Pep walked up the ramp of the Human ship. There were four shady looking humans standing around a large crate. She stopped about twenty feet from them and calmly looked around to see if anyone else was in the cargo hold.
“Who sent you girl? Was it Tresda?” asked one of the men angrily.
They were human but acted as if they were familiar with Feloid culture. The man assumed a male had sent her with a message. It would be hard to grasp the concept that she might be here on her own accord.
“How many on board?” she asked.
The men looked at each other. Why was a simple slave questioning them?
“Who are you girl? Who sent you?” a second man asked repeating the first ones question.
“How many humans are on this ship?” Pep asked again.
“Six.” One of the men answered and was immediately punched in the arm by the first man that spoke. He appeared to be their leader.
“I want all of you to come with me. I won’t hurt you if you just do as I say.” Pep said smiling. She didn’t want to hurt these men. They never did her any harm but she needed their ship and nothing was going to stop her now.
“Look girl we need to know who sent you and why before we go anywhere.” The leader said sternly.
Pep stared at the leader and he began to have trouble breathing. In seconds he was on his knees fighting for air.
“I don’t have time for this. I want all of you off this ship before I have to use force.” Pep said.
A single shot hit Pep in the arm spinning her around causing her to fall on her back. It happened so quickly that she didn’t have time to react. She lay stunned on the ramp as the men rushed her and grabbed her arms and legs.
“We got us a Jedi!” a man yelled from behind. He had a rifle in his hands. He must have been on the catwalk above her in the dark.
“We’re going to be rich boys, Jedi’s are worth a fortune. I heard tales of how the Feloids are hiding them…” he stopped in mid-sentence and looked at Pep. She was looking back at him, her eyes glowing.
The man with the rifle fell backwards hitting the floor like a bag of wet sand. He was dead before he hit the floor.
The others released Pep and backed off of the ramp staring in disbelief.
“She’ not a Jedi, she’s a Sith!” said the leader. “Jedi don’t kill people like that.”
Pep was surprised to hear him say that. She knew she wasn’t a Jedi but she never thought of her powers as being evil.
“Look just take what you want but don’t kill us.” The leader begged. They were all terrified of her. It felt good. To see these men suddenly begging for their miserable lives when just seconds before they were grabbing her and making plans to sell her. How dare they put their hands on her. Before she even realized it she made a twisting gesture with her fist and they all fell to the ground screaming and coughing up blood. She had crushed their ribcages and left them to choke on their own blood. She seemed for a moment to be watching the scene from afar, like it wasn’t her that did it.
Nynee was suddenly standing next to her. Pep looked at her arm and saw it was covered in blood. She had been standing there unaware that five minutes had passed.
“Mistress, mistress shall I bring the girls now?” Nynee asked. Pep looked outside of the ship and saw it was raining very hard now and the girls were getting soaked.
“Yes Nynee, tell them to come aboard now.” Pep sat down on the ramp and looked at her arm again. She realized she was bleeding to death. She needed help with her wound. Nynee came back leading the girls up the ramp.
“Nynee I need your help…I’m bleeding.” Pep said unsure how much longer she would remain awake.
Nynee noticed the wound for the first time and leapt into action. She quickly grabbed a piece of cord used for securing loads and made a tourniquet for Pep’s arm. The girls had remembered Pep’s orders and were all sitting on the floor of the cargo bay like they had been told to do.
“You have to help me to the cockpit Nynee. We’ll be safe once we’re off the ground.” Pep said. She realized Nynee had no idea what a cockpit was so she asked her to help her get up and walk to another room. As they walked Pep began to feel the pain of the wound increasing as the shock was wearing off.
“I need to get to that white box on the wall.” Pep nodded towards the first aid container. Nynee helped her to the box and opened it for her. The pain was quickly getting worse. Pep was groaning and clenching her teeth. Nynee handed Pep the syringe of painkiller. She jammed it in her leg and squeezed the plunger empting its contents into her blood stream. The effects were almost immediate. The pain quickly subsided giving Pep a feeling of euphoria. She tussled Nynee’s hair and grinned at her. “You’re a good girl Neenee.” Pep’s speech was becoming slurred and she knew she needed to get the ship in the air and on course before she passed out. Pep stumbled into the pilot’s seat giggling. She knew enough to have the ship reverse the in flight co-ordinates and use them as the new flight path. It didn’t matter right now where they were headed as long as they were off the planet and out in space. She was going to pass out at any second and was short on options. Pep hit the ignition button and the ships engines roared to life lifting the freighter into space and taking them all to a new life.
Bronski fired again at the droid hitting it in the left leg. The droid screamed and spun falling down as its leg was knocked out from under him. Tarin was still fighting Remha and Za’sha as she tried to go back to help Bronski.
“He said for you to leave. Stop fighting us.” Za’sha said.
“Every second you fight he has to stay and keep fighting that thing, he knows what he’s doing.” Remha yelled.
Bronski laughed as the droid went down a third time. He looked back and saw Tarin was still trying to get to him.
“Get your stupid ass out of here. I got this taken care of.” Bronski yelled. He limped over to the wrecked jet bike and grabbed the engine housing. It was still running. He made his way closer to the droid as it slowly began to get up. The titanic droid was back up on one knee and locked its red glowing eye on Bronski.
“You cannot kill me human. I am a thousand years old and cannot die. I will have my pretty and wear her skin as my trophy.” It said in its metallic voice.
“If there’s one thing I can’t stand is an uppity fuckin’ droid.” Bronski said. He threw the control cables around the droid’s head and neck.
“So long shithead.” He said as he pushed the throttle forward and dropped the engine housing on the ground. The engine sparked and sputtered then roared off across the landing field dragging the droid screaming behind it.
Remha burst out laughing as she released Tarin’s arm.
“That was fantastic!” Za’sha yelled.
Tarin ran over to Bronski and stopped in front of him. They looked at each other for a second.
“Aw fuck it.” He said. He grabbed Tarin by her head and kissed her square on the lips. “Damn it, I think I’m in love with a horrible lying self centered bitch.”
Tarin threw her arms around his neck and kissed him back. “Don’t feel bad, you should see the jerk I fell in love with.” She smiled.
Hudd shook Mykala awake. She had fallen asleep in the co-pilots seat. They were entering the atmosphere of the planet where they were to pick up the parts they had bought. It was a cold and wintry place covered by snow and ice. The pirate strong hold was built deep into the side of a mountain. The stronghold had once been a temple of some long forgotten god worshipped eons ago. They circled the mountain as they got permission to land. They saw a long twisting road that made its way from the entrance of the base to the bottom of the mountain and to a small settlement at the edge of a deep wide river. There were no trees anywhere and all they could see was snow, ice, and rock.
The deity must have been an important one because the opening to the stronghold was immense. Hudd didn’t have any trouble flying the freighter into the opening and deep into the mountain. It was easy to tell that this was a Feloid base because of the size of the ships that were sitting on the landing area. They were all small with only one being as large as the YT-1300 they were flying. He was able to find a good spot in the back where he could put the back of the ship facing the rear wall. Hudd and Mykala shut down the ship and put on their heavy coats and gear. There wasn’t any heat in the landing area and it was going to be very cold outside. Mykala lowered the access ramp and was hit by a blast of frigid air. She looked at Hudd to see he was just as surprised at the extreme temperature outside. It had to be well below zero degrees out there. They walked down the ramp and onto the landing area. There were what they guessed to be Feloids dotted about the enclosure working on ships and performing other duties. They were all bundled head to toe in heavy garments and hats to keep themselves warm. The droids that they saw all had external heating packs to keep them from freezing up.
“Who do we talk to about the parts?” Mykala asked Hudd. She has already shivering and rubbing her hands together from the cold.
“We need to find a guy named Tohklos. He’s the one who made the deal. He lives in the lower levels according to Granic.” Hudd said.
“Well let’s hope the lower levels are heated.” Mykala said grabbing Hudd by the arm and directing him towards the doors at the far wall.
Mykala lead Hudd to a door with Feloid writing on it. She had been around Feloids long enough to pick up on some of their language and writing.
“This says it leads to the lower levels.” Mykala said, as she wasted no time in pulling the huge door open. Hudd helped her open and close the heavy door in hopes it would lead them to a warmer area. The door creaked and groaned as they pushed it shut. It did seem slightly warmer but it was still below freezing in this area also.
“Look, stairs.” Hudd said. Mykala nodded and they both made their way down to the lower level.
Liena was dragged off by Krrulthor. He and his men had finished their dealings with the Sith Wytches. They had bartered the food they had brought for medicine and herbs as well as enchantments to help the massive warriors in battle. It was normal for Sith Wytches to find a band of warriors and coerce them into being they’re bodyguards.
Adda and Zellina were still tied to the ropes hung over the upper post. It had been about two hours since the beast men came into the camp.
It was obvious that Zellina was in shock after watching Krrulthor brutally ravage her friend in front of her. It was a miracle that she had survived or maybe a curse. Poor Liena was most likely fated to receive the same abuse again at his hands and there was no way for Zellina to save her.
“There was nothing you could have done. They would have killed you if you had gotten loose and interfered.” Adda said to Zellina.
“It would have been better to die than to live knowing I did nothing.” Zellina said.
“We must survive this Zellina by any means.” Adda said.
“You are a coward! Would you let them do that to me if it meant you would live?” Zellina shot back angrily.
“I wouldn’t…I would…” Adda heard her own words come out of her mouth. They sounded as unsure as she felt. She wanted to live. She wasn’t ready to sacrifice herself for anybody again. She thought she would survive this exile with dignity but she had found herself horribly lacking.
“Relax Jedi, I will try to save us if I can, even if it costs me my life.” Zellina said looking away.
“Hey you!” Zellina yelled to the Wytch leader.
The Wytch turned and looked at Zellina angrily.
“When it’s my time to be sold at least give me something to defend myself with. I’m a warrior, a Feloid Captain. I deserve better than the fate of that poor girl.” Zellina said.
“Release her.” The Wytch said calmly.
One of the other women drew her knife and slashed the rope suspending Zellina from the post above her. Zellina fell forward and fell on the ground. She struggled to her feet and stood defiantly staring at the Wytches.
“Give her a blade.” The Wytch said. A second woman slapped a blade into Zellina’s hand and stepped away. Zellina shrugged her shoulders up and down and back and forth trying to get the blood circulating again.
“When your chance to run comes, take it. I don’t want to die for nothing.” Zellina whispered too Adda.
“Thank you Wytch, thank you for a warriors death.” Zellina said. She dropped to all fours and sprung across the camp. The Wytches that had been standing next to the upright posts gave chase immediately leaving Adda alone suspended there.
Zellina leapt in and out of their ranks faster then they could react. They had never fought a Feloid and were momentarily stunned by her speed and agility.
Adda was the first to pick up on what she was doing. She had lured the Wytches away from Adda. Zellina had scored several strikes on a few of the women driving them all into frenzy. They soon had her surrounded and began to get in closer to her.
Adda saw Zellina smile at her from across the compound and raise her knife into the air. The Wytches stopped and awaited her next action, an action that took them by complete surprise. With uncanny skill she threw the knife across the compound striking the rope that held Adda suspended. Zellina then jumped on the closest Wytch and sunk her teeth into her neck. Adda fell to her knees in disbelief.
“Run you coward!” Zellina screamed as she pulled away from the Wytches neck.
Without a second thought about it Adda took off running as fast as she could away from the camp. She fell and struggled back to her feet as she tried desperately to free her hands still tied behind her. Suddenly a hand grabbed Adda by the neck. This woman had come out of nowhere. Her grip was like that of a machine, tight and unyielding, it was Novuh.
“If you leave now you’ll miss the show.” She said as she pulled Adda’s face close to hers. The twins cart wheeled and flipped past them headed back into the camp. Novuh dropped Adda back on the ground and grinned as she ran after the twins. Adda lay on the ground in amazement. Was this really happening?
Adda heard screaming coming from the camp. She wanted to get up and keep running until she died. She was free but she had to see what was happening in the camp. She made her way back up to her feet and looked down into the camp. It was a blood bath.
Vyra was going from one Wytch to the next, flipping and twisting like a snake striking with her blades each time. Nya was running into the fray keeping as close to Vyra as possible firing her guns at any Wytch that was too far for Nya to slash with her blades. Novuh had leapt across the compound and had entered the melee using her superior martial arts skills combined with the strength of her mechanical appendages to bring down her opponents. Adda saw the lead Wytch mount and altar in front of the main building and begin to summon her power to strike Kllair’s crew down. She had her hands raised and a crackle of purple force lightening jumped between her hands. Just then she was struck by a blast from a rifle, it was Kllair’s. She had been watching over her girls like a mother. She would continue to fire round after round into the battle until she had killed at least twelve of the Wytches herself. Soon the fighting was over with the surviving Wytches running away into the hills. Adda stumbled back down into the camp stepping over the dead bodies. The twins were too busy going through the belongings of their victims to pay any attention to Adda. Novuh had gone inside the large building and had begun to make a stack of all the Wytches books and ledgers, all were worth quiet a bit of money to the right buyer.
Adda knelt on the ground next to Zellina. She had several stab wounds that all were mortal. Zellina looked up at Adda and smiled. “If I knew you had friends coming I would have waited a little longer.” Said Zellina.
“I didn’t know…” Adda began but it was already to late, Zellina was dead.
“You used her didn’t you?” Matt asked.
“What are you talking about? Ceecee? Hey, that’s not your business pal. And besides, aren’t you the last one to be preaching too me about using women?” Ragg said.
“This is different. She’s on our team, she’s one of us.” Matt replied.
“She’s been asking for it for months Matt. What was I supposed to do? She has a killer body and she just kept sticking in my face.” Ragg said trying to lighten the mood. He was a little angry that Matt of all people was judging his actions.
“Just remember this Matt, whatever went on is between Ceecee and me. It’s private, and leave it at that.” Ragg said.
Matt regained his composure. “ No, you’re right. It isn’t any of my business. Besides when Ceecee figures out that it was all just for fun you’ll have to deal with it, not me.” Matt said.
The two men sat in silence for the next few minutes. Both were justifying their views to themselves.
“Hey, what’s going on?” Ceecee came in to the cockpit. “Whew! That was great Ragg. You made my eyes role back more than once I’ll say that.”
Ragg and Matt looked at each other awkwardly.
“Man I guess I asked the right guy to show me the ropes back there. He was a real wild man Matt. As a man yourself I think you’d have been proud of him.” Ceecee plopped herself down in Ragg’s lap.
“When I get back to the base I’m going to grab that blonde haired guy, you know the one that guards the supply room? Man I’m going to do him up good.” She grinned. She realized something was wrong. Matt and Ragg were strangely quiet.
“What? What’s wrong?” she asked.
“It’s just that people don’t usually discuss this stuff out loud, it’s kind of personal.” Matt said. He knew Ceecee had a very strict upbringing and was never aloud to even talk to boys. She was now twenty-three and had never even kissed one until about an hour ago. She didn’t realize people didn’t talk about this stuff this way.
“Pfft, that’s stupid, you heard us on the intercom and he was there.” She laughed pointing at Ragg.
“Oh now wait a minute, you don’t think this means we’re dating or going steady or something does it? Now Ragg you know I like you but I got a lot of catching up to do. I want to go and have some fun before I’m old and nobody wants my wrinkled ass.” Ceecee said almost apologetically.
“No, no of course not Ceecee. We’re friends, buddies, that’s all.” Ragg said awkwardly.
“Please don’t be jealous of the others. You were great and I’ll most likely come knocking at your door some night but I need more than just one guy to do my catching up with if you know what I mean.” She said pushing his face into a smile.
“No, we’re good. It was all in good fun.” Ragg said feeling a little used. He was a heart breaker. He jumped from girl to girl his whole life. It was easy. He was tall and good-looking. Women were always throwing themselves at him. He knew there were guys that deserved those women’s attention more than he did, good decent men that would devote their lives to them but they would never give those guys a chance when he was around. He felt it was his duty to use these women to teach them a lesson. This was a very different situation here with Ceecee.
He wasn’t sure but he might have just been dumped.
Lionette stood at the Royal landing platform. She couldn’t help but realize how many events in her life had begun with her standing on this very spot. The night was pitch black with only the occasional flash of lightening giving off any illumination at all. The following thunderclap reminded her of a funeral drum being stuck in the distance.
Ever since her father pledged their loyalty to the surviving Jedi her life had been full of loss and regret. Her father, her sister, Araya, and Timtam had all been casualties of this pledge not to mention all the brave soldiers and crews that had been lost as well. She pulled her cloak tighter against the dampness and sighed.
Neeka put her arm around Lionette’s shoulder and smiled.
“It will be alright. It will take time but things will work out My Lady.” Neeka said quietly.
She was beginning to understand the loss and sacrifices Lionette had endured. Neeka had been born a slave and had suffered but she saw that Lionette had suffered as well even in her high position. Lionette was forced to live with the guilt of making decisions that cost good people their lives.
They saw lights from the Prince’s ship shining through the darkness. It was Prince Azak’s yacht coming in for a landing. It was his first visit since the beginning of the war against the Empire. Even with Adda Beddo’s agreement to her exile there was still a gap in their relationship. They were prisoners of their station and their culture. Adda had been more than just a Rebel leader to Lionette. She was a confidant and a close friend. Adda had been found guilty of war crimes and had taken the punishment as laid out without complaint but it was Prince Azak that was responsible for carrying out the sentence. Lionette feared she would never be able to look him in the eye again without thinking of her friend Adda Beddo. Azak had been powerless to do anything else but his duty. Lionette knew she would have done the same thing exactly the same way if their roles had been reversed but it did make things different. How did one treat the executioner of a friend even if the friend was guilty?
The yacht eased its way onto the landing platform and touched down silently. There was to be no welcoming ceremony for the Prince’s return to the palace. Another flash of lightening and a clap of the funeral drum preceded the Prince appearing at the top of the stairs. Lionette took a breath and stood erect. Neeka stepped away from Lionette so as not to have appeared concerned with her mental state. Azak walked down the stairs and directly over to Lionette.
“I have come to beg your forgiveness for my part in the exile of your friend Adda Beddo.” Azak said simply bowing his head.
“It has been a great tragedy for all involved Prince Azak.” Lionette replied.
“If my presence here is distasteful to you in any way you have but to ask and I will take my leave.” Azak continued with head bowed.
Lionette thought of Neeka’s words. “It will take time for things to be as they were between us Azak but I am willing to try. I know you have only done your duty but it is difficult you understand.” Lionette said.
“I thank you for the opportunity, you are very special to me My Lady and the loss of your friendship would be unbearable.” Azak said looking into Lionette’s eyes. Lionette saw a true relief in Azak’s eyes that he was being given this chance.
They smiled awkwardly at each other momentarily.
“Please let us come in out of this foul weather and into a much warmer place.” Lionette said as she took Azak by the hand and lead him into the palace.
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 02:11)