Firebird-Part Ten

Firebird copyright (c) 2006 T.A. Chase

Part Ten-

Vlatko didn’t know if the shocked look on Rue’s face was because he’d been found out or that Vlatko had figured it out so soon.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m not here to steal anything from you.” Rue struggled in his arms.

“Excuse me if I don’t believe that.” He gestured to where a bag sat just at the edge of the clearing. “I left the hut while you were sleeping and looked around. Found your bag in the bushes there. Clothes, credits and a pretty little red stone. The President’s Heart is beautiful. If you were tied up here by a disgruntled transport captain, he wouldn’t have left you anything. But all your stuff is right there.”

He pushed Rue towards the bag. The thief stumbled across the hard ground and Valtko fought the urge to help him. Shaking his head, he moved towards the tree where the firebird still perched. The closer he got, the more agitated the bird became until sparks rained down like a little meteor shower. He felt the embers sting his skin, but didn’t move away.

“I figured they would send someone. The information I have could topple a few governments if the universe found out the truth. It’s dangerous for me to still be alive.” He turned to see Rue pulling on some pants and a dark green chest-hugging shirt. He continued in a thoughtful tone. “If I had friends, I’d be led to believe that I.U.M. talked to them about the best way to get me to lower my guard.”

Rue started to say something, but Vlatko held up his hand. “Don’t get me wrong. I never wanted friends. Life is far easier without worrying about other people. Friends can be used against you. But so can your own nature.”

Vlatko lifted his hand higher, bringing it within reach of the shrieking bird. She struck out with her beak, but he didn’t move. He kept his eyes on Rue, ignoring the danger above him. One foot gripped his wrist and he grimaced at the smell of burning flesh.

“Wait. Don’t let that thing touch you. You’ll get fried.” Rue stood up, holding out his hand as if wanting to stop Vlatko.

“There are benefits to being a trained killer, Rue. One is liquid body armor that they inject under your skin. It makes you impervious to fire, guns and anything short of a nuclear explosion.” The second claw closed around his wrist and he brought the bird down. “The only discomfort I have is from the smell. The top layer of my flesh will grow back.”

Rue’s eyes were glancing wildly around the clearing. He watched the lean muscles tense and he knew Rue was planning on running. He hid a smile. The I.U.M. hadn’t briefed the thief very well if the guy thought he could survive on the planet long enough for someone to rescue him.

“Don’t run, Rue. I was telling the truth. There’s only the primitive people of the planet and they give me a wide berth.” He worked the transmitter out of his pocket with his free hand. “And I took the liberty to steal your transmitter. The I.U.M. won’t send anyone in to save you either. You should have done more research before you accepted this job, Rue.”

15 Responses “Firebird-Part Ten”

  1. T.A.Chase says:

    lol..Paige, it’s okay that you didn’t know why YML meant. I see Celia was quick to help you learn a new phrase. 🙂

  2. T.A.Chase says:

    Thanks Sherrill. I love your new blog story. 🙂

  3. Celia Kyle says:

    Sorry Paige! YML = Yummy Man Loving


  4. Paige Burns says:

    Is it bad if I don’t know what YML is? I love the way you leave us hanging.

  5. Sherrill Quinn says:

    Great installment, as always, T.A.!

  6. T.A.Chase says:


    Yep…who would have thought that Rue wouldn’t research this a little better, but he was dealing with the I.U.M. and I think those guys are sneaky. 😉


  7. Yvonne says:

    WoW T.A.
    Nice curve you threw! I have a feeling that Rue REALLY should have done some serious research before landing.

    This has the feel of another great book.

  8. T.A.Chase says:

    I think we might find out next week, Cathy. 🙂 Or at least get a little glimpse into why Rue chose to work for the I.U.M.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Oh man-
    oops Rue -wonder why he did it
    keeping us on pins and needles
    mean just mean
    great (grin)

  10. T.A.Chase says:


    I think Rue’s screwed up a little more than we know about yet. lol 😉 And don’t worry about the YML..there will still be more of that. Just needed to add a little intrigue to the story.

  11. T.A.Chase says:


    I know about blogger. I couldn’t check in on my blog for a while this morning. Ugh!

    There seems to be a lot of twists and turns to this story and it’s been interesting to find out about them as I write.

  12. Celia Kyle says:

    Rue’s stepped in it hasn’t he? And injectable liquid body armor? How ultra cool is that?! Love it, but you had to throw some conflict in there to interrupt the flow of YML, didn’t you?


  13. S. W. Vaughn says:

    This is getting so fascinating, T.A.! I would have been here earlier but Booger’s being a pill. 🙁

  14. T.A.Chase says:

    Jenna..hey girl, it’s great to have you back. 🙂 Hope your trip went well.

    The cover is great, isn’t it?

    Yep…Vlatko is surprising me every time I write his scenes.

  15. Jenna Howard says:

    Oooh lah. We’re in the thick of it now!!

    I finally caught up…damn I’m loving this story and the cover for Angel? Perfect.

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