Bronski ignored the looks of the citizens as he made his way back to the landing field. Most of them were more interested in the raging fire on top of the building a few blocks away in the opposite direction he was headed.
He ached from head to toe and he was covered in blood and soot. His clothes were torn and burnt and he still had three miles to go. He saw a speeder stopped at a signal light and climbed in the back seat.
The woman driving screamed and tried to get out but Bronski grabbed her and pulled her back in to her seat behind the controls.
“Lady I’ve had a real hard day so if you just help me out for a couple of minutes I’d really appreciate it. All I want you to do is take me to the landing field. I ain’t gonna hurt you or anything, I just want a ride and that’s it.” Bronski said releasing the woman and falling back into the back seat exhausted.
“You promise you won’t hurt me?” she asked.
Buck was surprised how quickly she calmed down. She had a way about her that made him think she had been in tight spots before.
“I promise, just take me to the landing field and you’ll never see me again.” He said rubbing his face.
“Okay, just as far as the landing field.” She said in agreement. “What’d you do?” she asked looking at Bronski in the rear view mirror.
“Me? Nothing much. I just blew up a penthouse apartment and crawled through a tunnel of fire to rescue some broad. Oh yeah, I killed some people while I was doing it.” Bronski said looking back at her in the mirror.
“So what happened? I mean with the girl.” The woman asked.
“ I left her there. I can’t trust her so I just left her there crying.” He said looking out the window.
“Gee fella all that destruction for nothing.” She said.
“Yep, a complete waste of time. I did get to bang her friend though.” He said trying to find an upside to this whole adventure.
“You want to stop and get a drink with me maybe?” the woman asked.
Bronski looked at the woman in the mirror. She was cute and was smiling at him.
“Thanks but I really need to be getting home. I’m a few days over due as it is.” He said.
“Oh, well that’s okay…I mean if you have to get home I understand.” She said. They spent the rest of the trip in silence. It wasn’t too much longer before Bronski could see ships coming and going over the landing field.
The speeder had made it to the Landing field and stopped on the outskirts by the side entry gate. Bronski got out and leaned into the passenger side window.
“Thanks for the ride, I really appreciate it.” Buck said to the woman.
“Canda, my name is Canda.” She said brushing a strand of hair out of her face.
“Thanks Canda.” Buck said smiling exhaustedly.
“What’s your name tough guy?” she asked.
“Better if you don’t ever find out.” He said as he turned and slipped through a loose panel hanging from the fence next to the gate.
He walked across the landing field as freighters and passenger ships landed and lifted off. He saw a Devaronian ship getting ready to lift off. Bronski double timed over to the massive craft and found the captain. Bronski knew the Devaronians traded with the Feloids fairly regularly so he asked for a ride to the closest Feloid star port. After some haggling about the cost of the fair the captain agreed. It would be about a half hour before they left so Bronski sat down and leaned up against the landing gear to rest before take off.
Buck was just drifting off when he heard someone calling his name. It was Tarin. She had somehow followed him to the landing field.
“Buck I’m sorry. Please give me a second chance.” She pleaded.
“That was your second chance. You didn’t have to set me up again Tarin. You should have known that I would have come for you. I would have always come for you.” He said standing up.
“I should have known but I’ve never been able to trust anyone before.” She cried.
“I’m not anyone!” he yelled pointing his thumb at himself. “I loved you. Like a damned pathetic old man I fell for your bullshit! Well that’s all over little girl so get the fuck away from me before I do something I’m sorry for.” Buck said coldly as he could.
Bronski slowly walked up the boarding ramp of the ship as it’s huge engines started up. Tarin’s hair was blowing around wildly as the ship lifted off. The boarding ramp closed and Bronski turned and walked back into the depths of the vessel to find his bunk.
Tarin stood and watched the ship get smaller and smaller as it
rose into the sky. She turned quickly as she heard a jet bike pull up behind her. It was Remha. She had stolen a jet bike from somewhere and found Tarin at the Landing field.
“He’s gone then?” Remha asked.
Tarin nodded yes.
“What are you going to do now?” Remha asked.
“You need a partner?” Tarin asked forcing a smile.
“You heard about Za’sha?” Remha asked.
Once again Tarin nodded.
“Okay, hop on. We have to bury her somewhere nice. Maybe we’ll take her home.” Remha said.
“She’d like that.” Tarin replied.
Remha waited as Tarin climbed onto the back of the jet bike.
“Did you sleep with him?” Tarin asked.
“Don’t I always?” Remha said as she hit the accelerator and sped off.
Lionette knew she had to make a show of force when she entered the town. It wasn’t just for the native Feloid populous but especially for the alien element there. They needed to understand that the Sith were considered criminals in Feloid space and not a major threat.
Lionette rode into the town square in her staff vehicle followed by her personal guard. They drove directly to the constable’s office and parked out front. Neeka jumped out of the vehicle and opened the door for Lionette.
They both walked up the steps and into the main office.
The head constable stood up and saluted Lionette. She motioned that it wasn’t necessary and sat down in the chair Neeka had pulled out for her.
“It is indeed an honor to be host too the leaders of two clans in one day.” The constable said grinning.
“Two clans?” Lionette asked.
Azak Visiok stepped out from the back room and over to Lionette. He took her hand and kissed it.
“We have been apart too long Lionette.” He said smiling.
“What are you doing here Azak? This is Ty territory.” Lionette asked without acknowledging Azak’s greeting.
“I’ve come to offer my services in this grave matter.” He said.
“You should not have come. I wanted to down play this incident. Your presence has just escalated its importance.” Lionette said exasperated.
“You don’t understand Lionette. I have already solved the problem. I have been in negotiations with the Empire to broker a deal. I have assured them that the Jedi under Feloid protection will stay in Feloid space and not be a threat to them anymore. All we have to do is make sure our Jedi stay here and the Empire won’t bother with us in the future.” Azak said smiling obviously pleased with himself.
Lionette was speechless with rage. She couldn’t believe what he had just said.
“Get out! Take whatever you have brought and get out of Ty space and never return. You are a coward and a traitor! How dare you make such a deal with the people that attacked us. Are you so stupid that you don’t understand what those people are and what they stand for?” Lionette said shoving Azak back away from her.
“You don’t understand Lionette. I’ve saved our people from further attacks and also ensured the Jedi here will be safe as long as they stay within our borders.” Azak said trying to calm Lionette down.
“You haven’t saved our people from the Empire. All you’ve done is save them for last!
Once all the other races are defeated they will come for us when we are hopelessly out numbered. Your deal will mean the end of the Feloid race. The Empire doesn’t want any one around that can challenge them. This is how they will destroy us. They are finding weaklings like you to make deals with them.” Lionette said. “They will chop us to bits with a thousand deals. Each Clan will certainly be dealt with in the end, one by one.” Lionette was enraged by Azak’s lack of vision.
“I can see you don’t fully understand the meaning of what I’ve accomplished. I will do as you ask and leave. You will see that I have done the right thing Lionette.” Azak said. He quickly turned and left the constables office followed by his men.
Lionette collapsed in her chair in disbelief. Azak had become her greatest problem she had to face now. She would have to waste time and energy by bringing his deal to the attention of the Clan Counsel and have his deal with the Empire repealed and then see to it he was sanctioned and punished.
If she was very lucky this could all be taken care of in a year. However the Visiok Clan had many friends on the counsel and they were sure to help him defend his position and slow down or derail any accusations made by Lionette.
“What should we do now My Lady?” Neeka asked.
Lionette hung her head in silence for a moment. She suddenly had an idea.
“We will continue with our plan to hunt down these Sith dogs and kill them. Their corpses will the proof I need to sway the counsel to our side. Azak will have words and promises to defend his position. I will have the assassins bodies sent by his Imperial friends to prove the worth of their promises. We will hunt them down using every resource at my command.” Lionette said standing up.
“What are your orders My Lady?” the Captain of the Guard asked.
“Send for my Elite troops, The Red Guardsmen. They will be sent to hunt these Sith vermin until everyone in Ty space is dead at my feet.” Lionette said.
Ragg sat on the bridge of the heavy freighter along with Lore and his command personnel. They could see Matt’s ship just off their port beam. Both ships were loaded with assault troops and weapons needed for the raid on the Imperial base. They had all trained and memorized the lay out of the place so the raid would be quick and precise.
They were nearing the location where they were to meet up with the new fighter squadron that was to protect them and the freighters during the mission.
“Shouldn’t we have heard something by now?” Ragg asked Matt over the transmitter.
“They’ll be here soon. They have to maintain radio silence until we’re in sight so they know it’s us.
“Are you still having trouble with your main drive unit?” Matt asked.
“I think she’s got it fixed now…she knows what she’s doing.” Ragg said.
Ceecee had to come along on the mission due to Ragg’s ship having engine trouble at the last moment. At first he was angry about it but deep down he knew she was the best and bravest engineer they had.
“Why don’t you check on it while we’re waiting Major? I’d like to be sure both of these ships are reliable before we continue.” Matt said.
The true meaning of what Matt meant wasn’t lost on Ragg. Matt wanted to be sure that his second in command and his best engineer had ironed out their personal problems before they went into combat.
“I’ll look into it personally sir.” Ragg replied. He got up and walked all the way to the back of the ship through the various airlocks to the engine room. As usual Ceecee was up to her elbows in grease and dirt.
“You sure know how to catch me looking my best Major.” Ceecee said trying to break the ice between them.
“You always look your best to me.” Ragg said smiling. “How’s the engine coming?” he asked quickly diverting away from the compliment he had just slipped in.
“It’s all fixed now. I had forgotten to replace the reverse induction fan cover. That’s why it was over heating. It was a rookie mistake.” She said.
“You probably had other things bothering you.” He said.
“Yeah…a few.” She replied. She sensed Ragg was hinting at something.
Ragg looked around quickly. “Look Ceecee, I was a real jerk to you and…well I’m sorry. I know what we had agreed on and I was the one that went back on that agreement. Anyway …I’m sorry.” Ragg said awkwardly.
“So you want to be friends again?” Ceecee asked. She knew Ragg was feeling stupid about his actions.
“If you think you can trust me.” He said humbly.
“Your such a bone head Tempess. Okay, I’ll let you off the hook this time but you owe me a diner when we get back.” Ceecee said.
That’s what it was that he liked about her. She was kind and forgiving. She didn’t hold others to ridiculous standards of behavior. She was about as laid back as a person could get. She made a person feel at ease, like they could be themselves around her and she didn’t care.
“Okay, one diner on me.” He said smiling. She had forgiven him just because he asked her to. That was a real rarity in dealing with people.
Ragg gave a quick salute and started back to the bridge. He had just gone through the main aft air lock when he heard Ceecee call him.
“Hey Ragg, I got just one more condition…” she began to say but there was suddenly a huge blast that hit the ship shaking it from one end to the other. Alarms were sounding all over the ship as it creaked and groaned. Ragg looked back at Ceecee. She had gotten to her knees after being knocked down. She smiled in relief at the fact she was all right. Just then the emergency light over the airlock flashed on. Bells began to ring and the airlock door slid shut cutting Ceecee off from the rest of the ship along with everyone else in the engine room.
Ragg threw himself against the door trying desperately to open it. He could see Ceecee trying to make her way to the door as well. There was a second explosion that threw Ragg onto the deck. The ship rolled over causing Ragg to tumble down the wall and onto the ceiling. Ragg crawled to the door again and looked out of the window in the hatch. To his horror he saw the entire rear of the ship breaking away from the main hull. Ceecee was still looking at him through the window when suddenly there was a huge explosion that blew the entire engine room into a thousand pieces. Ragg stared out the window in horror at the burning debris.
Ceecee and all the rest were gone.
“Major Tempess, report to the bridge! Major Tempess, report to the bridge!” a voice was calling over the intercom. Ragg made his way to one of the internal transmitters and called the bridge.
“This is Major Tempess, what the hell hit us? We just lost our engines!” he said still thinking of the look on Ceecee’s face just before she died.
“It’s and ambush sir. An Imperial Frigate has just jumped in from hyperspace. They must have known we were here.” Said the voice from the bridge.
“Get me Colonel Mazin on the line. We’re dead in space, tell him to make a run for it if he can.” Ragg shouted into the transmitter.
“Ragg it’s Matt…what’s going on over there?” Matt asked.
“We’ve lost all engines and power. The whole back of the ship is gone! Where’s that damned fighter support? We’re helpless out here.” Ragg reported.
“Did anyone get out of the engine room?” Matt meant Ceecee.
“Nobody…everybody’s dead.” Ragg said as the awful truth was sinking in.
“Hold it together Ragg. Get your men to the escape pods so we can pick them up.” Matt said.
“Negative, you have to leave Matt. You don’t have any weapons on that freighter that can hurt that frigate. You gotta make a run for it before they target you.” Ragg said.
Another shot hit Ragg’s crippled freighter shaking it all over. The lights flickered and everything went dead. Ragg couldn’t see Matt’s freighter from the side of the ship he was on. He did see the Imperial frigate swinging around to finish them off. Ragg made his way back to the bridge and sat down in his seat. Everyone was looking at him waiting for his next order.
The transmitter crackled on. “This is Captain Trang of the Imperial Frigate Storm hawk. We are coming along side to take you all prisoner.” The voice said.
“Orders Major?” Lore asked.
Ragg looked at his fellow rebels, they wanted to fight.
“Get your weapons ready and prepare to repel all boarders. I want you men to help me take that Imperial Frigate.”
Lore grinned ear to ear. “At last we take the fight to them.”
Mykala had taken Adda’s old ship on her search for Stella. It had cloaking and stealth systems built into it for members of Adda’s sect as their protection since they tried to avoid all violence. Mykala chose the ship because she could be undetected while on Stella’s trail.
The tracking chip in Stella’s ship lead Mykala to a small out post situated on a moon in Hutt space. It was a smuggler trading port where they would make all of their final deals before taking the loot to one or more of the Hutt families. There was no law out here only unofficial crime organizations and gangs. Any outsider would have to tread lightly while here or risk the attention of one of these groups.
Mykala landed Adda’s ship at the main landing area and gladly paid a hefty sum to have it well guarded by the gang that ran the port. It was night and raining heavily. Mykala was able to make her way around the small city without to much trouble. She was a city girl at heart and all cities are pretty much the same. They have nice places and not so nice places.
She decided to check around the three spaceports in the city. Stella’s ship had been tracked as far as the moon but with all the communications jamming equipment and security electronics that were in place to make sure the Hutts heard everything going in and out of the city she had lost the trail once Stella’s ship was over the city.
Mykala rented a speeder bike and headed out. Lionette’s security personnel had given her the name of a local informant that kept tabs on the Hutt cartels for them. Although the Feloids rarely dealt with the Hutts they were powerful enough for the Feloids to keep an eye on their dealings.
Mykala made it to the home of the informant. She was surprised that it was in one of the nicer parts of town and right on a main street. She drove her speeder bike up and under a large over hanging roof on the side of the house next to a pristine garden.
She made her way around the front of the house and knocked on the door. She heard someone walking towards the door on the inside of the house. Instinctively Mykala put her hand on her light saber under her wet cloak
The door opened to reveal a beautiful woman standing in the entryway. She was surprised that the woman was a human like herself and about the same age.
“You must be Mykala, please come inside and out of the rain.” The woman said. She was dressed in a long lounging gown that hung loosely from her shoulders. She had a drink of some kind in her left hand and ushered Mykala in.
Mykala was surprised at the casual behavior of the woman. She was even more surprised when she was lead into a room full of men and women all sitting around having a nice little get together.
“Excuse me my friends, I have to see to my new friend. I’ll be back in a minute.” The woman put her hand on Mykala’s hip and walked her down the hall. She opened the door to a large bedroom that was spectacularly furnished.
“Take off your wet clothes and take a warm shower. My guests were just about to leave and I’ll be in shortly.” The woman said loud enough for the other people to hear what she had said. She signaled Mykala to be silent by putting her finger to her lips and closed the door.
Mykala wasn’t sure just what was going on here but she would at least wait in the room until the others left.
After about ten minutes the woman came back in the room.
“Why haven’t you taken off those wet things? You must be freezing.” She said stepping closer to Mykala and trying to remove her wet cloak.
Mykala brushed her hands away. “Hold on there. Just why do you think I came here?” Mykala asked confused.
The woman laughed. “I’m sorry dear. My name is Holla Gullway. I’m the informant your Feloid friends sent you to. I operate an upscale art gallery here and as part of my cover I have let the locals believe I get my kicks by picking up lower glass men and women for sex.
This way I can have a wide assortment of people coming and going from my home and everyone just thinks they are my private companions. My friends here are all too refined to ask too many questions about my personal business.” She said smiling.
“Pretty clever if I do say so myself.” Mykala said.
“I’m so glad we got that straightened out now take off your clothes and get into bed.” She said.
“Excuse me?” Mykala said.
Holla laughed. “I’m joking my dear. If you’re going to stay here you really must loosen up a little. But seriously this will be your room for the next few days so feel free to take a nice warm shower and borrow one of my robes when your done. Meet me in the kitchen and I’ll fix you a nice meal and then I’ll tell you everything I know about your friend Stella.” She said as she left the room.
Mykala felt more relaxed now that she knew this woman wasn’t some kind of nut case. She sensed she was very confident in her abilities to help Mykala and that she new what she was doing.
Mykala decided to do as the woman suggested and showered and borrowed a robe. She found Holla in the kitchen making them a light meal. Holla smiled and motioned to Mykala to sit at the table.
Holla placed the plates on the table and sat down next to Mykala. She pressed a button under the table and a holoscreen appeared just in front of them.
“This is a map of the city. The three spaceports are high lighted in red. I have already had my men check the main spaceport, the same one your ship is at. There isn’t any ship like Stella’s there at this time. My guess is she landed at the southern spaceport. It is under direct control of the Hutts. If she came here she’s probably going to try to get work and protection from one of the Hutt families. If she does then you can kiss her goodbye. You’ll need an army to get at her then. If she’s smart she’ll bargain her knowledge of the Rebellion and the Empire for her safety.” Holla said.
“No. Stella would never sell out the Rebels just to save herself. She’s the one that found all of us. She wouldn’t do that.” Mykala said.
“Who are you trying so hard to convince, me or yourself?” Holla asked.
Mykala realized that she wasn’t sure. She looked at Holla expecting her mouth to say something in Stella’s defense but it was silent.
“Don’t worry dear, we’ll find your friend and then you will know one way or the other if she can still be trusted.”
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 02:32)