“Stay in formation Lady Mykala. We will make sure you reach your destination without any problems.” said the Feloid voice over the comm-link.
Mykala was embarrassed. Lionette had sent a Squadron of heavy fighters to escort her back to the palace. She wasn’t used to being a queen but understood she must except this honor so she wouldn’t offend Lionette’s clan.
Lionette had told her she had good news and she was asked to come to the palace. Mykala had not yet forgiven herself for being the cause of so many deaths. The only reason she had agreed to go and meet with Lionette was to beg her forgiveness for her fathers death and to release her from her commitment to protect her. She had decided to face Lyda Starkiller alone and to severe her ties with the group and go it alone.
Mykala arrived at the palace early in the evening. It was high up in the mountains and reminded her of a picture book she had found in the rubble on her home world when she was a child. What different backgrounds they had and yet she was being escorted by the house’s own clan guard as any Royal guest would be.
They landed on one of the docking platforms that lead to the upper chambers. It was an amusing sight to see Stella’s beat up old crate landing accompanied by six cleaned and polished Feloid fighters of the newest class.
Mykala came out one of the side doors and walked up the ramp. There was a moment of confusion as the honor guard didn’t realize this common person in the torn cammo pants and tank top shirt was the Queen they had been waiting for. A young officer ran down and met her begging her forgiveness for not knowing who she was.
“Relax my friend I can barely believe it myself most of the time.” and with that said she put her arm around his shoulder and waved to everybody there.
Lionette covered her face with embarrassment while Timtam giggled at Mykala’s not so royal entrance. With the damage done they went down to meet her.
Mykala saw Lionette and Timtam standing in the inner hallway waiting for her. She released her young officer and ran too both of them. Lionette was surprised by Mykala who embraced her and begged forgiveness for causing her fathers death.
“It was my fathers wish to give you protection as we have always done for our Jedi friends whenever they have come to us in their hour of need. The decision to help you was laid down hundreds of years ago. Mykala my dear friend, you are blameless in this matter. I have heard about you and Araya. I too am sorry for your loss.
They hugged tightly comforting each other. Mykala looked at Timtam over Lionette’s shoulder and gave her a wink of recognition. Timtam smiled back in acknowledgment. She knew there would be no hug for her in this palace.
“Come, let us retire to my chambers so we may talk. You will stay in my quarters tonight so we will have the privacy we need.” Lionette said as she took Mykala’s hand and lead her down the hallway. Mykala turned and waved to the honor guard as they left. Lionette kept going pretending she didn’t notice what Mykala had just done. Timtam just giggled and smiled.
They all sat down in the anteroom of Lionette’s quarters. Several servants gave them drinks and food then quickly and quietly departed.
“I’m afraid I must leave the group and seek a different path. This murderer must be stopped at all costs. She has taken countless innocent lives in her efforts to capture me. I must be the one who finds her and kills her. This will help to keep her off your trail and allow you to go about your mission.
Lionette smiled as did Timtam.
“There is wonderful news to tell you. Two days ago an Imperial ship that had been heavily damaged was intercepted trying to escape from Feloid space. This was the ship that Lyda Starkiller launched her attack from against you.” Lionette was beaming.
“What happened?” Mykala was literally on the edge of her seat.
“I am proud to announce that the Imperial ship was destroyed with all hands aboard.” Lionette said.
“You mean…” Mykala said almost afraid to ask.
“ Lyda Starkiller is dead.”
Mykala looked at Lionette, she was speechless.
“ It’s over, Mykala, she’s gone.”
Mykala just sat looking at Lionette unable to comprehend what she had just heard.
Lionette leaned forward and took hold of both of Mykala’s hands. “It’s over Mykala, you’re free of her.”
Mykala began to cry. She had just been given the greatest gift she could imagine. Her tears became laughter. She looked and saw Timtam clapping her hands with joy. Lionette sat back in her chair enjoying the moment. Mykala had been preparing herself for a long and arduous struggle that would have taken months if not years of searching for her most hated enemy. Now due to some kindness granted by the Force her enemy had been destroyed with out her lifting a finger.
“Does she know?” Tarin asked as she rushed into the room. She wanted to be there earlier but was detained.
Mykala turned and looked at Tarin. Tarin could see Mykala reborn. Her face looked as if she had been released from prison. It was a look of great relief.
“ I guess you’ll be back in the fight now, it’s where you belong, by our sides.” Tarin said happily.
“ I still can’t believe it’s over. I don’t know how to react.” Mykala said to Tarin.
Baltis walked in the room and went straight to the bar. “How’s it feel to not be in the cross hairs for a change Mykala?” he asked as he poured everyone a drink. He placed them all on a tray and brought them over to the women. “ I think this calls for a little celebration.”
They all lifted their glasses as Baltis toasted. “ To Mykala, she had entered the fire and came out a stronger type of steel.”
“To lost friends and family.” Mykala added.
They all drank their drinks and sat down to finish their discusion.
“There is still one mystery remaining, my sister Cheena and her slave have vanished. While I was under cover as a slave girl she left suddenly and no one has had any contact with her since.”Lionette said.
“Probably off with some young buck attending to nature’s call.” Baltis said half under his breath.
Lionette ignored the comment. She had grown accustomed to the groups attempts to tease about Royal virtues.
Timtam quickly took the tray and hurried over to the bar. She was afraid they may sense she new something more than she did.
“I am concerned as to her whereabouts. It was reported that her ship was spotted leaving Feloid space. When she was hailed she did not respond. I wanted to give her privacy in whatever she may be doing but I’ve become suspicious of these circumstances.” Lionette said as she took another sip of her drink. She didn’t seem too worried but there had been rumors thrown about in the great hall as to why she left so suddenly.
Rollo turned to see Josi Nabb enter the room. She had taken to walking Brea around on a leash.
“Heh,heh,heh, I see you have a pet now Josi. Does she run up and lick your face when you come home in the evenings?”Rollo laughed at his own joke along with his cronies.
“She licks what I tell her to lick.” she said raising an eyebrow and smiling.
Rollo laughed even harder at Josi’s crude comment.
“I want you to talk with a new guest that arrived yesterday. She claims to be a member of the Ty clan that has had to leave under undisclosed circumstances.” he said as he pushed a squirming small furry animal into his huge maul.
“The Ty clan ?” Josi now had Rollo’s full attention.
“Yes, she claims to be a princess or something. I know you have had some dealings with Feloids before so I thought I’d let you talk to her first.” he said as he grabbed another fuzzy morsel.
“I would be delighted my lord. What would you like to know?” she asked.
“I want to know why she is here. Find out what she can offer me. You might as well find out if we could ransom her to a rival clan as well.” he said belching.
Josi couldn’t believe her luck. She knew that it the Ty clan that had protected Mykala from the Empire. Now she had clan princess put in her care.
She hurried down the hallway with Brea in tow. She tugged on the leash further degrading Brea whenever they passed by anyone.
The door was guarded by two Gamorians. Both carried a blaster rifle slung over their shoulder.
“Rollo sent me to talk with the guest inside.” Josi said.
The two guards stepped aside and opened the door. Josi walked in the front room with Brea in tow. She had the guards close the doors and remain outside.
She walked further into the apartment and looked around. In a plush chair in the main room sat a young female Feloid. She was very attractive and very drunk.
She had on Royal clothing made of the finest silks trimmed in pearls and silver chain. A fur collard cape lay draped over the chair’s back. Kneeling on the floor was a blonde haired catgirl, obviously the Princess’s slave.
“It’s about time someone showed up. I’ve been sitting here for hours with nothing to do but drink all this liquor.” she said shaking an empty bottle.
“I’m sorry, I came as soon as I was told you were here.” Josi said. She made a subtle gesture with her hand and Brea took the leash and crouched down on the floor.
“ I am Josi Nabb, your host Rollo the Hutt sent me to attend to you and to see why you have come.” she said moving closer.
“I am here because I am an exile, an emigre as it were. I have found myself to have no home or family due to some…miscalculations on my behalf. I offer my extensive knowledge of Feloid society to the great Rollo the Hutt for his disposal.
“What does that mean exactly? It sounds to me as if you would like to give Rollo information about things that would benefit him but may not be beneficial to your own people.” Josi said. She was trying to peg her down.
“ Have you ever done something so horribly wrong that you can’t fix it? I mean have you ever screwed things up so bad you could never go back and repair the damage?” Her slurred speech gave away just how drunk she had become.
Josi Nabb looked the woman dead in the eyes. “Yes, yes I have.”
“Then you will understand my situation even more so. I have never been a heroic type of person. That had always been my older sisters venue. If I had been braver I would have taken my own life and been done with it. I have found just how much of a coward I am in the past few days unfortunately.” she shook her empty class at Josi.
Josi smiled and went to the side board and brought a bottle to the woman in the chair.
“Thank you.” she said and poured herself a full glass.
“You see I have limited options. I enjoy a certain lifestyle that I don’t wish to give up. So to do so I must sell out my own people. I have information that is priceless to someone that knows what to do with it, secret codes, hidden bases, false alliances and so forth. All I ask in return is a safe haven to live out my life or until I become too much of a problem, of coarse then a blaster bolt to the back of the head would suffice.”she said. Her eyes were getting heavy and she was very close to passing out.
“ And who will I say is making this offer to Rollo?” Josi asked.
The woman struggled to stand up straight. She raised her glass over her head in a mock toast. “ I am Maxis Ty’s other daughter. Maxis Ty’s betrayer and the person responsible for his murder. I am Cheena Ty of the clan Ty …sorry…was… was from the clan of Ty now I am with out a clan or home.” and with that last out burst Cheena collapsed into the chair and slid out onto the floor.
Josi smiled an evil smile. She would have Mykala yet.
“Pick that up slave. Make sure she is put to bed to sleep it off. Watch her well, I wouldn’t want her to choke to death in her own vomit as she sleeps.” she said to the cat girl as she took up Brea’s leash and left the room.
“May I come in?” Adda had stuck her head into Mykala’s room. She had just heard that Mykala had returned so she wanted to see if she needed anything.
“Adda!” Mykala exclaimed as she jumped up from her chair and rushed over to give her a big hug. Mykala had always respected Adda Beddo. Of all the members of their group she was hands down the best person without a doubt. She had dedicated her life to serve others and always lived up to her calling. She was also one of the most beautiful woman she had ever met and yet she was the most humble as well. She could have used her charms and intelligence to become a wealthy and powerful woman but she thought only of others.
“I am so happy you are here. I’ve been through a lot lately and I wanted someone to talk to about it.”
“ Let’s talk about Araya first my child, you need to grieve for him first. Everything else will sort itself out with the help of your friends but you must grieve by looking inside yourself.”Adda said as she had Mykala sit back in her chair.
“She took him, she took him from me. If I would have stayed away from him it never would have happened. Even my servant girl Poe, they all died because of what I am. The damned prophecy!” Mykala said with tears in her eyes.
“No, none of this is because of what you did or what you are! These things happened because people made a choice to follow the dark side and do evil to others. Nothing could have changed that. No matter what you would have done they would have chosen to do evil. It is what they are. They have only one way to act and that is with evil. Always remember that they have done this too you. To believe it is your fault is to give them a door inside your heart. Once inside they can turn you. This was not your fault.” Adda said.
“ I want to believe that, I really do but I made the choice that put them in harms way. It’s over now but I can’t help feeling guilty, like I should have left them alone.” Mykala said.
The dark side is pain and sorrow. They would have been somewhere else killing other innocents but you were unlucky enough to be in their path of hatred so it was your friends that died. Just bad luck Mykala your actions had little if any impact on what they did. They chose you.” Adda smiled comfortingly.
Mykala began to understand. Part of the dark sides attacks were to cause self doubt about ones own responsibility of the damage done by such attacks. She saw now that the attacker was the only one responsible for any further actions.
“I knew you would help me to feel better about what happened. I can’t keep myself hidden away from my friends and loved ones, I won’t let the dark side control me.” Mykala said. She began to feel better now that she understood that all the wrong doings had nothing to do with her actions. They fell souley on the shoulders of Lyda Starkiller.
Josi had gone back to her room. She needed time to make a plan. She sat in her big over stuffed chair and kicked off her boots. She shot a glance at Brea who quickly went down on her knees and began to message Josi’s feet.
“What to do, what to do? I now have Lionette Ty’s sister in my hands. What should I do with her ‘eh Brea?”
Brea knew not to answer. Josi couldn’t care less what she thought and this was her way of reminding her.
“Mundis I’m so glad you came.” Lionette said as she crossed the room to greet him.
“You asked and I came.” He said as he gave her a hug.
“I’m afraid I must ask a favor of you brother. You are my most trusted family member so I will plead with you for your aid.” Lionette said.
“Plead? There is no need for that. I serve the Clan like yourself, it is my life. Ask what you will and it will be done.” Mundis said half joking as he gave Lionette a low bow. Lionette knew he was serious and that he would lay down his life for the Clan but true to form he would also have to joke about it, it was his way.
“ My intention was to stay and take charge of the Clan and give up my presence as a supporter of the rebellion if not a member. However I think it would send a much stronger message for me to continue helping them in the front lines. I do not want the appearance of us having to change things around in our Clan because of what they have done.” Lionette said.
“ Your place is at the head of the Clan my sister but what you say is hard to argue against. What is it you wish from me?” Mundis asked being more serious in his demeanor.
“ I want you to remain here and rule in my place. You have the experience and knowledge needed to do it. I can’t believe anyone is better suited to do it.” she said.
“ I am honored to do your bidding.” he said suddenly very serious as he went down on one knee.
“I am fortunate to have a brother like you Mundis.” Lionette said, she was truly moved by his devotion too her.
“Yes, yes you are.” he looked up and smiled.
Furonious stood in the field pacing back and forth. His sister had told him to meet him in the field behind his private home. She had told him to have his slaves and servants with him in the field for special gathering to be held in his honor. They had been waiting for over an hour but Lionette had not yet arrived.
“There my lord.” One of his servants pointed at a ship flying low over the trees to the south. It was the Blood Claw, Lionette’s personal ship. It landed twenty yards away from the group. The rear door opened and out stepped Lionette followed by Timtam. They walked up to Furonious and stopped.
“I’m sorry I am late, forgive me for making you wait brother.” Lionette said. She was fiddling with a comm-link ear piece that seemed like it didn’t quite fit.
“ Not at all sister, we all live to serve you.” he said with a hint of sarcasm in his voice. It was obvious that he didn’t like the fact he had been made to wait so long.
“You see I wanted to make sure no one was still in your house Furonious. I’ve had my personal guard go through it with scanners while you waited with your house hold staff out here.” Lionette brushed off her clothes. Timtam could not look Furonious in the face so she just looked down.
“ What for? Why have you violated my home? He said with indignation in his voice.
“Why? This is why.” and with that Lionette gave a command over the comm-link and the house exploded into a thousand pieces.
“What have you done!” He screamed in disbelief.
“I am showing you how merciful I am little brother. You have violated my property so I have done the same to you. You entered my quarters and ravaged my slave. I should have you shot for such a thing. I am your leader and you show me your respect this way? I am merciful am I not?”
Furonious looked at where his house was and then at Lionette angrily.
Lionette stepped closer daring him to make a move against her.
“Did you not think that my quarters are not under observance by my security forces at all times? Timtam never even knew I had been told and she kept your vile act a secret. I expect you to be back on your flag ship and headed out into your usual patrol areas within the hour. You will not be allowed back home until I think you can at least pretend to act like a son of Maxis Ty’s.
Lionette turned and walked back to the Blood Claw followed by Timtam. They took off flying through the smoke from the burning wreckage. They did not speak to one another the whole way back. Once back they retired to Lionette’s quarters. Timtam went into the bedroom and began to lay out Lionette’s clothes for the evening. Lionette came in and stood next to her. Timtam suddenly turned and hugged Lionette and began to cry. Lionette just gently hugged her back and stroked her hair. “He will never hurt you again, I promise.”
Josi had been waiting for Rollo in his lounge for a long time now. She was pleased with herself for being so patient. She wasn’t used to having to wait for others. She had kept herself entertained by degrading Brea verbally until she began to cry.
“Oh shut up you horrid little thing.”Josi said and pushed her down. She wasn’t really angry she was just bored.
The door to the lounge opened and in came Rollo’s usual group of toadies. Rollo was just behind them in this little ego parade that went on all day, everyday. It was predictable and Josi knew this kind of routine behavior would give her an edge if she decided to kill this fat blob and take his place. It would be no easy thing to do since it would bring down the wrath of the rest of the ruling Hutt’s. The assassination of a Hutt is tantamount to an act of war by every other Hutt that wields power. Anyway, she was happy with her position for the time being.
“ What have you found out about our Feloid guest? “ Rollo said getting straight to the point.
“It seems she is very willing to give you any information she has in exchange for sanctuary. She has done something that can’t be forgiven. She just wants to hide out here and give you information that may help you dealing with the Feloids in general.” Josi said. She had crossed the room and poured Rollo a drink and handed it to him as she spoke.
“Is she a reliable source or is she bluffing?” Rollo asked.
“ I know she was high up in the Feloid diplomatic corp so her information and contacts should be first rate. In short my Lord I think she would be very valuable and you are lucky to have had her drop into your realm.” Josi said.
“ Very well, good work Josi Nabb. I think for now I will leave her in your care. As a matter of fact why don’t you go and tell her she can stay. Tell her it was because of you that I let her stay. She will be more likely to give you information if she thinks she owes you.” he said smiling.
“ I will go immediately and let her know.” Josi smiled. She was now the only one that would be talking to Cheena for now. The first stage of her plan was complete.
“ Mykala, we need you for a mission.”Tarin said. She had found her sitting alone on the balcony of Lionette’s quarters.
“What kind of mission?” Mykala asked.
“ It’s an easy one, Venis and Ceecee are picking you up here. They have Kang and Granic with them as well. They’re going to Regus Mortella in Hutt space to pick up two new ships. They need another pilot it seems. Kang and Granic will fly one back and you and Ceecee will fly the second one, that way each one will have a mechanic and a pilot in case there’s a problem.” Tarin said as she laid down on one of the lounge chairs. Tarin loved the luxury of the palace and was enjoying it as long as she could.
“ Well at least I’ll be with Ceecee.” Mykala said quietly.
“ Why is it Venis hates you so much? I’m sorry for asking but it makes me nervous to have people I depend on to watch my back feel that way about each other.” Tarin said as she sampled some of the fruit that had been put out for Mykala.
“ It goes back to when we voted to let her join or not, if you remember I was the only one to say no. I guess she never forgave me.” Mykala shrugged her shoulders. She didn’t seem too concerned.
“Well like you say, you’ll be with Ceecee most of the trip but it would make some of us feel better if you two put whatever you have going on behind you. Why not try to patch things up on this trip?” Tarin fluffed the big pillow behind her head.
“ I guess you got a point, I’ll give it a try.”
“Good, time for a new beginning all around, right? “ Tarin rolled on her side trying to get more comfortable.
“Why did you vote against her anyway?” Tarin asked.
“She’s in with the Hutt’s, she’s just a petty little gangster wanna be. She sucks up to that bastard Rollo the Hutt every chance she gets.” Mykala said flatly.
“ Well you might want to keep that to yourself Mykala.”
“ How come?”
“You’re picking the ships up on Regus Mortella, that’s Rollo the Hutt’s planet your going to.” Tarin laughed.
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 01:50)