The Grand Adventure
The battered old ship was much more reliable and sturdy than Mykala thought it was. It looked
ugly enough but Stella’s improvements surely did the trick. She had been tracking the ship that Lyda had been on for about a week with little luck. There had been a report of a ship being hit by something not to far from Ty prime, the home world of Lionette. She had wanted to resupply there but had heard about what had happened too Lionette’s father. Mykala didn’t want to get side tracked. She was also not ready to explain to Lionette about what happened to Araya, her cousin. She turned the ship towards the area of the reported collision and headed off. She hadn’t spoken with any of her friends since she left Verasia’s home. She new her friends meant well but they wouldn’t be able to help her. She was out for revenge, she understood revenge. Where she had grown up there was only violence. Gangs and warlords ran everything and everyone. To survive you had to know how to use violence. She had to get mean again and become the animal she used to be.
The ship sped on it’s way to the collision site. Mykala had climbed in the back of the ship and had opened one of the fold up beds and was sitting on it. The cabin lights were off with the only illumination coming from the various control panel lights. She sat cross legged on the bed wearing only her tank top and panties. She was thinking of Araya and felt sad. “No time for that cry baby crap now you weakling.” she said admonishing herself as she dragged her knife across her forearm. A thin line of blood appeared from under the blade. Pain would replace sorrow now as she cut herself a second time on her other arm. The pain became anger. That’s what will keep her alert, she remembered how pain kept her alive all those years ago. She lived off of pain and anger. Others fell to fear and sorrow Mykala just got angry. When ever a friend or lover was killed she never mourned them she just got revenge. Her other gang members were afraid of her when she got that way. If she could find the enemy that killed her loved one she would lash out at the other gang members. When she caught her enemy she would make them suffer before they died. She was feared by both sides back then before she left as a hired gun. She scared people with her anger so she became unwelcome and decided to go. Even as a hired gun she was quick on the trigger.
She thought back when she had first joined the group. She was a body guard for a local crime lord on a small planet that no one had even heard of. Mykala’s boss got jumped in a local night spot. She was out side watching the speeder. Her boss had under estimated her. He had taken the big loud mouth tough guy types with him when he went into the club. They didn’t last very long when the shooting started. She heard the yelling and gun fire from outside and charged in. her boss had already been hit and was dying. Most hired guns would have seen this as their time to resign but not Mykala. She stood in the middle of the room calmly and shot each one of her bosses attackers dead. They had been firing back at her as they dove for cover but she knew if she relaxed and aimed she would hit her targets. She killed all four attackers with four shots. When it was all over her boss was dead as well as his assailants. She was out of a job so she went to the bar to buy a drink but realized she hadn’t been paid. Before she could turn to leave a tall dark woman and slightly nervous younger blonde bought her a drink and offered her a job that would change the course of her life.
The women were Stella and Jaycee. The job offer at first was as a hired gun, to be their back up. Soon she became interested in the cause of the Rebellion and for the first time in her life she had a purpose.
She missed Stella and Jaycee. They were true friends that taught her she could be more than just a gun for hire.
The proximity alert began to beep jolting her back to reality. She hadn’t had any good sleep for several days and was a little slow in her thought process. She had reached the area where the collision had happened but there was another ship out there also. She stumbled into the cockpit and stopped the ship dead in it’s tracks. Mykala looked at the scanners and tried to figure out what was out there. She was reading a debris field that was days old because it had spread so far and just on the far edge was the signature of another ship. It appeared to be about ten times bigger than Stella’s ship. It was just sitting there on the other side motionless like her.
“What type of ship is that?” she asked her astrodroid.
The droid clicked and whistled as the translation appeared on the control panel.
It was a large freighter. It was a Coreillian ship, a fairly common design used by thousands of pilots and private companies. That didn’t give her any real clue why it was here however.
“ Attention, this is the merchant ship “ Grand Adventure”, we are looking for unclaimed salvage on this sight. Who are you and what is your intent towards us?” came a voice over her ships comm-system.
Mykala didn’t know what to say. She was so tired she wasn’t thinking all that well.
“I’ll be with you in a minute.” was all she could think to say. She had been on edge so long looking for a fight she didn’t know how to respond to a normal request. As far as she knew Stella’s ship didn’t even have a name.
“This is the fast scout ship er…” Stella One”. I’m here investigating the wreck sight too.” was all she could think to say.
“You sound tired girl, are you alright, do you need assistance?” came the voice for a second time. It sounded like an older human male voice.
“You sound human, what are you doing way out here?” she asked.
“My name is Lane Sema, what’s yours?” asked the man.
“I’m Mykala, why are you way out here in Feloid space?” she asked again.
“ I guess I could ask the same of you but I don’t mind going first. Me and my crew have a trade contract with the TY clan. We have a load of seeds and rare lumber to deliver but we can’t land because of some sort of problem going on there so we decided to have a look at this wreckage to see if we can grab some salvage while we wait.”
“ I do scouting of distant worlds for the Feloids and I have the same problem as you, I’m not allowed to land.” Mykala tried to be as vague as she could with out sounding suspicious.
“ Well since we have some time to kill why don’t you come aboard and have a hot meal, we’d love to have you.” said the voice.
“Sounds good” Mykala had said the words before she could think. She must be more tired than she thought.
“ Great you can dock in the aft bay. See you in a few minutes.” The voice signed off.
What was she thinking? Here she was hunting her most hated enemy a few moments ago and now she was excepting dinner invitations! Her mind was exhausted, she needed food and rest. She had left in such a hurry the only thing to eat on the ship was emergency rations. This might be a good chance to buy some supplies from this ship. This way she could eat, rest , and resupply without having to go through all the hassle of landing on a planet.
Mykala moved the ship close to the aft bay of the Grand Adventure and carefully moved her ship inside. The rear door closed as the ship landed and she shut down the engines.
Once the warning lights went off she knew it was safe to leave the ship and there would be air in the cavernous cargo hold now. She suddenly realized she wasn’t even dressed and quickly threw on some pants and boots. She opened the rear hatch and stepped out. She could see piles and piles of seed bags stacked up as high as they would go. They filled most of the cargo bay and just left enough room for her ship.
The air lock opened at the forward bulkhead and out stepped a heavy set middle aged man. He was wearing a long coat and over that he wore a military style vest that had many pockets on it. His boots were old and worn and the laces were untied so he could slip them on and off easily.
“Welcome aboard.” He said as he looked Mykala up and down. It was obvious he liked what he saw.
Mykala noticed it was cold on board the ship and rubbed her arms for warmth.
“ Thanks for the invite, where’s the rest of the crew?” she asked suspiciously.
“ Oh they’re around some place, since we had to wait for permission to land I let them do what ever they want until we get further notice.” he said as he walked closer. “ I hope you don’t take this the wrong way but you look terrible, you sick or something?”
“No, I’m just very tired and hungry. I’ve been going at it for quiet a while and I guess it’s catching up to me.” she said forcing a smile.
“Well this is your lucky day, we a great cook on board. Goes by the name of Meemaw. She’s an old catgirl we wound up with about two years ago. They threw her in when they came up short of cash. She ain’t no slave or anything like that. She earns her keep like any one else on board does. Meemaw is a crew member like anybody else on my ship but we play like she’s a slave when we got Feloids on board, keeps ’em from getting nervous.” he said as he gave Mykala a playful punch in the arm.
“That sounds just fine.” Mykala liked this man, he seemed kind and well grounded.
Lane escorted Mykala through the airlock and too the upper decks were the bridge and crew quarters were. He took her directly to the mess hall and gave her a seat. A woman that must be Meemaw came in with a tray of food. She could tell it was still hot by the steam rising off it. She put it down in front of Mykala and smiled. Mykala looked at the woman and noticed her age. She was probably in her fifties but it was hard to tell with catgirls since the aged very well. This woman was still very attractive by any standards.
“My name is Mykala, you must be Meemaw.” Mykala said smiling. She was beginning to feel relaxed. The aroma from the food made her think of happier times at Verasia’s dining with Araya.
Meemaw motioned to Mykala’s eyes. She had noticed Mykala seemed suddenly sad and was tearing up. Mykala realized now that Meemaw could no longer speak. She had a scar on the left side of her throat. It wasn’t that big or that noticeable. It was from a long time ago she was sure.
“She’s worried about you, she wants to know why you are so sad suddenly.” Lane asked Mykala.
“It’s nothing, I’m just so very tired and hungry.” Mykala took Meemaw by the hand .”Thank you very much for this wonderful food.”
Meemaw smiled and patted Mykala on the head in a motherly fashion.
Mykala began to eat. It was wonderful to eat something that hadn’t come from a sterilized foil packet for a change.
“Well I’ll leave you to eat in peace, don’t talk her ear off.” Lane said playfully too Meemaw. She smiled and threw a wet wash rag at him hitting him on the back of his neck. He howled with laughter and playfully threw it back. It was funny to see the big man try to run down the hall away from the dreaded wash rag.
A young girl came in carrying some sort of electronic device. She seemed to be working on the part while she was walking. Her focus was so completely on her work she didn’t even notice Mykala sitting across from where she sat down. Meemaw came over to her and placed a plate of food in front of her. When she didn’t notice Meemaw yanked the device from her hands and pointed at the food she had just put down in front of her.
“Alright, alright you don’t have to yell.” The girl said as she folded her arms in front of herself. Meemaw patted the girl on the head and pointed to Mykala.
“I’m Zazz, I fix stuff. Lane’s my uncle.” There was a family resemblance that any one could see. “ You new crew or just passin’ through?” she said smiling.
“ My name is Mykala, and I’m just passin’ through.” she said smiling back.
“What do you do for food?” Zazz asked.
“ I’m a scout, I scout new areas for people.” she said looking down.
“Nuh uh, your aren’t a scout. I think you’re a spy or something else exciting. I’ve seen scouts before and they’re all fat old men with nothing to do but kill time. You are definitely not a scout.” Zazz said. Meemaw tapped Zazz on the back of the head with a spoon and pointed at her food.
“Aw I was just playing. I’d better eat before she gives me a fractured skull.” Zazz said looking up at Mykala.
“You don’t act to surprised to see me here Zazz.” Mykala said.
“Lane picks up people all the time, that’s how most of us joined his crew. He doesn’t ask any of us about who we used to be. If you wanted to you could start a whole new life here starting today. Yep, that’s what Lane always says. “Tell who you are and from now on that’s who you will be.”Zazz said between bites.
Mykala thought about this possibility. All she had to do is say the word and she would disappear from the galaxy. All she had to do was come up with a new identity and her life would begin all over again. It sounded real tempting but she had unfinished business to attend to.
“Maybe one day but not today Zazz.” Mykala said.
“Suit yourself.” Zazz said. She had finished her meal and walked over to where Meemaw had put the electronic device she was working on when she came in. she picked it up and went over to Meemaw and gave her a kiss on the cheek.”Thanks Meemaw, it was great.” Meemaw smiled and patted her head as she left.
Meemaw came over to Mykala and sat across from her. She reached out and took her hands as she looked deep into Mykala’s eyes. Mykala understood that she wanted to talk to her but in the only way she could. Meemaw pointed at Mykala and then rubbed her eyes as if she was crying. She then held up both hands palms up as if to ask why she was sad.
“I lost some one I loved very much recently and I am hunting his killer. I haven’t gotten much rest, I just can’t sleep.”
Meemaw gestured as if she was looking for something and then pointed at the floor.
“No, she’s not on this ship, I was just lucky enough to run into you people when I really needed it.” Mykala smiled.
Meemaw smiled back. She motioned to Mykala to stay put and went over to the galley and made up some tea for her. She brought it over and gave it to Mykala gesturing that if she drank it she would sleep.
“I don’t know, I really need to keep going.”
Meemaw shook the spoon that she had hit Zazz in the head with at Mykala.
“Okay, okay you win.” Mykala took a sip of the tea, it was good. She took a larger sip and began to feel relaxed almost immediately. Mykala liked this woman, she was like the mother of this family. She took another sip. Whatever was in this tea was fabulous. She could feel her body relax and the tension disappear more and more with each sip. Before she knew it she was having trouble sitting up straight. Her eye lids were getting heavy and everything went dark.
Meemaw lay Mykala down on the bench and put a towel under her head. Kwasug the Rodian came in and saw Mykala laying on the bench. “New or passing through?” he asked with his thick Rodian accent.
Meemaw made a gesture with her two fingers like two walking legs.
“Just passing through.” he said letting Meemaw know he understood.
Mykala rolled over slightly exposing the light saber she had put in her leg pocket.
“Ho ho, what have we here?” Kwasug said. Everyone knew of the bounty the Emperor had put on Jedi knights. It was a fortune to the average person.
Meemaw came closer and saw it sticking out of the pocket.
“Go get Lane, he’ll want to know about this.”said Kwasug.
Meemaw sat down next to Mykala and crossed her arms as if defending her.
“What? I just think the Captain should know we have a Jedi on board is all.” Kwasug said sensing Meemaw’s motherly instinct to protect this girl.
“Fine, I’ll go myself.”Kwasug said as he turned and hurried down the hall. Meemaw went to the intercom and pressed the talk button. She took her spoon and tapped the box three times hard. She waited a while then she hit it again three times.
“Steady there Meemaw I heard you knocking the first time. What do you want?” asked the mans voice.
She tapped vigorously on the box, “ Okay, okay I’ll be right there.” the man said.
Tahd put down his tools and wiped his brow. He knew when Meemaw tapped on the intercom box it meant to come running. He had been doing maintenance on the number four engine but when Meemaw called he always came running. He made his way through the maze of corridors and ladders until he reached the galley. He saw Meemaw standing in the doorway. She ducked back into the galley as he approached. He looked in to see Meemaw standing over a beautiful woman. Meemaw pointed at her light sabers.
“A Jedi?” Tahl asked.
Meemaw shook her head yes. She wiggled two fingers over her head.
He took this to mean Kwasug because of his ear stalks.
She made a talking sign with her hand.
Kwasug will talk about the woman. Was all Tahl could understand.
She put her hands under her apron and held them out like she was somebody fat and mimicked laughing.
“Kwasug went to tell the Captain she was a Jedi ?” Tahl asked.
She pointed at Tahl and then at her nose.
“I got it on the nose.” He smiled.
“This will be trouble, half of the crew will want to turn her in for the reward. How much do you think it would be? “ he asked.
Meemaw held her hands apart as wide as she could.
“They’d all be rich. How do we stop them?” he said to himself aloud.
Mykala was sound asleep, her fate was in the hands of total strangers. Meemaw felt terrible, she was the one that gave her the tea to help her sleep. It seemed it would also give the crew the opportunity to subdue her and turn her in if they chose to.
Kwasug came in with Captain Lane. He also had Skindoo, the Twi’lek pilot and Varha the human electronics engineer.
“You see,she’s a Jedi.” Kwasug said pointing at her light saber.
“This is bad.” said Varha.
Skindoo just rubbed his chin in silence.
“Well she’s a guest here so nobody will be turning any one in as long as she is on this ship.” Lane said as he pointed to everyone there.
“ What if she left, what would you say to that, what if we turned her in then?” Skindoo asked.
“No, we can’t do it, can we?” Varah asked. They would be rich if they did this one thing.
“ I won’t go along with this no matter how you justify it. I don’t rat anyone out to the Empire.” Tahl said.
Meemaw stood along side of him to show she agreed.
“What’s going on?” Zazz asked as she came back into the galley. She had walked in with the last two crew members.
Dertof was a Zabrack that was in charge of loading and unloading cargo. Ghuter was a Duros that worked on the droids.
Skindoo pointed at the light saber. “You know how much a Jedi is worth? Millions,that’ how much.” he said with a big grin on his face.
“ No way. Millions?” Zazz asked.
“ It doesn’t matter, we aren’t going to turn her in.” Lane said for a second time.
“I think something like this should be left up to a vote. This could effect the rest of our lives, each and every one of us could be set for life.” said Kwasug.
“ It is the law now, Jedi are supposed to be turned in.” Dertof said.
“It doesn’t matter what the law says. We’re not in Empire controlled space. This is Feloid space and they protect Jedi” added Ghuter.
Kwasug grabbed Mykala’s light saber. “Probably best if she doesn’t have this if she wakes up.”he said.
“Put it back Rodian.” Tahl said firmly.
“ It’s just in case she wakes up.” he said in his thick accent.
“Put it back Kwasug, nobody has decided anything yet.” Ghuter added.
Meemaw shook her spoon at Kwasug vigorously.
“We gotta vote on what to do, all in favor of being rich raise your hands.” Skindoo shouted.
“That’s it !” yelled Lane. He pulled a blaster pistol out from inside his coat and took a step back. The Captain pointed the gun at Kwasug. “Put the light saber back.” His voice was no longer pleasant and calm. He was deadly serious and everyone could feel it.
Kwasug slowly put the light saber back into Mykala’s pocket and took a step back. Nobody said anything for a moment.
“This is my ship, everybody clear on that?” the Captain said. “ I said she ain’t being turned in while she’s a guest here, is everybody clear on that?”
The entire crew backed away out of the galley followed by Lane.
“I want to make this clear in case anybody had forgotten. This ship gives everyone a second chance. Some of you have bounties on your own heads and don’t think I don’t know who you are. I invited that woman in there on board my ship. She is under my protection just like the rest of you. If she wants to stay then that will be the end of it. If she wants to go then she can go and may the Force help any of you dummies that try to turn her in.” the Captain said as he slowly pointed the gun at each and every one of them even the ones that had defended her. He didn’t want any body changing their mind.
The Captain had Tahl carry Mykala too Meemaw’s quarters. They laid her in Meemaw’s bed and covered her up. Meemaw had accompanied them and helped to undress Mykala. Meemaw sat in her chair to keep an eye Mykala while she slept. As they left the Captain gave Meemaw the pistol. “Give it back after she wakes up.”
Meemaw took Lane’s hand and kissed it then held it to her face. Lane smiled at Meemaw and stroked her hair before he left.
Mykala woke the next day. “Where am I ?” she asked Meemaw who was still sitting in the chair. Meemaw pointed to herself than to the floor.
“This is your room?” Mykala asked. “You didn’t have to give me your room, I could have slept in my ship.”
Meemaw turned and saw the Captain come in. “How you feeling today?”
“I feel much better, what ever was in that tea sure did the trick.” Mykala smiled as she rubbed her eyes.
“ Did you put any more thought into weather you wanted to stay or not?” Lane asked.
“ I can’t stay. Everywhere I try to set down roots it seems to go badly. Trouble seems to follow me. I don’t want to bring that here.” she said looking at them both.
“ Well if you’ve made up your mind I guess we can except that. Anyway you are welcome to hang around and rest for the next couple of days if you want.” Lane was relieved that Mykala had decided to go. It wasn’t her fault but she was right, she was a hunted person with a huge bounty on her head. His own crew were nearly at each others throats because of who she was. His usually friendly crew had nearly become a mob. They didn’t need to be tempted by that much money. Some of them would never look at each other the way they did just hours ago. Anger and greed had followed this woman on board his ship and even after she had gone the scars of this day would remain.
Mykala only stayed one more night. The Captain had told her they had announced that Maxis Ty had been murdered and a massive hunt was underway for the killers. All of this because of her. All of this because of a prophecy made long ago. She needed to go to Lionette and release her from this obligation of protection. She gave her thanks to the captain and the crew and especially Meemaw. Lane had given her a good amount of extra provisions along with some of Meemaw’s tea. Mykala had to go and face Lionette who’s father had died because of her. She was not sure what would happen next but she was sure to continue the hunt for Lyda Starkiller no matter what.
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 01:49)