Pep had made it to Brumbarus’s camp. The activities in the center of town had doubled since they had been granted amnesty. The buildings had been redone or at least painted and repaired. The influx of new money had helped the economy along quiet nicely. She noticed several different alien species doing business with the locals; Brumbarus was proving himself to be quite a businessman.
She walked into the center of town and looked up the long hill where Brumbarus lived. There was a big new house being built where his old hut once stood. All of this meant he had more to loose now and that would work to her favor. There was a noticeable lack of guards since there was the new priority of building an infrastructure here now. Better roads and sewage looked to be the main focus at this point. Workers were pushing wheelbarrows of rock and dirt everywhere she looked.
Pep reached the top of the hill without incident. It was then she noticed a familiar face. It was Vultahn, the Feloid that had first met Kang and her the first time they arrived at the village. He looked at her and searched his mind to remember who she was. He suddenly grinned at her in recognition. “Eh pretty, where is you so big lizard?” he asked. “You come fo do visit eh?”
“I’m all by myself this time. I came to talk to Brumbarus. I want to make a deal with him.” Pep said.
“Ooh pretty eez berry busy man you know. I can asx him but he say no for now me sure.” Vultahn said smiling.
“Then I must insist Vultahn. I have a very good deal for him.” Pep said smiling back.
“Well maybe he make a place for you eh? He likes a good deal me sure o’dat.” Vultahn motioned for Pep to follow him up to the main door of the big house. She saw most of it had been finished and they had begun to furnish the inside. They went through the entrance where she saw Feloid workers finishing the minor details of the interior.
Vultahn had Pep stop and wait as he went to ask Brumbarus if he could speak with her. She could see Brumbarus and Vultahn talking from where she was waiting. They were outside on a large porch built onto the back of the house. A huge canvas that kept the hot sun off and kept it cool covered it. As usual he had several slave girls in attendance carrying trays with food and drinks to the small cadre of his officers and guests. They were sitting in a large semi-circle on large pillows enjoying the cool breeze. Pep looked at Brumbarus who had seen her waiting in the house and beckoned her to come forward.
Pep bowed her head as she stepped out onto the porch. “Thank you for seeing me so quickly Brumbarus. I hope that you remember me from my last visit here.” Pep said politely.
“I remember your friend even more. Especially that smile of his, Gods I thought the beast would eat me!” Brumbarus said followed by laughter from his cohorts.
Pep smiled at his jest and continued. “This time I have come by myself to make you an offer and a deal that will benefit us both.” Pep said.
Brumbarus motioned for Pep to sit down on one of the pillows in the center of the semi-circle.
“I have come into possession of forty nine cat girls. I have given them their freedom, as is my right. The girls were in an illegal breeding camp living in barbaric conditions. I wish to let them live here but only if you can guarantee their safety. I do not wish them to be put back into slavery.” Pep said.
“How did you acquire these girls? Please be more specific.” Brumbarus asked leaning forward. He had some doubts about her story.
“I went to the camp and killed the owner and some of his men. I also burned it to the ground. I don’t think there is anyone left to challenge my claim to them.” Pep said looking him in the eyes.
Some of Brumbarus’s friends whispered to each other. Brumbarus leaned back and looked into Pep’s eyes. “Yes, yes I believe you did this thing you said. You have the look of a killer inside you.” He smiled knowingly. “So if I were to do this for you what would I get in return?” Brumbarus asked.
“I have also come into possession of a large freighter. The sale of this ship would cover the meager expenses of the girls up keep for years.” Pep said.
“And how did you acquire this ship?” he asked as if he already knew the answer.
“I killed the crew, they were human smugglers and murderers. They died on a distant rock deep inside Feloid space. I’m sure no one will be looking for them.” She said.
“What else do you have to offer?” he asked.
Pep reached into her pocket and pulled out a single pill. It was yellow with a red dot in the center.
“This pill will change everything on Geirgor if you’re smart enough to see it.” Pep said holding it forward so everyone in the room could see.
“Is that what I think it is?” He asked.
“It is that and more. It is a way to make this planet of yours a real colony and not just a converted prison planet.” Pep said putting the pill back in her pocket.
“So what is your great idea?” Brumbarus asked with renewed interest.
“These girls must never become slaves again. They will be the wives and mothers of the first colonists here. If you find good men and marry them to these women I will give you the pills you need for your colony.” Pep said.
“What is that pill?” one of the Feloids asked Brumbarus.
“It is the pill they give cat girls so they can get pregnant. Without it they can’t conceive a child.” He replied. “These pills are only allowed to be used by legal breeders. They are very difficult to get hold of. The consul regulates them with extreme care.” Brumbarus said.
He understood Pep’s plan. He would make sure these girls had normal lives, husbands, children and safety. They would be the face of stability. Visiting merchants wouldn’t see so called reformed convicts as the only people here. There would be families, children laughing and playing. Mothers would be seen in the market place buying food for their families and Fathers going off to work to earn a living. The merchants that did business here would feel more secure with their investments. They may even attract other colonists and their families. Brumbarus knew this was a good plan. The new business brought in to a now legitimate colony would easily pay for any investments made to care for and protect these girls.
Pep had thought the whole thing out quiet well. They needed women here. There were very few fertile women here and little chance of enticing new ones to settle on a prison world. The cat girls that were here all belonged to the leaders like Brumbarus and his friends. They needed these women and he knew it.
“What else do you want?” he asked.
“I just want them to be safe and happy. If you do that I will give you all the pills they need. The girls must ask for them however, that is the only catch.” Pep said. “They will decide when they want to start their families.
“It sounds very reasonable so far. The only thing I don’t understand is how can you stop me from just taking them and doing what I want down the road?” he asked. He knew she was holding her last card in this negotiation and he wanted to see it. “You’re to smart to not have a way of making me keep my word.”
“I will show you but just remember that it was you that asked.” Pep said standing up. She put her hands out to her side and extended her fingers for a few seconds. Pep’s eyes glowed suddenly as she clenched her fists and everyone on the porch was thrown to the floor and was soon gasping for air. She held them like this for about twenty seconds just so they understood that no matter how hard they fought there was nothing they could do to stop her. She then opened her fingers and let them all breath in deeply and regain their composure.
“What sorcery is this?” Brumbarus asked angrily.
“It is the sorcery of your friend if you wish it. You asked for the demonstration if you recall.” Pep replied being careful not to sound arrogant.
Brumbarus wasn’t sure how to handle this situation. He had just been forced to the ground in his own home in front of his men. Pep knew he would be angry and embarrassed so she had to put him back on top of the situation quickly.
Pep knelt before him and looked down at the floor. “Thank you Brumbarus for allowing me to display my talents. Your trust in me shows your wisdom and honor. I now know my girls will be safe with you.” Pep said remaining in that position.
Brumbarus knew that she had just given him back control and he also knew her powers were too great to challenge.
“There there friend Pep. We all understand it was just a demonstration. Your friends will remain with us and be safe here where they will be treated as free people and given every protection I can bestow.” Brumbarus said as looked at Pep who was smiling back at him.
“I’m so thankful for your kindness and forethought in this manner Brumbarus. I will go and tell my sisters that they will stay here and be happy. Oh yes by the way there is a freeborn woman that will be in charge of the girls training and also help them to get settled in. I would consider it a personal favor if you could watch over her as well.” Pep asked politely.
Brumbarus looked at Pep knowing now he was in a situation that he simply had to make the best of. “Is that everything?” he asked.
Pep stroked her jaw thinking. “Yes, that’s everything.” She smiled.
“I’ll make arrangements for their housing and rations.” Brumbarus said.
Pep nodded and walked out of the house. She had done it. She had freed her sisters and made a safe place for them. She felt light headed suddenly so she found a spot under a large tree to rest. The past few days had been nerve wracking on Pep. She had done the impossible. This was the second time she had risked everything to free a group of slaves. This time it was personal though, they were her sisters.
Pep felt better and got up to continue the trip back to the freighter. She thought of Matt and what he was thinking. He must be worried by her changes. She somehow knew he would find her message come here to get her so she would wait for him. Once they were together they would figure out what to do next.
She reached the freighter and saw Lady Trahain and the girls sitting on the cargo bay ramp waiting for her. She suddenly stopped and looked at each ones face. Fifty smiles were looking back at her. They didn’t even know if she had been successful or not but they all new she had at least tried to change things.
“They’ve agreed to let you all stay and have new lives here. You are all now members of the colony.” Pep announced loudly.
They all gave out a cheer even the ones that didn’t understand what that meant knew it was a good thing.
Pep covered her mouth and began to cry with joy. She felt the light-headedness again and suddenly stumbled and fell to her knees. Nynee ran down the ramp and supported Pep to keep her from falling onto the ground.
“What is it Pep?” Nynee asked.
“I’m not sure. Take me to my room. I don’t want anyone to see me like this.” Pep said to Nynee.
Nynee hurried Pep to her room and laid her on the bed. She sat next to Pep and stroked her forehead gently. Pep grabbed Nynee’s hand and looked her in the eyes. “I don’t feel so good…” Pep said just before she passed out.
Mykala lead the way as Hudd and her made their way through the maze of blankets and curtains that made up the walls of the gigantic tent. They could see shadows moving behind the curtains from the Feloids trying to gain a better position to rush them.
Mykala felt her foot step on something metal under the carpet. She quickly knelt down and threw back the carpet to see an ancient bronze sewer grate. This was part of the original structure from times long past. The moisture in the air had condensed freezing the grate to the floor. Mykala pushed her light saber threw the openings in the grate and quickly cut a hole in it in just a matter of seconds. She motioned to Hudd to climb down the hole. He didn’t need to be told twice. Hudd saw it wasn’t too far down so he slid off the edge and dropped down to the floor inside. As soon as his feet hit they shot out from under him causing him to fall flat on his back. He quickly put his arm over his mouth to cover the sounds of his groans. Mykala followed him soon after making sure the carpet was pulled back over the hole. Mykala smelled the alcohol that had spilled all over Hudd when he went down on his back.
“You might want to put that lighter away now.” Mykala whispered.
Hudd looked back at her and rolled his eyes. He wasn’t being very helpful he thought to himself. Mykala helped him to his feet with a quick tug. She put her finger to her lips to signal him to be quiet. Hudd nodded his head to show he understood. It was very dark in the sewer but they found they did have a little luck in that it hadn’t been in use for centuries. The condensation had left a thick layer of ice on the floor so walking would be a problem. They would have to take it slow. Mykala knelt down and touched the icy floor with her hand. Using the force she could tell that the sewer ran slightly down hill to the right. She took a gamble that if they went left they might find a service tunnel that lead to the upper floors.
She took Hudd by the hand and began to lead him up the tunnel. He was doing the best he could under the circumstances. Mykala was born on a planet that was in a constant state of war. Hiding and evading capture were almost like a game to her. Hudd was just an average guy that had never had to worry about any thing like this until he saved Timtam and Pep. He was a hero in that sense but she wondered if he knew what that one act of courage would lead him into this kind of life.
There was a sudden burst of warm hot air that flowed past them. It only lasted a few seconds but it was enough to ruin everything. Maybe it had come from a space ship taking off and some of the thrust vented down this hole. They never would find out. It was just hot enough to melt a layer of ice on the top so that the entire tunnel became impossible to stand on. They both started to slowly slide back in the direction they had just come from. Mykala noticed they were moving faster and faster down the sewer. The grade of the sewer must be steeper the farther down it went. Soon they were sliding very fast. They wound up in a much larger tunnel about ten feet across. Mykala turned on her light saber to shed some more light. They had slid down the sewer about two hundred yards before they were circling a large drain. They instinctively grabbed hold of each other just before they plummeted down the black hole.
Matt, Ragg, and Ceecee had left the burned ruins behind and climbed aboard their ship. They set the ships computer to the co-ordinates for Geirgor. They had found out where Pep had gone and they were finally on their way to meet up with her. Matt was lying on his bunk staring at the ceiling. He was trying to wrap his brain around the fact that Pep had caused all of that destruction. He understood what she had gone through now after seeing the conditions in the camp. Small brick huts with leaky roofs. Open pit fires and few if any indoor facilities. The conditions were probably worse when she was there years ago as a child. The most haunting image he was left with was the hanging posts. They were built on raised platforms so the overseers wouldn’t have to walk in the mud. The posts were used for punishment and a constant reminder of what happened to disobedient slaves. He new what they were used for because he had used ones like them himself in the past. Pep had lived through all of this as a child and then she was sold as a pleasure slave at the age of thirteen. No wonder she had such rage inside her. It’s a miracle she survived at all.
Ceecee stuck her head in the door of Matt’s room. “How are you doing Matt?” she asked compassionately. She liked Matt and Pep a lot. Pep had been learning star ship repair from her recently and they had become especially close.
“I’m doing as well as I can I guess.” Matt said as he sat up.
“Everything will work out Matt you’ll see. Pep just did what she needed to do back there I’m sure of it. They probably didn’t give her any choice.” Ceecee said.
“Thanks Ceecee, you’re a good friend to her and I thank you for that.” Matt said.
“I bet that once she’s done what she needs to do everything will fall right back into place just the way it was.” She said smiling.
“Let’s hope so, I’m just worried I might loose her forever. She won’t need me to protect her any more.” Matt said.
“She never cared about that Matt. She told me that you saved her life. She had nowhere to go and would have died on that pirate base where you met. Nobody else would have done it and you still don’t understand why you did it do you?” she asked.
“I guess I was just in the right place at the right time.” He shrugged.
“No! It was because you two were meant to be together. The Force put you two in each other’s path. You two need each other and nothing will keep you apart.” Ceecee said crossing her arms.
“I was never a big believer in the Force.” Matt said.
“It doesn’t matter if you believe or not. It moves through everyone and everything no matter what you might think. It’s like you and Pep are being swept down a river and you don’t believe in water.” She said smiling.
“I don’t suppose your sister has any input about all of this?” Matt asked knowing that sometimes Ceecee sees her dead sister in her dreams. She knew Matt wasn’t being disrespectful. “She hasn’t mentioned anything yet but I’ll ask her the next time I see her.” Ceecee smiled.
Lionette had spent the last few days with Azak Visiok as her guest. They had met once socially before the war with the Empire had started. During the war they fought together with their Clan fleets in the front lines. Both had found each other to be excellent leaders and brave to the point of being foolhardy. But now peace had come and they had a chance to put the hardships of war behind them and reforge their relationship. It seemed as though fate was forcing them together once again.
“I understand that you have been having trouble with convoy raiders in the Poltahn sector. I have taken the liberty of having my ships redouble their patrol areas along the border since our two territories meet there. We would be happy to turn any ship you report to us as a raider over to you if we catch them.” Azak said.
“I wouldn’t want to put any of your ships at risk Azak.” Lionette replied.
“Nonsense, if they are attacking your convoys it would just be a matter of time before they attacked ours. It’s simply a practical solution.” He said.
“I suppose we should enter into some sort of agreement on the mutual protection of our common borders. With the losses of so many of our ships in the war it only seems the next reasonable course of action.” Lionette said as she motioned to Neeka to refill their classes.
Lionette had noticed that Azak had brought his two favorite cat girls with him again. Once again she had insisted they be allowed in the palace and were able to do his bidding as he saw fit. After Neeka had filled their glasses Lionette then had Neeka give the two girls a drink as well.
Azak smiled at this gesture. “I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to your easy ways when it comes to slaves my dear Lionette.”
“As I said before I find kindness to slaves who have done me no harm or have not been disobedient tends to inspire them to do more.” Lionette said glancing at Azak’s slaves. They smiled and nodded in thanks making sure not to make eye contact.
“Still I prefer to have a pro-active approach to my girls. I find the constant reminder of who is in command is most affective. One or two swats across their backs tend to make them more eager to serve. In a way it’s a kindness that they don’t get the choice to misbehave or not.” He said.
“I would think that serving a man of your physical appearance would be reason enough to do your bidding.” She countered smiling.
Azak laughed. “Now you toy with me my dear. Do you wish to examine my level of self centeredness?”
“Not at all Azak, it was merely a compliment. After all you are quiet pleasing to the senses. I’m sure you’ve been told that by other women.” Lionette said.
“Not until this moment have I heard it from one that I would wish to hear it from on a daily basis.” Azak said insinuating a chance for a long-term commitment with Lionette.
Lionette blushed. She knew it was her responsibility to get married and form a good alliance to strengthen the Clan’s holdings. Azak was a man of honor and unlikely to lie to get what he wanted. He was the type of man that spoke his mind and meant what he said. He was a good choice.
Lionette looked up and smiled. “I would be happy to tell you how wonderful you are every morning as long as you were in my bed when we woke.”
“There is no place I would rather be Lionette, it is but for you to ask and our Clans shall be as one. We will have the most powerful union in the five sectors.” Azak said. His response was honest. They both needed to marry into a powerful clan. It was just fortunate for them that they liked each other and their Clans worked well together.
Timtam was worried. They hadn’t heard any word from Mykala or Hudd since they landed at the pirate base. It was supposed to be a simple buy and fly mission but it didn’t feel right. Something had gone wrong.
There was a knock at the door. Timtam was just getting ready to get into bed when she heard the knocking. She crossed the floor and listened at the door. “Who is it?” she asked checking to see if the lock was in place.
“It is the Royal Guard here for Timtam.” The voice said.
The Royal Guard only answered to the Ty family themselves. Lionette must have sent them. Maybe they had news of Hudd.
She opened the door to see three large guardsmen in naval dress standing at the door.
“Come in.” Timtam said.
“I’ll speak with her myself.” One of them said. He stepped into the room looking down at the floor. Timtam stepped back to let him in. he closed the door and looked up revealing his features to her. It was Furonius Ty. Timtam ran backwards across the room in horror. Her eyes filled with tears of hopelessness. She remembered what he had done to her the last time he had tricked his way into Lionette’s quarters.
“No…please no.” she cried as she put her hands out in front of her in a vain attempt to keep him away.
Furonius took two steps closer to her and suddenly dropped to one knee and bowed his head.
“Forgive my sudden intrusion Timtam, I mean you no harm.” He said humbly.
Timtam had moved as far back into her room as possible. She was trembling as she waited for him to attack her again.
“I have come to beg your forgiveness for the wrong I have done to you. I cannot take back what is past but I sincerely beg your forgiveness.” he said.
“What do you want from me.” Timtam still didn’t understand why he was here.
“I had been sent away for my acts against Lionette and you. I have asked for forgiveness from my sister and she has given it. I wish to have your forgiveness as well. I live in the shame of what I have done to you. It was the act of a coward and of a person not deserving respect.” Furonius said. His voice wavered as if he was fighting back tears, tears of guilt and remorse.
Timtam relaxed a little. She walked over to him and lifted his head so she could see his face. He was crying. He had meant everything he said. Before she realized what she had done she slapped him across the face. Timtam recoiled in shock at what she had just done. She had struck a Royal member of the Ty Clan. She would be executed for sure.
Furonius stood up before her slowly. He rubbed his face where he had been struck and looked at Timtam shaking standing there in front of him looking up.
“It’s far less than I deserve.” He said. He pulled a kerchief from inside his coat and wiped his eyes and face.
“If there is ever anything that I can do for you or your new friend you have but to only ask me.” Furonius said. He adjusted his coat and straightened his hat. He opened the door and stopped just before leaving. “I will never come near you again Timtam. I wish only happiness for you from now on.” Furonius went out and closed the door behind him.
Timtam stood silently in the room shaking. He had gone. She had thought that she was about to relive her worst nightmare. He had begged for her forgiveness instead.
Timtam slowly made her way over to the window and peaked out. Furonius and his men were nowhere in sight. She sat in a chair next to the window and wept. It was over. She would never see him again he said. For some reason she believed him. She felt his remorse and sorrow when he spoke to her. She was certain he meant everything he had said. She looked out the window one last time. She was also certain that she would never forgive him.
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.
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Last Updated (Tuesday, 10 September 2013 02:14)