On the brink
The Devaronian freighter lifted off leaving Bronski standing at the landing field at Tarsis station. It was the closest Feloid planet that he could be dropped off at. He noticed there was a large contingent of Ty soldiers here. They seemed to be in the middle of something very important.
Buck saw a command ship sitting on the far side of the field and made his way over to it. He was stopped in his tracks by two Feloid guards barring the door.
“I’m with the Rebel forces. I need to talk to whoever’s in charge.” Bronski said lighting a cigar.
“No one is allowed in. we have more pressing things to attend to at the moment.” The guard said.
“Look pal, I just want to find out if I can catch a ride back to the Rebel base is all.” Bronski said puffing on the cigar.
“ No ships are scheduled to go to the Rebel base or the Ty home world.” The guard said looking down at Bronski.
“I need to get back, I’m way over due. There’s got to be someone headed back there.” Bronski said.
A Feloid officer stepped out of the doorway. He was big even for a Feloid and had the look of a soldier that earned his rank by serving in the field.
“What seems to be the problem here?” he asked.
“ Look, I’m just trying to get back to the Rebel base is all, can you help me out? I’ve been AWOL so I need to get back and get my ass kicked so I can get back in the fight.” Bronski replied.
“I’m sorry, but with the death of Lionette Ty no ships are allowed to go to the Rebel base or to Ty Prime.” The officer said with a very official tone.
Bronski’s mouth dropped open causing his cigar to fall to the ground.
“Lionette is dead?” he asked shocked.
“Assassins, Sith assassins ambushed her one day ago along with her personal guard. They even killed her assistant Neeka.” He said.
“Did they get them? Did you get the assassins?” Bronski asked frustrated.
“All information as to this incident is classified.” The officer said.
Bronski was now becoming very agitated.
“If you wait a few minutes I’ll see if I can make some arrangements for your transportation.” The officer said.
Bronski realized he was bending the rules for him.
“Hey, thanks. I’m real sorry about Lionette. I fought along side of her, she was one of the best.” Bronski said with a real sense of loss.
“Thank you.” The officer replied in a soldier-to-soldier way.
Buck sat down heavily on a crate by the door. “Well it was fun while it lasted.” He said leaning back and taking a puff on his cigar.
The Ty Clan would be in disarray now. He knew how things worked here with the Feloids. They would start fighting over the Clan’s possessions soon. Mundis was weak and everyone knew it. Lionette had put so much time and effort into helping the Rebellion that she may have sealed her own doom.
Bronski understood how the Galaxy worked better than the majority of knowledgeable people did.
Bad things happen to good people all of the time, things never go as planned, and always know where the exit is. He really wished he could do something to help these people but it was all too big for him. The Rebel leaders would most likely run as soon as Feloid began killing Feloid.
“It doesn’t concern us.” They’d say.
“The Feloids only helped us because we were on the side of the Jedi.” They’d say.
Any reason that would allow them to walk away from the Ty Clan at its most desperate hour would be believed.
Bronski stood up and grinded his cigar out on the side of the command ship.
“Hey!” Bronski yelled at the officer that was arranging transport for him.
“What now Human?” he asked.
“Forget about that ride, I’m staying. Where do I sign up?” he asked.
“This is our fight Human, it’s not your business.” The officer responded smiling.
“All I’ve ever done is fight. It is my business, more than you can guess.” Bronski said resting his scatter caster on his hip.
The battle hardened Officer looked Bronski up and down. “Okay Human, you can fight by my side if you wish.” He said.
Mundis paced back and forth in front of Lionette’s desk. He had seen his sister do it countless times before when she was thinking or had to make difficult decisions. He looked at the clock on the wall. It was massive and ancient as the Ty Clan itself. Just as the chime sounded the Colonel walked into the room exactly on time.
“What may I do for you Mundis?” he asked as he knelt on one knee in respect for his new position.
Mundis ran over to him and helped him up.
“I don’t know what to do sir. I’ve never wanted to have this responsibility. Please help me. Help us all sir.” He fairly pleaded.
The Colonel pulled Mundis’s hand from his arm. Mundis looked to be at his wits end and close to complete panic.
“I would give you a speech on how you’ve shirked you duties for your entire life and only used your position to molest as many cat girls as you could while the rest of the family tended to the more serious duties but we seem to be far past that now.” He said removing his hat.
“Yes, yes I have been a complete disappointment to the entire Clan. Everything you’ve said is correct. Now show me how to fix it!” he begged.
“Abdicate. Step down and give the position to Furonius, your brother. At least he has worn the Ty uniform in the service of his Clan.” The Colonel said bluntly.
“Furonius? Yes, send for him immediately. The people don’t know too much about him, they’ll back what he does. He’s the commander of the Ty fleet. I’m the jokester, the playboy, they’ll never follow me.” Mundis said.
“He’s with the fleet at the border. Several Imperial Star Destroyers have been seen there.” The Colonel said.
“Why would Imperial ships be there now? It doesn’t make sense that they would just happen to be there now unless they were playing a part in Lionette’s death.” Mundis said.
The Colonel stroked his thick chin hair and looked at Mundis half surprised.
“You’re right my boy. They are part of this. They’re helping a traitor!” he said slamming his fist on the desk.
“Who? Who are they helping?” Mundis asked intently.
“I’m not sure but we’re about to find out. One of the Clans has sided with the Empire! The Star Destroyers have drawn away our main fleet to open the door for an attack. One of the Clans means to attack Ty Prime and take the Palace!” the Colonel said.
“Call Furonius back at once! We need the fleet to protect Ty Prime!” Mundis yelled into his transmitter. He was finally acting like a leader.
A few moments later a familiar voice came over the transmitter.
“This is Admiral Furonius Ty addressing Mundis Ty on a secure transmission, what is it you want My Lord.” Furonius had matured quiet a bit since his exile to the fleet. He had accepted his place in the order of things and was willing to do what needed to be done.
“Furonius, this is Mundis…it’s a trick! The ships you are watching are a diversion. You must bring the Grand fleet back to Ty Prime at once. We believe one of the Clans is working with the Empire and are about to attack!” Mundis replied.
“I had suspected as much. I took the liberty to leave half of the fleet behind the second moon. I have been using drones to make my fleet appear larger. If they attack before I can arrive at least some of the fleet will be there to help till I arrive.” Furonius said confidently.
“My little brother is a genius!” Mundis exclaimed.
“I’ve been telling you that for years brother.” Furonius replied.
“How soon can you be here?” Mundis asked.
“We can be there in two days. I’ll give the order to head for home immediately. The fleet behind the moon will remain hidden until the enemy attacks. This way they can flank them and attack their command ships.” Furonius said.
Mundis hesitated. “It should be you Furonius, they were wrong about you. You should have been next in line.”
“No, they were right about me. I needed this time away to understand the responsibilities of my position.” He countered.
“If we survive this attack I want you to take leadership of the Clan brother. I’m not fit to…” Mundis began.
“Later brother, plenty of time to think about such things after the fight. We haven’t even buried our sister yet.” He interrupted.
“Of course, I’ll oversee the preparations here and make sure whoever comes for us is well received.” Mundis said.
“Excellent! Contact me on this channel only if things change. I don’t want to use it too long or the enemy might get a fix on it.” Furonius said.
“Furonius? What are our chances of winning this?” Mundis said.
“Not good, but my men would rather go down fighting rather than pledge loyalty to a new Clan.” Furonius replied.
“Okay get ready.” Timtam said.
Hudd watched Timtam with pride. She had been born a slave and been told she was not as smart as others her whole life and yet it was her idea and inventiveness that would save them both.
“All set.” He said as he held the wires tightly on the battery terminals.
“Here we go.” Timtam turned the switch she had jury rigged to the igniters. At first nothing happened but then the rockets fired with full force. Both Timtam and Hudd were thrown back and onto the floor of the escape pod. They lay pinned to the floor for a few minutes until the rocket’s fuel ran out.
“It worked!” Timtam said still laying on her back. She looked over at Hudd and smiled. They both looked out of the window and watched the scout ship get smaller and smaller as the escape pod got farther and farther away from it. He smiled back. “I knew you could do it.”
The tiny life pod hurtled through space towards the closest planet. On the star charts it was only identified as QW638. To be more accurate it was a moon orbiting a much larger planet. The data banks had little information on it except it would support life and had air and water.
“We need to figure out a way to get a message back to Ty Prime about the fleet we saw.” Hudd said getting to his feet.
“Everything electrical was knocked out, I’ll be lucky if I can get the distress signal working. I don’t think I can make the transmitter work again.” Timtam said as she sat up.
“Well we can try, at least for a day or two.” Hudd said.
“Why only a day or two?” she asked.
“After that they’ll have reached where ever they were going and everyone will know by then.” Hudd said checking the instruments.
“Do you think it’s an invasion? It doesn’t make sense. Those are Visiok ships, I could tell by the gold and black livery.” She asked.
“I don’t know anything about the Visiok Clan. All I know is they shot us and left us to die out here. They don’t sound too friendly to me. In any case why would a fleet that size be in Ty space unless they meant to do some fighting here.” He said.
“Something’s happened. There’s only one reason for Clans to fight, the death of one of there leaders.” Timtam said looking at Hudd.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“I think Lionette is dead.” She said covering her mouth whispering as though she shouldn’t even think of such a thing.
“Well that’s good, I mean she dumped you on Geirgor to die didn’t she?”
“She made a mistake is all. She was like my sister…you couldn’t understand.” Timtam said sadly.
“Still, she’s probably fine. You should be worrying about us right now. Lionette’s a Clan leader, she has plenty of people to help her no matter what kind of trouble she’s in.” he said.
“Oh no. That means Mundis is in charge! He’s no leader. He only likes to play and make jokes.” She said with a much better understanding of the situation than Hudd.
“Relax honey, we don’t know anything yet. Now help me set the trajectory so we can land this tin can.” He said smiling.
“I’m sorry…they’re the closest thing to a family I have, I can’t help worrying.” She said looking up at him and smiling sadly.
“Hey, is that anyway to talk to a new husband?” he said trying to get her mind off of her worrying.
“I meant… I grew up there with them…I…” Timtam stuttered trying to explain.
“Shut up and come to Papa.” He said grabbing her and pulling her close. “Everything is going to work out. There are thousands of Feloid troops in the Ty military, some of the best I’ve seen. They can do their job without you worrying about them. We need to be focused on getting down on that moon safely.” He said. “Okay what’s the next thing we need to do before we land?”
“Well once we’re in orbit we can begin freefall and look for a good spot to come down.” Timtam said.
“How much longer till we are in orbit?” Hudd knew the answers to his questions but he asked anyway to keep Timtam’s mind occupied.
“I think we’ll be there by tonight.” She said checking the read out.
Timtam looked over at Hudd to see his response. He was just sitting on the floor looking at her and smiling.
“What? What is it?” she asked smiling back.
“We’re really married. You’re my wife Timtam.” He said happily.
“Are you sure you want this? Do you want to be married to me?” she was still ashamed of her past even though she had proven herself just as good as any one else time and time again.
“You make me happy Timtam, more than you’ll ever understand. Since the first time I saw you looking up at me through that access hatch covered in filth I saw those big beautiful eyes of yours pleading for my help. Since that moment I knew I had to take care of you the rest of my life. You are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen and now you’re stuck with me.” He said.
Timtam looked at Hudd with tears in her eyes. “Thank you.” She whispered fighting back the tears.
Mykala was sleeping as best she could on the rooftop. It was raining and the sky was black as ink this late at night so she had propped herself up against the low wall at the edge and pulled her cloak over her head to stay as dry as she could. Mykala had grown up on the war ravaged streets of Bentoo. She was no stranger to hardship be it sleeping in the rain or baking under a hot sun, she had lived through it all. Mykala wasn’t just used to it, she expected it.
Stella had been here once before when she was trailing her double all alone. She roused Mykala from her sleep.
“I’m tired of waiting, I’m going in.” Stella said.
“No, let’s give it another hour.” Mykala said.
“You wait another hour if you want but I’m going in.” and with that Stella leapt over the wall on the roof and down to the streets below. Her Jedi training was still fully active as evidenced by surviving a forty-foot drop and landing on her feet.
“Damn it!” Mykala said and jumped after her. By the time she had landed Stella had already crossed the street and was entering the front door. She ran across the vacant street and followed Stella cursing under her breath. Stella had disappeared into the building by now so Mykala had no choice but to go in as well.
Once inside Mykala saw that there was a staircase that went upstairs and also downstairs. She listened to see if she could hear Stella’s footsteps to determine if she went up or down. Everything was silent.
“Damn it Stella.” Mykala said to herself. She was all the more angry that now she wouldn’t be sure if she was looking at the real Stella or the clone. Suddenly there was the sound of fighting upstairs. Mykala leapt up the stairs as quickly as possible trying to figure out which floor the sounds were coming from. Down the hall she heard a window smash around the corner. Mykala ran around down the hall and turned the corner only to see Stella standing waiting for her.
“Hurry! She’s getting away!” Stella yelled.
Stella jumped through the large window and into the rain and darkness. Mykala hesitated, “Was that the real Stella?”, she asked herself. On impulse she jumped through the window as well but still unsure about whom she was following.
“Stella stop!” Mykala yelled angrily. “There’s nobody there!”
She continued to chase her across the rooftops in the darkness. It was becoming more and more difficult to keep up her pursuit. Stella’s black cloak was all she could see fluttering in front of her. It would occasionally disappear in the darkness only for her to spot it moving in a different location. By now Mykala had no idea where she was and who she was following. Mykala did the only thing she could do at this point; she stopped.
She stood in the rain trying to catch her breath. They had gone quite a distance in those few minutes as they leapt from rooftop to rooftop.
“Damn it Stella.” Mykala said under her breath. She had come to help Stella but was having second thoughts now. Maybe Stella was crazy. Mykala never did see whom it was they were chasing. Mykala walked to the edge of the building and jumped down the thirty feet and landed on the street.
It was a quiet evening. The Hutts liked to make sure everyone obeyed their rules so there was very little petty crime like muggings in this part of town. In any of these warehouses might be tons of illegal drugs or hundreds of slaves but on the street where everyone can see it is quiet and boring.
She had lost Stella’s trail in the dark and had to make her way all the way back to the first roof top so she could wait for Stella to arrive. The whole situation was getting out of control. Even if Stella came back would she be able to tell if it was the real Stella or the clone. Had she been with the clone the whole time she had been here? Mykala’s head was swimming due to confusion and frustration.
Mykala went around to the back of the building and climbed the stairway back to the roof and found a dry place under an overhanging vent. She climbed underneath and sat cross-legged in the relatively dry spot and waited for Stella to return.
Lionette hadn’t been able to get much sleep that night. She had been choking on the gag most of the night and her muscles were aching terribly from being immobilized. She was thankful she was able to resist her tormentor at least for the first day. She had always been told that everyone breaks under torture eventually but she was determined to hold out as long as she could. The problem was he didn’t want information from her he only was interested in inflicting pain on her out of revenge so her breaking point was irrelevant by that measure.
Lionette heard the door at the top of the stairs open and close. She heard lightly placed footsteps coming down the stairway and into the room she was imprisoned. Through the doorway in the dim light she could just make out the figure of a girl. She hesitated and then walked cautiously up to Lionette.
“I’m here to give you water. I’m going to take the gag out of your mouth and let you drink. Torbarr said you are not to speak so don’t or I will have to leave before you get all of your water, do you understand?” the girl asked.
Lionette nodded yes as best she could. The girl removed the gag from Lionette’s mouth slowly. It was stuck to her dry lips so she poured a few drops on them to release the cloth. Lionette tried to swallow but only coughed. The girl cupped her one hand and poured the water into it and let it run out into Lionette’s mouth.
“I know who you are.” the girl whispered as quietly as she could. “You should submit to him and get it over with My Lady. He is cruel beyond measure. He will defile you after the torture gets boring to him so you should give in quickly. If you resist the result will be the same only it will last longer.” She said while pouring the water.
Lionette looked down at the girl’s waist and saw a dagger in a sheath hanging from her belt.
“Kill me.” She whispered to the girl.
“If I did then he would kill me. Besides soon it won’t matter he is going to shoot you up with “Mother’s Milk” and sell you when he’s done with you.” The girl said calmly.
If anyone had ever seen Lionette scared before it wouldn’t have compared to the look on her face at this moment. Mother’s Milk is the most addictive drug known to the Feloid race. It was developed by originally by the Grand council to control slaves. It makes the recipient completely docile and compliant. They will do anything to get more of the drug. Eventually though as with most drugs the recipient will begin to need larger and larger doses to feel good. At the end the doses are so large that they become toxic. During that time the users body begins to fail becoming emaciated and gaunt followed by organ shut down and death.
“I am Lionette Ty and I will not end my life this way!” she cried at the top of her lungs.
The girl took a step back and looked surprised. “It is already too late My Lady. The Visiok Clan has most likely begun their attack on your home world. Soon all of your Clan will be gone and the Clans that served yours will be paying homage to the Visiok Clan.” She said as she tried to give Lionette the rest of the water.
“You must kill me… please. Leave the knife…he’ll think I took it from you without your knowledge.” Lionette begged.
“I am not your ally My Lady. No Royal has ever helped me. Torbarr beats and rapes me whenever he pleases but at least I know where I stand with him. Once he gives you the Mother’s milk you’ll be lower than me and you won’t care about anything but the drug.” She said taking a step back and smiling. The girl then pushed the gag into Lionette’s mouth once again and left the room.
Lionette sobbed at her predicament. For the first time she began to loose hope. She had seen cat girls that were hooked on Mother’s milk
before and thought it was a horrible way to die. She would end up like one of them, giving every orifice in her body to anyone that would give her a fix.
She had failed everyone, her Clan, her people, and even the Rebels. She had underestimated the Sith and now there would be no second chance. No glorious death in battle just a whores death in gutter. Her people would suffer horribly at the hands of the Visiok Clan. They would shed blood until all opposition ended.
The Visiok would grant new terms to the lesser Clans under Ty rule gaining their loyalty by giving them the holdings of the more powerful Clans. It would all be over quickly as most Clan takeovers are.
The Colonel had been sitting quietly in his quarters. He was monitoring the scanners and reports trying to ascertain where the attack would come from.
“Excuse me sir but you said for me to come to you when the shipment arrived.” The young officer said as he walked into the room.
“Where is it?” he asked not looking away from his monitor.
“Both packages are at the Royal landing dock of the Palace.” He replied.
“Very well. Take the girl to the highest point of the observation tower and chain her there. Make certain she remains sedated. Take the male to the bunker in the cellar where he’ll be safe.” He said standing and straightening his tunic.
“If there is an attack sir shouldn’t the girl be taken to the bunker as well for her safety?” the young officer asked.
The Colonel looked at the floor and grinned. “Safety? Son that girl is our damned secret weapon.”
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 02:36)