A time for action
Timtam finished giving Kero the dose of painkiller and leaned back. She had cleared a place on the floor of the pod where she could operate. The door was closed and she had sprayed the inside down with an antiseptic aerosol in an attempt to make the interior as sanitary as possible.
Kero was asleep and a tunicate had been fastened down tightly to prevent too much loss of blood. She knelt down next to him on the floor and wept. She had to control herself. There was no time for this now. She looked down at the scalpel and knew once she picked it up she had to begin the procedure and wouldn’t be able to stop until it was over.
Timtam took a deep breath and picked up the scalpel.
With a shaky hand she made the first cut. The blade sunk in long and deep. Blood started to pour out from his lower leg heavily. She had forgotten to place a tunicate on it to keep all of the blood in it from doing what it was doing right now.
The floor was soon covered in blood. It had flowed up to where she was kneeling and under her knees. She covered her nose and mouth to keep the smell and taste out. Timtam continued to cut as quickly as she could so she would be able to cauterize the veins and arteries of the upper leg before he bled out.
The scalpel hit the thighbone and scrapped across it. She turned her head and vomited. It was too much. She couldn’t do this anymore.
Timtam let go of the scalpel and tried to push away but her hands were covered in Kero’s blood causing her to slip. She looked at the blood everywhere, her husband’s blood. She quickly felt around and picked the scalpel back up and forced herself to finish cutting through the muscle. Finally it was done. She wiped her hands on one of the towels she had set out and grabbed hold of the saw. Timtam eased the saw blade down into the gap in the leg until she felt the bone again. She gagged again but began to saw as quickly as she could. Luckily the saw was sharp and although it only took her about three minutes to cut through it seemed as though it took much longer.
Suddenly the lower leg dropped to the ground completely severed.
She was almost finished now.
There was no power on the ship yet so everything was done in the most primitive of ways. The next step was to cauterize the veins and arteries to keep Kero from bleeding to death. Timtam had been heating a metal rod in a bucket full of coals all morning just for this moment. The horror and sickness were passing and remarkably the whole procedure was becoming easier. There was no time now. It had to be done. She kept thinking how lucky they were to have the painkillers. There’s no way this could have been done with out them.
She grabbed the rod and rolled the round shaft across the stump. Smoke erupted smelling of meat and blood. The sickness came back momentarily but quickly passed as she realized the worst part was almost over. Timtam gritted her teeth and jammed the rod back into the hot coals to heat it again. She looked at Kero lying back on the floor. He was breathing normally and once again she was thankful for the painkillers. The rod came out and was rolled across the stump to sear it closed. After a few more seconds it was done. Timtam sprayed the entire area with antiseptic heavily. She wrapped the wound with the bandages from the medical kits she brought down from the crash site of the pirate ship. She had done everything the right way. It hadn’t been pretty but it was done.
She had a few things left to do.
4-9 helped Timtam pull Hudd up onto the bunk in the pod. She placed her hand on his chest and felt his heart beating normally. The blanket that she had laid on the floor was covered in blood. There in the middle was the lower leg covered in blood. Timtam gathered up the blanket and the leg then slid it into a plastic bag and tied it closed. Hudd had told her to bury it as quickly as she could to keep animals away from it. The little gray animals were his biggest worry. He didn’t want them thinking of him and her as a food source. In addition there still might be other dangerous animals that they haven’t seen yet.
She took the grizzly bundle outside and laid it down. Timtam quickly washed the blood from her hands and arms. The scent of blood on her was almost as dangerous as the leg and blanket. After washing she took the bundle and buried it down the trail a ways. She made her way back and went inside. Timtam saw the blood that had leaked through the blanket on the floor. She quickly cleaned it up with some towels and took them outside and burned them in the fire. She waited until they had burned completely. Once again she had gone inside. She sat down next to Hudd and stroked his head. He was resting comfortably. Everything was done.
“How are the batteries coming 4-9?” she asked the droid. He had been turning the crank on the generator and recharging the batteries in the pod ever since it’s own power cells had been recharged.
“Almost finished mistress. There should be enough power to run the interior lights tonight. There is also and emergency download in the ships computer that will give me a basic knowledge of first aid and patient care. If you wish I will try to down load the program so I may be of more assistance to you and Master Kero.” 4-9 said.
“Yes, try and down load the program. I really could use the help.” Timtam said. The stress of the operation was over and she was beginning to feel fatigued. If 4-9 could become more useful in the care of Hudd she would be able to get some rest. She still had to go back up the other side of the valley and look around inside the pirate ship for more items that may be of use.
“I will have to see if I can use the program, sometimes Feloid and Human programs don’t convert that easily so it may take some extra time.” Said the droid.
“Just give it a try anyway.” Timtam said.
The droid began to down load the information on to its main processor.
Timtam looked back over at Kero. He was still resting calmly.
“Mistress, I’ve been thinking about you’re power shortage problems. The pirate ship manifest shows that they had two emergency solar collectors on board. They are too heavy for one person to carry but perhaps you could rig them right at the pirate ship and beam the collected power back too the pod. The wreck sight would be a better place to erect them anyway due to the fact that the sun shines on that side of the valley longer anyway. I compute that if both collectors are erected and fully functional they should easily give you all the power you need with no problem.” 4-9 said.
“Can you show me where they are?” Timtam asked.
4-9 drew a quick floor plan of the pirate ship with the location of the collectors. This would be a great help in their survival. If they had power they could call for help.
“I’m going to try and get some sleep 4-9. I’m going over to the wreck in the morning so I’ll need to be rested. Wake me if there’s any change in the masters condition.” She said.
Seleen ran up the back stairway too Lennut Nonrut’s room. She knocked on the door three times and then twice more. Sister opened the door and pulled her in.
“Is it still there?” Sister asked.
Seleen nodded her head yes.
Sister took Seleen by the hand and led her into the laboratory where Lennut made the Mother’s Milk. Lionette was doing pull ups from a beam that spanned the entire room. She had let herself go while under the effects of the drug. Lennut’s antidote seemed to have done the trick so far.
“It’s still here.” Sister said excitedly. She was referring to a cargo ship that had landed two days ago. They had become lost after their astrodroid stopped working. Light of the sky had the entire crew placed under arrest until he could figure out what to do with them and the ship. Light of the sky wasn’t treating them badly at the moment but that could all change in an instant if he thought he didn’t need them.
“Tell them what you found out.” Sister told Seleen.
“They really are lost. They had a mutiny onboard. They all started fighting with each other. The old Captain was killed so no one is in charge. They were able to fix the astrodroid after they landed but Light of the sky had them arrested before they could take off. Light of the sky doesn’t know the ship can fly so he doesn’t have any of his beastmen guarding It.” she said.
“What about the crew. Who are they?” Lionette asked.
“They’re all Feloid. Only six of them survived the fighting. There are four males and two females. The one who fixed the astrodroid is called Callimus Tarrow. He’s afraid Light of the sky won’t ever let them go so he’s looking for someone to help them escape, he’s desperate.” She said smiled.
“Lennut, can you start that ship?” Lionette asked.
“What? You want to go know?” Lennut asked.
“This is the only chance we have Lennut. We must risk it.” Lionette insisted.
“You’re not ready. You need more time too get in shape again.” Lennut pleaded.
Lionette grabbed Lennut by the shirt and shook her. “We have to try it. We have the element of surprise on our side. Plus we have six allies to help us. This is the best chance we’ll have. We might have to wait another two or three months before another ship arrives.”
Lennut gained her composure. “Okay…let’s do it. I never thought we’d make it off this rock anyway.”
“Good. First we need too free the prisoners. If any of them chicken out then we leave them behind. We’re going to be moving fast so don’t fall or get too far behind. Anyone on the ship when it’s ready for lift off gets to go. Anyone not there gets left behind, no exceptions.” Lionette said pointing to each one of them.
“Lennut, you go down the back stairs and down the tunnel to the landing pad. If anyone tries to stop you throw this bottle of acid in their face.” Lionette handed Lennut a large glass bottle.
“Sister, you will lead Seleen and myself down to where the prisoners are being kept. If anyone challenges you keep their attention and try to get them to turn their back on me. I’ll take it from there.” Lionette said. She opened a drawer and pulled out two large fighting knives that had been buried with one of the beastmen. Seleen had snuck out into the graveyard the night before and dug them back up so Lionette would have some weapons to use when they made their escape.
They all looked at each other and nodded. There was no turning back now. They all went out into the corridor and waited.
Lennut turned and went down the secret back stairway that only Sister was supposed to know about.
Sister motioned for Lionette and Seleen to follow her. They reached the top of the main stairway and quickly walked down to the next floor. Sister turned into a dark room and lit a torch. There they saw a small door in a short alcove. Sister opened it and stepped inside into another hallway. They only went a short way until they found the first door. Sister looked inside startling the male at first.
“Gods! This is an accursed place. Who are you?” the male said startled.
“I am here to help you escape. Be silent and let me open the door.
The man stepped back as Sister opened the door. He quickly stepped into the hallway and looked at the three women.
“If you’re my rescue party then I think I might stand a better chance back in the room. Lionette leapt and blocked his way.
“We’re leaving on your ship my friend, consider yourself lucky we’re taking you at all. The male looked down at the two knives poking at two very sensitive spots on his anatomy. He swallowed hard.
“Lead the way.” He said.
“Tell your friends we’re leaving. Tell them to do as I say or they’ll all be left behind.” Lionette demanded.
The male helped Sister open the doors. He quickly told them that they were escaping and to do whatever Lionette said.
“We have to move quickly and not stop for anything. Sister will lead the way followed by Seleen.” Lionette handed Seleen one of the knives. She recoiled from it. Slaves are not allowed to use weapons. Lionette grabbed Seleen’s hand and slapped the knife into it.
“Never question what I do again!” Lionette scolded her.
Seleen took the knife and nodded her head.
“Good girl, you have to protect Sister. She’s the only one of us that knows the way out.” Lionette said placing her hand on Seleen’s shoulder.
“The rest of you will follow Seleen. Once you get to the ship go at once to your stations and help get the ship ready.” Lionette watched each one of the ship’s crew to make sure they were paying attention.
Lionette pointed at Sister. “If that woman falls or is killed while we do this we will all be fed to those creatures, do you understand?”
They all shook their heads in acknowledgement at the seriousness of the situation.
Lionette nodded to Sister to begin the escape. Sister smiled and nodded back. She opened the door and led the group out too the bottom of the steps. Before they could take another step two huge beastmen stepped out of the shadows armed with metal short swords.
“What are you doing Sister? These peoples must stay in rooms.” The first one said.
“I’m taking them fix the sky ship. Light of the sky wants it working again.” She said calmly.
“Light of the sky sent us to make sure they stay in rooms.” The second said suspiciously.
“There is a mistake. Light of the sky…” Sister never finished her sentence.
Lionette pounced from behind at the first beastman slashing his throat in one fluid motion. She then dropped to the floor behind the first one as he struggled to turn around and draw his sword. She tumbled between his legs and slashed the hamstrings on both legs then watched him fall backwards. Lionette drew the short sword from the first beastman that was now spitting out blood and holding his throat in a vain attempt to stop the bleeding. She quickly slashed downward at the neck of the hamstrung beastman who was able to block the blow with his sword. Lionette grabbed her sword and in a frenzy struck downward against the beastman over and over again. He made a clumsy effort to block her blows. He was built for strength and not finesse. He had an almost pathetic pleading look on his face as he realized he was about to die.
Lionette finally broke his defenses and sank the blade halfway through his neck and jumped back to let him bleed out.
Lionette looked at the rest of the group to see if they were all okay.
They all looked amazed at what she had done.
Lionette had become winded. This would have taken only seconds when she was in her peak physical condition but the Mothers Milk had already begun to ravage her body. It would take time to get back into her true fighting form again.
“I’m sure someone heard that. We’ll be running from now on I guess.” Sister said almost smiling. This was probably the most excitement she had ever had. Lionette smiled back.
The group ran down the secret passages and finally to a long stair way leading to the landing pad and the ship. Suddenly there was a commotion from behind them. Lionette could just make out the shapes and sounds of several beastmen chasing them down the passage.
“Go!” Lionette shouted at Sister. Lionette turned to face the beastmen.
“No!” Sister yelled.
“It’s your only chance now go.” Lionette shouted. The crew yelled for Sister to keep moving. They could feel the breeze from outside wafting up the stairway.
Reluctantly Sister led the group down the stairs to the ship.
Mykala was sitting in her cabin cross-legged on the bed. She had been meditating. She was trying to sense Matt and where he was.
“Excuse me Mykala.” Pep said as she came in.
Mykala looked at her disappointed. “I keep seeing him in a space ship but I don’t know where he is.”
“He’s looking for me Mykala. He’ll always look for me.” Pep said sitting down.
Destriss walked in behind Pep. “If it were me I’d look for you somewhere you’d both know, someplace familiar to you both. I’d think that if you knew it and I knew it then that would be a good starting point.”
“The only place that would mean anything to us is Tatooine. That’s the only place that would be important enough to both of us. That’s the first place he took me after we met. That’s were I fell in love with him.” Pep smiled.
“We should go there. Once we’re there we can both try and make contact with him. We’ll stay at the same place you did, it will be the first place he’ll look.” Mykala said.
Destriss and Mykala saw that Pep had begun to cry.
“Don’t worry honey. We’ll find him sooner than you think.” Mykala said giving Pep a hug.
“It’s not that…I was just remembering how happy I was back then. For a few short days it was just the two of us. We made love every chance we could. We didn’t have a care in the world. He taught me that I was his equal. You all treated me so well back then and everyday since. Now everything is different. People are frightened of me. I’m a killer.” Pep said.
“That’s not true Pep! You never asked for these powers they were forced on you. Everything that has happened from that day on is the fault of whoever did this to you. You couldn’t stop them from doing this to you but you certainly can stop feeling guilty about it.” Mykala said concerned.
“None of your friends is frightened of you Pep. They might be worried about these powers but no one is frightened of you. You’re our friend and you would never hurt us on purpose. You’ve always defended us and helped people that needed it Pep and we all know that. The other day…at the prison…that wasn’t you. That happened because of the powers inside you needed to survive so they caused you to do it of that I’m certain.” Mykala said.
“I’m not so sure about that, it was like I just didn’t care about what happened to those people.” Pep said.
“That’s just my point, you didn’t feel anything because it wasn’t you who did it. Whatever this power is inside of you it seems to be using you as if it had its own consciousness. It seems like it has a life of its own. As if it was something living inside of you.” Mykala said.
They all sat silently for a moment thinking about what had been said.
“So we’re going to Tatooine then.” Destriss announced suddenly breaking the awkward silence.
“Yeah, I guess we are.” Pep said smiling a little.
“Great, I’ll go tell Isseh to change our heading. In the mean time why don’t you two take some time alone and concentrate on sending a message to Matt to meet us there.” Destriss said grinning. Like most Feloids he had been raised not to believe in things like the Force. However he had seen enough to not dismiss it so easily.
Destriss left and closed the door so the two women wouldn’t be disturbed.
“He likes you Mykala.” Pep said.
“Yeah, I like him to. The only problem is he reminds me of his brother Araya too much. I feel guilty being with him. I thought I could handle it and I even told him it didn’t matter but it does. I just can’t help it.” Mykala said.
“The dead no longer care what the living do. They are past caring about what happens here.” Pep said trying to make her feel better.
“You should grab whatever happiness you can in this life. An Imperial ship might be tracking us right now and we might not even know it Mykala. We could be attacked and killed before we knew what hit us.
When I was a slave I had no choice who used me but sometimes I would pretend it was someone I wanted to be with. I would pretend and have a good time. It’s how I survived sometimes. I grabbed the happiness where ever I could even if it lasted only a few minutes.” Pep said.
“My problem is that I do have a choice.” Mykala said running her fingers through her hair.
“What does Destriss want? Don’t forget he’s involved in this too.” Pep asked.
“I know, I know. It isn’t fair to either of us. I just can’t worry about my own happiness anymore. I have to keep my guard up all the time now that Stella is still out there. She won’t ever give up until she turns me to the dark side.” Mykala said discouraged.
Pep leaned forward and took hold of Mykala’s hands. “You have to do what you feel is right Mykala but I just want you to know that no one will judge you if you choose happiness over duty. We’re the same in a way. We both have a power we never asked for and it’s ruining our lives. Like you said Mykala, we didn’t ask for any of this.” Pep smiled comfortingly.
Mykala smiled back and sat up straight. “Okay. Enough of this whiney talk, we need to forget about how we feel about our situation and concentrate on fixing yours.” She took Pep’s hands and sat cross-legged on the bed. She looked at Pep one last time and closed her eyes to meditate. Pep found herself doing the same. They called out to Matt to go too Tatooine and the place he and Pep stayed.
Fey walked out of the Sith stronghold. She pulled her collar up tight against the frigid wind blowing across the huge empty courtyard. She had thus far avoided giving any report about the success of her bounty hunter in capturing Pep. The last message she had received was that she had Pep in custody but had to make an emergency landing due to mechanical trouble.
That was five days ago.
She had over heard that an Imperial prison had been raised to the ground leaving no survivors. They said that no weapons or explosives had been used in the attack.
It had to have been Pep.
Once the Imperial Inquisitors figured out that it was Fey’s plan to bring Pep into Imperial space without the proper security she would be executed.
She had too get out. She had to escape anyway she could. She would leave everything and disappear. She would go to the outer rim and start over.
Fey had reached her quarters and went inside. She left the lights off in her apartment to lessen the chances of being seen. She found a small bag and grabbed her valuables and stuffed them inside. Suddenly the lights came on in the room.
Fey spun around and pulled open her desk drawer to grab the blaster she kept there. It was gone.
“Looking for this?” asked the woman standing in the shadows.
“What do you want?” Fey asked nervously. The Inquisition must have figured out what she had done sooner than she thought.
“I guess you’ve heard by know just how successful your little experiment was.” The woman said stepping into the light.
Fey breathed a sigh of relief when she saw it was Enna the bounty hunter.
“I’d given you up for dead. What happened?” Fey dropped into the chair behind the desk.
“Never mind all that. Get your things; you’re coming with me. You’re going to give me the same powers that you gave that little slave.” Enna demanded.
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 03:03)