The last person the rebel base expected to see was Old man Peters especially after the falling out between Maggie and him. Still there he was. He said nothing as he made his way through the cave and to over to where Matt and Lorne sat upon rocks looking out over the desert plain. The old man puffed on his smoke.

“That thing stinks.” Stewart said waving the air.

The old man took another drag of his smelly cigar and smiled. “I roll my own,”

Matt pulled out a fresh cigar from his jacket pocket and handed it to the old man. “Name’s Matt Stewart,”

“I know who you are. News travels fast.” His eyes lit up. “Cheroot Majuro,” He asked.

“The only thing I smoke. I see you know your cigars.”

“I haven’t had a good cigar in years.”

“I’ll get you a box of them. I’m looking for any help I can get with the Khad. What can you tell me?”

“Young Lorne here is the one to talk to if you want to learn about the Khad, if you want the lay of the land that would be me, Peters the name.” The old man told Matt.

Lorne stepped in. “The Rebel uprisings have sparked increasing dissent which has spread throughout the regions.” The thin but handsome young man sat down next to Matt. “Though the miners can own their land most of the desert population is landless. The desert dwellers have had enough. It’s not uncommon for groups of discontented dwellers to try to seize the land they have been cultivating.”

“How do they decide who controls what?”

“There are seven main clans known by their house. The House of Alban, House of Beckerman, House of Amen, House of Vermont, House of Kapoor, House of Elazar, and House of Basrilian and the Khad controlled the elders and the elders maintained their authority. Many young groups are no longer influenced by their elders, realizing they would never own a substantial piece of land, have either joined the rebels or migrated to the desert and the outlands where the control over families has begun to erode.” Lorne added. “At no time since the original upraising has there been more unrest.”

“Original upraising,”

“The crew of the Lewis and Clark were executed. The Khad have used marriage between the most influential houses to keep the colony in line.”

“Jihan,” Matt said.

The old man jumped from his seat. “How do you know Jihan?”

“You know of Jihan and her marriage to Sean Basrilian?”

“We’ve never met. I’m not sure how I know of her?”

“The prophecy,” Peters said. “You know of it too?”

“You guys really believe in this prophecy stuff?”

“Personally, yes I do.” Now the Old man was smiling. “Listen carefully. What you need is to go WALKABOUT.”

Matt turned to the old man. “Walkabout, you mean male Australian Aborigines rite of passage.”

“A good Walkabout has a way of answering all questions.”

“Maybe I’ll take you up on your offer old man.”

“Good, let’s go Walkabout.”

“Wait a minute. I need to get back to my ship.”

“In two days Jihan will be married in the Central Village.”

“Draw me a map; I think I’ll attend.” Matt should have immediately contacted Horizon but he had a gut feeling. “I suspect all humans look alike to lizards.”




Matt quickly assembled his staff. He ordered Allison and Tatiana to search for Samantha in the shuttle from above but to avoid detection. Sending Sadia, Mike and Dr. Deforest out in teams in different directions with hand held scanners; he set out on his own over the range toward the rocky coast.

Matt had picked up a trail. He knew it was organic and from the indication small in stature. The signal caused him some doubt because it was moving in a direction that took a roundabout path. This was not a person trying to hurry their way to the cave hideout. Still it was his best lead and he wanted to locate it before dark.

Once over a rugged ridge he found a picturesque lagoon that was even more breathtaking as the sun was going down and the massive gas giant loomed in the sky. The trail was well worn and lead down to the water. Matt looked around but saw no one. He was about to move on to another location when the stream rippled. He stared for several moments, something was moving just beneath the surface of the water. Suddenly out spewed a beautiful redheaded.

There she stood in lovely nude splendor. Her wet hair spread across her face as she stretched up feeling the warmth of the sunlight on her body. She flexed tight as she stood on her tiptoes trying to get closer to the sun. When she shook her hair away from her eyes, she realized she was not alone even so she didn’t attempt to cover herself. “Well Hello there!”

“Excuse me.” Matt said turning his back to her. “I didn’t mean to intrude upon you like this.” Sammie began to walk out of the water towards him.

“So, who are you?” She said walking up behind him.

“I’m Matt Stewart, your mother and the others are looking for you.” She tried to walk around to face him but Matt kept turning away. “And they are all worried about you.”

“Oh really,” Sammie didn’t seem concerned. “Well as you can see I’m just fine.”

Matt rolled his eyes. She finally was in Matt’s view and he covered his eyes with his hand. “That’s for sure.”

“Is something wrong?”

“I’m a gentleman.”

 “Suit yourself MR. GENTLEMAN. I’m dressing now.”

Matt glanced through his fingers as Sammie walked towards the large rock to get her clothes. LORD HAVE MERCY

“They should have captured mother and the others by now.” Sammie realized something had gone wrong. “Where is my mother?”

“Back at the cave; Home Base.”

“What? She wasn’t captured by the Khad patrols?”

“No, we managed to intervene in time. It’s a good thing too or she and her group would have been slaughtered.”

“Intervened, slaughtered, who are you?”

“Major Matt Stewart, we just arrived from Earth.”

“That’s not possible.” She laughed. “How did you get here?”

“By space ship, it’s in orbit around the planet right now.”

Sammie did not intend to believe him when the shuttle swooped down to make a landing on the sand. Frightened by the massive machine she took refuge behind Matt.

“Don’t worry they’re on our side.” He assured her.

Matt kept his suspicions to himself as he watched the reunion of mother and daughter Maggie was obviously a loving mother. That wasn’t quite the case with Sammie.



Omar was more anxious than usual. Whenever Asim said “let’s talk,” he knew it meant trouble. The look on Asim’s face only reinforced his apprehension. “Have you made up your mind yet?”

“That’s why you are here. I need your advice.”

“You ask for advice. You’re a damn fool. That’s my advice.”

“Is that your advice?”

“Yes, yes, it is. We both know how important Jihan is to you.” Omar was sure he was over the line.

“I wish it was that simple my brother.”

“The problem is the Khad are deep up your ass.”

Asim’s face filled with rage but he said nothing.

“What about the rebels?”

“The rebels? They are all but finished.”

“Your informant? They came through?”

“Yes, far better than even I thought.”

“Well my brother I can see no other choice.”

“Will you deliver the news for me after I have departed?”

“What news?”

“I won’t be attending the Basrilian’s affair.”

“That’s right you’d rather see your princess dance one last time. Should be quite a show.”

Asim said nothing more as he rode away.



Alexa Basrilian was angry and her pacing back and forth only made the guards even more nervous. Everyone was aware that Asim had stood her up he was the one person on the planet who’d have the audacity to do it. Sean Basrilian entered the room with his usual smirk. “They’re taking bets down in the stables.” Sean plopped himself down on a comfy lounge chair and put his feet up. “The grounds crew says Lord Asim left early on horseback.”

“He was seen with your wrench too.”

“That’s because she’s a damn slut’” Sean had a hint of legitimate disgust in his voice. “I only want her talents.”

“Idiot, No one does this to me.”

“Asim, He sure did.”

“Guards,” Alexa said calling out the door. “Have my horse readied. And tell my ladies to take my riding clothes out.”

“You’re not going after him, are you?” Sean said laughing.

“This is the third time he’s rejected my invitation.”

“Maybe he’s trying to tell you something?”

“I know exactly where he is going.” She said.

“This is unusual even for you. You won’t get within 50 feet of their camp.” Sean laughed good and hardy.

“Shut the hell up brother!” She fumed knowing she had failed again to get hold of Asim. If she couldn’t control Asim maybe she would have no choice but to kill him. In her present condition, such a thing was well within reason.





Matt hardly slept but his exhausted crewmates sure did. Up early he scurried about the camp. He noticed that Maggie was nowhere to be found. Always the mission on his mind He had more than a few questions he needed answered. Matt found the adjacent cave empty but past it was an opening that led out into a beautiful gorge. He walked down a well-established path some distance until he reached a waterfall.

The waterfall rose above the edge of a trough, where a stream or river flowing continued to flow into the valley. There Maggie stood in the wet stream of water naked staring out into the distance. He cleared his throat loudly and she realized he was there. She ducked into the heavy bushes and smiled embarrassed. “That’s close enough. This is usually my private area.”

“Forgive me; I didn’t realize you were indisposed.”

“It’s okay please come closer.” He stood behind a bush.

“This waterfall is incredible. This would be a Class 10 Waterfall back on Earth.” Matt said surprising Maggie with his knowledge on the subject.

“I see you know your waterfalls.” Maggie laughed. “We call her Antlers. She gets the name from her shape. This one flows where two rivers joined downstream. The falls stand about 50 meters high and it gets its water from the melting snow.”

“The Lord sure makes some beautiful worlds.”

“Lord?” Maggie questioned. “You believe in God, Major?”

“Of cause, we’re here, aren’t we?” Matt said.

“With us left to suffer for years.” Maggie chided.

“Be glad we still have an Earth.”


“We almost lost her.” Matt realized word of the war would not have reached them here. “There was a war, but you had no way of knowing that.”

“There’s always some war on Earth.” Maggie answered surly.

“This one was against another planet, the Taurus Empire.”

Maggie looked startled as if she had been awakened with cold water in the face. She stepped into the open wet and shivering. “I must tell the others!” Maggie stopped bright red threw a shirt over herself. “You’re obviously being very kind.”

Matt smiled a boyish grin. After a moment, Maggie had tears running down her face. “it looks like we made off far better than our brethren on Earth.” Maggie finished getting dressed grabbed Matt by the hand and led him back to the main cave where everyone had gathered.

A young man yelled. “Maggie Come quickly!”

“What’s going on?”

“Sam is missing!”

“Sam?” Matt wanted to know.

“My daughter Samantha,” Maggie said.

“How long has she been missing?”

A group of young girls stepped forward. “She was supposed to meet us before sundown but she never showed.” 

“Don’t worry Maggie we’ll find her.” Lorne said.

“We have environment trackers on the shuttle.”

“Excellent, oh thank you so much Major.”

Matt could see the frown form on Lorne’s face.





Alexa was both angry and relieved Sean was nowhere in sight, she had enough to worry about with the arranged marriage. It had been quite some time since the Khad were present in close proximally with the village elders. The older they got the more embolden they had become. The big fear for Alexa and Governor Lee tog was how Lord Omori Shi would react.

The House of Basrilian being the first to pledge their allegiance to the Khad Regime owned the entire desert, its land, the mines with its material goods and its people. They received full share of all crops, products, and trade and could order the death of anyone they desired.

Alexa relentlessly made public displays of her power and her links to the Khad. Despised by the other Houses, she cared little for the suffering of others. At first, her loyalty was most puzzling to the Reptilian Khad but they learned to welcome it since it made the occupation much easier.

Asim knew that the dwellers were in line to have more control over the desert and he wanted his share. Asim and she had never seen eye to eye. He didn’t trust her. He was determined to make sure Alexa got always with nothing.

To placate the other Houses Sean would have to marry Jihan. To that end, Alexa knew her younger brother was more interested in wine and girls Even a virgin would not change that.

“Are you more OSIRIS than APHRODITE?” Shi inquired.

“The Earth wine had gotten to his head.” Tor noted.

“Are you not as such?” Shi demanded. “Which are you?”

“I’m afraid I don’t know much Earth history.”

Shi was genuinely baffled. “Your own history, these creatures know little of their heritage yet claim to give allegiance to a God in the sky. I just don’t understand.”

“They were abandoned here were they not?” Tor added.

Alexa had enough. “What do you want to know about me?”

“You I know all I need to know. You were twelve of years when your father made you the heir to the Basrilian House. Despite being female, he trusted you more than he trusted your brother. So, you see I know you very well.”

 Omori rarely spoke to humans in this manner and Leeg Tor was impressed. “I take it that you consider Alexa as an equal?”

“Do I?” Omori caught himself. “I do, but that doesn’t mean I trust her. You want power?” Omori gloated. “Like Asim,”

 “You’re right you can’t trust me.” Alexa snapped. “On the contrary, I’d just as soon put a dagger in your back.”

Leeg Tor smirked. “We’re ally if were in power.”

“You will be joining me at the ceremony?”

Lee tog hugged Omori Shi. “We won’t be attending.” Leeg Tor admitted. “It’s better that way for all concerned.”



Sterile the Desert we have lately entered

The Basrilian palace compound despite being settled in the middle of the desert was remarkably grand and The Basrilian’s lived lavishly. The most fascinating feature was the garden with its water channels, lotus pools and colorful flowerbeds and trees. One could easily call it an oasis. During the dusk hours, it reflected the fiery shades of the setting sun.

The House of Basrilian being the first to pledge their allegiance to the Khad Regime owned the entire desert, its land, the mines with its material goods and its people. They received full share of all crops, products, and trade and could order the death of anyone they desired. At first their loyalty was most puzzling to the Reptilian Khad but they learned to welcome it since it made the occupation much easier.

Asim knew that the dwellers were in line to have more control over the desert and he wanted his share. Asim and she had never seen eye to eye. He didn’t trust her. He was determined to make sure Alexa got always with nothing.

Alexa waited at the front gate like a royal queen her entourage around her. “Welcome to the House of Basrilian.” Alexa said as she strolled closer to greet them personally. Alexa’s outfit was see-through and completely revealing.

Asim had to admit that she was a strikingly beautiful woman and her body visible through her sheer dress made him excited. Still he would never let her know he desired her in any way. He would kill her before he would let her have control over him.

As for the KHAD they found humans hairy and disgusting. Omori Shi was aware of Alexa’s prowess over human men. Asim could see even more of her body and Alexa was conscious of his reluctant gaze. “See anything you like Asim?” She said trying to rouse him.

“You have nothing I want.” Asim said flatly.

“Liar,” Alexa said moving toward her other guests and stopping in front of the Khad representatives. “How nice to see you again lord Shi. And Governor Tor you’ve gained weight.”

“Thank you, so nice of you to have noticed.”

“Enough greetings, where is your brother?” Shi demanded.

“He’s off sowing his wild oats.” Alexa said indifferently.

“What is this wild oat?” Shi looked at Tor and then Asim who was steaming with anger. “Is he not a man already?”

Asim demanded to know. “He’s with Samantha, isn’t he?”

“I swear I don’t see what you two see in that tattered heifer.” Alexa said confirming Asim’s suspicion. “Besides in a few days the cow will be all yours. Sean will have his hands full with his virgin princess.” Alexa knew her words would incise Asim and they did. He abruptly rode off leaving the others puzzled.

“Sean will be ready for his marriage I hope?” Tor asked.           

“Don’t you worry, he’ll be there.” She called over her entourage. “See to our guess they must be tired from there long journey through the desert.”



The old man said in his mind. A figure slowly emerged from the shadows in front of him. She was an obvious female, standing maybe five feet with very pale skin color. However, her head was slightly larger and rounder than normal wearing a white Hijab and a long white dress. As the young woman made her way into the moonlight, her features changed. She transformed into a small olive skin human woman Peters smiled at her strange need for fashion but couldn’t help but notice how strangely beautiful she was in the moon light. “Rumana I presume.”

“You met with the Princess?”

“The rescue mission is officially underway.”

“Yes, I know I can feel the, so many new voices.”

Impressed by how much Rumana’s abilities had grown the old man still wasn’t sure the time was right to take off the training wheels. “What do you feel?”

The question startled her and she became defensive. Peters fretted at her sudden show of emotion. Suddenly she was behaving as the little girl the WATCHERS left in his care. Now He was unsure if she was ready at all. WHAT IS THIS ABOUT?


The old man was surprised. “Your concern with the spaceman is inappropriate and out of place?”


Peters looked in dismay. No one had worked as tirelessly as Rumana Yet had she felt bitter about it all this time.


WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME Rumana cried frightened by how powerful her human emotions were.

“Nothing, you my dear are part human.” Peter’s informed her.  “Just how much does it bother you?”

Rumana was in full resistance shutting down her human self. NO NEED FOR FURTHER CONCERN

“I’ll be the judge of that if you don’t mind.”


The old man studied her affect, “Damn you’re good. I better keep an eye on you my young apprentice.”

“Very well,” Rumana said aloud and vanished into the dark.