Matt was busy making plans. They had received a report about a shipment of weapons being sent by the Empire. He was putting together a raid to capture the ships so they could take the weapons. With more people joining all the time they could certainly use as many supplies as they could get their hands on.
Matt looked up. Ragg should have been there by now. Something was wrong if Ragg was late.
“Private.” Matt called to one of the men just outside the door.
“Yes sir?” he replied.
“Run over to Major Tempess’s quarters and see what’s taking him so long.” Matt ordered.
“Yes sir.” He replied. He turned and ran in the direction of Ragg’s quarters.
Seconds later Ragg walked into room. “Sorry I’m late Matt.” Ragg said.
“Damn it Ragg, I just sent a runner to get you.” Matt said irritated.
“Sorry buddy but I was up most of the night entertaining.” He smiled.
“What do you mean? I saw Ceecee at her work station two hours ago.” Matt said.
“I wasn’t with Ceecee.” Ragg said.
Matt looked at Ragg. “Stop right there pal. I don’t want to know any more about it.”
“It was that new one…the little blonde.” Ragg grinned.
“I don’t care Ragg. We have work to do right now.” Matt said trying to sound official.
“Okay Matt what are we up against?” Ragg asked becoming more focused on the task at hand.
“The Empire is shipping new weapons to their garrison on this moon. They are going to use the base there as a new supply depot in this area. The good news is that the supplies were ready before they could have the new troops sent there so we have a window of two days after the weapons are delivered before re-enforcements arrive. Right now I’m thinking that we can hit them hard using about two hundred men and four of our bigger freighters. With the new fighter squadron that arrived we should have adequate air support as long as they don’t send in any capital ships to shore up their defenses.” Matt said.
“Who do you want on the command crew?” Ragg asked.
“You’ll head the initial landing force. I was thinking of putting Mykala in command as your second. She’s a great leader and isn’t afraid to get up close and personal with the enemy. Kang will be my second in command. He’s been restless lately about all these personal excursions we’ve had and I want him to see everything is back on track.” Matt replied.
“Speaking of excursions has anyone heard from Tarin or Buck? Its none of my business but just what is going on with those two anyway?” Ragg asked.
“Tarin has always considered this group as just a matter of convenience to her. When she’s here she’s dependable I’ll say that but it wouldn’t surprise me if she just up and left for something easier to do. Buck is the best damned soldier I’ve ever seen and so his sudden disappearance does have me wondering if something is wrong. I have messages going out to them to contact us but so far we haven’t heard anything at all.” Matt said.
“ Well I’m happy to have Mykala with me. She’s a leader and a killer. Has there been a decision made about Stella? I know you all have a history with her but do you think she’s okay to still be in the fight?” Ragg asked as delicately as he could.
Matt looked down. “To be frank I think she’s spent. She put all this together and for that we all owe her. I’ve seen it before just like you have. Whatever they did to her while she was a prisoner broke her spirit. She needs to stay out of the fight I’m afraid. She should put this all behind her and start a new life somewhere. She’s earned it.”
Fey stood patiently looking out of the window high in fortress turret. She watched the icy cold black river snake its way through the dark gray valley hundreds of feet below.
Livian was sitting in one of the dark alcoves in the huge vaulted chamber across from the turret where Fey was. She sat quietly reciting word for word the laws of the Sith. Being blind she had found that reciting the rules and laws of the Sith was a profitable way to spend her time while waiting. Fey had the advantage of sight so she could at least take in the view while she waited. Livian was at a disadvantage due to her lack of sight. Wherever she was she always had the same view. At one time she had actually been Sith warrior until she was blinded by a Jedi in combat. She had little choice but to become an asset in a new field or be done away with. She chose to serve Fey.
They had been summoned to the High Chamberlain’s fortress. She had new information for them concerning one of their experiments that had gone missing.
Fey knew it was the Feloid slave girl that Gangler had been torturing. She was happy to hear the girl had been located. Her theory about Feloid Force users would soon be proven she thought. There were no documented Feloid force users known to exist due to their isolationist views and culture. Feloids shunned all outside influences and even the Jedi they allowed in could only train them in combat and not the way of the Force.
The heavy steel doors opened and out stepped a serving droid.
“The Mistress will see you now.” Said the droid.
Fey walked over and took Livian’s hand. Fey guided Livian into the chamber behind the massive doors.
The room was dark with only a lamp on the desk being lit. In the gloom Fey could make out twenty-foot walls that also served as bookshelves. They were filled with ancient manuscripts and scrolls that had been collected from across the galaxy over thousands of years. They were a passion of the Chamberlain, the Lady Ycoanna Veyeer. Fey walked towards the lone desk at the far end of the room. She could make out other figures in the darkened chamber in the shadows. They were crouched low in the various corners of the room or were kneeling behind huge piles of old books on the floor. Occasionally she would hear the rattle of chains denoting some of these creatures might not be here willingly.
The Chamberlain sat motionless, barely lit behind the desk. Her hair was braided into many individual strands that flowed backwards over her head. Her skin appeared to be as white as her robes giving her the look of a haunting apparition possessing this cavernous library.
“Ah, Fey, and Livian. I’m glad you could make it here so quickly. We’ve found your lost experiment for you it seems. As you know Fey I’ve always been a supporter of your plan to sew discontent in the ranks of the Feloid expanse. This slave girl you gave the accelerant to seems to have found a use for her new abilities quiet quickly. As you thought one of the first things she did was to go on a rampage and kill her first master and destroy her breeding camp. Not only did she do that she also freed all of the other slaves in the camp. I am very pleased to say that your theory was spot on my dear.” Ycoanna said looking up at Fey from the report on her desk.
Fey smiled proudly as Livian gave her hand a squeeze of silent congratulations. There would be promotions for both for sure. “There is only one problem Fey.” Ycoanna said suddenly sounding very disappointed.
Fey’s hart sank. She knew now there was to be no promotions.
“The problem Fey is she is there and we are here. She needs to be here sweet Fey. If I do not control her then she is not an asset to us.” Ycoanna said angrily.
“What is you wish my Mistress?” Fey asked bending down on one knee.
“Take whatever measures are necessary and bring her to me. Valuable information is being lost every day.” Ycoanna said.
“As you wish my Mistress.” Fey stood up and took Livian’s hand to go.
“Stop! You will leave her with me. She is to assist me here until you return.” Ycoanna said.
“Mistress she is blind…” Fey began.
“I will find her things to do.” Ycoanna hissed.
Fey released her grip on Livian’s hand a stepped away from her. Livian’s mouth opened slightly as if to protest but she remained silent. Fey quickly left the room and went back into the huge vaulted chamber and started to walk down the stairs. She continued on not daring to look back as she heard a familiar voice call her name just before the large steel doors closed shut.
Bronski dragged Remha away from Za’sha’s lifeless body covering her mouth with his powerful hand. They ducked behind one of the engine covers that had been strewn about after the crash. Remha heard the first rescue vehicle fly down low overhead. It circled once and then landed near Za’sha’s body. The crew quickly jumped out and began doing what they had been trained to do.
“Come on!” Bronski said as he took off towards the rescue vehicle. Remha looked back at Za’sha’s body and then followed Bronski around the engine cover and back behind the rescue ship. Bronski climbed in through the rear hatch and jumped into the pilots seat. He looked around for Remha. He saw her walking up to the rescue crew next to Za’sha.
“Pick her up.” She ordered. She was leveling her wrist gauntlet at them.
“What are you doing?” Bronski yelled out of the window.
“I won’t leave her here. We’re taking her with us.” Remha said casting Bronski and evil look.
Bronski looked back at her. “You heard the lady, put her friend inside the ship…and be gentle with her.” He said yelling over the sound of the engines.
The crew lifted Za’sha’s body and placed it in the rear of the ship. Remha jumped up inside of the rescue lander and closed the doors. The crew watched in silence as Bronski hit the thrusters and lifted up from the beach. They flew back towards the city as the rest of the rescue craft flew past headed for the beach.
“How are we going to find Tarin? She could be anywhere.” Remha asked.
“I’m counting on that droid to find us. If we find him we’ll find Tarin.” Bronski said holding up the tracking chip. He had turned it on right after they crashed.
“What are you doing? We can’t fight that thing!” Remha said.
“We aren’t going to fight it. We just need it to show us where Tarin is.” He said.
“You know he’ll be expecting us to do that right?” she asked.
“Have you got a better plan?” he replied.
Timtam turned to see Pep approaching her work area. She smiled at Pep and put down her tools.
“How are you and Hudd doing since he got back?” Pep asked smiling back.
“It’s really good. I finally know how you feel with Matt.” Timtam said.
“I’m happy for the both of you. Timtam, I want you to do me a favor. I want you and Hudd to go to Geirgor and check on the girls I brought there. It’s all been arranged with Brumbarus he knows your coming. I want you to check on the girls for me. You’re the only one I can really trust with this. The girls will trust you since you’re one of them. I hope it will give Hudd something easy to do as well while his ankle heals.” Pep said.
“What’s going on here? Don’t bother my help while she’s working.” Granic said. He had come up from behind them both.
Pep looked at Granic and smiled coolly.
“Do you really want to get me angry Granic? I know you’re ignorant but I never thought of you as stupid.”
Granic stopped in his tracks. He had been told, as had everyone else about Pep’s powers. He was just so used to talking down to others that he had forgotten how dangerous she could be if she chose.
“Go away Granic I have important things to discuss with Timtam.” Pep said in the same cool voice.
Granic felt himself getting warm. He backed away quickly without saying another word.
“I don’t think Granic will give me the time off to do it. I wish I could Pep. I know Hudd wants to do something else besides sit in my quarters all day.” Timtam said awkwardly. She wanted to help but she didn’t want to get in trouble with Granic.
Pep smiled at Timtam. She didn’t realize the power Pep had was something to be feared. If Pep wanted something from someone she didn’t respect, like Granic, she would just force them to do it. “Go and get your things ready Timtam and I’ll get things worked out with Granic. I’m sure after I’m done talking with him there won’t be any problem.” Pep said.
“Okay Pep I’ll go tell Hudd we’re leaving for Geirgor. He’ll be glad to get out and into space again.” Timtam said smiling.
“There’s one more thing Timtam, do you know what these are?” Pep showed Timtam a handful of breeding pills. Timtam’s eyes got wide from fear and surprise.
“You shouldn’t have those Pep. You can get in trouble for having those.” She said whispering nervously.
“It’s fine. Everything is fine Timtam. I have permission from Lionette. Do you want some?” Pep asked grinning.
“What would I do with them? I’m like you Pep. My man is human. We can’t have children together.” Timtam said looking to see if anyone was around.
“It is possible Timtam. There is a chance that a human and a Feloid can have a child. It’s a small chance but there is still a chance.” Pep said.
Timtam stared at the hand full of pills. She might be able to have Hudd’s child. There was a chance they could have a family just like normal people.
Timtam slowly opened her hand and let Pep pour the pills in it.
Pep looked to see Timtam’s eyes well up with tears of happiness and hope.
Den landed his ship at Tarsis station. It was mid-day and the streets were full of people representing just about all the major races in the galaxy. There seemed to be a constant sound of ships coming and going in the distance. He needed to find his contact in the marketplace just a few blocks away as soon as he could. The less time he was here the better.
Den moved carefully down the street trying to be as inconspicuous as he could be.
Zayer had spotted him almost as soon as he left his ship. She had been watching from a balcony on the first building directly across from the landing pad. She quickly made her way down stairs and outside just after he passed the front door of the building. Zayer slipped out the door unnoticed and started following Den.
Torbarr had been in position one block ahead of den’s location. They knew he was headed to the marketplace for his meeting so they had a pretty good idea of what route he would take. Zayer told Torbarr that Den was headed his way so Torbarr began to walk slowly towards the marketplace in this way there would be someone ahead of Den as well as behind. Sy’ah had the hardest job of trailing him from across the street. She had to remain closest but stay out of his view. She wore a drab gray cloak over her spotless white body armor making sure the hood was pulled up to cover her long black hair.
Den sensed danger as her made his way down the street. He could feel sinister eyes upon him with each step he took.
He quickly stepped into a recessed doorway so he could look up and down the street more carefully. Den checked the stores and shops up and down the street. He could make out the signs all written in Feloid with several of the more common languages in smaller print underneath. He checked the doors and windows for anyone who looked suspicious. Nothing caught his eye at this time but he couldn’t shake the feeling that he was being watched. He was quickly realizing that coming here was a bad move.
Zayer stopped when she saw Den step into the doorway. She spoke quietly into her communicator telling Torbarr to stop and turn around. It was time to make their move. She knew that Den Athgar had sensed their presence close by. He would have realized the meeting was a trap and would now try to escape.
Sy’ah heard Zayer and slowly turned to make sure Den was where she last saw him. Den and Sy’ah’s eyes met at the same time. They both froze as they waited to see what the other would do first.
The shiny new cybernetic eyes locked onto Den. Sy’ah went for her weapon on instinct alone. She had hunted Jedi before and new she had to be very careful when she shot. A good Jedi like Den could easily deflect the shot away and even back at the shooter killing him with his own shot.
She opened fire as she walked calmly across the street towards him. The crowd in the street began yelling and running for cover. Den’s reaction was just as she hoped. He must have thought she was alone and so he headed in the direction that he had just come from. Den was headed back to his ship.
Zayer called into the intercom that Den was moving. Torbarr closed the visor on his battle armor and fired his jump jets launching himself into the air half way down the block in Den’s direction.
Sy’ah calmly followed Den still firing but making sure her shots were missing him and striking just behind him to help drive him closer towards Zayer’s location.
Den sensed that he was being driven forward but he was too late. The crowd had parted revealing Zayer standing in the street alone. Den stopped and saw Sy’ah walking behind him no longer shooting. She holstered her guns and leaned against one of the streetlights that lined the street. There was a whooshing sound and a metallic thud as Torbarr landed in his battle armor across the street from Sy’ah. Between the two of them they had blocked any chance to run in that direction. Den saw that Torbarr had two plasma guns in his hands. They were capable of burning down half of the street and probably killing most of the inhabitants if he fired them. Den couldn’t risk endangering innocent lives just to escape.
He turned back towards Zayer. She was standing in the middle of the street all alone. She unfastened the clasp on her cloak and let it drop on the ground. Den was able to tell for the first time just who his nemesis was. Her skin was ashen white and covered from head to toe with the ruins of the Sith Wytches. She wore only the sparsest of clothing except for her knee high black boots. She was holding a weapon that he had thought only existed in stories and ancient lore. It was a long thin mirror like black blade. These weapons were called “Light taker” and “Bane of Jedi’s”. They were said to have dark powers that made them more powerful than any light saber.
“You can’t beat me Den Athgar. I was born a Wytch and trained to be a bringer of the darkness. No Jedi has ever stood against me.” Zayer said as she paced back and forth.
“I hope I don’t offend you if I try just the same.” Den said smiling.
“Come at me if you wish old man. Just know that the High Wytches don’t give these blades to someone unless they know how to use them.” Zayer said stopping and pointing the blade directly at Den.
“Halt! Yelled a Feloid officer as he and several of his troops ran out of a building at the corner. “This man is a Jedi and under the protection of the Feloid people.” He said to Zayer.
Without hesitation Sy’ah stepped into the street and drew her blasters with lightening speed and gunned all of them down. She had spun the pistols in an impressive display and holstered them before the last one hit the ground dead.
“Any one else?” she asked.
The remaining on lookers all stepped back cautiously.
Sy’ah nodded at Zayer denoting that she had held up her responsibilities.
Den quickly weighed his options. He was alone with no back up or help expected. His foe was definitely not a braggart and must be the real thing. She had at least two accomplices with her. He didn’t have a chance.
“So this where it ends for me. A friend told me not to come.” He said smiling.
“You should have listened Den Athgar because your friend won’t be able to give you any more advice after today.” Zayer said.
Den looked around one last time for anyway out of this. Then to his amazement he saw Hesta in the crowd pointing a pistol at Zayer’s back. Suddenly from out of the sky a huge black shape dropped down smashing into Hesta knocking her to the ground. The crowd ran in all directions as the creature sunk its sharpened teeth into Hesta’s unprotected throat. Hesta kicked and struggled violently and then went limp. Jen Jaya stood up over Hesta’s dead body dripping blood from her mouth and teeth.
“Finish him Zayer, this is taking too long.” Jen Jaya snapped.
Den wouldn’t let Hesta die in vain. She had given him a slim chance with her death. Zayer had turned to hear what Jen Jaya had said. It was just for a second but it was enough time for Den to leap at Zayer and draw his light saber.
Just as she said she showed him she was no braggart. She was able to bend backwards far enough for Den’s light saber to just slice off the tip of her hair. She turned effortlessly and cut Den’s arm off at the elbow. He landed easily not realizing his arm was cut in half until he raised it so he could grab the light saber with both hands. It had happened so quickly he never felt it.
Zayer stood up and walked away with her back to Den, to her the fight was over.
Den then felt the poison from the blade start to seep into his blood and burn like fire. He dropped to his knees and let out a scream of pain.
“You see? This is one of the Jedi you people protect. They are no match for a Sith. Give us these Jedi you hide and we won’t return.” Zayer said to the crowd.
Den looked at his stump of an arm and clenched his teeth. He didn’t want to give Zayer the satisfaction of hearing his pain a second time. He looked at her in disbelief. He had been a master and she had struck him down in one blow. He had tried to block her swing but her dark blade had drained the energy from his light saber blade just for a second allowing her blade to pass through his and cut off his arm. Any Jedi fighting her might as well throw their light saber away. Against her dark blade they were useless.
Den looked around at the Feloids in the crowd watching. He realized she had done more than just kill a Jedi. She had also struck a blow against their tradition of helping the Jedi. They had been told the Jedi were great warriors and deserved the protection of the Feloids. Zayer had just killed a Jedi with one swing. This would cause many Feloids to rethink the worthiness of the Jedi.
Den Athgar slumped forward and died in the street knowing he had failed.
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 02:28)