Tarin woke up suddenly. She was freezing, the room had become ice cold. She was sharing a
room with Ceecee and had gone to sleep early. Ceecee must have come in after she had gone to sleep. Tarin looked at the far side of the room where Ceecee was standing. Something seemed strange about what she was seeing. In the corner where Ceecee was staring she could just make out a faint glowing light. She was sure it was there because it made Ceecee stand out in silhouette against it. Ceecee was whispering something too quiet for Tarin to hear. Tarin watched her for several minutes as she pretended to be asleep. To Tarins shock she could see Ceecee’s breath from the cold when she whispered. She had never seen anything like this before. Ceecee gave a soft laugh out loud and then did something very odd. She hugged whoever she was talking to. Then she hugged someone else but no one was there. Ceecee turned and climbed back into the top bunk as quietly as she could. Tarin lay there shocked at what she had just witnessed. After a while she heard Ceecee sleeping. It was over, the room had warmed up and soon she was wondering if she had dreamed the whole thing.
“I just heard from Kang. They have Timtam, she’s safe and unharmed.” Adda said smiling.
“How’s Pep, is she okay?” Matt asked eagerly.
Adda smiled. “Their all fine. I didn’t get all the details but it seems Timtam had joined a group of pirates and helped them steal a space ship.” Adda said smiling.
“No fucking way, Timtam…a pirate?” Bronski laughed.
“Not only that but they finally caught up with her at a breeding facility somewhere in Feloid space.” Adda added.
“Well what now? She’s an escaped fugitive now. What do we do with an escaped fugitive? Asked Baltis.
“ Whatever we do we can’t bring her here.” Matt said.
“They told me they are going to the base first to pick up Lore and Thorim. The poor thing will have to wind up leaving Feloid space for the rest of her life I imagine.” Adda said.
“ There’s no way Lionette would pardon her I suppose?” Matt asked.
“She can’t. In their culture it would be seen as weakness in her leadership abilities.” Adda explained.
Matt and Bronski looked at one another scowling over Adda’s last statement.
“You should understand one thing before you pass judgment on Lionette. She loved Timtam like a sister. She was Lionette’s closest friend for years. What she did was very hard on her and now she has nobody to talk to and be herself. She is completely alone now.” Adda said.
“I’ll tell you this, with all the money Lionette has I don’t think she’ll be too lonely for long. She’s going to have a line of new best fucking friends waiting for their turn long enough to go around this whole fucking palace.” Bronski laughed.
“It’s true Adda, I think it’s going to be a whole lot easier on Lionette than on Timtam in the long run.” Baltis said.
Pep got up and went into the ships galley. She always did the cooking when she was on board. She had left Timtam asleep in their room, she had been through a lot and needed her sleep. Pep had become quite a good cook over the years as a slave. It was part of her duties. She was surprised to see Tarin sleeping on the couch in the mess hall at this hour.
“Is everything alright ?” Pep asked Tarin who had just woke up.
Tarin smiled uneasily. “I’m not sure, I think I had a dream or a nightmare or something.”
“Can I get you something to eat?” Pep asked.
“No thanks.” Tarin replied.
Why don’t you go back to bed? I’ll come and get you when it’s time to eat.” Pep suggested.
“ I don’t think I’ll be bunking with Ceecee for a while after last night.” Tarin said stretching her back.
“Did you two have a fight?” Pep sounded worried.
“No, Nothing like that.” Tarin said.
“Does she make you feel…nervous?” Pep asked in a way that sounded like she had an idea about what happened.
“What makes you say that?” Tarin asked.
“Sometimes when I’m close to her I get very cold. It feels like something has just passed through me. Something that knows I’m there.” Pep said quietly.
“It got cold in the room earlier, almost freezing.” Tarin said leaning close to Pep.
“You saw something, didn’t you ?” Pep asked almost as if she knew the answer ahead of time.
Tarin looked around to see if anyone else was listening. “I saw a light, a very faint blue light. Ceecee was talking to it.”
“Was it a ghost?” Pep said putting her hand to her mouth.
“I think it was…her twin sister. I never used to believe in those things but now I’m not so sure.” Tarin was practically whispering.
“Oh here you are.” Ceecee said entering the room.
Tarin and Pep jumped back startled.
“Easy girls it’s just me.” Ceecee said grinning.
Lionette was waiting at the main landing platform. The platform was used for arriving dignitaries and family members. As usual she was pacing back and forth in anticipation. She had been approached by another group of rebels about joining forces with her friends. She had found herself in the position of mediator because although she worked with Kang and the rest she was still officially neutral and not a member of the rebellion.
“They’re late.” said the Colonel. He had resumed his position of chief military adviser that he held with Lionette’s father, Maxis Ty.
“They’ve come a long way for this meeting, be patient my friend.” Lionette looked at him and smiled.
The Colonel just looked out over the platform and stared at the horizon. He was like family to Lionette. He was the only officer that was still alive that had served her father.
A voice came over the microphone from the control tower. “Incoming ship at mark two two eight Mistress.”
Lionette and the Colonel both turned to that direction and saw the ship in the distance as it approached. The ship was larger than they had expected for just the few representatives it was to be bringing. As it got closer they saw it was a yacht, and an expensive one as well.
“What do you think of that Colonel?” Lionette asked referring to the choice of them using a yacht for this meeting.
“You can never be sure what humans do or why. They just don’t think about how they look to other races. They lack dignity.”
Lionette smiled at his old prejudices. She had learned the only thing humans had in common with each other is that they are all very different from each other. They are free thinkers and hate order and normalcy.
“I guess we’ll find out soon enough.” Lionette said as the ship touched down on the platform.
The boarding ramp lowered silently. The ship was silent. Then a human male stepped out and walked down the ramp. He stopped at the bottom and looked around. It was painfully obvious he was judging the appearance of the palace. He was dressed in some kind of military uniform that had been tailor made to his frame. It had a large assortment of medals sewn to it and there were gold buttons and trim everywhere. His boots were tall, black, and shiny. He stank of incredible wealth and privilege.
“Would it be too early to sign a peace treaty with the Empire?” The Colonel asked.
Lionette almost burst out laughing. It was so unlike him to make a joke she was completely taken by surprise.
“Not another word from you Colonel.” she smiled. “Let us go and meet our guests.” she said reaching up and patting him on the shoulder.
They had walked down the stairs and out to the platform. The man in the tailor made uniform was talking to several other humans that had came out after him.
As Lionette approached she noticed the leader stood still instead of walking towards her to greet her half way. She watched his eyes for signs of what he was thinking. When he saw her he smiled but when he looked at the Colonel he stopped smiling and looked him up and down noting his differences.
“I am Lionette Ty leader of the Ty clan and this is Colonel Wufferum, my closest adviser and head of my expeditionary forces.” Lionette said extending her hand in a gesture of friendship.
“I am General Duddle, leader of Duddle’s Devils. I have funded this unit with my own resources. I have even sacrificed one of my yachts to our cause.” he said taking Lionette’s hand and giving it a less than manly shake.
Lionette noted that he didn’t introduce any of his men and that he didn’t make an effort to shake hands with the Colonel.
“I’m glad you have decided to take steps towards unifying the individual Rebel factions and try to coordinate them better.” Lionette said.
“Yes it seemed to me that they lacked a sense of order and need to be under the supervision of one controlling body.” Duddle said.
“Very interesting point of view General. It sounds very very interesting indeed.”
Lionette glanced at the Colonel. He was looking around trying not to pay anymore attention to this idiot’s transparent plan to become the sole controlling force of the Rebel forces.
Lionette turned back to the General. “And who are these other fine gentlemen behind you?” she asked.
“These fine men are the tip of my spear Lady Ty.” he motioned for them to come forward as if they were school children. He had each one introduce themselves to Lionette. She felt he did it that way because he wasn’t sure of who they were or what they were in charge of. None of them seemed remarkable in anyway. She was afraid to look at the Colonel. She realized this whole meeting was one gigantic mistake. These men were only interested in grabbing the chance to be the new leaders if the Rebels succeeded in over throwing the Empire.
Then she noticed one last human step out of the yacht and walk down the ramp. He wasn’t dressed like the rest. His uniform wasn’t nice and clean. His uniform looked like it had been slept in more than once. He had a few days growth of facial hair and his hair was a bit messy. He wore his pistol hanging low like he knew how to use it and had. His field jacket and shirt were not buttoned all the way up showing his lean muscled chest. There was an air of confidence about this man that she found very attractive indeed.
“Oh, and this is Major Ragg Tempess. He oversees our ground troops, you’ll excuse his appearance, he is a very hands on sort of leader.” General Duddle seemed almost apologetic in his introduction of the Major.
The Major walked up to Lionette and looked her up and down as if she were a common cat girl at auction and smiled.
“Names Tempess, Ragg Tempess. I’m very very happy to make your acquaintance. He said still looking her over.
Lionette was taken aback by his brash introduction momentarily.
“Lionette Ty, leader of the Ty clan Major. I’m glad to meet you.” she said sticking out her hand to shake his. Ragg took her hand and pressed it to his lips. “Like wise.” he said staring into her eyes.
“Very good Major, I’m sure you have other duties to take care of.” Duddle said dismissing the Major. “He tends to forget his station at times.” he said apologetically.
“No harm done General, shall we retire to the drawing room for refreshments?” Lionette asked.
“An excellent idea My Lady.” he said as they all walked inside. Lionette looked over her shoulder for the Major but she didn’t see him.
Once inside the drawing room Lionette had her servants serve her guests food and drinks. She wanted everyone to be relaxed and at ease before they began formal talks about unifying the rebel forces under one leadership. After about forty minutes of polite talk and drinking she realized what a mistake this meeting would be. Not only were these men trying to use her influence to take control of the rebel forces for their own selfish reasons they weren’t even good at concealing it. She had no choice now but to go along with the meeting until she could give them a firm noncommittal answer and then send them on their way. The Major stepped into the doorway finally making his appearance. He was talking to one of the serving slaves. She could see them laughing and having a fun conversation from across the room. That girl should be working and not talking to her guests she thought angrily.
Ceecee felt someone staring at her. No one was there. It was her shift and everyone was still up except for Granic. She was sitting in the pilots seat just monitoring the controls. Most people don’t realize just how boring space travel can be. Most of the time you just sit in front of the controls and do nothing but watch the indicators. Heat levels must be watched as well as fluid levels. The worst part is when something does go wrong. You can never carry a spare part for everything on a space ship. Many a crew have died out in the inky blackness because of a burned out fuse that cost less than a Republic credit all because they didn’t have one.
There it was again, the feeling of being watched. She turned and leaned out of the seat facing the companion way. “Who’s out there?” she called.
“Just me.” Tarin walked in to the cockpit.
“What’s up?” Ceecee asked.
“Look, I’m just going to say it, I saw you last night.” Tarin said.
“Saw me? What are you talking about?” Ceecee seemed confused.
“I saw you talking to someone last night, in our room.” Tarin knew Ceecee understood what she was talking about.
“ Oh… well what do you want to know?” Ceecee asked.
“Who were you talking to?” Tarin seemed very interested. She seemed curious, like she was ready to listen.
Ceecee turned to face Tarin. “ It was my sister, and Venis. They came to tell me Venis was alright now. She wasn’t scared anymore.” Ceecee smiled.
“ How come you can see them and we can’t?” Tarin asked.
“I’m not sure, I think It’s because me and Jaycee are twins. It’s like half of me is on that side and half is on this side.” Ceecee sounded as if she was still trying to figure it out herself.
“ Ceecee, I’ve killed a lot of people, I won’t say I’m sorry for what I did but that’s how it is.” Tarin said.
“You’re wondering if they can come back and find you? Ceecee asked knowingly.
Tarin looked around to see if anyone was listening. “Yea.”
“I think they can only come back if you want them too, like a transmitter. They might try to call you but if you don’t pick up on your end they can’t get through.” Ceecee said.
“Good…that’s good. If I don’t pick up they can’t mess with me.” Tarin sounded relieved.
“This universe is much much bigger and complex than we can understand. This fight we’re in is bigger than just one group fighting another group. It’s about the life force it’s self. Darkness and light, it’s up to everyone to choose a side.” Ceecee said.
“Which side do you think we’re on?” Tarin asked.
Ceecee looked surprised. “The good side, we’re the good guys.” she said smiling.
“Good…that’s good. Sometimes I’m not so sure. I have a bloody past Ceecee. I don’t like talking about where I came from or why I do what I do but sometimes I feel guilty about what I’ve done.” Tarin had looked away from Ceecee and was now looking out of the cockpit window.
“Whatever you did in your past it has lead you here. The good guys need your talents for this conflict. You are the person you are for a bigger purpose.” Ceecee said.
“That sounds real nice Ceecee. I just hope I can believe it one day.” Tarin said.
“Why are you bothering my guests?” Lionette snapped at the young slave.
“We were just talking, it was private.” the girl replied smiling.
“Insolent little trollop.” Lionette raised her hand to strike the girl but her hand was grabbed by the Major before she could.
“Hey, I was talking to her.” he said still holding Lionettes wrist.
“Release my hand at once.” Lionette was shocked at his grabbing her.
The Major twisted Lionette’s wrist down and pressed it against her side.
“You need to calm down My Lady. I was just asking her about you.” He said smiling.
“What are you doing with those idiots? Why are you here really?” Lionette had dragged Ragg into the hallway just outside the door.
“What do you mean?” he smiled.
“You’re not like them. You are a man of action. You’re using them.” she said.
“ I wanted to fight the Empire and they’re the only group I could find. I just figured I’d work with them until something better came along.” he smiled and pulled her close.
“You assume too much Major.” she said pushing him back.
“What’s the matter, don’t you want me to serve under you?” he laughed.
“Do you fight as well as you talk Major. If you do the Empire would be in serious trouble.” Lionette smiled back.
“I lead the raid on the Ceribo moon two months ago. I also lead the assault that freed two hundred prisoners on a prison transport just three weeks ago. I might be a bit cocky but I know my job and I do it well.” he replied a bit more serious than before.
“What if we did work together? What would you do about the others you came with?” she asked.
“Quite frankly I’d take whatever resources they have and then kick them out of an airlock. They’ll only keep getting worse about trying to gain power and they’ll get lots of good soldiers killed in the process.” he said crossing his arms. He was blunt and to the point and didn’t care what she thought of him.
“You have a warriors spirit Major that’s for sure. I think the others are filthy parasites that could be a problem later. My late father taught me that everyone should do their part in a war.” Lionette looked into the room at the General and his other officers. “ Maybe their part is to become martyrs for the cause? Even the worst soldier can at least die so a good one can live.”
“You are ruthless, I like that.” Ragg smiled.
“No, not ruthless, I just understand how best to utilize my resources. Those men are useless, I just think they could be made useful.”
Tarin slept much better knowing what was going on with Ceecee. She had a window into the next life and it was good for her to see her sister once in a while.
Ceecee had stepped out of the room for a while to get a snack when Tarin felt the room getting cold. She sat up and called for Ceecee but no sound came out of her mouth. The corner where Ceecee had stood and spoke to her sister was very dark. There was no blue light only inky blackness. There was also a sound. It sounded like someone trying to breath but couldn’t. It was the sound of someones last breath, heavy and labored. This wasn’t the friendly spirits that had spoken to Ceecee. Something else had found the door and was coming through. Tarin was frozen with fear. She felt hands grab her ankles and slowly they crawled up her legs. Her heart was pounding and her mouth went dry. Still no voice came out of her mouth. She tried to scream but there was still no sound. The hands had crawled up to her hips and grabbed onto her. They began to pull her into the dark corner and out of the bed and onto the floor. She was being dragged across the floor now as she grabbed and clawed at whatever she could to slow herself being pulled in. Then there was a voice. “Tarin,get up, get up off the floor. Come on, get up.”
Tarin opened her eyes to see Ceecee helping her up off the floor.
“Did you see it!” Tarin asked scrambling to get back on the bed.
Ceecee stopped and looked around the room. “See what?” she asked.
“The shadow, in the corner there was a big black shadow!” Tarin said desperately trying to get Ceecee to believe her.
“It was a dream Tarin, when I came in you were on the floor tangled up in your blankets .” Ceecee said reassuring her.
“What? No, it was real I tell you.” Tarin said.
“Well whatever happened it’s over now. Besides, spirits can’t drag you to the other side.” Ceecee said. “Unless you’re dead.”
Timtam had spent most of the flight puttering around the ship. She also spent time with Pep, her savior.
“It does take time to learn how to be a free person Timtam so don’t worry if you don’t catch on at first.” Pep said. The two were in their quarters straightening up the room.
“I really miss Lionette is all. I feel that I have let her down. Now that I understand what it was that I did wrong I guess she was right to send me away.” Timtam said.
“No! You were only given the basics of education Timtam. It was not your fault that you didn’t understand what was going on around you. They kept us uneducated so what did they expect?” Pep said strongly.
“I guess you’re right Pep, it’s all so new and scarey. I just wish none of this ever happened.” Timtam said.
“Do you wish you were still a slave?” Pep asked. “I’d understand if you did.”
“Part of me always envied you and Matt to be honest. To have a man love you and not just have sex with you must be wonderful. I hope that happens to me some day.” Timtam said smiling.
“You are very beautiful Timtam. Soon you will have lots of men falling in love with you. Especially human men.” Pep grinned.
“What are they like, you know, when they make love.” Timtam whispered.
“They are all different but if they love you they will want to please you as much as possible.” Pep smiled back.
“Mmm, I want one of them please.” Timtam and Pep laughed.
“All in good time Timtam. First you must learn to earn your keep. When you were a slave you were someone elses responsibility. Now you must find a job that will pay you enough to pay for what you need, but don’t worry I’ll take care of you until you find one. For now they are going to take you to live with Mykala’s first Jedi Master, Tahl Jae Roe. He lives with Haven Dak on Tatooine. Haven is Mykala’s cousin, both are very good people.” Pep said.
“It sounds very far away.” Timtam was realizing that she could never return to Feloid space ever again.
“Once you learn how to take care of yourself you can leave and go anywhere you please. You are young and beautiful and know how to fly a space ship. You can do anything you want.” Pep smiled at Timtam.
“Except go home.” Timtam said with a forced smile.
The woman opened her eyes. Her face had been painted white as bone. A large black band was painted over her eyes. A second black band had been painted just under her lower lip and ran up her jaw line.
Her hair was thick and matted with ash and mud in long individual strands that hung down her back and shoulders. Her body had been painted white like her face. Black bands covered her breasts, arms, stomach, and her private parts as well as her legs. The black and white bands represented the light and dark sides of the force. She was sitting cross legged on a rough woven mat on the floor of the cave. A small urn sat in front of her smoldering as the thick smoke filled the whole area.
“Well witch? Did you make contact with any of them ?” the Imperial officer asked as he tried to wave the pungent smoke away from his face.
“Yes, yes I have indeed. One has opened herself to the force. She has no training and her knowledge of it’s workings is almost nil. I had her, drawing her mind in when she was saved by someone at the last minute.” the witch stood up and made a few gestures in the air causing the smoke to suddenly be blown away.
“Now what do I tell the Admiral?” asked the officer.
“ Tell him to be patient, tell him I will make her my spy and soon he will have what he wants.”
“You’d better come through witch, a lot is riding on this.” he said.
“You shouldn’t threaten me, after all, we’re both after the same thing aren’t we.” she said wiggling her finger at him.
Before he could answer his nose started to bleed heavily.
“ I’d have that looked at if I were you.” she said laughing.
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 01:57)