The trip to Geirgor was uneventful and relaxing. Timtam and Hudd had enjoyed their time together alone. That is the one good thing about space travel. There are few if any interruptions between destinations. Of course there are always the routine duties that must be done while on a spacecraft in flight. Engines need to be monitored as well as life support systems and the constant search for uncharted or rouge asteroids. However on short trips these things can easily be checked and monitored by the ship’s computer or droids.
Timtam had asked Hudd if she could land the ship on Geirgor. The last time she was there she was dumped off as an abandoned slave. Now she was a free person with her own man and an award for bravery from the Ty clan itself. She had gone through a lot of hardships to come this far and she deserved to be proud about her accomplishments.
A new landing pad had been built next to the old one where she had been dropped off her first time here. She put the ship down with all the skill of a professional pilot. Timtam was surprised to see Vultahn waiting by the side of the new landing pad sitting in a brand new speeder. He must have been told they were coming. He stood next to the driver’s side and waved. Timtam waved back as she looked out the cockpit window.
“That’s Vultahn. He was nice to me when I was here before.” Timtam told Hudd.
Hudd leaned forward and saw Vultahn. He was very tall and had thick long blonde hair. He didn’t wear a shirt but only a thick leather harness covered in metal studs.
“I’ll bet he was.” Hudd said.
“You’re not jealous are you?” Timtam teased.
Hudd looked again at the Feloid God waving at his woman. “Me, jealous of him? No way.” He said sounding only a little convincing.
“You don’t have to worry about him. I’m still mad at him for throwing me in a pit full of water.” She said as she helped Hudd up and handed him his crutch.
“And he was one of the nice ones?” Hudd asked.
“Welcome to Geirgor.” Timtam smiled.
Hudd and Timtam walked over to the waiting speeder and Vultahn. He walked over from the vehicle and grabbed the bag with Timtam and Hudd’s clothes in it.
“Am I to be glad seeing you again Pink Head. We all are welcoming you to be here eh.” Vultahn said in his heavy Feloid accent.
“Everything looks so much nicer now. I’m glad everything worked out between you and Lionette. It seems to have been a good deal for everyone.” Timtam said noticing all the new construction.
“Dats all on Brumbarus Pink Head. Him is da great leader eh?” Vultahn said grinning.
“Oh! This is my man, Hudd. He’s my number one.” Timtam said squeezing Hudd’s arm.
“Eez uman eh? Ahh dats okay wid me you know.” Vultahn said.
“Me is happy dat you is happy wid im.”
Hudd stuck out his hand and Vultahn shook it vigorously.
“Glad to know you Vultahn.” Hudd smiled. He was used to dealing with alien races from his years as a free trader.
“Come on in da speedy car. We go to see Brumbarus.” Vultahn said throwing their bag into the back seat.
As Timtam and Hudd climbed into the speeder they noticed a catgirl sitting quietly in the front seat. Timtam recognized her at once as the slave that had her tongue cut out that Brumbarus had given her.
“Eh I almost was forgetin. Remember Rea? She was your girl eh. Well she an me are married now. It is good team eh. I talk too much an she talk not enough.” Vultahn said smiling.
The girl Rea smacked Vultahn’s arm playfully and smiled at Timtam and Hudd. She seemed happy with Vultahn and it was obvious he liked her.
The trip to Brumbarus’s home wound through the town. There where new buildings and construction everywhere she looked. The deal Lionette had made with Brumbarus was benefiting everyone on Geirgor and the Ty clan.
Vultahn drove the speeder up the big hill to Brumbarus’s home. As they crested the top Timtam saw the huge house that he had built for himself. It was large and low to the ground having only one floor. A huge porch wrapped around the entire house giving it a distinctly tropical look. As they pulled up to the front they could see people running around inside through the large windows that covered the front of the house.
After stopping Vultahn quickly hustled Timtam and Hudd inside out from the heat. There, in the main entryway, were the fifty cat girls that Pep had saved. They all had on fine clothes and were smiling as they stood to greet them. Timtam suddenly covered her mouth and wept with happiness at seeing this. These girls had been saved from a nightmarish existence that she could only imagine. To see their smiling faces looking at her filled her with emotion.
“Pink Head!” hollered a voice from behind them. It was Brumbarus. He was carefully pushing his way through the group of girls with outstretched arms. He had lost some weight and his face was partially bandaged. At first Timtam wasn’t sure who it was but then realizing it to be Brumbarus she ran forward and gave him a hug.
“I’m glad to see you doing so well Brumbarus.” Timtam said looking up at his face.
“Oh this.” He said pointing to his bandages. “Well now that we have real doctors here I’ve hired one to make me pretty again.” He smiled.
“Maybe when he’s done with me you’ll see how handsome I am and leave your human for a fat old rich Feloid huh?” he said to Timtam.
Brumbarus then laughed out loud. “Relax boy.” Brumbarus said addressing Hudd. “I like humans. Just you treat my little Pink Head good and I’ll be your friend too lad.” Brumbarus said laughing and slapping Hudd on his back.
“I’m glad to meet you sir.” Hudd said politely as he stuck out his hand.
Brumbarus shook Hudd’s hand in greeting. “You’re a lucky man Hudd. Few Human’s will ever witness the things that are going on here on this planet. Big things lad, big things.” Brumbarus said proudly.
“These are all Pep’s girls. As you can see they’re all happy and healthy. After Pep asked for my help with these girls I took them under my wing so to speak. With the kind help of Lady Trahain they have all advanced remarkably well. They can all read and write now and each one has chosen a proper name for herself.” Brumbarus seemed quiet sincere about the girls and was beaming with pride as if they were his own daughters.
Timtam understood why he was changing. He was no longer considered a criminal in the eyes of the Ty clan. Although he would never be able to leave Geirgor as part of his pardon he was now a partner and a businessman. He was also the governor of this planet as well. Timtam understood how being considered an equal makes a person try harder to do the right thing and to see others as equals.
“I will still have to talk to each one in private like Pep wanted me to.” Timtam said almost apologetically.
“Of course, of course. These girls are all free to come and go as they please. They are known by everyone here to be like my own children
so you will be safe where ever you go to talk with them.” Brumbarus smiled.
Mykala stepped into Matt’s office. He had seen her approaching and had waved her in.
“What’s up Mykala?” Matt asked.
“I just spoke with Lionette. Stella has run off and she might have killed two of her guardsmen. She wants me to track her down. I’m afraid I’m going to miss your little snatch and grab mission Matt.” Mykala said.
“Killed two Guardsmen? Wow she really has gone off the deep end. Damned shame. She was the first of us you know.” Matt said.
“We’re still not sure if she did it or not. There’s a lot we don’t know.” Mykala replied.
“How are you going to find her? You have any leads?” Matt asked.
“Don’t need any. Lionette put a tracking chip in her ship almost as soon as Stella arrived according to her security grunts. She’s probably got one in all our ships.” Mykala said sarcastically.
“I wouldn’t blame her. After all we’re not the most stable bunch of mercenaries around. Besides, she is footing the bill for all of this.” Matt said leaning back in chair.
“Anyway I just wanted to let you know why I was cutting out on you in person. I’ll be leaving today so give me a call on my transmitter if you need something before I go.” Mykala said as she turned to leave.
“Hey speaking of unstable people has anyone heard anything from Bronski or Tarin? If we don’t start pulling this team back together and doing something meaningful I wouldn’t be surprised if Lionette chucks us all out.” Matt said.
“I think most of the drama is over now that Kllair and her hoodlums have gone. We need to find another leader for this outfit as well. Maybe we should bring in someone new. You don’t know anyone that could do it do you?” Mykala asked.
Matt did know a few officers that could do it but they were all on the run or in hiding for war crimes like him.
“Nobody jumps to mind.” He said.
“Well anyway we’ll talk more about it when I get back. I have to focus on finding Stella right now.” Mykala said looking away.
“Does Lionette want you to kill her?” Matt asked grimly.
“If she’s as out of control as people think then I’ll have no choice. She knows too much to let her get captured.” Mykala said solemnly.
“She’d want it to be you Mykala. If it has to be done Stella will want you to do it. She liked you.” Matt said.
“Lucky me.” Mykala smiled sadly and walked out the door.
Bronski circled the penthouse of the building Tarin’s last transmission came from. It was one of the taller buildings in the city so it had been easy to fly above it without too much trouble.
He saw what he was hoping to find just below. He lined up the rescue ship with the main house on the roof and pushed the thrusters forward. The ship nosed down and gained speed as he climbed in the back of the craft. Bronski slung his scatter caster over his shoulder and kicked open the back doors of the ship. Just before the craft hit the house he tumbled out of the back of the vehicle. Time seemed to slow down as he fell. He remembered thinking that he was getting to old to be doing this kind of thing. He remembered cursing himself for not having a better plan but he had run out of time and recourses so this was the best he had.
He watched as the rescue craft smashed into the house just as he hit the water in the swimming pool. Bronski saw a huge fireball erupt above him as the fuel mixing with the oxygen from the emergency tanks in the back of the craft exploded. Bits of window framing and glass showered down into the pool above him as he swam to the bottom of the pool for protection. He waited for a few seconds more and then he pushed himself off of the pool bottom and hoisted himself out of the water and onto the patio. Bronski unslung his scatter caster and took off the safety. He walked into the burning wreckage of the house and found the first room. One of the owner’s goons was trying to get up but Bronski shot him dead. He continued towards the center of the house walking through the fire soaking wet. Steam was rising off of him as the water from the pool began to evaporate from the intense heat.
Another thug reached out his hand so Bronski could help him up. He must have thought he was there to save him, maybe a rescue worker. Bronski corrected that assumption with a shot to the head.
He entered the bedroom only to see a naked Twi’lek girl cradling her dead twin sister in her arms. Bronski looked at her for a second. Her eyes were full of hatred. She knew he had done this and why he had come. He turned to leave but was struck by a blast in his shoulder from a pistol the surviving Twi’lek must have been hiding. Bronski wheeled around and sent the girl to her dead sister.
His armored vest had absorbed most of the blast so the wound would have to wait for now. Two hired guns ran in from outside somewhere and opened up on Bronski. Their shots were panicky and not aimed. Bronski knew from years of front line combat that the key to hitting your target is to remain calm and aim your shots. Buck took down the first one and then the second with two precise shots to their heads. The building itself was burning now and a thick black smoke began to obscure everything around him. It was time to head downstairs and to the basement.
Bronski found a stairway and double-timed it down to the next level. He peered into the hallway to see if any bad guys were lurking down here waiting for him. The hallway was empty so he stepped into it carefully. There was a ding of an elevator bell as the doors were about to close. He ran down the hall and turned the corner just as the door was closing. Bronski stuck out his scatter caster jamming the door open long enough for him to force his way in. he looked around quickly and saw a wealthy middle aged woman standing in the corner of the elevator looking horrified at Bronski. He was still wet and his shoulder was dripping blood. Steam was rising from him still as well as smoke from his weapon. Bronski pointed at the elevator controls with his scatter caster. He looked at the woman and said, “Basement level please.” Directing her to press the correct button. The woman pressed the button with a shaky hand and leaned back into the corner. Bronski stood looking forward at the doors quietly waiting for the elevator to reach the basement. The car went down several floors and stopped. The door opened and the woman rushed out nearly knocking down the young couple that had pressed the button for that floor. They froze in their tracks when they saw Bronski standing in the back of the car.
“We’ll take the next one.” The man said as he stepped back from the door. Bronski looked at them grimly and shrugged his shoulders as the doors closed and the elevator continued it’s downward journey.
The elevator finally stopped at the basement and the door opened into a long hallway. Bronski crouched and looked around the corner. It was clear. “This is too easy.” He thought.
There was nothing else to do but move forward so he leveled his gun against his shoulder and made his down the hallway checking the places where someone might come out. He continued till he came to a metal door. He tried the knob and found it was unlocked. He pushed it open slowly with his gun barrel. The room was dark and smelled of death. He could hear water dripping onto the floor in the background. Bronski dove into the room and rolled to one side. He came up against a large cement platform that looked as if it supported an old boiler at one time. Everything was still quiet and he almost thought that he had gotten lucky and everyone had gone upstairs to see what happened.
Then he saw her. It was Tarin. She was gagged and suspended from the ceiling of the basement about thirty feet away. She saw him and had begun to cry. She was slowly turning round and round about three feet above the floor helpless. If this wasn’t a trap nothing was. She was hung up like a piece of meat in a shop just waiting for him to rush in and cut her down.
That was not going to happen. If she had to hang then she would have to hang. This was her fault so she had to wait for her rescue. It was obvious that this was a trap and Bronski still didn’t have any idea how to stop that droid if he ran into it but that wasn’t important right now. He needed to figure away to snatch Tarin and get off the planet before the droid could catch them.
Bronski heard the metallic clanking of the droid’s heavy feet. It must have just come down a back stairway or other entrance. It stopped suddenly as if listening. This droid was old and very smart. Bronski had underestimated it once before and he promised himself not to do it again. Bronski took a step back slowly. His foot slipped just a bit on an old steel grate on the floor. He froze in his tracks as he heard the droid shifting his feet. Bronski and the droid both held motionless for a long time. They both sensed each others presence just yards apart yet neither wanted to give their exact position away in fear it would give the other that tiny advantage that would cause their destruction.
The droid suddenly and quietly let out a feint laugh. He clanked his way over towards Tarin.
“I know you’re here somewhere mercenary. Your girl friend wants to say hello to you so why not make this easy and come out?” the droid croaked in his metallic voice.
Bronski feared what would happen next but he had to stay still if he wanted to keep Tarin alive no matter what.
He heard the droid move closer towards where he had seen Tarin hanging. She began to scream through her gag as he moved closer.
“She has a lovely voice mercenary. Why don’t I get her to sing for us eh?” the droid said trying to lure Bronski in closer. With that said Bronski heard Tarin scream in pain. The droid had removed the gag and was inflicting some nightmarish torture on her. She kept screaming stopping only to beg for mercy from the droid.
“Please…Ahh…no more…Ahh! Stop…aaa…please!!!” she screamed.
Bronski held his place. He fought every urge he had to start shooting at the droid. He knew her only chance was to make the droid believe he wasn’t there.
Then the droid stopped torturing Tarin. Her screams turned into whimpering as she hung helplessly from the ceiling.
“Maybe he didn’t come for you after all eh pretty pretty.” The droid said as he began to think the crash way upstairs might have been an accident.
Bronski looked around frantically for something, anything that would give him an edge. Down by his foot he took a second look at the grate on the floor. It was loose. One corner was sticking up as if someone had pried it open long ago. The opening was about two feet across, just wide enough for him to crawl through. It was far too small for the droid to follow him if he had to make a quick escape through it.
He looked around some more and suddenly got and idea. He finally saw what he was looking for. Towards the back of the room suspended from the ceiling were two huge gas pipes. They supplied the buildings apartments with the gas they needed for cooking and heating. Now only one thing remained. He needed about thirty seconds to cut Tarin down and make his escape through the grate and down into the drainage tunnel under the basement.
It was always one last thing that ruined plans. There was nothing he could think of that could stop the droid for even that short amount of time. He only needed thirty seconds and he could save Tarin.
Above him he could make out the sound of sirens and alarms. The local rescue teams were now arriving to evacuate the building. Soon one of these teams would come and check to see if anyone was down here. It would be their job to clear the building as soon as possible.
“Damn it.” Said the droid. Bronski could tell he was frustrated. It also knew that rescue workers would soon be coming downstairs for a look. This was the droids domain, his playroom as it were. Soon they would see what he had been doing down here. The skins of over forty women were hanging on the walls. No matter how strong and wise he was he would be made to pay for what he had done. He had to move them. They were his trophies. The droid frantically began pulling them down from the walls and making a pile on the floor. He would have to take them with him. He grabbed the first pile and ran out of a side door. Bronski knew he would be back any second. He jumped up and ran over to Tarin. He pulled her head up and looked at her eye to eye.
She saw it was Buck and began to cry.” I’m sorry…he was going to kill me Buck…”
Bronski pulled out his big knife and swung it cutting the rope Tarin was hanging from. He caught her in his other arm and lowered her to the floor. With out hesitation he dragged her over to the drainage grate and kicked it open. He took one more quick glance at Tarin who was looking up at him. Her face was pleading for some sign of forgiveness from him.
“Za’sha’s dead.” He said rubbing it in. There was no way he was going to let her off easy on this one.
He felt the blow to his head before he saw the droid swing at him. For a machine as big as it was it was incredibly fast. Bronski dropped Tarin who fell down inside the drain opening still bound. The suddenness of the blow made Bronski drop his scatter caster on the floor causing it to slide away from him. He landed a good ten feet away from the drain opening out cold. He regained his senses almost immediately when he heard Tarin screaming again. The droid must have thought he was dead because it was busy trying to reach down the opening and pull Tarin back up. He got up as best he could and made his way over to his scatter caster.
“Hey dickhead!” he shouted.
The droid turned and stood up leaving Tarin in the bottom of the hole. Bronski was holding the scatter caster in both hands and looking right at the droid. The machine gave a slight laugh at seeing Bronski. It knew there was nothing he could do to him. At once Bronski pointed the weapon at the droid’s head and then past it. He squeezed off one round that flew past the droid and hit the gas main behind him. There was the sound of gas escaping from the pipe. The droid looked at Bronski as its one good eye turned from green to red. Bronski fired again igniting the gas.
The force of the explosion blew Bronski back down the long hallway and into the elevator. The quickly expanding gasses in the explosion drove the elevator car upwards three floors. The car jammed as it fell back down two floors throwing Bronski out into the main lobby. The stunned rescue workers and tenants looked in aw as Bronski stood up and patted the flames out on his vest. He staggered outside and around to the back of the building. He searched the ground followed by several of the rescue workers who were by now extremely curious about what he was doing. He knelt down next to one of the bushes and began to pull on something. In a few seconds he had opened the outside drainage tunnel cover. He wiped the blood from his eyes and lowered himself down into the pit.
Bronski could heard coughing echoing from down inside the tunnel. He crawled on his hands and knees in the tunnel back towards the basement. The smoke was getting thicker and he was finding it more difficult to breath. He kept moving forward in the darkness until he could just make out a figure lying still in the darkness. It was Tarin. He quickly cut her ropes and slapped her face to get her to breath. Her eyes suddenly opened wide and she began coughing. He got her to her hands and knees and gave her a push in the right direction. Her muscles were cramped from being tied up and suspended for hours in the basement. Tarin began to feel dizzy from the lack of oxygen in the tunnel. She was just about to pass out when she felt a thick hand shove her forward and a dry husky voice yell to her.
“Keep moving!” Bronski yelled.
A few more feet and she saw daylight from above. A mans hand reached down to her and pulled her out. She fell on the ground coughing and rolled over just in time to see a huge fireball shoot out of the tunnel entrance.
“Buck!” she yelled as she watched the flames burst out of the tunnel. The rescue worker that pulled her out was suddenly thrown back as Bronski climbed out of the flaming hole as if he was a demon rising from Hell. He stood up, his clothes smoldering, and stepped over to where she was lying.
“Buck.” She cried and reached out her hand.
He leaned over and smacked it away.
“I’m done with you Tarin. I’m headed back and I don’t want to see you there anymore.” Bronski said. “If I was you I’d catch a ride and high tail it outta here. That thing isn’t going to stay buried down there forever.
Tarin held her hand and began to cry. There was no fixing what she had done.
Buck picked up his scatter caster and walked away back towards the landing field.
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 02:31)