Forgotten:Brides of the Kindred

By: Evangeline Anderson

Brides of the Kindred Book 16: Forgotten




Prologue





“You fool! You’ve taken the wrong female!”

Y winced as his Master bellowed inside his head. Master Two might be nothing but a chip implanted just under Y’s left ear, but he ruled Y with an iron fist, despite his lack of a physical body.

“I took the one that sniffed the blossoms, Master, just as you requested,” he pointed out.

“But look at her—this is not the Khalla at all—it’s the mate of that damn tracker.”

“I can see that.” Y strove to keep his voice level. It would be wrong to raise his voice to the Master…no matter how much he might want to.

On the cold steel floor of the Scourge Fathership, the naked girl with the long, coppery curls moaned and stirred. She had been taken by a molecular transfer beam, a Scourge invention Y had traveled to the abandoned ship to get. It had been set to take whoever inhaled the fragrance of the Dream Blooms, exactly as Master Two had ordered. Y didn’t see how it was his fault the wrong female had been taken.

But so it had happened. This female—Kate, Y thought she was called—had apparently unwittingly sprung the trap set for Emily, the new Khalla back on Rageron. Indeed, she still had one of the deep blue blossoms clutched in one hand.

Y wondered how it had come through the transfer beam with her—it was his understanding that only living things were transportable. But maybe the freshly cut flower still had enough vitality to make it through the transfer…or maybe it was the spell the old hag from the Wulven home planet had placed on the blossoms that allowed it to come, clutched in Kate’s small fist. She looked so innocent and vulnerable, lying unconscious on the hard metal floor that Y felt his heart twist with pity. He immediately tried to suppress the emotion—doubtless his Master would see it as nothing but weakness.

“She’s here now,” he said, stolidly. “What shall we do with her? Do you want me to kill her?” He hoped not—he did not enjoy violence, especially towards females. But the Master was not to be denied and anyway, death would be a kinder fate than any of the horrible, twisted tortures the soulless bastard that lived in Y’s brain might devise.

“I would kill her myself, if I had a body!” Master Two hissed, his mental voice filled with frustration. “But no…let me think.”

There was a long silence—so long that Y wondered if the Master had gone to sleep. He did that at times—became inactive during a recharging period. Y had come to look forward to such periods of inactivity—they were the only rest he got from the relentless dictator that lived in his skull.

On the cold floor, Kate stirred again and moaned softly.

“Master,” Y sub-vocalized in case she could hear him. “She is waking.”

“Hush, you fool! Ah—I have it now. We must send her back.”

“You mean back to Rageron? And try to take the Khalla instead?” Y asked doubtfully. “That won’t be easy—they’ll know she was the true target. Doubtless they’ve taken her someplace shielded.”

“No, you idiot! Not back to Rageron—back home. Her home.”

“I don’t understand. Do you mean her home world of Earth?” Y shook his head in confusion. “But why?”

“Two reasons,” Two hissed in his head. “First because we must send her somewhere—we cannot take her with us. Her mate is a Wulven Kindred and they are absolutely deadly in their fur-form—we cannot risk it. Second, because home is the last place the Kindred will expect her to be. They’ll search the entire universe before they think to look back on Earth—which is just how we want it.”

“We do? But why? Are you hoping to distract them in some way?” Y asked.

“Finally, you’re learning! Yes—a distraction. That’s exactly what this girl will be. And while the Kindred are busy hunting for her, they won’t even give a thought to what we might be up to.”

“What do mean?” Y asked. “I thought your entire plan hinged on forcing the Khalla to forget and fear her mate and then transporting her here to the Father Ship for execution, after letting him see that she no longer knew him.”

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