Alien Dragon Baby/C3 Khol - Crash to earth
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Alien Dragon Baby/C3 Khol - Crash to earth
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C3 Khol - Crash to earth

Kohlxchijr choked and spat out swamp water. His side cramped as blood gushed from the wound along his left oblique.

Gators swam closer to him, and he let out a dragon roar that made his throat raw.

Forget transforming for now. If he did, it would probably put him in a coma and he'd wake up fodder for these lower lifeforms.

Yet, he couldn’t remain in his dragon form indefinitely on Earth. They’d kill him if he was lucky or cut him up for dissection if his luck was shitty. Or at least that what his friend Dena had often told him.

Overhead, a plane flew past. He cringed, filled with longing. He wanted to race the jet as he had another time here on Earth. But Dena said that was dangerous and he was lucky whoever had seen him on the plane hadn’t believed their eyes.

He shook his massive head, blinking his second eyelids to keep the water and dirt out of them until he could to safety.

Once he reached Dena’s home, he could shift into his human form.

He headed toward his friend’s house, thankful for his instinctive homing beacon letting him remember every place he’d ever visited.

The stench of something rotten choked him. Why did anyone want to live here? It smelled worse than a hedge monster's fart. He adjusted his portal bracelet to stealth mode. Before he could engage his force field, one of the gators lunged at him. Its mouth chomped down on his leg. Piercing pain shot through him.

“Stupid amphibian!” No reptile would swim in water this murky except here on Earth.

He reached down, stopped the creature’s spinning and wriggling by bracing his legs around it, and pried the creature’s mouth open.

“Never bite a Renjer again. My brothers would eat you.” He tossed the creature yards away and it swam off quickly.

Others continued to stalk him. Before another got too brave, he turned on protection mode, creating an invisible, armor-like barrier over his skin.

Neither of these devices worked back home. Only on Earth, which made him wonder if his kind had once built generators here.

No, that was impossible, wasn’t it? His people’s power supply had been one of the first things the Tryns had targeted and destroyed. If they knew about Earth and the power crystals, the enemy would destroy this world too. He couldn’t let that happen.

Dizziness darkened his vision. He had to get to Dena soon before the poison from the spear knocked him unconscious again.

Why did she have to live so far away? He sloshed through the water with a trail of alligators swimming after him.

“Look, Lyle, them gators are tracking something,” a male voice said. “Bring that light over here so I can see better.”

Two men stood on a pier. A small speedboat rocked alongside them.

He’d borrow their boat and get to Dena faster. If he tried flying, he’d lose too much blood and possibly pass out and crash into something. He needed quicker transportation than wading through the swamp.

“Shoot. Those things are headed this way. Let me get our rifles and we’ll have a bunch of hides to sell.”

Kohlxchijr didn't have time for this. Blood loss made him weak and his steps sluggish. At least his invisible armor was still in place and they wouldn’t see him. Still, he avoided the two men, sliding under the water and then the pier where they stood.

Kohlxchijr collapsed into their boat. Not waisting time, he hit the engine. The men shouted, chasing him, but he tore off upstream toward Dena’s.

The men's shouts echoed behind him. His friend would ensure they got their boat back eventually. She was always trying to right what she said the wrong things he did.

Half an hour later, Kohlxchijr pulled up to the dock at Dena’s and killed the engine.

Dena ran out and stopped short. Her eyes wide in confusion and the stench of fear coating her normal scent.

Oh right, my cloaking is on and she can’t see me, just the boat. Kohlxchijr squinted to make out the words on his bracelet and took off stealth mode. Then he shifted to his human form, pain ripping through him.

“Ah… Kohl?” she called the nickname his brother Taurian had given him as a runt and seemed to be the easiest way for humans to pronounce his name, and rushed forward.

“Spear. Poison.” His words slurred and darkness rose to meet him. Was he too late for Dena to save him?

* * *

Kohlxchijr’s side ached as if he'd torn it open and poured acid in the wound. A bright light flickered overhead as he opened one eye.

“Welcome back.” Dena toasted a glass of sweet-smelling wine to him. “Next time though, don't plow your boat into my pier.”

“Sorry.” He moved off the couch and grimaced. Lifting his shirt, he found a bandage taped to his side. “Thank you for patching me up.”

She nodded. “Owe me a new deck too.”


“Gee, I don’t know…” she placed her hands on her hips, “maybe because you crashed a boat into it?”

“As soon as it's daylight, I'll fix it.” His Renjer healing rate was slower than his brothers, but his wound would be mended in a few hours. “Got anything stronger than that?” He pointed with his chin at her glass.

What he wouldn’t give for a fireshot back home, back when they could afford such luxuries.

“Ah no. Last time you were here you drank every drop of Hank’s stash. He still thinks I poured it all down the drain.”

Despite having never met the man, he hated this Hank for leaving a wonderful woman like Dena. For all the pain he put her through. “Want me to have a talk with him?”

“That's okay.” She shook her head vehemently. “I finally got him out of my life and I don't want him back for any reason. Why are you here?”

“I couldn't lead the enemy to my family and wounded, I wouldn't have made it far with a poison spearhead in me.”

“Next time, I might not be able to get the weapon out in time.” She crossed the room and lightly shook a glass jar with the stone piece inside. “Here's your souvenir.”

“Keep it if you want.” He'd rather not have the reminder of his near miss or failing his people. There was still the matter of the crystals that powered his device here. “Do you have any crystals I can purchase?”

She raised both eyebrows. “Maybe we should go get a CAT scan of your brain. Obviously, you have a concussion if you think I'm a gem dealer.” She placed the jar on her bookshelf next to a picture of her with a snake around her neck while she wore a huge smile.

“No. It's for my planet.” He tapped his bracelet. “When I'm here, this is powered and working like a generator.” Isn't that what she called the thing out back that was there if a hurricane came through and took out her electricity? “I have thought about it a long time and I think that’s the reason these work on earth.”

And how the Tyrn had destroyed them on his planet. Crippled his people’s warriors. But if Kohl could find more crystals and regain their power, he could turn the tide of their never-ending war.

“What kind of crystal? I'm no expert, but I think there are several types.” She snapped her fingers. “Billy owns a gemstone collection on the side. Has a bazillion of them encased behind glass on the wall of his bar.”

“Bar?” Kohlxchijr shook his head. “No this would be a unique crystal. Maybe even something not found on Earth readily.”

“Like a meteorite? He has a few of those too, locked up in his safe.”

“How do you know that?” If Kohlxchijr could see the rocks maybe one of them would have a quasicrystal.

“Easy. He has a pet tarantula that got out once. We looked everywhere with no luck until I told him to redo everything from the day. The spider had crawled inside the safe when Billy had opened it then gotten distracted by a phone call and closed it without checking inside first.”

“Tell me how to get to this Billy's bar.”

“You're not in any condition to go anywhere.” She pushed against his shoulder as he rose.

“Remember, I'm not entirely human.” He pulled up his shirt. The wound was a yellow and purple bruise, tender but not life-threatening anymore. His brothers would have healed by now.

She rolled her eyes. “Fine. I'll give you Billy's address and directions.”

“Thanks.” Somehow he had to get this guy to let him into his safe to examine the meteorite. If not, Kohlxchijr would have to steal it.

Libre Baskerville
Gentium Book Basic
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