BOOK THREE: CHAPTER 19 – Clouds Over Krey

Photo by Eliza Ayres

CHAPTER 19 – Clouds Over Krey


The next morning the party members made their way to where the Golden Cat was resting, walking through the quiet village. All of their good-byes to the king had been said the night before. Only a small honor guard was present to accompany the visitors out to the small landing site. All the men carried their own luggage. There wasn’t really that much. Raphael had left the bolts of fabrics he had brought from Serana lying on the queen’s desk with a short note. She would find them upon arriving home from the latest High Council meetings.  What she did with them, was not Raphael’s concern.

After loading everyone into The Golden Cat, Raphael finally climbed into the pilot’s seat and heaved a great sigh. He looked around at his party, his nephew, the Masters, Commanders, and Eagles, and simply announced, “Next stop, Krey!”

Francis gave a brief cheer as the golden ship levitated above the town of BerAir, giving all the passengers a glimpse of the crooked streets, adobe houses and stores, the royal house, and the ancient temple. Then, the golden ship lifted, accelerating upward at an angle and left the atmosphere of the desert planet far behind. They were off.

From his studies prior to the tour, Raphael knew that Krey was a study in opposites. One part of the planet was quite humid and tropical, with steamy clouds lingering over the landscape, obscuring details from being seen above. Another portion of the planet was hot desert, rocky, and given to sandstorms and burning heat. On this world there were also extensive freshwater seas which were the home of sentient dolphins who were capable of telepathic communications with other Pleiadians. Since they were sentient, they had a social order and were mainly left alone by the other inhabitants of the world.  As a result, the seas were protected and there was no fishing allowed except in the lagoons closer to the coast, which had fish farms. Raphael’s party would not be visiting the Kreyan dolphins on this trip. They would, however, be visiting the lord of the world, Lord Kreyesh, who resided in Carson, the capital of Krey, located in the tropical regions of the world. 

Before leaving BerWare, Raphael had obtained the navigational coordinates necessary to locate and land upon Krey given that he probably would, most likely, be unable to identify the landing area through the foggy conditions. The Saber pilots would also lead in the Golden Cat as they were furnished with sophisticated communication and navigational instruments unlike the ancient vessel. The pilots would then communicate telepathically with Raphael and the golden ship to safely land on the surface of Krey, near the planet’s capital, Carson.

Krey and Vey were considered mid-sized worlds, even twin worlds, as both belonged to the binary-star system of Pleione, a blue-white dwarf star whose system was claimed by the Pleiadian Federation. Pleione, along with its neighboring star, Atlas, were, then and now, considered part of the open-star cluster of the Pleiades, located within the constellation of Taurus.

In those early days, Carson was simply a large village, made up of white-washed, one-story earth-rammed houses built out of clay and some timbers, located above ground, with corresponding lower levels, as the climate of Vey was extremely hot and humid. During the time of Raphael’s visit, Carson was still a large village, perhaps slightly larger than BerAir (BerWare).

The Golden Cat followed the lead Saber fighter down through thick fog, coming to rest on a small landing platform in the middle of a jungle. Master Vey peered out of the cabin window and informed the party that the landing pad was surrounded by banana trees. It was clearly a very humid and tropical climate. Since there was not enough room for the all the Saber fighters to land, it was decided that they would report to the Golden Falcon, Myka Strom’s ship and the nearest mothership, until the party left Krey. Commander Matteo would accompany the party as he had on him a communication device in case assistance was required from the mothership. Before returning to Alyona, Raphael planned on making a short visit to The Golden Falcon, to see Myka, Jychondria, Lyonell, Lantrill, Sukio, and Bakken… and perhaps Science Officer Toryn Dino, who was slated to soon become a brother-in-law of Raphael’s.

As the Golden Cat sat down on the landing pad, Raphael could barely distinguish a small greeting party standing off to one side. As the doors opened on the ship, the passengers were hit with a massive wave of humidity, causing the interior windows of the ship to fog up. Raphael ordered everyone out of the ship quickly and then told the Cat to defog the interior of the cabin before shutting down. He also ordered the ship to activate its protective field. All passengers unloaded; Raphael ordered the ship to levitate above the clouds until he called it back. He turned to Francis and quipped, “Well, there goes our ride; I guess we’re committed at least to the short term…”

The party members walked slowly to the edge of the landing area, attempting to get accustomed to the close air as they attempted to distinguish who was waiting for them. A man dressed in a thin short white tunic approached the party and bowed, “I am Sethos; I will be your guide while you are visiting on Krey. My master, Lord Kreyesh awaits your presence at his house in the capital, Carson.”  Sethos paused a moment as he looked up at the towering Eagles, Feline Commanders, Raphael, and Francis. Then, he noticed the much shorter Master Li Tzulo, bowed slightly, and smiling, began to address the Veyan, “Master – who is the leader of this group? Could you introduce me?”

Master Li Tzulo returned Sethos’ bow and replied, “Greetings, Sethos of Krey; I am Master Li Tzulo of Vey and this is my son, Master Leu Tzulo…” Master Li named the rest of the participants, giving their titles, and duties on the tour. He ended up with: “…Commander Matteo is a Flight Commander, leading our Saber escort which are now heading to The Golden Falcon, which I understand is currently cruising through this star system.”

“Very good, Master Li. Now, I will lead you to the House of Kreyesh. It is a short walk through the jungle. We will provide refreshments when we arrive as I understand your people are not likely to be accustomed to our climate here on Krey,” announced Sethos with another short bow. “Gentlemen, please come this way.”

As the party followed Sethos, Raphael couldn’t help but observe how different these people were to the other Pleiadians whom he had meet on other worlds, save perhaps the Veyans. From what the commander observed, the people of Krey were similar in build to their neighbors on Vey, being of small-stature (from five feet to five and half feet tall), slender and quick, with dark hair, with large pale blue eyes with extremely long lashes, and rusty-tanned complexions. The escort party was all males, each of whom wore their long black hair up in tight buns at the top of their heads. A couple of the men were carrying large bags with them. Each male wore gold earrings in both ears and a few of them had gold chains around their necks. From Raphael’s prior studies of Krey, he knew there were several large gold mines found on Krey, as on Vey. 

After leaving the landing platform, the party entered deep jungle, with vines, and tall tropical trees rising from each side of the path… and it was a path. From time to time, they passed a small group of buildings which appeared to be shops, then a house or two, until they finally reached a large one-story building which was more decorated than most they had passed, having beautifully woven screens protecting a wide veranda-like porch with a deep overhanging roofline. Benches rested against the walls of the house, allowing room for people to sit outside. The walls of the building were quite thick, appeared to be constructed of mud and timber and then white-washed. In the thick misty air, the sides of the house seemed to disappear.

Sethos guided the party up onto the veranda and through heavily carved wooden doors leading inside the building. Inside, there was a large interior porch, allowing for everyone to remove their shoes, boots, or sandals, before proceeding further. There were racks for the shoes and boots to remove them off the floor. Pegs were also available in case anyone wanted to leave a cape or cloak that had gotten wet during one of the frequent heavy rain showers in the jungle. 

Then, Sethos led the party through another set of double doors, leading to a surprisingly large room, which appeared to be a small audience chamber. There was a large heavily carved wooden chair resting on a slightly raised dais. It was empty. Sethos had the party sit on some benches lining the room and then disappeared through another doorway. He shortly returned, followed by wizened-looking individual, a small slender man who was bent over slightly. He had a pointed long grey beard and wore his graying hair in a small bun atop his head. He was arrayed in a short tunic, but also wore a light silk robe detailed with sumptuous embroidery depicting a golden dragon on the back. Despite his apparent advanced years, the Lord of Krey moved spritely, climbing up to his chair where he sat down and briefly consulted his assistant. Sethos bowed to his master and then announced, “Gentlemen, this is Lord Kreyesh. He welcomes you to Krey. He wishes to use telepathy as he prefers that mode of communication to speech. Is this acceptable to your party? He also wishes to know which one of you is Lord Raphael Kantor-VaCoupe, for he understands the lord is the leader of this alien party.”

Raphael stepped forward and gave a deep court bow, and replied: Dear Lord Kreyesh, I am Lord Raphael Kantor-VaCoupe, brother and advisor to the Regent Claudine VaCoupe Vanairus and Head Commander, Alyona Command Center. At my side, is Master Francis Dino VaCoupe, heir to the Lordship of the Pleiades. While it is not customary for us to speak via telepathy with strangers, all my party are quite facile in its use. I do, however, take mild offense with your characterization of our party as aliens. We are Pleiadians, as are you, my lord.

Lord Kreyesh smiled and said aloud in a strong tenor voice, “I wished merely to test you, Lord Raphael. For I am not as I seem…” With that strange pronouncement, Lord Kreyesh’s body appeared to ripple, and in the place of a decidedly old man sat a strong, vigorous young man with thick black hair carefully braided and wrapped into a bun with a carved stick pushed through it. He wore several necklaces of shiny, carved tropical nuts intermixed with gold beads around his slender neck, resting on his chest. On one of the necklaces hung his pendant of lordship, made from a large nugget of raw gold, beaten into a circle and carved. The young lord Kreyesh gave Raphael a big grin and a slight nod, “Now, that I have verified the authenticity of your identity, please introduce young Master Francis to me.”

A smile from Raphael answered the lord’s grin. He intuitively understood that by putting the party through a slight test, the lord was able to register their frequency levels to see if they matched up with the information that was no doubt forwarded to this court by Master Francis Polaño. He replied, “I see you have been briefed on our party by the indefatigable Master Polaño.”

A larger grin and merry laugh greeted Raphael’s comment, “Yes, yet, Master Polaño did provide me with descriptions of all your party and short background information on each person, as well. I merely exercising some caution in presenting myself as we have, in the past, had attempts by the dark warriors of lower Orion to infiltrate this court and this world. We Kreyans can exert great power of our minds to fool the onlooker if we so choose. However, I will present myself in my normal form for the length of your stay here on our world. Now, which of you is Master Francis?”

Exercising his own form of caution, Raphael attempted to make a short scan of Lord Kreyesh, which was handily blocked by that powerful master of mind. The lord of Krey grinned at Raphael and waved a finger back and forth, replying, “Lord Raphael, you will not find me an easy nut to crack. I am a Master when it comes to telepathy and psychic mind control. Your energies are extraordinarily strong, but I am far older than you in this lifetime, young man. I felt your frequency before your beautiful ship entered our atmosphere. Impressive… both of you, the ship, the lord, and that crystal you wear. Now, Francis?”

Raphael admitted defeat for the moment, bowed slightly, and waved his nephew forward. Francis bowed to the lord of Kreyesh and said, “My lord, thank you for accepting us as your guests. This will be a short visit as we do not wish to detain you from your normal activities, especially when we are considered as aliens. However, I will advise you that as the future Lord of the Pleiades, I will regard both you and your people, as well as all sentient beings upon this world as being Pleiadians. And as such, I expect you to send your representatives to the High Council so your people will be fairly represented in Alyona. My lord…” Francis gave another bow and stepped back to stand at Raphael’s side.

Lord Kreyesh laughed aloud and replied, “Well said, young Master Francis – however, we already send representatives to High Council. I will make a point of having a personal visit with you and Lord Raphael when next I attend. During this High Council, my eldest son and heir, Master Hira Shia Kreyesh, is in attendance, along with representatives from a few of our planetary communities. If you know anything about our world, we have both a very tropical region, located mostly around the equator of the planet and edging the great inland sea where our beautiful sentient dolphins live. Then, further inland, the land mass transitions to grasslands and finally to a vast rocky desert which has but a few communities sprinkled across it, mostly located near oases. Representatives are chosen from both environments, except for the dolphins, as it would be difficult to safely transport them and they are content to remain in their home waters, performing their duty as guardians of this planet and its elemental kingdoms.”

Lord Kreyesh then sent a telepathic message to his servants, who responded by bringing out cool refreshing juices, fresh tropical fruit, and tiny crackers for refreshments. “Now, gentlemen, knowing that you may be uncomfortable with the temperature and humidity of our planet, please partake of these refreshments. When you are done, you will be guided to your sleeping quarters and given native dress if you wish to wear it while here. We prefer to wear light fabrics given the heat and humidity, especially here next to the sea. I will see you later at the evening meal, gentlemen. Meanwhile, welcome to Krey!”

With that announcement, Lord Kreyesh stood up and left the dais, disappearing back into a side door, to be replaced by his assistant Sethos. 

Commander Adrigus gave the dais an incredulous look and snorted, “Well, if I hadn’t seen that trick with my own eyes, I would not have believed it possible, my lord!”

Master Li looked rather thoughtful and commented, “It takes a great deal of power to master such an illusion and that is what that show was… an illusion. I could see the lord’s real appearance the entire time, but it was a powerful effect.”

Master Leu nodded in agreement, “I would not have wasted that much energy on attempting to fool some peaceful visitors. One would think that Lord Kreyesh is highly amused by such antics, or he has truly experienced some issues stemming from attempts to hijack his court committed by compromised individuals working for the dark lords of Orion. Lord Raphael, can you detect any true alien energies nearby, either within this household or the village as a whole?”

“Not off-hand, Master Leu,” replied Raphael. “I will admit that I saw the old man first and then saw two images… two men sitting simultaneously on the throne. It was quite a mind trick. I wonder what Lord Kreyesh could determine of your identity using telepathy rather than speech?”

Master Li replied, “Some of the people of Krey are great masters of the mind. Like the Veyans, they also specialize in various healing modalities, utilizing the herbal and plant remedies of their tropical rain forests and dry desert regions. Despite their small size, a Kreyan male could probably drop any one of your Eagles to the ground during a bout of martial art – they exercise that much command of their bodies through the power of their minds.”

“Well, then – we will proceed with caution around these unusual people,” replied Commander Semmas with a grin, barely believing the last statement of Master Li. Still, he did not want to test these small but doughty natives of Krey while he was their guest. He gave a sniff as he surveyed the dishes that had been set on a low table in front of their benches and removed a banana leaf from atop one large bowl, discovering a delightful surprise – freshly baked fish for the Felines in the party. “Fish! Commander Adrigus, pass your bowl and I’ll give you some! Milo, Loki… fish!” 

Monteras laughed as he saw the great Felines crowding around the bowl that Semmas had found. They were all craving fish, as it was part of the primary diet of their home world. He commented, “Whatever he is, Lord Kreyesh is a fine host to provide for our Feline companions!”

Salaniel nodded and remarked, “Yes, that was exceedingly kind. And I am enjoying this green juice. It tastes like lime and is extremely refreshing despite being at room temperature.”

“Yes, and these large orange chunks of fruit must be mango. It’s a good thing they have been thoughtfully cut up as eating a whole mango can be a very messy business,” replied Raphael, as he savored the fresh fruit, which had not been easily available to find on BerWare during their recent visit. “And look at that assortment of various kinds of bananas! I could be happy to eat this kind of fruit every day!”

After the men had completed their refreshments, the staff provided them with bowls of water and towels so they could wash their hands off as all of the food had been eaten by hand. Next, one of the staff members came up to Raphael, bowed low, and said, “I am Mantie; I will now show you and your men to your sleeping quarters. They are located on a lower floor, my lord. We will have to climb down a couple of flights of stairs. Please follow me!”

The sleeping quarters turned out to be one large room with curtained off alcoves for each sleeper. In the center of the room, there was a large circular low table, fitted out with some bowls of water and towels for simple washing. Pillows were provided for seating. There was a hallway extending further to other rooms, but only one door to this room. Adrigus looked over the arrangement with a jaundiced eye and remarked, “Methinks they want to keep us all in one place. This door could be easily barred to keep us at least temporarily imprisoned, although I don’t doubt that we would eventually win free. I hope the ruler, Lord Kreyesh, doesn’t have any motives for wanting to keep us imprisoned here, my lord.”

“Well, we’re just going to hope Lord Kreyesh understands that this is a peaceful mission and visit. We have nothing to gain by threatening these people,” replied Master Li Tzulo, while sending calming energies to his militant friend and companion. “The Kreyan people are cautious around strangers, so don’t expect them to be quite as friendly as, say, the Seranians, for example. And with some of our party being nearly twice the height as the natives, it is bound to bring up some concern on the part of a few.”

Milo snorted, “Well, we might be nearly twice the height of that Lord Kreyesh, but I would imagine he could take any one of us down by using his mind, my lord.”

“Well, I for one would like a nap. The journey here was longer than some flights we have made on this tour since this star system is farther away from Alyona than the others,” replied Raphael, as he started stripping off his uniform down to his small clothes. He climbed into one of the alcoves, noting that two shorter mattresses had been positioned to serve as a bed for the taller Felines and Pleiadians as a normal Kreyan mattress would not be long enough. He mumbled, his voice diminishing gradually into a soft snore, “They took the time to set up the mattresses for taller men… uh, hummm.”

Salaniel peeked into Raphael’s alcove; their fearless leader had already fallen into a deep sleep. The assistant picked up Raphael’s uniform and hung it up on a nearby hook. He also pulled off Raphael’s boots and placed them neatly at the foot of the alcove. He turned to the others, “I guess if we talk quietly, we won’t disturb him too much. I have seldom seen anyone go to sleep as fast as Lord Raphael!”

“Well, if you don’t mind, Master Tzulo, I’m going to walk around the village and get a feeling for the layout. It is hard enough to see through this thick atmosphere, but we will use our Feline senses to make things out,” announced Adrigus, signing to Captain Semmas to accompany him on his scouting trip. “I would also like to locate an interactive comm so I can speak to Commander Strom, notifying him of our present location.”

“Understood, Commander Adrigus – just remember we are visitors, peaceful visitors,” admonished Master Li, as he glanced over towards Raphael’s sleeping alcove.

When Adrigus and Semmas left the sleeping quarters, they encountered Sethos, the personal assistant… servant… or whatever of Lord Kreyesh and requested they be guided to an interactive comm as they needed to check in with the nearest mothership. Sethos seemed surprised, but he acquiesced to their request and took them out of the royal house to a nearby administrative office, which appeared to be another white-washed one-story building which disappeared somewhat into the lingering fog. Adrigus could smell damp odors of trees and flowers through the mist, and sometimes even the sleepy calls of birds. 

Sethos and the two Feline commanders entered the administrative office, which was structured into small offices, each with an interactive comm, which surprised Adrigus. Apparently, these people were quite advanced technically, as few houses even in Medina had interactive comm available to commoners; screens, yes, that played videos of news or allowed students to study the contents from various libraries and collections. Giving the startled Sethos a toothy grin, Adrigus made himself at home sitting down at one of the comms and punched in Myka Strom’s personal code. Adrigus was surprised to see Commander Lantrill’s face appear on the screen and said, “Lantrill, so, are you a Head Commander now?”

“Hullo, Uncle Adrigus – to answer your question, yes, I’ve been promoted officially to Head Commander even though I have been acting in that capacity for some years, sir. Where are you? I don’t recognize the coordinates, but it would appear you are closer than BerWare or Alyona? And how’s Raphael these days?”

Adrigus grinned, “Well, you know Lord Raphael – he’s sleeping right now, taking a nap after a long flight in that Golden Cat of his. He may not have to actively fly it, but it seems to tire him out, nonetheless. We’re in Carson on Krey, so in your vicinity. Lord Raphael does want to visit The Golden Falcon briefly before we start back from this system. It’s been an interesting tour thus far – and that Lord Kreyesh was surprising, too. He seemed to be more powerful than our Lord Raphael, even though he is half his size – mental prowess, rather than physical power.”

“Ah, yes, the Kreyan and Veyan people are an interesting bunch. It seems a lot quieter in this system compared to being near Morova and BerWare. Say, how did the visit to BerWare go? I know it was only the third time Raphael has been on that world?” queried Lantrill.

It went well for the most part – we will share more when we come on board the Golden Falcon. I know Lord Raphael would like to see you, Sukio, and Bakken, but most especially, his two sons, Jychondria and Lyonell,” replied Adrigus.

Lantrill noted, “I think Jychondria has a surprise for his father, too, but I’ll let him share the news when you get here. When you can head our way, I will give our present coordinates to Flight Commander Matteo so he can lead The Golden Cat to the mothership. We have plenty of room for both ships. I am looking forward to visiting with all of you. Well, I hear Commander Strom growling in the background; we have a meeting coming up and I need to give some reports. I’ll let him know that you touched in with us, sir! Give all the men, especially Lord Raphael, my regards, sir. I miss him…”

“He misses you and Sukio… but especially those two amazing sons of his, foster and natural. So, signing off for now. I hope to see you soon. I’m pretty much done touring all these worlds for now!” growled Adrigus. Lantrill’s mobile face reflected his amusement and understanding. He briefly saluted and then the screen went dark.

Adrigus pushed himself up and remarked briefly, addressing his companion, Semmas, “Good man, Lantrill – made Head Commander! His former father must be proud of him. We’ll see all those men soon. I hope Raphael doesn’t find it necessary to stay here on Krey for awfully long; this fog is not my favorite kind of weather!”

The two men found their guide, Sethos, and asked if the man had time to give them a brief tour of Carson. He… Sethos, was more than happy but frankly Adrigus wasn’t impressed with the place, with its extreme heat and humidity. Just walking around in the close stifling air was challenging. Adrigus and Semmas were both barefoot, which probably wasn’t the best idea because there was some deep mud to negotiate around on the street, which was little more than a path through the jungle. Adrigus felt his toes squish into some puddles and delicately lifted his feet out of the muddy water and wiped them on some nearby grass. He commented, “So, Sethos, where is the town?”

For a moment, Sethos appeared vaguely amused by the comment and replied, “You will find, Commander – or perhaps not, that most of the buildings are underground. In our humid climate, we suffer through periodic heavy rainstorms and occasional tropical depressions, which can linger overhead for a couple of days. So, seeking protection, much of our living and business takes place underground. In the future, we hope to develop that part of the town to a greater extent, but the war took our focus elsewhere. Sometimes, it was a challenge to just keep enemy agents from infiltrating the local population. Fortunately for us, most off-worlders stand out from our own people, since many human species are taller, but occasionally there were some agents who were shorter and almost… almost blended into the native population. However, as our lord demonstrated, we can easily read frequencies and use our minds to communicate to each other. By using telepathy, we can determine the exact frequency of the individual who is communicating to us and then decide whether they are enemy or friend. Your Lord Raphael, apparently, passed the test… for the rest of you, as well. You may not see us, but we see you, through our mind’s inner eye, Commander. You have been under observation since your ship landed here. We are a humble, hard-working people, but we do not take kindly to outsiders interfering with our sovereignty here. Command posts will not ever be allowed, for instance. We have plans to intensify our industrial base here, but we are also a cautious people, in tune with our land and elementals here on the planet. We will continue to utilize our natural resources wisely and with great care. Now, commanders, do you wish to see some of our nearby lagoons – Carson is not far from the sea. Our people also sometimes enjoy a bit of fish, vegetables, and rice. For despite the foggy, humid conditions, some farming does well in the rich, if gooey soils of our tropical lands.”

Adrigus and Semmas were excited to hear about the fishing. Adrigus replied, “We would love to see the fishing facilities? Do you have fish farms here near Carson, Master Sethos?”

The small-statured servant looked up at his tall, massive companions and smiled, “Yes, Commander Adrigus. Do you and your other Feline companions wish to have more fish served for your evening repast, sir?”

Adrigus gave the dark-haired servant a hearty nod, “Yes, Master Sethos; now, you were going to show us those fish farms?”

“Well, certainly, Commander. You see, while few of us eat fish anymore, we dry or can them and sell them to the Command, who does, as you well know, have many Felines in service,” replied Sethos with a slight smile. “Of course, we also raise several varieties of tropical fruit, supplying fresh fruit to many nearby planets, as well as dried fruit or juices. And we raise rice in well-watered rice paddies located outside of town in more open areas, which aren’t as heavily forested as you see here.”

Adrigus heard a strange screeching sound above him, high in one of the towering trees. “What was that! It sounded like an animal.”

The commander stopped and craned his neck and then saw movement as some of the higher branches dipped and swayed as a small dark body swung agilely from branch to branch. He pointed out the animal to Semmas, who also had stopped to observe the strange noises above their heads. Sethos was greatly amused by this behavior and asked, “Have you not heard of monkeys, Commanders? We must look out for them for the creatures like to steal fruit that is left outside. We leave some of the producing trees unpicked just to feed them in hopes they will leave the rest of the crop alone – sometimes they do; sometimes they don’t.”

The three men were walking along a narrow path, passing banana orchards that were placed out amid the jungle, along with huge mango trees and smaller papayas, as well as some tall heavily laden coconut palms. Finally, the trio reached a dark lagoon, which was strung with netting and had some floating docks by which the keepers could access the various ponds. The great Felines looked into the dark waters and could discern the swift movement of large schools of fish. Semmas remarked, “Oh, yes, Master Sethos; if it is possible, we would enjoy a bit of fish for our dinner tonight. Thank you for bringing us here!”

“Well, gentlemen, shall we return? My lord may be missing my services. I will notify all of you when you can go up to the audience room for dinner. Lord Kreyesh will be hosting a small dinner in your honor tonight,” replied Sethos with a slight nod.

When the two Feline commanders returned from their stroll, they requested some towels. Adrigus growled, “I feel as if I was submerged in a living sauna; the air is so thick out there. However, Master Sethos was kind enough to take us on a short tour. They have fruit trees scattered throughout the jungle and fish farms in some nearby lagoons. We’re going to have some fish tonight!”

As Adrigus briskly toweled off his mane and neck, Raphael finally made an appearance, rolling out of his alcove as he grabbed his uniform and began to pull it back on. He noticed Semmas and Adrigus looking a bit damp and asked, “So, where have you been, you two? You look like you took a shower with your uniforms on!”

“Outside, Lord Raphael; the place is a sauna! However, I was able to connect with Commander Lantrill – he’s a Head Commander now! I gave him our location and let him know we’re planning to visit The Golden Falcon once we’re done with our visits to Krey and Vey,” replied Commander Adrigus. “Then, Master Sethos was kind enough to give us a little tour of the village, although it is hard to see much with all the mist. We did see a monkey high up in a tree. It was screeching at us; I almost expected it to throw a piece of fruit or something worst!”

Master Li laughed, “Oh, monkeys – we have them on Vey, too. They are a form of primate, with exceptionally long prehensile tails that allow them to hang from branches and to climb easily through very tall trees. Sometimes they can become quite the pests, especially when you have a large band of them located near your farm or village!”

“Lord Raphael – Sethos notified us that Lord Kreyesh expects us to attend him at dinner tonight. It will be held in the audience room. Sethos didn’t say whether we would meet any more members of his family or other villagers,” said Commander Semmas. “I did note that we didn’t see too many people outside. Sethos said something about most everyone keeps inside or underground during the heat of the day. With this climate, it probably doesn’t cool off even at night.”

The men took some time to get in a short meditation period. Raphael connected with the crystalline heart of Krey, another Mother Crystal like that of Medina. It was another great diamond. She said: Good morrow, Son of Light. I see you have worked with crystals and will do so, again, in another life to come. Some day you will return for a visit here, Son of Light. Now, the Lord of this world feels your connection with us and has become curious. His is a powerful mind, but so is yours…

Raphael came out of his meditation when he heard footsteps approaching. The door to their room opened. Standing in the doorway was Lord Kreyesh. He snapped, “Who is the Crystal Master here?”

“I am, Lord Kreyesh,” replied Raphael. 

I was not told you would have a crystal master among your men,” said Lord Kreyesh. “Why did you not tell me this, Lord Raphael?”

“It didn’t seem important, my lord,” replied Raphael. “Did you feel me speaking to the Mother Crystal of this planet?”

“I did – I felt it, but I have never been able to do it myself. Forgive me for doubting your sincerity, Lord Raphael,” said Lord Kreyesh. “I may not be a Crystal Master myself, but I do know the Crystals would not speak to a man whose heart was impure. May I see the great Crystal that you wear?”

“Certainly, my lord – only, do not touch Her,” warned Raphael as he drew the great crystal out of his uniform and held her in the palm of his hand. 

Lord Kreyesh extended his hand over the top of the crystal feeling the strong energies emanating from it. He closed his eyes and sighed. “Lord Raphael, I have a confession to make; something of which I am not proud. I fear I was implanted by enemy agents. I was taken captive briefly and then released over two years ago during one of the attacks on our planet. Since then, I have been getting nightmares and negative thoughts… becoming paranoid to the point where some of my people are afraid of me now and then hide when strangers come into our town. Can you help, Lord?

Raphael stepped back and asked the lord, “Will you let me scan you this time, Lord Kreyesh? If the implant has not grown, we have a Veyan healer with us who may be able to assist you in getting free of this thing. His name is Master Leu Tzulo. I have seen him help several other men, including my elder brother.”

Lord Kreyesh bent his head, pursing his lips, and sighed, again, “Yes, you have my permission.”

Since Raphael had not felt the presence of an implant in the Kreyan lord before, he lifted the crystal and requested it to break any dark spells over the man standing before him. The crystal responded, Watch!

As before the crystal’s light expanded, filling up the entire room of the sleeping quarters. The Felines and Eagles were alert, realizing there was a potentially dangerous implanted individual standing there. They stood watching, hands on weapons if required. 

Lord Kreyesh groaned, and then fell to the floor as the crystal’s light exploded. Raphael signed for Master Leu to approach cautiously. He helped to roll the man over on his stomach as Master Leu scanned his back carefully, finally feeling through the thin silk robe. Master Leu requested Salaniel’s assistance to remove the lord’s robe so he could better feel for the implant through the thin fabric of his tunic. Closing his eyes, Master Leu located the implant, dematerialized it and rematerialized on his palm. He extended his open hand out to Raphael so the latter could see that the implant had not grown. Apparently, Lord Kreyesh’s strong psychic powers were enough to thwart the growth of the alien device. Commander Semmas grabbed a cup of water so Master Leu could drop the device into the liquid. Then, Raphael and Master Leu assisted Lord Kreyesh to his feet once again as he regained consciousness.

 Raphael spoke first, “How do you feel, my lord? You did have an implant, but it had not grown around your spine. Your strong mind defeated its purpose. I would recommend that you go lay down now, Lord Kreyesh; you’re bound to feel very odd after the removal of that object.”

Lord Kreyesh sat down on one of the pillows and asked, “May I have some of the juice if any is left?  I feel quite parched.”

“Of course, my lord,” replied Salaniel. Francis poured out a cup of the juice from a large pitcher and handed it to Salaniel, who gave it to the fatigued lord. 

Lord Kreyesh sipped some of the juice and then looked up at Raphael and said, “I am sorry if I appeared somewhat paranoid and hostile earlier upon your arrival. You can now see the cause behind my odd mood. I am quite relieved that the device was removed. I could see it in my mind’s eye, but we do not have any healers like your Master Leu in our employ. I will see that we do obtain the services of several healers if they are willing to go around and survey our people for other such devices. I would be quite distraught if one of the devices succeeded in overtaking the mental control of any one of my people.” He looked up at Raphael and asked, “I see you have some experience dealing with these objects, my lord?”

“Unfortunately, yes, Lord Kreyesh,” replied Raphael. “As a child, I had one embedded in my own neck which was, like yours, unable to grow. Since then, I have had to deal with individuals who have been affected to various degrees. Some of them, unfortunately, have had to be put to death since as of now, we are unable to remove the devices once they penetrate the nervous system and the heart. Master Leu, here, has advised me that his fellow healers are endeavoring to discover a high frequency, non-physical means of removing such objects. He could probably tell you more, but I would imagine you might want to rest?”

“I would like to present all of you with a proper dinner and then I will rest,” insisted Lord Kreyesh. “I would like you to meet my sons and daughters… and my dear mate, Mynah. All of them may be very shy around you, but when I tell them that I am now whole, again, they will be most grateful, Lord Raphael… Master Leu!”

We would be honored to meet your family, my lord – shall we be notified when everything is ready?” Raphael nodded and smiled at the Kreyan lord who appeared to be recovering quickly from the implant removal.

I will send Sethos down to fetch you and your people. Now, I will rest a short while,” replied Lord Kreyesh.

It was a couple of hours later when Sethos knocked on the door and was let in by Eagle Milo. The Kreyan man looked up at Milo in wonder and said, “Your people are quite magnificent, Warrior.”

“We think so, too,” replied Milo with a toothy grin. “My name is Milo, and I am an Eagle guard and companion to Lord Raphael and Master Francis.”

“Very good, Milo… Oh, Lord Raphael, I see that your people are ready to come up now? Since the word has already gotten around to our people, you may be seeing more of them in the next couple of days of your stay, gentlemen,” said Sethos. “They have heard of your healing of our lord and are ever so grateful. You may find there are other people here to heal before you leave, Master Leu!”

Master Leu nodded and replied, “I am not sure how long Lord Raphael plans to be here, but I will make sure that my people, the Veyans, send a group of trained healers who can deal with such matters, so your population is cleaned up from any trace of contamination from alien sources like their artificial intelligence devices. Such an effort is far out of the scope of this tour and my own humble services, Master Sethos. You or your lord will also be given contacts so if you need more healers sent to Krey, it will be done. My father here, Master Li, is a representative of Vey and can authorize these things for your people. Lord Raphael and Master Francis are both eager to see that our people are healed of the trauma of war and can successfully rebuild our cultures on each world in the manner most suited to those who dwell on them. We encourage diversity and practice tolerance when the practices are in alignment with Source.”

Sethos bowed, with his hands together and replied, “Thank you for your kind offer, Master Leu. I will put it to our lord and see that those of our people who are infected with the alien hardware or traumatized by interaction with the enemy forces are surveyed so the healers can be taken to them to effect a quicker effort.”

“Very good, Master Sethos,” replied Raphael, noting that he wanted Krey surveyed officially by the Command forces, as well, in case some of the “patients” were less than cooperative. Overall, Raphael had mixed feelings about the Kreyan people. They seemed to be rather secretive in nature, shy, and stand-offish.

The men enjoyed their dinner with Lord Kreyesh. The food was delicious, including a great pile of fish that had been carefully steamed in bananas leaves and dressed in lemongrass… especially for the Felines in the party. The others enjoyed the various assortment of tropical fruits, some of them little known to Raphael, including a large variety of bananas, tamarind, and citrus fruits. There were also fruit bars made of shredded coconut, finely chopped nuts and native honey. Since Raphael’s taste preferences leaned towards the sweet side, he enjoyed the feast. There were also some roasted root vegetables, also wrapped in banana leaves that appealed to the Felines.

Entertainment was provided by the mate of Lord Kreyesh, the tiny and lovely Lady Mantie. She performed a beautiful sacred dance along with two of her daughters. Two of the sons of Lord Kreyesh accompanied the dance with flute and an exotic stringed instrument. Master Sethos also played a small drum to beat time for the ensemble. 

There was general conversation about the proposal put forth by Master Sethos and Master Leu about setting up a “rescue” party to assist the people of Krey who were adversely affected by enemy incursions during the long wars. Raphael was aware that smaller nearby worlds might have also been affected, so he told Lord Kreyesh that he would assign some line communication technicians to searching for any infected individuals located on those worlds as well.

The party stayed in Carson for a couple more days and then, along with Lord Kreyesh, traveled to a portion of the driest and hottest region of Krey. There, the party was astonished to find a village that had been built in the shadow of a huge rock.  Since the land was quite barren of tree cover, the huge mountain-sized rock provided the best shade from the intense heat and sun of the desert lands. Lord Kreyesh explained the reason the people were even there was due the existence of some valuable mines located nearby, containing gold, silver, copper deposits, diamonds, and other precious stones. Large crystals also grew like plants in the harsh rocky soil of the desert. Some of the choicer crystal clusters were selected and provided to the Command to be grown into Mother Crystals for the ships. There were also many other valuable metals and ores present in the soils of Krey that would come to be used by other more industrial worlds. Eventually, the people of Krey would also develop more advanced technologies, with some of their intelligent and scientific people assisting the Command in developing more sophisticated ships, along with the efforts being made by the Ashkerians on behalf of their Pleiadian allies.

On the last day of their visit to Krey, Raphael’s party met with a delegation of the Kreyan people. They wanted to thank Master Leu Tzulo and Raphael for aiding their lord and freeing him from the enemy device. One of the men, Shino Maia, told Raphael that they had all sensed there was something wrong with Lord Kreyesh but were unable to assist him. The people were grateful to have their Lord given back his health and well-being.

At the end of two weeks, Raphael thanked Lord Kreyesh for his hospitality and the party began to prepare for their flight and arrival at the final world of the tour, Vey. While on Krey, Commander Semmas and Raphael took the time to study up on the customs, geography, and spiritual practices of the Veyan people. The two men, who were becoming good friends by this time, utilized one of the several interactive comms available in the Kreyan administrative offices. Raphael also consulted the Masters Tzulo on the particulars of their home world. 

Vey, the “twin” planet to Krey was in the same binary (two stars) solar system and had five moons revolving around it. Vey was also a mid-sized world, primarily tropical in climate near its equator, with huge trees and deep jungles. In the northern and southern latitudes there were more mountainous and cooler regions. Some of the mountains were high enough to retain snow cover, even glaciers throughout the warmer months. Vey had several large seas and many of the more populated cities were located along the coastlines or on some of the larger rivers. Large fish farms were located in quiet bays and coves, as many of the Veyan people enjoyed a diet which included fish and seafood. Some of the hilly regions supported the terraced cultivation of rice and barley, as well as vegetables and fruits. Fish, rice, and vegetables, including seaweeds and sea vegetables were part of the diet of these intelligent, scientific people.

Even during Raphael’s time, Vey supported several large cities. The Lord of Vey, Lord Teu Li Zing, lived in the then capital called Bopti, a city located on one of the coasts of the largest continent, Leppo. It was in this city and others that many of the famous Veyan healers were trained. However, Veyans were an extremely intelligent, mentally powerful race, able to manifest items used in daily life. Although tiny in stature, they were extremely strong, enduring, powerful people, living in fourth-dimensional bodies with sixth dimensional consciousness. The Veyans were and still are very spiritual able to manifest amazing technology through their alignment and honoring of divine wisdom. Even then, thousands of years ago, the Veyans were renowned for their amazing healing gifts, scientific knowledge, and technology.

Once Raphael’s party had said their farewells to the people of Krey, at least the small group that accompanied the travelers to the shuttle landing platform; the party climbed into The Golden Cat. Raphael remarked, “Well, gentlemen, it’s one more world for some of us and the home world of our Masters Tzulo. We are nearly finished with this first tour. Master Li, were you able to connect the assistant for Lord Teu Li Zing?”

“Yes, I was, my lord; the assistant’s name is Wei Zang, another lord in his own right as he is one of head physicians of Vey, a man who has trained hundreds of instructors. He is also one of the brightest men on Vey, so Lord Zing relies on him heavily for advice,” replied Master Li. “Master Zang trained my son, Leu, before he officially retired from teaching.”

Master Leu looked somewhat introspective for a few moments and then he ventured a question, “Lord Raphael, my father and I have been concerned about your reoccurring fainting spells. I was wondering if you would submit to an examination and healing from my former teacher, Master Zang? He may be able to assist you in healing some of the old trauma stemming from your early childhood, my lord.”

Raphael looked at Master Leu with some surprise and commented, “Well, I will give your kind suggestion some thought, Master Leu and I thank you for your concern. I must admit my fainting spells are very tiresome and often ill-timed. I suppose it is a result of the many beatings and abuse I received as a youngster. However, now is not the time to discuss such matters. I need to concentrate on flying this ship and getting us safely to our next destination, the capital city of Bopti, on Vey. Flight commander Matteo has the coordinates and kindly gave them to me, plus a holographic mental image of the position of the capital on Vey. Like Krey, it has, in part, a tropical climate, so I hope the whole place is not as foggy as our arrival in Krey. Personally, I don’t enjoy living in a fog bank.”

© All Rights Reserved, Eliza Ayres, and

BOOK THREE: Table of Contents

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