Hunters and friends
Mykala opened her eyes. She was in a warm bed under a thick blanket. There was a tube going up inside her nose and she could feel it running down the back of her throat. Her arms and chest had been strapped down so she couldn’t move. She suddenly remembered being shot in the back. Mykala looked down as she tried as hard as she could to lift her leg. She began to sob as she realized she couldn’t feel anything at all below her waist.
“Doctor! Doctor, she’s awake come quick!” the voice belonged to Hudd. He had stayed by her side all night.
“Shhh, relax Mykala. Everything is going to be okay.” He said trying to smile.
Mykala closed her eyes and began to choke a little on the tube going down her throat. Hudd held her head up and poured a small amount of water down her throat to help keep it moist. He instinctively stroked her hair and slowly lowered her head back down.
“Doctor!” he called again.
“How bad is it?” she asked.
“I don’t know…you’d better ask the doctor.” Hudd said. It was obvious that he knew more than he let on.
“You have to promise me something Hudd.” She choked. “You have to promise me if they can’t fix my spine…I want you to promise you’ll kill me.” She said.
“Don’t say that of course you’ll be okay. They can do all kind of stuff for people now you’ll see.” Hudd knew that even with all the technology that was available there was still no guarantee that they could fix that kind of spinal damage. The nerves had been blasted and burned. Four of her vertebrae have been completely destroyed. It was a very serious wound.
“You owe me damn it. I saved you back there. You would have given up and died in that black tunnel if you did it your way.” Mykala was suddenly very angry with Hudd.
“Yeah…well I saved you when I jumped on that grate and it fell down and hit that monster.” He countered.
“I came on this trip to make sure you lived. I did it for Timtam and you so you could be happy now you owe me. If it weren’t for me you never would have made it out of your bed back in the tent. They would have snuck in and slit your stupid throat in your sleep.” Mykala said still angry.
“Why are you so angry? I never asked you to come with me?” he asked.
“I just can’t live this way. I can’t be a burden. You have to do it for me. If they can’t fix it you have to do it. Tell me you’ll do it.” Mykala was crying now. The shock of her situation was hitting home. She was no longer a player in this game.
“I can’t promise you that Mykala…I’m not a killer. I can’t do what you ask.” Hudd said. She looked over at him and could see his eyes welling up with tears.
“Where is she? Where is my Pretty little Tarin?” the droid asked as it stepped down off its heavy jet bike.
Bronski was inside the massive battle frame safe from the droids grasp. He leaned forward putting his eye against the weapon sight. He locked the weapons onto the droids electronic signature. It showed a pattern that he’d never seen before. He didn’t expect this droid to be so different but his weapons locked on to it anyway and that was good enough for him.
“She’s in here with me. Why don’t you come inside and we’ll all have a party.” He said over the loud speaker. Bronski squeezed the trigger and launched an anti-ship missile at the droid.
The thing didn’t stand a chance.
The missile blew the droid completely to pieces. Bronski watched as fire and droid parts showered down all over the field.
Bronski looked at the wreckage and smiled. “That was easy.” he thought. He walked his battle frame over to where the droid had been standing. Something just felt wrong about the ease of its destruction. He checked the instruments and suddenly realized what was wrong. The instruments showed the droids power signature was still operating. He could see the parts scattered all over the field but they were all still functioning. He looked at his instruments again and saw the parts begin to move. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. The larger parts began to change shape and twist and flip towards each other as though they were alive.
“What the fuck is this?” he said aloud to himself. He backed the battle frame up away from the blast area. Of all the battles he had been in he had never seen anything like this. It was as though each remaining part was alive and had its own intelligence.
As the parts met they melded together and bit-by-bit they began to rebuild themselves into the droid that had just been blown apart.
“What the fuck is this?” he said again to himself. Suddenly he remembered it boasting about being alive for over a thousand years. Bronski wasn’t what you would call an educated man but he loved anything to do with military history. A chill ran down his spine as realized just what kind of droid he was looking at.
A thousand years ago the Sith had experimented with intelligent nanobot technology. The nanobots could form themselves into any shape they wanted to. The standard shape was the one the droid had normally appeared as, a large skeletal humanoid. The Sith soon found that the millions of nanobots that made up each unit began to over ride their programming and begin to do what they wanted.
They had become intelligent but without any morality. The Sith lords quickly began hunting these droids down by using small droids that would attach themselves to the nanobot droid and infect it with a new batch of nanobots that turned off the others. The droid would then simply stop working and collapse into a pile of millions of individual nanobots never to come back to life. Unless these other nanobots were introduced into the droid it could not be destroyed. It would simply be disassembled and then reassemble no matter what kind of damage it took.
Bronski realized that they hadn’t made the type of nanobot that shut down the others for over a thousand years.
“Shit!” he yelled as he kept backing up. He realized why this droid was so sure of itself. It had never been beaten in over a thousand years. It had even somehow out smarted the Sith lords that built it.
He had to come up with a new plan. He had to figure out a way to kill this droid that nobody had killed in over a thousand years. Then an idea hit him.
He would run. He would run as far away from this thing as he could. If he didn’t run this thing would kill him as sure as shit. Bronski switched on the jump jets in his battle frames legs and leapt into the sky. He circled the field for a second and watched as the droid was finishing its reassembly. He had to loose this droid somehow. He looked frantically around until he saw the city only a few miles away. He could loose it if he flew in between the buildings. Seeing this as his only option he pointed his battle frame at the city and hit the thrusters. His rear camera showed no sign of the droid. This was too easy. Bronski flew low just above traffic and began zigzagging his way down city streets. He felt the droid following him but everything on his scanners showed it was not. Suddenly he was hit by a staccato of laser cannon blasts that knocked his battle frame to the ground. He hit hard tumbling into a speeder sales lot taking out nearly ten of this year’s newest models in a huge fireball. His scanners showed the droid had attacked from in front of him hovering on his heavy jet bike. How could it have known where he would be? He had no idea where he was going as he flew down the streets but the droid was able to predict where he was going and be there waiting for him. He rolled over just in time to avoid being hit by another salvo. Bronski hit the thrusters again and blasted off taking a turn at the next street accidentally clipping the corner of one of the buildings and knocking down the sign in front. Once again his scanners showed no sign of the droid or the heavy jet bike he rode. He aimed his weapons forward hoping to get a shot at the droids jet bike. At least if he could destroy it the droid wouldn’t be able to follow him anymore. Bronski pushed the thrusters to full. He would try and get as much distance as he could from the droid. He cursed himself for not taking the launch pack that he used if he needed to go from the ground into outer space. If he had then he would be able to loose the droid for sure. The scanners lit up warning him that he had something coming at him from his left side. Bronski swung head long into it ready to fire everything he had. He pulled up at the last second narrowly avoiding a police speeder that was now chasing him. It was the police speeder the scanners had picked up not the droid.
Again the droid and his jet bike appeared in front of him and opened fire. The droid had known where he was going to be. It wasn’t possible to do what this droid was doing. The laser blasts hit the missile pod causing it to catch fire. It wouldn’t be long before it exploded. He had no choice but to eject the pod and hope it didn’t land on an orphanage or something else the populace may be unsympathetic about. The pod tumbled down burning until it smashed into an abandoned building. Miraculously the pod didn’t explode. Instead it just smacked into a pile of sand and debris. The battle was becoming too dangerous to the civilians in the area so Bronski turned back to the landing area and hit the thrusters. Once clear of the city he checked the scanners and this time he saw the droid hot on his heels. It wasn’t making any sense that this time the droid was showing up on his scanners this time. The only advantage he had was his battle frame was faster than the droid’s jet bike. He could keep his distance in a straight flight but sooner or later he would have to turn and fight.
Suddenly his left thruster began loosing power. It must have been damaged earlier. He cursed as he watched the droid getting closer and closer on his scanners. Once the droid was close enough he opened fire. Bronski twisted and zigzagged his battle frame to no avail. The droid had him dead in his sights and kept firing until Bronski’s vehicle began to go down in flames. Bronski fired his emergency retro rockets at the last possible second slowing his battle frame just before he hit the ground. The vehicle smashed and cart wheeled over and over tearing up the ground and throwing huge chunks of dirt and vehicle parts everywhere. The battle frame came to rest face down half buried in the dirt and scattered parts. The power was off and Bronski found himself helplessly trapped inside. He had been thrown forward in the cockpit and had pinned his right arm under his body. His comm-link crackled on. “Time to find out if my sweet sweet Tarin is in there with you.” Said the droid in his raspy mechanical voice. Bronski felt the cockpit and body being lifted up by the droid. Soon the droid will pull the armored hatch open and drag him out to finish the job. Suddenly the tilting of the body dislodged his arm and it was free. Thinking fast he pulled the lever to the ejection seat blowing the hatch clear and launching him into the sky. The droid was knocked back screaming. There was a violent jerk as his parachute opened just feet above the ground. The chair hit the surface of the landing area hard. Bronski quickly unfastened his harness and jumped up to his feet. He looked up just in time to see the droid walking directly at him.
Zayer opened the airlock of her ship. She glanced up at the blaster pistol that she had hidden above the doorway. The first one of her new group walked up the ramp. He was a Feloid and a big one at that. He was what they called a Beast type where as he looked more animal than man. He wore heavy battle armor that could stop the bolts from just about any blaster and it looked like it had. His fur was dark gray with black stripes covering it. He carried two heavy plasma guns on his hips with the power cables extending to his backpack power unit.
The next one up the ramp was a human female. She had long black hair that hung down to her waist. She was wearing white form fitting body armor that covered a shiny black body stocking. She carried only one blaster on her side that matched her armor. Everything she wore had been custom made just for her. She looked up at Zayer to reveal her cybernetic chromium eyes that she did nothing to hide.
The last one up the ramp was a Harbenger female. Her clawed toes click clacked up the ramp sounding like high heels. They were a rare species of humanoid that had only been discovered thirty years ago. Harbengers are savage race of beings that excelled in torture and violence. They also were very smart. But the most remarkable feature they possessed was their wings. They attached at their shoulder blades and were actually able to allow the Harbengers to fly over great distances. They also made them the top predator on their savage world. She wore only her tribal vestments that consisted mostly of a leather bikini that barely covered her well-muscled frame. Her hair was dark and thick so she combed up and back to make herself look taller and more formidable. They are believed to be genetically engineered by the Sith long ago and then forgotten the last time the Sith were defeated.
Zayer ushered them all into the common room on her ship. She knew the Feloid and the human woman from past jobs but the Harbenger was a new acquaintance.
“Torbarr my friend I am glad to see you escaped. I wouldn’t want to venture into Feloid space without your assistance.” Zayer said.
“They were fools to think they could hold me. I am Torbarr, the son of Gerhart. It will take more than a maximum security prison to hold me.” Torbarr laughed proudly.
“And of coarse Sy’ah. Your tracking abilities and deadly accuracy are still the best I assume?” Zayer asked.
“I’ve had an upgrade since last we met Zayer. I’m hoping for a bonus to help pay my doctor.” Sy’ah said.
“I’ll see what I can do.” Zayer smiled.
“You must be Jen Jaya, you come highly recommended. My employer insisted you be part of my team.” Zayer said.
Jen Jaya climbed up on the table and squatted down on her haunches. She calmly drew out her long thin knife and began to sharpen it slowly on the small whetstone tied around her neck. She looked at Zayer with her blood red eyes and grinned showing everyone her sharpened teeth. They had all been sharpened to precise points by hand.
“So what is the job?” she asked as she rocked back and forth. There was a definite air of brutality about Jen Jaya that everyone could sense. Looking at her one could tell she wouldn’t hesitate in the use of violence. She was in control but she had a hair trigger.
“We have been given authority to hunt Jedi. We have a mission handed down from the Emperor’s enforcement division to seek them out and capture or destroy them.” Zayer said in an attempt to regain the attention of her crew.
“Torbarr, you and Sy’ah both have a grudge against the Jedi so I know you won’t let me down. Jen Jaya you are the wild card at the moment. Why should we trust you to hunt and kill Jedi?” Zayer asked plainly.
“I have a grudge against everyone. I have no home or people anymore. My family sold me to Lord Villinus. I have only him and he has sent me to help so I will do as he commands.” She said looking at each one of them smiling.
“A baby sitter. Lord Villinus has given us a baby sitter.” Sy’ah said crossing her arms.
“Call it what you will black hair but I am here to help you complete your task. If you do it well then you have no reason not to trust me. As long as you serve Lord Villinus I am your friend.” She said.
“Alright now that we all know we’re tough guys and all very scary lets get down to business.” Torbarr said as he released the catch on his chest armor and started to take off the whole suit. It was obvious that he wasn’t much into the whole “Who’s the meanest” contest. He just wanted to get the job done and get paid.
Zayer laughed and everyone relaxed a little more. “Well if Jen Jaya will use a chair and not the table we can go over the plans that she’s squatting on.”
Jen Jaya looked down and then looked at Zayer. “Sorry.” She said and climbed into one of the seats. She was actually quiet pretty when she laughed as long as you didn’t look to closely at her teeth. Zayer could now understand why Lord Villinus bought her. It was for the same reason that he bought herself from the Wytches. At least they had that in common.
“What did you mean when you said they were hurt?” Matt asked Granic.
“Their hurt. They got into trouble and they got hurt.” Granic said standing up.
“What are you hiding? Just how hurt are they?” Matt asked pressing the point.
Granic scowled at Matt. He wasn’t going to let this go. “Hudd has been shot and has a broken leg. Mykala was shot in the back and can’t walk anymore, she’s crippled.” Granic shouted. He was angrier with himself than at Matt for asking.
“Crippled? Mykala?” Matt was stunned.
“They’re bringing them both back now. I’ve arranged that at least.” Granic said still angry with himself.
“How bad was Hudd shot?” Matt asked.
“Once in the shoulder and once in the arm. Their medic said he’d make a full recovery.” Granic said.
“How did it happen? Wasn’t anyone waiting for them?” Matt asked.
Granic looked at Matt. “I screwed it up okay! They got all shot up because of me. I got sloppy…I didn’t think.” Granic said in his defense.
“Because they were human. If it was Kang or Lore on that run you’d been a Hell of a lot tighter on the security.” Matt said.
“What are you accusing me of?” Granic shot back.
“What the Hell do you think Granic? You hate everyone but Reptus. You’re only using the rest of us to get what you want. You’ll put on a show of solidarity when you need help but if we pull this off and defeat the Empire you’ll be the first to bail out and go right back to believing your race is the best. You’ll never understand what all of this is about.” Matt yelled.
“You can’t talk to me that way Human!” Granic said Human as though it was an insult.
“And what about Timtam? She only wanted to have you like her. She only wanted to be your friend and how do you repay her? You send the man she loves into a meat grinder and nearly get him killed. Some friend you are. Well at least we all know how much we can trust you now.” Matt said turning to leave. “You better make sure they get back in one piece. The least you can do is that.”
Matt slammed the door to Granic’s room and headed back to his quarters to tell Pep and Timtam what was going on.
Granic sat down at his workbench. He picked up the part he was working on and began to work on it again. Who did Matt think he was talking to him like that? He can’t control what others do. All he did was set up the meeting the rest was up to Hudd and Mykala.
Granic threw the part across the room smashing it against the wall.
He knew he was wrong. He didn’t care about anyone but his people. That’s how it should be. Each race should look out for their own people.
Stella looked out over the balcony that connected the guest quarters of the palace. She had been there only one time before when she had her meeting with Maxis Ty. He had pledged his Clan’s support to her quest to find a group of heroes to fight against the Empire. It was then that he told his daughter Lionette Ty to aid her in this quest. It had all began in this very palace. Even before she met Jaycee and her sister Ceecee. So much had happened since that day. Now Stella had come full circle and was back again.
Stella turned to see Lionette standing behind her. She was wearing her hunting attire that she wore on missions. It was a traditional outfit common to the Feloids of her station. It was a one-piece body suit with thigh high boots and protective extra long fingerless gauntlets all made of soft tanned animal hide. Stella smiled as she realized it was the same outfit Lionette had worn when they left Feloid space and began their epic adventure together.
“I see you remember this outfit.” Lionette said happily. It was a good sign that this was the real Stella Star.
“I remember the looks we got at the first place we landed. Those men looked as though they had never seen women before.” Stella said.
“I also remember you breaking the big ones nose.” Lionette said sitting down.
“Look but don’t touch. That’s my rule.” Stella said. She sat across from Lionette.
“I suppose you’ll have me checked out now. If I know you it will be the Colonel.” Stella said filling her glass.
“You always did prefer the direct approach Stella. Yes, I’m having you checked out. I would be a fool not to don’t you agree?” Lionette countered.
“I expected you to frankly. You were always a tactician at heart. It only makes sense and I do hope you let me know everything that you find out.” Stella said.
“Are you serious?” Lionette asked.
“Yes, one of the reasons I chose now to return is I need your help. There are something’s I don’t remember after I survived the fall. Something’s are still foggy from that time. Something’s I can’t remember at all. And the one thing that bothers me the most is if I survived the fall…then maybe Den Athgar did as well.” Stella said secretly hoping he did.
“We left immediately after you to fell. We didn’t have time to search. Nobody could have survived and yet here you are.” Lionette said pouring herself a drink as well.
Stella understood now why Lionette was wearing her hunting outfit. Not only did she want to see if she remembered it she wore it in case she had to fight her. The situation was tenser then she realized.
“I think I would feel more welcome if you held onto these for me Lionette.”
Stella stood and removed her belt that had her blaster and light saber on it. She slid them across the table towards Lionette.
“Are you sure about this? It’s your choice Stella.” Lionette said looking up from her drink.
“It seems like the proper thing in this situation.” Stella smiled.
Lionette called out into the hallway. Two Feloids dressed in full head to toe combat armor came in. Lionette casually handed one of the guardsmen Stella’s weapons. With a wave of her hand they turned and left.
“You were always a tactician at heart.” Stella said sitting back down. From now on until the Colonel gave his report to Lionette Stella would be under suspicion.
“Of course you have the freedom to leave any time you wish Stella. I want you consider yourself a guest here until certain matters are dealt with. It’s nothing personal you understand. It’s just the fact that I have the safety of others to consider as well as yours.” Lionette said putting her glass on the table.
“It seems I’ve put you into a delicate position. I understand completely Lionette.” Stella said.
“I’m glad this awkwardness has been dispensed with. Now, what do you want for lunch?” Lionette asked smiling and placing her napkin across her knee.
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 02:19)