Chapter 23 Change
The repair ship would reach Lionette’s palace by next evening. At normal cruising speed it usually took a good ship about a twenty four hours to get there from the base. Just a short hop really but with Lyda on board it would seem like weeks. Ceecee was at the controls on this leg of the journey. Venis was sitting on the big bench in the cockpit with her. Ceecee had told Venis about the problems on the new ship and how she had to make a switch from spare parts in order to keep the ship flying.
“So, what did you and Mykala talk about.” Venis asked trying not to sound jealous.
“Not much, most of the time I was stuck in the engine room while she was in the cockpit.” Ceecee sensed Vee’s jealousy in her tone.
“Yeah but not the whole three days, I mean the ship didn’t break down right after take off.” Vee had to press the point.
“Well now that you mention it I do remember something about me and her in my cabin. Oh yes and we had candles and expensive wine. It was kind of warm so we decided to take our clothes off…”
“That’s not funny Ceecee.” Venis said. She turned her back on Ceecee and sulked sitting on the bench.
“Well what do you expect? You’ve been thinking it haven’t you?” Ceecee asked.
“No! I just wanted to know what you two did is all.” Venis was defensive and didn’t want to admit her jealousy.
“Just admit it Vee, you’re jealous.” Ceecee said smiling.
“I’m not jealous.” Venis turned back around. She looked down at the floor.
“I’m scared, you’re the only one that likes me here and I don’t want to loose that.”she looked up to see Ceecee smiling at her.
“You won’t Vee, Mykala doesn’t like girls. She only likes boys.” Ceecee said.
“Besides, I count on you Vee. Me and you are a team. Like Matt and Pep or Bronski and Tarin.” Ceecee said.
“Bronski and Tarin ? They hate each other.” Vee said.
“What are you blind? Next time they’re together just watch how she looks at him when he doesn’t know it. She wants to jump his bones so bad it’s pathetic.” Ceecee said laughing.
“I can’t even picture that in my head. Tarin and Bronski, that’s just…unnatural.” Vee said recoiling.
Timtam had been placed in a wooden cage and hoisted about twenty feet above the ground. Each of the other women had the same thing done with them. It was night by this time and the jungle was alive with the sounds of whatever strange things came out in the darkness of this primordial place. She was trembling. The other women had been talking GIRL TALK but made sure she was left out. They were formulating some sort of plan but she was not to be included. She had noticed the camp below was well organized and not the pit of savagery she imagined it to be. She was starving. The last time she had eaten was just before she was brought in to Lionette for the last time. That was two days ago. All the food she had been given on the ship was taken by the other girls. They only left her the water ration. She could smell the food cooking below. It was probably some kind of giant slug that had been dug up from under a log, it smelled wonderful. Her stomach was grumbling from being so empty. She saw two guards coming towards them carrying a pot. The first one lowered the three cages the other girls were in but when they got to hers they left hers up in the air. She waited and watched as they fed the others and gave them water. When they were done the cages were let open and the guards released them. They were made to kneel down in a line on the ground. The first guard walked up and down in front of them. He was explaining something to them in the dialect of the big blonde Feloid that had escorted her off the platform. He was too far away to hear what was said but when he was done they all got up and walked back to the camp. She was now alone hanging in the tree tops even hungrier than before.
Pep was combing Cry baby’s hair and talking to her quietly. She had been able to get her calmed down. Cry baby sat in the chair in the middle of the room with Pep combing her hair as she stood behind her. Cry baby just sat with her eyes closed not moving. She had began to hum a little tune very quietly to herself. Pep gently placed her hand on Cry baby’s chest to feel her heart beat, it was normal and relaxed.
Matt, Kang, and Mykala were in the hallway waiting. Matt had let them know what Cry baby had told Pep just before they left. Pep had done her magic and calmed the girl down again. Pep had spent most of her life handling the trauma that slaves go through and how to deal with it, even her own.
“What can we do? We need to find out if she’s nuts or does she really know something.” Mykala asked.
“I wish Adda was here, she has the ability to see other peoples thoughts if they let her.” Kang said.
“I’m getting very itchy about this whole thing. I’m starting to agree with Bronski on this. Stick her in an airlock and blow her into oblivion.” Matt said.
“Or I’ll do it.”Mykala said coldly patting her light saber.
“I agree that would be the easiest thing to do but we have to do this legally. The Republic will soon be swept away. We need be the light that shines in the galaxy. We cannot sink to the level of the Empire. This is about showing any potential allies that we stand for justice and the rule of law. As much as I would like to see Lyda dead we can’t do it that way.
Matt looked at Mykala. “I hate it when he’s right.”
“As long as she’s killed by someone soon I guess I can go along with this for a while longer.” Mykala said.
“You know if you two want to hang around up here and smooch on each other during my shift I won’t complain about it.” Bronski said grabbing his crotch and smiling. He had stepped into the cockpit to begin his shift.
“Smooch on this ass-muncher.” Ceecee said as she threw her coffee cup at him. Bronski caught it effortlessly and gently tossed it back to her.
“That’s the problem with your types, when a good man walks in the door you get scared and bury your heads.” he said grinning and looking at Venis’s crotch.
“What is your malfunction Bronski ?” Ceecee snapped.
“I heard what you said about Tarin, you know, about looking at me all weird. If she heard you say that she’d have both your asses for slippers.” he said lighting a cigar.
“Come on Ceecee, it’s time for him to start his shift.” Venis said and slid past Bronski as he stood in the doorway.
“You’re right Buck, I must be wrong about that. Who could ever love a piece of shit like you anyway?” Ceecee said brushing past him.
“What? No good night kiss?” Bronski said as the two women left angrily.
Buck sat down in the big chair and laughed to himself. He had been outside the door listening to them talking. At first he just wanted to hear what they were saying so he could mess with them but when he heard that Tarin liked him he was stunned. She was the most beautiful woman that had ever talked to him.
Most women that looked like her wouldn’t come within fifty feet of him. She had no fear to speak of when it came to him. She never took any crap off of him and gave back whatever he dished out to her. To him every move she made was as if in slow motion. She was graceful and deadly. His ice cold princess. Dangerous and beautiful.
“Hmmf.” What a load of crap. They must have known he was out there and were making the whole thing up about Tarin. She was so far out of his league it was pathetic. He was an old beat up whore chasing, boozing mercenary, that was only good for killing people that needed it. Tarin was a goddess, beautiful beyond the senses. She was a high roller with expensive habits. She chewed up rich boys and spit them out only to have two more waiting for their turn to be her next plaything. They wouldn’t even have let him in one of the hotels where she hung out.
“Buck ?” Tarin said. She had appeared without making a sound. Bronski actually jumped with surprise at her voice.
“Damn it! Don’t sneak up on me that way, I might have shot you before I realized it was you.” Bronski said.
“I’m sorry, I just wanted to tell you something.” Tarin said looking at him.
“What is it?” he snapped. Buck was still angry about her comment about his old war stories.
“ I just wanted to tell you I didn’t mean it. I didn’t mean to say that about your stories. I really like to hear them to be honest. You’ve lived an incredible life.” Tarin said.
Buck leaned closer and stared at Tarin’ face.
“What are you doing?” Tarin asked puzzled at Bronski’s reaction.
“Anything else you want to say to me?” Bronski asked.
“What? What are you talking about?” Tarin replied.
“Ah, forget it. It was stupid.” Buck leaned back.
“So what? Just about everything you do is stupid, why stop now?” Tarin grinned.
Buck looked her up and down, she was incredible.
“I was just wondering how long you and that big fat ass of yours was going to be blocking my view, I am on duty you know?” Bronski made a few adjustments to the controls and blew a smoke ring at Tarins Butt.
Tarin shook her head and smiled. “You should have been in the senate. You would have charmed them all with that silver tongue of yours.”
Bronski took another drag off his cigar and waved his hand as if dismissing a servant. “Good night little girl, beddy bye time for infants.”
“Good night you old bastard.” Tarin smiled and left the cockpit. Bronski listened to every step she took away from him until she was gone.
“Oh yeah…she’s crazy about me.” Buck said to himself laughing. He knew those two were messing with him.
Timtam had been able to curl up in the wooden cage and go to sleep, it was hard getting to sleep because she was so thirsty. She felt the cage slip down and for a second she thought the cage was falling. She looked down and saw the big blonde Feloid lowering her cage. She watched as his heavily muscled arms slowly let the rope slide down till the cage touched the ground. He opened the door and helped her up. She was stiff from the cage being so cramped.
“Youd bey commin mit me, unnerstan?” He said in his heavy accent. He took hold of one of her arms and lead her down a path away from where the other women were taken. The path went upward at an easy grade to a second smaller camp. There were more warriors here and the huts were larger.
“I’ll make you feel good if you want me to but you keep me okay? Just you okay?”Timtam knew what was in store for her so she was trying to make the best of it. “Just you, no friends okay?”
The big Feloid just smiled at her in amusement, she was in no position to be making deals. He knew she was scared and he was glad.
They went a little further and came to a big thatched hut with two guards both armed with rifles. They stood aside as Timtam was pushed into the hut. It was dark and smokey inside. She could see and smell the food laid out on a long low table in the center of the room. Around the walls were about ten slave girls wearing collars and wrist shackles. In the center of the room was a large pile of pillows, they were covered with dozens of stains. She looked up as she heard grunting coming from behind a long curtain that divided the room in two. The curtain was slowly drawn back from the other side to reveal a huge Beast type Feloid. He was big and fat but still had a strong frame. He looked up revealing his face in the darkness. It had been badly wounded at one point and most of the hair on one side was gone on the left side. The eye socket on that side was empty and part of the muscles on the cheek had been lost exposing the teeth inside his scared face. She shuddered at the thought of this beast forcing himself on her. He was hideous.
“You were right my boy, she is beautiful. Even in this light and in her condition she is beautiful.” The fat battered old Feloid said.
He sat down heavily on the pillows and grabbed some food off the table and began to eat. Slobber and food dripped down his left side onto the pillows explaining the stains.
“I know who you are girl. I know who your mistress was. I know everything about the House of Ty and their clan. Me and the late Maxis Ty were great friends long ago. I always liked Maxis. He was an honest and good Feloid we all looked up to.” He said.
“I however was none of those things. I was not from a proud clan like Maxis. I am Brumbarus the Red. You have heard of me, yes?”
Timtam remembered when she first came to the palace about ten years ago when she was young she heard Maxis say that very name quite a few times over the years. She remembered him being some sort of pirate.
“Your master Maxis had good taste so I stole from him most of the time. Brumbarus the Red, the notorious pirate king.” he leaned forward looking at her as he wiped his smashed face.
“I was one of the first sent here four years ago to die. He gave me this.” He motioned with his finger at his wounds. “Maxis Ty shot me in the face, lucky my skull is so thick or I would be dead.” He laughed. “So now his daughter has sent you here to die as well. Everyone who comes here is sent here to die. Welcome to the underworld girl ! You are in the underworld am I am the Prince here ! No one will come here for you. You are a ghost to everyone you knew before. It can be a pleasant life if you wish it to be.” He sat back grinning.
“Are you hungry pink head? Can I offer you a cool glass of water perhaps?”
“Yes please.” Timtam would have never spoke out so quickly before but she knew Brumbarus and his kind. She had to do what he expected her to do. He had expected her to answer.
“Let her go Bretta.” with that the blonde Feloid released her and she crawled to the table. Timtam hesitated. “What do you want in return?”
“I want you to eat and relax for now. You are more clever than you appear girl. We’ll soon find out if that is good or bad. There is no payment needed from friends at my table. After you eat and drink we will discuss if you are my friend or not.” He grinned with what was left of his face.
Timtam grabbed something from the table and ate quickly.
“I know you are scared of me and I like that. If I wanted to I could have my guards hold you down
and I could do whatever I wanted to you. Make no mistake girl I am the kind of Feloid that would do it. I am not a monster although I might look like one. I am not an animal, I think you will be useful to me. I prefer to use kindness to get what I want. If that doesn’t work then…I use more persuasive means to attain my desires. He shifted his bulk to one side and rested on one elbow.
“There is a secret on this planet. A secret that only we here know about. We have an army of phantoms here. Timtam’s eyes grew large like a child listening to a ghost story. There have been thousands that have died here. That’s what they think in the Halls of the Ty clan. The truth is very few have died. The secret is this planet is a paradise. We have found miles of caverns that we have used in secret. The tunnels are full of precious minerals that we sell to smugglers. We must maintain the appearance of a subsistence life in case of an inspection. They give us survival rations to build their colony but we don’t need any of it. The planet is rich in natural food so we hide ourselves in the caverns and report those who go to hide and mine the minerals for ourselves as dead. They just send more, like yourself, to join my family.
Timtam was amazed. She had always thought this planet was a terrible place. This Feloid was a smart one. He had been tricking the Ty’s for years.
“You have lived in the Ty household for years and have much information, some of it you don’t even realize. You will stay here with me as my guest girl. From time to time I will ask you about your mistress and what she has done or what she would do in a given situation.” He suddenly sat up and drew out a long thick dagger and placed it under her chin. “And if I find out that you are not telling me the truth you will be punished like these others.” he motioned to one of the guards to bring him one of the slave girls. Timtam sat frozen with the dagger still under her chin. One of the girls was dragged over to Brumbarus and dropped next to him. He put away his dagger and pulled the struggling girl up closer by her neck. He laughed at her struggles as if it was as game, a game she had no chance of winning.
“This is what happens to little girls that tell lies to old Brumbarus.” He laughed as he roughly squeezed the girls mouth open to reveal her tongue had been cut out. “No more lies from her, eh?” Brumbarus tossed her to the side and let her lay there crying as he laughed.
Timtam fought to keep the food she just ate from coming back up. She looked at this big fat Feloid in horror. He had a darkness in him that she must not bring out.
“Now.” Said Brumbarus as he leaned back on his elbow and poured a drink. “Let us talk about your mistress, Lionette Ty, and why she sent you here to die.”
“I think we need to do something else.” Mykala said. They had been waiting outside the room where Pep and Cry baby were for six hours now.
“What did you have in mind?” Matt asked not sure what Mykala was thinking.
“I don’t know! Something else!” Mykala said sharply. “How much time are we going to waste with Pep’s way of doing it?”
“She’s doing the best she can Mykala, at least she is trying to help.”Matt shot back.
“Whatever she’s trying isn’t working Matt, it’s time do do something else.” Mykala replied.
“Both of you stop it, this is how the Dark Side does it’s damage. It makes us fight amongst ourselves as they gain time.” Kang interjected.
“Mykala, ask Pep how it’s going, show her you believe in her and that you think she’s doing the right thing.” Kang said.
Mykala looked at him in disbelief. “Are you serious? Are you trying to teach me some kind of Jedi lesson now? We need to go in there and…” Mykala still didn’t know what to do.
“And do what Mykala, beat it out of her?” Matt said. “That’s just going to shut her down even more.”
“I never said that but we need to find out if there is a plan or not. The girl said Lyda was going to kill everyone.” Mykala said.
Just then they noticed Pep standing slightly inside the doorway, she had been listening.
Mykala sighed with embarrassment. “Pep, I now you’re doing the best you can…
“No, you’re right, I can’t get her to trust me.” Pep looked at Matt. “She won’t trust any of us unless she see’s Lyda is dead. She’s just too scared.”
“I think we all are to be honest.” Kang said looking at Mykala.
“You said something about Adda, maybe she could come up with an idea.” Mykala suggested.
“It’s worth a try, we’ll be arriving in about six hours and I’d like to know something before we dock at the palace.” Kang said. “Matt, let’s go and send a message to Adda and find out if she can suggest anything. You two keep an eye on Cry baby, maybe she’ll talk if we’re not around.” Kang said.
Tarin came in the cockpit to relieve Bronski. His shift had been cut short to give him a chance to catch up on his sleep.
“Okay Buck, Mykala is still busy with that girl so I’m going to relieve you.” she stood in the doorway with her hands on her hips. Her hair was still wet. She had just taken a shower and was wearing a long pull over sleeveless shirt that she usually slept in with a towel draped around her neck. The cockpit was dark and the hallway lights had back lit Tarin to a point that her perfect silhouette was seen through the shirt. Buck’s cigar fell out of his mouth into his lap when he saw her.
“Stop goofing around and get up old timer.” Tarin said irritatedly.
“Uh, yeah, right.” Bronski stood up and got out of the seat quickly. Tarin began to sit down when Buck saw his cigar still on the seat. Just as Tarin sat ,Buck made a grab for his cigar.
They both froze and looked each other in the eye.
“Buck, why is your hand on my ass?” Tarin said calmly.
“I know it is.” Buck had also remained calm.
“I know you know it is but why is it there?” Tarin’s voice was less calm and slightly angry.
“My cigar… you almost sat on it.” Buck said less calm and more cautious.
“It’s still on my ass.”
“It’s not on it, it’s just touching it.”
“Still there!” Tarin was loosing patients.
“I was just being careful not to burn you, the cigar is still lit, it’s beginning to hurt now Tarin so I’m going to move my hand again.” Buck slowly pulled his hand out from under Tarin’s buttocks.
Tarin looked as she saw Bronski had crushed the lit cigar in his fist so it wouldn’t burn her. He opened his hand and shook the extinguished cigar from his burnt hand.
“Are you hurt?” Tarin asked concerned.
“Yes, but I’ll be fine. Good night.” Buck turned to leave squeezing his hand and holding back the pain.
Tarin grabbed his hand.
Buck resisted at first but then he opened it to let her see. He saw she was concerned.
“Whoa, that’s gotta sting like hell, you’d better see if Pep can put something on that for you.” Tarin said concentrating on the wound.
She was real close and smelled fresh from her shower.
“Yeah, I’d better do that right now.” Bronski replied.
He walked down the hallway and over to where they had Cry baby.
“Hey Pep can you mix up some of that ointment and put it on this.” Buck stuck out his hand for her to see.
“ Oh my Mr Bronski, that looks painful. Come with me and I’ll fix your hand.” Pep said. “Will you be alright Mykala?”
“I’ll be fine, Buck needs you right now.” Mykala smiled.
Pep and Buck climbed up the ladder to the med room leaving Mykala alone with Cry baby.
Mykala got up and looked down the hall. Kang and Matt must still be sending the transmission to Adda.
She slowly walked into the next room where Cry baby was. She was still sitting in the chair looking down.
“Cry baby do you understand we know you have information about a plan that Lyda has? You told Pep but you won’t tell us. Now I understand you are afraid of Lyda I really do. There is one thing you need to know however. If Lyda does try something and one of my friends gets just one fucking hair out of place and you had information that could have stopped that from happening I will do things to you that Lyda could never have thought of. I was raised on Bentoo, most people know it as The War Planet. Thousands die there every day in unspeakable ways. I remember most of them. I watched it happen everyday for twenty five years until I escaped. I will do all of those things to you if something happens and you don’t help us do you understand Cry baby?” Mykala had put her face nose to nose with Cry baby.
Mykala walked over and looked out the door to see if the coast was still clear.
“These are good people Cry baby. I don’t talk too much about my past and they respect that. The real reason I don’t talk about those things is not because of the bad memories it’s because I was one of the animals that did all those things. I survived because, like Lyda, I became one of the best killers there. I’ve done horrible things to people in my past Cry baby. I have changed my ways because I know it’s wrong to do those things to others but if one of my friends gets hurt because you were scared I will go back to my old ways and do them all to you over and over again. These people are my friends and you are nothing but an obstacle in my way right now.” Mykala was still looking and listening in the doorway.
“So now you have to decide who you fear more Lyda or me. It’s your choice girl.” Mykala turned to see Cry baby looking at her shaking. Mykala just smiled and went back into the first room and waited for her friends to come back.
Timtam sat alone in her hut. She was washed and fed. Brumbarus had let her pick out two new dresses from a big crate in the back of his hut. He had kept his word and rewarded her for helping him. She was even given her own hut and the servant girl that had her tongue cut out. Timtam was relieved. This wasn’t anything like she thought it would be. At first Timtam was afraid to tell Brumbarus anything but as he explained to her anything that she said to him would be something that Lionette already knew so she wasn’t telling any secrets at all. Timtam answered all his questions and soon they were all having a good time and everyone said she was smart and good to do it. All she had to do was answer a bunch of questions about Lionette and what she did. Brumbarus was delighted with her stories and laughed about them. It was too bad he was fat, and old with an ugly face. She had begun to like him. He didn’t seem as scary now that they were friends. He called her Pink Head and told everyone to call her that because she needed a new name for her new family. She was even aloud to drink liquor and no one talked to her like a slave. For the first time in her life she was being treated like an equal. Still even after all of that she felt like she had done something wrong. She tried to shrug it off but it still stuck in the back of her mind.
Timtam stepped out her hut and looked up at the night sky.
“Id be dair Pinkhed.” the big blonde Feloid had been standing outside of her hut. He had pointed up at Lionette’s home world of Ty, Timtam’s old home.
“Thank you…” Timtam realized she didn’t know his name.
“Pink Head.” she said pointing to herself.
He looked at her and then said. “Vultahn. Me iz Vultahn.”
“Vultahn.” she repeated and smiled.
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)