The beginning of the end
Lyda had made her way back to Rollo’s fortress. She wasn’t sure how he would react to her being captured. The Empire hadn’t identified her as Lyda Starkiller so his reaction to the situation would most likely be determined by her value to him.
She had one thing in her favor, the Empire wouldn’t pay anything for her, they would just take her.
He had sheltered her and so far hadn’t received any service for his investment. He knew her true identity when he took her on so he must have had a plan for this contingency.
Lyda had become Josi once again and stood waiting for Rollo to arrive in the great hall to determine her fate. She didn’t have to wait long.
“Josi Nabb, you are a great problem to me. I have told you to stay inside and hidden and yet I find out you have been captured by the very enemy I have tried to protect you from.” Rollo said as he entered the hall.
Josi did the only thing she could think of, she lied.
“My lord Rollo, I was on the trail of a Jedi. I wanted to capture this woman so you could turn her over to the Empire and gain favor with them in the future. I was too eager to surprise you with this gift. My judgment failed me, please forgive me.” Josi said as she bowed low.
“Who is this Jedi that you were hunting?” Rollo asked.
“She goes by the name Mykala my lord. It is said in certain circles she is wanted by the Emperor himself.” Lyda’s mission to capture Mykala was top secret so she knew even Rollo didn’t know who Mykala was or about the prophecy.
“What happened, how did she escape?” Rollo asked.
“I didn’t know it at the time but she had people helping her. I do not know who these people are but I will soon find out.” Josi said.
“No you will not ! This adventure of yours has gone as far as I will allow. I am in no hurry to bring the Empires attention on myself. This base of theirs was forced on me. I just want them to conclude their mission here and leave. You will stay in your quarters until they leave, this is an order. Just occupy your time by tormenting that poor slave of yours.” Rollo ordered.
“My lord…about my slave…it seems that she was killed during my escape.” Josi feigned sorrow at Brea’s death.
Rollo stared at her momentarily. “Very well choose another and keep yourself busy with that one until this blows over.” Rollo turned to leave but suddenly turned back. “Don;t kill this one. You won’t get any more from me.”
“There they are.” Pep said as she pointed to a large canyon below. Matt, Pep, and Bronski had arrived after pushing their ship to the limits. Below them in the canyon were the other ships, Ceecee’s repair ship they had all arrived on and the two new ones. They could see Mykala outside signaling them to land just to the right of the rest of the ships. The gray dust was being kicked up by a freak wind storm but only enough to be a hassle while landing. Matt eased the small scout ship down without any trouble with Mykala guiding him.
“ Well we’re here let’s see what’s up.” Bronski said. And with that said they all made their way through the blowing dust and into Ceecee’s ship.
“Glad you all made it safely.” Kang said as he greeted each one as they entered.
“Why are we meeting here? I was hoping to get a little slap and tickle in before we had to go.” Bronski said.
“Is that all you think about ?” Ceecee asked.
“ Hey, I just spent two days with these two humping each other every chance they got. It kind of gets you wanting some action yourself if you know what I mean.” Bronski said winking.
“We’ve got bigger problems than your filthy animal needs.” Tarin said as she wiped her brow.
“We have found Lyda Starkiller. She is on this planet hiding out in Rollo’s complex somewhere. We out number her and we don’t think she’s left. We need to find her and kill her now.” Kang said.
“How do we know she’s still here?” Matt asked.
“Because she knows I’m here.” Mykala said.
“ Yeah, she’s here. She hates you.” Bronski confirmed her statement.
“What’s the plan?” Matt asked.
“Don’t have one yet, we were waiting for you guy’s to show up, this is your specialty.” Tarin said as she sat down on a crate.
“ You know there’s a good chance if we go after her on her turf some of us won’t be leaving here, ever.” Bronski said as he lit his cigar.
“ Well that’s why we’re asking Matt and yourself how to handle this you idiot.” Tarin snapped.
“ I don’t like the idea of fighting her here. We might want to try a straight up ambush and have Baltis shoot her through the head, simple but effective.” Matt interjected.
“ I’m up for that but we have to flush her out of whatever hole she’s hiding in.” Baltis said.
“ She only saw Mykala and myself so there might be a good chance of surprise.” Venis had moved over and sat next to Ceecee.
“Don’t count on that too much, she’s bound to be looking for us as well and she may have spotted some or all of us by now. We can not under any circumstance under estimate her ever. She hasn’t survived all alone all these years by being foolish.” Mykala seemed to add a bit of sympathy for Lyda in her tone.
“Mykala’s right, we can’t under estimate how dangerous Lyda is.” Kang agreed.
Josi paced back and forth across the room like a caged animal. The new slave she had been sent saw how she had treated Brea and was on the floor crying. She had been crying since she had been thrown in the room with Josi. At first she beat on the door and begged for the guards to come back. She didn’t even care that Josi was standing there the whole time. She had begged Josi to kill her quickly right on the spot. She pleaded for her to show mercy and kill her.
Josi finally walked up to the girl and grabbed her by the hair pulling her head back. “I’m not allowed to kill you!” Josi screamed at her and threw her down.
“Now shut up! Just shut up! “ Josi yelled .
The girl calmed down and forced herself to stop crying.
“What’s your name?”Josi flopped down in a big overstuffed chair in front of the girl.
“My name is Kiri.”she said with her head down.
“Not any more. Your name is Cry baby.” Josi snapped. “ I haven’t done anything to you for you to earn the right to cry. Now Brea earned the right to cry way more than you. When I first saw her she gave me a look of defiance. Nobody does that to me and has an easy life. You on the other hand are scared to death of me.” “That’s good.” Josi sounded almost happy.” That’s a very good start, consider yourself lucky. You have an understanding of the order of things.”
The girl looked up at Josi.
“You knew the moment you were thrown in here that I was the one who decided your fate. You
submitted to it and lost all hope of mercy, that’s all I ask.”Josi said taking the girl’s chin in her hand.
“I like you Cry baby, you’re weak and will do everything I tell you to do without hesitation won’t you?
Cry baby closed her eyes and nodded.
“ That’s wonderful. I don’t have the time to worry about some silly slave not doing what I want.”
Josi crossed her legs and rested them on Crybaby’s back.
“Did you know I was a slave once?” Josi looked at the girl. She did not respond.
“ I always gave that look of defiance to those who owned me. No matter how much they degraded me or beat me I always gave them that look. Eventually I was made their equal and then their leader. That’s why I treated Brea so badly. I didn’t want to have to deal with someone like me down the road.”
“I have a plan to get myself back on top Cry baby and I will need your help. I can count on you do do what I need done can’t I ?” Josi asked as she lifted Cry baby’s chin with her foot.
Cry baby nodded yes.
“Alright , everybody calm down, we’re not getting anywhere this way.”Baltis who had been watching the discussion break down into a shouting match had had enough.
“We all need to take a break to gather our thoughts and cool down. This whole Lyda Starkiller thing is a big deal to all of us and we all know some of us will die. That’s going to get people angry so lets walk away from this and come back in a half hour.” Baltis said.
“That’s the first good idea I’ve heard all day.” Bronski said as he stood up.
The rest agreed with Baltis . The whole endeavor was causing a lot of stress. Nobody could come up with a way to bring Lyda out into the open to kill her. It was also becoming clear that every one was a little afraid of Lyda. She had a reputation of being a person that enjoyed killing. She preferred it to taking prisoners. She was also a sadist who enjoyed inflicting pain on others. She was definitely unhinged and capable of doing anything.
Mykala wanted to go back to her original plan of breaking off and hunting her by herself.
Kang wanted to go with Mykala to help but he wasn’t exactly the sneaking around type due to his size.
Matt favored luring her to an isolated place and then having Baltis kill her. Baltis also liked this plan but they also knew Lyda would never fall for it.
Bronski had a slightly different spin on Matt’s plan. Instead of having Baltis shoot her he wanted to use a high explosive devise and blow her to bits.
The rest just threw out random ideas that showed just how unqualified they were to be doing that. Granic, Ceecee, And Venis tried to help but they wound up just adding to the confusion.
“How do you kill a dragon? We have to assume the worst case scenario every time when it comes to trying to kill Lyda Starkiller. We must approach the idea as if you are in an open field with no cover and she knows you’re there. We must consider that she knows what we are about to do and our next step as well. It would be as if she was here with us right now as we planned the attack against her. We can never underestimate her.” Kang said as he looked out of the cockpit window at the storm of dust gathering outside.
“She’s a tough one, one of the worst I’ve ever had to face.” Baltis added.
“You know my past, I’ve dedicated the rest of my life to hunting her kind down and killing them. This one’s a witch I tell you. She has a destiny that we may not be able to do anything about. The Dark side protects this one without a doubt.” Baltis said being very introspective.
“Look, I’m telling you if we can spot her here we could maybe hit her from orbit with a concussion bomb or laser cannon.” Bronski said. “Besides I never signed up to fight someone like that. I was told we’d be greasing Stormtroopers and other Imperial troops. These Jedi types are all fanatics. They don’t fight straight up, they like using their little tricks and shit. Grease her from orbit I say.”
“What about the civilians?” asked Matt.
“Who? These pirates? Most of them deserve a bullet to the head anyway if you ask me.” Bronski shot back.
“Still not all of them deserve that.” Matt was trying to get Bronski mad.
“Why not ask Pep if these assholes deserve it. You know what they did to her back on the Citadel where you met her.” Bronski said trying just as hard to make Matt angry. He remembered it was Matt that left her to her fate when they first met and she was beaten and gang raped.
“Shut the fuck up you asshole, don’t you think I regret that everyday of my life! Don’t you see I try to make up for that everyday!” Matt stood up kicking his chair back.
“You better check that attitude boy.” Bronski said getting up slower and more focused. “You were in the wrong and yelling at me won’t make it like it didn’t happen.” Bronski looked at Matt waiting for him to make his next move.
Pep walked in the room and stood head down with her back against the wall. “Can I get you anything?” she was addressing both Matt and Buck at the same time. She was so quiet due to her nature that sometimes people would forget she was nearby and could hear them. Both men felt badly about using her in their argument. She had a way of calming people when ever she was around that Pep didn’t even realize she had. People tended not to argue as much or complain about things when she was around. She had taken everything that had been done to her with such inner strength that others often felt foolish about their own worries and problems.
Matt quickly picked up his chair and brushed it off nervously.”No thanks Pep.” He glanced at Bronski. “Buck do you want something, Pep doesn’t mind.” Matt said trying to diffuse the tension in the air.
“Uh, yeah if you don’t mind beautiful. How about a nice cold drink of something, you chose it for me.” Bronski smiled to let her know everything was okay now.
“One cold drink coming up.” She smiled as she left but still looked at the floor.
“ Listen, Matt, I took a cheap shot there…I’m sorry.”Buck said sitting back down.
“Forget it, I’m getting used to that smart ass mouth of yours.” Matt smiled.
“Really?” Bronski smiled back. “Looks like i”ll have to try harder then.
“How close were you?” Tarin asked Mykala. They had gone to the room Tarin had been bunking in on the journey. Tarin as usual had laid down on the bed with her head propped up on a pile of blankets and pillows. She had a habit of lounging about and wanting to dominate that spot. She was like some long and lean house cat that would find a favorite spot to sleep then sprawl out and relax.
“ She was as close as we are now I guess.” Mykala said. Mykala was the opposite. She had been
raised on a war torn planet so she was most comfortable sitting in a corner on the floor with her knees up to her chin held tight by her arms.
“Were you scared?” Tarin asked.
“Not really. It was different this time.” she said looking at the floor. “ I was close enough to her to sense something new. I felt her pain the for the first time and it was horrible. It didn’t have an end, it kept going on and on like a machine. She is driven by unimaginable pain that causes her to lash out and cause more pain where ever she goes.” Mykala said.
“That’s interesting, maybe we could use that against her.” Tarin said checking her finger nails.
“In a way I kind of pity her. I think she wants to die because of the pain she feels all the time. She’s lonely but doesn’t know how to connect or trust other people. That’s what makes her so dangerous, she must control someone totally before she can interact with them. I think she is the perfect conduit for the Dark side.”
“How do you think we should handle her?” Tarin asked.
“I still think this is between her and me. I need to do it on my own.”Mykala said and closed her eyes. She was tired from this whole ordeal and just wished it could be over.
“I think you’re right. I’m no big believer in the force but when she killed you and you teleported across the galaxy, twice, that’s gotta mean somethings going on. I think this whole destiny thing is real and you have to face it and soon.” Tarin had braced herself on one elbow and was looking down at Mykala.
“Would you help me convince the others to let me go?” Mykala said looking up.
Tarin thought for a moment. “Yeah, I’ll back you up if you want. But there’s one condition.”
“What’s that?” Mykala asked.
“If Lyda actually kills you for real, don’t leave me your clothes in your will…camo? Ugh!” Tarin said rolling her eyes.
“You’ve been hanging out with Bronski too much.” Mykala laughed.
“What’s the matter Vee?” Ceecee asked. Venis had been drinking heavily ever since she had lucked out and rescued Mykala.
“You want to know what’s wrong? You really want to know?” The alcohol was beginning to take affect on Vee now and she was becoming belligerent. “ I’m scared. I’m scared shitless Ceecee. All you others run straight into danger with out any worries but I can’t do it anymore. I’m scared all the time.” she took another long pull on the bottle. “How do you do it? How come your not afraid of all of this?” Venis was angry from jealousy.
“ Calm down and give me the bottle Vee.”
Venis looked down and gave the bottle to Ceecee.
“I’m sorry, I mess everything up.”
“I’ll tell you why I’m not scared but this time you have to believe what I tell you.” Ceecee said as she lead Vee over to the lower bunk.
“I told you once before that my sister Jaycee told me she forgave Stella for killing her remember?” Ceecee said.
Venis gave a “How can you believe this stuff?” look at Ceecee.
“I know you don’t believe it but just hear me out. That wasn’t the only time she came to me. I see her all the time. I can’t explain it, maybe because we’re twins or something but she is watching over us.” Ceecee put her arm around Vee’s shoulders.
“I wish I could believe but I’m the kind of person that needs proof.” Venis said.
“How do you explain how you got Mykala out of the Imperial base so easily? When you and Mykala walked up that street to us she was walking by your side.”
“I want to believe you but it could be your imagination honey.” Vee was trying not to offend Ceecee.
“The diagram in the office, at first you didn’t think anything about it. Then you got the idea and the courage to attempt the rescue. How did you think that happened?” Ceecee said standing up suddenly.
“ I never told anyone about that diagram. I remember now… I suddenly felt I could do it, I was still scared but I did it anyway.” Venis looked up at Ceecee with a puzzled look on her face.
“Jaycee told me about it, she was there with you, protecting you.” Ceecee said with a tear in her eye. “We are all part of this prophecy of Mykala’s, it not just her, it’s all of us.”
Kang and Baltis were the first ones to see the girl. She had some how found her way into the ships hold and was kneeling in the center. She was crying.
“Baltis, get to the upper level and if you see her don’t hesitate to shoot.” Kang instructed.
“I know what to do.” Baltis said as he crept up the utility ladder.
“Granic, go warn the others…she’s here.”Kang said calmly.
“Who?” Granic hadn’t felt her like Kang and Baltis.
Granic swallowed hard. He didn’t have a smart remark for Kang’s statement this time.
“Okay.” was all he could muster as he turned quietly and went to alert the others.
Mykala lept up from the floor and grabbed her light saber. “It’s too late, she’s here.”
Tarin felt her too. “Get out of here, find some room to maneuver. She’s quick.”
Mykala looked carefully around the open door and slid out into the hall. She gave a glance at Mykala and saw her putting on her wrist gauntlets. They were both packed full of most every type of weapon one might need.
“Go, keep moving and get her into the open. We’ll get her.” Tarin smiled.
Ceecee suddenly stood up. She turned to Venis and looked at her. Ceecee had a look off fright and surprise on her face. “Lyda is here.” she said.
Venis crawled back into the corner of the bunk as far as she could. Her eyes darted around the room looking for Lyda to burst in any second.
“ We need to stay here. We’ll just be in the way out there.” Ceecee said as if repeating the words she had just spoken.
Venis just sat horrified and nodded.
“What do you want girl? Who sent you?” Kang had waited for Baltis to get into position. He had seen Mykala hiding in the doorway below.
“ Where is Lyda Starkiller, has she sent you?” Kang had stepped out further onto the walkway so he could get a better look down below.
Suddenly there was a shower of sparks as a light saber cut through the supports just under Baltis’s vantage point. Lyda had figured out where he would be and had waited underneath. Baltis fell with the severed platform as it clanged and smashed it’s way to the floor. Kang had reached out to grab him but only slowed his fall a little. He hit the deck below with a heavy thud and lay motionless. Lyda swung down to the next tier below where Kang stood waiting. He turned on his light saber staff and took a defensive stance. She came at him screaming whirling and slashing with both of her light sabers even harder than he had expected. He was able to hold his ground effectively with her only scoring minor hits. “Come at me witch!” he yelled as his blood fury began to rise. Mykala was making her way up the ladder across the lower deck to get into position behind Lyda. A missile flew across the cargo hold from the lower deck fired by Tarin but was deflected back at her by Lyda. Tarin had expected this and had ducked back into cover after firing. It exploded with out harm to anyone. Kang thrust just as Lyda had blocked the missile hitting her in the shoulder. She renewed her attacks against Kang driving him back. Mykala lept across the cargo bay doing a flip to keep up her momentum. She landed behind Lyda and attacked from the rear. Lyda was now fighting both Mykala and Kang. Mykala was no great concern as Lyda had achieved Master status as a Sith enforcer a much higher level than Mykala but Kang was a Jedi Master and was giving her a great deal of trouble. With a swing downward Lyda cut the platform below her and she dropped down to the next level.
A heavy fist came out of nowhere striking her in the jaw knocking her over the railing. It was Bronski. It had happened so quickly that she had landed in front of him that he just threw a punch without any real thought. Matt shoved his way past and began to fire his blaster rifle at Lyda as she fell. Lyda landed with ease and lept under the platforms above to get out of the line of fire. She looked up to see Pep. Pep had made her way over to the slave girl and was trying to pull her to cover.
“Hey !” Lyda yelled. Everyone froze for a second. “That’s mine!”
Lyda did a flip in the air and landed in front of Pep.
“NO !” Matt yelled and opened fire on Lyda with everything he had.
Lyda flipped once more and landed behind Pep grabbing her around the neck. Pep froze as she felt the searing heat from the light saber held close to her throat. Lyda looked at Matt. His face was one of absolute horror. She smiled at him and drew back. A sharp pain struck her in the back and she was suddenly shot through with high voltage electricity. Tarin was one of the best at what she did, she waited for Lyda to hesitate. She knew before she would kill Pep she would stop for a second to taunt Matt. That’s when she fired and hit Lyda.
Lyda shook violently as the electricity locked up every muscle in her body. Pep pulled away and fell to the floor. Matt jumped from the second level and landed on some crates. He rolled off and ran to Pep. Bronski took the stairs down two at a time. Kang and Mykala lept from their level down to the cargo deck below.
“Hurry up, I’m running out of power!” she said as she held down the power switch that fed the electricity into Lyda as she struggled to fight the current. Kang grabbed both of Lyda’s wrists and squeezed hard. Lyda looked Kang in the eyes with a renewed sense of hate but gave in to his incredible strength and let her light sabers drop. Mykala lifted her light saber to kill Lyda.
“No, she has to stand trial !” Kang yelled.
“What ?No ! We have to kill her now !” Mykala said. “ We can’t risk it.” she pleaded.
“She has to stand trial for the people she killed, all those people deserve justice Mykala.” Kang looked into Mykala’s eyes. “Araya deserves justice. She has to pay for everyone she’s killed. It’s bigger than us.”
Mykala slowly lowered her light saber and stood looking at Kang angrily. She new he was right. With a blood curdling scream she threw her light saber at the wall and stormed off back to her quarters. Bronski and Matt helped subdue Lyda Starkiller.
“ What should we do with her?” Tarin asked as she retrieved her shock darts.
“Shoot her up with something, it shouldn’t be too hard to find some drugs on this planet.” Bronski said as he sat down straddling her legs.
“Yeah, I think that’s a good idea. If we have to take her back to Feloid space we better keep her sedated.” Matt added.
“I think I can dig up something from my toy box that will do the trick.” Tarin said and turned to go get the drugs.
“He’s okay, just had the wind knocked out of him.” Granic had rushed to help Baltis.
“She knew where I would set up…she’s damned good I’ll give her that.”Baltis said sitting up.
“Okay everyone, same ship assignments. Buck you stay here and help Ceecee and Venis guard Lyda till we get back to Feloid space. We can pick up a patrol and get some help when we hit the border.” Kang said.
“Okay, just give me time to get my stuff out of the other ship and I’ll be all set.” Bronski replied.
“What about her.” Pep was referring to the slave girl.
“What’s your name girl?” Matt asked.
“Cry baby.” she said looking down.
“You can come with us or stay here, what do you want to do?”
Cry baby looked around at everyone.
“I’ll go with you.”
Matt and Pep took Cry baby with them in the scout ship and headed back to the base in Feloid territory. Kang and Granic took one of the new ships as did Mykala and Ceecee. The large repair ship was crewed by Venis, Tarin, Baltis, and Bronski. They had given Lyda a heavy dose of drugs to keep her asleep until they arrived in Feloid space. The plan was to turn her over to Lionette as she was now the head of the Ty clan and in charge seeing justice done for the attack at Verasia’s home and all of Lyda’s victims. With a little luck this would put an end to any further atrocities from Lyda Starkiller.
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 01:51)