Complete Consumption

- A Serialized Novel -

A child of the vortex, subject to an insatiable hunger, he fights against his own nature to consume.

Author’s Note: Trust Luna to turn that to her advantage, just a little.

Using the Advantage

“What is this?”

“Are you disappointed that your trap has failed?” Tynan asked the matron, shifting Alvin in his arms. As strong as Luna was, she had not been able to lift the weight of all his limbs and his wings. Tynan carried him with great care, hoping not to hurt him further as he took him back to the infirmary they had left not long before. “You were cruel in your deception, and I should take back my word to refrain from punishing you for what you will claim was the work of a rogue faction.”

The matron moved forward. “No. I gave orders. No one was supposed to go near you. I disagree with the council’s choice, but I honored their decision. You were to be gone. You were not to be interfered with, you were to be left alone until you were gone.”

“Have you seen what they did? That’s not leaving us alone. They shot Alvin, and they want me dead. They say I have to die because I’m the reason you changed your mind. If they had been smart about the way they did it, I would be dead,” Luna said, and Tynan frowned at her. She didn’t seem to see it—she was too focused on the matron. “If you were going to have us killed, you could have been upfront about it. Really. We already accepted what you were going to do. This? It wasn’t necessary.”

The matron stiffened. “I told you—I had no part in this. I should have known that the ones who volunteered were not to be trusted, I suppose, but I swear that you were to go without incident. This peace is… tenuous. I do not. You could kill us, all of us, and to me that means we should have gone ahead with the other course, but the only way to make this work is to let you go.”

“Or kill me and Alvin. Then you don’t have any reason not to go through with the execution.” Luna shook her head. “Me I almost understand—I was loud and melodramatic and worse—but Alvin? He can be a bit annoying sometimes, but he’s innocent. He never hurt anyone. He did not do anything wrong. They would have killed him anyway.”

The medic came closer, trying to balance his instinct to heal with his fear of Tynan. “If you would please set him down, I can examine him and do what I can.”

Tynan nodded, though a part of him was reluctant to leave Alvin in the hands of these people. “He should not have been harmed.”

“I may be able to help him. I do not know. Please, do not be offended.”

“I have no desire to harm you,” Tynan told him, and the medic went to work, looking at the wound on Alvin’s back. The edges seemed cauterized, but he did not know if that was good or not. He did not have enough knowledge of Alvin’s species to be sure.

“What will it take to assure you that these actions were not taken with any official sanction?”

Tynan frowned. Luna folded her arms over her chest. “We get to pick the planet of exile.”


“Earth,” Luna said, facing the matron. “It’s backward according to you, undeveloped, but it’s my home. It’s a world where Tynan, Alvin, and I have lived in peace for long enough to know that it is not under any threat from him. He’s even considered a hero there. That place is where I have my books and my family, where there is enough to keep Tynan’s curiosity satisfied, and there are so many things that he could see and learn yet. It’s ideal for him, even if you don’t see it that way.”

“There are six billion people there.”

“I think it’s more than that by now.”

“All of those people could die.”

“They won’t. I have no desire to kill them, and I harmed no one on that planet in all the time that I spent there. Yes, I broke your rules, but it was a good place for me—that cannot be denied. Not only did it have much to keep me intrigued, but it is also where I met Luna, and she is the best thing I have ever found.”

The matron folded her arms behind her back. “While they treat your companion, I will speak to the council about your new request. We will see what accommodations can be made.”

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