Chapter 38 A matter of trust


Chapter  38

A matter of trust

“What the hell have I gotten myself into now?” Hudd thought to himself. He was mad that the Imperial soldiers took most of his cargo so he decided to help these two girls escape as pay back. It wouldn’t take long for them to figure out where they went and how they got off that ship.
“Dumb move Kero.” he said to himself.
He had stabilized Pep’s condition. She seemed to have suffered a great deal of internal stress but from what he couldn’t tell. She was still asleep so he decided to let her rest. Rest was the best thing for her right now.
‘”Excuse me. Is my friend going to be alright?” Timtam had finished her shower and had come up behind Hudd.
He turned to see Timtam nice and clean, fresh from her shower. She had wrapped the small towel around her as best she could but it didn’t leave much to the imagination.
“Holy crap !” Hudd said seeing Timtam all nice and clean for the first time. She was beautiful to look at with her big helpless eyes and firm young body.
“What the hell have I gotten myself into this time.” he said smiling.
“Is she going to be okay?” Timtam asked again.
“Huh? Uh yea, I think. What did they do to her?” Hudd asked.
“They tortured us. They thought we new something about the Rebellion but we’re just slaves.” Timtam wasn’t sure if she could trust Hudd so she lied about why they were on that cruiser.
“No, I mean she got most of her damage from the inside out. I’ve never seen anything like it.” He said looking back at Pep.
Timtam leaned closer to look at Pep. Her scent caught Hudd’s senses. He looked at her as she leaned over Pep. She was perfect. He wanted to grab her and throw her to the ground and make love to her right there.
Hudd stood up and stepped back. “You need some clothes, I’ll go get you some clothes.” he turned and went back to his room.
Timtam stroked Pep’s head as she lay on the makeshift bed asleep. What had happened to her? How did she wind up in the room with the pit?

Matt had taken Tarin with him to look for Timtam and Pep. They had checked out several ship yards near were the Star Destroyer exploded. None of them had bought any Imperial scrap parts lately.
“Matt you really need to get some sleep. You haven’t slept in three days. I know you’re worried but we need to be sharp when we get a lead.” Tarin said.
Matt looked horrible. He was living off of stim pills and nutrient liquids. He had become a bundle of nerves.
“Don’t you think I’ve tried ?” he said angrily.
“I can’t stop thinking of what she must be going through.” Matt put his head in his hands. “I put her up to all of this. I’m the one who trained her. It’s because of me she’s gone. I killed her.” Matt said weakly.
“Pull yourself together Matt. It wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t anybodies fault. She’s alive at least you know that. If Ceecee said it, it must be true. She hasn’t been wrong yet.” Tarin said trying to smile.
The transmitter beeped suddenly. It was and incoming message.
“Hello, Tarin, Matt, it’s Adda over.” the voice crackled over the set.
Tarin grabbed the mike. “This is Tarin, what’s going on Adda?”
“I’ve just heard from Kllair, they found out that Timtam and Pep were alive five days ago.” Adda said.
Matt looked up. He couldn’t believe it.
“Hold on for the bad news, they were turned over to the Empire for a reward. Chances are good that they didn’t kill them because they paid the men who found them a bounty. It wouldn’t make sense to kill them after they paid for them.” Adda said.
“I think you’re right Adda.” Tarin replied.
“They went to the outer rim to run down a lead they had. If you want I’ll send you their location.”
Tarin looked at Matt. He shook his head yes.
“That would be great Adda. We can go and stand by as their back up. Tell them we’ll follow their lead and not interfere.” Tarin said.
“What do you mean we won’t interfere? They need to tell us what they’re doing.” Matt said insistently.
“No Matt. We need to let them do whatever it is they’re doing. We need to stay out of it. Kllair and her crew have been more successful than we have. They most likely have their own contacts and they don’t need us showing up and spooking them.” Tarin said. “I know you want to be the one that charges in and saves the day but we have to let them do their job and stay close by if they need back up.”
Matt pounded his fist against the wall and stormed off down the hallway. He knew she was right but it wasn’t making the waiting any easier.

Hudd gave Timtam a long pull over shirt to wear. She smiled and thanked him as she rolled up the sleeves so her hands would be free. He had offered her some pants but she said no because she would have to cut a hole for her tail and she didn’t want to ruin the pants and the shirt was long enough to cover her.
To show her appreciation she made them both something to eat. He didn’t have much on hand, 

he wasn’t expecting guests. Timtam was able to get some broth into Pep when she had awaken. Pep was only awake for a short time. Her body needed rest.
“Thank you again for your kindness Mister Hudd.” Timtam had brought him a drink.
He smiled and patted the seat next to him in the cockpit. Timtam grinned as she sat in the chair. She pulled her legs up under her chin and pulled the shirt over them to keep her warm. She gave a little shiver and smiled at Hudd.
“Yeah sorry about it being a little chilly. The heating system is going up. I was hoping to make enough money on this trip to get it fixed but since those Imperial jerks took half my cargo I’ll barely make enough profit to pay for my expenses on this trip.” he said.
“Where are we going?” Timtam asked. She wanted to ask him to take them home but she didn’t know if she could trust him. He needed money so he might change his mind and turn them in. She would have to be patient, for Pep’s sake. Pep was too banged up to try moving her anymore. Maybe she would get a chance to use his transmitter and call for help.
“There’s a small gas mining station about one day away from our present location. I was taking them supplies until those Imperial jerks took half of them. I have to go to a friend of mine to get some more. I just hope he doesn’t charge me too much.” he said.
Timtam smiled politely. She wanted Hudd to take them back but she had to be careful. If she told him who they were he could turn them in for a reward. She thought about telling him they belonged to Lionette back in Feloid space but then he might try to ransom them back. She had to win him over to her side. She needed him to be willing to help them.
Timtam got up and stood behind Hudd.
“How long have you owned this ship?” she asked. Timtam put her hand on his shoulder.
“About three years. I got it after my father died.” he said.
She put her other hand on his right shoulder. “Was he a pilot like you?” she asked.
Hudd felt her behind him with both hands on him. “Yeah. He’s the one who taught me how to pilot this ship, it was his.”
Timtam began massaging his shoulders. “ You wouldn’t know it to look at me but I can pilot a space ship.”
“Is that so?” he said.
“Oh I’m not a real pilot but if the astrogation is set into the computer for me I can get the ship from one place to the other.” Timtam was soothing him with her casual ways and small talk. She slid her hands down his chest.
Hudd grabbed her hands and took them off of his body. He stood up and turned towards her.
“ Look, I can’t do this. I like you Timtam and I think you are absolutely gorgeous but I lost my wife last year and I’m just not ready to let go of her.” He was noticeably upset and embarrassed.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know. No, It’s okay I understand. It’s just that I think you’re a good man and I like you.” Timtam was embarrassed as well. “ I think we can forget this happened if you want. The way you feel about your wife is sweet. It just makes you more of a man to me.” Timtam smiled.
“I really do like you, but I wouldn’t feel right.” Hudd said sitting back down.
“Can I sit with you some more? I promise I’ll behave myself.” she grinned.
Hudd just smiled and gave a little laugh.  “Okay, sit down.” he let the awkwardness pass.
“I hope your friends will let me know how I can find you after you go. I’d like to have you finish that massage some day.” he said.
“I’d like that too Hudd.” Timtam found she really liked this man. She didn’t think he would ever harm her.

Elith left the hotel room and quietly shut the door. She had found out all she needed and had a great time doing it. It was in her nature to please others. It came naturally to her. When it came to sex she was completely at ease.
She took the elevator to the main floor and walked out the front of the building. It wasn’t quite dawn yet so the sky was still dark. Elith saw Kllair parked across the street in her speeder waiting. She had heard everything through Elith’s earrings.
Elith crossed the street running on tiptoes trying not to trip over her high heels. She opened the door and got in.
“Did you get everything?” Elith wanted to make sure Kllair had recorded everything that was said while she was with Commander Wazz and the Twi’lek sex slave.
“Yeah I got every thing.” Kllair looked at Elith.
“You are one gigantic whore, do you know that?” Kllair said smiling.
“Yeah, that’s great to hear coming from someone who kills people for money.” Elith said smiling back.
Kllair shrugged her shoulders. “You want to stop and get some breakfast somewhere?”
“Yeah, I’m starved.” Elith said. She leaned her head back against the seat and closed her eyes.
Neither woman spoke about the information Elith had screwed out of the Commander. The man who Timtam and Pep were given to was an Imperial Inquisitor. The man was an absolute monster who tortured and killed his victims nearly every time. The chances that  Pep and Tintam were still alive was fading fast.

Hudd had piloted his ship to a small space station. It was run by a friend of his, a Duros named Ghildan Freptoran. It’s primary function was ship repair and salvage. Hudd and Ghildan had known each other for years and they trusted each other completely.
Hudd was allowed to land his ship close to Ghildan’s home since they were friends. Hudd took Timtam with him when he went into Ghildan’s house. He explained everything that had happened 

up till now. Ghildan sat back in his chair and rubbed his chin. “ What the hell have you gotten yourself into boy?”
“I’m in a real bind Ghildan. Is there anyway I can buy those supplies from you on credit?” Hudd asked.
“You’re in luck Hudd. I just got my six month supplies in so right now I have extra of everything. Now I know we go back a long way but I need you to make sure you pay me back first. None of this stuff about you paying off your bills and then me. You pay me back first, understand?” Ghildan said.
“Hey, thanks a lot Ghildan. I’ll pay you first, you can count on it.” Hudd smiled with relief.
“You must be my lucky charm Timtam.” He said smiling at her.
Timtam smiled back, he thought she was lucky.
“So just how bad off is your friend young lady?” Ghildan asked Timtam.
“She’s resting comfortably for now but she needs a real doctor to look at her.” Timtam looked worried.
“I checked her out as best I could. It seems she was hurt from the inside out. I’ve never heard of a weapon or torture that can do that.” Hudd said.
“That sounds like Sith energy. Some Sith adepts and masters can call up anger based force energy to cause harm to others but that would mean your friend has a natural link to the dark side.” Ghildan said looking at both Timtam and Hudd.
“That’s not it. Pep is the kindest person I know. She even paid for my freedom and is helping me to learn how to earn my own way.” Timtam said.
“Your freedom? I thought you said you two were slaves?” Hudd said looking at Timtam suspiciously.
“I am…I mean I was, I want to explain it all but I’m not allowed.” Timtam had realized she had slipped up.
Hudd looked at her completely differently now. She was a liar. Was she lying about everything?
Timtam couldn’t stand it. The look on Hudd’s face made her feel terrible.
“We’re working for the Rebellion. We were captured after we helped to destroy an Empire ship. I lied because I was afraid you might turn us in for the reward. I didn’t want to but I was afraid of being tortured again. I wouldn’t be able to stand it again.” Timtam put her face in her hands and began to cry. She didn’t want her friends to get caught but she hated having to lie to the man who helped Pep and herself escape.
She felt a hand on her shoulder and she jumped back and threw up her arms waiting for Hudd to beat her. He just pulled her close and gave her a hug.
“It’s okay Timtam, I understand now. You had no choice.” he said patting her on her back.
Timtam hugged him back. “ I’m so sorry Hudd, I didn’t want to lie to you but my friends lives depended on it.”

Kllair and the rest of her crew had taken off from the planet and started their hunt for Professor Gangler’s ship. It shouldn’t be too hard to find since it was an old Republic cruiser left over from the Clone wars. It had a long black colored center line that on the original ships was red to indicate the location of the of the hangar bays. This was standard for Inquisition ships.
They were to meet up with Matt and Tarin so they could coordinate the search. Mykala and Bronski had been told of Kllair’s lead and were also en route but wouldn’t be able to get there for another day at least. The rest of the group that was searching was told to stay were they were until Kllair’s lead was confirmed.
Kllair stepped into the common area of their ship. Her crew was waiting for her.
“We need to be the ones who find them. If we do that then we will be trusted by them, if not we’ll be seen as amateurs by them.” Kllair said.
“Who cares what they think?” Novuh asked.
“I do. That means you all will care about it a great deal also. This Galaxy is going to get real small real fast. Every planet that slips into the Empires control means that we loose friends and contacts. Those friends and contacts will sell us out or turn against us. The Empire doesn’t want our kind roaming free out there. They don’t want rouge assassins killing their officers and leaders. They want to be the ones that rule by fear. They don’t want us out there scaring their people into not doing their jobs.” Kllair needed her crew to understand how much they needed to be a part of Adda’s group. All of her crew had issues that made them anti-social. She was trying to appeal to their need for self preservation. She had no delusions that anything else would work. They were all killers for hire including herself. She knew they needed allies and to have allies they needed to gain the other groups trust and soon. She needed them to see that working with the others was how they would stay alive a little longer.
“Fine,okay we need them. So how do we find this Gangler asshole and his ship? And if we do find them what’s your plan for boarding the ship and getting them out?” Novuh asked. She was willing to give Kllair a chance to prove her instincts were right.
“That’s what I want you to help me figure out. We need to get creative and fast. This Gangler guy is a sadistic monster and those girls are with him right now. So  as far as we know they’re being slowly cut to pieces so lets come up with a plan ladies the clock is ticking.” Kllair said.

“I wish we could call your friends but this whole sector is under the control of the Empire. They have listening posts all over the place. If we sent a message into Feloid space they would pick it up for sure.” Hudd said to Timtam.
“I know, but what’s really important now is that we find Pep a doctor or a hospital. I can’t just leave her someplace.”Timtam was concerned about Pep, she didn’t seem to begetting any better.
“Where do people go around here for serious injuries?” Hudd asked Ghildan.
“All the major facilities in this area are controlled by the Empire. The only other place is the fourth moon of Mothmah. It is about two days travel from here.” Ghildan said.
“What kind of hospital do they have there?” Hudd asked.
“No hospital, but there is a race of healers that live there in the northern forests that have a reputation for doing incredible healing. The Empire ignores them because they use only natural medicines and cures. They don’t have anything of interest as far as the Empire is concerned.” Ghildan said.
“Why don’t you let me make your delivery and you take my ship and the girls there for help.”
“You’d do that?” Hudd asked surprised.
“Sure, that way I can make sure I get my money.” Ghildan said smiling.
“Thanks Ghildan, you’re a good friend.” Hudd said. He took Timtam by the hand and walked out of Ghildan’s house.
Timtam was surprised just how natural it was for her to let Hudd take her hand and for her to follow him. It was like they had been together for years.
“We have to get Pep on Ghildan’s ship. She’s stable now but that could change at any moment.” Hudd said.
They made a make shift stretcher out of some pieces of pipe and an old bed frame Ghildan had and carried Pep over to Ghildan’s ship. It was smaller than Hudd’s hauler and faster as well.
“Ghildan was a scout in his early years. This ship is fast and has double the normal range for most ships this size.” Hudd said.
“I don’t know how to thank you for all of this Hudd, It’s way too much.” Timtam said as they put Pep down. Hudd lifted her gently and placed her in the lower bunk in the crew quarters.
“Hey, you two helped to blow up an Imperial ship, I’m thinking we all owe you.” Hudd grinned.
Timtam smiled back. This man would never hurt her, she felt safe with him.
They checked Pep once more to make sure she was alright. They climbed into the small cockpit

 and lifted off. Soon they had jumped to light speed and were on their way.
Timtam and Hudd were sitting in the cockpit. She asked Hudd to show her how everything worked on the ship. They had been going over the controls and what everything did when Hudd stopped and looked at Timtam.
“Who are you? What is your story Timtam. How did you wind up here with me?” Hudd asked quietly.
Timtam took a breath and sighed. “ I was born a slave and sold to a royal family at age thirteen. I became the personal slave and companion to Princess Lionette Ty of the Ty clan. Even though I was a slave and she had me beaten when I did wrong I still think of her as a sister. We had great adventures together for years. She is the bravest person I have ever known.” she said.
“How did you wind up way out here?” he asked.
“ I betrayed her, I knew something important but I said nothing. I had been raped by her brother and taken to safety by her sister who killed their father. I couldn’t tell her I knew this because I would have to accuse both her sister and brother of crimes. I was just a slave and I would have had to accuse two of the most powerful royals in the clan. No one would have believed me.” Timtam said. It hurt her to think about the past and Lionette.
“Wow, and I thought I had problems.” Hudd said.
“ Anyway I was exiled to a prison planet and I escaped with some pirates. My friends found me and Pep bought my freedom. I joined the rest of my friends in helping to fight the Empire and wound up here.” she said shrugging her shoulders as if none of it was a big deal.
Hudd sat back amazed. “ You are one remarkable girl Timtam.” he said.
Timtam looked up and smiled.

The long ranged scanners picked up several metallic objects drifting in space. Novuh had called Kllair to the bridge.
“What are they?” Kllair asked looking at the readout on the scanner.
“It looks like about eight or nine of them all in a line. They’re all moving about the same speed.” Novuh said.
“What are they doing way out here?” Kllair asked.
“How big are they?” Nya asked. Nya and Vyra had heard Novuh call for Kllair and came up to see what was going on.
“They look to be about seven feet long.” Kllair said looking at the read out.
“Coffins.” Vyra said.
“Coffins. Yeah they’re coffins.” Nya said calmly.
“Burial in space. Military I’d say.” Vyra said looking at Nya.
“Most definitely military, too many to be civilian.” Nya said in confirmation.
“ Looks like they had an accident or something on that professor guys ship.” Vyra said.
“They had more than an accident if it was eight or nine coffins, they had real trouble.” Novuh added.
“Let’s check them out. They might give us a clue to what happened on board.” Kllair said.
“How do you know they’re even from his ship?” Novuh challenged.
“The scanners are showing the remainder of a huge ion trail headed in the other direction. Looks like they lost some people, dumped them into space and kept going on their merry way.” Kllair said.
“What do we do now?” Novuh asked.
“We check out those bodies and see if they can give us a clue to what happened.” Kllair said.
“What do you mean by check  them  out.” Novuh asked.
“I mean we bring them on board, open the coffins and look at the bodies for clues.” Kllair said.
“Who’s going to do that?” Novuh asked disgusted.
“ Me, I’ll do it. After all, I’m the one in charge of all this.” Kllair said. “ I’ll need a helper, any one want to volunteer?”
Just then Elith walked in. “Hey what’s going on?”
They all looked at Elith and smiled.

Timtam reclined the chair back in cockpit and stretched her arms over her head. It was an innocent movement on her part with no other intent other than relieving the pressure on her back from sitting so long. She didn’t know that it pulled her shirt up to the point of nearly exposing herself. It had also pulled the shirt tight against her firm body. She didn’t notice that Hudd had noticed all of these things. Timtam lay back and started making popping sounds with her mouth out of boredom.
“ Why don’t you check on Pep again? Maybe she’s feeling better.” Hudd said. She didn’t know how much he was being tempted by her.
“Okay. Do you want anything while I’m up? She asked.
“No, I’m fine just check on Pep for now.” Hudd said smiling.
Timtam smiled back and went down the passage way to Pep. To her surprise Pep was sitting up in the bed.
“Where are we?” Pep asked.
“We’re on our way to get you some help. It’s Okay. The man that helped us escape is taking us.” Timtam said.
“Why is he helping us?” Pep asked. She was still in pain.
“He’s a good man Pep. We got real lucky again. His name is Kero Hudd. He saved us.” Timtam grinned.
“I don’t understand Timtam. Why is this man helping us. He’s going to a lot of trouble just for two slaves.” Pep said.
Timtam looked down.
“You told him !” Pep exclaimed.
“We can trust him Pep. He’s good. He didn’t even make me have sex with him or anything.” Timtam said in her defense.
“Then why is he doing it?” Pep insisted.
“Maybe he’s like Matt. Maybe he does it because he should.” Timtam said. She was a little hurt that Pep didn’t trust her instincts.
“Okay Timtam. I’ll give him a chance if you want me to. I’ll trust him.” Pep knew she had hurt Timtam’s feelings.
Timtam smiled at Pep. She was glad she was giving Hudd a chance.
“Where are we going?” Pep asked as she laid back down.
“ To a small moon, they have healers there. It’s safe. The Empire doesn’t  go there.” Timtam said as she stroked Pep’s head.
Pep closed her eyes and let Timtam stroke her hair until she dropped off to sleep again.

Kllair and her crew had caught up to Gangler’s ship. They had followed the ion trail in hopes that they would find it.
“Hey Kllair I picked up a second ion trail a while back. It was smaller and went off in a different direction. I didn’t think of it then but maybe the girls were able to sneak aboard another ship and escape. I know it’s a long shot but I’d thought I’d at least mention it.” Novuh said over the intercom.
Kllair and Elith had pulled the coffins in side the ship. The bodies were all crushed as by some powerful force. They didn’t have any marks that indicated something fell on them or had been in contact with anything physical that may have crushed them. Kllair couldn’t figure it out. Something had happened on that ship that was beyond her imagining.
“ Fall back as far as you can and send that ship a message. Tell them you found the escaped slaves.” Kllair said back to Novuh.
“Why?” Novuh asked.
“Damn it Novuh ! Just do it.”
Novuh sent the message.
“They want to know where we found them. They asked how they got off the ship.” Novuh reported back to Kllair.
“Turn around and follow that other ion trail. They’re not on board that ship anymore.” Kllair shouted.
Novuh grabbed the controls and swung their ship back towards the second ion trail.
“How do you know they’re not on that ship anymore?” Novuh asked.
“Because they asked us where we found them. That means they don’t know where they are. They must have escaped on that second ship.” Kllair was impressed that they were able to escape in the middle of space.
“Good girls, we’ll find you yet. Just hang on, we’re coming.” Kllair said to herself.

Last Updated (Monday, 06 December 2010 02:07)