Matt had brought Pep a cup of her Feloid tea to help her rest. He was pampering her to the point of the ridiculous once again. Ceecee and Ragg had come with them to their private quarters after they had landed.
“Please Matt I’m fine.” Pep said. She smiled a very sleepy smile at Matt.
“I just want you to get your rest.” He smiled back.
“Ragg I am so sorry for hurting you before, please forgive me.” Pep said.
“I already told you to forget it. You didn’t mean to hurt anyone. I understand.” Ragg said.
“So what are you going to do now Pep? What are you going to do with your powers now?” Ceecee asked. She was never very good at being subtitle.
Matt shot her an angry look.
“What? It needs to be said. Hey, we’re all in on this now and besides Pep is my friend so I want to help her.” Ceecee said in response to Matt’s look.
“I really just want to put it all behind me. None of these powers are easy to deal with. They can only be used to hurt others. It’s not like I can heal people or take their pain away. I did what I had to do. Ever since I met Matt my life has been wonderful. I know I’ve had some close calls but I have someone who cares about me and you all treat me like an equal.” Pep said touching Matt’s face. Ceecee listened as she wiped her eye.
“I couldn’t forget my sisters I left all those years ago and the way they were made to suffer. It has been on my mind ever since I met Matt. I felt guilty that I had it so much better than them. I don’t know how I got these powers but I knew I had to use them to save all those girls if I could.” She said.
“Well if this little adventure showed us anything it’s that you can handle those powers as you see fit.” Ragg said.
“There is a part of me that wants to take them to extremes though. One of the men I killed compared my powers to the Sith. I don’t want to have them anymore I just wish they’d go away.” Pep said.
“Everything will be different now Pep. We’ll make sure you don’t have to worry about things that get you upset. You’ll go back to work with Ceecee and we can put this all behind us.” Matt said.
“Yea Pep you can come back and work with me when you’ve rested some more. I’m sure we have a ton of stuff to catch up on by now.” Ceecee said smiling.
Ragg took Ceecee by the arm and lifted her to her feet. “It’s time we get going. We have to go and find out what’s been going on since we ran out without telling anybody.”
“Thank you both for helping me. I won’t forget it.” Pep smiled.
Ragg and Ceecee turned and left Matt and Pep’s quarters.
“What else can I get you Pep.” Matt asked.
“Just take me to bed and lay with me while I sleep. I’ve missed you.” Pep said sleepily. Matt carried Pep to their room and laid her in the bed. He set the temperature control to cool the room so they wouldn’t get to hot under the covers. He climbed into bed and pulled himself up close behind her placing his chin on top of her head. She squirmed around until she had nestled herself up close to him and drifted off to sleep. Matt could smell her hair and her unique scent that drove him crazy. He would have to withhold his desires for now and just let her sleep and recover.
Hudd looked up at the light hanging from the ceiling. It was almost over. They just had a little farther to go until they were at the landing bay on this level. He thought of Timtam and how worried she must be. They hadn’t sent a message to the base the whole time they had been here. Mykala was still helping him by letting him put his arm around her shoulder as they walked.
“Not too much longer.” She said.
In the darkness just ahead they could make out a doorway. It looked a lot like the one from the arena where the creature had been. They hurried as best they could. The thought of being out of the cold and maybe even some food and water hastened their stride. Once at the door they saw it was open slightly. Mykala peered in to have a look. To her disappointment she saw the landing bay on this level was not heated and was more or less just a big cave where ships could land and unload. It was completely exposed to the elements and the frigid air outside. There were several ships sitting in the cavernous landing bay. The intense cold had forced the crews to wait inside of their craft. Nobody was around outside the area so Mykala decided to risk it and make for the closest ship. The ship was painted a faded yellow with red stripes. The markings were Rhodian but the ship itself was a human design. Halfway there they saw eight Feloids come rushing out at them from a door at the far side of the landing bay. They were dressed in their heavy clothing and carrying blaster pistols. Mykala and Hudd had walked right into their trap. Too late did Mykala realize that the pirates would figure out the only place they could possibly be was here.
“Damn it!” she cursed herself for her poor judgment.
Mykala laid Hudd on the floor. “Stay here and give me cover fire if you have a clear shot at any of them.” She said as she drew her light saber and started out across the floor at them.
“Cover fire?” Hudd asked.
“You know, shoot the ones that you have a shot at and whatever you do don’t shoot me in the back.” Her voice trailed off as she ran across the landing bay.
Hudd watched the whole battle from the floor. The first pirate fired a shot that Mykala easily blocked sending back hitting the shooter in the head, one down seven to go.
The other pirates began to fan out to better use their firearms against her. Another one fired and missed while a third one charged straight towards her firing wildly and yelling. Mykala spun and deflected one of the third ones shots and hit the second one in the chest. Another shot was knocked back at the third pirate hitting him in the stomach. The remaining five Feloids surrounded Mykala and began to slowly circle her not sure how to attack her. They knew she stood a good chance of knocking any shot back and hitting the shooter with his shot. Mykala turned and changed her stance continually trying to anticipate any attack possible. She was in a bad situation being surrounded as she was.
Suddenly one of the pirates was hit by a blaster shot in his side. He grabbed himself and went down screaming in pain. It was Hudd; he had been able to hit one of the pirates. He kept firing hitting another in the leg causing him to fall in front of Mykala who quickly leapt towards him and finished him off. The rest of the pirates scattered running behind the landing gear of the various star ships sitting in vicinity. Hudd’s quick thinking had paid off. By them running for cover they no longer were able to concentrate their efforts against Mykala. Hudd continued to fire at the pirates causing them to keep their heads down. Mykala maneuvered her way between the landing gear and floor generators until she was able to rush each pirate and quickly dispatch him.
The battle was over in short order. Hudd looked around at the carnage. It was his first real close quarters combat situation and he had survived. He had survived by killing a man and aiding in the deaths of several others. His heart was pounding from fear and adrenaline. He looked over and saw Mykala checking each pirate making sure they were all dead. She looked up and smiled at Hudd as if to say “Good work.”
There was a sudden crack of plasma energy and Hudd watched in horror as it struck Mykala square in her lower back. It knocked her forward raising her off the floor and flinging her to the ground like a rag doll.
Hudd looked across the room and saw the woman that had claimed to be Gialla Tohklos standing in the doorway with a scoped blaster rifle. She hadn’t seen Hudd yet or maybe she thought he was one of the other dead bodies lying on the floor. Hudd remained motionless as she walked over to Mykala’s body. The woman in white carefully stepped over the bodies of her comrades while pointing the rifle at Mykala in case she wasn’t dead. Once she had reached Mykala she carefully nudged her with her foot. Hudd waited for Mykala to spring up and kill her but nothing happened.
“Are you alive Jedi?” the woman asked the motionless body in front of her.
There was no response.
Hudd rolled over and took aim. The woman saw the movement and swung around in his direction. Hudd sat up and squeezed the trigger. Nothing happened, he was out of ammo. He could see the woman smile in the split second before she pulled the trigger.
The woman suddenly shrieked in agony as Mykala’s light saber turned on somehow and extended up from the hilt and right through the woman’s leg and knee almost vertically. She grabbed her leg as the rifle fell from her hands. The light saber seemed to be stuck just for an instant before it cut through her leg causing her to fall to the ground.
Hudd was confused because Mykala was still just lying there motionless. He began to drag himself across the floor on his elbows towards them as fast as he could. He made it to the woman just as she sat up and made a grab for her rifle. Hudd hit the woman in the side of her head as hard as he could with the blaster. He hit her again and again until his hand was covered in her blood. Blood was spattered all over her expensive white fur coat. He had killed her with the pistol. Hudd rolled over and looked at Mykala. She was just lying there looking up at the ceiling. He saw a tear run down the side of her head.
“Mykala, Mykala are you okay?” he asked frantically.
Mykala turned her head and looked at him. Her eyes were full of tears but she was smiling anyway.
“Did you get her? Is she dead?” she asked.
“I did it. She’s dead.” He answered choking back the bile rising in his gut.
“Good. Good work Hudd.” Mykala said turning her head back and staring at the ceiling.
“Come on Mykala get up we have to get out of here.” Hudd said.
“I can’t…she hit me in the spine. Hudd…I can’t feel my legs.”
Lionette smiled and stood as Stella walked onto the balcony.
“Did you sleep well?” Lionette asked.
“I guess I’d be pretty hard to please if I didn’t get a good nights sleep on that bed.” Stella said smiling. She went over to the table where Lionette was and sat down.
Neeka came in behind her and stood quietly.
“You may have the servants bring our morning meal in now Neeka.” Lionette said.
Stella looked around. “What happened to Timtam? Is she alright?” Stella asked.
Lionette took a deep breath and sighed. “I made a terrible mistake with Timtam some time ago that nearly cost her, her life. By shear accident and good fortune she survived the situation I had placed her in and by that same good fortune is now a free person.” Lionette said with a hint of humility.
“I was curious because I saw her with Mykala some time ago. I had assumed you had sent Timtam with her.” Stella said.
“I don’t keep tabs on her doings now that she is free, it’s the least I can do for her. She is free now and I am the one that has lost a friend, not her.” Lionette said forcing a smile.
“It’s the price of your position I guess. It must be hard to find people you can trust.” Stella said.
Lionette thought of her sister Cheena and her failed plot and her brother Furonius’s rape of Timtam. “Yes, it’s very hard indeed.”
The cat girls came in and placed their meal on the table they were sitting at. “Thank you.” Lionette said as they left.
“What’s the matter?” Lionette asked as she noticed Stella’s expression.
“You just thanked those slaves.” Stella replied.
“Yes I did. Over the past year I have changed many of my views on our slave system. I must say I have no intentions of radical change but I have found that courtesy and a kind word to them is a step in the right direction.” Lionette explained.
“I want you to meet my assistant Neeka. She was a slave at one time but she volunteered to help me find my fathers assassin along with Pep. If it weren’t for Neeka here I would have been killed. I owe her my life. She is one of my most trusted friends now.” Lionette said smiling at her.
“I hope this trend continues Lionette, you seem much happier being surrounded be people you care about rather than people you feel you must constantly subjugate.” Stella commented.
“And what of you Stella? I must admit I was shocked to see you back from the dead and not trying to kill us anymore.” Lionette said trying to catch Stella off guard.
Stella put down her utensils.
“I know Ceecee has told you that Jaycee has forgiven me for her death. I also understand that you will need more than a ghosts endorsement to trust me again. Even though Jaycee has forgiven me I haven’t forgiven myself. Once I escaped from that cooling shaft I began to remember what had been done to me. The torture and brainwashing slowly was washed away after Lyda thought I was dead and lost interest in me.” Stella said. Lionette saw she seemed legitimately upset by the memory of her past deeds.
“How can I ever forgive myself for murdering that poor girl. I promised I would protect her.” Stella sobbed.
“Enough of this talk. This conversation should include all of your friends and not just me. Of course you have suffered as well as everyone involved. Let’s forget the past for a while longer and just enjoy the morning.” Lionette said taking Stella’s hand to comfort her.
Lionette had sensed that Stella was truly sorry for what she had done. It would make sense that after what she had done she would have stayed away. But why did she come back now unannounced? What did she want from them? Soon Stella would have to explain herself to the very people she tried to kill and they would be the ones that would decide her fate.
The freighter slid silently through the black void of space. Bronski was still awake even though the time indicator said he should have been asleep hours ago. He always had trouble sleeping before a fight. He didn’t mind too much because the lack of sleep just made him meaner.
A young woman came into the mess hall of the freighter carrying her newborn child. She was startled for a second when she noticed Bronski sitting in the darkened corner.
“Do you mind if we join you?” the woman asked sheepishly.
Bronski didn’t reply, he just extended his hand and offered her a seat close to him. She hesitated for a second and then pulled out a chair and sat down.
“He was crying so I came down here to see if he was hungry.” She said trying to make conversation.
Bronski took a second look at the child. It looked to be no older than two or three months.
“You traveling with your husband?” Bronski asked.
“Oh…I’m not married. He left when he found out I was pregnant.” She said smiling awkwardly. “It’s my own fault really, I was stupid to trust him.”
“Don’t do that.” Bronski said sternly.
“Do what.” She asked.
“Don’t excuse what he did. Guys like that make me sick. They’re cowards. They can’t face up to their responsibilities.” He said.
“It doesn’t matter really. He had a star ship. I just wanted some adventure is all. We went everywhere and he treated me okay I guess. He never hit me or made me do anything wrong. He just didn’t want us. He left us back there while we went to get supplies. We came back and he was gone. The Feloids said we couldn’t stay but they did arrange passage for us back to human space.” She said. She opened her shirt and began to breast feed the child as she gently rocked him back and forth humming him a quiet lullaby.
“What are you going to do when you get there?” he asked.
“I guess I’ll try to find a job and a place to stay. I’m light years away from my home world. I can only hope I get a lucky break.” She said.
He looked at the girl sitting there with her child. She was blonde and very pretty. She had genuine innocents about her even though she had wound up in this situation. She really didn’t understand how badly off she was.
“What’s the kid’s name?” he asked.
“Villmont, after his grand father.” She said.
“Would you be willing to work for me when we get there?” Buck asked.
The girl looked at him wondering what she would have to do.
“No, no…I mean a real job. I just want someone to watch my stuff after I get there. I have a job to do and I might have to leave suddenly. I just want some one to watch my personal belongings and send them to me if I have to leave in a hurry.” He said.
“You’re not trying to trick me are you?” she asked.
“Nope. I was just trying to think of a way to keep my stuff safe and then you said you needed a job so I figured we could help each other is all.” Bronski smiled.
“That would make things easier I guess. At least I could make a little money until I got on my feet. Okay I’ll do it.” She said still a little unsure of Bronski.
“The name is Buck, Buck Bronski.” He said offering her hand.
“Deirta Ghaalo’s my name.” she said as she shook his hand.
Bronski leaned back and closed his eyes. He felt good. He would let this girl stay in his room and watch his stuff. He decided he would talk to her a little more and find out were she was from and buy her and the kid passage home to her family. He had plenty of money stashed away so he figured he should do something good in case he died trying to kill that droid. More than likely she was lying about most of what she said but at least the kid would have a chance.
He knew the woman and child he killed in combat by accident never had a chance but these two would. It was a thousand life times ago but he still saw their lifeless eyes staring at him every day. He always tried to help women and kids every chance he had ever since that day. Maybe it meant something in the greater scheme of things and maybe it didn’t but it was the only thing he could think of to do so far.
He looked at the girl and her child one last time. She was still holding her child to her breast and she was smiling at him. He smiled back and closed his eyes again. Now he could sleep. He’d done his good deed for the day. He would give these two a chance at life. That was more than any ever did for him.
Timtam knocked on the door a second time. This time she had knocked a little louder. She waited patiently in front of Granic’s quarters. Some of the rebel soldiers would walk by and smile at her and ask her how she was doing. She had become a minor celebrity along with Pep after saving their lives when they crashed the space ship they were on into the Star Destroyer.
She smiled and waved back at them. It made her feel good that they liked her. She knocked again and waited. She hadn’t heard anything about Hudd and Mykala since they left to pick up the parts Granic had bought.
“Who is it?” Granic asked from behind the door.
“It’s me, Timtam. Have you heard anything from Hudd or Mykala?” Granic could hear the nervousness in her voice.
“Nothing yet Timtam. Probably can’t get a message out. There are a lot of storms on that planet. They might even be keeping radio silence so the other pirates won’t find out that they have a valuable cargo.” Granic said.
He was worried himself. He had talked to his contact on the planet and he told Granic they never showed up. The contact thought that a rival gang must have tricked them. He said he found Hudd and Mykala’s freighter but nobody remembers seeing them at all. They should have made contact with him almost two days ago but they were missing. He didn’t want to admit that he had made a mistake. He should have come up with a password so they would have known if they had met the Feloids they were supposed to. If something had happened to Hudd and Mykala it would be his fault. Granic knew that any mission they went on had its level of danger but he should have been more careful about sending people into a pirate strong hold.
“I’ll give my contact a call and have him get in contact with us. Now go back and finish installing the cockpit heaters in number seven and I’ll let you know what’s going on.” He said still standing on the other side of the door.
“Okay Granic but please hurry. I think something bad has happened to them.” Timtam said. She waited for Granic to reassure her but was met with only silence. She turned away and headed back to the hangar bay.
Granic went to his transmitter and called his contact.
“Reez, this is Granic, have you found my people yet?” he asked.
“Well to be honest we really haven’t been looking for them Granic, we’re not a baby sitting service you know.” Reez sounded annoyed.
“Well if you don’t find them then how are you going to get paid? You know the scams those cutthroats run there better than anyone. Go find them or I’ll send some people that will.” Granic said angrily.
“Alright, alright Granic don’t shed your hide. I’ll put the word out and get back to you.” Reez replied.
“Don’t fuck around with this Reez these humans are important people here and they will be missed if they don’t return. Lionette Ty is just one of the people that will miss them. I hope I’m making myself very clear.” Granic said.
“Lionette Ty? We don’t need to get her involved. That crazy bitch will put a dozen attack cruisers over us until we find them. Just relax Granic and I’ll see to it personally.
Granic shut off the transmitter and put his head in his hands. If Hudd and Mykala were dead because of his mistake things would be rough on him. It was his responsibility to set up security for any pick-ups he scheduled. He had been sloppy and now two people may be dead because of him. He couldn’t help but think of Timtam. She was the only non-Reptus being that he ever liked. If he caused Hudd’s death he would never forgive himself. There was just something about her that touched him inside. She was like a child in some ways and he wanted to protect her. Now he may have taken a good man from her. Someone she deserved to have after her years as a slave.
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 02:17)