With friends like these
Pep opened her eyes slowly. She saw Nynee looking down at her and smiling.
“How long was I asleep?” she asked. Pep then realized that Nynee most likely couldn’t tell time or even read the numbers on a clock.
“You’ve been out for over ten hours.” The voice was female and it wasn’t Nynee’s. Pep looked around the room and saw a Feloid woman standing in the corner. She was definitely a Freeborn and by the look of her dress a very wealthy one at that.
Pep tried to sit up but was still too weak. “Who are you?” Pep asked suspiciously.
“I am the Lady Trahain, one time wife of Fryhold Trahain. Those men you killed were kidnapping me. Anyway that’s what I thought was happening. After you passed out and the ship was in space your girl heard me banging on the door to the room they had me locked up in. The girl let me out and brought me to help you. It just so happens I know some basic first aid and with the help of your girl and the ships droid I was able to stop your bleeding and dress your wound.” she said as she walked over to Pep and checked the dressing on Pep’s arm.
“After that was done I checked for any remaining crew. It seems you’ve done away with all of them according to Nynee.” The woman was polite but when she spoke about Nynee there was the tone of indifference and superiority in her voice, she was a true Freeborn to be sure.
“I later found a communication from my husband to those men you did away with. Apparently the kidnapping was my husbands idea with the intention to have me done away with as well.” She said coldly.
“I always knew he regretted marrying me. He only did it in hopes of getting hold of my fathers money when he died.” She said.
Pep motioned the woman to come closer. Lady Trahain leaned close to Pep and listened.
“Thank you for dressing my wounds Lady Trahain but I really could care less about your marital problems at the moment. You see…I’ve been shot and just stole forty-nine cat girls in addition to killing and maiming several vicious men. I’ve also stolen a space ship and we are headed somewhere into space and I’m even sure where that place is. Right now I really need to focus on setting a trajectory back to our destination.” Pep looked into the Lady Trahain’s eyes with contempt. “You are now just one more problem I have to deal with at the moment. I know you are used to being treated differently than you have been but if you do anything to mess up my plans make no mistake I will make you wish you were still under the control of the men I killed.” Pep’s eyes were glowing again and she had grabbed the woman by the throat with her good arm and was dragging her down closer to her.
Pep released the woman and shoved her back across the room.
Lady Trahain sat on the floor stunned looking at Pep.
Pep sat up in the bed easily this time and swung around putting her feet on the floor. Pep glared at the freeborn woman sitting humiliated on the floor. Nynee dropped to her knees and put her head on the floor in a display of complete submission.
“You will not interfere with my plans, you will not speak down to my sisters again. They are all free people now, I have freed them and you will treat them as equals or the rest of your time with us will be spent on the outside of the ship.” Pep snarled as she got down off the bed and crouched in front of Lady Trahain.
“Yes, what ever you say… I understand.” The woman was wide eyed in terror. All of her previous problems seemed unimportant at this moment.
Pep walked back to the bed and leaned unsteadily against it. Nynee jumped to her feet and helped Pep to stand.
“Nynee, I need to go to the room with all the controls in it.” Pep said with her eyes closed. She had used a great deal of energy with that last display of power.
“Yes Pep, lean on me.” Nynee said.
“You called me Pep.” Pep said smiling. Nynee looked embarrassed and smiled.
Pep looked back at the woman cringing on the floor. She was shaking and staring at Pep.
“Darfoota. Darfoota.” She repeated. It was the Feloid word for a person controlled by evil spirits. There were stories told to frighten children that spoke of evil spirits inhabiting and controlling wicked people and forcing them to kill the innocent.
“You don’t know what you’re talking about.” Pep shot back angrily causing the woman to cover herself as if she were about to be struck.
“Are you afraid of me?” Pep asked Nynee.
Nynee shook her head no and looked down. Pep knew the poor girl was conditioned to give whatever response would please those in power over her; she wasn’t aloud to think for herself.
Pep knew she hadn’t done anything wrong. The people she killed deserved it. They were slavers and criminals. She gave them a chance but they forced her to use violence. It was all because of what they did that forced her to do those things. It was all their kind understood.
Pep and Nynee made their way to the cockpit of the ship. Pep knew how to enter simple flight plans into the ships computer. She had been smart enough to bring a record of her flight to the planet taken from the Y-wing she came in. She downloaded the flight plan into the ships computer and with the help of the ships astrodroid she was able to set a course back to the base. She would make one stop on the way back to the base. A place they could live as equals. It was the key to her plan on making a new life for her sisters.
Matt lay awake in his bed. He was worried about Pep and these strange new powers she had. She was becoming a very different person. She wasn’t the shy quiet girl he had fallen in love with. She was becoming dangerous. Like anybody else that suddenly wound up with god like powers she was loosing control and the powers were beginning to control her. He knew she was still in there and that gave him hope. Maybe the powers would just stop one day as quickly as they appeared and he would have her back again.
He had to have faith in her and believe she knew what she was doing whatever it was. He had decided that when he caught up with her he would help her to do whatever it was she was doing. Matt’s worst fear was that the powers would continue getting stronger and Pep would become to much of a danger to others to be left alive.
He tried to push those thoughts out of his mind. Pep was full of anger and pain and it had manifested itself through these powers. His greatest fear was she could become like he was. To watch his lovely Pep become the same beast he had been would be too much for him to bear.
“Hey Matt we’re about to begin orbiting the planet. You want to come up and give me a hand locating her Y-wing?” Ragg asked through the inter-comm.
Bronski looked Tarin in the eyes and smiled. She looked back at him smiling back. Before she could react he grabbed her by the hair and pulled her head down. He quickly swung his leg over her back and forced her to the ground. Remha and Za’sha jumped and grabbed his arm just as he pulled his combat knife out and tried to stick it in the back of Tarin’s neck.
“What are you doing!” Za’sha screamed.
Tarin struggled to free her but Bronski’s hold was so complete she could even free one hand.
“Tracking chip! I need to get it out so we can go!” they had all forgotten about it.
“Owww! What the fuck are you using you moron, a spoon?” Tarin cursed through clenched teeth.
Bronski smacked Tarin on her bottom with the flat part of his knife like a paddle. “Stop squirming and shut your bitchin’ hole, I almost got it.” And with a flick of his wrist the chip popped out and into the air. Buck grabbed Tarin by the arm and jerked her to her feet. “Okay now we can go.”
Remha took point as they all began to run across the rest of the landing field. Tarin helped Bronski and Za’sha brought up the rear. The battle had drawn the attention of the local law enforcement but like on most of these secondary worlds they chose to show up only after it was safe. They were usually out classed and out gunned by most off worlders they ran into. They had decided to park their vehicles and just wait it out. It wasn’t cowardly it was just smart.
“Where are we headed?” Bronski yelled to Remha.
“We stole a speeder to drag your big ass back to Za’sha’s ship after you got hurt. With a little luck it will still be where we ditched it behind those small buildings.”
“Where’s the droid, can you see him?” Tarin called back to Za’sha.
“Not sure, the smoke trail from the engine went down between the buildings across the street.” Za’sha replied.
“Don’t worry about it just keep moving.” Bronski yelled.
The four of them ran as fast as they could until they reached the small buildings. Za’sha had kept and eye on the rear making sure the droid wasn’t following them. Bronski, Tarin, and Za’sha stopped and stood guard facing the rear as Remha darted between the buildings until she reached the speeder. She jumped into the drivers seat but before she could start the engine the speeders windshield exploded as the two jet bikes that they thought had run away opened fire on the speeder and Remha. She had been hit in the face by shrapnel causing blood to run down into her eyes. Bronski heard the laser cannons open fire and he knew what had happened. He pushed Tarin into Za’sha knocking them both to the ground. He walked around the corner and picked up a brick lying on the ground and turned the next corner. Remha was pinned down in the front seat occasionally firing blindly at the attackers.
Bronski threw the brick as hard as he could and hit one of the riders in the head with a sickening crack from nearly seventy-five feet away. The rider fell backwards off the bike howling and holding his smashed face. The second rider stopped firing and watched Bronski keep walking towards the speeder staring right at him as if to say, “I dare you.”
The remaining rider jumped down from his bike and helped the first one get on the back.
He turned and looked at Bronski.
“We’re done.” He yelled angrily and climbed back on his jet bike with the first rider and sped off.
Bronski jumped in the speeders front seat and picked Remha up and dropped her in the backseat. She just lay there holding her face and trying to clear her eyes of the blood moaning.
“You’re welcome.” Bronski said over his shoulder to Remha.
He dropped down in the drivers seat and backed up around the corner to where Tarin and Za’sha were waiting.
“Get in.” Bronski said holding his chest. Tarin and Za’sha hopped in the backseat with Remha just in time before Bronski hit the accelerator and sped off.
“Come on, it’s time to go.” Kllair said as she walked towards Adda.
She was still kneeling next to Zellina’s body.
“We have to bury her, I won’t leave her like this.” Adda said.
“When are you going to learn that you need to stop making decisions? You’re no good at it Adda.” Kllair said angrily.
Adda looked up at Kllair shocked by her tone.
“Those monsters that just left are sure to have heard the fighting and will be back to check it out soon. We did okay against these Wytches because they need time to do their sorcery. We hit them hard and fast and didn’t give them that time. Those creatures will come at us like a wave of Banthas and kill all of us. You can stay if you want but we’re not dying so you can bury a corpse.” Kllair said as she reached the place where Adda was kneeling.
“Why didn’t you help sooner?” Adda challenged.
“We just found you, just be thankful we showed up at all. Now do as I say and get to your feet, we have a ways to go before we get to the ship.” Kllair said.
Adda looked up and saw Novuh and the twins were now standing besides her. Nya bent down and cut Adda’s hands loose from behind her.
“She’s right Adda it’s time to go.” Vyra said helping Adda to her feet.
Adda turned and looked at Novuh. Novuh just looked back at her and turned away. Novuh then bent down and picked up the books she had found and walked back towards the ship. Nya handed Adda one of the robes that the Sith Wytches were wearing, it had blood on it and was shot full of holes.
“Beats freezing to death.” Nya shrugged. Adda took the robe and pulled it around her shoulders and cringed a little as she realized it was still warm from its last owner.
Adda bent down and closed Zellina’s eyelids then crossed her arms over her chest. The five women calmly walked through the carnage of the camp. Occasionally Nya or Vyra would run over to a body and snatch some trinket that caught their eye. Kllair stopped every fifty feet or so and took a quick look through her riflescope towards their rear looking for pursuers. Novuh was still leading the group in silence. Adda felt Novuh wasn’t happy with this situation for some reason but couldn’t figure out why.
“They tell me you can fight.” Novuh turned and asked Adda suddenly.
“I’ve trained my whole life how to defend myself.” Adda replied.
“So how did all that training work out for you?” Novuh asked smiling cruelly. Vyra and Nya both laughed out loud at Adda.
“They snuck up on me.” Adda said embarrassed.
“Knock off the joking around.” Kllair snapped. “We’re not out of this yet.”
The rest of the trip was uneventful. The awkward silence was broken occasionally by the twins giggling to each other.
They finally reached the ship. Elith had begun to start the engines when she saw them come over the hilltop. She had also opened the boarding hatch on the left side so the group could walk right in. Once they reached the hatch Kllair pulled Adda off to the side and let the others go in first. After Novuh and the twins had gone inside the ship Kllair stepped onto the boarding ramp leaving Adda standing just outside the ship on the ground.
“Adda I need you to understand something before we leave. If you want to come with us you have to know that from now on you’ll be working for me. You can stay here if you want or you can work for me and my crew, the choice is yours.” Kllair said.
“I thought you came to rescue me?” Adda said shocked.
“No Adda this is a recruitment drive. I think you would be useful to me and my crew so if you think you can be useful you can get inside otherwise you can stay here.” Kllair said with finality in the tone of her voice.
Adda looked at Kllair in desperation and anger. “I will do as you ask.” She said.
Kllair mockingly put her hand to her ear. “What did you say?”
“I will do as you ask.” Adda repeated more humble this time.
“Wonderful, now come inside out of the cold and we can go over the rules.” Kllair said smiling as she beckoned Adda inside the ship.
Mykala and Hudd had made their way down the stairs to the lower level. They pushed open another large door and stepped into a huge room. It looked as if it were the main temple for whatever god was worshipped here long ago. It was impossible to tell what the god looked like because the statue at the far end had its head blown off long ago. The room was full of smoke from dozens of small fires burning in ancient brassieres that once burned sacred incense but now only had cooking fires in them. Dozens of Feloids milled about the area wearing the heavy garments like the ones on the upper level. One of the Feloids close to the door walked up to them.
“You two looking for Tohklos?” he asked.
“Yeah. He’s expecting us.” Mykala said.
“In the red tent at the end.” The Feloid said pointing at the far side of the room.
“Thanks.” She said using the Feloid word, “urroow”.
Hudd and Tarin walked towards the far side of the room. The room was full of tents and shacks. The tents were large and made of heavy quilted material held up by poles and ropes. The floors inside had thick carpets piled on top of each other to keep the chill from the floor out. Most had a small fusion heater inside to keep it warm. Meat and other types of food hung from wires outside the tents frozen solid.
The tent area opened up onto a larger open area where the Feloids did business. The area was full of stalls and tables with everything you could imagine from weapons to slaves. They could see the red tent across the way and headed for it. Mykala was half frozen, as was Hudd by the time they reached it. Their heavy coats were nothing like the arctic like clothes worn by the Feloids. They wore fur, thick felt long coats, pants and boots. Hudd and Mykala didn’t wait for permission to enter the tent. Mykala went inside first followed by Hudd; they just wanted to get warm. They were surprised by the temperature difference inside. It was really quiet comfortable in the tent. A cat girl ran up to them and ushered them in. They followed her into the next section of the large tent. There in the room was their host.
“I am Tohklos, Gialla Tohklos.” She was beautiful and a genuine Feloid pirate queen. Gialla was reclining on a pile of furs and pillows. She wore an intricately made gold headband with large matching earrings. Around her neck was a heavily jeweled necklace. She was wearing a magnificent white fur robe and matching boots. The most prominent feature was her thick long platinum blonde hair. A rare sight as most Feloids have black or brown hair.
“You must be here for the engine parts.” She said as if strangers stumbling into her tent happened on a regular basis. Gialla sat up slowly revealing she wasn’t wearing anything under her fur robe. One of her cat girls quickly pulled her robe closed.
“You’ll excuse me. I just can’t resist the feel of fur against my skin.” She smiled. With a wave of her hand two cat girls ran out and placed two huge pillows on the floor for Mykala and Hudd. Two more girls ran out from the back carrying trays with food and drink on them.
“Thank you for your hospitality Gialla, it’s not what we had expected.” Mykala said taking one of the drinks.
“We try to maintain a tough reputation to keep other Clans away but I have found that you Humans only care about doing business. I think this means we can be friends.” Gialla said toasting Hudd and Mykala.
“I also wonder if you might be interested in buying other items from us. We have found a large stash of Imperial military equipment that was left behind after the war. Is this something you may find useful in your endeavors?” she asked.
“I think we would find that very interesting.” Mykala said.
“I was wondering why you wish to sell these things to us, wouldn’t the Empire pay more just to get them back?” Hudd asked.
Gialla raised an eyebrow at the question. “My dear sir, you mustn’t judge us by human terms. Yes I am a pirate and yes I take what I need from my fellow Feloids but because I am a Feloid I am bound by our code of honor to do what I can to aid the Jedi whenever possible. The Empire is now our enemy because they did not respect our neutrality. We must all do our part to aid the Jedi cause.” Gialla replied.
Gialla sent one of her cat girls over to Hudd and she began to massage his shoulders. She then sent a second cat girl over to Mykala. This girl seemed very eager to serve Mykala and looked into her eyes and smiled. Mykala looked back at the girl and then at Gialla. “No thanks, I’m okay.”
Gialla shrugged her shoulders. “Is there any thing else I can get for you?”
“Yes, when may we inspect the parts?” Mykala asked.
“It’s rather late now, would you mind waiting until tomorrow?” Gialla asked.
“That will be fine. Do you have a place for us to stay? Me and my friend will be sharing a bed.” Mykala said as she grabbed Hudd’s arm and put her head on his shoulder.
“But you said…” Mykala pressed her finger on Hudd’s lips shushing him to silence. Hudd realized something was going on and Mykala needed him to go along with it.
“Of coarse my friends it will be my pleasure.” Gialla said smiling.
A heavily dressed warrior, one of Gialla’s bodyguards most likely, entered the room and gestured for Hudd and Mykala to follow him. They were lead through several rooms of the massive tent and finally brought to a private sleeping area. Mykala turned and kissed Hudd on the lips holding him tightly. They kissed until Mykala was sure the guard was gone.
“Okay now get undressed and under the covers quick.” Mykala said as she began to strip down too.
Hudd slowly began to get undressed. “What are we doing?” he asked looking at Mykala’s toned body.
Mykala pulled him close. “They’re up to something. I think they might try to kill us tonight so we have to act like we don’t suspect anything.”
“What makes you think they might try something?” Hudd asked looking around nervously.
“Did you forget what Granic said? He told us to find a guy named Tohklos. Did that look like a guy to you? Besides these pirates are treating us way too good. They’re Feloids and they don’t like humans especially not after the Empire attacked them.” Mykala whispered.
“But you’re a Jedi, they aren’t going to hurt you.” Hudd whispered back.
“Listen Hudd, those aren’t even the people we’re supposed to be talking to. They don’t have our parts, they don’t have any Imperial armaments, and they don’t give a damn about the Feloid consuls pledge to help the Jedi. They’re pirates and aren’t aligned with the consul. They mean to kill us and take our ship or ransom us back. Either way I intend to make that very difficult for them to do.” Mykala said as she put her light saber under their pillow.
“Can’t we make a run for it?” Hudd asked.
“I can guarantee you that they’ll be ready for that. You have to be ready when I make my move, you’ll have to fight like you’ve never fought before. Can you do that?” she asked.
“I got to be honest Mykala…I’m scared shitless right now.” Hudd said.
“Can you kill these men in if it means you’ll get to hold Timtam one more time?”
Hudd suddenly lost his fear. “I’d kill them all if they tried to stop me from seeing her again.”
“Good because I think I hear them coming.” Mykala said as she closed her eyes pretending to be asleep.
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 02:12)