Pep had almost fully recovered from her wound with amazing speed. Her powers were giving her new benefits everyday. She was resting in her room when the proximity alarm went off alerting her they had reached their destination. She pulled her coveralls on and slipped into her boots. Nynee showed up at her door to let her know that they had arrived.
“Thank you Nynee I heard it too.” Pep said smiling at her.
“Did you keep an eye on the lady like I asked?” Pep asked.
Nynee looked down, she was hesitant to answer.
“Never mind honey, I already know what she’s done.” Pep said looking down the hallway.
“Will you hurt her Pep?” Nynee asked.
“They always make me hurt them, you know that. I’ll hurt who ever I have to if it means all of you are safe. They made me what I am Nynee. I always warn them don’t I?”
Nynee smiled and shook her head.
Pep flew the ship down low over the jungle canopy trying to remember where they had landed the last time she was there. It looked like they had done more upgrades to the place and she found a landing spot even closer than before. She put the ship down like an expert and shut off the engines.
“What is this place?” Nynee asked looking at the thick jungle through the cockpit glass.
“This is Geirgor. Your new home.” Pep smiled.
“It’s very different than my old home.” Nynee said.
“That place was never your home, that place was a prison. The people here will be kind to you. They want nice girls to live here with them. I am going to talk to the man in charge of this planet very soon and I am sure he will want nothing bad to happen to any of you by the time we’re done talking.” Pep smiled and stroked Nynee’s hair reassuringly.
Pep walked out of the cockpit and into the ships common area. She saw most of the cat girls resting in there. They looked happy. They were beginning to understand that things were going to be better for them now. They had been allowed to eat as much as they wanted from the ship’s storeroom and they all had been able to take showers and wash the clothes they had for the first time in a long, long time. Some of them had never even had a hot bath their entire lives. They smiled and bowed to Pep when she came in. “Thank you all but you must not bow to me.” Pep was truly touched by their gratitude.
“You’ve done wonders for these girls I must admit, no really, I never would have thought they could be taught to make themselves so presentable.” The Lady Trahain said to Pep. She had been sitting by herself in one of the corners.
“Why not? They’re every bit as smart as you are. They are the way they are because of cruelty by others not because they’re stupid.” Pep said turning to face her. Lady Trahain recoiled from Pep; she hadn’t meant to anger her.
“I…I meant no harm…forgive me.” The Lady Trahain said frightened.
“I was born in the same camp they were and look at me, I have done what you never could have. All because someone believed I could and showed me how. These girls will get the same opportunity as I had.” Pep said sternly.
The girls stepped back away from where the Lady Trahain was sitting. They had seen what happened to people that angered Pep. Pep noticed the girls becoming frightened and turned to them and smiled as she regained her composure.
“It’s alright sisters, I will not hurt our guest. She is going to be of help to us today. She is going to help you get a new start on your new home. I know she tried to use the transmitter while I was sleeping even though I told her not to.” Pep said turning back to look at Lady Trahain. Lady Trahain went white with fear of being killed.
“You must realize how lucky you are that you are needed. These girls will need someone to help them in their transition to being free people and you’re going to help them. You are going to stay with them here and make sure they learn everything they need to know. You have nowhere else to go. Your own husband wants you dead and you can do some good with your miserable life by helping these girls here.” Pep said.
“You want me to stay here…with them?” the Lady Trahain said shocked.
“You have nowhere else to go do you? You have a simple choice. Go back home and have your husband kill you before you can accuse him of his plot or you can stay here and do this thing and be under my protection. I can assure you that you will be treated well here. The man that runs this world will soon be indebted to me and he will make you and these girls very welcome.” Pep said crossing her arms.
The Lady Trahain covered her face and wept. Nynee went to her side and put her arm around her.
“You see Lady Trahain, it appears you need each other. Do this thing and give your life meaning. Help these girls and make a difference in both your lives.” Pep said as she put her hand on Lady Trahain’s shoulder.
“You’re right, I don’t have anywhere to go but here.” She said admitting her predicament. The Lady Trahain looked up at Pep and Nynee. “I don’t know if I can. I’ve never done anything like this before.” She wiped her eyes.
“Good, you’ll help each other I’m sure.” Pep smiled.
“I am going to speak with the man in charge now so he can arrange your welcome. I will be back soon so don’t worry.” Pep turned to leave.
“Who is this man Pep?” Lady Trahain asked.
“He is Brumbarus the pirate king. He makes the rules here.” Pep said picking up a gun belt and putting it on.
“How do you know he will help us?” Lady Trahain asked.
“It’s easy, I won’t give him a choice. Nobody can stop me from doing what I want.” Pep said smiling.
“Well this is her Y-wing alright but there’s no sign of her anywhere.” Ragg said looking in the cockpit.
“Check the astrodroid and see if there’s a message.” Matt called up to him.
“Maybe we should check that compound over the hill we flew over, it looks like she could have been there.” Ceecee said. Matt and Ragg had told her about Pep’s powers and what she had done.
“That place is a wreck, she wouldn’t do that, not Pep.” Matt snapped.
Ceecee and Ragg looked at each other, they both thought otherwise.
“Well? Is there a message or not?” Matt asked Ragg.
“Yeah there’s something recorded. I’ll send the droid down through the bottom access panel and we can watch it.” Ragg said. The droid slid down and out of the bottom of the ship and sat on the ground. They all stood around the droid as Matt switched on the playback projector.
An image of Pep flickered in front of them. “Matt, I’m sure you found the ship and this droid. I’m sorry for leaving like I did and I hope Ragg is all right . I’m changing and I think I might be dangerous. I need to be away from the people I care about to make sure they’re safe. I will explain everything later but for now I have to do something while I have these powers. I have to do this on my own because it’s personal and I don’t want anyone else to be hurt if it doesn’t work out. Meet me on Geirgor and we can work things out then. I love you Matt.” The image clicked off.
“Geirgor? Where the Hell is Geirgor?” Ragg asked.
“It’s used to be a prison planet used by the Ty Clan but they gave everyone there some sort of amnesty so now it’s a colony world. Pep was there with Kang and Tarin when they were looking for Timtam.” Matt replied.
“I don’t get it, why go there?” Ragg asked.
“It doesn’t matter. If that’s where Pep is then that’s where we’re going.” Matt said.
“Okay Matt, just let me program this astrodroid to take this Y-wing back to base and we can go, it’ll take about twenty minutes.” Ceecee said.
“Thanks Ceecee. I’m going to have a look at that compound over the hill.” Matt said.
“I’ll go with you.” Ragg said. He still felt funny about being around Ceecee. He felt used.
Matt and Ragg reached the crest of the hill and looked down at the camp using their magnaviewers. They saw the burned gatehouse and buildings at first then they saw scavenger birds picking at some bodies.
“Matt.” Ragg said.
“Shut up, it wasn’t her. Peps not like that, she couldn’t have done it.” Matt said trying to make himself believe Pep didn’t do all of this.
Ragg turned around to look back and see if Ceecee had finished. From this angle he noticed a hollow that they couldn’t see on the way up. It looked like it was full of white stones and sticks that were sticking out of the ground. He looked through his viewers and was shocked to see what it really was. The hollow was full of bones. They were skulls and limb bones that had been exposed by wind and rain. These burials where quick and dirty and showed no respect to the bodies. It was a graveyard for slaves.
“Matt, where was Pep born?” Ragg asked.
“She said she didn’t remember where it was.” Matt answered and turned to look at what Ragg was so interested in. he noticed the hollow and looked through his own viewers at it.
Ragg looked back at the burnt compound and the dead bodies.
“Something tells me she remembered.” Ragg said. It was Pep who did this. She had come back for revenge.
Kang sat down across from his friend Lore. They had found a place outside away from the palace to talk. Thorim, Baltis and Granic had been waiting for them both to arrive.
“So my friends we need to talk about our future with the Rebellion. Adda is now gone and won’t be coming back. As of now we are leaderless. The only other human that is reliable is Mykala and even that one is still full of confusion.” Thorim said.
“Are you saying we should try to find another group to work with? I know these humans are very unpredictable but they are loyal to all their friends and us. Tarin and Bronski are off having fun somewhere but I fear for Matt, Ragg, and Ceecee. Pep’s disappearance was very sudden and we haven’t heard anything from any of them for a week now.” Lore added.
“Don’t forget Kllair and her group of psychopaths, they seem to have disappeared as well. It would be a blessing if they never came back but I don’t think getting rid of her is going to be that simple. They have it easy here and I think she likes it that way.” Kang added.
It is best if we wait a little longer. Everyone is still processing Adda’s exile. At least the Feloids haven’t blamed us along with Adda for her decision. I think they are still behind us and remain loyal to their pledge.” Baltis said.
“They are a very proud people and live and die by their oaths and honor. I think they are just busy mending their own fences after the war and are not very concerned with us at the moment so I think we are in no danger of being asked to leave.” Thorim said.
“It would take more than just what Kllair and her crew did to make the Feloids turn their backs on the Jedi although they may be less enthusiastic about helping the rebellion now.” Baltis said. He had guilty feelings about bringing Kllair and her crew into the group.
“I guess the next step is to decide a plan of action. We can’t just keep running off at Lionette’s expense on personal matters, she’s been far too lenient with us if you ask me.” Thorim said.
“You’ve been very quiet on this whole matter Granic, that’s not like you at all.” Lore said.
Granic leaned forward and slowly looked at each one of them. “I think it’s time to get back to Stella’s original plan. We should be doing more recruiting in Empire controlled space. We need to be more like boring worms than stinging insects. We are small and weak the way we are now. We should be eating up the Empire from the inside not the out. Stella’s plan was to recruit allies inside Imperial borders and fight them using criminals and pirates. They have bases and ships already.” Granic said. “They know who can be bought and who can’t be, they’ve been doing it for years now.”
Kang stood up and smiled his horrific smile. “I think he’s right. Granic’s hit it on the head. Fight them from the inside, I like it.”
“Yes Granic, good thinking. We’ll all be able to disappear in the crowd. There are races of all kinds in Imperial space, so many they all just blend together.” Lore said.
“If we split up into smaller groups with each team taking turns in determining when and were we meet to plan strategies it will make it more difficult for us all to be caught.” Thorim added.
“There is just one problem with this plan. We will also be in reach of every Bounty Hunter and Sith Enforcer there is. If any one of us makes a mistake they’ll be hunted down with every resource the Empire has. The destruction of the surviving Jedi is a top priority for the Emperor.” Lore said.
“My friend, did you really think any of us would live to see the end of the Empire? That luxury will be for the next generation. The ones that will learn from the mistakes we’ve made.” Kang laughed.
“Of course you are right Kang, I just felt it needed to be said.” Lore replied as they all laughed at their grim future.
Bronski drove the speeder away from the landing area as fast as he could. They needed to get as much distance from that droid as possible.
“How’s she doing?” Bronski asked.
“She needs a hospital, the fragments went into her eyes. If she doesn’t get medical help soon she could go blind.” Za’sha replied.
“We have to chance it Buck, we can’t let Remha go blind.” Tarin said. She was cradling Remha’s head in her lap.
“You know there’s a good chance that thing might check the hospitals if he finds out she got herself fucked up?” Bronski said.
“It doesn’t matter, we have to risk it.” Tarin insisted.
“Okay, I just wanted to make sure.” Bronski said. “If you remember when I got killed all you did for me was patch me up on the dining room table.” He said to Tarin.
“Stop your crying, can I help it we couldn’t find a vet that was open at that hour.” Tarin replied.
Bronski laughed loudly. “I sure can pick ‘em. Yep she’s the one for me.”
They drove deeper into the city, into the lower class districts. Bronski saw a sign for a hospital and headed in that direction. After a few blocks they found it. They pulled up to the rear entrance and slipped in through a back door. The hallway was empty so they ran down the corridor and found a vacant room. They all ducked inside and shut the door. It was some sort of office with a desk and some chairs. Tarin quickly found a data terminal and plugged her adapter into it and logged onto the hospitals internal system. She was able to find a surgical droid and tell it to come to this room immediately. Tarin then took the droids number and logged it in as having work done to it so it wouldn’t appear to be missing.
It didn’t take long for the droid to show up at the door. Tarin let it in and lead it directly to Remha lying on the table.
“This shouldn’t take long, if you wish you may wait in the lobby.” The droid said.
“That’s okay, we’ll wait here. Bronski said.
The droid went to work on Remha. Bronski went and listened by the door. He had taken a pen from the desk and was holding it like a dagger so he could use it like a weapon if he had to.
Tarin walked over to him and put her hand on the hand holding the pen. “Relax killer, it’s a hospital. The only people liable to come in here is an intern with a nurse trying to find a place to fool around.”
Bronski looked at her and smiled. He relaxed his grip on the pen and handed it to her. “We need to get back to your ship. These two should be okay once you’re gone. That droid was only interested in you. You must have really pissed him off.” Bronski said peeking down the hall.
“Could be. I don’t remember most of what happened the last time I was here. That’s why I came back. I was beginning to miss my old life, the money, the parties, and the independence. I really tried to fit in Buck and I never let anyone down but it’s just not me.” She actually sounded remorseful as if she wished it had worked out.
“Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. You’ve done your part, nobody can say you didn’t so if you have to leave and set things right with your life then you better go and do it.” Bronski said still looking out the door. He didn’t want to look into her eyes.
Tarin looked down at the floor in silence. “Would you miss me?” she asked quietly, almost as if she was a little girl.
Bronski kept looking into the hall. “ Look Tarin, it’s out now that we both like each other but we need to be reasonable about this. I’m old enough to be your father. I’m all busted up and half worn out. You’re just beginning your life really. Why don’t we just be happy with things the way they are and leave it at that? I’m not the kind of guy that would sit around in some club and watch you dancing with younger guys and be happy with that. I’m glad I know you but you need someone a lot younger than me.” He said. Bronski summoned up the courage to look at Tarin, she was crying.
“I don’t want to do this any more. I’m not having fun anymore Buck. I just want to clean up this mess and disappear. I want a normal life somewhere and put this all behind me.” Tarin said as she looked up at Bronski.
“What are you talking about? Once you’re in this kind of life it’s never over. There is always someone that will bring you back in it. I’ve retired six times and I always came back. It was for money or revenge or I just got bored but mostly it was because it’s what I’m good at.” Bronski said.
Tarin put her back against the wall and slid down to the floor pulling her knees up under her chin. “I can’t believe that. There must be a way to start a new life. It can’t just keep going on this way.”
What would you do? Find a good man, get married, have some kids? Someone would find you one day and if they couldn’t get you they’d get your family. I don’t want to tell you this stuff but I’ve lived a lot longer than you have and everyone I know that tried to get out is either dead or got back in and had to leave wives and kids behind never to be seen again.
This is a fast and hard life we live Tarin but it has it’s good points too. I don’t have anyone telling me what to do. When I walk down the street or into a bar men step aside for me. I pay for my women and the do what I say and they do it the way I want. I speak my mind without worrying if I offend anyone. I’m a beast, a creature wrapped in human skin. I’m the only one that understands that no matter how many spaceships we build and civilizations we start we’re all just one bad day away from smashing another mans head in with a rock like the savages we are.” Bronski said.
“ I don’t know anything anymore. I’m just really, really tired I guess.” Tarin said resting her forehead on her knees.
“If you two are done here we need to come up with a plan. Remha is almost finished being worked on so we have to figure something out.” Za’sha interrupted.
Bronski looked at Remha, the droid was helping her sit up after removing the shrapnel from her face and eyes.
“She will need Bacta treatments for her eyes to recover fully. I can set up an appointment for tomorrow if you wish.” The surgical droid said.
“No thanks, we’ll take care of that later.” Bronski said.
“Za’sha, take Remha and catch a flight to a safe spaceport somewhere and get her fixed up. Tarin and me will take her ship back to our base and check in. We’ll check in with you in a three days. Don’t worry; this isn’t over by a long shot. Tell your Hutt buddy that Tarin will be back but we have to destroy that droid first.” Bronski said taking charge.
“It’s okay, Buck’s right. This droid is way to powerful for us to fight now. We’ll take care of this droid when we’re ready. We can’t underestimate him.” Tarin said.
“Okay Tarin, this is your call. I’ll get Remha fixed up and next time we’ll go after him for some payback.” Za’sha said in agreement.
They all gathered up their things and went back into the hallway.
“Hey Buck.” Remha said. Za’sha was helping since her eyes had been bandaged.
“Thanks for saving my ass back there, I owe you one.” Remha said.
“Forget it.” Bronski said. “ I’ll just be happy if we all come out of this alive.”
Mykala and Hudd lay silent under the furs and blankets. Mykala had taken Hudd’s arm and pulled it over top of her so Hudd had his chest pressed up against her back with his back to the opening of the room. They heard the sound of a footstep just behind them.
Mykala sprung into action. She rolled backwards over top of Hudd flinging the covers into the air blocking the line of sight of the intruders. She was on her feet with her light saber on before the blankets had fallen to the ground. She swung once taking the weapon hand off the closest one causing it to drop the long dagger in it. The second attacker took a step back surprised to see the light saber. Mykala had been sure none of them knew she was a Jedi. He drew his blaster and tried to point it at her but Mykala had already lunged forward driving the weapon through him and his heavy clothing to the hilt. Hudd scrambled over to the dying Feloid and yanked the blaster from his hand.
“I just remembered I didn’t bring mine with me.” He said embarrassed as he looked up at Mykala.
“Get up and stand behind me. Shoot anybody that gets by me and aim at the chest. Don’t try for a head shot with your hands shaking like that.” Mykala said without looking back at him.
“Right, aim for the chest, got it.” Hudd was desperately trying to keep calm and think of Timtam.
“Here they come.” Mykala said calmly. Two more Feloids burst through the curtains with their pistols drawn and opened fire as the yelled at the top of their lungs. The first shot missed but Mykala deflected the shot back at the second Feloid hitting him in the throat. The shots from the second Feloid both hit Hudd knocking him down on to the carpet. Mykala lunged forward decapitating the first Feloid and watched him fall on top of the one that had been hit in the throat.
“Damn it!” Mykala yelled as she turned to see Hudd’s motionless body lying on the ground. She knelt down next to him and felt for a pulse. He was alive. He had been hit in the arm and the shoulder.
Hudd opened his eyes and looked up at Mykala. He looked over at his wounds. “I’m sorry…I…I froze.” he said.
“Yeah well don’t let it happen again.” Mykala said smiling at him. She didn’t want him to feel worse than he already did.
“Come on, get up. We’re leaving. Your legs are okay and you still have one good arm. You’re not bleeding because your wounds are cauterized. I know you’re in pain but you can still fight.” Mykala said as she helped him to his feet.
“By now they realize I’m a Jedi so whatever they had in mind for us before won’t matter to them. Our white haired beauty just got four of her men killed and as far as they know we’re both still in the fight.” Mykala said.
Hudd grabbed a bottle of liquor and poured it into a vase. He pulled a lighter from his pocket and placed it between his teeth so he could hold the vase with his good hand ready to throw it on the next attackers.
“Good thinking Hudd, I guess you want to live through this after all.” Mykala said.
Mykala pulled her blaster from it’s holster and with her light saber in her other hand they started back out of the huge tent the way they came in.
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 02:13)