A last chance for happiness
Several weeks had passed on the old Feloid freighter. Lionette had officially now become Captain Zohe Naccoonie. She had taken the last name of Naccoonie because it wasn’t affiliated with any official Clan. The name like so many others in the Feloid culture is more of a trade name. Naccoonie means “Tradesman” in Feloid and is thought of as a laborers name with no ties to Royalty.
The ship had been given a new name as well. It was now called Far Quest and new data files had been recorded in the Fehldess Clan registers as an independent cargo hauler.
Zohe had negotiated a contract for a three-year contract hauling mining equipment for the Fehldess too their new business venture. It was just what everyone on the ship had wanted and at last the first consignment had been delivered and the crew had just been paid.
“Zohe you’ve done a wonderful job in taking care of us.” Sister said.
She had drawn some unwanted attention due to her appearance but it was explained away as a type of albinism that was very rare. The story was so far fetched that it seemed the only thing that made sense to those who met her.
Zohe had given Gayjee her freedom and she had now become one of the ships crew as well. Everyone on board helped her adjust to her new life as a free person. They were happy to do it because like Zohe they owed their lives to her as well. After all Zohe had told them how she saved her life twice, once when she arrived and after she had fallen from the tower.
Zohe’s eye never healed and Doc had too remove it. Once they had some extra cash they all voted they would buy her a nice new one.
The rest of the crew had noted she had never complained once about it’s loss or the accompanying scar that ran fro her forehead down under her cheek bone and back under her ear. Doc had only one choice but to stitch it up as best she could leaving a very noticeable scar.
They had just finished picking up their second load of cargo, two ore haulers and thirty bundles of work clothes and numerous containers of small items. There was a relaxed attitude on board now with everyone settling in to his or her new job and personal boundaries established, a necessity on a star ship.
Zohe was on the bridge with Tessen piloting the ship. Zohe was at peace now. She had accepted her new life and was beginning to look forward to a life of good honest work without having to make decisions that affected millions of lives.
Gayjee came onto the bridge with some refreshments for Tessen and Zohe.
“It’s all we had mistress forgive me.” Gayjee said solemnly.
“I’m not your mistress Neeka, address me as Captain or Zohe.” Zohe said smiling.
“Then you should call her Gayjee! Who the Hell is Neeka.” Tessen laughed at Zohe’s mistake light heartedly.
Zohe dropped her cup stunned with remembering poor Neeka. Neeka had died saving her life in and explosion. She died leaving her daughter motherless.
“She saved my life on two separate occasions. She gave her life to save mine.” Zohe said half remembering and half explaining.
“Oh, I’m sorry for laughing…I didn’t know.” Tessen said embarrassed.
Zohe sat down shaking. She had never done anything to avenge Neeka. The Sith assassin that killed her had escaped without paying for what she had done.
Gayjee quickly cleaned up the spilled drink on the floor.
“Hey, Zohe…are you okay?” Tessen asked. Zohe had tears streaming down from her good eye and was staring out into space.
“I have to leave…there is something I have to do.” Zohe said as she slowly stood up.
“What? You can’t go now! We need you Zohe. Whatever happened in the past is over. You can’t change those things.” Tessen explained.
Zohe pulled herself together. “She was my servant, my friend. She saved my life twice. I insisted on allowing her to raise her daughter in my home where they’d be safe.” Zohe said.
“When I met her she was just a dirty little plaything for any male who wanted to use her. I looked down on her and her life. The things she would do sickened me. I realized later that she was just part of a culture that she had no say in. She was only doing what she did because that’s what she was bred to do. Yet this girl volunteered to help me find the assassin who killed my father. She saved my life while doing so and all she ever wanted in return was to be allowed to raise the child that she was forced to have for someone else. In gratitude I made her my assistant and later we became friends. Imagine the great Lionette Ty friends with a dirty little tramp like her.” Zohe laughed at herself.
“I don’t even know what became of her daughter. You see Tessen I can’t continue until I’ve taken care of my responsibilities to Neeka and her child. I am bound by honor and friendship to do something to make this right.” Zohe explained.
“The name is changed but not the heart I see.” He said referring to her Feloid warrior heritage.
“I see your dilemma Zohe. However now you have left the rest of us with one as well if you leave. We are all bound to you by our honor. If you go we all will have to follow you. We are all in this together now.”
“I can’t ask you to do this.” Zohe protested.
“Aren’t we all Feloids on this ship? The idea of flying off to avenge a friends death is what we all dream of.” He said excitedly.
“I have no doubt in my mind that the rest of the crew wouldn’t stand for not being allowed to follow their Captain into the jaws of death.” He said smiling.
Zohe smiled back. This Tessen certainly had a sense of the dramatic.
“Something tells me you may be right about the rest of the crew.” Zohe said smiling slightly.
“We are what we are Zohe. We are a race of warriors and hunters, the chase is in our blood.” Tessen said crossing his arms in conviction.
“What about our contract with the Fehldess Clan?” Zohe asked.
“We have the right to refit our ship and make repairs as we see fit in the contract. I think that it’s time to do that don’t you?” Tessen was suggesting they use the excuse of a ship repair to put their contract on hold while they tracked down the assassin.
“I think you may be right Tessen, this ship is long overdue for those repairs you told me about.” Zohe said conceding to his suggestion.
Hudd let Timtam pilot his ship off of the base. They had made the decision to go to Geirgor and see to Pep’s girls until Pep came back. Pep had been kidnapped during the battle with the Visiok Clan and had not been heard from since. Most of their friends had vanished after the battle. Matt and Buck left to look for Pep and Mykala was thought to have gone looking for Stella. Assassins, just prior to the battle had killed Lionette leaving Mundis as Clan Leader. He was currently making arrangements to turn the Leadership role over to his younger brother Furonius.
The Rebellion against the Empire had failed leaving many people at the base with nowhere to go including Ragg Tempess and the eight hundred Rebel prisoners who had finally made their way back across Imperial controlled space to the safety of the Ty Clan.
Mundis and Furonius had decided to find a safe haven for all the Rebels that had been left with no homes to return to. It had been agreed to that they would begin a new colony on the far side of Geirgor. There they could, with aid from the Ty Clan, build a new settlement were they would establish a safe haven for all who had fled the iron fist of the Empire. The idea that the Ty Clan would fund armed Rebellion against the Emperor had failed and would be abandoned.
Timtam leveled the ship off and with Kero’s help she set the astrodroid’s computer to pilot them to Geirgor.
Hudd had been fitted with an artificial leg from the Rebel medical equipment from the secret base. It seemed to work very well and he was quickly getting his independence back.
“You look happy today.” Kero remarked.
“I feel happy. We’re starting our new life together today. It’s all over for us. No more Empire or war just a good simple life together.” She said.
“We’ve been through a lot haven’t we?” he said smiling back.
“We’ll stay with Brumbarus and make sure Pep’s girls are doing okay for a while. He likes me and he’ll make sure we’re safe.” Timtam said.
Kero laughed at Timtam.
“What? What’s so funny?” she asked smiling.
“Listen to you. You’re telling me what we’re going to do. When we first met you never told anyone what to do now you’re giving orders.” He said smiling.
“Well…I just thought it was a good plan, that is if you think so?” she said embarrassed.
“No no, you’re the boss now. If that’s what you want then I say aye aye Captain.” Kero continued to tease her.
Timtam smiled and slapped Kero playfully on the arm.
“And hitting! Now you’re beating your husband! I’ve created a monster!” he said rubbing his arm pretending she hit him far harder than she did.
They both laughed uncontrollably, far harder than they should have over a simple joke like that. It was a release. They finally both felt they were free from the obligations of others. They were free to do what they wanted to do. They could have gone anywhere but they had chosen to go to Geirgor and had also chosen to help Pep’s girls. It was all their choice. They were living for themselves finally.
Pep and Matt had left the meeting feeling better about their situation. They had asked Bronski to come with them to find a nice quiet backwater place to open a bar. Bronski asked if Pidge could come along with them and they agreed. At least they had a good reliable ship for their journey. Mykala and Destriss still needed to find one or at least book passage indiscreetly back too Feloid space to retrieve Haven Dak, Mykala’s cousin.
Pidge had gone into the town to find some spare parts they might need for the ship. She didn’t want to be cheap and buy anything second hand from one of the local scrap and junk merchants so she went directly to one of the more reliable dealers in town.
The shop was large and airy with a synthetic blue cloth roof that was designed to reflect the suns rays away to keep it relatively cool inside.
She suddenly ducked back behind the shelving. Standing at the counter were two armed men, Bounty hunters holding up a holo projection of Pep too the shop owner.
“She’s very dangerous. She’s killed hundreds of Imperial troops. Any help you can give us would be greatly rewarded. Her bounty is huge so we can afford to be generous Thainus.” The Bounty hunter in the helmet said. He obviously knew the owner and they seemed to be on good terms.
Pidge had only just met Pep and wasn’t sure they were talking about the same quiet little cat girl that she had just been in the same room with. She moved around the shelves to get a better look at the holo projection from a different angle. Pidge pretended that she was looking at something under the counter. The holo projection was Pep. The recording must have come from an Imperial security camera. It showed her face becoming angry and what looked to be a wave of energy of some sort fly from her body outward. The recording looped over and over again.
“What are you looking at?” the second Bounty hunter asked Pidge gruffly.
“Nothing… I was just curious is all.” Pidge replied.
“You seen someone that looks like this?” the one in the helmet asked suspiciously.
“No…I uh… wish I did though, she’s probably worth a lot huh?” Pidge asked trying to get more information.
“Fifty million on delivery.” It’s the biggest Bounty in the sector. Everyone on a hundred worlds is gunning for this one.” The second one said.
“Wow, you can bet I’ll keep my eye open for this one.” She said turning to leave.
“Hey you, wait a minute.” The one in the helmet shouted.
Pidge froze. She didn’t know weather to run or play it cool.
“What do you want?” she asked nervously.
The helmeted Bounty hunter walked up to her and looked at her face closely. “You know something don’t you?” he asked grabbing her by the arm.
“Let go of me.” Pidge said.
“Not until you tell me what I want to know. I ain’t gonna let no Fifty million slip through my fingers. I’m gonna make you talk or kill you trying. The choice is yours sweetheart.” He said twisting her arm.
“Let her go.” a voice said.
They all turned to see Pep standing in the doorway. She was wearing a large woven sun hat and carrying a bag full of the things she had just bought.
“Careful Sadgett! She’s listed as a danger level of twelve!” the second Bounty hunter said.
“Don’t do anything stupid that might get your friend hurt.” The helmeted one said pulling Pidge closer.
“One last chance.” Pep said.
No one moved for what seemed an eternity. Then it happened.
Two more Bounty hunters came up from behind Pep with guns drawn.
Every body calm down! Take it outside!” the shop owner yelled hysterically.
In an instant Pep began to glow followed almost immediately by the two Bounty hunters behind her opening fire. Their shots bounced off the shield that she had put up around herself.
The helmeted bounty hunter screamed as blood shot out from under his helmet as his head caved in on itself crushed like an eggshell. Pidge fell down covered in the mans blood.
Pidge watched stunned as Pep rose above the ground two feet and began to move towards the second bounty hunter while ignoring the shots from the other two behind her.
The second bounty hunter began flying around wildly as if tossed by and unseen giant hand. He was beaten against the shelving mercilessly until he too was covered in blood. His limp body was then flung to the floor like a bag of wet saw dust.
The two bounty hunters behind Pep realized the futility of their actions and tried to leave. Pep seized them with her powers and smashed them together until she let the lifeless corpses drop to the ground as well.
Pidge heard a gurgling sound and realized it was the shopkeeper. Pep was strangling him to death. It only took a few seconds until he too was lying dead on the floor.
Pidge watched as Pep floated towards her. Arcs of lightening like bolts seemed to be propelling her forward. She was no longer the quiet cat girl she had just been talking with just an hour ago. She was an unbridled engine of seething anger and rage, an unstoppable juggernaught of destruction.
Pidge threw her arm up in a futile effort to protect herself.
Pep looked down on her with glowing eyes. Pep saw fear in Pidge’s face. She stopped and floated above Pidge trying to remember why she shouldn’t kill this woman.
“Please, don’t.” Pidge begged horrified.
“Pep!” Matt shouted. He must have been with Pep just prior to her entering the shop.
Pep turned towards the sound. She saw a man looking at her horrified. He seemed familiar.
“Matt?” She whispered as if trying to recognize him. Suddenly a switch was turned off in Pep’s mind causing her to drop to the ground almost falling before she caught herself.
Pidge sat shaking on the ground. She had never seen anything like that in her life.
Matt ran to her side and lifted her by her arm forcefully.
“Get up and come with me.” Matt said. He pulled her towards Pep and took Pep with his other arm.
“We’re leaving. Don’t talk, don’t look up just come with me.
Pep looked at Matt with an expression of shame and sorrow. She had done it again.
“It’s okay Pep just keep moving.” Matt said looking straight ahead.
Pep looked at Pidge. Her face showed fear directed towards her.
Pep broke down and began to cry as the hurried down a back street.
“Hold it in just a little longer Pep. Don’t want to draw attention to us right now.
They went back into the hotel through a back door and into Matt and Pep’s room. Matt let go of Pep who went to the bed and began crying.
Matt then sat Pidge down in a chair and paced back and forth.
“You know she just saved you?” Matt said to Pidge. He was being defensive and a little harsher then he needed to be.
“Matt, don’t, she didn’t do anything wrong.” Pep sobbed.
“How did she do that? What is she?” Pidge asked still stunned at what she had seen.
“What is she? She’s the one that just saved your dumb ass from those Bounty hunters. What were you doing with them anyway?” Matt said half accusing Pidge.
Bronski opened the door. He had heard the loud voices from next door. “What the Hell happened?”
Bronski took in the entire scene. Pep was on the bed crying and looking as if she had just done something wrong.
Matt was pumped up with adrenaline and very frustrated.
Pidge sat in the chair looking wide-eyed, unsure of what had just happened and what to do next.
“Aww shit, How many?” Bronski asked.
“At least five…Bounty hunters and a citizen.” Matt said calming down.
“Any one see it?” Bronski asked hurriedly.
“No, I don’t think so…I don’t know.” Matt replied.
“Any of ours get hurt?” Bronski continued his questions calmly and forcefully. This was not the time for emotions.
He was a strategic genius that never rose above the rank of sergeant because what he excelled in strategy he paid for in a lack of diplomacy and tact…and just about everything else.
In other words he spoke his mind…people in power don’t like people who speak their mind, they like yes-men.
“No, we’re good.” Matt said.
Bronski looked around at everyone. They were waiting for his next question. He looked at Pidge who seemed relieved to see him but was still nervous.
“Some crazy shit huh?” Bronski asked Pidge smiling.
Pidge smiled slightly relieved by Bucks smile. He knew how to handle stress and pull people together quickly.
“Some shit.” She replied. Smiling a little more.
“That’s Pep on the bed over there. You just have to remember one thing right now. Pep will never hurt you understand? Never.” Bronski said slowly and clearly.
“Okay Buck, I trust you. I’ll be okay in a minute.” Pidge replied smiling at Matt and Pep.
“Come on. They need to be alone.” Bronski said too Pidge.
“I’ll tell Mykala and Destriss what happened. We’ll all talk later, okay?” Buck said.
“Yeah, sounds good Buck, thanks.” Matt replied.
Bronski opened the door and motioned for Pidge to follow him out. Pidge quickly exited the room followed by Bronski as he shut the door behind them.
“It just happened Matt…I couldn’t control it.” Pep sobbed.
“Dirty Bounty hunters…they had it coming.” Matt snarled.
“I was going to kill her Matt. If you hadn’t shown up when you did I would have killed Pidge too.” Pep said desperately.
“It doesn’t matter what you think you might have done Pep. We’re leaving here tonight. We never should have stayed in a place like this for as long as we have. There are plenty of nice quiet normal colonies and towns where we can go where you won’t feel threatened. Once we get to a place like that then it will be okay.” Matt said stoking her hair.
“Will it really be nice like you say? I’ve never seen a place like that. It all sounds wonderful.” Pep said wiping her eyes.
“You’ll see Pep. I’ll fix it all. I just need to make sure we go some place normal this time.” He smiled.
“Matt I really was about to kill her…I didn’t know who she was.” Pep said shaken.
“No you wouldn’t. You’re not like that…you’re good.” Matt said looking away running his fingers through his hair.
“No way you would have done it.” Matt said to convince himself.
“Even if we can’t find a way to get rid of your powers you’ll learn how to control them sooner or later…you’ll see Pep. I’ll make sure you’ll be okay. Maybe we could ask Adda or Kang. They understand this Jedi Force type stuff. There has to be a way.” Matt said giving an unconvincing smile too Pep.
“What if there isn’t a way to control it? What if I hurt you?” Pep asked still shaken.
“You’ve never hurt any of us Pep. Look…we need to calm down and get it together. Now go ahead and gather up our things, we’re leaving here within the hour okay?” Matt said calmly.
Pep just nodded and wiped her eyes. She was running out of time and options. No matter what Matt said she knew she was getting worse. She hadn’t wanted to tell him but just for an instant she almost killed him as well as Pidge.
All the years of abuse and depravity her owners had heaped upon her were fueling the rage she felt. She had never been able to express how she felt or even act as though she didn’t enjoy it. It was all part of her place in the culture. She was bred to please others no matter what she felt. She had been starved, beaten and much worse done to her since she was thirteen. It never ended for her until she met Matt.
Now he was at risk as well as all her friends. She wanted to run and leave them behind and safe from her destructive force but she would listen to Matt for now. It would be safer but since she had been with Matt she knew what happiness was for the first time in her life and she wasn’t ready to give up on that. If Matt said he could fix it then she would go along with whatever he said.
“Matt are we just going to leave Mykala and Destriss behind? What’s going to happen to them?” Pep asked.
“They’ll be fine. They understand our situation.” Matt said justifying his decision.
“Where will we go now?” Pep asked.
“Some place safe.” He replied.
“But where?” Pep asked quietly.
Matt was silent as he stuffed his clothes into his old duffle bag.
“I don’t know Pep…I don’t know but I swear I’ll find one if it’s the last thing I do.”
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 03:09)