Pep had been looking everywhere for Matt. Some people had seen him when he got off the ship but no one had seen him since. She went back to Matt and hers quarters and waited. She was worried because he hadn’t answered any of the calls to his communicator either.
The door opened and in walked Matt. He looked terrible. His hair was messed up and his face was drawn from worry.
“Matt ! What’s happened.” Pep had never seen him this way before.
“Sit down Pep, I have to tell you something.” Matt took Pep by the hands and sat her in a chair across from his.
“I’m not the man you think I am. I’m a fraud and a liar. My real name is Zekk. I was a mercenary soldier, an officer for years. I came from a wealthy military family that taught me to be cruel and show no mercy to my enemies. I found I enjoyed the power of subjugating others. I lived to be cruel and to bend others to my will. I’ve done horrible things. I’ve hurt innocent people and enjoyed it. I’ve committed just about every crime there is in my career as a mercenary.
One day I was assigned a new officer in my unit. He was everything I wasn’t. He was good and kind. His men loved him and respected him. He made me sick with jealousy because he was respected. My men only followed my orders out of fear. His soldiers loved him. I found myself consumed with destroying him.” Matt looked into Pep’s face for some kind of emotion, shock, revulsion, disbelief even, he saw only a blank expression.
“At the end of the war, it was actually the last day if I remember, me and this man were on a shuttle making our escape from the advancing clone forces. We fought trying to kill each other even as the shuttle was crashing. Later I awoke in a hospital, they thought that I was the other man because my face was smashed and somehow his jacket wound up in my hand. When they operated they gave me his face. Eventually soldiers began to visit me. They thought I was this man, they told me how glad they were that Zekk was dead. The expressions on their faces looked as if they had been reborn. I was like a great hero that had slain the beast. It was at that time when it hit me, the wrong man died in that crash. Zekk should have died that day not the man they all thought I was. I decided to make things right. I became that man. I became Matt Mazin. I had a chance to start all over and make things right. The most incredible thing is that it worked. They all believed I was him. Some must have suspected but I think they wanted him back so badly that they didn’t look too close at what they saw.
I left and joined the Rebellion with Stella. I was doing what Matt would have done. But now it’s all coming back on me. I met a man that knows my secret. He wants to join up with me and continue to serve me as Zekk. He wants me to become Zekk again. What should I do?” Matt asked.
“You’ll do nothing…I’ll do it. I’m going to kill him.” Pep said coldly.
“What, what do you mean?” Matt was confused. Pep didn’t seem bothered by anything that he had said before. It was as if none of his past crimes meant anything to her.
“ I mean no one will take you from me. Zekk is dead and Matt is alive. Alive and with me. Matt Mazin is the man I see in front of me. I’m not going to let this man end the only happiness I’ve ever known. You’ve protected and loved me all this time so now I’m going to do the same for you Matt. I’ll kill him and that will be the end of it.” Pep said.
“No, this is my problem Pep. I’ll figure a way to get rid of him but for now we’ll just stall him until I come up with a plan.” Matt said.
Matt, in a moment of selfish relief was glad Pep had accepted his past sins as something done by another man, his old self.
“Matt look at me.” Pep placed both hands on his face and stared into his eyes. “I will do this.”
Pep closed her eyes as Matt watched the metal table behind her lifted slowly off the floor and gently crumpled into a small perfectly shaped metal ball and then settled back onto the floor. Matt’s eyes went wide in shock. He didn’t have to ask. He knew somehow Pep crushed that table.
Pep smiled. “Isn’t it wonderful? Do you see the power I have now? I’ve just started and I keep getting more powerful every day.” Pep was different now. Her speech was louder and more confident. Matt realized she was looking him in the eyes and not down at the floor like she usually did.
“What’s going on Pep. What’s happened?” Matt pulled back away from Pep.
“It’s okay baby, it’s still me. I’m still your Pep Matt. Don’t you see? Everything is the same only I have these powers now. We can do whatever we want now. We don’t have to worry about anyone trying to hurt either of us anymore.” Pep was smiling.
“How did this happen?” Matt asked. He was becoming more curious than frightened now.
“ I’ve always had these powers I guess. Remember the dreams I’ve told you about? Remember how I knew Lionette’s father was going to die?” Pep said as she stood.
“Yeah, I remember.”Matt said.
“I think something happened to me when Timtam and I were on that ship. I think being so close to death triggered something that gave me these powers so I could survive.” Pep was walking around the room deep in thought.
“Did you tell anyone? Who else knows about this?” Matt asked.
“What? Oh, Timtam and Adda know but as far as I know that’s it.” Pep replied.
“What did Adda say?”
“ Oh she was worried about what others would think. She wanted to lock me up in her room but I set her straight. I’m not letting anyone lock me up ever again.” she said grinning.
“What do you mean “You set her straight?” he asked.
Pep put her hands on her hips. “I didn’t hurt her if that’s what you mean.” Pep said annoyed.
Matt hesitated. “Would you have?”
Pep looked shocked. “I can’t believe you asked me that. Adda is a friend. I’d never do anything that would hurt her.” Pep sounded hurt.
“Okay, okay, I just wanted to hear you say it. She was right though. This much power can make people nervous.”
“Do I make you nervous?” she had reverted back to the shy Pep that he had last seen before he went to fight in the war.
“I’m not scared of you Pep. I’m scared for you. This kind of power can change people…I know how it can feel. You have to be careful. I don’t want to loose you.” he said as he put his hand out to her. She took his hand and sat on his lap. They kissed and held each other tightly.
“What are you going to do about that man?” Pep asked.
“We’ll figure it out in the morning” Matt said.
Timtam peeked outside the door of the office. It was morning and her and Hudd had spent the night in the room. There was no sign of Tarin out side the door. She must have gotten tired of waiting for them to finish. Timtam knew that Tarin tried to be nice and fit in but it really wasn’t her style, she wasn’t a team player. Hudd pulled her back into the room and gave her a kiss.
“If you keep that up we’ll never get out of this room.” Timtam said smiling.
“I wouldn’t care one bit if I never left this room as long as you were in it with me.” Hudd said.
Timtam pushed him away grinning and taking him by the hand walked out into the next room. The room still had technicians in it working on the equipment. They all turned and stopped. They had no idea that Timtam and Hudd had been in there. Timtam hesitated for a moment and then holding her chin up she lead Hudd out of the room.
One of the Feloid officers stopped her at the door. They all knew Timtam and that she had been honored as a hero for destroying an Imperial Star Destroyer with Pep.
“Who is this human?” the officer challenged.
“This is Hudd, he’s the one who rescued us.” Timtam said nervously. She still had a hard time standing up to Feloid males.
The officer looked at Hudd and then at his men. “I thought he’d be taller.” the officer laughed and was soon joined by his men. Timtam and Hudd realized they weren’t making fun of him but were just joking with them. They all came up and patted Hudd on the shoulder and shook his hand. Feloids, like humans enjoy a happy ending and they felt that despite their cultural beliefs Timtam deserved one.
Lionette sat at her desk waiting for Neeka. She was late. She was ashamed that just over a year ago she would have had Timtam beaten for such an offense.
The door opened and Neeka hurried in. “Forgive my lateness My Lady. There is an important message being sent from the Visiok clan. It’s and official transmission from Prince Azak, he sounds angry.”
Lionette switched on her transmitter. “This is Lionette Ty, is that you Azak? I was told there was some urgency that needed my attention.”
“General Desha has surrendered to me. He says I have his wife as my prisoner. Of course I have no idea what he is talking about, do you?” Azak sounded as though he was getting at something.
“I haven’t any idea either. Have you asked…” Lionette stopped in mid sentence. The Jedi. She gave them complete autonomy to try and stop this war anyway they could.
“Azak, I will endeavor to my fullest to help you find out what is going on and I promise to get back with you before this evening with my findings.” Lionette said as she signed off. She knew that there were assassins working with the Jedi. If they had caused this disgrace to the Visiok clan it would come back to her own house.
“Neeka, tell Adda Beddo to see me in my quarters as soon as possible. Tell her this is a matter of the highest importance.” Lionette’s light hearted tone had disappeared. She was outraged by these events and needed an explanation at once.
“Get up you old fart, we’re here.” Tarin said as she kicked Bronski in his side. He had fallen out of his bunk and was laying sprawled on the floor.
Bronski opened his eyes just as Tarin was finishing fastening up her bodice. He lay on the floor looking up and watched her bend over so she could put her boots on.
“If you keep looking up my ass like that you’d better give me a doctors note.” she laughed.
“I’m awake, I’m awake. I just thought we were about to run into a moon or something.” he said getting up on one elbow.
“Hurry up, we’re here. I want to go and get something to eat, I’m starved.” Tarin said over her shoulder as she climbed into the cockpit so she could open it.
Bronski pulled on his boots and grabbed his vest. He ached all over from sleeping on the floor all night. He followed Tarin out into the cockpit and climbed down onto the landing pad. The view was fantastic. They were high up on the side of a huge apartment complex. There were glass and steel buildings as far as the eye could see. This wasn’t any penny ante back water this was the big time. This was where they made fun. There were lights and signs advertising anything your mind could think of.
“Damn, you sure know where to go to have fun Tarin.” Bronski said.
Tarin wanted to climb back in her ship and take him somewhere else. She had tricked him into thinking they were going to have a good time but she had a feeling it wouldn’t be fun at all.
“Yeah, fun, fun, fun.” she smiled.
Bronski trailed behind Tarin as they went into the building and down the elevator to the street level. Several people of different races and social classes had gotten on and off the elevator as they went down. They all seemed to be having a good time. Bronski looked over at Tarin and smiled his gap toothed smile. “ I think I’m going to like this place.”
Tarin smiled back and nodded.
They reached the street level and hailed a cab. Tarin gave the driver the address she wanted to go to. The driver looked at her and asked if she was sure.
“Just drive.” Tarin snapped.
The cab made it’s way into the older part of town. Bronski just kept smiling and looking out the cab’s window. Eventually the cab stopped at an old hotel. Tarin and Bronski got out and watched as the cab sped away.
“What’s this place? Looks like a dump to me.” Bronski said looking up at the dark building.
Tarin glanced down the alley as they went to the front of the building. She could see the torn curtain blowing in the window she had been thrown out of.
They made their way up the stairs to the fourth floor. The building had been abandoned for a while and was in poor condition. Bronski noticed that Tarin was walking as lightly as she could across the floor boards. It suddenly hit him. She wasn’t trying to find the safest path across the weakened floor she was trying to be quiet.
Bronski grabbed her arm in a vice like grip, he wasn’t smiling anymore.
“What did you bring me here for?” he whispered angrily.
Tarin tried to pull loose with no effect. “I’m looking for something.” she whispered back angrily.
Bronski released her. “I’ll be down stairs.”
Tarin grabbed his vest to stop him. Bronski knocked her hand away with his.
“ I’m sorry Buck, I need you. I need your help with this.” Tarin pleaded.
Buck remembered the group of Gotals that they had a shoot up with. They were after her. She never told him.
Buck shoved her hard down on the floor. She had used him. He was just a big dumb head knocker to her. Tarin’s pet goon.
“You’re on your own Tarin, I’m done.” he turned and went back down stairs.
“Buck, I’m sorry.” she yelled down the stairwell. He kept walking right through the door.
Bronski kicked a trash can out into the deserted street as hard as he could. It clanged and banged all the way across the way until it hit something big in the shadows. Bronski squinted into the shadows trying to make out what the can had hit.
“RUN !” he turned and saw Tarin looking down at him from one of the windows.
He turned back to look at the thing in the shadows. He heard it creak and groan as it began to move towards him.
“RUN BUCK !!!” Tarin was screaming at the top of her lungs.
Kllair stepped into her ship. She took one last look out of the hatch to see if she had been followed. Once she was convinced she had been undetected she shut the hatch.
“Well?” she asked.
The twins had been monitoring the transmissions coming and going into the Palace. Kllair’s ship had all the finest information gathering gear money could buy.
“The General has given himself up to the Azak clan. He thinks Lionette was behind the kidnappings or at least he thinks she knew about it.” Nya said.
“It’s just a matter of time before Lionette asks Adda and she rats us out.” Vyra added.
Kllair sat down. “We need to control this situation and fast. They’re taking this a lot harder than I had anticipated. I didn’t count on the General surrendering, he’s messing everything up.”
“Do you want us to kill him?” the twins said in unison.
Kllair leaned forward. “ No killing.” she shook her finger at them.
“This is much more complicated than that. The Feloids have a strict warrior code and although they use assassinations as a form of warfare they draw the line at torturing women and children.” Kllair said.
“No, they just sell them and rape them.” Nya said referring to the slave culture of the Feloids.
“They only sell and rape their slaves not the families of free people, not even their enemies. I said they had a code of honor. I didn’t say it made sense.” Kllair responded.
“So what do we do now?” Vyra asked.
“We lie. I’m going to lie like you’ve never seen me lie before.” Kllair said sitting back in the chair.
“We’ve been summoned.” Adda said. Kang, Lore and Mykala had come back after Adda called them.
“Does she know?” Kang asked bluntly.
“It’s an official summons, I think she suspects us.” Adda said.
“How could she have found out?” Mykala asked.
“It doesn’t matter now, as soon as we get there I’m going to tell her everything. I’ll explain you all had nothing to do with it. I’m going to take the blame for this because I am to blame. It was my decision alone to do it.” Adda said standing up.
“An act worthy of your order. Now you see why we picked you to lead us. You didn’t try to make an excuse or even blame Kllair.” Kang stepped forward and placed his massive hand on her shoulder.
“What do you think they’ll do to you?” Mykala asked.
“Whatever the penalty is I will face it alone. If something happens to me I want you to continue on here if they allow it. What ever my punishment is just remember that I brought it upon myself. Be thankful to Lionette. I’m the one who did wrong not her.” Adda said looking at each of them.
Timtam and Hudd had gone back to her quarters. The area was small, just a living area next to a bedroom with an adjoining bathroom. Up until now it was enough room for her but if Hudd was to stay they would soon need a larger area. Even the bed was meant for only one person.
“Well this is it, this is where I live.” Timtam said. She was very proud of her tiny room. She kept it spotlessly clean. This was her space that she earned as a free person that worked and was making her way in the world.
“It’s nice, it makes me think of you. Small and cute.” Hudd smiled.
“How long did you plan to stay?” Timtam asked pretending to straighten up some items on the shelf.
“I have no idea. My ships a wreck. I can’t go back to my home ever again and I have no way to get the money in my account back. All I have right now is you.” he said.
Timtam grinned. He was stuck here for a while. She would be able to be with him until he left.
“I can ask my friend Granic if you can work with us here fixing ships. Do you know how to fix ships?” she asked.
“A little, I mostly fly them but I know how to do simple stuff. What kind of a guy is this “Granic” ? Hudd asked.
“Oh he’s very angry most of the time and he hates everybody. He only helps the Rebellion because he hates the Empire more than everyone else. The only people he likes are other Reptus like himself.”
“He sounds like a jerk if you ask me.” Hudd said surprised.
“Oh yes he’s terrible to everyone but he’s still my friend.” Timtam smiled.
“Is there anyone else I could work for?” Hudd asked.
Timtam thought about Ceecee with her killer body and desire to have sex with a man.
“Nope, Granic is the only one that might need help that I know about.” she smiled.
Matt had waited outside the mess hall. He was looking for the soldier that had saved his life. He had to get rid of this man somehow. Matt saw the man come out of the doorway and stop. Matt motioned to him to follow him. He walked down a access tunnel followed by the soldier. They stopped in at the pumping station and both men looked to see if they had been followed.
“It’s good to be working with you again Captain.” the soldier said.
Matt still had no idea who this man was or any memory of any dealings with him.
“I’m glad to see you’re doing well my friend.” was all that Matt could come up with. “I’m going to get right to the point, I have started a new life here and I have no interest in taking up where I left off. I’m afraid you’ve wasted your time coming here. I do thank you for saving me the other day but I don’t need you for anything.” Matt said.
The soldier looked down for a moment. “I understand Zekk. I guess I’ll be on my way then. If you don’t want my services then I think there’s nothing more to say. So if you just tell me where you stashed that money from the bank I’ll be on my way.” the soldier said smiling.
It hit him like a thunderbolt. He and some of his men had cleared out a bank vault in his first action during the Clone war. Shortly after that his unit had been split up by his superiors and scattered amongst other units. The money had been found by the higher ranking officers later and they kept it for themselves. If this man was with one of the units that was reassigned he wouldn’t know about the money being taken.
“The officers took all of it. After they split us up someone ratted us out and they kept it all for themselves. I’m sorry but none of us got any of it.” Matt said.
The soldier pulled a blaster out and shot Matt in the leg. He yelled in pain and fell to the floor grabbing his leg.
“ Do you think I’m playing a game here? I want my cut of the money you piece of shit.” the soldier shot Matt in the other leg. Matt was holding both legs now wincing in agony.
“Hold it right there.” it was Ragg. He had seen both men go down the tunnel and had become curious.
The soldier spun and fired wildly at Ragg just missing him. Ragg shot back and hit the man in the upper chest knocking him onto the floor.
Ragg ran over and took the gun from the soldier.
“He’s Zekk, he’s the one who killed all those people. He was the Separatist enforcer. He’s a war criminal. He killed Matt Mazin and took his identity.” the man screamed as he pointed at Matt.
Ragg held the gun on the soldier and looked at Matt. Even through his painful expression he could tell by the look in Matt’s eyes that it was all true.
“That’s it. You know I’m telling the truth now. Kill him, there’s a reward, a big one.” the soldier said as he gasped his last breath.
“You’re Zekk?” Ragg asked looking disgusted.
“Put the gun down Ragg.” Pep said. She had followed Matt into the tunnel as well.
“Pep, he’s a war criminal. He has to be arrested and charged with his crimes.” Ragg said sympathetically.
“I said let him go.” Pep’s eyes were glowing in the faint light of the pump room tunnel. Ragg
looked closer at her something was different. Pep seemed to be possessed. Her voice was low and threatening.
“I won’t hurt him Pep but I have to take him and lock him up.” Ragg said as he holstered his gun.
“I’ll kill you if you touch him.” Pep said from the shadows.
“Pep don’t, don’t hurt him.” Matt said frightened.
“He knows about you. He must be stopped.” Pep said in a low snarling voice.
Ragg backed away putting his hand on his pistol.
“Pep no !” Matt yelled.
Ragg screamed in pain as he felt his hand suddenly catch fire. He waved it wildly in the air trying to put out the flames.
“Please Pep stop!” Matt sounded genuinely scared.
Pep swung her gaze towards Matt and stopped. She saw the fear in his eyes.
She looked quickly over to Ragg and the flames disappeared in an instant. Ragg fell to his knees cradling his hand in agony. He looked up at Pep with horror in his eyes. Just for a second she found herself enjoying the look on his face.
“Aw Pep, what have you done, what have you done?” Matt cried looking at Ragg..
Pep turned and ran back down the tunnel and found two soldiers. She told them to go help Matt and Ragg. She told them they had been hurt and needed immediate medical attention.
Pep watched as the soldiers ran into the tunnel. Her heart was pounding. She had never felt so much power before. She remembered the fear on Ragg’s face and even Matt’s. She loved it. She had become invincible. They wouldn’t understand why she did it. They couldn’t know how it felt to have such power. Her mind was racing a mile a minute. She had to leave. She had to go some place and think things through. Then it dawned on her, she knew where to go now.
Pep ran as fast as she could back past the mess hall and into the hangar area. She made her way past the ground crews and pilots ignoring their greetings. Pep went to her locker at her work station and rummaged around inside until she found what she was looking for, it was the dagger Matt had given her just after they met. Pep looked around nervously and grabbed some other items and stuffed them into a back pack and went over to the Y-wing she had been working on a few days ago. After climbing inside she fired up the engines and calmly flew through the massive hangar doors. Pep knew where she would go now. She had thought about doing this for years and now was a good time to do it. She had the power to do it. Finally after years of pain and humiliation she would be able to even the score.
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 02:08)