Captain Zekk returns
Hudd stepped off the ramp of the shuttle. He had finally reached the Base where Timtam was. The hangar bay was a mad house. Ships were returning from the war of all sizes and shapes. Nearly all were from the Ty Clan but some were from other clans. They had been too badly damaged to reach their home bases so they were allowed to land here to make repairs.
Hudd climbed to the top of a stairway and looked around for Timtam. He hadn’t been able to call her again after telling Timtam he would arrive in two days. All communications were now for military use only until they could sort out the returning ships and their needs.
Everywhere he looked he saw Feloids running around taking care of their duties. Once again he found himself alone in an unfamiliar place.
“Where do I know you from?” Hudd turned to see an incredibly beautiful woman standing behind him. She was tall and well proportioned with just the right amount of curves in just the right places. She wore all black which complimented her blueish white hair and stunning blue gray eyes. Her tone was cool and direct, almost accusing in tone. He felt like he had done something wrong.
“I’m here to see Timtam, I told her I was coming two days ago.” he said feeling somewhat out of place and suddenly defensive.
“Yeah ! You’re that guy ! You’re the one that saved Pep and Timtam. I sent a message to you a while back for her.” Tarin said happily now that she realized who he was.
“I never got any message. I was conscripted by the Empire a while ago. I’ve lost everything since then, even my home.” Hudd replied.
“Well you’re safe now. Hey, you wait in that room and I’ll go get Timtam.” Tarin said smiling. She lead him into an office area full of Feloids and humans working in the communications room. They went into the back room. It was furnished but empty of any occupants.
“Now just wait here and you’ll see Timtam in one minute.” Tarin left before he could thank her. He sat in a chair behind the door and waited. After about five minutes he heard Timtam’s voice on the other side of the door. Tarin was telling her to go into the room and clean it up.
The door slowly opened and he saw a small hand pushing it open. The room was dark and Timtam came in and felt for the light switch. Hudd took her hand gently and stood up. She turned to see him before her and blinked as though she wasn’t quite sure what she was seeing. She suddenly put her hand over her mouth and gasped. She couldn’t speak, he was here, he was really here. She slowly pulled herself close to Hudd and put both arms around him. She was being careful not to make any fast movements in case this was just a wonderful dream.
Hudd pulled tight and rested his chin on her head carefully. “I’ve missed you.”
“You came all this way for me?” she asked looking up at his face.
“Well that and the war but since I was in the neighborhood I just thought I’d stop in and say hello.” he said jokingly.
Timtam pulled him as tightly to her as she could. “Hello.” she said smiling.
Tarin stepped into the room and looked at the two holding each other close.
“Timtam, I want this room cleaned top to bottom. I don’t care if it takes you all night I want you to take care of it. Don’t you think about sneaking out because I’m going to sit outside this door until you’re done.” Tarin gave the two a smile and a wink then went out and locked the door.
“I like her.” Hudd smiled.
“She’s an assassin.” Timtam said looking up at him.
Hudd put a hand on both sides of her head and looked into her big beautiful eyes glowing in the darkness. “That’s wonderful.” he said as he pressed his lips to hers.
Matt left their ship the “Hero” in the early evening. He was tired and hungry. It had been too long since he had seen or heard from Pep and was eager to be with her once again. Ragg had told him he would see to the details of reporting in with the Hero so he had the rest of the night to spend with Pep. Matt walked across the busy hangar over to where Ceecee and Pep had their work station to see if he could find her. The tool carts and droids were all put away for the evening so he figured she must be back at their quarters waiting for him. He took the elevator down to the living area where Pep and his rooms were.
He had to go down a long dark hallway to avoid the commotion on the hangar deck. About half way down a figure stepped out from the shadows and stood blocking the hall.
“What’s the problem?” Matt asked.
“Those were my sisters you had killed on Restus Prime you son of a bitch. They were all I had left and you and your thugs raped and killed them.” said the man still standing in the shadows.
“I think you got me mixed up with someone else friend.” Matt said trying not to believe his past had finally caught up with him.
“I don’t think so Zekk. I’ve been following you ever since they let you out of that hospital. I figured it out. Did you know the real Matt Mazin had a tattoo on his wrist? I bet you forgot that didn’t you Zekk?”
“Maybe I had it removed.” Matt said he was trying to buy time and hope for an opportunity to do something.
“I doubt you would have removed your wife’s name if you were really him, by the way, she’s doing fine.” the man said leveling his blaster at him.
The sound of a blaster rang out in the small hallway. Matt fell against the wall as he tried to dodge the shot. The man collapsed and fell dead on the hallway floor. Matt looked and saw a second man standing behind the one that had tried to kill him. The second man stepped out from the shadows to reveal he was the soldier from the ship, the one that had been watching Matt. He walked over to him and helped Matt up. The first man lay on the floor moaning. The soldier turned and shot him a second time.
“Thanks.” was all that Matt could think to say to the soldier that had just saved his life.
“At your service Captain Zekk.” he said saluting.
Kang and Lore made their way through the chaos of the hangar bay. They had a good mission with very little damage to the Ravenous.
“I’ll be very interested in hearing how this war ended. Adda wasn’t very forth coming with the details when last we talked.” Lore said.
“It’s all very strange, gives me a bad feeling all around. Way to easy.” Kang added.
As they walked into the headquarters area they saw Mykala sitting on a bench in the hall.
“I saw your ship land so I decided to wait for you guys. I figured we could all see Adda together.” Mykala said. She stood up and slung her kit bag over her shoulder. She hadn’t even gone to her quarters to put her stuff away.
“Where are Ceecee and Bronski?” Lore asked.
“Ceecee is shutting down the Halo Tempest and Bronski is taking care of some prisoners we took a while back. Since the war just stopped we didn’t know if we should release them so we kept them.” she said.
“What have you two heard about all this?” Mykala asked as she joined them walking down the hallway.
“Probably same thing as you did. After the Imperial ships left we were told to pack it up and come home.” Kang said.
They didn’t speak much after that. They were all very curious as to why things ended the way they did.
Adda’s door was open so they went right in. Being Jedis they all picked up on the feelings of her regret as soon as they entered. Adda was reclining on the couch. It was obvious that she was upset and had been crying.
“What is it?” Lore asked sympathetically.
“I don’t think I can continue as your leader, I’ve done something horrible.” Adda said regaining her composier.
“What do you mean? What’s happened?” Mykala asked. She was surprised at this turn of events. She thought they would all be celebrating by now.
Lore closed the door.
“What did you do Adda?” Mykala asked.
“I thought it was just a long shot, just one more thing to try to end the fighting.” Adda said looking at them.
“I had Kllair and and her crew go to kill the General they started all of this. They came up with a better plan.” she looked down.
“What did they do Adda?” Kang asked.
“They kidnapped the Generals family, his wife and two children.” she put her hand to her mouth suppressing her tears of guilt.
They waited for her to continue.
“They took them and tortured them until the General withdrew all of the forces in Feloid space. They didn’t stop when the withdraw began they kept it up for hours until they were all gone.” Adda said looking up in shame. She had no idea what would happen and yet she had blindly let Kllair and her killers loose to do whatever they wanted.
“ You couldn’t have known they would do those things Adda, it’s not in you to think that way. You assume others have the same limits that you do. You don’t realize there are some people that don’t have any limits on what they will do or what they can live with.” Lore said.
“But I’m the leader. I need to have a better understanding about these things. You all wanted me to do this job but I don’t think I can.” Adda said.
“We will all make mistakes in this conflict Adda. Now it’s up to you to learn from yours. Put it behind you now and move forward. You can ask us about these things Adda, before this is over we will all have blood on our hands.” Kang added.
“This can’t happen again. We are supposed to be fighting for justice and Democracy. We can’t be sanctioning torture even if it worked. If our allies found out about this they would drop their support in an instant. We have to be better that the Emperor. We can’t be seen as resolving our differences by using fear and intimidation. That makes us just as bad as the Empire. We can’t have our friends thinking that if we disagree we might send Kllair and her crew after them. There must be trust, a certainty that there are lines we won’t cross no matter what the consequences. We can’t be sending our enforcers out to push our will on others by fear and violence.” Adda said in no uncertain terms.
“Okay. We all agree with what your saying Adda but what do we do with Kllair?” asked Kang.
Matt had helped the soldier get rid of the body. He had done too much good as Matt Mazin to let this man from his past ruin it. He should have been killed in that dark hallway but something kept giving him second chances. He was a monster at one time but now he could be an instrument of good and stop others that are like the man he was. He had felt that justice wasn’t meant for him. There would be no quick execution for Captain Zekk. He would have to live and pay penance for all the things he had done but the credit would all go to the last good man that he killed, he would do good as Matt Mazin.
He hadn’t even stopped to ask who this savior of his was. A devil as dark as the one he was had just saved his life and he didn’t even know who he was or why he did it.
“I wasn’t sure if I would ever find you Captain.” the soldier whispered. “ It took me forever to track you down. I ran into this fellow about a year ago. I pretended to sympathize with him. I told the fool that I was hunting you as well.” he grinned slyly.
“When you asked me if we knew each other on the ship I knew it was a test. I hope I did well enough sir.” he seemed very pleased with himself.
Matt’s mind was racing. He was trying to remember this soldier from his past. He could only conclude he was one of the many soldiers that served under him somewhere. He had a way of making others believe he thought they were above average men. Men of greatness. These men were the ones that he convinced to do his dirty work. They were as much his victims as the poor souls he would have these men kill for his own gain. This man that had searched for him and killed for him wasn’t even in his memory.
Lionette had been brought back to the Palace at night. She didn’t want her people to see her wounded. She would be taken care of in her quarters giving her the opportunity to have meetings with people who had to see her by being seated behind her large desk in her office to hide her broken leg.
“Prince Azak has arrived safely home My Lady and sends his wishes for your speedy recovery.” Neeka said as she read Lionette her messages. Lionette had used the excuse that Neeka was her personal assistant now and also free for her to be taught how to read.
“Very good Neeka, you’re reading has greatly improved.” Lionette said proudly.
“Thank you My Lady, I’ve been practicing while you’ve been away.” Neeka smiled.
“What is on the agenda for me today?” Lionette asked as she straightened her desk top.
“ There is the report from Geirgor to be reviewed. It appears that profits have doubled since the last report.” Neeka said surprised. “I guess your decision to let them become a colony instead of killing them all was a good one.” Neeka stopped, she felt she had overstepped her bounds by passing judgment on Lionette’s plan.
“Of course it was, how could you have doubted it?” Lionette said looking harshly at Neeka.
Neeka swallowed hard.
“Oh Neeka, you have no sense of humor at all.” Lionette smiled.
Neeka laughed relieved her comment was taken so lightly. Lionette had become more light hearted ever since Prince Azak had become a part of her life.
Kllair was in her quarters cleaning her weapons. All of her belongings were laid out in the room on top of the bed. She was silent and completely focused on her task.
“What’s wrong?” Novuh asked. She knew from past experience that when Kllair began cleaning and organizing her belongings it meant it was time to move on.
“We may have gone to far this time. I should have stuck with Adda’s plan and just killed the General. The torture bit was too much for Adda. I warned her it would be bad but I didn’t take into account that she isn’t like us. She’ll never be able to make peace with her part in all this.” Kllair said never looking up from her cleaning.
“You warned her right? She gave us the okay to do it.” Novuh said.
“ I know what was said Novuh. However there is such a thing as regret. She regrets what she did and like most of her kind that means since she made the mistake we will have to pay for it. In short I think that we will soon be asked to leave.” Kllair said looking up again.
“What about the fact that we ended the damned war and save countless lives on both sides? I guess that doesn’t matter now.” Novuh asked.
“Nope, not one bit. They have a choice, admit they are just as guilty as us or blame everything on us and cast us off like a dirty shirt. What do you think they’ll do?” Kllair asked.
Novuh looked at Kllair angrily. “I was just starting to like this place.”
“Prince Azak, we have captured an Imperial shuttle deep in our territory.” the Captain said. He had been on patrol and had spotted the ship.
“Check the crew and search for anything they shouldn’t be taking. Most likely it’s just another straggler trying to get home.” Azak said over the communications system.
“We already did that sire, the ship was headed inbound towards the capital.” said the Captain.
“What is their business?” Azak asked.
“The pilot says he is General Svad Desha, the officer that lead the Imperial invasion. He says he wants sanctuary. He wants to surrender my Prince.”
“Why does he want to surrender? The war is over.” Azak asked.
There was a moment of silence while the Captain asked the General Azak’s questions.
“This is General Desha, I wish to trade myself for my wife’s safe return. I will cooperate in anyway you wish.” the General said.
“Wife? General Desha, I don’t have your wife.” Azak said. He had no idea what the General was talking about.
“Your agents kidnapped and tortured my family! You sent my children back but kept my wife! The Emperor has ordered me killed for withdrawing my forces. I was told by your agents that my wife would be returned in a year. I have no where else to go except to you and start a new life here with my family. Please just return my wife to me and I will give you any information about the Empire you want.” the General seemed at the limits of his sanity. He was a man who had spent years attaining his goals and position. Now he found it all lost and he had nowhere else to turn but to his enemies. It was his last chance to save his family.
“Your surrender will be accepted General. Captain, place the General and his children in protective custody, I don’t want any harm to come to them. I want them to be brought to my home as soon as possible.” Azak said and turned off the communications system.
Azak turned to his younger sister Kewkew. “I have no idea what the General is talking about. Do you know?” Azak asked. He was angry that he appeared clueless to an enemy and that one of his people may have ordered this assault on the Generals family without his knowledge.
“ No My Lord, I am as shocked to hear about this as you are. It must have been one of the other clans. They must have bypassed the war counsel completely.” she said.
“Torturing children ! Who would do such a thing? It is an inexcusable act. Now this crime is on our house ! I want all resources to find out who is responsible for this atrocity !” Azak said pounding his fist on the desk.
Bronski sat down on his bed in his room. He was tired. They had been on patrol for two weeks. He had dropped off his prisoners in the holding area on the lowest level of the base. Tarin had walked past him on his way down the hall. He remembered she looked angry about something.
He was tired and frustrated at getting older. The nagging aches and pains he had from time to time were now becoming a constant problem. His reflexes were getting slower. This was making him unsure of himself.
“Hey dumb ass, you doing anything this week? I heard they gave you this week off too. Let’s go somewhere and do something stupid. I need to do something really stupid so I thought of you.” It was Tarin. She had just walked into his room without any warning. She seemed frustrated as well.
“Why are you asking me to go?” Bronski asked.
“ I told you before, me and you are like friends.”
Great. He was now the uncle she never had. A father figure. He was now officially pathetic. He could just imagine how stupid he would look walking around with this smoking hot young girl. An old man trying to recapture his youth. It made him sick just thinking about it.
“Okay.” the words came out before he could stop them.
“Great, Let’s go.” she put her hand out to him to help him up from the bed. Her ghost like hair fell to one side covering half of her face giving her a vampy appearance. She smiled at him as if in slow motion and gave him a quick firm tug raising him to his feet.
“Where are we going?” Bronski asked.
“I know a little planet where we can find some fun. It’s about three days away so your old ass can get some rest before we get there.” Tarin laughed as she dragged Buck out of his room.
“Thank the powers that be for that.”he thought to himself.
“You’re the one that’s going to need to rest little girl. I haven’t never been to any space port that I didn’t shut down.” he said forcing himself to walk a little faster and with a younger gate.
“What ship are we taking anyway.” he asked.
“My P-38 finally arrived two days ago. All the modifications are finished. I had a larger living area put in. It’s a little cramped but we’ll be okay as long as you don’t try to grab my ass or something you old pervert.” Tarin smiled.
She had no idea how much he wanted to. Even though she was attracted to this older man she didn’t think he felt the same way. He was the big powerful man she wished would come and rescue her from her nightmare childhood of physical and sexual abuse that made her the cold hearted killer she was today. That man never came to save her but Bronski had all the same traits she was looking for in her hero. He was strong and tough. He didn’t know what fear was and had the instincts of a killer. He had an air about him that made other men step aside with out him even knowing they were there. He radiated self confidence. Not like a bar room braggart but the real thing. He bowed to no man.
“Damned thing is so big I might have to shove it out of my way from time to time so don’t get all huffy if I have to push it clear of me or my stuff.” he said lighting a cigar.
Tarin laughed at Bronski’s joke. Most other men scrambled to please her in any way they could because of her looks but not Buck. He’d been with hundreds of women of all shapes and races. She knew he said those things to keep her from getting to big of a head.
“If you gotta you gotta.” Tarin said smiling. He made her happy. She always had to look after herself until now. This man, this friend would always protect her no matter what. He was loyal to his friends to the end. In a way she felt bad about going back to that planet with Buck under false pretenses. Tarin needed to try to find out about why all those people had been trying to kill her.
She needed to get back that part of her life that she had forgotten.
They had reached the secondary hangar bay where Tarin’s customized ship was. The P-38 was used by the Separatist forces during the Clone war. They were now fairly easy to buy through military surplus dealers and easily upgraded to keep them still a viable fighter.
Feloids had claimed most of the area for refitting ships still coming back from the war. They made their way across the floor with Tarin taking the lead. Bronski watched as the Feloid soldiers and pilots stopped and stared at this human goddess as she strode across the hangar as if she owned it. The noise in the hangar quieted down as the Feloids stopped and stared. Soon the only sound was Tarin’s stiletto heels striking the plasticrete surface as she walked by. Bronski smiled to himself knowing full well that even though she pretended not to notice she had created the walk and the look over a long time to get just that reaction. His thoughts were confirmed when she glanced over her shoulder and winked at him as she included him in her little display of sensuality.
“You’re a real bitch Tarin.” Bronski said quietly smiling at these men and their frustration.
“You better believe it.” she replied.
They made it to her ship. It was as beautiful as it’s owner. The hull was painted glossy ink black. There was also bluish white pin stripping that brought out the lines of the sleek craft. The cockpit had been extended slightly so a second person could ride behind the pilot.
“Open.”she said as they approached. The mirrored cockpit glass slid forward and down giving them access to the interior.
“Get in.” she said. Buck climbed up and into the back seat. He looked over his shoulder to see a living area that had been installed behind him in the fuselage. The space had originally been used for scanning equipment but since then the newer scanning devices were built much smaller and had been moved to the wing areas leaving this area open.
Tarin climbed in and wiggled her body into the custom pilots seat.
“Close.” she said and the cockpit glass slid silently back and locked in place.
“All set old man?” she asked smiling.
“Yep.” Buck replied as he leaned his head back and closed his eyes.
The ship lifted off smoothly and rocketed up into the night sky. Buck was already asleep by the time she engaged the hyper drive. She would let him sleep. He might be needing it. She had to find out what had happened that night that changed her life and dumped her here fighting for the Rebels.
The whole fighting to save others deal was getting old. She tried to do it but Tarin liked the life she had before too much. She missed being her own boss and calling the shots. Besides, she’d done more than most people had done or will do to fight the Empire, nobody could say she didn’t.
Tarin knew once they were there Bronski would catch on pretty quickly to the real reason she asked him to come along. He would know that he had been tricked and would be mad. She also knew he loved a good fight and after getting over being tricked he would have no choice but to stay and help her. As long as he got drunk and banged a couple of hookers before he left he would be fine. He was a man of simple needs.
The rest of the trip was uneventful and relaxing. They were actually getting to know a little more about each other. Bronski caught himself laying in his bunk watching Tarin slumbering. Even he thought that it was creepy. Buck rolled over and went to sleep. They were having a great time together for a change. What the Hell was she trying to pull?
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 02:07)