Ntaro Challenge: A House L'u-cif-er Story (final chapter) by Acton Bell


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Genji closed and sealed the hatch, then tapped on the cockpit door to signal the pilot to take off. Settling on the couch beside Viir, he took the drykkur his partner offered him.
He hadn't thought it would work. Viir's idea of combining his, Genji's, and cheeck Seeyeer's Talents to show the Council Gemmel's activities had seemed like an impossible gamble. Yet it had succeeded. The new link he and Viir had discovered had allowed Viir to find and pull exactly the moments he had needed from Gemmel's mind, while Seeyeer's ability to project those moments had shown the Council exactly what Gemmel had been doing.
The Council had taken very little time to issue an apology to L'u-cif-er, unfreeze its assets, and restore its standing on Ntaro. He would probably never know which members of the Council had tried to cover up the ‘accidents' caused by Gemmel, but it no longer mattered. The Council as a whole now was most anxious to distance itself from Gemmel's schemes and show its support of L'u-cif-er. Even Kia-Kia—
"What did Kia-Kia say to you?" Viir said, following Genji's thoughts.
Genji smiled. After the final judgment had been rendered, Kia-Kia had drawn Genji aside. The Ntaro had been blunt. "I do not want your kind on this planet, L'u-cif-er; but the actions of Gemmel shame us all. Know that I will oppose you openly."
Viir laughed at Genji's retelling. "An apology and a threat. Kia-Kia is truly a gifted politico."
"Hmmm, more threat than apology," said Genji. "But honest, open opposition is the better course than Gemmel's way. Did you," he said, looking at his lover, "suspect it had been responsible for Overseer Seeyeer's death?"
Viir shook his head. "I felt that cheeck had been present in dzeert's mind when it occurred, but the emotions were so confused I did not realize Gemmel had been there."
"Seeyeer must have discovered the pattern we did and called Gemmel to confront it," said Genji. "Perhaps it found some direct evidence on the tower."
"And when they argued Gemmel pushed it into the blades." Viir shook his head. "It acted in the heat of the moment. I do not think it intended harm."
"But it caused it," said Genji. "What Gemmel did pushed cheeck into madness. We were fortunate my Talent could bring it some lucidity. Even the House doctors may not be able to completely heal cheeck."
Genji had arranged for the Ntaro to be taken to Byshen, where it would be treated and trained to control its Talent. Even now it was sleeping in the spare chamber, heavily sedated.
Viir laid his hand over Genji's and laced their fingers together. "That was kind of you, my love. It was ill-used on Ntaro."
Genji covered Viir's hand with his own and, after a moment spent in contented study of how well they went together, said, "I think we have spoken enough of Ntaro for the time. Let us find another subject."
Viir stood, tugging Genji with him. "I believe I know the one you are thinking of." His lips were curved in a seductive smile and his eyes sparkled with promise.
"An, minn hjarta," said Genji, "as always you read my mind."
Amidst shared laughter, he followed Viir into their bedchamber, closing the hatch behind them.
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