Niika has a love for the land that goes bone deep. Even damaged by an old injury, she seeks out prey in the form of plants, animals and missing persons. Nik’s life revolves around her taking groups on tours of the wild and teaching them to live off the land that offers so much. Taking a group of aliens is a definite first.
The Nine need fresh supplies if they are to remain as a defense and an assisting partner to the people of Gaia. They also wish to know where their own people used to live and how. Cavos is a historian in search of the city of the Stone Folk, and he is quite surprised to find his mind turning from the past to the future when he meets the Gaian huntress who is leading him to his heart’s desire.
Niika looked around and waited. The grass in the meadow was ruffling lightly and the trees bent and swayed as wind moved them in rhythm.
Niika crouched down and held her breath as the hoof beats of one of Gaia’s rarest creatures brought it close to her.
The beast broke free of the forest and its thudding feet brought it into the open. Niika couldn’t stop the grin on her lips as it lifted its head, shook out its mane and horn and its nostrils flared.
Niika held perfectly still as the beast came toward her. Her heartbeat was slow and steady, but he sought her out with alarming accuracy.
The horn speared through the brush and stopped an inch from her chest before it eased in to touch her. She held perfectly still until the horn retreated and the lovely equine head nudged her. “Hello, love.”
She felt the warmth of his mind in hers, and she laughed. It had taken her years of running through the Archives with Daphne, but she had found an obscure reference to a mythical beast. A unicorn was here on Gaia, and it made for an excellent companion.
Niika came out of cover and wrapped her arms around his neck.
He rubbed her back with his chin and snorted.
“Who’s a good boy?”
He made a peculiar chortling sound and stepped back into the centre of the meadow. He bounced up and down on his hooves, waving the deadly blade of his horn around.
To Niika’s surprise, another one of his kind slowly came out of the green shadows and moved to stand at his side. She was lovely, a silvery black to his blue and ivory. He rubbed his head along her neck, and Niika smiled. She sent him warm wishes, and he trotted back over to her, placing his muzzle against her palm.
His mate looked at her with shy curiosity. She came up and carefully extended her muzzle to Niika.
Moving carefully, Niika held her other palm out and let the female touch her. When the light contact was made, Niika curled her fingers and stroked the underside of the female’s jaw slowly. The unicorn’s lids lowered in enjoyment, and she leaned forward in silent demand.
A sound in the distance brought her head around, and she stared with the two beasts at her side. “I am sorry. It seems my survival group has woken up. I look forward to seeing you again when I am in your territory.”
The male shook his long, glossy mane out and steered his female back into the cover of the trees.
With the last look at their swishing tails, she turned and walked back to the campsite. Time to take her city folk back home again.