Shut up and get some sleep
Timtam woke early the next morning as quietly as she could as not to awaken Hudd. She slid across the ground and stood up arching her back and twisting from side too side stretching her stiff body. She had slept next to her husband on the ground all night. He had been given a good dose of painkiller that helped him sleep but she stayed there with him on the ground because of love.
She had a lot to do today so she wanted to get an early start. Timtam hooked 4-9 up to the generator she had built and started to turn the handle. The generator was working well and she figured it would only take about two hours to charge the droids power cells up to normal. Once she had done that the droid could begin the tedious job of recharging all of the auxiliary power cells they had. If that was done they might be able to send a distress signal and get rescued.
“What are you doing?” Hudd asked smiling groggily. The painkiller was still in his system so he wasn’t at his full game yet.
“I’m just charging the droids power cells, go back to sleep.” She said smiling.
“Can I help?” Hudd asked rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
“No. You need to rest some more. Just lie down and sleep. I’ll make us something to eat when I’m done here.” She insisted.
“I feel bad having you do all the work.” He said.
“I’ve taken care of others my whole life, I like doing it.” she said reassuring him.
“Okay then. Could you take a look at my leg, it feels itchy.”
Timtam smiled. Men could be such babies when they were sick or injured. She went over too Hudd and knelt down. She got a good look at his leg since yesterday. The leg had swollen badly.
“Okay lay back and relax so I can loosen your pants leg to relieve the pressure honey.” She said. She wanted to see how bad it was before he saw it. Hudd smiled and lay back on the ground with his leg still propped up. Timtam cut the pants leg up as far as his thigh as carefully as she could. She covered her mouth to keep from gasping. The area around the knee was black and purple. It had swollen to almost twice its normal size. She was glad she had found the painkillers otherwise he would be in agony right now.
“So how’s it look?” Hudd asked drumming his fingers on his chest.
Timtam didn’t know what to say. It was bad. If he didn’t get immediate medical attention he would die from gangrene.
“That bad huh?” Hudd asked joking. He looked up and saw Timtam’s eyes full of tears. He pulled himself up and looked at his leg. He was shocked to see how bad it had become so quickly.
“No dancing tonight.” Hudd joked nervously. He knew it was bad as well.
“What should I do?” Timtam asked. This was beyond either ones skill to handle.
Hudd thought for a moment.
“You’ll have to cut it off.” He said as if he didn’t believe he had just said it. Timtam shook her head slowly.
“I can’t…I might kill you.”
“I don’t think we have a choice. We have to do It.,” he said.
Timtam broke down in tears. She didn’t have it in her to cut off her husband’s leg.
“There has to be another way. I can’t do it. What will I use? What if I faint?” Timtam got up and ran over too the edge of the jungle and threw up. She was becoming overwhelmed by the thought of hacking into her husband’s leg.
Hudd lay back and waited for her to compose herself. She came back and knelt beside him crying.
“I don’t want you to die. We haven’t had enough time together. I want you to stay with me.”
“I don’t want to go either but I can’t do it myself. I’ll have to be shot up with painkillers until I pass out.” Hudd said.
“I’ll call for help…once the batteries are charged I’ll send an emergency call for help over the transmitter. Someone will hear it and come.” Timtam said frantically.
“There’s no time honey, we have to do this today or I’ll die.”
Timtam stood up and ran inside the pod. Hudd closed his eyes and lay back down. His only chance was Timtam. He had to convince her she could do it. If she was too scared she might make a mistake and kill him. Either way she had to try. He would die if she didn’t make the attempt and if she made a mistake he would die.
He lie there for a few minutes listening. It was quiet in the pod. Hudd looked up at the sky above. It was a beautiful morning. The sun was out and the jungle was alive with the sounds of birds. He folded his hands over his chest and hoped the painkiller wouldn’t wear off before he died.
“Wake up!” It was Timtam standing over him. She was carrying a bag full of medical equipment.
“You have to stay alive! You can’t leave me here all alone. You told me you’d be with me forever…well it isn’t forever yet so get up and show me what I have to do!” Timtam had gotten a sudden burst of adrenaline. She seemed more angry and frustrated now than sad. Here survival instincts had kicked in and even though she was scared she knew there was nothing left to do but cut the leg off the man she loved so he would live.
Matt was at the controls of the ship as they slipped through Imperial space trying to find Pep. Bronski sat in his bed staring at the wall. He pondered what to do now. He had always assumed that he would be killed in battle some place long ago. It never happened. He thought about each time he should have died but somehow survived when everyone else around was killed.
They all told him he was lucky. Soldiers would tell the new recruits to stick with him until they learned how to survive. It never worked though. They would all get killed sooner or later and he would be left alive and alone once again.
It didn’t seem fare that after all the men and things he had killed over the years that he was still alive. Why him? He was never what you would call “lucky”. He was always broke; he never got married, he didn’t even know where his brothers and sister were anymore or if any were still alive.
So here he sat with a bum heart. He wasn’t any good at any thing but killing stuff. He couldn’t go into battle anymore with other people depending on him. He wasn’t reliable any more. He had lived long enough to become a liability and a drain on everyone he knew.
“Any one in here?” Pidge asked as she stuck her head in Bronski’s room.
“Just me and my tears good looking.” Buck said laughing at his self-pity.
“Crap baldy you look like Hell.” She said stepping into the room.
“Grab a seat Piddy. Misery loves company.” He said pointing at a chair in the corner.
“Piddy huh?” she remarked on her new nickname. “I like it, don’t know why anyone never thought of it before.” She smiled.
Bronski looked at Pidge. She was probably a knockout when she was much younger. She was still very attractive but life and work had knocked the lacey edges off her prom dress over the years. She was heavier than suited her and was beginning to get wrinkles on her face. Her eyes were a different story though. Bright and sky-blue in color. They lit up her face and made you want to dive into them.
“You look like shit. What’s the matter?” Pidge asked.
Bronski’s first thought was to tell her it was nothing but she had a way about her that he could sense. She was tough but still good and kind. He noticed it because it was so rare.
Bronski poked his chest with a thick finger. “Bum ticker. Had it for a while now. It’s all played out.”
“Tough break Baldy. You look okay to me…on the outside of course.” She smiled.
“Yeah, I’m a real pretty boy.” He smiled.
“No, I mean you look like you can handle yourself. You look like the kind of guy those pretty boys get out of the way for.” She said grinning.
Bronski grinned. “I don’t want to brag you know but they do tend to do that.”
“So what’s the big deal? I’ll bet you’ve had a real interesting life by the looks of you, why don’t you take it easy from now on?” Pidge asked.
“Me and Matt are off to find his lady friend. Once we do that then we were planning to go far away and open a bar, you know, and get away from Imperial interference.” Bronski said looking at her eyes.
“Well that sounds like the right thing to do.” She smiled.
“I think a lot of people want to get away from the Empire so you’ll probably have a lot of customers were ever you wind up.” Pidge said as she readjusted Bronski’s pillow.
“Thanks.” He said.
“Look…Baldy, I don’t have anywhere to go. I got no family or job or money…would it be horrible if I hung around with you two for awhile…just till I get back on my feet.” Pidge asked humbly.
“Come here.” Bronski said sliding over on the bed.
“No, I didn’t mean like that…” she started
“Relax, neither did I. Just lay next to me for a while. I just thought we could both use a friend right about now…no funny stuff I promise.” Bronski said in his most reassuring tone.
Pidge smile and slid up next to Bronski and wrapped her arm around his waste and put her head on his stomach. She closed her eyes and smiled. “You’re alright Baldly.”
“Shut up and get some sleep.” Bronski joked.
Kllair waited outside the large doors of the Palace reactors. This was the lowest level of the Palace hundreds of feet below the massive living areas and hangar bays above.
“You may enter now.” The guard said opening the door.
Admittedly she was slightly upset that she was made to wait. After all Mundis Ty himself had summoned her and she was his chief of security. She followed the long corridor and passed through several large emergency radiation proof doors. The place was dark and dimly lit due to the fact that most of the apparatus was controlled from a higher level due to the danger.
Kllair stepped into the storeroom where they kept parts that were replaced on a regular basis. In front of her she saw two Feloid males standing on either side of a body suspended from the framework above. As she walked closer the true savagery of the death became more and more evident. The body was hung spread eagle by its ankles upside down. The victim was a cat girl and most likely a slave due to the blood soaked garment that lay in shreds on the floor. The girl had been tortured for a long time it seemed by the amount of blood that had flowed from the dozens of cuts all over her body. The coup de grace came from a long slash across the girl’s throat that bled her white.
Kllair had seen this before.
“What do you make of this ghastly act Kllair?” Mundis asked.
“I’m not sure yet. Who was this girl and where did she perform her duties?” Kllair asked.
“She was cleaning girl that worked on the level where the Royal Quarters are. She also sometimes does cleaning on the level you and your team occupy, do you recognize her?” Furonius asked Kllair.
Kllair bent over and held the girls head up for a better look.
“Its hard to say, I think I’ve seen her before.” Kllair said letting the girl’s head drop.
“Why would someone do something like this? Mundis asked Kllair.
“Maybe someone was trying to get information from her about the layout of the floors. A cat girl would know every inch of every room especially if she was charged with cleaning them.” She replied.
“This seems awful gruesome for an interrogation or someone just trying to find out a floor plan.” Furonius said.
“There are people in my profession that tend to be…overzealous in there techniques. They enjoy the power over others.” She said wiping her hands on a rag that had been lying on the workbench.
“What should we do now?” Mundis asked.
“For the time being you should do nothing. You should continue as if nothing was known about this. If this girl was killed to find out information then it’s important to change nothing about your habits. We wouldn’t want to let the person know that we suspect something.” Kllair replied.
“Could this be the work of a madman? Maybe it has nothing to do with us at all?” Furonius asked.
“We’ll know soon enough but for now we have to wait and see. I’ll have my crew look into this in the mean time so if there’s nothing else you need I’ll go get started on this.” Kllair said smiling.
Both Furonius and Mundis bid Kllair farewell as she left. She went down the long hallway and took the elevator back up to her living quarters.
“What’s going on Kllair?” Adda asked. She knew Kllair had been a meeting with Furonius and Mundis.
“I’ll tell you later.” Kllair said smiling as she continued down the hallway where they each had their own rooms.
Kllair stopped at the twins room and walked in. she looked around the room as she carefully closed and locked the door.
“Get out here.” She said sternly. No one came out. She walked into the bedroom and looked around for them. They were nowhere to be found. Kllair went to the closet and flung open the door. There huddled in the corner were the twins. They were clinging to each other like frightened children. Kllair reached in angrily and grabbed them by the hair and roughly dragged them out of the closet as they screamed and squealed like animals. They tried to grab onto the doorframe but Kllair violently kicked their hands until they let go.
“What have you done? Are you trying to destroy everything I’ve worked for?” Kllair screamed kicking and slapping the twins.
They screamed like children and writhed on the floor like beaten animals. Kllair was furious. “I saved you and this how you repay me? What am I supposed to do now? I can’t keep covering these murders up for you two!”
The twins crawled up to Kllair’s feet and started to kiss them in a disgusting display of servitude.
“Get off me! Stop that!” Kllair said pulling away.
There was a loud knocking at the door.
“Hold it down in there, everyone can hear you!” Novuh said from the outside.
Kllair unlocked the door and let Novuh in. “They’ve done it again Novuh! Right here in the Palace. I swear I’m going to kill them this time!” Kllair said reaching for a pistol that one of the twins had been cleaning. Novuh blocked her way quickly.
“Wait Kllair, maybe we can fix it.” Novuh said trying to calm Kllair down.
“They were both there Novuh! Mundis and Furonius both were asking questions. They were feeling me out to see if we had anything to do with this, I could tell the suspect us.” Kllair said trying to calm herself.
“You don’t know that for sure. Get hold of yourself Kllair. If they came in here now we’d all be finished so pull it together damn it!” Novuh said as she pushed Kllair away from the pistol on the desk.
“There’s a girl hanging up down there gutted and dressed like a feast house dinner. Forgive me if I’m a little upset!” Kllair said trying to calm herself.
“Why don’t we send them away for a while? At least until things blow over.” Novuh suggested.
“We can’t do that. They would know for sure that they did it then. No, we have to pin this on someone else. We need to make them think someone else did this. We need a fall guy and quick.” Kllair said.
“Give it a while Kllair. These Royals don’t care what happens to slaves. They’ll find something else to worry about in a week you’ll see.” Novuh countered.
Kllair stepped away from the twins and sat down exhausted. She saw all of her plans going out the window.
“Find Elith. We need to tell her about this but whatever you do don’t tell Adda. I’ll have Elith use her special talents to make Adda believe the twins couldn’t have done this. Mundis and Furonius will believe Adda, after all she is a Jedi.” Kllair said.
“You’re tricking Adda into believing the twins are innocent. You’re using her position as a Jedi to fool them.” Novuh said.
Kllair sighed. “Why do you think I tricked her into joining us? This is why I do the thinking Novuh. I know you want to challenge my position in our little group but you’ll never succeed. You see you’re the muscle of the group. You’re the best at what you do, the best I’ve ever seen. That’s why I brought you in. Now me, I’m the brains. It’s what I do best but we are a team. Every one of us has a function we’re not interchangeable and we wouldn’t survive a minute operating alone. Even those sick little monsters have a function. I understand how these things work Novuh; you on the other hand only want to be the leader. If you were meant to be a leader then you’d have been one by now.” Kllair said grinning confidently.
“Now go find Elith and bring her here like I told you. Is that clear?” Kllair said coldly.
Novuh held back her anger. She hated it when Kllair acted superior to her. She hated it even more because deep down she knew Kllair was right. There was no deigning the fact that they were all living in a Palace and being waited on hand and foot. She was smarter than her and she had saved all of them from horrible lives. They all owed Kllair a lot.
“Okay Kllair I get her. You know best.” Novuh said still angry.
“Thank you Novuh. The sooner we fix this the sooner we can get on with my plan.” Kllair said smiling.
Pep sat quietly in her cabin on Isseh’s ship. She had completed her part of the bargain and now they were headed home.
“Can I come in?” Isseh asked standing in the doorway.
“It’s your ship.” Pep said. She was sitting on the bed up against the corner of the room. Her knees were pulled up to her chin and her arms pulled tightly around her legs. She seemed very tiny sitting in the dark Isseh thought to herself.
“I want to thank you for saving my daughter. I owe you a great deal.” Isseh said.
“All you owe us is a ride home. After that we’re even.” Pep said looking straight ahead.
Isseh stood looking at Pep quietly for a moment.
“Everyone understands that you didn’t mean to do it. Those powers of yours just took over. It wasn’t your fault.” Isseh said.
“It was my fault.” Pep said looking up at Isseh.
“I did it on purpose. I’ve been sitting here wondering what I’ve become. I haven’t been sitting here feeling bad about what happened Isseh. I’ve been sitting here wondering why I don’t care.” Pep smiled.
“All those people are dead and I don’t feel bad at all. What does that make me?” Pep asked.
“I don’t want to say.” Isseh said.
“It makes me intimidating. It makes you want to get away from me doesn’t it?” Pep asked calmly.
Isseh sensed Pep wasn’t being threatening. She really was confused about her future.
“Yes, yes you are very intimidating but I don’t think you’re bad. I think something has happened too you that didn’t ask for and now you don’t know what to do next.” Isseh said.
“I think your right. I think if I don’t get rid of this power it will kill me and a lot of people will die because of it.” Pep looked at the wall. “I want it out of me. I want to go back the way it was.”
“What does your man think about it?” Isseh asked.
“I think he tries to pretend it isn’t real. I think if he thought about it he would be scared too. He saved my life and I owe him everything but I think he’ll leave me eventually and unless I can figure a way to get rid of this power he’ll have to.” Pep said quietly and wiped her eye.
“I wish I could help you.” Isseh said. “You are one of the most powerful beings I had ever seen or heard of. There are those who would kill millions to posses your powers and yet all you want to do is get rid of them…I think that eliminates you as being a bad person.” Isseh said.
“I hope your right. I never asked for this and I’m not even sure how it happened but I think the Empire did this to me. I was captured and tortured along with a friend of mine. The man torturing me told me he had killed my friend and I blacked out. The next thing I remember was being awoken by my friend who told me she had been dumped in a sewage tank to die but somehow wound up in a room with me. When we left the room the Imperial security guards let us pass without any problem. We were smuggled off the prison ship by a human and that’s all I remember about that day. Soon after I developed these powers and they’ve been getting more and more powerful everyday. The bounty hunter that captured me told me I was given a drug that would awaken my powers.” Pep said.
“Then someone in the Empire knows how you got your powers.” Isseh said.
Pep realized that the bounty hunter would most likely go after the doctor that had hired her to find Pep. The bounty hunter wanted the serum for herself so now that Pep had escaped the only move left to her was to kidnap the Imperial doctor so she could get the serum.
Pep’s eyes grew wide with realization. The bounty hunter was taking her back because of her powers. If she could find that bounty hunter again she would find the Doctor that gave her the serum. Pep finally had hope again. She jumped up and gave Isseh a hug that nearly scared Isseh to death.
“Thank you! I know what to do now!” Pep shouted.
Isseh stumbled back stunned.
“It’s okay now Isseh. I have to find the bounty hunter and the Doctor to find a cure.” Pep smiled.
“So do you want me to help you find them?” Isseh asked hesitantly.
“No, you’ve done enough. Just help me to get back to my man and I’ll take it from there.” Pep said wiping tears of joy from her eyes.
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 03:02)