Far Come the Eyes of Light [Eyes of Light Series #2] [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Geoff Geauterre
eBook Category: Fantasy/Science Fiction
eBook Description: The second book in the Eyes of Light series introduces humanity to the presence of the lord- like feline beings known as the Ooroomooriis or the Yoolooets as the humans come to call them. An ages-old horror from deep space, starving for energy--living energy--is moving toward their universe. To survive the onslaught, the Yoolooet, the humans, and all the other disparate races will have to unite or else perish.
eBook Publisher: Twilight Times Books/Paladin Timeless, Published: 2005
Fictionwise Release Date: April 2005
This eBook is part of the following series:
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A thousand years passed before the Elders roused themselves to peer outside the envelope, and when they looked they found themselves in a completely different part of the galaxy and the monstrosity they had fled from was gone.
Something did not feel right. They looked around and stared at the one in the center of the circle. There was nothing left of the All Mother except for a pulsating ribbon of energy.
In a panic, they flung out binding energy patterns over her and started to transmit their combined strength. Others tapped into the binding and poured their strength as well.
Tangent by tangent they pulled at her essence. Bit by bit she was returned, first as a spirit, then coupled with her mind, followed by her body, until finally, swaying, shrunken and barely alive, she was back.
Her whisper was a croak. "Is it ... is it done?"
"All but awakening the planet," said Gristleboars, "but that can keep. The stasis field still functions. Aside from yourself, no one else felt the passage of time or the discontinuity of transition."
He gestured and several moved towards her, but they stopped when she glared at them.
"And the star-seed? Pure Thought? Where is he?"
"He's planting it in its orbit now. When that's set he'll collect the fuel to reignite it."
"Good. Now, if you don't mind, I'm ready for a nap."
With that, she nodded with satisfaction.
"Wait," said Gristleboars, "there's still the matter of--" Then he realized she was dead asleep. * * * *
Some time later, she awoke from a pleasant cast of dreams, stretched mightily, yawned, and found her entire cast of select Elders awaiting her recovery. She did not know whether to chuckle or spit.
"You didn't think I was all that fragile, did you?"
Gristleboars padded forward, stopped a good twenty feet off and solemnly bowed his head. It looked ceremonial. She was about to comment when she noticed the place was different. It certainly was not her chambers.
She looked around and found herself bedded on some circular platform made of soft velvety material. She looked up and her mouth dropped open. This was smack in the middle of a great cavern where beams of light came down huge rectangular holes cut in the granite ceiling.
Treated as some goddess is the last thing I need.
"It is time," murmured Gristleboars, "that you decide who will assume some of your tasks when you need to rest."
She scoffed. "It's unnecessary."
"You slept for quite a while."
"A few days won't kill anyone."
Gristleboars coughed. "Well, that's true enough, if it was only for a few days."
Her eyes narrowed. "Have I missed something?"
"What are you talking about?"
"You've been asleep for nine months. During that time we've almost had a civil war, did have three planet-wide riots, and it's almost time for another parade of Ooroomooriis to stare at the 'All Mother-While-She-Sleeps' routine."
She pulled herself up and shook her head. "That nonsense stops here and now."
He nodded. "By your will."
She was startled when everyone else nodded and repeated the phrase. It was ceremonial. She would do something about that. It made her fur crawl.
"Okay, give me the rest of it.
While she listened, a claw levered out something from between a couple of fangs and she looked at it. A clump of fur. She had been gnawing on herself.
"Finally, we were about to do a mind-probe when Pure Thought stopped us. He said we did not know what we were dealing with--curious phrase--and that you would come out of it on your own. Thankfully, he was right."
The mane of his head wriggled with consternation. "But another week, and we would have needed three parades a day instead of two."
Her mouth opened, but nothing came out. What would have been the point?
"I think what I need right now is a little food." Her stomach growled alarmingly. "In fact, why don't you bring me a lot of food? I'm starving."
As she devoured the contents of the trays in front of her, she thought of those nine months ... without sustenance. That was definitely a trait of ... She stopped there, remembering all too well. Nine months?
Apparently, balancing tangential shifts, along with employing the technique of energy absorption, did not work quite the way she expected. What if she should be in the middle of something important and dropped into an uncontrollable nap?
"Maybe someone can spell me for a while? What do you think?"
The Elder's head knuckled down further. "A wise decision. At least that would forestall civil disputes over who should look after you when you're, er, away."
"Yes, well, why don't you do that? I'll approve any choice you come up with." She noticed that her felines were not nodding sagely. In fact, they cringed.
"Let me guess. You're not up to it, are you?"
Gristleboars rolled his eyes. "Administratrix--"
"Umm, you have a new title. You have several new titles. Someone in the afternoon parade of mothers told her kits what you were. They were really too young to understand, but then everyone called you that, and it caught on."
"So, as I was about to say--"
"What other titles?"
"Hmm? Ah, well there is Administratrix, which means the Law Giver. Then there's She, which means the only one, save whatever offspring you have..."
"You've got to be kidding," she whispered.
"Then there's also the Final Arbiter, and as the Law Giver that means--"
"I don't want any of it!"
There was a hush. Gristleboars shook his head then emphasized the motion.
"I'm afraid, Administratrix, it's too late. As the All Mother, this race, your people, the Ooroomooriis, have placed you where no one else can go. You represent everything we are, and quite possibly everything we will ever aspire to become. In short, live with it. You're stuck with it."
Where did you hear that term?"
"You mumbled it in your sleep."
She shut her eyes. "All right. But why can't you do this on your own?"
His tail whipped back and forth. "If we attempted to find a temporary replacement on our own, and you happened to take another nap, by the time you awoke we'd be in the middle of a bloodbath."
"Are you telling me my people are jealous?"
"Let me be blunt. At this stage, unless we are led by our noses, we are fully capable of destroying ourselves."
"So what are you saying?"
"We need a caretaker who embodies your basic tendencies at the very least. And we need the promise of that before you, er..."
"I get it."
She could see they were desperate. This was not so much a welcoming party as it was a declaration. She needed to appoint an acceptable chain of command.
Who had the gift and the temperament for the job? Of course, in a matriarchy it had to be a female, but where would she find one who possessed similar traits?
The answer, when it came to her, seemed simple.
"I am of the Claws line, is this not so?"
"It is," he affirmed.
"Are there descendants from that line still in existence?"
"We asked that question awhile ago and searched through our people's gene-patterned memory structure, and I'm sorry to say your line died out over five thousand years ago."
"Well, keep searching. When you've found somebody who matches what you need put her on the throne."
The look on his face revealed they did not know what she meant.
"All right, just call her the 'Regent' and have her sit at the head of a council of elders and ... hmm, that's not going to work too well, is it?"
"No. In fact, it would be all we'd need for a complete breakdown in order."
"I'll have to consider this matter further. Leave me now."
They did, except for one. Her eyes narrowed as she looked up and realized whom it had to be.
"Pure Thought. I know you are still here. Why?"
"It really won't do," said the ephemeral, moving as a shadow across the cavern walls. "You'll consider it further indeed. That's nonsense, and we both know it."
"Ooroomoorii, impertinence is dangerous!"
"So is arrogance. You cannot be in a dozen places at the same time. You cannot shoulder the burdens of an entire world alone. You may be super-Ooroomoorian, but that doesn't mean you're omnipotent."
"I was right about you."
"What were you right about?"
"You. I sensed it before. You are an Old One. A Reincarnate!"
Pure Thought chuckled, while his essence evaporated, until nothing was left except his thoughts.
"Your journeying did you well, She of the North, as I knew it would."
"If you would be the All Mother for your race, you must remain true to yourself."
"I heard already."
Wondering how in the world such a being was able to exist from one lifetime to another, she turned her attention to the task. Pure Thought and Gristleboars were right, though. Her line had died out and the only logical solution was ... to find a pair of mates. The prospect made her shiver.