Into the darkness
The first waves of the Visiok clan’s heavy fighters had battled their way through the Ty Clan’s outer defenses and were now diving towards the Palace. The Visiok plan was simple; they would attack the Ty Palace with everything they had to ensure that whatever leadership they had was destroyed as quickly as possible.
Only half of the remaining ships had been sent for this duty. The ones in the rear had been destroyed or left behind to keep the Ty defenders from following.
The Palace was now in sight and they formed up to start their attack run. The additional laser batteries that had been rushed to the area for further firepower soon surprised the Visiok. They lost several more ships as they flew low between the mountain peaks.
Pep stood up and brushed the hair back from her face. She could see the laser batteries down in the canyon firing in the distance. She clenched her fists causing the shackles on her wrists to snap and fall to the floor of the tower with a clank. They were coming for their attack now. She would have to do something about this.
She didn’t care about which pack of Royals were fighting in the least. The Colonel had made it very clear that she had to defend the Palace or he would have Matt killed.
So be it.
If they wanted her to kill for them then she would. She had become more of a human than a Feloid over the past year since she had been with Matt. He and his friends had accepted her as an equal right from the start. The Feloids, her own people, had abandoned her because she had been the slave of a human at one time and considered unfit to be used even as a sex slave. She no longer considered them her people or race. To her they were cruel and inflexible elitists that cared only for personal gain.
Deep down she had enjoyed killing the slavers where she had been born. Now she would get a chance to send Royals to their demise. She knew that highborn officers granted permission to head up the first wave would pilot the lead ships. They would gain fame for being brave and good warriors bringing honor on their clans. Their clans would be granted extra land and slaves once the Visiok Clan divided the spoils…or so they thought.
Pep stood with her feet about shoulder width apart and had her arms at her side. Her head was down and relaxed but she was watching the approaching ships at the same time. Her first act was to make an impenetrable shield around the top of the tower. The first volley of missiles slammed into the Palace with several exploding on the force shield itself over top and in front of Pep.
As the smoke cleared the circling pilots could see Pep standing unharmed on the undamaged tower top.
She knew that Feloids had been taught not to believe in things like the “Force” so while they were trying to figure out what had happened she struck. Pep extended her arm and followed the lead fighter with it as if she was aiming a gun. Once she felt the life force of the pilot she clenched her hand tightly.
The lead ship nosed over and spiraled down into the valley below and crashed into the rocky bottom. She did the same in quick succession to three more of the fighters before they banked hard and made a run for it.
The second wave was now making their approach. If the first wave had given them warning they must be ignoring it. Once again Pep put up a defensive barrier to protect her and the tower. Once again the missiles did no damage at all. She was becoming angry now, angry that they insisted on attacking after her show of force. She would have to use harsher methods. Pep focused on the first pilot in this wave and set him on fire in the cockpit of his own craft. He ejected in a futile attempt to escape the flames only to set his parachute on fire causing him to plummet to his death, burning like a torch.
The Visiok clan began to throw everything they had at her now. Pep had caused herself to be targeted by everything they had in place. The Visiok Clan had landed mobile artillery in secret the night before and it was now moving into the valley and in range as to be able to fire at the palace.
Pep had surprised even herself at how far she could attack with her powers. The second wave hadn’t run off like the first and she was busy contending with the remaining ships. They were making a mistake by trying to overwhelm her. She had realized back at Rizor’s compound that the more pressure she was under the more powerful her attacks became. Her focus had also increased to the point that time for her had slowed down. She was actually gaining an advantage by the tactics used by the Visiok Clan leaders.
Pep was completely overtaken by her powers now and began to laugh wildly. She had forced the remaining ships to crash into the artillery that had just moved into the valley. Heavy infantry landing ships could now be seen coming in low in the distance. They were having trouble getting close due to the Ty Clans fighters attacking them as they got closer. Several hidden bunkers in the mountainside manned by Ty troopers had also engaged the Visiok assault forces. Even with all of this the Visiok were gaining ground.
Pep leapt from the tower landing on to the back of one of the Visiok clan’s fighters. She punched her fist into the hull and grabbed onto a bit of framing steel and pulled it out using it as a brace to hold onto. She crushed the pilot’s chest with a thought and took control of the craft by will alone. She had decided to take the fight to the enemy and flew the ship directly into the Visiok fleet. Pep had created a force wall in front of her to deflect any incoming weapons fire and shield her from the wind caused by such incredible speed. Her first target was a massive troop transport that was following the smaller ones. She flew above it and nosed the fighter over into a steep dive targeting the engines. Defensive fire bounced off of the shield she had created causing no damage to her ship. Suddenly she let go of the steel brace and fell away from the fighter that was now increasing in speed towards the transport below. Laser bolts filled the sky around her without being able to touch her. She looked at her hands and watched as the ground came racing up to her. She laughed again at the power bursting inside
her. Pep angled her palms at the ground and gave a burst of force energy downward. She flew in the air forward as the fighter she had just jumped from slammed into the huge transport causing it to explode in a massive fireball.
“It is the time of the slave girl now you freeborn animals!” she shrieked without any real thought about what she had just said. She was crazed with power now and considered attacking the Ty clan forces as well. She hated all of these freeborns. They all were the same to her, slaveholders and traders. They all lived off of the labors of the one group, the cat girls.
Out of the corner of her eye she saw a small ship that wasn’t in the livery of either Clan. It seemed to be holding back, watching the battle.
She continued on. She needed to focus on the fight at hand. She understood the Colonel would kill Matt if she didn’t give this battle everything she had. Pep launched herself back towards the Palace tower. She needed to use whatever powers she had too protect the symbol of Ty power. She landed at her original spot and assessed the situation. The Visiok forces had taken heavy losses and where now just holding their positions. She had done better than she had hoped. She was discovering that she could draw more power from the force by letting the power control her. The depths of her rage allowed an opening to channel the destructive nature of pure force energy. Power that was not light or dark but whatever she needed it to be.
Hudd opened the hatch to the escape pod slowly. He had his blaster at the ready in case there were any wild animals around. The rain from last night was still dripping off of the leaves from the trees that filled the entire landscape. A thick spongy moss covered the ground in large patches, some as large as forty feet across.
Hudd stepped out and onto the ground being careful not to fall through the moss covering and into a hole. The ground seemed firm and solid as he began to look around and see how much damage had been done to the pod.
The escape pod had landed almost exactly as it should have. Since they had no power he would have to hand crank down the landing gear to level it out. The parachutes and shroud lines also looked in good shape. They would both come in handy as building materials if they had to stay for a long time.
“Can I come out now?” Timtam asked peeking around the edge of the hatch.
Hudd smiled at how funny she looked, almost childlike in wonder, as she took in her new surroundings. He extended his hand and helped her out of the craft.
“It’s hot.” She said looking around carefully. Timtam was holding his arm and standing slightly behind him as they took their first few steps into the thick jungle. She was right. This part of the planet was very hot and humid as were most jungles. Hudd turned and pushed the hatch shut on the pod, he didn’t want anything getting in while they were gone.
“Let’s try looking down at the bottom of the hill.” He said smiling at Timtam. He would be the only thing between her and any danger they might encounter so he wanted to appear confident. His first concern was to find water and he figured any water here would run downward and collect at the bottom of any hill or mountain they could find.
The trip down the hillside was uneventful. Hudd was sure to break a twig every few seconds so they could find their way back to the pod.
“Listen, water.” Timtam said grinning. She knew that if they were to survive here they would need drinking water. Hudd tried to listen but his expression denoted one of uncertainty. Timtam realized her Feloid hearing was superior to her Human husbands so she pulled him in the direction of the sound. After a short distance he heard it too and they hurried along towards the sound. Soon they came to a clearing, the sound was now thunderous as the two saw a huge waterfall plummeting over a forty-foot high cliff and down into a huge pool below. They climbed down praying that they would find the water safe to drink. There were what looked to be fruit trees down near the edge of the pool along side of a good sized sand covered beach lit up by the sun breaking through the canopy above.
“It’s beautiful.” Timtam whispered.
Hudd continued to lead the way until they reached the bottom of the grotto. He opened the survival kit and took out a long thin tube used to test water. He dipped it in the water and waited for the read out.
“It’s safe. Perfectly pure.” He said relieved.
Timtam smiled and pulled off her shirt and pants giggling. She ran across the sandy beach and dove into the cool clear water.
“Crazy girl.” Hudd said smiling. She was still an innocent at heart. Timtam would always be the child in some ways. He saw a good source of fresh water; she saw a new swimming hole.
Timtam broke the surface of the water and splashed playfully at Hudd. “It’s wonderful! Come on in with me.” She said looking at him playfully.
“We can’t, not yet. There could still be wild animals or native beings here. We have to look around some more.” He said standing up. He was happy she was enjoying herself and not worried but survival had to come first. This was an alien world and their safety needed to be his first mission.
Timtam stood up in the water about thigh deep. She looked at Hudd with her pouty face and smiled. She slid her hands up behind her and undid her bra.
“No. I said no. We have to check things out first.” He said.
Timtam swung her bra from one finger and let it fly off playfully onto the sand.
“It’s not going to work this time little girl.” Hudd said weakening.
“I know.” She said slipping off her panties and flinging them to the shore with her toe. Timtam ran her fingers through her wet hair and arching her back turned too face the warm sunlight. She had just learned how to work on spacecraft and earn her way in the galaxy but she had been born with the knowledge of how to get her way using her body.
Hudd laid down his equipment and kicked off his boots. “Okay, ten minutes and then we have to get serious about this.” He said trying futilely to take back control.
“Mmm make it twenty.” She purred.
“Twenty and not one second more.” He said satisfied he had regained control.
Lionette woke up in the room with the punishment chair. She was lying on the cold stone floor naked and filthy. The memories from the night before started to race into her mind. Everything that had happened, everything that she had done and said was all crystal clear to her. She pushed herself up on all fours and vomited.
It was the “Mothers Milk”; the true horror of the drug hit her all at once. Nothing was lost in her memory about the things she had done. Every disgusting act was burned into her mind. There was no foggy haze of uncertainty about the night before.
Then the pain began. The awful cramping in her guts as if a broken bottle was being twisted around inside her. She collapsed on her side and doubled over holding her stomach.
She saw the girl sitting on a bench against the wall watching her.
“It hurts…help me.” Lionette managed to say.
The girl rose to her feet and walked over to Lionette. She stood over her just out of reach.
“I told you I’m not your friend and we never will be. You see Princess I’m enjoying this almost as much as Torbarr. It was one of your class that sold me to him.”
“My master had owed Torbarr some money or something so he gave me to Torbarr as payment. From that day on I’ve lived in a nightmare so that a Royals debt could be paid.
Torbarr is a fiend and a sadist. He has abused me for over a year and a half now so ever since he has had you to play with I’ve been left alone; it is a blessing to me really. The most wonderful part to me is that he’s doing all these horrible things to one of his own class, another Royal. The truth that all of us slaves understand is that it is the Royals and the freeborns that are the savages not the slaves.” Mir’tha said kicking Lionette in the side.
“Please…get Torbarr…I…I…want to see him.” Lionette begged.
“You can’t take it. You want another dose don’t you?” Mir’tha said grinning evilly.
“What do you care…just tell him I want him.” Lionette could only think of her next dose. The sickness and cramps hurt to badly to not have it.
“He won’t give you any unless you please him. You’re his plaything now, just a toy.” She smiled at Lionette’s pain.
“I don’t care just get him. Tell him I’ll do what he wants…ughnn.” Lionette groaned.
“I don’t think I will just yet. I want to watch you to suffer some more first.” Mir’tha said sitting back down.
“Monsters! I’m captured by monsters! Some one end this pain!” Lionette writhed on the cold floor in despair crying.
Her life was gone and her slide into a long merciless death had begun. It would take days or even months but she would die from this addiction. She had seen it in the lower class hovels and street corners on several Feloid worlds while at school. Her friends and her would often explore the seedy side of whatever city they were in for their studies. It made them feel superior to the poor folk to see how they had fallen so low. They would have their fun with one or two of them by having them sing and even fight for coins they would toss into the gutter from the safety of their well-protected armored speeders.
“Is this my punishment for treating others so badly?” she thought to herself.
The door opened suddenly. Torbarr stepped in looking angry.
“I told you to get me when she woke up.” Torbarr said grabbing Mir’tha by the throat and slamming her against the stone wall.
“She just woke up…ggh…just seconds ago My Lord.” Mir’tha said choking.
“You better not have touched her.” he said throwing Mir’tha across the room and onto the floor.
“Did she touch you?” Torbarr shouted at Lionette.
Lionette thought about how Mir’tha had kicked her. She turned and looked at Torbarr.
“You’re lucky you did as you were told. She may be a worthless pleasure toy now but she was a Princess once so don’t ever let your filthy cat girl hands touch her unless you want them cut off.” Torbarr shouted at Mir’tha.
Lionette finally understood the hate in Mir’tha’s heart for her.
Her life was nothing but pain and would be until he murdered her.
“Please end my pain Torbarr.” Lionette whispered. She wanted more of the drug.
He knelt down and clamped his meaty hand around her throat and squeezed. Lionette felt the blood and air leaving her brain and she began to pass out as her eyes rolled back into her head.
“Master. You will address me as master from now on.” He said releasing his grip slightly.
Lionette began to cry. She was still doubled up in agony and nausea.
“Please…” Lionette cried, her dignity gone.
“Please what?” he taunted evilly.
“Please…master.” Lionette begged. She had been broken almost overnight. The drug was too powerful to fight. It had been designed to do just what it had done and attack the parts of the brain that made people resist dominance. She had been made compliant and was no longer in control of her decisions or willpower.
“Swing that gun around and shoot anything that comes in from the west damn it!” Bronski was barking orders at the young Feloid recruits manning the defense lasers that had just arrived minutes before the Visiok attack.
“You! You on gun four, your power coupling is loose, clamp it down now!” Bronski yelled.
The Feloid troops had lost their leader almost as soon as they had landed. None of them had more than a years experience in the military and none of them had seen any combat. They were fighting for their clan and their very own survival so when Bronski took command they were all happy they had someone that knew what they were doing. They didn’t care if he was human or not. The Captain had told them to listen to him so they did.
The first two batteries had been set up with the third almost done. Gun one and two had begun firing but hadn’t downed any Visiok craft yet.
“What the fuck are you assholes doing with that gun?” Buck was yelling at gun fours crew.
He ran down the embankment and rolled over the barricade and into the gun pit.
“Pull that lever to release the undercarriage and wheels then drag it the fuck out of the way!” he said pointing at the correct lever.
“ Yes sir.” The guns leader said saluting.
There was a thunderous explosion from gun number ones location. Bronski threw himself on top of one of the Feloids to protect him from flying debris.
“They got gun number one!” someone yelled through the smoke and dirt that filled the air.
Bronski scrambled back up the hill to see for himself. It was true. Number one gun was gone completely. Bronski looked up and saw one of the Visiok fighters pulling up and waggling his wings in victory.
He looked back at the three remaining gun crews. They were all still on the ground hiding.
“Get up you fucking idiots! One of you bastards better shoot that fucker down or I’m going to start kicking Asses!” Bronski yelled trying to get his men moving.
“Gun number three ready!” the officer yelled.
“Good! Now kill that son of a bitch!” Bronski yelled back pointing at the Visiok fighter that had just knocked out gun number one.
“What?” the officer asked unsure.
“Make that dog bark soldier!” Bronski said referring to the how the gun sounded when fired. Each shot gave off a “woof” sound that to him sounded something like a big dogs bark.
“Dog?” the recruit asked confused having never seen or heard of a “Dog” before.
“Kill him!” Bronski screamed angrily pointing at the fighter.
The gun crew opened fire at once and hit the Visiok fighter in the cockpit killing the pilot. The gun crew all cheered at their first-rate shooting.
“Keep firing you slack jawed gundarks.” Bronski wondered just how much training these Feloids had received. He looked around for the Captain that assigned him to these men. Bronski saw him standing on the top of the ridge to his left. The Captain was looking back down at him and laughing. He knew this was a lousy unit so he put Bronski with it. He was enjoying watching the Human struggle with this bunch of washouts. “He probably wants to make sure that if they screw up to badly he can put the blame on me.” Bronski thought.
“Fuck you asshole!” Bronski yelled and smiled at the Captain.
The Captain waved back at Bronski and bowed.
“I think I like this guy.” Bronski said too himself.
Mykala woke up in a metal cage. She could tell right away she was in the hold of a cargo ship. It was a new ship, white walls and new metal deck. She spotted Imperial markings on the few containers stacked in the far corner. She knew at that moment she was on her way to the Emperor.
“Stella how could you have done this too me?” she said to herself aloud. She leaned back and started to go through her pockets. They were empty. All of her belongings had been confiscated by her captors.
So here she was, a prisoner of the Empire. Tricked by the one person she trusted in the whole Galaxy. All of her efforts had been wasted. All of the sacrifices made by her friends were useless now. They didn’t even know where she was or what was about to happen to her. Mykala knew that in a day or two she would be brought before the Emperor and given a choice. It would be a simple choice at least, join the Emperor or die. She would choose death of course that way she wouldn’t cheapen the deaths of those who had gone before her.
Mykala leaned back against the bars of the cage and resigned herself to her fate.
“We were the good guys. We were supposed to win not the Empire.” She thought to herself.
How would they do it? If they killed her she would just wind up with Haven again. They had to realize this dilemma. Maybe they would just throw her in a prison to be forgotten about for the rest of her life.
A life locked up in a tiny cell would be worse than death to her. Maybe Stella had told the truth about the Emperor making a deal with her to spare her friends. Could she really do that? Could she serve the Emperor to save her friends? They would hate her but they would be alive and so would she. Could she live with herself if she did it? If she did make a deal with the Empire she would never be able to take it back or change her mind because it would mean death too her friends. It was a choice with no advantage to her at all but to ensure a life of servitude to her friends and herself.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 24 August 2011 00:37)