socks, then hesitating only briefly undid his pants and pulled them down his legs, stepping out of them one leg at a time. Finally he removed his underwear, leaving him standing naked before Kiyel and Tiela.
"Babe, you are so beautiful," Kiyel commented, letting his eyes take in all of Jev's naked body."
Jev blushed, standing there not knowing what to do next. "Okay, now what?" Jev asked.
"Lay down on your back on the table there," Tiela said, writing down notes on a notepad she had taken from the opened case.
"You mean the rock," Jev said wryly, climbing up onto the makeshift table.
"Yes smart ass, the rock," Tiela said, rolling her eyes.
The cold rock quickly eliminated Jev's aroused state. He lay on his back, shivering. The air in the cave was cold and damp, as most caves were, and lying on a hard cold surface totally exposed, only made his shivering worse.
Tiela set about feeling Jev's muscle structure, looking into his eyes, and taking his temperature. Everything that Doctor O'Riley did for him during his checkup, Tiela was doing now, only she was much more thorough about her examination.
She took from the open case an instrument which resembled a short metal rod. On it's surface was a button, which she pressed, turning it on. A low humming noise emanated from it as she began to run it over his body. Jev could feel it vibrated slightly against his skin, tickling him, and making him squirm.
"Try to hold still Jev, I need to gather as much information about your internal structure as I can."
"I'm trying, but that thing tickles!" Jev said, giggling.
"Amazing. Your skin, being almost completely hairless, is very sensitive to the touch. I'd say your sensitivity is almost on par with that of us Caitarans."
"Yeah, and I'm getting cold as well," Jev said.
"Tiela, can you make this quick? Jev does not have the protective fur on his body to be able to handle the cold in here like we do. I do not want him becoming ill."
"You're very right, Kiyel. I had not considered that. Not very many species have as little body hair as Jev's people do," Tiela commented.
"We are descended from primates," Jev said, his whole body now shaking and shivering from the cold. "We once had hair covering our bodies much like you do, but over time we evolved, and lost most of it."
"Fascinating. Okay Jev, I am going to take a small sample of your blood so that I can test it against the medicines we have. I want to make sure that if anything were to happen to you that I would be able to use what I have here."
"I understand, but could you make this quick? I don't know how much more of this cold I can take," Jev said, his teeth chattering together.
"I promise this won't take too long," Tiela said. "Kiyel, go over to the fire and grab some of the blankets that are over there. When I'm done with Jev, he'll need to be warmed up." As Kiyel ran to get a blanket for Jev, Tiela carefully, despite Jev's shivering, inserted a syringe in his arm and drew some blood. Once Tiela was satisfied with the amount she had drawn from him, she withdrew the needle, quickly covering the puncture spot with a cotton ball like material.
"Hold this here for me for a second will you Jev?" she asked indicating the cotton ball she was holding against his arm. Jev pressed down on the ball of cotton while Tiela retrieved a bandage from the case. He let go of it when she had firmly secured the bandage on his arm, covering the cotton ball and holding it in place. "There, that's better. You can get up now," she said.
Jev got up off the rock, and accepted the blanket that Kiyel was holding out for him. "Come over to the fire my love," Kiyel said. "You'll get warmed up better over there. I'll bring your clothing."
"Thanks Kiyel. That rock was cold!"
"Well what do you expect it to feel like in a damp cave like this?" Kiyel laughed.
"Very funny. Next time you can lay down on the rock," Jev grumbled.
"Sure. Thankfully I have a coat of fur that protects me from the elements," Kiyel pointed out."
"Lucky," Jev said.
They sat down by the fire, Kiyel rubbing Jev's back in an attempt to help speed up his recovery from the cold. The combination of the fire and the blanket soon made Jev very comfortable and he took off the blanket, putting his clothes back on.
"Tell me Kiyel. Has there ever been a Caitaran falling in love with someone of a different species?" Jev asked, putting the last of his clothes on and sitting back down beside Kiyel.
"Actually yes there has, though it was quite some time ago. She was a research assistant on one of our various outposts. While on one of her days off she met up with a Brekari trader. According to her, it was love at first sight."
"Were either of them telepaths?"
"No. They were just two normal every day people who fell in love."
"I bet that made the news," Jev commented.
"You could say that. Apparently there was quite a stir in the government about the whole affair."
"You mean your government doesn't support interspecies relationships?"
"No, it's not that they don't approve of it, but rather that it had never come up before. At least not as publicly as the scientist and trader did. From what I heard, her family was not happy about the relationship and cut her off from their support. Thankfully the Brekari's family was more supportive and they now apparently live on Brekar."
"Can I expect the same kind of treatment from your family then?"
Kiyel sighed. "Jev, I don't know. My father is mostly a by the book man, and he could very well deny the relationship. But at the same time, he is also the most powerful telepath on Caitar and is aware of the particulars of a Liej link far better than anyone. He knows it cannot be dissolved."
"So he may not like it, but he cannot do anything about it."
"Essentially," Kiyel agreed.
"That won't make for a very comfortable environment babe."
"I know, but we'll do what we must to be together Jev," Kiyel assured him.
"Kiyel?" Kel called out from where he was standing with another Caitaran. "Can we see you over here for a moment please?"
"I won't be long babe. You sit here by the fire."
"Oh don't you worry. I'm not going to go anywhere if I can help it. Don't be long though," Jev said, and leaned over to give Kiyel a brief kiss.
"I'll be right back," Kiyel said returning Jev's kiss.
Kiyel stood up and made his way over to the captain and the other Caitaran who Jev still hadn't been introduced to. From his conversations with Tiela, he guessed that the other Caitaran was either Jaffay or Taaj. Most likely it was Taaj, Jev figured as she was the Caitaran the captain had ordered Kiyel talk to about finding the pod.
Jev found himself surprisingly comfortable in the company of the Caitarans. To him, it felt as if he belonged with them. He thought it might have been something to do with him being linked with Kiyel, but he brushed that thought aside. He had always felt out of place amongst the rest of the colonists, and until now, he didn't know what that was.
Without warning Jev was suddenly struck against the side of his head from behind, the force of which sent him sprawling to the ground by the fire, and landing on his stomach. He had barely turned over onto his back before he found himself pinned to the ground by a vicious looking Oshi.
"You're a spy aren't you? Aren't you?" Oshi snarled sharply, his face only inches away from Jev's.
"Answer me you damned alien!" Oshi demanded, raising his fist and preparing to hit Jev again.
"Oshi what in the name of the Gods do you think you're doing?" Kel's voice bellowed. Kel, Kiyel, Taaj, Jaffay, and Tiela were suddenly behind Oshi, looks of shock, and disbelief on all of their faces. On Kiyel's face, Jev also saw fear and anger. All of it directed at the Caitaran now hovering over Jev.
"Simple, I'm doing what you refuse to. I'm going to rid us of a spy for the enemy. Kiyel had no right to bring this disgusting creature here, but I'm going to rectify his mistake right now."
"You will do no such thing. Jev is under my protection!" Kel yelled.
"Your protection? The same protection you gave to the rest of your crew old man? No, if this creature wants to stay, then he'll have to do it by answering my challenge!"
"Commander, Jev is a telepath and as such cannot be challenged. You know the law!" Kiyel yelled, his fear for Jev barely being held in check. He would have rushed forward to aid Jev had it not been for the captain holding him back.
"There is no law here," Oshi yelled back to Kiyel, then turned his attention back to Jev. "I hope you are ready for a quick death, as that is the only way you will ever be free of me."
Jev was scared out of his mind. All he could do was look back and forth between the snarling face of Oshi and his Liej Kiyel. He knew he could fight, but against Oshi's larger mass and obvious strength advantage, he also knew he didn't stand a chance.
'Kiyel!' Jev sent screaming, his fear overwhelming all his senses. Then without warning something suddenly burst within him. Energy began to surround and flow into him from the Caitarans in the cave, drawing it in as fast as it could. Jev could feel his whole body beginning to tingle from the rush of energy, and then felt himself being pulled apart.
His vision blurred, as pain began to course throughout his body. He tried desperately to push back against the energy that now filled his entire being, and failed. His skin crawled, his bones ached, and his muscles felt as if they were being stretched past their limits. 'Kiyel! Help me!' his mind cried out, but there was no answer.
Kiyel could only watch with a mixture of horror and disbelief as he saw Jev suddenly begin to change. He didn't know how it was possible, but there was Jev laying beneath Oshi, writhing in pain. Oshi, who no longer was snarling in fury, was now cautiously backing away from Jev, uncertain himself as to what was happening.
Short blond hair began to cover Jev's entire body. His arms and legs elongated and filled with powerful muscles. His face also was a changing, taking on a more feline appearance.
Kiyel could not believe what was happening to Jev. Before his eyes, he was beginning to look more and more like a Caitaran than human. He had long since shredded his clothes, trying to escape the pain of the change.
Kiyel could feel his pain, threatening to bring him to his knees. Tiela noticed this, and moved behind him to hold him up. Through tear streaked eyes, Kiyel watched helplessly as the man he loved tortuously changed
It was finally over. Jev lay on the ground breathing heavily, but still. He no longer resembled the human Kiyel had fallen in love with, but now featured both human and Caitaran characteristics. He could see the short tail laying underneath Jev, twitching madly, the only visible sign that Jev was still in pain.
Slowly Jev began to pick himself up off the floor, and Kiyel finally was able to see the full effects of Jev's change. He gasped in shock as he saw Jev's familiar face which had more Caitaran characteristics than Human. His nose and mouth had elongated, and his ears now resembled Kiyel's, pointed and standing up. To Kiyel, Jev looked Caitaran, but he could still see the human in Jev. A hybrid of their two species.
He watched in awe as Jev slowly stood up into a crouching position, and focused his new golden eyes on the Caitarans in the cave, finally resting them upon the now uncertain Oshi. A Low growl began to fill the room, and Jev's whole body seemed to tense up.
"Captain! Jev's going to attack!" Kiyel yelled out as his mind was suddenly was filled with Jev's rage, all of it directed at Oshi. The commander now had the same look of fear that Jev had worn on his previously. "He's gone Feral!"
"Oshi, get out of there!" Kel shouted, taking out his blaster from its holster on his hip.
"Captain you can't!" Kiyel yelled, standing in front of Kel.
"Kiyel, that's not Jev anymore! Get out of the way before he kills the commander."
"I won't let you hurt Jev," Kiyel said, refusing to get out of the way.
With a snarl Jev suddenly lept from the crouched position he had assumed, and launched himself towards Oshi. The commander had barely enough time to evade Jev's sudden attack, but he stepped unsteadily on the ground in doing so, causing his ankle to twist.
Howling in pain, Oshi collapsed to the ground. He was unable to defend himself from Jev's second rush, which forced the two of them to tumble across the ground. It was all Oshi could do to defend himself from the frenzied attacks from Jev's new Caitaran teeth and claws. Bite wounds and gashes soon marred Oshi's body, red blood beginning to coat his fur.
Kiyel knew that the commander wouldn't last much longer under Jev's onslaught, and without hesitation, lept into the fray, trying as best he could to pull Jev off the quickly weakening Oshi. At first he thought he wouldn't be in time to save Oshi, but gave one last effort, finally pulling Jev off of him, and pinned Jev to the ground.
'Jev!' Kiyel called out with his mind, trying to reach Jev telepathically. 'It's over Jev, you have won. Oshi is no longer a threat. Please my love, come back to me. I love you.'
Kiyel's thoughts soon began to have an effect on Jev, as his struggles to free himself from Kiyel's grasp began to lessen. After what seemed like forever, Jev's body suddenly stopped, and sagged against Kiyel. Jev lay against Kiyel, covered in dirt and Oshi's blood, sobbing.
'Kiyel? Is that you?' Jev sent, his mind relaxing at the feel of his Liej.
'It's me my love. I am here,' Kiyel replied.
'It hurts!' Jev sent before suddenly losing consciousness.
"Kiyel, what the hell just happened there?" Kel demanded to know.
"I don't know Captain," Kiyel replied, covering Jev with a blanket. Jev was now resting on the ground by the fire. Kiyel refused to leave his side, instead sitting down protectively beside him. "I have never seen anyone change like that before, certainly no species I am aware of can do what Jev just did."
"But how is it possible? Look at him. I can still see the human in him, but he looks more Caitaran than Human now."
"Jev once told me that there were legends about people who changed shape. He called them werewolves, but told me that these were just stories used to frighten people. No record of a human actually changing ever existed. We'll need the resources of the Cetani to understand what happened. All I have now are just guesses."
"They may be just guesses Kiyel, but anything at all to explain what happened would be appreciated."
"Sir, of everything that I can think of, only one of those could possibly explain what happened. Even though we are the only species until now to have been found with telepathic abilities, in listening to Jev when we talked, discovered that humans had also been researching what he called the psychic phenomenon. They used to study telepathy of course, but another field they researched was something called Telekinesis."
"Telekinesis. I've never heard of that before. What is it?" Kel asked.
"The way Jev described it to me was that it was the ability to move objects with the power of the mind."
"You have to be kidding me," Kel said bewildered by Kiyel's suggestion.
"No, it was something that was seriously studied on Earth, Jev's home world, but there was no real proof that anyone was capable of affecting objects in this way."
"Moving objects with your mind is one thing, but altering your very being is something else entirely. That still doesn't explain how Jev did what he apparently did."
"Not necessarily Captain," Kiyel said. "What if Jev had this ability? What if he was able to move objects with his mind, but rather than a conventional object, he was able to alter his own genetic makeup. In effect he would have manipulated his own DNA."
"But that isn't possible!" Kel exclaimed.
"Obviously, to Jev, it was. But I don't think it was something that he was able to control consciously. I believe it was an instinctive reaction to the threat Oshi posed, and the level of fear that Jev was feeling at the time.
"So this could happen again."
"It is entirely possible Captain, though I highly doubt it will. You have to understand that Jev is not yet fully grown. He's only sixteen years old and as such is still progressing through maturity. These changes in his body are probably what allowed him to effect the change in the first place."
"So once he has reached maturity, he may lose this ability."
"Not lose it, but severely cripple the effects that it could have on his own body. The fact that he's going through puberty right now, suggests that his body is more receptive to change. Once his hormone levels stabilize, and his body has reached maturity, it would resist any change imposed on it, making it virtually impossible for something like this to happen again."
"So what we're left with is a Human, Caitaran hybrid," Kel noted.
"That's exactly what it means Captain."
"Once he wakes up, make sure Tiela has a chance to look him over. She's tending to Oshi's wounds right now. I have to tell you Kiyel, Oshi is in pretty bad shape. He's lost a lot of blood and there is no one among our crew that match his blood type. Tiela's trying to stimulate his body's natural ability to replace blood cells, but it's a slow process and the blood she has managed to replace isn't enough. There is a chance he could die as a result of Jev's attack."
"I am aware of that Captain. And I'm also aware that Jev will have to answer for his actions in court."
"Yes he will, but I don't think you will have anything to worry about that. From what I've seen and what you've told me, Jev was the victim in this. His mind and body responded instinctively to the threat Oshi posed, and no court is going to deny him the right to self defense, even if the method was highly unusual."
"Thank you Captain. This change is going to affect Jev a lot though. He's spent his whole life as a Human, and now he's neither Human nor Caitaran. I'm afraid for him. I'm afraid how others will see him, especially among his own kind."
"You said two males loving each other is something that isn't regarded favorably among humans. While that's not true of our people, what of the fact that he's a different species?"
"There is precedent Captain, but you are right, there will be problems. Especially for me. My father is not going to like this one bit. I'm also afraid for Jev. He's going to be seen as a medical and scientific curiosity. I don't want our lives scrutinized like some sample in a laboratory. We want to be able to love each other and live our lives without being watched all the time."
"I can't guarantee that you will not be watched, but we can guarantee your privacy. Don't worry Kiyel. I will speak on yours and Jev's behalf in Court, provided that Jev's transformation will not cause any more problems."
"His change will affect Jev more than anything else Captain. I plan to help him through this as best I can."
"What about you then?" Kel asked. "How are you with Jev's transformation?"
"Captain, I won't deny that I wished it didn't happen. I love Jev more than anything in the world, and nothing will ever change that. He is my Liej, and I plan to be with him for the rest of our lives. Besides, I think he looks really good with a tail."
"Damn you are in love!" Kel said, laughing.
"Yes we are," Kiyel replied, looking down at Jev, who was not resting comfortably, his nose twitching occasionally as he slept.
"Alright, I'll leave you two alone for now. Try and get some rest and when he wakes up, get Tiela to look him over." With that Kel left to go where Tiela was busy tending to Oshi's wounds on the same table that Jev had laid upon during his examination.
'Yes I love you Jev. I always will. I know it will be hard for you, but I will be here for you no matter what.' Kiyel sent, laying down behind Jev's sleeping form, and draped one arm over his body, pressing as close to Jev as he could.
After a time, exhaustion soon began to take it's toll on Kiyel, and he closed his eyes, swiftly falling asleep.
To Be Continued ...