Emerald Legion, another interlude




Venegarian.  Ha!  Medicine.  Ha!  Two words that do not belong in the same sentence!”  Dr. Gym’ll grumbled.  “Cauterization!  All this damage I must repair!  Savages.  Myelin sheath sealed with laser-fire!  Did they not have a plasma rifle handy in their medical arsenal?  Perhaps an electron pulse grenade?  Simple bio-adhesive, and all is well, but no, all these cells are scorched away and must be regrown from scratch.  My fee will be astronomical, of course.”  Dr. Gym’ll held a micro-scanner in one hand, and a spray-dispenser in the other, working on Rokk’s back while his third arm gesticulated wildly with a data-pad.


“They did their best Doctor,” Rokk began, but Dr. Gym’ll would hear none of it.


“I was not talking to you, Braalian.  Be quiet or I will sedate you.”  Rokk quieted down, not feeling like spending yet more time unconscious this week.


Looking at his pad, the Doctor continued ranting, “Green light therapy!  Superstitious spawn of apes!  Back to the trees with the lot of you.”




Lydda helped Rokk walk back to their room, while Garth and Imra tagged along, having accompanied Rokk to the med-center (and all-but physically restrained Jath whenever Rokk yelped in the next room).


“Well,” said Rokk.  “Thanks for tagging along guys.  I’m gonna get some sleep.”


“Just once, can we end a mission without one of us needing regen treatments?” Garth muttered to Imra.


~Speak for yourself.  I’ve never gotten all beaten up.~  Imra teased, but looked up as Rokk and Jath both shot her alarmed looks.  ~What?~


“You invite disaster by tempting the gods, Champion Ardeen.”  Jath said seriously.


Rokk nodded sagely, “It is the jinx to end all jinxes, Imra.”


Imra just raised her hand, ~Superstitious nonsense!  Get some sleep.~


She turned and Garth was looking at her with concern.


~Not you too!~


Garth smiled and looked to Rokk, “Later man,” and then to Jath, nodding towards Rokk, “Play nice.  He’s fragile.”


“I’ll show you fragile.  Next week, I’ll put you out like the dog you are.”


Garth shot his hands up and dashed behind Imra, “Ooh, scary man is being mean to me.  Beat him up for me, hon!”


Rokk grinned, “Hey, don’t go there Ranzz, my girlfriend will totally beat up your girlfriend.”


“Hmm.  Good point,” Garth said before noticing Imra’s shoulders tense as she whirled to face him, and his hand shot up in front of his mouth.


~What!~  Garth put his other hand in front of his mouth, as if this would somehow help.  ~Oh no she can’t.  Garth!  Oh no she can’t!!~  Garth chose the better part of valor and fell back, activating his Champion’s Ring and taking off down the hall.


~Get back here!~ Imra demanded, in hot pursuit.


Lydda ushered Rokk into their room.  “I have been looking forward to this,” she said with a smile.




Lydda was clad in an outfit that consisted of a sports bra and short shorts, as well as her requisite goggles.  She stood arms crossed, looking bored.  Imra was wearing her usual full workout bodysuit, and was shadowboxing and shuffling her feet around.


“Okay, the sun-lamps are set precisely to block Jath’s enhanced strength, but not weaken her below Kathooni normal standards.  You all set Imra?”  Rokk asked, checking a hand-scanner to make sure that the lights weren’t actually hurting Jath.


Yes, came Imra’s voice over the Champion’s Ring.  The platinum-group head-gear is blocking my telepathy.  No powers, as agreed.


Aaaaannnd, in the green corner!” Garth announced, “Weighing just over,” he paused checking his pad, eyebrows raised, before continuing, “seventy-five kilograms, Jath of Clan Genti!”  Jath just looked up, having heard her name spoken and Rokk raised his arms and cheered, wincing slightly, “Yay!”


Aaaanndd, in the, uh, *other* green corner, weighing in at,” Garth froze as Imra shot him a glare, “some very, very small number, *much* less than seventy-five kilos, Imra Ardeen of Titan!”


“Wait,” said Jath, looking curious, “Is there some significance to these numbers?”


Avoiding certain death, Garth quickly clapped his hands and shouted, “Fight!”


Fourteen seconds later, pinned to the ground and unable to move anything but a single arm, Imra tapped out.


It was a lucky fluke.  I’m prepared now.


Thirty seconds later…


Okay, I think I’ve got this.


Seven seconds later…


Fine!  Whoever agreed to no powers!  This is ridiculous, fighting a telepath without telepathy would be like fighting one of you with your eyes closed!


“I accept your challenge,” Lydda said promptly, reaching for her protective goggles.


Wait!  No, you win… Imra conceded, pulling the helmet off of her head.  ~I am beyond done.  I’m just going to lie here and see if I can find any of my pride down here in the cracks between the mats…~


“So,” said Jath, “Champion Ardeen trains you in fighting because she is best?  I think *I* should train you in fighting now.”






“Honey, I’m not sure that’s a good idea…”


“Well, I think it’s a wonderful idea,” said Queen Sarya, entering the room in an enormous green cloak that concealed her from view.  Casting it to one side, she was again in her workout clothes, and bearing a pair of amber-hued dueling blades made of dull duraplast.  Tossing one to Jath, she moved out onto the mat.


Jath caught the flexible mock-up of a sword, and whipped it through the air experimentally.  “These will raise stinging welts,” she announced to the Queen.


“Avoid getting hit then.”  The Queen remarked, raising her own blade in a fencer’s salute.  “On your guard.  Begin!”


Two minutes later, Jath’s body had several red lines showing where she had been hit, while the Queen’s bodysuit concealed any similar marks on her person, neither showed sign of backing down.


Rokk turned to Jath’s fighting clothes, against the wall and fished out a knife.  “One blade of steel on Jath.”  Garth looked dubiously at Rokk, and he added, “She won’t miss it, she’s got a million of ‘em.”


~Gambling is addictive and serves no useful function.~  Imra thought disapprovingly, still lying flat on her back, head tilted to watch the duel.


“50 credits on the Queen,” Garth decided.


~Garth!  What did I just say?~


“I don’t know, weren’t you listening either?”  Garth asked innocently.


Finally the duel ended, Sarya the clear victor, although she was breathing heavily by that time.


“You fight well,” Jath grudgingly admitted.


“You fight amazingly well, Jath, considering that I’ve spent decades mastering the sword, and, under these lights, I’m stronger than you.”


“The fight would have ended much sooner, had I fought you as you were twenty years ago,” Jath admitted.


The Queen shook her head.  “Well certainly, I would have been but a child.”  She said haughtily, stepping to snatch up her cloak.


“A child,” Jath said with a scoff, missing Rokk’s frantic hand-waving for her attention.  “But you are over fifty earth-years old!”


The Queen’s eyes shot open.  Jath!” she said sharply, only to regain her composure.  “Well fought.”   She conceded before sweeping out a bit too abruptly.


Jath’s brow furrowed as she looked to the Champions.  Garth was trying to suppress a laugh behind his hand, but looked like he was choking instead, Rokk had his head in his hands and Imra was sipping her water, eyebrows raised.  “What?  It is in the Embassy biography.  Sarya, Queen of Venegar, born in the year of Shining Water.  She is fifty-two Earth years old.”