The Ithildan Mirror Chapter 6

The Ithildan Mirror Chapter 6 The Ithildan Mirror Chapter 6

Status: In Progress

Genre: Science Fiction


Status: In Progress

Genre: Science Fiction


Following Chapter 5


Following Chapter 5

Chapter6 (v.1) - Chapter 6

Author Chapter Note

Following Chapter 5

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: August 01, 2016

Reads: 657

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Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: August 01, 2016



The Ithildan Mirror - Chapter 6:


The next few days were spent waiting for Sharna to recover fully from her ordeal. Estiana was an expert healer, and her patient's progress was nothing short of miraculous. Soon the last signs of the infection had gone, and Sharna was almost her old self again. She was still weak, and could not stay up for long before she had to go and rest, but she was definitely on the mend.


While I was waiting, I decided to find out more about the planet. After all, according to our initial briefing, it was supposed to be deserted. It turned out that only the old city had been evacuated, and the survivors had settled in small villages and towns scattered throughout the planet, that was primarily covered in rainforest with a series of large lakes, surrounded by an uninterrupted land mass.


The village, called Scartha, was the smallest of the human settlements, barely more than a cluster of stone homesteads. It had a basic marketplace in the centre, where the locals would trade in furs, cloth, and various food items. There was no currency, and the commerce was purely on the basis of barter. Scartha backed onto a small ridge of rocky hills. There was a mine there that produced iron, and in the village centre there was a blacksmith. Because only a handful of inhabitants possessed horses, there was no need for a farrier.


The most knowledgeable person in the village was Terkano. He was considered to be the local sage. His appearance fitted his job-description. His blonde hair was an unkempt mess, and he had a moustache and beard that were equally shabby. His eyes were a deep blue, and gave one the impression that this was a man who had been plagued with visions. I found his conversation fascinating.


I asked him where the Ardammarn had come from, and how they came to be on Morten. He replied: “They are not native to this planet, but were brought here by a very advanced space-faring race. As you have seen, these creatures have the ability to take on a human form at will, and thus the race that brought them here did not realise what they were unleashing upon our forefathers.


In their many travels, they had accumulated a large variety of alien species, with the aim of studying them, and learning about their behaviour. All it took was a single ship to infest the entire planet with the scourge of the 'Plague-Fiends', or those beasts now called the Ardammarn. They had captured a few of them, and locked them in a cage, but they broke free somehow. Little is known about what happened next, but the ship crashed. The wreck of that ship is lying in a swamp near to the ruined city. If you want to, we can go and see it tomorrow.”


“That would be great. Thank-you very much.” I responded.


The following day, Terkano and I went to investigate the wrecked ship. It was little more than a rusted frame, but parts of the hull were still intact. Of particular interest was the bow, as this would have housed the ship's mainframe. There was even a possibility that one of its data banks was still intact, and may contain some information as to why the vessel crashed. My excitement rose when my guide informed me that his predecessors had collected some of the equipment from the downed ship, and that it was in the old temple in the middle of the village.


Upon inspection, I found what appeared to be a console. It was clean, but of course not operational any more. I asked if I could take it with me when I left, and Terkano said that I would have to ask the village elders. This I did, and was granted permission, provided that we return it once we had finished with it. I agreed to their terms.


Terkano then continued to tell me more about the Ardammarn: “When the ship crashed, only a handful of the crew members survived. Thinking that they were unfortunate victims, the people in the city of Arden took them into their homes. Too late did they realise the error of their decision, for not one of those who they rescued were human any more. Soon their transformation was complete, and the beasts either fed on, or infected those who had been charitable towards them. And so the disease began to spread.


Once the people of Arden knew what was happening, those that remained untouched fled into the expanse of the jungle, and went into hiding. Eventually, the beasts had either infected or devoured every last human that remained in the old city. In vain, they began searching the forest for their erstwhile prey, but there were larger, and more powerful predators in its depths, and soon the Ardammarn feared to venture out. Their numbers diminished, and the people who had once feared them began to retaliate. Thus it did not take long before the curse was all but eliminated.


There are a few that remain, but they now feed on animals rather than humans. They have spread their influence to a species of ape, now known as the Arakye. These have replaced humans as the Ardammarn's workers, and there is so-to-speak an uneasy truce between the Ardammarn and human population. The individual that attacked you was the exception. Every so often, a Queen will attract an unsuspecting male which then becomes her drone. This is an acceptable risk because, generally the drone is not harmed. There have been a few cases when he does not survive her sexual appetite, but these are in the minority. Other than that, the trouble seemed to have been resolved, and both species survive together as long as the balance is not disrupted.”


“Why can't the Ardammarn use other animals as drones?” I asked.


“It is a question of genetics.” Came the reply, “A question of compatibility as well. Genetically, the Ardammarn appear to be almost human in their make-up, and thus would only be able to reproduce with those that have the same genes. Even the Arakye are not a near enough match to reproduce with the Queen. Those that are made slaves or workers are unable to mate with her either. Again this is to do with ensuring that the gene pool remains strong and diverse. If the workers were able to reproduce with their own leader, it would weaken the species as a result of inter breeding. On very rare occasions, the Queen will take a female as a mate. In this case, instead of the Ardammarn bearing the offspring, she would then sire them, and her mate would be the surrogate mother. As I have said, however, this is the rare exception rather than the rule.”


“Okay.” I concluded, “So they can feed on animals, but not mate with them. But why do they only feed on the genitalia, and leave the rest?”


“The genitals are among the most nutritious parts of the body, especially if they have been active immediately before. Semen is very high in protein, for example, and when the male penis is fully erect, it is engorged with blood. If it is removed at that point, it is a rich source of sustenance. The female reproductive system is also an abundant supply of nutrients, even though it is more difficult to access. Again, during sexual activity, the walls of the uterus swell, as the blood supply is increased. That is why the Ardammarn have developed a specialised tongue that is designed to rip the organs apart, allowing the blood to run freely. Unlike when they feed on a male, they do not devour the flesh, but only consume the blood and other fluids, although - in the case of the prey being bovine - they have been known to remove the udders as well.” He explained.


“Yes, I saw that once.” I recalled. Once we had finished, I thanked my host, and returned to Estiana's home.



The following day, Sharna indicated that she was ready to get up. After some persuasion, Estiana gave her a clean bill of health, and allowed her to leave the cottage that had been her convalescent home. The only condition was that she take it easy. We thanked our hosts. We had nothing to offer as some form of payment for what the medicine woman and her daughter had done for us, and I felt that even if we had all the gold in the Coalition, it would not be enough anyway.


Estiana smiled, and in her infinite wisdom, she stated: “Gratitude is payment enough. Cherish and respect her, and the debt is paid.”


“You have my word.” I promised, putting my arms around Sharna's waist, and kissing her neck. We bade farewell to both of them, and felt that part of us had been left behind in those simple surroundings.


Sharna lay down on the bed, and I sat in the cockpit. Terkano had told me where the ship had landed that brought Doctor Kale and his team to Morten, and I wanted to go and see if there was anything I could recover from it. As with the downed alien ship, if I could retrieve the ship's computer main-frame, I thought that I could shed a little more light as to what exactly happened to them. It was standard procedure, on a mission like this, to keep a regular log that recorded the team's progress, as well as any trouble they might have faced while busy with the task. Thus I hoped that we would be able to find out exactly when the group disappeared, as the log would come to an abrupt end.


The other aspect that bothered me was, that if the team did not maintain a regular report, an automatic signal would be transmitted to the mother-ship, which in turn would relay it to their employers' head-office, so that they could sent their own people to investigate, and possibly rescue them if necessary. In this case, it appeared that this protocol had somehow been ignored, or even disabled.


We arrived at the site, and discovered that the ship had landed in the midst of the rainforest just South of the ruins. Although it had begun to show signs of neglect, it appeared to still be intact. I went inside the cockpit, and found the main-frame console. I removed it carefully, so as not to damage it, and carried it back to our ship. Having gone through the vessel, without finding anything else of immediate interest, I returned to our craft. I reckoned, that if Reese's people wanted anything else, they could salvage it themselves. I found that Sharna was still sleeping peacefully on the bed. She stirred momentarily when I got back, smiled at me, and went back to sleep.


“Alpha Seven - Alpha Seven. This is Lima One. Do you receive me?” I called on the craft's com-link.


“Lima One - Alpha Seven. Loud and clear.” Came the reply. There seemed to be a lot of distortion.


“Okay - Our work here is complete. We're heading back.” I reported.


I had been in contact with the mother-ship up until Sharna had been infected, and resumed communications while she was recovering. So they were fully aware of the events that had occurred on the planet.


“Acknowledged. Welcome back Lima One. We look forward to seeing both of you alive and well again.” The voice on the other end responded, “Alpha Seven out.”


As our ship began to take off, Sharna awoke again. She came and joined me in the cockpit. I was concerned that she was not ready to get up yet, and the expression on my face must have echoed my sense of apprehension. She looked at me, and winked. I smiled back at her. It was as if her reaction was meant to allay my fears.

“If you're sure you are okay.” Was all I said.


“Yep. I'm okay.” She assured me. She knew that I was not totally convinced, “I'm all right, I promise. Let's get out of here.”


I pressed the button on the console, and the ship began its ascent. Words cannot describe how relieved we were to finally see the last of that place. As we gained altitude, it seemed as though all the crap we had been through was being left behind. Somewhat symbolically, as we went into orbit, the sun was setting over the part of the jungle where our ordeal had started, and the smallest of the planet's moons was rising behind us.


We arrived back on board Astra Seven, and were welcomed by Captain Aubric and his medical officer. We were asked to report to the infirmary for a check-up, to make sure that we were not infected with any pathogens endemic to the planet. We agreed, and headed for the sick-bay.


The medical team were particularly interested in obtaining a blood sample from Sharna, because it may still have contained a small amount of the virus that had caused the infection in the first place. If they were able to isolate it, it was possible that an antidote could be manufactured. This would mean, that in the off chance that a future expedition might come across the Ardammarn, any of the members that became infected could be treated.


Once the results had shown that we were free of infection, we were discharged from the sick-bay. We made our way to the bow, and stood on a sealed balcony, looking out over the expanse of space before us. This was a rare opportunity afforded to us, because the ship had not launched into hyperspace just yet. Sharna rested her head upon my shoulder, and I hugged her.


She turned to face me, wrapping her arms around my waist, and nestling her head against my chest. I tilted it up with my one hand, and kissed her smiling lips. She closed her eyes as our lips met, and I felt her body relax against me. She opened her eyes, and looked deeply into mine.


In her soft voice, she said: “I love you.”


I replied in a whisper: “And I love you too.”


Just then we were informed that the ship was ready to make the jump, and that we should be prepared. We went back into the main part of the vessel, and found two seats next to each other. Sharna buried her face in my chest, and I held her tightly to comfort her, knowing how much she hated going into hyperspace.


To her relief, the journey was soon over, and we were transferred onto a shuttle, that would take us from the mother-ship down to the planet's surface. Not long after that, we had our feet on terra firma once more. We were back in civilisation!


We disembarked onto the platform. There was a crowd of people milling around us. As the porter packed our baggage onto a trolley, Sharna looked in my direction, and smiled. The light in her eyes brought a warm glow to my heart. Her hand caressed her shoulder, and she blew me a kiss.


I mouthed the words: “I love you.”





Her smile broadened, and a coquettish expression came over her face. As if she had read my mind, she put her finger against her lips, then waggled playfully at me. I laughed as she turned to follow the crowd. As we exited the terminal, an auto was waiting for us that had been arranged by Aiden Reese himself.


As we left, the driver informed us that Reese would only see us once we had recovered from our mission, and that he was taking us to where we could catch a transport back home to Argent. Once again we found ourselves in the executive class section of the transport, and on our way back to where our journey had begun. I felt a sense of relief wash over me. There had been times during our quest that I doubted whether we would make it off Morten alive.


We arrived home. The garden that I had tried to nurture around our little cottage had become overgrown in our absence. The footpath was now a causeway along which we could walk, as the lawn on either side came up to our ankles. We had been on holiday before our mission to Morten, and had not gotten round to tidying up the garden before we left.


We went inside, and it felt good to be back at our own home once more. Sharna went to the bedroom to change, and re-emerged in a white cotton blouse, and matching shorts. As my eyes feasted on her slender figure, the expression on her face made her look almost angelic. I reached out and took her hands in mine, enjoying the gentleness and warmth that emitted from them. I leant against the back of the sofa, and drew her closer until our bodies touched.


I put my arms around her waist, and we kissed. It felt almost like the first time our lips had ever met. After what we had been through, the feeling of her warm body against mine, the taste of her kisses, and the sweetness of her perfume, left me enraptured all over again. Almost without our lips even parting, she unbuttoned my shirt, and I removed her blouse. I felt the hardness of her nipples against me as we stood, holding each other as though we were afraid to let go. Her hands trailed down my stomach while I caressed her shapely butt. Opening the front of my jeans, her one hand slid down and began to coax my cock until it became hard to her touch. She reached further down, and fondled my balls.


Having rid me of my pants, she turned around, and pressed her butt against my groin. She then guided my hand beneath her panties so that my fingers could touch her tender maidenhead. It felt soft and pliable to my touch. She held me there with her one hand, pushing herself against my fingers until those delicate folds opened slightly, and I felt her moisture. She caressed my hard-on between her firm cheeks. Feeling them tense and relax against me made me close my eyes and enjoy the moment, as I felt the blissful ache of my erection straining to be free of my undies.


We made for the bedroom. She pulled down my jockey-shorts as we stood side-by-side. She took my engorged member with one hand, and stroked its hardness until I felt my knees go weak. In an attempt to regain control of myself, I slid my one hand down her lower torso until I could feel her soft lips once more. She opened her legs slightly, and my one finger entered her moist quim. My other hand stroked her breast. As my nerves became fully alive, I knew that I could no longer stay on my feet. We finally reached the bed.


Sharna lay on her back, and I knelt between her thighs, my jocks still halfway down my hips. She reached down, and took my dick in both hands. She caressed it as she smiled her appreciation at the way it leapt at her touch, and how my hips bucked towards her. Her hands soon became coated with pre-cum, as my hips jerked back and forth as if they had a life of their own.




Her hands left my member yearning for more, and began stroking her labia. I was enthralled all over again as I watched her delicate lips open in reaction to her touch, and by the little bud that stuck out proudly from behind its prepuce. I bent over forwards, moving her hand away, and took over with my tongue. Her neck craned back as I tasted her moisture, and she groaned with delight. I inserted my tongue into her, and felt her vulvae enclose around it as her state of bliss soared to new heights.


In the softest of whispers, she begged me to enter her. I raised myself on my one arm again, placed my hand next to her shoulder, and gently brushed the head of my cock against her waiting honeypot. She moaned as her hips rose to meet me. As slowly as my own yearning would allow me, I pushed myself into her. Her hands went down to her thighs as she pushed me in as far as I could go, and she sighed in an almost trance-like state.


Her head rocked from side to side as she cried out, and I could feel that I was on the verge of losing control of myself. To allow the urge to climax a chance to subside, I shifted my position. This time I lay beside her. She lay on her back, and lifted her one leg to allow me access to her pussy. I pushed myself back into her. From this position, I could watch her clitoris pulse as she caressed it with her fingers, as well as having a unique view of my penis inside her. We kissed as my one hand stroked the back of her thigh. I could see her abdominal muscles tense and relax as she writhed in ecstasy, and her butt lifted off the bed in unison with my movements.


I felt her tighten around me as her muscles convulsed, and her climax overwhelmed her. At first I was worried that I would be unable to withdraw before my cock unloaded itself inside of her. My balls ached as I felt the urge to cum threaten to overpower me. Sensing my urgency, she pulled my throbbing member out of her, and jerked me off until my gism spurted safely over her still heaving torso. A smile played over her mouth as she watched me cum all over her, coating her midriff, and she felt my cock pulse in her hand. I closed my eyes in bliss as I felt her warm hands stroking me until my balls were spent. She took her middle finger, and wiped the sticky strands off of her. With a smile, she licked it clean, and stuck it in her mouth. She closed her eyes as if savouring its bitter taste, her expression brimming with love and mischief.


Again we fell asleep in each other's arms. It felt so good to be in our own home bed again, that the rest we enjoyed seemed to revitalise us both body and soul.


The next morning, we took a shower together, and washed each other. After the previous night, even the feeling of one another's hands caressing our bodies did not arouse much more than a feeling of well-being.


We were just finishing breakfast, when a message came over the com-link. Mister Reese had sent an auto to fetch us, and a special transport to bring us to his head-office for a meeting. He told us that there was no real hurry, as long as we meet him that day. We dressed, and soon were on our way back to Gilmuire. When we arrived, we told him about what had happened to us, and handed the two computer consoles over for their experts to look at. Our employer appeared very happy with the results, and the balance of our agreement was credited to our account before we'd even boarded the transport back home.”


He seemed to have finished the tale just on time because Tess, the barmaid, came over and said: “Sorry lads. Finish your drinks. We'll be closing soon.”


“Thank-you sweetie. Oh shit! Is that the time? My lady friend will have me over a barrel if I don't get home soon.” Terry stated, standing up. We shook hands, and he turned to leave. Tess looked in his direction, and shook her head.

“Boy, is he going to get it!” She agreed, laughing, “Finish up love, and I'll be back to collect the tab.”


She turned to leave, and I watched her cute hips swaying as she walked away. My gaze fell on that tight little bum that was barely covered by her miniskirt. I felt a lump in my throat, and my loins began to stir. I sat down again, and finished my drink. Just then the tavern went dark, as if someone had flipped the switch. All I could see was a mass of shadows as people tried to find their way in the darkness. The black-out did not last long, and soon the place lit up again.


But something had changed! Opposite me, where the storyteller had been sitting, was a mirror, and the face that had been filled with the anguish of what he had experienced was my own. And then things became very strange indeed, and I thought that I was losing my mind. The room began to fade as though I was seeing it through a lens that was slightly out of focus, becoming ever more so as time went by. Then the reflection in the mirror turned psychedelic, and I thought that someone had drugged me. Soon after that, everything went dark. The last thing I remember was the sweet scent of Tess the barmaid's perfume that seemed to linger, even though she was nowhere to be seen …


… “Tyrone.” Came a familiar voice, seemingly out of the ether, “Mister Braelyn. It's time. Nurse, wake them up.”


I felt as if a slight electric shock was rushing through me, and my eyes flickered open. As I began to focus, I realised that I was lying on what seemed to be a hospital bed. A familiar face peered down at me, but I could not place her. It was as if she was there, but in the wrong context, as though I had seen her in one of my dreams. When I caught the slightest whiff of her perfume, I remembered who she was.


“Tess!” I exclaimed, in a state of bewilderment, “Your name's Tess.”


“Hush now. All will be revealed later.” I heard another voice say, but I could not see who it was that spoke.


I became aware of another presence on the bed next to me. I turned my head, so that I could see who it was. She appeared to be sleeping still, and I felt a strange urge to touch her hand. The nurse pushed my bed closer, and I reached out until my fingers closed around those of the woman lying there. At first there was no reaction, but then she took my hand in hers. Her eyes opened slowly, and a strange smile came over her face.


“Tyrone?” Was the first word she spoke as she recovered, “Is it really you?”


Gradually it seemed that this reality became more lucid, and its details began to fall into place. I replied: “Yes, Sairya. I'm here. We're okay.”


I sat up, and was greeted by a middle-aged man with a beard and moustache. He was mostly bald, and what remained of his hair was grey. I closed my eyes again, and realised, that with a few changes in his appearance, he looked exactly like the storyteller in what must have been some sort of dream.


“Okay, time for some explanation.” He stated, “My name is Doctor Terrence Kolvar, and this is my assistant, sister Tessa Starr. We were tasked with helping both of you recover from the trauma you suffered after the terrible events on Morten.”


“But that story ended relatively well for both of us.” I commented.


“That may be so.” The doctor responded, “But it still left the both of you extremely traumatised. You were suffering from amnesia, and your companion here was almost catatonic when she arrived. We were fortunate that someone found her. She was in an apartment, sitting in the corner of the room, almost in the foetal position. You were found in a drunkard stupor in one of the local taverns. Actually, we got the idea for the opening setting from there.”


“Yes, I know the place. It's where I used to go when I was in the military, before I met Sairya. It used to be called Bashford's. I didn't think it was still open.” I said.


“It's now known as the 'Gold Bar', an interesting play on words I have always thought.” The nurse added. “It's also one of my favourite hang-outs. It was me that found you there.”


“But how did you know about our mission?” Asked Sairya.


“That is thanks to Aiden Reese.” Came the reply, “He provided the details that we used in our treatment, and arranged for both of you to come to this institution.”


“What is this treatment all about?” I enquired.


He explained that we had undergone some form of dream therapy. It entailed allowing a patient to relive a particularly traumatic experience while in a state of hypnosis. The treatment made use of a device, known as the Ithildan Mirror, to reconstruct the circumstances of the experience, sometimes changing them to make them more coherent. An example of this was when I found myself in Bashford's in the beginning of my dream.


Instead of reliving the experience, the mirror would transfer them into a third person, like the stranger in the tavern, who would then relate the events to the patient as if he had gone through them. This allowed the patient to become almost a spectator in whatever she had encountered, rather than having to suffer the same trauma all over again.


“Often it is not the reality that causes one to react negatively to a set of circumstances, but our perception thereof. In your dream, you and Sairya survived the incident, and returned to Gilmuire safe and sound, did you not?” He asked.


We both agreed, and the doctor continued: “That part is actually true. Physically and medically speaking, both of you are fine. The problem is psychological. The events that took place on Morten have injured you psychologically. Thus, by reliving the experience, through someone else's eyes - so to speak - the change in perception allows you to see them, perhaps as they really happened, rather than being tainted by your negative reaction to them.”


“How do we know that the mirror doesn't alter the circumstances in the dream? Isn't there a danger that this device could actually be used in mind-control?” I asked, always the sceptic when it came to modern medical science.


“A good question.” Doctor Kolvar admitted, “But, as with a conventional mirror, it only reflects what is really there. Only, in this case, it is in your mind and not your physical form. Let me use an analogy, perhaps to illustrate how it works: You're walking down a street, and someone tells you that you have a spot on your cheek. That morning, because you were running late, you neglected to look into a mirror - either to shave, or put on make-up as the case may be - and so you have no idea whether that person is telling the truth or not.

This may affect the rest of your day. Say - for argument's sake - you have a very important meeting that you have to attend, or even a hot date that night. The last thing you need now is a pimple on your cheek. At this point, you have two choices. You cannot see the spot yourself, and have taken another's word that it's even there. Now, you can face the rest of the day, with the meeting or the date, worrying about whether the boss, or your partner, is going to notice the spot on your face. Or alternatively, you can go to the nearest mirror and find out the truth for yourself. Imagine your relief when you discover that there is no spot.


The Ithildan Mirror gives one the opportunity of looking at what really happened, without having to live through it all over again. Therefore it allows the patient to gain a more subjective view of the events that took place. But it does not change what actually occurred.”


Sairya asked: “Who invented the device?”


To which the doctor replied: “It was actually discovered on a site that is believed to have originally been inhabited by the Founders. The scientist who was given the task of finding out its function was Doctor Alvin Ithildar. He worked with a team to uncover the purpose of this device. Ithildar was a clinical psychologist, who practised what is known as 'Regressions', in order to treat patients who suffered from very similar symptoms to yours. Before this device, the practise of Regression was part medicine, part mysticism. Although very effective, it was not always accurate, and thus its success was only partial at best. The results of this device are far more sustainable.”


“Okay, so - Is there anything else that we need to do? Any medication perhaps, that we need to take, or further consultations that we have to attend?” I asked.


“None at all.” Came the answer, “Not unless you feel that you may need something more to help you. The fact that you have regained your memory, and the lady here is no longer catatonic is proof enough that the treatment was successful. There may still be residual after-effects like recurring nightmares, difficulty sleeping, or whatever. But these can be solved, even without medical intervention.”


“That means that we're free to go?” Sairya enquired.


“Yes you are.” Doctor Kolvar assured us, “If you do need some help later on, feel free to come in, and we can arrange whatever may be necessary at the time. I have a message from Mister Reese. He asks, that as soon as you are well enough, you would go to his offices. He has quite a lot of information for you, and of course there's the question of the remainder of the payment owed to you for the work that you have done.”


We thanked him and his assistant, and left the hospital. We discovered that our luggage had been brought to the facility. We checked into a hotel for the night. The following morning, feeling refreshed, we made our way to the museum to meet mister Reese for what felt like the first time for me, as the memory was still a little fuzzy.

© Copyright 2019 Tristan Biggs. All rights reserved.


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