Mykala awoke on the cold stone floor. She wasn’t sure what had just happened. “ Araya?” she said still in a daze. She remembered him thrusting Lyda’s light saber into her. He killed her!
No…he had saved her.
“Araya!!! she screamed in vain, she knew he was already dead. Mykala rolled onto her stomach on the floor and began to cry. She never should have gotten involved with Araya. She put every ones life in jeopardy. She was safe but Araya and Poe were dead. Who knows how many others Lyda killed just to find her and how many died just getting to her. What was the purpose to this power she had. How could she use it for good? All these thoughts went through her mind. It made her crazy not knowing what was happening back at the tower on Verasia’s estate.
“ Noooo!” screamed Lyda. She had let her guard down just for a second. She had underestimated this Feliod. With a powerful blast of dark side energy she pushed Araya through the tower wall. The wall exploded in a shower of stone and dust as Araya’s body was dashed to the ground below.
Lyda began to hack the room to bits with her light sabers. She was furious at herself and only one thing would make it better.
“Kill everyone!” she yelled too her sith guards. They sprang into action as if waiting to be set loose like hunting beasts on a leash. The time for stealth was over. It was time to kill. Lyda spoke into her wrist communicator and activated the assassin droids she had brought with her. She stormed over to the hole in the wall and looked out over the estate. The droids had been hiding in trees and bushes since they arrived last night. They had charged at any body unlucky enough to be close by. The machines had no conscience or mercy and began the slaughter any one in sight. Lyda could see the carnage below and began to laugh.
Tahl Jae Ro ran down the hallway. He had sensed a sudden pulse in the force from the meditation room. He had felt it once before when Mykala appeared after she had been killed by a bounty hunter. Her ability had been prophesied for years by the Jedi. A powerful Jedi that could not be killed in battle.
Tahl made it to the room and froze in his tracks. There in the center of the room was Mykala, his student. She was sitting on the stone floor crying. Mykala was wearing a traditional Feloid dress but it had a hole burned in it right where her heart would be.
“He’s dead, I can’t feel him anymore! She’s killed him. He never did anything to her.” Mykala wept as she looked up at her Jedi master Tahl Jae Roh.
“ What has happened?” Tahl sensed something terrible had gone wrong but there was too much distance between him and were it had occurred for him to get an accurate vision.
“She killed him, she’s killing them all ! Lyda Starkiller found me and attacked us at Verasia’s home. Araya killed me so I could escape! Oh Araya.” Mykala was in near hysterics.
Tahl helped Mykala to her feet and led her from the room. They went down the long hallway until they reached the large center room used for exercise. It had large archways that opened to the grounds below. There was always a cool breeze that blew through the area that Tahl thought would be good for Mykala. He sat her on one of the benches and went to the intercom.
“Haven, your cousin Mykala is back. Come to the exercise room immediately.” Tahl said in his commanding voice. He had been a Jedi master for longer than anyone could remember and had grown accustomed to giving instructions.
Tahl changed the frequency on the intercom. He used his emergency code to alert the group in Feloid space about the attack and to let them know Mykala was with him.
Mykala was sitting on the bench still sobbing. She cursed herself for falling apart like she did. It must be the trauma of being killed and teleporting half way across the galaxy. She must be in shock. She looked at her hands and they were trembling. She had never fallen apart like this before. She had been brought up with death and destruction all around her. She had lost loved ones before without shedding a tear. Something had changed, she was different. She began to become angry. Lyda Starkiller had scared her. She didn’t want to admit it but she was terrified of her. Mykala was getting more angry by the moment. She wouldn’t live in fear anymore. Lyda Starkiller would have to die. She would dedicate the rest of her life to killing her.
Haven Dak, Mykala’s cousin rushed into the room. She was the only remaining family still alive. For years she had been the ruler in exile of their home world but when it was discovered that Mykala was the rightful heir to the throne she immediately stepped down and welcomed Mykala with open arms.
“ Mykala! What has happened?” Haven said as she put her arm around Mykala’s shoulder.
Mykala sat staring out of one of the archways into the distance. She had stopped crying. She rocked back and forth slowly with her hands gripping the bench.
“Lyda Starkiller, that’s whats happened.” Mykala said coldly.
Haven moved back from Mykala slightly. Mykala’s muscles were tight as a drum. She was angrier than she had ever seen her before. Haven was becoming frightened. She had seen Mykala mad before but this was different. She could see a change in her, a disconnect.
“ Are you alright? “ Haven asked cautiously.
“ I will be.” Mykala said. She stood up and began to walk out of the room. She quickly walked down the hall towards her room. Haven followed her being careful not to get to close. Haven was frightened. She was seeing a side of Mykala that was new to her. They had talked about her days living with the gangs and the killing she did. She was seeing that gang girl for the first time now as she followed her. Mykala was out for blood and no words would stop her.
Haven stopped at the door to Mykala’s room and looked in. She was taking off her Feloid clothes and putting on her old ganger outfit.
“What are you doing Mykala?” Haven asked cautiously.
“Go away Haven, I can’t hide any more. I have to stop that monster. She’s done nothing but destroy the people I care about since I first saw her.” Mykala’s voice was like ice.
“Don’t go like this, I’m worried about you cousin.” Haven pleaded.
“What are you worried about? I can’t die! I can keep coming at her until I get it done! Only my friends can die! Araya can die, Poe can die, you can die but I’ll be safe !” Mykala had moved in front of Haven and was yelling at her.
“This is what she wants you to do! She wants you to come after her by yourself so she can capture you, don’t you understand?” Haven shouted back.
Mykala pushed Haven out of the way angrily and headed for the hangar bay. Haven quickly gained her feet and followed after her.
“Commander Starkiller. Commander Starkiller.” the voice called over her comm-link. Lyda had ignored it up until now. She was enjoying the slaughter. If she couldn’t have Mykala then she would punish those that hid her.
“What is it captain?” Lyda asked.
“We are picking up six Feloid frigates heading directly for our position. I fear some one has gotten off a distress signal on the planet.” the captain calmly replied. He was confidant the Black Heart could out run the frigates. The Feloid ships were top of the line but the Black Heart was still faster.
Lyda stomped her foot. Fun time was over. Even in her twisted mind she knew when to cut and run. Lyda gave the command signal to with draw and head back to the shuttles. With a wave of her hand her body guard stopped their killing and made their way to her side.
“We are going to have company, it’s time to leave.” she said disappointed. Lyda had planned for this. Once they had reached the planet they had to release the ice asteroid thus losing their cover. It wouldn’t have been long after that that they would be discovered. The hard part was over. They had reached the planet undiscovered and made their attack. Now they had to make a run for it. They had carefully plotted a route out of Feloid space by avoiding heavily populated areas. They could out run the six frigates without to much trouble. The only real problem would be if they ran into a random patrol on their way out.
They had reached the shuttles with only a few loses on their side. Lyda looked back at what she had done. All of the larger buildings were ablaze and bodies were strewn all over the grounds. She didn’t get Mykala but she had sent a message to any one that helped her to hide. The shuttle lifted off as the door closed. A last waft of smoke was sucked into the cabin, it smelled good to Lyda.
Just like when they arrived they had no opposition when leaving. The shuttles docked in the hangar bay just as the Black Heart fired up it’s massive engines and took off.
“ What is our status Captain?” Lyda asked as she walked onto the ships bridge.
“ The frigates have us locked on their scanners and have issued a challenge. We won’t be in range of their guns for another five minutes.” the Captain replied.
“How long until we can lose them completely? “ Lyda asked.
“ Two hours at full speed until we can be out of range of their sensors.” he said.
“ Good, so we have nothing to worry about.” Lyda sat in the command chair and relaxed. She gave a glance at her body guards as if to say everything was just fine. She was still angry about loosing Mykala but at least she was able to punish the ones who aided her.
“Captain? Are we slowing down?” Lyda felt a difference in the vibrations of the ship.
“ Yes Commander. When they upgraded the engines for more speed they failed to upgrade the sensors. At this speed the sensors may have a problem tracking smaller objects ahead of us.” He said.
“I’ll take the risk, full speed Captain, at least until we are clear of the patrolled areas.” Lyda said.
Mykala had made it to the hangar. She looked around and found what she was looking for. They had told her that Stella’s ship had been brought there until Ceecee decided what to do with it. It had been maintained as an auxiliary ship and had been used on occasion so it was still flight ready.
“Please stop Mykala, at least discuss it with Tahl.” Haven pleaded.
Mykala stopped and looked at Haven.
“Please don’t go Mykala, you’re all I have left.” Haven was almost in tears. It was her job to help Mykala and she was failing.
“ It’s better if I go alone, I’m just putting every one else at risk.” Mykala forced a smile and climbed into the ship.
Haven ran to the control panel so she could close the hangar door to keep Mykala from leaving. Mykala started the ships engines causing clouds of dust to be blown into the air. Havens dress and long hair were blown up into her face but she had reached the controls. Through the dust she could see Mykala’s face in the ships cockpit window. Haven saw she wasn’t mad, she looked tired. This cat and mouse game had gone on too long. Mykala was right, it had to end one way or another. Mykala looked at Haven through the dust and mouthed one simple word to her,” Please.”
Haven took her hand away from the controls and stepped back. She leaned up against the wall and wept. She had to let her go. Mykala would most likely never return but there was no way for her to end this battle between Mykala and Lyda Starkiller. It had to happen.
The battered old blue ship moved slowly out the hangar door and outside. It sat hoovering just for a moment and then it took off. Haven went to the intercom and called Tahl.
“She’s gone, I tried to stop her but I couldn’t. She had to go.” Haven said weeping.
“I know Haven, I know.” was Tahl’s only response.
Imjae took another bite of his sandwich. The sauce ran down his arm almost to quickly for him to lick it off his sleeve. He wasn’t worried about the three tons of high explosive in the cargo bay. He and his crew had been smuggling stuff into Feloid space for years. He new where the patrols were. They were out in the middle of nowhere so there wouldn’t be any problems this trip. Bobob lurched into the cockpit wreaking of cheap booze.
“What’cha eatin’ fat boy?” his slurred speech was barely understandable.
“ Damn you stink? Did you mess your pants again?” asked Imjae. Imjae would have have hit him for that “fat boy” remark but it was to much trouble to move his massive body out of the big soft chair, besides, he was to focused on finishing his sandwich.
“ No, I didn’t mess my pants. I’m wear’in yours.” Bobob said as he stumbled and fell on the cockpit floor.
Imjae turned to see Dav the Reptus engineer climbing out off the hatch from the engine room.
“Great news, I fixed that thumping noise coming from number two engine.” He smiled at the two humans.
“ I told you to fix drive repulsers you idiot!” Imjae barked spewing food down his front.
“Stop yell’in!” Bobob slurred as he drooled uncontrollably.
“Hey, what’s that flashing?” Dav asked suddenly.
They all looked up in horror to see the bridge of an Imperial star ship rushing up upon them.
The alarm sounded too late.
“Brace for impact! Thrusters down three degrees!” the Captain shouted.
Lyda looked up just in time to see a freighter closing with them in the blink of an eye.
The two ships hit. The explosion blew off half of the the superstructure where the bridge was located. The stabilizers were smashed and the Black Heart began to cork screw uncontrollably. Lyda and the rest of the crew were thrown against the deck and pinned there by the centrifugal force. The Captain shouted orders to the surviving crew members but none of them could move. The ships emergency droids were the only ones able the fight against the crushing forces. As the droids did their jobs the ship began to level out. The crew was able to get to their posts and they frantically began to get systems back on line.
“What did we hit?” the Captain called out.
“A small freighter sir, what ever it was carrying was highly explosive.” replied one of the crew.
The Captain looked at Lyda. It was her decision to maintain full speed against his advise.
Lyda gave him a cold look. She knew she was at fault, everyone did.
“Damage control, how bad is it?” The Captain asked.
“The ship itself is stable, life support and the hull are undamaged.” said the chief engineer.
“What’s the bad news?” asked the Captain hesitantly.
“ The main computer systems are smashed. We won’t be able to control the ship if we go into hyper space. The computers can’t plot the course corrections.” said the engineer.
“So we just limp along until the Feloids find us and shoot us to pieces.” said the Captain in his frustration.
Mykala was glad to have Stella’s ship to use. It was fast and maneuverable. Deep down she felt Stella would have wanted her to use it on this journey. Stella was no stranger to seeking revenge.” Lyda Starkiller needed killing.” is what she would have said. It was because of Lyda’s thirst for vengeance that Stella and Jaycee were dead. Mykala had watched as Lyda had poor little Poe’s neck broken. Araya had died to save her from a fate worse than death. There were untold scores of faceless others that had been in the wrong place at the wrong time who had died in Lyda’s search.
Time to turn the tables.
Mykala was tired of running. Her friends had convinced her to hide. It was the wrong thing to do. It was time to become the hunter. This was her fate and one of them had to die. It would take two days for Stella’s ship to reach Feloid space and another to make it back to Verasia’s home. With a little luck she would be able to find a clue to where Lyda had gone.
The Black Heart was making the best speed it could trying to reach a nearby asteroid field so it could hide while they tried to make repairs. Lyda had retired to her quarters after the crew had stabilized the ship. She knew she was in trouble. Her first command of a ship and crew and she was responsible for it’s destruction in a matter of days with no prize to show for it. The Emperor would have her killed for sure.
“Commander Starkiller, you are needed on the bridge please. There is something that needs your immediate attention.” the Captain’s voice said over the intercom.
“What is it?” Lyda asked.
“Commander,…Please come to the bridge.” the Captains voice was like a school teacher’s insisting that some child come to the front of the class.
Lyda looked at her Sith guards. They wouldn’t look her in the eye. They were losing respect for her. For the first time they saw Lyda was scared. She had hidden in her room after the crash and now was afraid to speak with the Captain.
She stood and walked to the door. “I’m on my way Captain.” she said mustering up her courage one last time.
The walk to the bridge was difficult due to the ship being unable to maintain it’s keel. It rocked to one side and then the other. The ship was a wreck.
Lyda stopped at the door way just outside the bridge and collected herself. She was Lyda Starkiller and feared nothing. The door opened and she walked in with her shoulders back and head held high.
“We must hurry Commander. We have been found by a Feloid patrol squadron. Your only hope to continue your mission is to leave now in an escape pod and make your way to the closest planet. This ship can no longer help you in that mission except to buy you time. We will engage the squadron and fight as long as we can. I will of coarse destroy the ship at the end so it won’t be captured. Our journey will end here without anyone knowing our fate. If you make it back please tell the Emperor we died serving the Empire.” the Captain said as he saluted Lyda.
She couldn’t believe her luck. She would escape and everyone that knew of her mistake would die. She would be able to make up any story she wanted to if she was able to some how make it back. An evil smile crossed her mouth. “If you think that is the right thing to do then I will reluctantly agree Captain.”
Lyda had made her way to the escape pod and was just about to get in. Her Sith guard would be the only ones besides her that knew the truth.
“ I think it would be best if you two stayed and helped the Captain in this last battle.” she said as Lyda closed the hatch. The two Sith Guards stared in disbelief as the escape pod launched and tumbled into the great vastness of space. Lyda watched as the Black Heart got farther and farther away. She had survived against all odds once again. The Emperor would be disappointed when she told him how the Captain refused to listen to her and would not reduce the speed. The crash had been all his fault. It was only by her quickness of mind and body she was able to reach an escape pod at all. Truly an act of great heroism on her part.
“The escape pod is away Captain.” said the crewman.
“ Finally, confirm with the Chief engineer that the navigation computers are back on line and then set a coarse for home.” the Captain said to the crewman.
“But sir, begging your pardon, I thought you told Commander Starkiller that the systems were beyond repair.” said the crewman.
“Yes, Yes I did say that. It is truly unfortunate that I didn’t realize the damage wasn’t as bad as we thought it was when I suggested to the Commander that she escape. If I had realized it she would still be here, truly an unfortunate mistake wouldn’t you say so?” the Captain said as he sat in the command chair.
“Yes sir, a truly unfortunate mistake.”
Mykala circled what was left of Verasia’s estate. It had been three days since the attack when she finally arrived. The fires had been put out and all the bodies were gone. She noticed some catgirls scrubbing blood stains off of the stone steps that lead down to the lake. It was all about cleaning things up now and she was going to do the same.
Mykala put the beat up old craft down near where her quarters were. She walked inside and up stairs to her room. Beyond all hope she saw her light saber hanging on the hook over her bed. She hadn’t taken it with her on the last night she was here. She sensed Verasia behind her and taking the light saber and hooking it to her belt she then turned towards her.
“ I know I will not be able to convince you to stay but know this, everything that has happened was for told in the prophecy.” Verasia said.
“I really don’t care about “The Prophecy” anymore. What does the Prophecy say about me hunting that bitch to the ends of the galaxy and cutting her filthy head off.” Mykala said angrily.
“It says you will struggle between the light and the dark side. You are beginning that struggle right now.” Verasia said calmly.
“ I’m not crossing the line, I know right from wrong and this is the right thing to do, it has to be!” Mykala said trying to convince Verasia.
“ Always remember that when you go to hunt monsters there is a danger of becoming a monster yourself.” Verasia said as she stepped aside.
Mykala had expected her to put up more resistance to her leaving.
“ Don’t be so surprised, you have to go and fulfill the Prophecy.” Verasia said.
“ What if I do turn to the Dark Side, will you try to help me or would you try to kill me?” Mykala asked glancing over her shoulder as she walked away.
“I would hunt you down and I would kill you.” Verasia said looking down.
“I’ll try to remember that.” Mykala said.
If you have enjoyed these stories please check out my first all original book series at Amazon.com. The title is Beyond the Crystal Heaven.
Once again thank you for your support.
Last Updated (Tuesday, 10 September 2013 01:46)