"Monster Sized Mistake"
Written by: Erin Weinstock
Novelization verison by: Reba Grayladyfalcon

I don't hold any of the copyrights in this story, and this story was made without profit.

A two story ski lodge with fake tan paneling, stands with lit windows. Pine trees in a forest surround three sides of the building. The light is dim and a snowstorm that's raging around at the time isn't helping the low visibility. Inside of the ski lodge, with cream-colored walls and what appears to be a dark wooden floor. A fire dancing around in a fireplace is providing the main light. Two couches are by it, one empty and one with Ge-Ja holding Beu-Pas. Beu-Pas in turn is holding Nuisance that in its own robot way looks annoyed, its face-eye looking like it's a wide screen picture. De-Pas is beside the two of them and is closest to the fireplace. A small pile of wood rests at his feet. And there is a Humdos just within a yard of them.

"And just what do you think you're doing here?" a Humdos asked.

De-Pas picks up a piece of wood. "We're on vacation," De-Pas replied, throwing some more wood into the fire that then sparks and crackles at the act. "You got a problem with that?" De-Pas asked.

"You're not welcome here," the Humdos said, making a disgusted face.

De-Pas picks up another piece of wood and smiles at the Humdos.

"I'll leave," the Humdos said, as he leaves the area.

A Human male, who looks to have recently come in from the snowing outside, walks in.

"Listen, I have nothing against your kind, but the Humdos was right. Candoses aren't welcome here," the skier said.

Ge-Ja covers Beu-Pas'es ears. "Really? Candoses aren't welcome here? Well I know Humans aren't as afraid of fire the same as Humdoses are, but I'm sure I can find something," De-Pas replied.

"Muh?" Beu-Pas said, looking up at Ge-Ja.

"I'm not threatening you. Over the last sixty years every Candos that's ever come out this way has disappeared without a trace, not to be seen again," the skier said.

"I told you we should have stayed in New Chicago," Ge-Ja said.

"Not now," De-Pas said, looking at Ge-Ja. Returning his attention back to the Skier. "Why is..?" De-Pas started to ask.

"Maybe we should leave," Ge-Ja said, feeling a little unconfortable.

De-Pas gets up then motions for Ge-Ja to follow him, Ge-Ja stands and follows De-Pas carrying Beu-Pas.

They walk towards a small room used for looking at the outdoors with a large window in it to this purpose, far from the fireplace. Ge-Ja is still carrying Beu-Pas as this occurs.

"What is your problem?" De-Pas asked.

"I don't like it here, it's too remote," Ge-Ja replied.

"Ge-Ja, we need this, it's a good getaway from the city and this is the first time Beu-Pas has ever seen snow before. She loves it!" De-Pas said.

In the small room at the large window. "It also might be the last time she ever sees it. That man and that Humdos, they said Candos never last well here," Ge-Ja said.

De-Pas can't find his words at first, then in a snap he throws both his arms towards the window. "It's snowing, HARD. We're staying," De-Pas shouts. De-Pas leaves the room.

Ge-Ja stares out the window, rocking Beu-Pas in her arms, Nuisance trying to escape Beu-Pas'es grasp. A moment later Ge-Ja's eyes narrow, she's seeing something.

Out the window in the blowing, dim snowstorm, into the forest. Something tall and white moves out from behind a tree.

De-Pas approaching the Skier. "Sorry about that, now back to what's important here. Why are Candoses..." De-Pas is cut short by the sound of scattering glass, a scream from Ge-Ja followed by one from Beu-Pas. De-Pas and the Skier at the same time take off for where the sound came from.

The window, scattered now, Nuisance is gone and an employee of the lodge is cradling Beu-Pas who's crying. De-Pas and the Skier run into the room. "What happened here?!" De-Pas asked looking around the room.

"Your wife has just been abducted by a yeti," the lodge employee replied.


Chapter 1

In Buck's bedroom, Buck is packing a duffle bag on the bed and Wilma is standing across from him as he is working away with haste.

"No," Buck said, in a stern voice.

"I can handle it," Wilma said.

"I don't want you hurt," Buck replied.

"Don't worry," Wilma said.

"Do you know what a yeti is?" Buck asked, as he finishes packing his duffle bag and slides its drawstring shut.

"Something supposedly myth, Buck this might all just be..." Wilma started saying until Buck cut in.

"They are just a myth, but so are dragons and satyrs. I trust De-Pas, something kidnapped Ge-Ja, something large, white, furry," Buck said. Buck opens his mouth wide, bares his teeth and with both hands at the mouth makes himself look as best he can like a saber tooth tiger. "Big vicious looking teeth."

"Buck!" Wilma said, sternly

"No," Buck replied back in the same manner. He picks up the duffle bag and slings it over his shoulder, then fast walks away. Wilma takes on an annoyed look.

In a green house, Hawk is tracking a small bird flying across the top of the place into the shelter of a nearby tree. Suddenly from the tree the commotion of birds chirping wildly in what can only be guessed as a fight. Hawk smiles and laughs lightly at the squabbling birds. Wilma enters the green house making sounds and movements that show she's annoyed. She doesn't even notice Hawk's presence.

Hawk soon takes notice of her. "Something has you upset, Colonel Deering?" Hawk asked.

Wilma having now noticed Hawk. "Buck!" Wilma replied in an agravated voice.

"He's done something wrong to you? I don't understand, I thought you two were good friends?" Hawk asked.

"He's done nothing bad to me, I'm just worried for him. I think he's about to go get himself hurt and I want to protect him, but he won't let me," Wilma replied.

"Colonel, I owe that man my life for what he did for me on Throm. You have my word I'll keep him out of harm's way," Hawk said, placing his hand gently on Wilma's shoulder.

"Thank you, Hawk," Wilma said, placing her hand on top of Hawk's.

"Now please, Colonel, tell me the finer details of what I'm about to protect him from," Hawk said.

Up in the Canadian Rockies, a clear blue noon sky and in a distance a Defense Directorate shuttle is moving through the mountains at a fast speed.

Inside the shuttle at the ship's controls, nobody is flying the ship. The steering controls are working themselves. Hawk is standing against one wall and Buck is standing against the wall opposite to him.

"I don't want her hurt, or you for that matter. I've known these guys since almost day one of being around now," Buck said.

"You're going to get killed if you keep this up!" Hawk said.

"One day you're going to have to explain to me what you mean by that. But I owe you my life, I can well take care of myself!" Hawk replied.

"God, and people call me stubborn," Buck said, shaking his head.

"Whether you like it or not, I am doing this for your sake, FRIEND," Hawk said.

Buck leaves Hawk for the ship's controls. "I should really get back to flying the ship," Buck said.

"For that I'm grateful, that autopilot idea makes me nervous and the sky is my home," Hawk replied.

Inside the Welcoming Place all connecting rooms are underground, but to be more accurate it's inside a cave. Its walls have been refined down to a smooth clean surface. Stone columns carved from the rock of this place run from the smooth floor to the ceiling. The ceiling unlike all that surrounds it has the look of where we truly are. Rooms can be seen beyond this one with open doorways, no doors at all. A helmet covered in thick white fur with a face-shield that has glass holes on it meant for looking out of, on a bench Ge-Ja is sitting on.

"I'm sorry for how I brought you here but believe me, you will forgive me for it," Sha-Har said.

A Sho-Candos whose fur looks longer than any other Candoses' but shorter than that of unbred wild Candoses.

"What did you need that for?" Ge-Ja asked pointing at the helmet.

Sha-Har picks up the helmet. "When we..." Sha-Har motions towards the whole room. "Trust me, we aren't the only Candoses here." Sha-Har sits down beside Ge-Ja. "When we go outside of here to find other Candoses we wear these so anyone watching us can't clearly make out what we are. Plus it helps keep our heads warm," Sha-Har replied.

"You have eyes," Ge-Ja said.

Sha-Har looking very proud of that fact. "Fourth generation to keep them," Sha-Har replied.

Ge-Ja looking like she's had enough in a tired way. "I'm sure you must have some good reason for bringing me here, due to how kind you've acted towards me outside of kidnapping me. But I'd really love to be returned to my family," Ge-Ja said.

Sha-Har putting his hands on Ge-Ja's hand. "The Humdos you're with, were with, they're not your family. I know that after a life time of serving them they must seem like they are but I assure you they're not," Sha-Har said.

"My husband is Candos, so is my daughter," Ge-Ja replied.

"The baby was yours?" Sha-Har asked, shocked.

"I know she isn't the same breed I am but she is my daughter," Ge-Ja said.

"I couldn't bring her due to her breed, I'm sorry," Sha-Har said.

"What's wrong with her breed?" Ge-Ja asked with an angry voice.

Sha-Har gets up from the bench, puts back down the helmet then puts out a hand for Ge-Ja to take. "My name is Sha-Har," Sha-Har said.

"Ge-Ja," Ge-Ja replied, standing and taking his hand.

"Ge-Ja, let me explain how things work here as I give you the tour," Sha-Har said. Sha-Har leads Ge-Ja through a doorway just ahead of them. As they walk down a hallway that's roof doesn't look like the one in the Welcoming Room, but smooth like the walls and floor. "A hundred and twenty years ago five Candoses came to this place, well not this cave, this mountain. They came here with their Humdos masters. They escaped them in want of a better life," Sha-Har explained.

Sha-Har and Ge-Ja reach the exit of the hallway that drops down with some steps. Ge-Ja quickly takes on a look of wonder. "They didn't want to be taken back to Miahgo, didn't want to get caught so they fled to this cave," Sha-Har said.

Ge-Ja's and Sha-Har's stops and points to a town carved into the rock of the walls with one narrow street down its center.

"Wow," Ge-Ja said softly.

"It took a very long time," Sha-Har said.

In the home of Ri-Ye, a very old female Hauler-Candos. She's sitting at a table carving a stone she's centered with one hand on it, the other is at work with the tool. Sha-Har and Ge-Ja enters her home.

"Ri-Ye?" Sha-Har calls out.

"Not now," Ri-Ye replied, not taking her eyes off her work.

"Ri-Ye, I'd like you to meet someone," Sha-Har said.

Ri-Ye carves a little more, glances up for a moment at Ge-Ja. Looks back at her work then puts down her carving tool and looks at Ge-Ja again.

"He's taken you to me, has he?" Ri-Ye asked.

"I don't want to stay here, I want to get back to my family," Ge-Ja replied.

"You haven't talked to her yet, it's your job and the job of all other," Ri-Ye said, looking at Sha-Har.

"He has told me what this place is. Why Candos are brought here, but I can't stay," Ge-Ja said.

Ri-Ye gets up from where she's been sitting and walks over to Ge-Ja, slowly due to age. Looking Ge-Ja in the eye as best she can. "You're needed here, your people need you here. Your blood must be mixed in with ours," Ri-Ye said.

Back at the ski lodge in a Little Room, De-Pas is staring out the broken window. He looks worried. "We should have never fought," De-Pas said.

Suddenly a force field stripes across the bottom of the broken window.

"I should have listened to her," De-Pas said.

Buck and Hawk and the Skier come in behind De-Pas. Buck is holding Beu-Pas. Another force field stripes into place across the lower one.

"We should have never come here," De-Pas said, softly shaking his head.

"You didn't know," Buck said, softly.

De-Pas turns to them. "But I should have known, sixty years of Candos being taken from this place," De-Pas replied. A final force field stripes across the top of the last one, covering what's left of the open window.


Chapter 2

Inside of the ski lodge, all the broken glass has been cleaned from the floor and a couple of employees of the lodge are climbing down from ladders at either side of the window. The employees just finished putting force field projectors in place to each side of the window.

"Muh-muh?" Beu-Pas said softly.

"I'm sorry sweetie," De-Pas said, taking Beu-Pas into his arms.

"You have said that your kind has been being abducted from this place for sixty years. Don't you think it's odd this creature knew you and your mate were here when you came?" Hawk asked.

"What do you mean by that?" De-Pas asked.

Buck after a moment of thought. "Someone here tipped off the yeti," Buck said.

De-Pas starts to pace with growing anger.

"Da?" Beu-Pas said.

De-Pas stops his pacing and takes on a false smile. "I'm not upset at you honey. Daddy just wants to do something he really shouldn't," De-Pas said, in a sweet, low voice.

"De-Pas?" Buck asked, with concern.

Taking a deep sigh. "There is a Humdos staying here as a guest. He told my family and me, we weren't welcome here," De-Pas replied.

"If he is staying here as a guest, then he cannot be the one at fault for your mate's disappearance," Hawk said.

"Likely it was one of the staff, I know. But I just have a feeling about that Humdos," De-Pas replied.

"Ge-Ja isn't the only one missing here," Buck said, looking around.

"Nuisance is missing too, but why the yeti would take that little bot, or my wife for that matter?" De-Pas asked.

"I say we split up." Looking to all of them. "Two of us go out there to try to find her," Buck said, pointing towards the force field covered window. "And the other two stay here to question the staff."

"That darn Humdos as well," De-Pas said, in an irate voice.

"If needed," the skier replied.

De-Pas gives a light growl.

"You know if Nuisance was here right now," Buck said.

De-Pas stops growling.

"You and the Human should stay here," Hawk said.

"My name's Matt and how familiar are you with this mountain, bird?" Matt asked, looking towards Hawk.

"Hawk, and I have never been here before today. I do not know," Hawk started to say but was cut short.

"Then I'll be helping your friend here locate her," Matt said.

Up in the mountain wilderness, Nuisance is slowly creeping out of snow from having been buried in it. Once out, the little robot rotates its head around completely, flashing is face-eye light off and on. After a few moments, Nuisance flies up from the snow a few feet and quickly zips away.

Inside of the cave town. Ge-Ja, who is looking very cautious, is just leaving Ri-Ye's home.

Sha-Har comes into her view holding a bouquet of white flowers. "You're not thinking of leaving, are you?" Sha-Har asked, walking towards her, smiling.

"I know this place is here to serve a greater good, I understand that. It's just," Ge-Ja starts to say.

Sha-Har hands the flowers to her. "Do these help?" Sha-Har asked.

Ge-Ja smiles and picks lightly at one of the flowers. "They're lovely, but I already have a husband," Ge-Ja said.

"Is there anything I can do to prove my worth, my love for you?" Sha-Har asked.

"You only want me for my genes, Sha-Har, I'm sorry," Ge-Ja replied.

Sha-Har taking her hands together to hold the flowers. "That and your beauty, I will prove my love to you, as best anyone can here," Sha-Har said.

In the forest, with the sky lodge at a distance behind them, Buck and Matt make their way through the snow. Some snow falls off from a tree nearby and Matt slows down, looking up at the tree it fell from and seeing the sky is a fish-scaled sky. Matt starts to walk faster.

"Rogers, we better find her fast, it's going to snow," Matt said.

Buck looks at the sky for a moment. "Are you sure? I mean it sure doesn't look it," Buck said.

"Fish-scaled sky, it's going to happen somewhere within the next few hours," Matt replied.

"You're so familiar with this mountain, you already know where she is, don't you?" Buck asked.

Matt stops walking and turns around to Buck. "I know, but I won't venture in where she is. Monsters, yuh know?" Matt replied.

"Know anyone else who's as familiar as you are with this mountain?" Buck asked.

"There are trained rescuers at the Lodge, who know it better than I do, but they don't talk much," Matt replied as he turns away from Buck and continues at the previous pace of walking.

In a corner of the Humdoses' room, bound to a chair by ropes De-Pas is finishing tying in place. The floor is an off-white carpet, the walls look to be of a medium-dark polished wood with a window cut into one of them. De-Pas is moving out from behind the chair, While Hawk cradles Beu-Pas.

The Humdos looks towards to Hawk. "You're just going to stand there and let him do this?!" the Humdos asked.

"You didn't want to cooperate and you're also one of the strongest suspects in this case," Hawk replied.

"I have nine Candoses at home to cater to my every whim! Why would I want that mangy female he brought here?!" the Humdos asked.

"That isn't the question at hand," Hawk said.

"It's why would you tell the yeti she was here?" De-Pas asked.

"I have no interest in this! I don't know WHAT a yeti is and if you don't have me untied I'll see to it, and this I will admit to, that something bad will be done to you!" the Humdos shouted, struggling to free himself from the binds.

De-Pas starts heading for the door, Hawk turning towards him. "Um De-Pas?" Hawk said.

"I only pity the weak. He doesn't know what we want," De-Pas replied.

"The moment I find out who your owner is!" the Humdos said in a threatening voice.

"Good luck," De-Pas said as he left the room.

Hawk puts Beu-Pas gently on the floor then moves over to the Humdos to untie him. "I will apologize on the behalf of my departed companion," Hawk said. As Hawk unties the Humdos' hands from behind his back. "I do not know him well at all but I'm sure his actions towards you weren't fully justified," Hawk said.

Hawk moves around to untie the Humdos' legs, the Humdos pats off his wrists. "He wasn't, he has his place in society and he should have known it," the Humdos replied.

Hawk still working on the rope that bond the Humdos' legs. "Tell me, what did you mean by 'you have nine Candoses?" Hawk asked, glancing up at the Humdos

"You're new to our culture aren't you?" the Humdos asked.

"Yes," Hawk replied.

The Humdos took a deep breath. "We Humdoses keep them, breed them, train them, work them, sell them. They're a very useful species so long as they know to stay in their place," the Humdos said.

Hawk stops untying the Humdos, then starts tying the Humdos back up again.

"What are you doing!? You're on my side!" the Humdos shouted.

After Hawk had finished tying up the Humdos, he picked up Beu-Pas, glancing back towards him as he's walking away. "Not anymore and never again," Hawk said. Hawk leaves the room and the Humdos is left with a look of shock on his face.

At an entrance area, the face of a man who seems to be deep in thought. He is one of the members of the Lodge's Rescue Unit.

"It's not illegal, it's not wrong," sportsman one said.

"It's a living creature," his wife replied.

"That kidnaps Candos and does god knows what to them," sportsman one said.

"Just be careful," his wife said.

"We will be," the second sportsman replied, as he shakes his head then lifts up a mug and takes a drink.

"Was that really necessary?" Hawk asked.

"He was at the top of my suspect list," De-Pas replied.

"And after talking with him, I can understand why," Hawk said.

"Someone, someone here knows this beast that took her. Knows why it took her. I want to know why and get her back. The future freedom of my species lies with her, my daughter and me," De-Pas said, loudly.

The remark De-Pas made catches the man's attention and he looks towards De-Pas and Hawk.

"Without her, I'm not sure my daughter and I will make it," De-Pas said.


Chapter 3

The man, who's a member of the Ski Lodge's Rescue Unit is getting up from sitting on a broad, low window ledge by the entrance to the lodge. Putting down his mug on the ledge, his eyes are on De-Pas and Hawk who are standing about eleven feet from him. The two sportsmen are heading out the entrance, toting rifle-looking blasters.

"Is there anyone else on your suspect list, someone more fitting?" Hawk asked De-Pas.

The rescuer starts walking towards Hawk and De-Pas. "I've heard a little about you from Buck. You used to be a judge, don't you still have instincts about "whodunit?" De-Pas asked.

"I still am a judge," Hawk replied.

The rescuer walks up and stands beside Hawk and De-Pas. "Excuse me, did you say you were planning on doing something to help free your kind?" the rescuer asked, looking at De-Pas.

"What's it to you?" De-Pas asked.

"On different paths, I suspect much different paths, we're working towards the same goal," the rescuer replied.

De-Pas and Hawk stare at the rescuer for a moment to allow what he had just said to sinks in.

"I know where your wife is," the rescuer announced.

Inside of the Combat Pit. On the floor of the cave stalagmites rise up from the floor sharply, the roar of a cheering crowd can be heard in the distance, and a rock face can be seen. A few small pieces of broken-shape rock fall to the ground. The crowd's roar becomes more intense for a few moments. The noise of mixed conversations, with no true voices, shouting, cheering, and a blood battle become less of a background and more noticeable. Suddenly the crowd's roar becomes a higher pitch than before and a bloody black-furred Candos falls down.

A mis-shapen circle about twenty feet around with level-looking ground. The winner of the fight stands in its center, a light gray Candos with faded black spots. His hands covered in blood are high in the air and he's smiling. Then lowering his arms, he moves to the edge of the circle and moves along this. Proudly with outstretched arms to each side he smiles, snapping his teeth, and the crowd howls a cheer of approval from the bleachers carved into the wall of the cave.

Standing by the entranceway to this place along a path that leads into the circle and to either side where the audience sits, Ge-Ja watches in shock mixed lightly with horror. Ri-Ye smiles broadly holding her hand.

"He has to be kidding," Ge-Ja said.

Sha-Har walks towards the circle. "See you after the fight," Sha-Har shouts. He blows Ge-Ja a kiss before entering the circle.

The spotted Candos in the circle sees Sha-Har and gives him a smile and a gesture that says "bring it on".

"It will be proof of his worth that his DNA is strong enough to live on in your offspring and how much you mean to him," R-Ye said as she leads Ge-Ja forward.

She leads Ge-Ja to a set of stairs beside the entrance that leads to the bleachers. "I know it's important, building up our numbers but I don't want him dead!" Ge-Ja said.

A Candos sitting in a lower seat past where they're walking turns to them. "So you're the one Sha-Har is going to fight for?" the Candos asked.

"I am, I wish I weren't but I am," Ge-Ja replied.

"She's new here isn't she?" the Candos asked, looking at Ri-Ye.

"She'll learn to love it here, just like the rest of us, when he wins," Re-Ye replied.

"Then you better hope Sha-Har wins. This will be Mu-Suk's third fight today," the Candos said.

Ri-Ye, sits down in an open seat next to another one. "Don't worry," Ri-Ye said as she pats Ge-Ja's nearest hand.

"This whole day has me worried," Ge-Ja said.

In the circle, Sha-Har and Mu-Suk are circling each other in a fighting stance.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" Mu-Suk asked.

"Ready when you are," Sha-Har replied.

Mu-Suk, driving an arm forward first, rams Sha-Har in the chest and cuts his arm up on the jaw.

Sha-Har stumbles back a few feet then moves forward to Mu-Suk's side and slams a fist hard into his side. As this action happens Mu-Suk bites into Sha-Har's side, only nipping him in the clothes and fur. Both make noises of pain. Sha-Har kicks Mu-Suk who then holds his ground but punches Sha-Har in an area that makes Sha-Har give out a high-pitched cry.

"So much for him fathering your children," Ri-Ye said.

"This is so wrong," Ge-Ja said.

"This is us as intended, not what the Humdos impose on us, on Miahgo," Ri-Ye said.

"No it isn't," Ge-Ja replied, turning to face Ri-ye.

Ge-Ja moves through the row of bleachers she's on towards the entrance to the area. "This isn't right! Stop the fight!" Ge-Ja shouts.

No one seems to have listened to her as she heads into the path that leads to the circle, they're too busy watching the fight.

In the circle Mu-Suk is throwing Sha-Har to the ground.

Sha-Har lays on the ground and moans as Mu-Suk takes notice of Ge-Ja entering the area. "The fight's not over, Tomidi," Mu-Suk shouts.

"Please, end the fight now," Ge-Ja pleaded.

"But I haven't won yet," Sha-har said in a weak voice.

"I don't want either of you and I don't want either of you dead. This ends now," Ge-Ja shouts.

Ge-Ja looks out and up towards the crowd watching. "This ends now!" she shouts louder,

"This weeds out the weak!" one of the spectators shouted back.

"For the battle, the strongest must live," another one shouts.

"In our native, untouched by the Humdos union we don't act this way! We will triumph over them still!" Ge-Ja shouts.

"And how would you know this?!" another spectator asked.

"None of us know how we lived before the Humdos!" another voice from the crowd said.

"I've met them, Candos not bred by the Humdos! Not us! My family and I, we're protected by Earth's Defense Directorate! They are here for us, they will help us earn our freedom!" Ge-Ja replied.

Sha-Har, still lying on the floor but watching Ge-Ja. "Earth's Defense Directorate has done nothing for us!" one of the spectators shouted.

"That's because they don't know you're here! They've helped my family, they brought me to Earth, they saved my daughter from a lifetime of Humdos oppression," Ge-Ja said weeping lightly.

Sha-Har gets up from the floor and looks at Mu-suk. "I don't want to fight you. I want her but she wants this to end even more," Sha-Har said, pointing towards Ge-Ja.

Mu-Suk moves to in front of Ge-Ja after giving Sha-Har a look.

"They'll tell the Humdos where we are, we'll all be taken back to Miahgo!" Mu-Suk shouts.

"I'll ask them not to, they'll listen to me," Ge-Ja said.

Mu-Suk turns towards the crowd. "The word of a newcomer that does not know yet the paradise given to her! Tell me, should we trust her with a paradise we have not seen or trust the paradise we've made here!?" Mu-Suk asked.

Various people in the crowd shout out. "Our paradise!"

Sha-Har takes Ge-Ja's hand and whispers to her. "We should run now, I'll lead you out," Sha-Har whispers. With Sha-Har leading, they flee the room. The shouts from the crowd die out.

Mu-Suk goes after them.

It's snowing and in a up in a small tree, Nuisance sits with his bright-blue face-eye glowing.

Down on the ground not far away, Matt looks up at Nuisance. "What the...?" But before Matt could finish his sentence, Nuisance flys down and drive-bombs into Matt's jacket. Matt lets out a scream on contact and falls backwards onto his butt. Panicking, Matt batting at it tries to unzip his jacket. "What in the hell of the cosmos!" Matt yells.

Buck bends down to Matt. "Nuisance," Buck said.

"It sure is! I don't know what it is, but it's COLD!" Matt replied. Matt finally gets his jacket unzipped and Nuisance is revealed part of the way.

Buck in a scoop holds out his hands to the little bot. "Don't like the cold out here, do yuh?" Buck asked.

Nuisance takes notice of Buck and shakes his head "yes" in a very mechanical twitching way. Then climbs into Buck's awaiting open hands.

Matt getting up from the ground, but keeping his eyes on Nuisance. "An ambuquad?" Matt asked.

"De-Pas'es," Buck replied, presenting Nuisance out to Matt.

Nuisance motions to Buck that it's antsy.

Buck playfully joking. "You need to tell me something, boy?!" Buck asked.

Nuisance narrowing his face-eye down to a point of light, shoots Buck in the forehead with it for a brief moment.

"I'm not familiar with the Vireis series. What did it just do to you?" Matt asked.

Buck, blinking. "It wasn't a yeti, it was just a Candos, a very puffed out Candos. The snow from the other night caught Nuisance. He couldn't follow and got swept up in the wind. It's cold," Buck said.

Buck motions Nuisance toward one of his jacket pockets that Nuisance that climbs into.

"So there never was a yeti?" Matt asked.


Chapter 4

Back at the ski lodge, sitting by the fire, De-Pas is holding a resting Beu-Pas and watching with Hawk. Both are sitting on one of the two couches, while the rescuer talks to them.

"Why didn't you just tell us when we came in?" De-Pas asked.

"They don't want anyone to know they're here, except for people like me. Would you have let her go?" the rescuer asked.

De-Pas stands up quickly. "I didn't want her taken!" De-Pas said.

Beu-Pas wakes up and lets out a soft cry.

De-Pas realizing his mistake takes on a look of regret and sits back down looking at her.

"A colony of what at first was only five Candoses, they need new breeding stock, new DNA to keep genetic malformations from happening to them," the rescuer said.

"Will Rogers and his companion be able to bring her back here safely?" Hawk asked.

"If they'll let her go and not in all the times I've ever encountered them have they let someone go. But then again no one has ever wanted to leave. I don't know how they'll react to the two at the request," the rescuer replied.

De-Pas puts a hand on his face. "How will they react to the gamesmen?" Hawk asked, watching the expression on De-Pas's face.

The Rescuer lets out a little laugh. "The hunters that come out this way when they finally meet their prey don't do anything," the rescuer replied.

De-Pas takes his hand off his face and looks at the rescuer in curiosity.

"When they venture out to the location of the Candos colony they're greeted by a Candos. They don't start their hunts looking for them, they set out looking for what they believe are yetis," the rescuer said.

De-Pas lets out a little laugh.

Near the Colony Cave, Mu-Suk is roaming through the woods shouting and searching for Sha-Har and Ge-Ja.

"She can't leave, you know that, Sha-Har!" Mu-Suk hesitates for a moment. "I'm not going to harm you, but she will tell others of our plan! She'll lead the Humdos right to us! She's still loyal to them! Reveal yourself!" Mu-Suk yells out with anger.

Up in a tall pine tree, a large lump of snow clings to the tree, Sha-Har is covering Ge-Ja.

"I will not tire of this till she's been taken in, Sha-Har!" Mu-Suk said.

"Will he ever shut up?" Ge-Ja asked, whispering.

"He's very persistent, one of our reigning champions, he's not used to losing at anything," Sha-Har whispered back.

"How long will we be safe up here?" Ge-Ja asked, softly.

"As long as there's snow on the trees, we'll be safe," Sha-Har whispered back.

Mu-Suk continues his search as Buck and Matt walked up behind Mu-Suk. "If you make me wait long for you, Sha-Har, I cannot keep my promise not to harm you!" Mu-Suk said, loudly.

"Sha-Har? That sounds like the kind of name someone from Miahgo might be given," Buck said.

"This is none of your business Human, stay out of it!" Mu-Suk shouted, pointing his finger at Buck.

"We're looking for a Tomidi that was kidnapped out this way the other day. You wouldn't happen to know where she was taken would you?" Matt asked.

"Are you of Earth's Defense Directorate?" Mu-Suk asked.

"I'm not but my pal here is," Matt replied, pointing at Buck.

"I've met that Tomidi you're looking for and I don't believe her! In one or two more generations we'll be ready and we won't need your help!" Mu-Suk said, enraged as he starts walking towards them.

"What are you talking about?" Buck asked, putting his arms out to his side.

"We're not too remote out here to not know what goes on around us! The Defense Directorate works with the Humdos in trade with Miahgo! You work with them!" Mu-Suk said, with anger.

"I'm not thrilled with the Humdoses' treatment of you guys either, but I'm not angry at you so stop shouting at me. Well I'm not angry at you unless you've hurt Ge-Ja, the Tomidi. Is she okay?" Buck asked.

"She won't be when I find her!" Mu-Suk replied.

"You remember I work for the Defense Directorate, I can't let you harm her," Buck said.

"Then I'll take care of you first!" Mu-Suk said, running towards Buck.

Mu-Suk springs into an inhuman jump and a shot is fired. Both Buck and Matt back up from Mu-Suk as he falls on the ground before them. Mu-Suk lets out a pitiful little growl.

"Where'd that come from?" Matt asked, looking around.

Sportsman Two comes running up to them, toting his blaster rifle. "Did I get the yeti?" he asked.

"No you got a Candos, but your timing was good," Buck replied.

Sportsman Two bends down to Mu-Suk as Sportsman One comes running up the him.

"I'm so sorry. You weren't what I was aiming to shoot at, I'll make sure you get to the nearest hospital and take care of the bill for you," Sportsman Two said.

"No, no, no," Mu-Suk said, weakly.

Sportsman Two and Sportsman One lift up Mu-Suk carefully. Mu-Suk holds his side which is bleeding now through his clothes. As the Sportsmen head off with Mu-Suk. "Still have to find her," Buck said.

"No you don't," Ge-Ja said.

Buck and Matt look up, there climbing down from the tall pine tree with the help of Sha-Har, Ge-Ja slowly makes her way down.

Back at the ski lodge, De-Pas and Ge-Ja are hugging while Buck holds Beu-Pas who's smiling with a playful look on her face. Matt and Hawk are by him also, along with the Rescuer who's a few feet from all of them.

"I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry," De-Pas kept repeating, with his head buried on Ge-Ja shoulder.

"You're forgiven, believe me you're forgiven," Ge-Ja said.

They broke from their hug but still hold each other with only a small distance between them as they look each other in the eyes.

Ge-Ja glances over at Buck and smiles. Buck gently hands her Beu-Pas which she handles in the same manner.

"They're not going to do that again," De-Pas said.

"Not to me or any of our family," Ge-Ja replied, as she lightly bounces Beu-Pas in her hold and Beu-Pas laughs away.

"It's a shame he couldn't come here. I would have loved to have met him. A fighter for our freedom," De-Pas said.

"Nice to know you can forgive," Ge-Ja said.

"He did the right thing in the end, I can forgive him for that," De-Pas replied. Looking to Buck and Matt. "Buck, you know how much the freedom of my people means to me, neither of you will tell?" De-Pas asked.

"You have my word," Buck replied.

"Same here," Matt said.

"The Candos that got shot?" Buck asked, looking over at the rescuer.

"I'll be keeping an eye on him. He won't like it but it will be necessary," the rescuer replied.

In the hospital room, Mu-Suk's eyes are narrowed and a clenched fist.

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