"Come on, follow me!" Paladar` said as he moved
toward a flashing directional sign. After stopping in front
of the sign, he handed each one of them a disc and told
them "NOT TO LOSE IT!"
He pulled from a pocket in his cloak, seven business card-like objects. "These are what you would call - a credit card. Don't lose this either!"
He then pointed to the sign, and blinked red' dot. "This is where we are right now, and where we'll meet say in two hours?"
From the expressions on their faces, two hours was out of the question!
"Ok, it's Q-4 now -- oops sorry -- it's 9:00am, how does 4:00pm sound to you?" Paladar` received no reply as the seven teens went in two different directions; Kim, Aisha, and Katherine went one way, and Rocky, Adam, Billy, and Tommy went the other way.
"Kids . . . Teenagers even worse!"
The first hour or so all the teens did was look around. As far as the girls were concerned this station was just an oversized shopping mall; but the guys saw something more important!
An entire section of the station was a forest-like area with various forms of plant life and animal life. Some of the tree-like structures extended to the top of the station, and after finding where the entrance was, they started to explore.
All of the plant life and animal life in this area were considered endangered species according to the signs along the pathway. From flowers that opened up when touched to curious critters that sat very still hoping not to be seen, the wonders of outer space presented themselves!
As they rounded a corner along the path, a small bird which was sitting in a tree, took to flight and landed on Tommy's shoulder. "Guys, I think I have a small problem!"
Not wanting to frighten the small gold, black, and white bird, Tommy slowly walked closer to the others.
Billy quietly commented that the little bird looked a lot like a white tiger. Adam found the sign that described the little bird, "she's called a White Tiger Falcon." He paused for a second or two, "And she's the last one!"
The little bird seemed completely content sitting on Tommy's shoulder, and to him it sounded like she was purring.
Adam finished reading the sign, "It says she is a scared bird to the people of Phaylon. It is hoped that one day someone would come and return their scared bird to them."
The peacefulness of the moment was shattered by the sounds of feet moving toward them. Four catlike creatures surrounded Tommy, and took the small bird off of his shoulder who tore his shirt with her talons. The little bird made quite a scene with her high-pitched cries.
As the boys were escorted from the area, the little bird took to flight and once again landed on Tommy's shoulder. When they tried to remove her, Tommy and the others assumed a defensive posture forcing the keepers to locate Paladar`!
After what seemed like hours, the entire matter was cleared up. The small gold, black and white bird was going with Tommy and remained on his shoulder.
The girls found a variety of shops carrying everything from shoes, purses, clothes, jewelry, books, just to name a few!
Aisha found a unique piece of jewelry that reflected the essence of her culture, which surprised even Paladar`. The girls had caught up with him just prior to the incident in the atrium.
Kim and Kat found several dresses that looked very much like the clothes back home, plus shoes to match them!
When the girls caught up with the guys around lunch time, each were carrying several shopping bags.
Rocky, Adam, Billy and Tommy had done some shopping of their own as well. In addition to several bags, Tommy also had four large crate-like objects.
Tommy had found a book on the White Tiger Falcons of Phaylon, which seemed to confirm what was written on the sign in the atrium.
The little bird and the seven teens seemed to be the center of attraction for the other visitors at the station as word spread like wild fire. The Phaylon legend was coming true!
"Someone had come, and soon the scared
bird would once again fly in the skies of
the Phaylon planets."
The bird would sit on Tommy's shoulder for a while, and then would move to one of the other teens' shoulders. Kim commented that "her skin didn't feel like feathers, it felt more like "fur!"
With Billy's help one of the crate-like objects was opened, and it contained the fruit the White Tiger Falcon liked to ate. To them the fruit looked like red apples, but it smelled like an orange and peeled like one!
Tommy broke the funny fruit into sections, and proceeded to hand them one-by-one to the little bird. She would take the piece with her foot, and ate it while sitting on his shoulder.
Rocky cautiously took a bite of one of the sections of fruit, and discovered that it did taste like an orange.
Paladar` joined them as they sat watching the gold, black and white bird. Tommy mentioned that in addition to having several rips in his shirt, it was now all sticky and so was his shoulder!
A servo cart had been secured by Paladar` to take their packages including the crates to the docking bay. By the time 4:00pm arrived, the phrase, "Shop till you drop" had been overused; because there were a total of eight servo carts sitting just inside the tunnel.
Paladar` was sitting across from the tunnel entrance when the seven arrived back at the docking bay. Each was carrying several additional packages, except for Tommy who discovered that the little bird was a "leaner." Just like a cat, she would lean up against something for support which, in this case, was his neck!
A different docking hostess greeted them when it was time to leave. She collected the discs from each of them, checked the servo carts for proof of purchase, and then after guys unloaded the carts wished them a safe journey back home.
While they had been shopping, the transport had been refueled and turned around so it was now facing outward. After receiving clearance to leave, the small transport blasted off.
"It was very quiet on the return trip," Paladar` thought as he glanced over his shoulder.
Tommy was playing with the little bird, Billy was looking at the book about her; while Rocky and Adam were looking at some of the different pieces of jewelry Kim, Aisha, and Katherine had found.
Soon the familiar sight of Ninjara appeared. They were home!
The only things that were unloaded were the crates containing the fruit, the rest could wait until tomorrow.
Tommy woke, discovering a small bird attempting to dig him out from under the covers.
At breakfast, Aisha asked him what he was going to call her.
Tommy replied, "Ru!"
"What kind of a name was Ru," Rocky started to ask just as the bird began bouncing up and down like a kangaroo.
After eating, the girls modeled, for each other, the clothes they had brought.
Adam returned to the ruins, to pick up where he and TaLooze had left off. While Billy emersed himself in several of the books he had found.
Rocky and Tommy sparred while being watched by Athos and Ru, and by several other unseen creatures.
As the day wore on, Aisha, Kim, and Kat went exploring. They observed some snakelike creatures hanging from several trees, and some monkey-like creatures sitting atop a rock formation.
The snakelike creatures were multicolored, and the size of pythons. As Aisha moved closer to one of them, it made no attempt to escape, and soon resembled a cobra as a hood appeared surrounding the head.
The skin of the creature wasn't scaly or slimy looking, like the snakes of Earth; its skin was dry almost like that of short-haired dog.
The three girls weren't afraid of the snakelike creature, because it appeared to be just as curious about them as they were about it!
As they walked along a path, the beauty of Ninjara unveiled itself further. The lush green flora couldn't hide the brightly colored flowers and trees.
Many of the flowers resembled had similar cousins on Earth. There were roses, violet in color, their fragrance giving them away. Pastel orange and pink lilies, also given away by their fragrance.
The trees paralleled palm, oak, and the mighty redwoods of Earth, only the leaves revealed their similarities.
High above them, the monkey-like creatures moved from tree to tree. Several creatures came to rest on the lower branches, which gave the trio an excellent view of them.
"They look like ring-tailed lemurs," Kat said softly not wanting to scare them. These creatures had golden brown fur, large glowing yellow eyes, and a very long tail which had five or six dark rings on it, just like a lemur.
When approached, the monkey-like creatures hurried away to the safety of the tree tops.
The end of the path came into view, as the trio rounded a corner marked with by a large palm-like tree. Several feet ahead was a gradual ridge which ended at the beginning of a crystal blue lagoon.
A beach of white sand with the water foaming upon it called to the trio. Aisha, Kim and Kat spent the remainder of the day playing in the water, and exploring the beach.
Having a rather late dinner, the girls inquired about the creatures they had seen.
"The snakelike creatures are called taymis snakes," Kendra replied, adding "and the monkey-like creatures are called 'Keico."
"Taymis snakes are very intelligent, and have a language of their own!" Theius remarked as he picked up the last dinner roll.
"The legends of the Guardians have told of Taymis snakes,' who have sacrificed themselves to save one of the Guardians." TaLooze added.
"Sadly, not too much is known about the Keico for their language has yet to be understood!" Kendra stated as she began clearing the table. Soon after, the dinner dishes were cleaned and put away.
One day, while walking on the beach, Kimberly found a grotto-like cave that would prove useful!
The place contained various different types of shells, unique rock formations, and a small pool of water. Kim found, while exploring, the perfect spot for her plan!
Tommy followed Kim into the cave to see the shells, rock formations, and the pool of water that she had discovered.
They walked admiring the cave for several minutes, until they reached a group of rock formations that were rather sharp.
"Kim, you do realize that you are backing me up against the wall, don't you?" Tommy said as he backed into the wall. "Ouch!"
She didn't answer him!
"Kim -- ouch -- What are you doing?" His voice rose several octaves as Tommy reached a dead-end!
Still, she didn't answer him.
"Kim, I suppose a tiny little word like 'No' wouldn't mean too much to you?"
Still no answer.
"I didn't think soooooo!" Tommy said loosing his balance and falling backwards. To his surprise, he landed on a soft object that he soon discovered was a mattress!
Kim joined him on the mattress, and pushed him down against it!
She silenced him with a series of slow, shivery kisses that rocked him to the core!
Tommy returned her advances, moving his mouth over hers, devouring its softness.
As the heat of desire rose, Kim pulled Tommy's shirt off over his head, discarded it, and then shoved him back against the mattress!
She slapped his hands as he tried to pull her top up and over her head. "Not so fast," Kim snapped!
Once again, she silenced him with a kiss, and pausing with her finger over his mouth, Kim blew out the candles sitting on the ledge just above their heads!
"I'll get you for this, Kim!" Tommy said in a whisper.
The viewing globe went black!