The command center door exploded showering the room with debris. Visiok shock troops hurried in firing at everything in sight. The last of the Ty Royal guardsmen were shot down in a valiant attempt to save the life of Mundis Ty the soon to be last ruler of the Ty Clan.
“Hold your fire! Azak shouted to his men. The shock troopers had subdued the surviving Ty clan members and Matt Mazin.
Azak walked into the room and calmly went to the battle-planning table. He saw displayed on the table the location of Furonius’s fleet as it approached Ty Prime.
“Captain, send the second Attack Armada to intercept the Ty fleet. Have them ask if Furonius Ty wishes to surrender. If he doesn’t then have our ships destroy the Ty fleet.” Azak said. The Captain saluted and ran from the room to carry out his orders.
Azak looked around the room and saw the dead body of the Colonel lying on the floor. Azak had met the Colonel on several of his visits to the Palace. The Colonel had been killed when the troops entered the room along with the Royal guards. He had served his last post for the Ty Clan to the end.
“Bring him forward.” Azak said gesturing to Mundis.
The troopers lead Mundis up to Azak who was looking down at him smugly. Azak extended his hand to receive Mundis’s side arm in surrender.
Mundis looked at Azak with hatred. It was Azak who had ruined everything for him. Mundis took the pistol from his holster and instead of handing the pistol to Azak he seized his last chance and squeezed the trigger.
There was a sickening click sound as everyone realized the pistol had not been loaded. He had never even checked to see if it was.
Azak sighed in disgust. “A buffoon to the last. It sickens me to have to take the surrender from a slave chasing halfwit such as you. You should be thankful that your father the great Maxis Ty didn’t live to see this pathetic display.” Azak said snatching the pistol from Mundis’s shaking hand.
“Why don’t you leave the guy alone? You won so do what you’re going to do and spare us your observations and petty judgments.” Matt said holding his wounded shoulder.
“Silence human! The lord Azak does not speak to lesser beings. You should be thankful of that because he will most probably let you go since this is a Feloid matter.” Azak’s Captain interjected.
“Feloid matter?” Matt laughed aloud. “Your precious lord Azak could never have pulled off this attack if he wasn’t helped by his Imperial Human master!” Matt said brazenly.
The Captain punched Matt in the stomach causing him to fall to his knees. Mundis helped him back up and over to the sofa again.
“Thank you for your defense on my behalf but you should stop before you wind up with the same fate as me.” Mundis said smiling.
“Enough! Take them to the balcony. I will execute him and his men there so all of the Ty soldiers can see he is dead.” Azak said. He turned and walked out of the room and down the hall towards the balcony.
“I want to come with you Mundis, for support.” Matt said.
“You may come if you like, my legs are a little shaky at this moment and I fear they may fail me.” He replied.
“That’s what I meant.” Matt said as he pretended to let Mundis support him as they walked down the hall.
Mundis stared at the archway leading to the large balcony that over looked the grounds below.
“So many regrets. I’ve squandered my life on drink and females. It is as it should be; I don’t deserve to be leader of the Clan.” Mundis said.
Matt wanted to say something to make him feel better but it was all true. Mundis was a fun guy to be around but he, like other wealthy offspring never did anything but play around and spend money on themselves. He wasn’t fit nor did he deserve to be leader of this Clan.
Mundis was lead to the edge of the railing on the balcony. The cries of the captured Ty soldiers rose in protest from below as they witnessed the fall of their Clan.
Azak drew his side arm and standing next to Mundis placed the barrel to Mundis’s temple.
“Warriors of the Ty clan, you have been bested by the Great Clan Visiok. I claim my right of conquest and hereby end the life of Mundis Ty.
Mundis closed his eyes.
Blood spattered over Mundis’s face. He felt no pain. He waited to enter the afterlife but he didn’t feel his spirit flying away as the priests had told him would happen.
There was a great roar suddenly from below as the Ty soldiers cheered wildly. Mundis opened one eye just in time to see Azak stagger forward towards the rail. He turned to look at Mundis showing a definite look of confusion as blood streamed down and across his face from a large hole in the front of his forehead. Their eyes met for a second as both wondered what had just happened.
Azak took one more step forward and tumbled over the rail and down to the ground a hundred feet below.
Mundis looked suddenly up and too his left by instinct. There on the tallest spire of the palace he could see a human woman with the wind blowing through her blonde hair holding a long slim sniper rifle. He squinted to get a better look.
Matt burst out in laughter. “Kllair!”
The remaining Visiok soldiers were suddenly set upon by two spinning she demons brandishing flashing blades and blazing pistols. The twins had dropped down from the roof above from where they were hiding. Matt limped over and pulled a stunned Mundis back from the edge of the balcony. They continued inside and were astonished to see Adda Beddo coming down the hallway towards them smiling.
“I wasn’t sure we would make it in time.” She said as she helped both men to a bench in the hallway.
“I’m going to see if those two need any help.” Novuh said as she came up behind Adda.
“What the hell? Where did you come from Adda, we thought you were dead.” Matt asked confused. “ How did you make it through the Visiok fleet?”
“My ship has a cloaking system and the rest is a long story Matt but the short version is Kllair had never taken the surveillance devices she planted out of the Palace. Once we heard about Lionette’s death Kllair found out through her connections that the Visiok’s were going to attack.” Adda said.
“You should be happy Lord Mundis.” Elith said slinking her way seductively up the hall towards him. “Unless I’m mistaken, according to Feloid law, you just beat the Visiok Clan. Azak didn’t have any brothers or sisters. His Clan is now yours.” The pretty little Zeltron said as she squeezed onto the bench between Mundis and Matt.
“What?” Mundis asked.
“There was a battle for Clan dominance correct?” Elith asked.
“It can’t be that simple.” Matt said interjecting in anticipation of what she was about to say.
“There can only be one winner here and once again, unless I’m mistaken Lord Mundis, you’re not the one who’s dead.” She said grinning.
“You’d better get out there and claim victory to your troops before the fighting starts again.” Adda said helping him up.
Mundis looked at Matt in disbelief. He was now the leader of the largest and most powerful clan in Feloid space. “I never wanted any of this.” He said to Matt.
“To bad Mundis, now get out there and end this so no one else gets hurt.” Matt said following him through the entrance.
Mundis stepped out onto the balcony. He heard the confusion and yelling from the troops below as they tried to figure out what would happen next. He slowly leaned over the railing and looked down.
“It’s Lord Mundis!” one of the soldiers yelled from below. The Ty soldiers all cheered and threw their hats in the air. He was astonished to see the Visiok troops begin to lay down their weapons in nice neat stacks.
Mundis waved at the troops slowly and as their cries of approval became louder and louder he waved harder and smiled. Matt shook his head in amazement. Once again history will give credit to a leader who had no claim to it. Everyone on the balcony would have no choice but to say that Mundis killed Azak. The claim of victory would have to be made to sound legitimate or the fighting may start up again especially if the Visiok Clan were to find out that a human assassin had been the one to kill Azak and not Mundis.
Even Mundis would have to lie about this whole outcome. Matt could see how uncomfortable Mundis looked as he took credit for the victory but he had no choice. Kllair had made him a hero, but at what price?
Sertera flew the small craft down through the atmosphere of the alien planet. They had arrived at Tregess; the place that Lionette had been told would be her worst nightmare. She had spent most of the trip in pain, suffering from the dry heaves. Sertera had made sure not to give Lionette any of the Mothers Milk so she wouldn’t be a threat to him as he slept. He did however give her a shot just before they entered the gravitational pull of the planet so she would be more desirable to whoever might find her worth buying.
Lionette looked out of the side window and down at the planet. Thick layers of clouds covered most of the ground below. Once they flew lower she saw high rolling hills and forest that seemed primeval in appearance. There were no signs of cities or roads anywhere. It was as if the planet was uninhabited by any advanced civilization at all. They flew for miles low over the trees and still she saw nothing but wilderness. The ship rose above a hill and then dropped down quickly to reveal a huge lake that spread out for as far as she could see.
There, on the far side she could see several columns of smoke rising from the thick forest. This must be their destination, her new home. If she hadn’t been pumped up full of Mothers Milk she most likely would have been nervous but the powerful drug made her calm and relaxed. She didn’t care what was in store for her as long as the drug would be available to her. Nothing anyone could do to her would matter as long as she had the Mothers Milk.
“When we get there I don’t want you to speak unless I tell you to. The inhabitants here aren’t very good conversationalists. Try to smile and don’t cry or complain or they’ll cut your Royal throat. Oh yeah, and don’t try to tell them you’re Lionette Ty and that they’ll get a reward to take you back, these fella’s ain’t welcome anywhere. They kind of got dumped here a long time ago. I don’t think any of them can pilot a ship anyhow.” Sertera said over his shoulder.
“Who are these people? Why do they live way out here?” Lionette asked.
“You’ll find out soon enough. We’ll be landing soon so take off your clothes and put on that dress.” Sertera said. He pointed to a common cloth slave tunic. It was gray with sleeves that came down to her elbows and a hemline just above her knees. Lionette did as she was told without protest.
“Will they take care of me there?” she asked. It was obvious to Sertera she was asking about the availability of the drug here.
“That won’t be my problem soon. Once I get my money for you I’ll be long gone from this sector.” He said callously.
Lionette thought for a second then smiled. “I’ll make them feel good and then they’ll give me what I need.” She had started to become delusional in her thoughts. She didn’t even realize she was about to be abandoned on a primitive planet and didn’t even know where it was.
Sertera circled above a large clearing in the forest below. He set the shuttle down without any problem and waited. Lionette watched out the window. Very soon they saw dark shapes coming out of the woods. They were
massive, about seven feet in height at least. She could make out that they were some sort of Feloid but a type she had never seen or heard of before. They were all basically Beast types but larger. Huge fangs hung down out of their mouths dripping with saliva. Their fur was long and matted with filth. They had a distinctive dull look in their eyes as well as a savage disposition. They seemed like throwbacks, a breed that dead-ended without any advancement for thousands of years.
Even with the drug in her Lionette sensed something wrong with these creatures. Then she saw the skulls. They were Feloid but much smaller than their own. They wore them around their necks and on the primitive weapons they carried. They were the skulls of cat girls that had been sold to these monsters. They were cannibals. She didn’t see any females anywhere in the clearing and could only assume that once they had ravaged any cat girl unlucky enough to be sold to these monstrosities they were then eaten.
“No, you wouldn’t! They’ll kill me!” Lionette protested.
“Only if you resist. They only kill the ones they get tired of or they injure to badly. Now get out and do as I tell you before I sell you as food to them.” Sertera said as he drew his pistol and pointed it at Lionette.
She realized she had no choice. Her only chance was to do what Sertera said. He knew these beasts and he would convince them not to eat her.
As they left the ship one of the creatures lurched forward and stopped just feet away standing far too close for Lionette’s comfort. She felt herself shaking with fear as this giant loomed over her. He spoke with Sertera in a booming guttural tongue as they haggled over the price.
“Lift your dress girl…over your head.” Sertera snapped. Lionette closed her eyes and did as she was told. She stood shaking and humiliated as the beasts growled and laughed. He leaned down and sniffed her body. His nose was so close she felt the air going in and out. They seemed to like her well enough.
The beast gave Sertera a bag of rough-hewn gems that he stuffed in his pocket. He then quickly climbed back into the doorway of the ship. Lionette opened her eyes just in time to watch the door close. Sertera didn’t even look back.
The ship lifted off and raced upwards into the sky. The whole transaction for her life didn’t even take five minutes.
“You come.” Was all the beast said as he grabbed Lionette by the hair. He walked off back through the woods dragging Lionette behind him. He didn’t realize she was still facing the other direction and she was struggling to turn around. She remembered Sertera’s brief warning about what happened to complainers so she gritted her teeth and tried her best to keep up. After about a mile or two trudging and stumbling through thick underbrush that her “escort” went through as if it wasn’t there at all they reached a small encampment.
The first thing Lionette saw when they reached the spot was the half eaten remains of a cat girl tied to a spit hanging over a smoldering campfire. The corpse’s mouth was open wide as if in a perpetual silent scream made worse to look at by the fact that the eye sockets were completely empty and the remaining skin was burnt black.
There weren’t any shelters or tents of any kind just hides and furs scattered on the ground around the fire. Off to one side was a group of three naked cat girls huddled at the base of a tree. They all had heavy chains around their necks that were fastened to a huge boulder half buried in the ground. Each chain was hooked to a large rusted ring that had been bolted to the rock a long time ago. This spot seemed to be a regular rest area that had been used by these creatures for a long, long time.
The one who had dragged her back to camp grunted something to one of the others and shoved her at him hard causing Lionette to hit the ground roughly. The other one quickly clamped a heavy steel collar on her neck and fastened the chain to the rock like the other girls. Lionette noticed the other women kept their heads down and remained motionless. She decided to copy what they did in an effort not to wind up on the spit. She lay huddled next to the three women and listened to the beasts tearing off bits of the corpse and feast.
Lionette didn’t move for quiet sometime. She didn’t dare
move and was careful to follow the lead of the other girls. She was able to turn her head just enough to look at the camp where the beasts were sitting. Lionette counted five of the creatures as they sat eating. Suddenly she felt her hand being squeezed; it was one of the other girls trying to get her attention. Lionette risked it and turned her head in the girl’s direction. It seemed as though she was trying to tell her something using eye movements and some twitching of the ears. Lionette couldn’t tell what she was saying and this surprised the girl for some reason. The girl closed her eyes quickly as one of the beasts trundled over to them. He hesitated and then unhooked the chain from the rock that was attached to Lionette’s collar. He unceremoniously pulled Lionette to her feet and led her off into the woods a bit. He pushed her forward knocking her to her knees. He then knelt down behind her a forced her onto all fours and threw her dress up onto her back exposing her most private parts. She braced herself and thanked the fact that the Mothers Milk hadn’t worn off.
The surviving Feloid pirates began to crawl from the wreckage of their ship. The invading Visiok clan had attacked them with an ion cannon knocking out all of their systems leaving them to drift helplessly in Feloid space for days until they were caught up in this planets gravity field. Only ten had survived the crash from a crew of more than fifty. They had been lucky the ship was designed to operate in atmospheric worlds and had been equipped with wings. Since there were no landing fields the ship had crashed into the high jungle canopy and slid down the side of a mountain leaving it resting in the valley below.
Ohrec Thane was the first to emerge from the wreckage. It was his ship and he wasn’t happy about being stranded here. It had been his decision to fly closer to the strange repeating pulse his sensors had picked up. Once close enough they saw a Visiok attack fleet headed towards Ty Prime. The Imperial ship that accompanied them had some sort of array that fed back repeated scanner information that made the fleet appear not to be there.
“Kyus! Where the blazes are you?” Ohrec called.
“Here Captain, I’m trying to find our bearing.” Kyus, the second mate replied. He had dragged one of the broken astrodroids from the wreckage and was trying to fix the power cell.
“You’re wasting your time Kyus. That ion cannon fried everything on board. The only power cells that are shielded against an ion blast are the ones in our guns and we’ll need those I’ll wager.” Ohrec said looking around.
“I was just checking to make sure.” Kyus said frustrated.
“Why don’t you take Khayle and Villem back inside the ship to see what kind of provisions we have left? Then when you’re done come see me for your next assignment.” Ohrec said smiling.
Kyus had an idea what was going to happen. He was faithful to the Captain and knew not to ask questions.
Captain Ohrec called the remaining six crew members off to the side and had them line up for their assignments.
“You men are all new to this crew so at a time like this I need to know who I can trust. It’s been my experience that desperate times often bring out the worst in people especially when survival is on the line.
We may be facing starvation and dehydration here if we can’t find the necessary provisions to survive so the first order of business will be to fan out and find a water source.” Ohrec said. The new crewmembers stood awaiting their orders.
“Water runs downhill so you men search at the bottom of the mountain and we’ll get the camp set up, any questions?” he asked smiling. The men looked at each other and nodded to the Captain. They filed in line and began the long trek down the mountain. The Captain smiled and waited to all of them had their backs to him. He drew his blaster and shot all of them in the back.
Ohrec jumped down from the rock he was standing on and gave each one more shot in the head to make sure they were dead.
Kyus stuck his head out of the front hatch of the ship. “Have you given the assignments Captain?” he asked ready to duck back in if things hadn’t played out like he thought they would. He was afraid that one of the new men might have survived and had shot the Captain.
“Come on out Kyus. It’s been done. These responsibilities weigh heavy on a Captain you understand. I couldn’t take the chance that they wouldn’t cause problems, we’re in too dire of straits to have to worry about things like mutiny. We all stand a better chance of survival now.” He sad as he went through the pockets of the men he had just shot.
“You always know best Captain, nobody can say otherwise.” Kyus said agreeing.
Khayle and Villem looked out cautiously at the Captain and then at Kyus who winked at them so they knew the killing was over and they would be spared. The two Feloids smiled and nodded in agreement to the Captains actions.
“Well how are the provisions Kyus?” the Captain asked.
“There’s plenty of everything, food and water for months.” He said.
The Captain looked at the slain men contorted in death at his feet.
“Oh well, better safe than sorry I always say.” He grinned.
Bronski sat down laughing at the sudden Ty Clan victory. His Feloid troops were celebrating the sudden turn of events and their own survival.
Kang lumbered over the dead Visiok troops that had fallen under his attacks and made his way over too Bronski.
“I know you’re not a believer but the Force was with us on this day without a doubt.” He said.
“I’ll tell you this my huge friend, I believe in it today damn it!” Bronski laughed. “I won’t tomorrow but I do today!” he said giving Kang a friendly punch in the stomach that didn’t even register to him.
Baltis made his way over too the two as they talked.
“ It was Kllair. Kllair killed Azak and now every one thinks it was Mundis. I saw the whole thing through the scope on my rifle. I was going to do the same thing and now I can’t believe what’s just happened. The Force certainly watches over fools and grants them good fortune.” He said looking up at Mundis as he waved wildly at his troops.
“I hate to be the one that has to put an end to all of this celebrating but we need to come up with a plan fast. None of us thought this battle would end up as a victory so we need to try and steer events so they will wind up in a fortuitous direction. I believe we need to get up to that tower and make sure our alliance with the Feloids is still intact by the time the smoke clears.” Kang said looking up.
They all knew that the fate of the Ty Clan and the Rebellion all hinged on the whim of a slave-chasing playboy that has never contributed anything meaningful to any important situation ever. He might even start to believe that he actually had something to do with this victory.
“The only thing that worries me now is why Kllair came back. She wouldn’t come back at this time unless she had a motive.” Baltis said.
“Do you think she’s working for someone?” Bronski asked. They knew he meant the Empire.
“No, she doesn’t like any group that has that much power. She likes to keep things unstable, less chance for tyranny in a confused Galaxy.” Baltis replied confidently.
“I think you’re right Kang. We need to get up there and as soon as possible.” Bronski said.
Last Updated (Friday, 12 August 2011 22:00)