Chapter 22 Journey’s end
“Grab her legs !” The voice was frantic.
“No, No, Push her up. Take the weight off her neck !”
Timtam felt like she was in a dream she couldn’t wake from. She could feel someone’s arms clenched tightly around her legs and supporting her.
“ Grab the stool you idiot !” a voice yelled. “Give it here.”
Someone had climbed up on the stool and was untying her clothes from the pipe.
“No, let me die !” Timtam heard her own voice cry as she began to fight her saviors to drive them off.
“Hold her. I almost have it.” and with that Timtam fell heavily on the one on the stool causing them all to come crashing onto the floor.
Timtam coughed and choked as air began to fill her lungs.
“You’re lucky that stool hit me and woke me up when you kicked it out from under you.” a woman said. “Looks like we got you just in time.”
Timtam’s vision was blurry and she could only make out basic shapes. She had been locked up with four other woman. They were all catgirls and bound for the same fate as herself.
“Why won’t you let me die?” was all she could say.
“We need you, you’re pretty. They’ll all want to fight over you and leave us alone.”
The scout ship and the two new ships arrived at the base early in the morning. They were surprised to see the repair ship there. Kang and Granic had been the first to land followed by Matt and Pep. Mykala and Ceecee made it to the base after a little longer. Their ship had some minor issues that slowed them up but nothing out off the ordinary . They had decided to refuel the repair ship and leave for Lionette’s palace that night.
Matt and Pep also still had ,Lyda’s slave, Cry baby with them. She didn’t talk very much during the flight even though Matt and Pep tried to make her feel comfortable. She had spent most of the time alone in her cabin laying on her bunk. She had been a slave for only three years but she had lost most of her inner self in that time. She would only do something if she was asked or told to do it.
Matt had used these three days to show Pep some basic piloting skills. She was a quick learner and eager also. She had problems reading the words and numbers on the control panel but she tried hard and took the whole thing as a game. Pep was still very childlike at times and loved to laugh. She laughed a lot with Matt because he made her so happy. He had made a commitment to her and had stayed with it all this time. Matt was happy too. He had a beautiful woman that worshiped him like a god. She was sexy and would do anything he asked. She lived her life to please only him. Everyone liked Pep.
The freighter landed on the massive platform forty feet above the jungle below. They had reached Geirgor with out incident and had started to unload their supplies. Armed Feloids flanked the edge of the platform and set up their heavy lasers. They were there to keep anyone below from trying to board the ship and get away. Timtam and the other convicts were shoved out onto the platform with all the other things from the hold. The crew worked feverishly to unload the ship so they could leave. The only way up or down was a long stairway that worked on a simple counter weight system. When the ship touched down the weight of the ship caused the stairs to lift up. When the ship left it released the pressure and the stairs went back down.
Timtam shielded her eyes from the blazing sun as her and the other four catgirls were forced off the ship. The women had tried to offer themselves to the crew if they would keep them on the
ship but no one took up their offer. They knew if they did they would be left here as well. One guard stood watch on them with a blaster rifle as the rest finished the unloading. Timtam was left wearing the torn remnants of her remaining clothes as she looked at her gloves and boots on the other women. An alarm sounded outside of the ship and the crew grabbed their weapons and ran inside the huge cargo bay door. One of the women panicked and ran towards the ship. Before any one could do anything the blast from the thrusters blew her off the platform and down to the jungle floor forty feet below.
As the huge ship lifted off the pressure was released from the counter weight and the stairway was lowered into the forest below. The remaining three women huddled together behind some boxes of supplies leaving Timtam out in the open. The ship grew smaller as it climbed away from the planet and into space. Timtam looked around nervously trying to find a way out of this mess.
“Oh mistress please save me.” she hoped beyond hope that Lionette would have forgiven her and would fly in at the last moment to carry her away. That didn’t happen.
Timtam heard footsteps on the stairs as they creaked and groaned. As they came closer she heard more and more. There must be a whole army of criminals and cut throats coming up the stairs for the supplies and the girls.
The first one to reach the top was a big strong and surprisingly handsome Feloid. She could see
he was half beast type from the heavy side burns and high placed ears that stuck out from under a thick blonde mane. He was stripped to his waste wearing military style pants and heavy boots. Across his muscled chest he wore two thick leather bandoliers. Each one had a sword hanging from it and to her great surprise he was carrying a long rifle. He walked over to her slowly looking around to check out his surroundings. She stood motionless with nowhere to run as the rest of the criminals stepped onto the platform and began to pick up the supplies and carry them off. The big Feloid in front of her was giving orders to the rest in a slightly different dialect so she could only understand some of what he said. Once he was done giving his commands to the others he turned his attention to her. Timtam shivered with fright. He took her by one arm and turned her to the left and to the right. He was examining her as if she was an item in a shop. Then with out a word he tied her hands behind her and pulled them tightly up towards her neck. He took the rest of the rope and pulled one end over her left shoulder and the other over the right. He then tied the two ends together so the knot was at the base of her throat. He turned her around facing the rest of the platform to see the other three women tied the same way and being lead in her direction. The criminals had already began to carry the supplies down the stairs in an orderly fashion.
She was surprised that the whole thing was done in such an orderly way. There was very little talking and everyone seemed to know what to do. She had expected the men to rush the platform and attack them were they stood. She didn’t understand what was going on at all but she simply did what she was told and began the long walk down the stairway into the thick jungle and her new life as a convict.
Mykala and Ceecee didn’t talk much on the flight. The new ship they had flown had some engine trouble. It was a simple problem common to the YT 1300 class ship. A tiny regulator switch that automatically fed fuel into the core had burned out. Not a big problem as long as there was a replacement switch. They didn’t have one so Ceecee had to make a manual one that she had to turn on and off by hand. It was not dangerous but too much fuel would burn out the igniters and too little fuel would shut down the engine making them have to wait until they cooled down before they could restart them. All in all it was just a big hassle for three long days of watching the controls and operating the switch.
The doses of knockout drugs Tarin had given Lyda were pretty high so the repair ship had to stop at the base for Lyda to receive emergency treatment. Bronski, Venis, and Tarin had stayed on board the ship to do maintenance and get some rest.
By the time Ceecee and Mykala had arrived they were exhausted. Neither one had gotten any real sleep and all Ceecee wanted to do is get some rest. She made her way back to her repair ship and after greeting Venis she went to bed. Venis didn’t feel it was the right time to tell her about seeing her sister. She’d let her sleep and tell her on the way to the palace.
Mykala couldn’t wait. She had to see if Lyda was still unconscious and restrained. She was able to make her way to the base and find Kang and Granic. They had overseen the transport and incarceration of Lyda into the bases brig. Mykala walked over to the door and looked in. Lyda was asleep on the bed in the cell. Granic and Kang had come in right behind Mykala, they knew what she was up to.
“You two can go now, I’ll take over.” Mykala told the guards. She then walked over to the table and poured herself a cup of stimtea. Before she could take a sip of the hot liquid Granic shot Mykala in the buttocks with a sleep dart.
“What did you… do… that… ?” Mykala said as she collapsed into Kang’s waiting arms.
“What’s going on with you two?” One of the guards asked surprised.
“All of these human types like to push themselves too far. We just decided we weren’t going to have another damned argument is all. She needed sleep.” Granic said plainly. “So I put her to sleep.”
Lionette walked up and down the line of catgirl slaves. She needed a new servant to take care of her. Nothing special just the day to day jobs, bathing her doing her hair, laying out clothes, serving her meals and so on. With Timtam’s banishment being so sudden she hadn’t had time to find a new one.
The girls all stood with their heads up and shoulders back ready to be inspected. These girls were all younger than Timtam, just teenagers for the most part. Lionette would have to train which ever one she picked so she wanted one that didn’t already have habits that needed to be broken. There were no Pinks in the line up, Lionette was done with that type. She had only the dark haired type brought in for inspection. Mundis had been asked by Lionette to help pick one out, a job he felt uncomfortable doing but his sister needed him so he agreed to the task.
“Really sister I don’t think my tastes for a servant will be quiet what you would want.” He looked the young girls up and down. Some of them were of age and quite lovely.
“Just control your needs long enough to be of some use Mundis I need your help with this.” Lionette said seriously. It was a game the two had always played. Lionette would try to remain serious as Mundis would try to make her laugh.
“Very well, what about this one?” he walked up to a tall girl in the middle of the line. “What is your name girl?” He asked.
“ My name is Kitya my lord.”
“ Are you familiar with the duties of a servant to a Princess?”
“ Yes my lord I was the Servant to lady Hershue of the Brya clan until she was married. She is served by one of her husbands house servants now.
“As I recall lady Hershue was quiet skinny did you find it took you less time to wash her than it usually would a more full figured woman?” Mundis asked smiling at Lionette. The girls all giggled at his joke as did Lionette.
“Maybe a little.” Kitya replied adding to the joke.
“Alright everybody be silent.” Lionette said. “I should have known you would act up in front of a room full of pretty slaves.” Lionette said in mock disgust.
“I can’t help it sister but this whole idea of replacing Timtam is foolish.” he said as he put his arm around her shoulder and lead her to the door. “You need a completely different situation. You need a house servant, not another slave to constantly remind you of Timtam. I have been approached by a free woman that wants to serve you. She’s in the next room, I think you might like the idea once you see her.” Mundis smiled.
“Very well Mundis but just tell me this isn’t one of your silly games again.” Lionette said. Mundis just smiled and opened the door.
Lionette walked into the room. There in the room was a cloaked woman sitting in a chair.
“I understand you wish to become my servant.” Lionette said as Mundis closed the door behind him.
The woman stood up and removed her hood. It was Neeka. The girl that had helped Lionette
and Pep find the assassin that killed her father. She had been stabbed and nearly killed during the mission.
“Neeka? How are you? I am very glad to see you again.” Lionette had felt badly for not ever properly thanking her.
“I am well, thank you for being concerned my lady.” Neeka said bowing.
“None of that now, you saved my life and that means something to me.” Lionette said putting an arm around her shoulder.
“ I wish to become your servant my lady, I have much experience and I feel you have my trust if I may be so bold as to say so.” Neeka asked politely.
“ I do not like unsettled debts and I feel I owe you one so yes I would be pleased for you to come work for me.” Lionette said smiling.
“Thank you my lady I will do whatever you say. I will even return too slavery and become your property if you could do one more thing for me.” Neeka became very submissive and desperate in her tone.
“What is it ? How can I help you?” Lionette asked.
“My lady forgive me but I have only you to beg for this favor. I was born a slave as you know. My life has been a hard one. A few years back when I was still very young I was used for breeding and had a child. I have found out that the child’s owner has died and my daughter is to be sold. I am now a free woman and can buy a slave but I don’t have the money to do so. Please buy my child and let me raise it in your house under your protection and I will do whatever you ask of me. Please mistress I want my child back. I want to hold her again.” Neeka had completely broken down and was crying.
Lionette was shocked. This is not what she had expected. She walked over to the door and opened it.
“Guard, please come in here.” Lionette was now very serious.
Neeka quickly composed herself, she had gone to far with her request. She should have known Lionette would never do this for her.
“Take this woman out of the palace.” she said calmly.
The guard motioned to Neeka to come with him. Neeka stood up and walked to the door with her head down.
Lionette went to her desk and wrote a message on a piece of paper and handed it to the guard.
“Take this woman to the slave market. Give this note to the head trade master. It will inform him to give this woman whatever slave she wants. When that is done I want you to escort her back here so I may see the slave child. I also want you to find good quality quarters for the slave child and her mother who will be my new personal servant.” Lionette said as she slowly began to smile at Neeka.
Neeka was in shock. She couldn’t believe what she had just heard Lionette tell the guard.
“Why ?” Neeka asked in disbelief at Lionette’s kindness.
“Because this house has seen so much pain and betrayal in it as of late I felt it needed something good to happen here. As it is I can’t think of anything better than reuniting a mother and her child.” Lionette said. “Besides if it weren’t for you Mundis would be in charge.”
“Come with me Cry baby, it’s time for lunch. Pep had been unofficially been put in charge of her.
She stood up and followed Pep down the hallway to the mess hall. Cry baby walked about five feet behind Pep where ever they went. It was a habit from years of submissive behavior. Unlike Pep who was born into slavery it had been forced upon Cry baby after being born free. When that happens it usually is much more damaging to the mind. When she was asked what her name was she would only tell them her name was Cry baby. She didn’t understand that she was safe now. It didn’t matter, she would be Cry baby until she felt it was safe not to be. It would take time and patients for her to have any kind of normal life again. She was terrified of Lyda Starkiller. Everyone could understand why. Many free people had gone up against her and had witnessed her cruelty and vengeance. One could only imagine what a person that was Lyda’s personal property would have to endure at her sadistic hands. To live completely at her whim from minute to minute would drive the strongest person insane.
The two women went into the mess hall and sat down. Pep went and got their food and came back. Pep watched as Cry baby sat and stared at the food in front of her.
“You can eat now.” Pep said.
Crybaby began to eat, she did so in a very rigid style. She would take a bite of her food and then put down her fork and chew the food completely before swallowing it. Then she would pick up her fork and repeat the process. It was very annoying to watch, unless you had trained her to eat that way. Lyda must have trained her to do it. Pep could imagine the slightest mistake in this ritual would cause Cry baby to be beaten.
“Where is she?” Cry baby asked suddenly.
“Do you mean Lyda?”
“ She calls herself Josi Nabb now.” Cry baby said with her head down.
“She’s locked up and under strict guard. She’ll most likely be put to death after the trial.” Pep said.
“What happened to her light sabers?” Cry baby asked.
“I don’t know, I wasn’t there when she was captured.” Pep said. It was a strange question for her to ask Pep thought.
“If you don’t find them she’s going to kill everyone.” Cry baby added.
Pep felt a cold chill run down her spine. This girl knew something.
“What do you mean by that?” Pep took Crybaby by the hand and looked at her.
“She has a plan, she wanted to be brought here.” Cry baby smiled.
“What do you mean?” Pep asked as calmly as she could.
“She’s playing a game, She’s tricked you all.” Cry baby took another bite and laid down the fork to chew.
“What do you mean !” before Pep had realized it she was shaking Cry baby by the shoulders. She was trying to shock her in to telling what she knew.
Cry baby just looked at Pep and kept chewing.
“ Come on we’re done with lunch.” Pep grabbed Cry baby by the hand and drug her down the hall back to the repair ship.
Matt was helping to load the ship when he saw Pep dragging Cry baby across the hangar bay. He started walking towards them but he saw Pep put her hand up signaling him to stay where he was.
Pep and Cry baby met Matt just outside the cargo bay door. He was smiling until he saw the look on Peps face. She was worried.
“What’s the matter Pep?”
“She knows something, she’s not right in the head but she’s trying to warn me about something that’s going to happen.” Pep said anxiously.
“What did she say?” Matt said in a calming tone.
“ She asked me where Lyda’s light sabers were. Then she said this whole thing was a trick to get Lyda here.” Pep covered her mouth nervously. “She said Lyda is going to kill everyone.”
Matt knew he should take Pep seriously when she had a feeling about something. He looked at Cry baby. She just stood there looking down.
“What did you tell Pep ?” Matt asked Cry baby.
Cry baby tilted her head to one side and while Pep was still holding her right hand she began to beat her own head with the left one. “Won’t tell, won’t tell, won’t tell…”
Matt had to grab her arm to stop her. “It’s okay, you don’t have to tell me. Why don’t you tell Pep? She’s your friend right?”
“No…I don’t remember anymore…the thoughts are dreams…she’s inside of me…
don’t know anything…”
“What’s going on ?” Matt asked Pep.
“She’s under a lot of strain, she’s not in her head anymore. She’s gone away.” Pep knew about what Cry baby was going through but Matt would never understand. Cry baby felt so trapped by her circumstances that she had detached her mind from reality.
“It’s no good Matt, she needs to calm down.
“Great, everything was just fine two minutes ago and now this.” Matt said to himself aloud.
Pep looked sad,she felt like she had done this. She was the one who brought Matt the information.
Matt looked at Pep’s expression. “You did good just now. We needed to know about this.” Matt smiled and kissed her on top of her head.
“Don’t worry, she’s coming with us so we can find out what’s going on later. We just have to wait it out.” Matt stroked Peps hair and shook her head messing her hair. Pep looked up with a big grin on her face. “If you say so Matt.
“So doctor, are you sure the new dose will keep her asleep for at least a day?” Kang was with the compounds doctor. He had been in charge of stabilizing Lyda’s condition. He couldn’t believe Lyda had survived the continual heavy injections of knock out drugs that Tarin had pumped into her after the last few days. He had done miracles to clean out her system of Tarin’s doses and re stabilized Lyda with his own.
“The amount I have given her should keep her asleep for at least two days. Once you are safe at the palace Lionette’s doctor can give her an antidote to revive her.” The doctor said as he closed his bag.
“Thank you doctor” Kang said as the doctor nodded and left.
“I guess it’s time to load her on the ship.” Granic said. They strapped Lyda to a wheeled table and rolled her onto the Repair ship. Everyone was going to the palace. They all needed to be present for the trial.
Lionette would be expecting them so they all climbed in the ship and took off.
Lionette had enjoyed seeing Neeka and her child. The little girl was about three years old. The girl had been well treated and showed no signs of illness. Lionette was moved to tears when Neeka put the child down and the girl ran straight to her and hugged her legs. She had done the right thing by helping Neeka. Lionette had paid her debt to her in full, Neeka had saved Lionette and Lionette had saved Neeka’s little girl. They spent the rest of the evening together and even had a brief visit from Mundis. He too was charmed by the child and insisted she call him uncle Mundis.
Lionette had Mundis escort Neeka back to her quarters so she could spend time alone with her little girl. She would start her duties the next morning but for tonight Lionette would see herself to bed.
She took her bath and found her robe with no problem, she was pleased with her self reliance thus far. She had not been able to find her hair brush however. She looked high and low until she came to the door that lead to Timtam’s room. It was dark so she turned on the lights and went in. She looked around and saw something sticking out from under Timtam’s pillow, it was Lionette’s hair brush. It was broken. Timtam must have tried to hide it to keep from getting into trouble. Lionette picked up the hair brush and held it to her chest. “Silly girl thought she would get in trouble.” she said to herself and began to cry.
“Hello? I’ve done what you told me to do, now let me talk to my wife.” The doctor said. He was speaking into a long range communications devise. He had found it when he went home the day before. It was laying on the bed with a note telling him his wife and children had been taken away. They would be returned unharmed if he gave Lyda a lighter dose of drugs than he was supposed to. He didn’t know who or why they wanted this done he just wanted his family back safe.
“You will talk to her when we are sure you have done what we have told you to do.” the voice on the other end said. The transmission ended after that. The doctor knew what he had done. He had no choice. He had to choose between his family or the others escorting Lyda Starkiller. He chose his family.
Cheena was ushered into the great hall. Rollo was waiting for her.
“I’ve just received word from one of my agents in Feloid space, it has been done. Josi is on route to the palace.”
“You are certain I cannot be implicated in this affair?” Rollo had asked this question several times already.
“My lord, they came here and took her away if you recall. If anything, you are the injured party in this situation not them.”Cheena said.
“You understand that when you take your place as the last remaining rightful heir to the Ty clan I will have exclusive trade rights in Ty controlled space.”
“Of course my lord Rollo, I would never consider anyone else to do it. We are the greatest of friends are we not?” Cheena lifted her glass to Rollo.
“I suppose we are my dear, I suppose we are.” Rollo answered and 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 01:53)