A good woman
Kllair and her crew had followed the ion trail from the second ship to a small space station. There had been several other ships that had come and gone since the one they were looking for had arrived here. There wasn’t any way to tell one ships trail from another. Kllair would have to have Novuh put the ship down and then continue the search on the ground. After landing Kllair sent Novuh and Elith out to find out who was in charge of this facility.
“He’s gone. He left yesterday.” Elith reported back to Kllair.
“Who is he?” Kllair asked.
“He’s a Duros. Goes by the name Ghildan or something. He was taking a supply shipment to a gas mining operation about a day or two away. They said he was doing a favor for a friend of his, he even used the friend’s ship to take it.” Novuh said.
Kllair thought a moment. “Where’s the friend?”
He left in Ghildan’s ship. They’re not sure were he went.” Elith said.
“I guess the question before us is “Why did he make the delivery instead of his friend. The friend could have done it but he must have had to do something more important.” Kllair said.
“So the friend was going to make a delivery to that gas mine. Something happened so he came here instead. This guy Ghildan had to take the delivery because the friend had something urgent to do I’m guessing.” Novuh added.
“If I had some fugitive girls that I helped to escape or I found that had stowed away on my ship I might find that more important than making a delivery.” Kllair said. Everything seemed to point to the girls being with the friend. Now they had to figure out where they went. They were close now. Just one more piece to the puzzle to figure out.
Hudd flew over the tree tops looking for some sign of a settlement or habitation. The trees were gigantic, some almost three hundred feet tall. This part of the planet was cold and mountainous. Farther up he could make out snow on the mountain tops.
“I can’t see anything down there. I’m not sure where to land.” Hudd said.
“Look, what’s that?” Timtam asked. Just ahead in the distance she could see what looked like smoke rising from far below.
“Good job Timtam, where there’s smoke there has to be people.” Hudd looked at her and smiled.
Timtam smiled back. Soon they would get Pep better and they would be able to go home. They could make the long trip back to Feloid space and be dropped off at the base. It made her sad when she realized that would be the last time she would see Hudd. He would go back to his simple life and soon forget all about her.
“There’s a clearing below us. I’m going to set the ship down. Keep an eye out for branches so I don’t snag on anything.” he said.
Hudd put the ship down with ease. Once on the ground the ship leaned slightly to the left. Since it was a long range scout ship it didn’t have any landing gear. This way it could land just about anywhere. It could even float on water.
“You wait here with Pep. I’ll go out and see if I can make contact with anybody.” he said.
“Okay Hudd.” she said. Timtam wanted to go with him but he was right. Someone needed to stay with Pep and the ship.
She watched trough the cockpit window as he walked into the dark forest. Timtam went back to check on Pep. She was asleep in the bunk. It didn’t look like she was getting any better but at least she hadn’t gotten worse. She walked over to the port hole and looked out. Everything was green and lush. Hudd could easily get lost out there if he wasn’t careful. He had been a trained soldier so he knew how to navigate through the wilderness. She looked at Pep again and saw she was still sleeping. Timtam walked to the access hatch and opened it. The sudden blast of chill air caught her by surprise. She was still wearing only the shirt Hudd had given her and had only that day found a thick pair of warm socks to walk around in. She noticed a locker next to the door and opened it. She saw some womens clothes inside and pulled out a heavy hooded coat and tried it on. It fit so Timtam fastened it up and sat in the open doorway waiting. Not much longer after that Hudd came walking back to the ship. Timtam waved as Hudd got closer.
“Did you find anyone?” Timtam asked as he got to the ship.
“Where did you get that coat?” Hudd asked. His tone was cold and stern.
“ It was in the locker, I just put it on for a second…” She realized then that it must have been his wife’s coat.
“I’m sorry…I didn’t think who it might belong to.” she said as she started to take it off.
Hudd realized he sounded angry. “ No, no, keep it. I think she would have liked you to have it.” He said.
“It’s okay, I’ll put it back.” she said as she continued unfastening the clasps.
Hudd stopped her and began to fasten them back up. “ No, keep it. It looks nice on you. Besides you’re going to need something warm to wear. I found an old man that says he’ll help us but we have to bring Pep to him. Go ahead and take anything you need from the locker. We can’t have you running around like that outside in this cold air can we.” He said as he fastened the last clasp.
Timtam smiled and looked in the locker. She found some boots and gloves and a pair of pants. Hudd handed her a small knife. She looked back confused.
“For your tail. You need to cut a hole for it.” He grinned.
“Thanks.” she said taking the knife. He was letting go of his wife’s belongings. He was giving them to her. Timtam felt special that he wanted her to have them.
They put Pep on the stretcher and carried her into the woods. It was colder than Timtam thought it would be as they started down the trail. They only had to carry Pep about one hundred yards and most of the trail was down hill. As they turned the corner of the trail they saw a cleared out area in front of a large cave opening. Back inside the opening about twenty feet was a stone work wall with windows and a large door. A stone chimney came out from the upper floor of the stone wall and was supported by a large wooden buttress made from a dead tree. It supported the end of the chimney that rose above the cave mouth. Timtam understood why they couldn’t see the homes from above now. They all must be tucked back inside of these caves like this one.
A large man stepped out of the front door and took the end of the stretcher from Timtam and smiled. “I’ll take it from here girl.”
Timtam didn’t argue. The man was at least six and a half feet tall with thick white hair and beard. He was an older man for sure but he looked to be in his thirties even though she could tell he was older. He was dressed in finely crafted animal hide clothing. The clothes had fine stitching and embroidery that covered the sleeves and shoulders of his shirt. He wore a belt that had several pouches hanging from it as well as a hatchet and a big hunting knife.
Hudd and the big man took Pep inside the cave. Timtam followed them in. The interior of the cave was also mostly stone work. The outer edges were raised and divided into small areas that Timtam took as rooms for each of the people that lived there. The center was much lower with a large fire pit that was most likely communal. There were several others dressed like the big man doing odd jobs around the area. They continued deeper into the cave and finally came to a stairway leading down. Once they reached the bottom she saw that it opened into a large cavern. There were at least twenty or more people down here standing at various tables and stations working with different plants and herbs. She had expected to see much more primitive equipment being used but most of it looked new and modern.
They placed Pep on a bed in one of the areas to the side. The big man excused himself and told them to wait.
“Who are these people Hudd?” Timtam asked.
“It seems most of them were doctors and scientists that got fed up with all the high tech medical institutions. They have come here to perfect more natural ways of healing. When I found this place they welcomed me and insisted on helping us. I told them about Pep and they were very interested to take a look at her. I’m actually relieved, I was half expecting a shaman wearing a mud hat or something.” Hudd said.
Timtam giggled at the mental image of a mud hat on some primitive wearing a grass skirt.
“I’m just glad we can finally get her some help. If anything happened to her while I was protecting her I don’t know what I’d do.”Timtam said. She slid closer to Hudd and shivered. It was still a little chilly down in this lower part of the cave system. Hudd lifted his arm and put around her shoulders and pulled her close for warmth.
“What are you going to do after you take me and Pep back?” she asked Hudd.
“I guess I’ll go back to hauling freight around. I was thinking of buying a bigger ship or going into business with Ghildan, I still have to think about it.” he said.
“You should hire a crew, I don’t want to think about you out there all by yourself.” she said.
“What about you? What’s going to happen with you?” Hudd asked.
Timtam thought for a minute. “I think I’ll get a position were I can stay at our base. I don’t think I want to be in the front lines anymore. I was never so frightened in my whole life back on that ship. If I were to be captured again I would tell them anything they wanted to know. I’d do anything not to go through that again.” Timtam felt relieved to say how she really felt but ashamed at the same time.
“I think that’s a good idea. I saw a lot of horrible things in the Clone wars. I never want to do any of that again.” they both sat silently thinking about the past. They had both suffered a great deal.
Hudd leaned back and shut his eyes, Timtam snuggled up closer and closed hers too. They took the chance to get a little rest. They had finally made sure Pep was taken care of. The past few days had been very stressful and they both could finally get the rest they needed.
Kllair had called Adda for help. Even this far in Imperial controlled space the ships scramblers still kept them from picking up their transmissions. She wanted to know what kind of facilities were in this sector of space. She wanted to know if there was some place out here that they might go. Adda had told her several places that sounded interesting but Kllair decided on trying the medical colony on the fourth moon of Mothmah. They would most likely go there if one of the girls had been hurt. Kllair figured they needed to go there first. If they had gone there because of one of them being hurt maybe they would be able to help. It would be bad if they were there and they went and searched somewhere else when one of them was hurt.
“Set a coarse for Mothmah Four, we’ll start our search there. Call Tarin and Matt to let them know to meet us there.” Kllair told Novuh.
“I guess it’s as good a place as any to start.” Novuh said.
One of the healers shook Hudd. “She’s awake, it seems our treatment is working.” the healer said. Hudd patted Timtam on the shoulder. “Get up, it looks like Pep’s going to be okay.” Hudd said.
“That’s wonderful. Can we see her?” Timtam said rubbing her eyes. She hadn’t realized how tired she was. Timtam got up and walked over to Pep. Pep was sitting up and eating some soup from a bowl.
“How do you feel Pep?” Timtam smiled. She could tell she felt a better.
“I feel a lot better, most of the pain is gone now and I feel hungry.” Pep said as she wiped her mouth. Her smile was back and she seemed alert and sharp.
Timtam grabbed Hudd and drug him over to where Pep was laying. “This is Mr. Hudd. He’s the one who saved us. He put you in the ship after you told me to leave you.” Timtam was beaming. It was obvious to Pep that Timtam really liked this man.
“I don’t know how to thank you Mr. Hudd for saving our lives.” Pep said sincerely.
“It’s me who should be thanking you two. Your past exploits have greatly over shadowed anything that I’ve done.” he said winking. She understood that he was talking about their actions that caused the destruction of the Imperial ship. He was letting her know that he supported what they did.
Pep nodded and smiled. She could sense that he was sincere in what he said.
“The healers said I could travel anytime. I just need to keep taking the medication for another week. We should at least get out of Empire controlled space so we can send a message to the others that we are safe and on our way back.” Pep said.
“ I agree, your friends must be going crazy by now. We can leave as soon as you can move.” Hudd said.
“If we can get some of these fine people to carry me on that stretcher we can leave now.” Pep said.
“I’ll go ask for some help.” Hudd said as he turned and left.
“What’s wrong Timtam?” Pep saw that she had turned away and was looking down at the floor. Timtam looked at Pep. “ I’m going to miss him. I really like him but I don’t want to leave all of you. He hasn’t said anything about letting me stay but I think he would like it if I did.” Timtam said.
“If you’re worried about owing me anything you don’t have to. You’ve payed me back a thousand times already. Maybe you should tell him how you feel. You won’t know how he really feels until you ask him.” Pep smiled sympathetically.
“No, it would never work out between us. He wouldn’t want someone that’s done what I’ve had to do my whole life.” she was ashamed of her past.
“Listen Timtam, you have to ask him. It doesn’t matter to some men. Matt always understood I had no choice. He’s always treated me with respect.” Pep said.
“I don’t want to see the look on his face if he doesn’t want me. That “ I want to sleep with you but not be with you.” look, I don’t want to see that, not on him.” Timtam said sadly.
Hudd walked back over with two of the healers. Timtam looked away and Pep had an aspect of frustration about her.
Hudd hesitated. “Is everything okay?” he asked.
“Yes, we’re just a little anxious to get home is all.” Pep said forcing a smile.
“ Okay then. If you could jump up on this stretcher Pep we can go.” Hudd said trying not to think about why they were acting funny.
Kllair had ordered them to wait. This is what she had hoped would happen. She was certain that they had found Pep and Timtam on the moon below them. They were waiting for Matt and Tarin to arrive. Once they did they would all go down together and find them. Kllair would let Matt be the one who found Pep. It would be like in a story book. The hero arrives to save the girl. It couldn’t be more perfect of an ending. Matt would be the hero to Pep once again…and he would owe it all to Kllair and her crew. She didn’t like things to be this way but that’s just how life was. It was great to have friends you trust but better if they owed you a favor.
Hudd lead the way back up the path. He was carrying the front of the stretcher that Pep was on. One of the healers carried the left rear and the other the right rear handle. Timtam walked next to the stretcher just behind Hudd.
Hudd felt the two healers behind him stop suddenly. He turned to see they each had a beautiful young woman behind them. The women had jabbed their pistols in the healers backs causing them to stop. He realizes they were twins. They both had blood red hair and smirking evil grins that showed they were capable of doing anything. He suddenly became frightened for Timtam and Pep. He spun to look back ahead of him on the path. From out of nowhere emerged a tall blonde woman wearing a cape. Next to her was a second woman. She looked slightly younger. They both had on a dark blue one piece form fitting outfits. The younger woman also had a cybernetic arm and a well crafted metal plate that covered the upper left side of her face. She had a cybernetic eye as well.
“Matt !” Pep yelled as she saw a man run out of the underbrush to her left. He ran straight to Pep’s side and dropped to his knees. Matt grabbed Pep’s head tightly and smothered her in kisses. Both were crying and laughing at the same time.
“Your friends I take it?” Hudd said relieved.
“It’s okay everybody, we’re all on the same side here.” Timtam wanted to make sure no one did anything wrong.
“Nya, Vyra, put your guns away. You’re making them nervous.” Kllair smiled.
“I don’t know how you did it but you did, nice job Kllair.” Tarin said. She was truly impressed. Kllair and her crew had found these two women against all odds.
“Thank you.” Timtam had run up to Kllair and gave her a hug. Normally Kllair would have stopped her but for a reason she didn’t know Kllair had aloud Timtam to do it. Maybe she wanted to show the others how human she still was. Maybe she understood that Timtam wouldn’t do anything to harm her. She wasn’t sure.
Kllair gave her a awkward pat on the back. “There there sweety, we were just doing our job.”
Timtam sensed Kllair’s tension about hugging and released her.
“Okay the reunion’s over. Let’s go. The rest are waiting to hear from us.” Novuh said crossing her arms. Displays of affection and happiness made her uncomfortable.
“She’ right. There’s no sense in us hanging around in Imperial space. We need to get going.” Kllair said.
“Just remember one thing boys, we were never here.” Nya said pointing at the healers.
“Just remember that and we won’t have to come back.” Vyra added as she turned and put her arm around her sisters shoulder.
“Never mind those two, we thank you all very much for what you’ve done.” Tarin said.
“And especially you…” Tarin waited for Hudd to give her his name.
“It’s Hudd, most people call me Hudd.” he replied.
“Is there anything we can do for you for saving our friends lives?” Tarin asked.
Hudd looked around for Timtam but she was gone. He saw her walking quickly down the path. She didn’t even say good by. She had used him and he had fallen for it.
“No, I don’t want anything.” he said coldly.
Tarin wasn’t sure why he was so angry. “ Fine, okay everyone let’s get back to the ship.” Tarin said.
“Timtam !” Pep yelled. She was blowing it. She had a chance at happiness and she was just walking away.
“Matt, she needs to stay. She needs to be with Hudd. Go bring her back.” Pep pleaded.
Matt looked at Pep and knew he had to bring Timtam back. He trusted Pep.
“No, forget it. She doesn’t need me any more. Let her go.” Hudd said and started walking back to his ship.
Matt looked at Pep. “What do you need me to do?” he asked.
Pep looked down. “Nothing, it’s too late.”
Timtam wanted to go down the hill towards Kllair’s ship first. She had pulled the hood up over her head, she didn’t anyone to see her crying. She couldn’t stay with Hudd. She loved him but he deserved better than her. She was just a stupid little slave that no decent man should have. Even if he wanted her he would always have to deal with someone making comments or remarks about her. He would be the man who loved a whore. It wouldn’t be fair. It was different with Matt and Pep. If anyone said anything about Pep, Matt would always make them pay for it. Hudd wasn’t a killer. He would just have to live with others saying those things until he started to believe them too.
“What’s going on? What’s up with those two?” Matt asked.
“It doesn’t matter. She could have been happy. They could have been happy.” Pep said sadly.
“Are we going or not?” Novuh asked.
“We’re ready.” the twins said as they cart wheeled in unison down the path too the ship.
Tarin and Matt grabbed the stretcher and carried Pep back to the ship. Novuh headed back also. Kllair holstered her pistol she had been holding behind her back. She took one last look around, it was over.
Kllair and her crew flew back in their ship leaving Matt, Tarin, Pep, and Timtam to fly back in the ship they had used for the search.
Kllair had sent a scrambled transmission back to Adda. She was sure that it was made clear that they had been instrumental in the recovery of their friends. She was sure not to over play the heroism, just a lot of , I, and my crew, type references were added to her statements.
Everyone at the base was thrilled to hear that they had been rescued. They had beaten the odds once again.
The trip back was uneventful. Matt had kept himself busy by taking care of Pep. She was becoming stronger every day now that they had the healers remedies
to help her. Matt had changed and was much more attentive to Pep now. She had always been the one to take care of him and do what he said. She never argued with anything he wanted to do. It wasn’t that he took advantage of her it was just that she enjoyed making Matt happy. She had real love for this man that had saved her and did everything he could to improve her life.
He had seen her die and felt the crushing pain of loss. Now she was back from the dead. He had a second chance that he had been lucky enough to get once before when the real Matt Mazin had given him when he died. A chance for a second life.
Timtam spent most of the time alone in her room. Most of the time she slept. She had walked away from a chance at happiness. “It never would have lasted.” she told herself over and over again. There was too much against them . He needed a woman that wouldn’t draw negative attention to him. He needed a woman that could give him children and be like he was, respectable.
Timtam knew what she did may have hurt him but she had to make sure he wouldn’t come after her.
If it was all for the best. Why did it hurt so much then? All she could think about was their time together. When he jumped in the hole in the floor and lifted Pep out right in the middle of the hangar bay it almost made her faint. It was the most heroic thing she had ever seen. He didn’t even know these girls but he did it anyway. Most men would have taken advantage of her because she was a slave and trained to please men. They might even have turned them over to some slavers. She knew that Cat girls fetch a high price in the markets and houses were those commodities are traded. He was a good man. He deserved better. He should have a normal life with children and a wife he could walk down the street with and not hear people laugh and make crude jokes.
She missed him so badly it hurt.
Hudd had returned from his little adventure two weeks ago. Ghildan had made the delivery for him and was able to collect his money. Everything had gone back to normal.
One day Hudd received a visitor. He was a handsome young Feloid that wore the uniform of the Ty clan. He introduced himself as Captain Destriss. He was one of Lionette Ty’s personal attendants charged with carrying out special missions for her.
“My Lady has heard of your bravery and kindness given too two of her people. These two women are very important to her and her friends. She would like to give you a small token of her thanks.”He had said and gave him a small holo disc. He bowed politely and left. Hudd wasn’t sure what to do. Should he throw it away or watch it. Eventually his curiosity got the better of him and he placed it in the holo projector.
The image flickered on and he saw an image of Lionette Ty herself. “ Mr. Hudd, I am Lionette Ty leader of the Ty clan. It has been brought to my attention that you were the person responsible for saving the lives of two of my people. For this heroic act I have deposited the sum of one million credits into an account that has been opened in your name. You also have been given honorary citizenship in the Ty Clan thus giving you all the protections that offers. If you wish it you are now under my Clan’s full protection and may call on me for any help you may need in the future. Once again I thank you for you heroics and the lives of these two free citizens.” the projection flickered off.
Hudd watched the recording several times. He wanted to find the part that said all of this was a joke. It wasn’t. He checked his accounts and found a new one with one million credits in it.
Hudd knocked on the door of Ghildan’s house.
Ghildan opened the door. “What’s wrong Hudd, it looks like you just saw a ghost.” he said.
“More like a Million of them.” Hudd held up the print out he made of his accounts. “The Feloids sent it to me. I’m stinking rich Ghildan…What do I do now?” he was in shock.
“I think we need to get drunk. You’re buying.” Ghildan said.
They made their way down to the local bar. Hudd started buying drinks for everyone. They drank and laughed all night. Ghildan and him could finally start that business they wanted. Everything had worked out. He had stuck his neck out for two women who had no one else to help them and in one of those rare instances of life it paid off. He had won. If only he had some one to share it with.
Hudd left the party. He felt good. He was sharing his good fortune with his friends and he would be able to help them all with his new wealth.
He sat on a crate at the landing field and watched people coming and going from one of the transport ships. New arrivals and the ones who had lost hope and were leaving. The ship left and little by little so did the people. All except one. A lone woman wearing a hooded coat. She stood all alone under a light, she looked like she didn’t know where to go. He could see one of the ends of her coat’s belt blowing in the wind behind her. He suddenly realized they were under a huge dome, there was no wind. It was a tail. He stood up. “Timtam ?” he yelled it before he even thought. He began to run across the field. The woman pulled back her hood to reveal a bright pink head of hair.
“Timtam !” he yelled again. He was smiling.
The woman opened her arms beckoning him closer.
He grabbed her and kissed her on the lips. The woman kissed him back hard. Hudd pulled back to look at her face. It wasn’t Timtam but a different pink head. She could have been Timtam’s sister she looked so similar.
“You’re not Timtam he said confused.
“No, my name is Enna, but you can call me Timtam if you want.” she grinned.
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 02:02)